Mumbai is a Metropolitan, Not a Religious Playground for Politicians – Pakistan IPL Players Controversy and Shah Rukh Khan Comments

By at 9 February, 2010, 10:27 am

My Name Is Khan - Press Conference

Shah Rukh Khan’s support to the Pakistani players in IPL bidding made him face a lot of trouble. He was not only threatened but also targeted by the Shiv Sena. He was alleged to be a traitor and was dared to speak in favour of Pakistani players in future. He stood up for his beliefs and refused to apologize. Fortunately people from Bollywood and elsewhere have now started recognizing their right to speech.

When Shiv Sena recommended Shah Rukh to live in Pakistan instead, this infuriated not only his admirers but also his father who was a freedom fighter and had played an instrumental role in the Quit India Movement. Shah Rukh’s father (Taj Mohammed) was one of the few Muslims who decided to leave Pakistan and settle in India. It is both ironical and shameful that Shiv Sena which had played no role in the Indian Freedom Struggle assumes that it has power to deport citizens of India to some other country.

The question is not on inclusion of players but its on whether an individual has a right to express his opinion or not. Democracy protects this right but may be Shiv Sena fails to recognize the true meaning of democracy. They believe that restricting and instructing people would serve their purposes and goals. They are the Taliban who have not attained absolute power till now. They employ every method to threaten, fright and manipulate people. They are least concerned about the development of the state as if they were they would have been more instrumental in issues that really mattered to the state like conditions of farmers etc. But they waste their energies in deciding which society, festival, group, religion, celebrity and film to target. They wish to seek limelight with everything they can.

Mumbai was not built in a day. The city has contribution from various communities and these communities lived in harmony with one another until such groups infuriated the feelings of hatred amongst them. Isn’t Shiv Sena promoting communal tensions and disturbing peace of the nation. If they have a problem with non-maharashtrians then Ambani’s, Bachchan’s, Birla’s etc would all have to leave the state. Ironically 50% of the economy of the state comes from the non-maharashtrians and if they evacuate the state would be in a huge financial loss.

Historically Maratha’s were not essentially against the Mughals. Instead of looking at the struggle between the two as a Hindu and Muslim fight it should be looked as a battle for power and state power. But Shiv Sena has always projected themselves as the protector of Hinduism and Maratha but they fail to understand that a protector never dictates.

The plight of Maharashtran’s and their unemployment must be definitely taken into considerations. There are various  universities and organizations which ensure that the natives are not deprived of the opportunity to work or study.  Ensuring jobs to Maratha’s is a good gesture but taking away the jobs of Non-Maratha’s is not a solution. India is a culturally diverse and homogeneous society ; demarcating cultural boundaries would not help anyone. Jinnah demanded a land for Muslims and Pakistan was formed. Are we ready to witness the emergence of MARATHASTAN? I’m sure we wont even like to imagine that.

Promoting culture and heritage is one thing and imposing it on others is another. What Shiv Sena is doing is the latter. If I’m forced what to wear, what to watch, what to eat or even what to speak it would only lead to oppression. Mr Thakeray has a right to suggest but he has no right to oppress.

Every individual has a right to decide and it can not be taken away by dogmatic powers like Shiv Sena. Gone are the days when Bihar was only for Bihari’s, Rajasthan only for Rajasthani’s and Maharashtra only for Marathi’s. We are Indian’s and will remain Indian’s no matter what Shiv Sena believes or propagates. Our Constitution has conferred this right upon us and no one can deprive us from the privilege of being a citizen of the country. By weakening the social thread of the country, the Thakeray’s are only helping the terrorists. They may intend to project themselves as protagonists but their actions have benefited only the rivals. Isn’t disturbing national peace a disguised terrorism? The actor is scared about the protection of his family. Isn’t is taking away his right to life and dignity? I think it is.

Before independence if people thought that they have greater loyalty to their regions then to their motherland, it was justified but now we are not just Marathi, Marwari, Gujarati or Sindhi; we are Indians. Our out most loyalty lies with the nation and not just with our region or religion. Let us unite so that no British rule is established again, no Taliban ever dominates us and so that no terrorist can ever take advantage of our internal conflicts. Let’s never destroy our own resources and kill our own people because by this we are proving our loyalty to enemies and not to out motherland.

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Categories : Bollywood | Cricket | Politics | Social Issues | Sports

Pawan February 10, 2010

Very simply and nicely put.
About the Senas: its unfortunate that they don’t understand that there are other ways to tell people that look I am not happy with what shahrukh said. Especially in the backdrop of some recent events. What if we, the keyboard strokers, also rise up with a trishul each in our hands? Do they stand a chance against a larger mob than theirs? And even if its violence they want to resort to for a solution, i wish the problem was worth it.

meghna February 10, 2010

thanks Pawan… you have a very pertinent point, if majority of Indian’s think the way you do… I m sure we would never be oppressed by forces like the Sena.

Prachi February 10, 2010

Nice article…
I agree with your thoughts. Till when people will divide themselves on the basis of caste or religion or state or any other factor. Instead of fighting and imposing allegations on each other, they should unite and fight with the forces that hamper the peace and prosperity of the society as a whole. Its time to forget little differences and become one to strive for a common goal that is communal harmony and overall development. I really hope our generation understands this and work for mutual benefit rather than for personal interests!

meghna February 10, 2010

Thanks Prachi.. Your comment is really encouraging and worth pondering about…

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