Today is 26/11, the day we were attacked by a motley group of Pakistani terrorists , who had laid siege on the city, barbarically killed people, disturbed the whole country and mocked humanity.
Incidentally, we have reached the peak of the "intolerance" debate , with Aamir Khan taking centrestage. It was initiated by the returning of awards, then taken ahead by Shahrukh Khan's words and now Aamir and Rahman. And the whole fuss about this intolerance is not to the understanding of sane minds.
There have been rants about beef and Bangladesh since time immemorial. Fatwas have been issued on films, Tasleema Nasreen, Salman Rushdie, MF Hussain and many more years ago. Shiv Sena has been against Pakistani artistes since very long . They have been against Pakistani Cricketeers too and have dug up pitches in the past. So " intolerance " is not a current phenomenon.
Shahrukh himself had protested when he was detained in international airports and whisked. Rahman has been at the wrong end many a times. So why now ?
But I am concerned about something else. The ISIS is not finding recruits elsewhere in the world and is looking for Muslim youth in India . This news is well known in the Intel circuits. At this point of time , if Shahrukh and Aamir , two of the cult Indian stars cry intolerance , I am afraid of the large followings they have in the youth . Even out of the millions of fans , if a hundred go the wrong way, and practice terrorism taking the Indian intolerance story seriously, the job of ISIS becomes easier. We have seen the influence of stars and movies in the past. Crazy fans have broken laws and committed crimes watching and emulating their stars.
Our Bollywood fixation makes it all the more dangerous if these stars speak anything that is construed or will be contorted by the opposition as something anti national, it will have disastrous effects. This bothers me. The psyche of the youth is vulnerable to the words and actions of these stars. So one one side , it is upon the star to restrain from using words that will have a cause and effect on millions of fans .
On the other hand , it is upon the political class, both in the ruling and opposition not to fan these statements of the stars with political air because of their own vested interests . The stars are also human beings and speak their heart out. But if we use their statement to reach out to their fans and gain mileage it is not in national interest .
So in the fight for the mindspace of the people of the country, utterances of stars and politicians without restraint and the fanning of emotions of the political class, we portray our country as being backward and issueless in the world community. These gossips and trivia are the domain of people and nations without work. Whether we wish to show our fast progressing nation in bad light for our vested interests is for us to think.
But for me it's Nation First ! And that the example set by the martyrs of 26/11 .