Should Pakistani and Australian cricket players be allowed to play in the upcoming IPL?
Well that is a decision best left to IPL, which is a private organization and the Government of India, as it is somewhat of a political issue. But a handful of thugs have no right to decide who can come to India to play cricket or whether its citizens have the right to live and work in any part of the nation. The Sena goons have hijacked and terrorized my beloved city of Bombay, oops Mumbai, for well over four decades, resorting to unlawful means, inciting violence and destruction of public property. This city was not built in a single day, but these senseless goons waste no time in bringing life to a standstill by way of their infamous bandhs and morchas.
And now they have decided it is time to inflict their wrath on Shah Rukh Khan for his comments on including Pakistani players! I don’t care much for his movies or acting talents, but there was nothing wrong when he said that cricket or any other game for that matter should not be influenced by politics. He had every right to speak his mind, in his capacity as the owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders, whether you agree with him or not, whether you like his movies or not.
If you don't agree with what he said, then well write about it, invite him to a duel on multiple TV channels, pick his brains and let him have it in front of an audience. But why threaten to picket his upcoming movie release, why call him a traitor and why arouse hundreds of misguided folks who have nothing better to do than burn effigies, posters, bash people and destroy property!
Sachin Tendulkar echoed the sentiments of a majority of Indians when he unequivocally stated that, ‘I am a proud Indian first and then a Maharashtrian’. Needless to say he incurred the wrath of India’s moral police, the self-appointed demagogues.
Are we living in a civilized society or the Stone Age?
It is a complete mockery of the Constitution which upholds every citizen’s right to freedom of speech and expression. India recently celebrated 60 years of being a Republic, not a Banana Republic! We elect our leaders democratically in the hope that they will uphold the law, ensure citizens’ safety and improve their lives. We don’t elect them so that they can sit and watch helplessly while an unlawful bunch of vitriol spewing hooligans continue to issue diktats on the law abiding, tax paying citizens of the nation. Shame on such a government for letting this happen in one of the largest metropolis whose folks take pride in this wonderfully diverse cosmopolitan hub.
The whole country is aghast at the merciless treatment being meted out to Indian students in Australia, rightfully so. But what about the goondas in Mumbai that rail against their own countrymen who migrate from other parts of the country for a livelihood. In the 60’s when the tiger was young and had just tasted blood, the target was predominantly South Indians and Gujaratis. Now the Uttar Bharatiya is being attacked and forced to learn Marathi or else! Vir Sanghvi’s latest column in the Hindustan Times poignantly captures the essence of the moment as he traces the birth of the Sena in the 60’s and its achievements or lack thereof. Ironically as history has shown us so many times, that once you create a Frankenstein it always comes back to bite you. In this case, the Sena is Congress’s Frankenstein!
Pinky Virani, an activist and author of “Once was Bombay”, tackles the negative forces that are responsible for the decline of this once beautiful city and comes down heavily on the Sena. And now decades later the tiger may be aging but doesn’t seem to have given up its old habits.
Many people are of the opinion that India’s time has finally arrived on the world stage and we are racing speedily towards becoming a superpower. The events in the last couple of months tell a different story though. How can a bunch of ruffians be allowed to decide who has the right to settle down and live in Mumbai? Or for that matter how can petty politicians decide whether Hyderabad belongs to Telangana or AP?
You may disagree with me on this issue, but the founding fathers did a big disservice to the nation by allowing the formation of states on a linguistic basis.
The Bombay Presidency should have been left untouched in 1960 which eventually gave rise to linguistic, regional and parochial jingoism. We should all be proud of our mother-tongue, but that shouldn't form the basis for who gets to live in your mother-State. Languages cannot be forced down someone’s throat, they should feel free to learn and enjoy it. I love to sing in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada & Malwi, although my singing abilities are questionable. But the point is that language should not be a determinant in who gets to settle down in which part of the country, if it is a free nation. Every schoolchild knows to recite the Pledge, which glorifies India’s rich heritage and cultural diversity. We were unified as one country in our freedom struggle against the British. But somehow after 60 years, we seem to have become more disintegrated, parochial, fanatical and even fascists on our way to becoming a superpower. Is “India Shining”?