A lot has been said over the past two months about how Pakistan is a terrorist state and how it is providing a safe haven to criminals and terrorists involved in blatantly heinous acts against humanity. Post 26/11, tempers have been high, emotions flared and people angry and edgy, some even going to the extent of advocating war. Islam is now seen as a religion of hatred and used almost synonymously with terrorism. The Pakistan government is blamed for its impotence and inaction. But are we any better? The recent Mangalore pub incident raises many such questions. Is our government doing anything to stop such outrageous acts against the very modesty and dignity of women or is it also a mute audience? Even though the news channels started running the clip of the incident from early Sunday morning, the leader of Sri Ram Sene was arrested only on Tuesday and that too for some other offense. We frown or rather mock the Pakistan government’s dummy attempts when it house-arrests wanted terrorists but how differently did its Indian counterpart act in Raj Thakrey’s case. I am not trying to say that what Sri Ram Sene or MNS did is same as what the terrorists do but I’m just alluding to the parallel, though somewhat inexact. The rather ambivalent attitude adopted by both the governments can be attributed to the political dilemma confronting them. The very reason due to which the Pakistan government is blind to all proofs provided by India is exactly the same as why our government turns a deaf ear to the rhetoric of Hindutva/moral policing/regionalism.
To quote Kabirdasa,
“Bura Jo Dekhan main chala, bura na milya koi
Jo Man Dekha Aapno, mujhse bura na koi.”
1. The title comes from a novel by Kamleshwar.
2. The idea was originally proposed by Varun in one of our early morning discussions while brushing teeth.