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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Freedom of speech & Communal harmony

I was stumped at the sharp reaction that has ensued after Amir Khan expressed his solidarity for the NBA and condemned the Vadodara riots. The state of Gujarat has put a virtual ban on his movies and all this for what??. Haven't people before supported the NBA, haven't others condemned the Vadodara riots and 2002 massacre before. Why such a sharp reaction on his remarks, there's nothing even so strong about his remarks. The following is a excerpt from outlook site,

"I think it is [Vadodara incident] very sad and what happened in Gujarat a few years ago was also equally unfortunate. It’s a shame that the administration is not able to control the situation there and it is resulting in deaths of innocent people," according to a BBC transcript of the interview.

It doesn't matter which religion these victims belong to. The bottom line is they are all human beings. It seems to me that the law and order machinery or the administration is simply not capable of controlling the situation," Aamir said, responding to a query from a fan.

Take the first statement where he says the incident is very sad, What is he expected to say, "It was a glorious event" or "The job was so well executed, I am proud of it", wasn't it unfortunate by all standards that innocent people were killed. Further, he said, "It’s a shame that the administration is not able to control the situation....". Who in the world, except the perpetrators of the crime, doesn't believe that the law and order machinery in the state was a conniving element in both the events?

Sadly, the social atmosphere in the state has become so vitiated that logic and reason have gone for a toss. Only thing that rules is rhetoric and hatred and people are blindly following the call of the selfish and greedy politicians, who can steep down any limits for power.

The question I have in my mind at this point is whether the reaction had been same had this comments not come from Amir who himself belongs to the minority community but someone from the other side of the religious divide. Secondly, doesn't Amir as a citizen of India has the freedom of speech provided by the constitution, has the fundamental right to talk on the social issues in the country. Sadly, any discussion on these issues are silenced by the accusation of being unpatriotic and anti-India, especially if it is made by someone from the minority community.

Coming again to the Vadodara riots which I had intentionally abstained from commenting, When I mentioned in an earlier post that the country is sitting on a virtual keg of gunpowder the claim looked highly exaggerated to anyone who read it. The way the events turned up in Vadodara reaffirms my conviction in my own statement and most importantly that something needs to be done to quell the communal disharmony that has stained the social fabric of the country so badly.


  • Maybe Arundhati was right. Freedom of Speech might just be in the Civic Books.

    And surprisingly, very few ppl have posted in defending Aamir's right to speak.

    Abt u mentioning abt his religion, well Sarabhai and Medha Patkar are Hindus but they are treated as pathetically in Gujrat. For them, they just need yes-ppl. Nothing else.


    By Blogger HP, at 4:38 pm  

  • Yeah I agree on Sarabhai and Medha Patkar and whatever goes on, but somehow I still hold onto what I say for lot many reasons.

    By Blogger As If, at 6:18 am  

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