Disunity In Diversity


The intelligent lot of the country cannot help but wonder if India is evolving into a regressive State, in the light of recent issues. It is worrying to notice that the space for freedom of speech is rapidly shrinking and intolerance for differing views is on the rise. The matter of greater concern is the active involvement of the State Heads in curbing this freedom and bowing to the diktats of fundamentalist groups. But should not anyone acting against the implementation of constitutional rights be punished and charged with treason?

Pragaash, the Kashmiri girl band was disbanded after a fatwa was issued by Mufti Bashiruddin Ahmed. He decreed that music and singing was “completely un-Islamic”. There was a lot of online abuse and obscene comments all because they enjoyed making music. Though they had the support of their Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, it was only short lived as the girls bowed to cultural and religious restrictions. The Mufti also advised these girls not to be influenced by the support of political groups. Sadly, ‘First Light’ (Pragaash) stopped shining and their potential is now locked. If music and singing is un-Islamic then why are fatwas not issued against musical greats like Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan?

Salman Rushdie’s case and Viswaroopam seem similar in the way their respective governments have reacted. Mr. Rushdie alleged that the West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamta Banerjee herself ordered the police to block his arrival. He also alleged that the police called Muslim leaders and incited protests. If any threat or violence was anticipated, the right response would be to ensure security arrangements so that the protestors can have their say in a peaceful manner and Mr. Rushdie could have had his too. Demonstration of any kind should have been ordered to be staged peacefully.

Viswaroopam too faced the same situation when it was banned in Tamil Nadu for over two weeks. An extremely grieved Kamal Haasan expressed his desire to move out of the country, to a more secular place. Finally the film was released only after the objectionable scenes were agreed upon to be deleted. Here also the Chief Minister has just acted upon the anticipation of disruption of law and order. The film has been cleared by the Censor board, so why should then anyone have a problem with it? That would be the question to ponder.

Article Posted By : prajwal316lView All Articles

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Keywords :
music , fatwa , Pragaash


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