In India, every few months some rabble-rouser stands up and puts across his view of how others should live their life, and then tried to enforce it via illegal means. Most often, such views are archaic and sometimes backed by religious pretext. Although a majority of Indians would probably not support such maniacs, there has been a rise in such incidents.
One such recent incident was involving Raza Academy. The academy, whose members are suspected to have burnt two constables alive, issued a Fatwa against A R Rahman for scoring music in a film which they considered to be sacrilegious and mocking Islam. Such acts are in the same vein as people burning M F Hussain’s paintings, who eventually chose to run away rather than fight such elements.
What India needs is to come together and fight against all such attacks on freedom, but what we see is a “politically correct” stand, which depends on the background, religion and sometimes even caste of the offenders.
In the immediate case, one was shocked to see the stunning silence from Bollywood, which did not stand in unison against the Fatwa by Raza Academy. These are the same guys who are ready to start signature campaigns urging people to not to vote for Modi, or to write letters on behalf of overstaying FTII students.
As usual the media also played its part. This issue was not debated like a random statement from a random Sadhvi. Nor was it linked to attack on Freedom of Speech. Some even feigned ignorance of the acts of Raza Academy.
Times of India today put out an infographic of different acts of Moral Policing in India:
As you can see, what Times of India did was only highlight a particular section of Moral Police. No mention of any Fatwas. No mention of a Communist leader who was arrested just 2 months back for attacking a couple who he believed were not married. No mention of Shirin Dalvi, an Urdu journalist forced into hiding for reproducing Charlie Hebdo cartoons.
Times of India mentioned the attack on AIB’s roast, but for some reason failed to highlight that even a Catholic group called “Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum” led a Morcha which culminated into filing an FIR against AIB. And perhaps even more troublesome in the AIB case, was the apology AIB was forced to give to all Christians, by the Archdiocese of Bombay.
The problem here is simple. Such selective outrage against only those miscreants who do not subscribe to your ideology defeats the entire fight. What we need today is to call out the Raza Academy in the same loud and shrill voice as we call out the Ram Sene.
The usual “Adarsh Liberal” outrage brigade which hangs by every word of certain miscreants, might feel they are doing a great service to the nation by standing up against such forces. But in reality, such selective biased attacks on only a section do great disservice to the cause of fight against moral policing and other transgressions on our freedom.