Dear liberals, don’t communalize a metaphor like “Go To Pakistan”

Anti-CAA riots in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh

Social media has been in turmoil today over a video that supposedly shows a Meerut police officer told a group of persons to “Go to Pakistan.” Unfortunately, the police personnel in question had been faced with a mob raising slogans of Pakistan Zindabad and possibly threatening to pelt stones.

News 18 report

Liberal commentators, left-wing propagandists and Islamist politicians have now seized upon these words to claim that law enforcement action by UP police is some kind of crackdown on dissent. They have been trying to draw comparisons with the worst excess and purges that happened under authoritarian regimes, ironically most of them leftist or Islamist.

Read: Anti-CAA riots: Meerut SP warns Muslim mob against shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans, ‘secular’ media takes offence, peddles lies

However, taking words like “Go to Pakistan” literally shows a high level of cultural illiteracy among the intellectuals of India. And a refusal to understand the poetic metaphors used by common people on the street.

The expression “Go to Pakistan” must actually be read in the cultural context in which these words are said.

The word ‘Pakistan’ is used to refer to the proverbial enemy. This enemy could be anything. Like poverty or unemployment or untapped human resource potential.

Read: Swara Bhaskar’s mindless rant: Wants UP police to maintain law and order but says police should not retaliate against a violent mob

So when the UP policeman told the group to “Go to Pakistan,” he was actually lamenting about how these folks are ruining their lives when they are led astray by unscrupulous politicians spreading misinformation against the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

Thus, “Go to Pakistan” is a line that rebukes Indians who are not living up to their human resource potential. It is a nationwide slogan of resistance. That we will not fall for the devices of those who mislead us.

Read: NDTV does it again, twists tweet by Yogi Adityanath’s office on how the State cracked down on anti-CAA rioters: Read details

Do not communalize the words “Go to Pakistan.” It’s a poetic metaphor. And we all know that any kind of imagery, no matter how offensive, is automatically accepted as long as it is a metaphor.

Taking the expression literally would be culturally illiterate. And we would never want that, do we?

Abhishek Banerjee: Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  
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