Year 2015 has been one of the most eventful years in the recent past, as far as India and the world are concerned. The year can be titled as “The Hate Story 2015″, because the dynamics of the whole world has been changed, pushing the globe to the brink of World War III. Although it would be the alarmist to pronounce that we are close to World War III, but it is also true that we are closest to such a situation. ISIS (the Islamic State) has unleashed a war across the world throughout the year, spewing its venom on USA, UK, France and India. The Paris attack in November is one of the most coordinated terrorist acts in recent times with mass shootings in public places followed by suicide bombings. The action was swift and the attackers were rounded off and killed from their hideouts and the perpetrators were located in Syria and bombed by the French Air Force. This act of elimination of terrorists which was later assisted by UK too is one of the swiftest and biggest actions for those at the receiving end. The message was swift and clear. Terrorism would not be tolerated. The ‘Sholay’ monologue ” Tum ek maaroge hum chaar maarenge” was the precise communication to the ISIS.
Soon after a Russian passenger plane was shot down by Turkey and all hell broke loose. It looked as if Putin would wage war against Turkey and Syria for this alleged terrorist action. But with the intervention of the World Community, the inevitable has been averted and the issue ended up with sanctions on Turkey. The major powers had taken sides creating a World War like situation.
The terrorists wanted such a situation. They have plan-ted the seeds of hatred and its fruit is here that the world community starts hating each other. The Charlie Hebdo killing early in the year was the beginning of intolerance that rubbed off on India. Incidentally, we have reached the zenith of “intolerance” debate with Aamir Khan taking the centre-stage. It was initiated by returning of awards by artists, writers and celebrities and then taken ahead by Shah Rukh Khan and now Aamir and Rahman. And the whole fuss about this intolerance is not to the understanding of sane minds.
There have been rants about beef and Bangla-desh since time immemorial. Fatwas had been issued on films, Tasleema Nasreen, Salman Rushdie, MF Hussain and many more. Shiv Sena has been against Pakistani artistes since long. The party has been against the Pakistani cricketers too and had dug up pitches in the past. So “intolerance” is not a current phenomenon.
Shah Rukh himself had protested when he was detai-ned at international airports and whis-ked. Rahman has been at the wrong end many a times. So, why it’s now? But I am concerned about something else. The ISIS is not finding recruits elsewhere in the world and is looking for Muslim youths in India. This news is well known in the intelligence circuits. At this point of time, if Shah Rukh and Aamir, two of the cult Indian stars cry intolerance, I am afraid of the large followings they have in the youth. Even out of the millions of fans, if a hundred go the wrong way, and practice terrorism taking the Indian intolerance story seriously, the job of ISIS would become easier. We have seen the influence of stars and movies in the past. Crazy fans have broken laws and committed crimes watching and emulating their stars.
Our Bollywood fixation makes it all the more dange-rous if these stars speak anything that is construed or will be contorted by the opposition as something anti national, it will have disastrous effects. This bothers me. The psyche of the youth is vulnerable to the words and actions of these stars. So, it is for the stars to restrain from using words that will have a cause and effect on millions of fans.
On the other, it is for the political class, both in the ruling party and the opposition not to fan these statements of the stars with political air because of their own vested interests. The stars are also human beings and speak their heart out. But if we use their statement to reach out to their fans and gain mileage it is not in the national interest. So in the fight for the mind-space of the people of the country, utterances of stars and politicians without restraint and the fanning of emotions of the political class, we portray our country as being backward and issueless in the world community. These gossips and trivia are the domain of people and nations without work. Whether we wish to show our fast progressing nation in the bad light for our vested interests is for us to think.
So the ‘Hate Story 2015’ has run to full houses natio-nally and internationally. And I feel this is just the beginning. The recent dialogue between India and Pakistan albeit with US intervention might be a breather for the Peaceniks but that’s the only interval in the movie. The French retaliation is a good lesson for India to act and not indulge in rhetoric.
*By Dr.Jawahar Surisetti
Author is well know Education & Motivator