By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal
It’s okay to protest for a grievance, it’s commendable to protest peacefully for a grievance but its utmost stupidity to protest for a grievance that simply doesn’t exist. The whole issue around Padmavat or Padmavati was nonsense to begin with; it was a popularity trap that fringe groups like Karni Sena fell for head over heels trying to gain some political points. Instead, what’s serious is the attack on Republic Day parade in Kasganj where a Muslim extremists’ mob chanted Pakistan Zindabad and killed a parade participant.
I am confident that just like every other controversy that Bhansali camp ignites before the release of his films, they had a hand behind the dream sequence drama that caused this whole uproar. Knowing clearly the sensitivity of people regarding our history, they clearly wanted to profit from the storm they had ignited. Now with so much talk, political parties, Senas and courts being involved in the fray, the producers are bound to make a killing at the expense of public disturbance of peace and damage of property. And now to people who are defending the honor of their community by burning vehicles on streets, does out of thousands of Karni Sena soldiers, whose name most of the Indians never heard of before, did anyone had the wit to ask, is this really needed? I myself am a Rajput but how does torching someone’s shop defend my honor. Why can’t they simply appeal people to boycott the film, why does beating mall staff or innocent movie goers have to manhandled or beaten so that some random guy, who has nothing to do with the Rajput community, prove himself brave. You want to defend the community honor, let’s join hands to fight social ills like poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, hunger, does that make someone any less courageous. Pelting stones at a bus taking kids back home from school is simply unacceptable.
Yesterday, on republic day, a rally to celebrate this occasion in Kasganj was attacked by a mob who doesn’t necessarily share the love and affection for our country. This brings us to often discussed but mostly ignored issue of Islamic radicalism and ideology of ISIS and Al Qaeda that is seeping into this country through Madarsas, Islamic organizations and other means like the internet. This incident was just a glimpse of things to come if we don’t take any action now, the government should not only wake up and take stern action against perpetrators but go to bottom of this, if it’s a pre-planned, deliberate act. We have to remember that a threat to our nation doesn’t always come from the outside.