India That is Bharat
Of trial run and dry run
THE English language is a thing of beauty and a secular joy for ever. The beauty of English is that one may abuse anybody to one'sfoul heart'scontent, then say that one magic word, ?sorry?,?and hey, presto! all your sins of scurrility are washed away in an instant. So this desi dunce is delighted with Kissinger'skindly confession.
At the time of the 1971 Bangladesh war this US Secretary of State had remarked to President Nixon, ?The Indians are bastards anyway?. Now, when we Indians have come to know about the abuse full 35 years later, he has not only been so cultured as to promptly say sorry, but has also explained two reasons for the foul language?No. 1: The cuss-word had the context of the Cold War. No. 2: He was ?angry?. So there! For this refined gentleman at the top of the American government, stress of the situation and his anger were doubly sufficient to make all us Indians bastards.
Now, not being at the top of the Indian government, Satiricus has no reason to be angry, so without anger he would like to return Kissinger'scompliment by pointing out to him that actually, biologically, there are many times more Americans who are bastards than there will ever be in India that is still Bharat. A few short years ago data available from research on family life in the US of A., ?God'sown country?, brought out the following facts: Most Americans take a ?trial run? before marrying. The most common living arrangement now in America is unmarried people living together. The number of such people doubled from 16 per cent in 1972 to 32 per cent in 1998. As a result, 32 per cent of American children were born of un-wed mothers. Translated into English this means, statistically speaking nearly one-third of Americans being born these days are bastards. Now the point here is: Do statistics and scurrility go together? Satiricus does not know. All he can say is that in backward Bharat being called a bastard is an abuse, in advanced America being a bastard is an every day fact of life. To make the confusion in Satiricus'sbefuddled brain worse confounded, he recalls that Kissinger is of German stock, and even a head of the government in his parent country was a biological bastard. Finally, if Kissinger thinks Satiricus is abusing him by saying all this, Satiricus has a simple reply??Sorry?.
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Maulana Mulayam has spoken, and that settles the matter, at least so far as secular Satiricus is concerned. He has declared that the Deoband fatwa against Imrana is right, because it was issued by religious leaders who are learned people and who must have given it the necessary thought. Satiricus quite agrees.
He recalls that a book written by some Pakistani Muslims had not long ago described Deoband Islam as the software for international Islamic terrorism. The extreme exaggeration apart, this only shows the pristine purity of the Deoband dogma. Then how can the fatwa be wrong? In fact questioning an Islamic fatwa is a case of criminal blasphemy in this country, where Christianity and Islam are the Old Testament and the New Testament of the official Bible of secularism.
So it is really unfortunate for mullah Mulayam that even among Muslims there should be heretics who say Mulayam is wrong in saying the fatwa is right. They also say in so many words that secular Satiricus is wrong in his pious belief that India that is Dar-ul-Harab has developed into secular India that is Dar-ul-Islam. Unthinkable as it is, even a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has said, ?Deoband should have kept quiet on this issue, as India is not an Islamic country.?
The lone woman member of the Board also says exactly the same thing??India is not an Islamic country… Here it is the law of the land that prevails.? To cap this condemnation, M/S Javed Akhtar & Co. of ?Muslims for Secular Democracy? say they are ?horrified? at this illogical, irrational and unjust fatwa.
Actually Satiricus is horrified to see that Akhtar is horrified. Surely Islam, the first component of Indian secularism, khatre mein hai from such pernicious people. They should be immediately despatched to Arjun Singh to be detoxified.
If Islamic secularism in India is intriguing for Satiricus, so is Christian secularism in America. Take, for instance, this recent ruling of the US Supreme Court. It has upheld a six-foot-high monument in the grounds of the Texas Court displaying the ten commandments, but declared that framed copies of the commandments hanging on the walls of two Kentucky courthouses were unconstitutional.
What exactly does this verdict mean? Satiricus is at a loss to know. Reportedly this was the court'sanswer to the question whether either display violated the constitutional prohibition against an official ?establishment? of religion. Now despite a degree in Law Satiricus is sadly lacking in legal acumen, but even without it he can now see that the ten commandments don'tmatter, it is how they are shown that does.
A monument of stone is legal, but a wooden frame is illegal. Now had God?the Christian God?been mindful more of the medium than of the message, he would not have caused constitutional confusion like this controversy. He would have ensured that the slab moses used to take down His commandments met with the legal requirements of his devotees. In particular he would not have forgotten that American secularism cannot permit the ?establishment? of an official religion by showing the ten commandments on the walls. At the most God could be allowed to keep His commandments out in the courtyard, as in Texas. Then there would be no fear of American rule of law being endangered by American devotion to God.