If the condemnation of the cartoon is good but the call for the cartoonist´s head is bad, what about M.F. Husain´s libidinous lampooning of Hindu deities?
The twists and turns Indian secularism is taking these days are beyond the communal comprehension of Satiricus. Take, for instance, this question of questions the government asked our armed forces: How many Muslims do you have? When the papers reported this in banner headlines Satiricus was overjoyed. For he considered it the culmination of Congressecularism.
Once we start counting Muslim heads among our soldiers (in order to have more and more Muslim heads to count upon), the logic of the situation could lead the army of secular India finding itself under the command of an Islamic terrorist one fine day. The day that happens, India that is damnable Dar-ul-Harab would become India that is delightful Dar-ul-Islam. Alas, that was not to be. For the Defence Minister backed out, declaring that the army would remain apolitical, secular force, untouched by such a head count. This is an unseemly let-down. For was not the Sachar Committee, which asked this question, set up by the Prime Minister´s Office specifically for Muslim welfare? Then is not the welfare of the Muslims (-and to hell with the Hindus!) synonymous with the essence of Indian secularism? Of course opposition politicians (being communal by definition) declared it a dangerous move, and the service chiefs said it would send a wrong signal. But that was to be expected, no? For the path of true secularism, like that of true love, does not run smoothly. So Satiricus sees this as a sorry setback for the secular powers that be.
Then there is the Danish dilemma. Satiricus says this is the second serious setback to our sacred secularism. Initially, when a Muslim Minister of the biggest state of secular India announced a cash reward of Rs 51 crore for anyone who beheads the Danish cartoonist who caricatured Prophet Mohammed, Satiricus had patriotically thought to himself-Lo and behold! Here at last we have an admirable Indian edition of Khomeini. If Khomeini in Iran could ask for the head of a Satanic Muslim Britisher, why can´t this home-grown Khomeini of secular India ask for the head of a Christian Dane?
This minister meticulously organised a spontaneous outrage of five lakh Muslims to prove that Muslim India (a la Shahabuddin) was with him in this demand. Even official India backed him, the State Government defending the Minister´s remark as the ?Voice of someone whose religious sentiments have been hurt? and the Central Government duly joining the chorus of condemnation.
On the other hand, can any Indian Muslim (or Muslim in India) be more Muslim than a Maulana member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board? Satiricus thinks not. And yet a Maulana on this board has condemned the minister´s statement as ?anti-Shariat, anti-Islam and anti-humanity?. This has caused confusion worse confounded in Satiricus´s befuddled brain. For if the condemnation of the cartoon is good but the call for the cartoonist´s head is bad, what about M.F. Husain´s libidinous lampooning of Hindu deities?
In this respect the Central Government of Secular India tried to save the situation by not uttering a word of condemnation of Husain, let alone announcing a reward for his beard. But here again there are Muslims in India that are clearly not as secular as the secular powers that be would want them to be. For both the Muslim League as a party and the Shahi Imam of Delhi´s Jama Masjid have said that the Padmashri-Padma Bhushan-Padma Vibhushan pornographer has hurt Hindu sentiments with his blasphemous pictures of Hindu deities and Bharat Mata.
To cap all this, some VHP leader has declared that anyone killing Husain would be considered an honoured son of Bharat Mata. Oh my secular God! Would that not mean killing the very picture of Indian secularism? Surely secularism khatre mein hai, and as the defender of the faith the Prime Minister must act.-And here Satiricus does not mean ?half a PM? but the full and final PM. (S)He must condemn the VHP, commend Hindu-hating Husain, and reward him with a special award-an Anti-India Ratna. The secular powers that be must also take serious note of the fell fact that big and small Hindu organisations all over secular India are taking Husain to court over his paintings. This reprehensible revival of anti-secularism must be sternly dealt with.
Unfortunately this is easier said than done. For although it is easy to deal with Hindus at home, dealing with Hindu men abroad is apparently not that easy. Take, for instance, the recent advertisements of an American brand of whiskey called ?Southern Comfort? in Greece, showing Goddess Durga holding bottles of the whiskey in her hands. They were in the form of two-dimensional displays of the goddess in a disco bar in Athens. Believe it or not, Hindus abroad raised such an abominably anti-secular furore over the ads that the owners of the brand withdrew the display. As if this was not bad enough, it is now followed by something worse. For after successfully standing up to the Americans, these pernicious people are now standing up to the French.
According to reports from London, Hindu leaders in Britain and across the world are now condemning the portrayal of Lord Shiva in a French film. This film shows the main characters smearing, laughing and tearing up pictures of Lord Shiva. The secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain has roundly condemned this demonstration of ?extreme intolerance?. What does all this show?
Satiricus must say it shows extreme intolerance of the holy tenets of Indian secularism on the part of these Indian communalists abroad. They must be brought to their secular senses. They must be taught a lesson-in secularism.