Friday, July 4, 2008
it no great
secret that wen u say terrorist u immedialtely picture an Islamic
fundamentalist ,beard n skull cap n all..
n then of course there is enough mistrust towards teh muslim community at
large.. how many ppl who have never met a muslim person in their entire life
assume taht they're all anti-social n angry n murderous lunatics? how justified
is this assumption? how is it fair to teh community?who painted this gruesome
picture? the world has had terrorism forever...but how did it happen that n
entire community is suddenly suspect of wanting to blow up teh world? and wats
even more scary is the fact that a whole lot of ppl assume that its taught by
the religion itself... if that is true how is it that i wasn't taught any such
thing in the 20 yrs of my very religious upbringing?
whre did all these assumptions come from?.... i blame the media... print,t.v
and every other kind.
there is a huge chunk of teh muslim community today that lives below the
poverty line and is still educating its children n women, getting better jobs,
doing honest business...
i m tired of having to explain n defend my religious identity..of getting
labelled and being pushed into a false stereotype...of having to ask for the
benefit of a doubt...
n i m not even just blabbering this time..heres a list of events that stand out
n make me ask myself wat made it possible for ppl to think the way they do..
- person at polling booth during elections asking me if i can sign my own name
or do i want to put a thumb print ... [assumption?muslim girl in hijab- assume
- history teacher teaching abt social renaissance in tenth grade makes me stand
up n asks me if i can enlighten teh class on the social status of muslim
women,their financial dependence n general bad state - [assumption?they're all
teh same n i kno so coz i read it somewhere n fed my own prejudice, let this
school girl defend her community in teh class bcoz i want to be a smartass]
- at job interview teh HR guy telling me that teh company has a dress code n he
cannot permit me to wear a headscarf as it violates teh code [assumption? none
- just a blatant disregard for a person's faith, of course teh sikh gets to
wear his turban,no problem there]
of course i m not saying that i havent enjoyed equal rights n a good life n
great opportunioties ... India is still a better democracy than many others ...
no i m not complaining abt rights or anything..i m just wondering where these
assumption came in while we weren't looking...
heres an interesting article i read regarding teh movie 'Aamir' in the Indian
Express today :----
i m pasting it here :----
In bad faith
Jyoti PunwaniPosted online: Friday, July 04, 2008 at 2252 hrs
Had the film 'Aamir' been a thriller about an innocent trapped by the mafia
into crime, it would have been as gripping. But then it would not have been set
in Mumbaiís oldest Muslim ghetto, where, according to the film, every bylane
harbours people ostensibly doing innocuous jobs, but actually working for a
shadowy Boss. In an earlier, innocent era, the Boss would have been a slightly
comic smuggler. Today he is the deadly serious Muslim terrorist out to avenge
the injustices caused to his community.
Only the beard, namaz and azaan are missing from this stereotype of the Muslim
terrorist. Otherwise itís all there: the prayer mat, the cap, the lavish meal
with every conceivable meat, the paan, the spittoon. As are all the other
trappings: the minarets, the narrow lanes, the chunks of hanging meat, butchers
with namaz caps chopping away. Not a pretty world at all, and one wonders what
those living in it would think, watching it portrayed on screen as a den of
filth, violence, crime and unquestioned obedience to jehadi bosses in Pakistan
and all over the Islamic world.
This squalor is part of the wrongs done to our community, the terrorist tells
the squeaky clean, handsome, and completely secular yet devout Muslim hero. (Of
course someone like him must love a Hindu.) Should we be grateful that our
filmmakers have moved from biryani-sherwani- qurbani socials to the injustices
meted out to Muslims?
If the first depicted an enchanting but completely unreal world, the latter
world is only too real in its physical depiction. Thatís why the recent trend
of films on Muslim terrorism are so dangerous. They project the popular image
of the youngMuslim-turning-terrorist so technically well, that those who know hardly
anyone living in these ghettos will be even more apprehensive of them.
Itís not as if these ghettos donít contain in them a hundred stories waiting to
be told about deprivation, neglect and injustice. But many of these have
resulted not in revengeful terrorism but in redoubled struggles to overcome.
The residents who step gingerly around mounds of garbage in lanes where
butchers ply their trade in the open, pay municipal taxes as regularly or
irregularly as those living in Hindu colonies, but rarely see a
garbage-collection truck. Pan-stained rickety stairs donít always lead to empty
rooms reserved for bombers. Sometimes they lead to informal classrooms filled
with first-generation learners trying to get ahead in school year by agonising
year by rushing here to study after cooking and cleaning for their families.
In one such building in Mumbai lives bank employee Iqbal who wrote Shivajiís
biography in Urdu; in another, lives computer teacher Shabana Qureishi, whose
modest salary barely supports her younger brotherís college education. Their
father and elder brother were killed by local boys she identified as Shiv
Sainiks in the í92-í93 riots. And when will our filmmakers turn their cameras
towards the other ghettos in Mumbai, where too, young men are exhorted to
revenge, but by tilak-wearing saffron-clad supremos?
The writer, a freelance journalist, has covered the í92-í93 Mumbai riots
munazz at 6:07