Its been for a few days that I have felt an urge to speak my mind around the Aamir Khan episode. Presently I am on a holiday outside India but I have felt affected every time I have read the news or scanned my twitter timeline. I have spoken about it on my social media platforms too but yet there is more to vent out. Maybe I would make no sense to you but yet I am writing this because I could totally identify with the concern in his voice to his wife’s statement. As a wife, I can absolutely relate to Kiran because so often we have similar discussions in our families too. Nobody packs their bags and leaves the country next day. And of course those who have got better options outside India have not even given a thought to patriotism, they are gone already. So the point here is not about thinking of leaving but shooing away the reasons behind those thoughts. Be it his wife or anybody else, why should we not speak our minds. We love our country but that does not mean that we do not have the rights to raise our concerns.
So it was a conversation at the eighth edition of the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards where Aamir Khan was one among the elite guests and he spoke the below.
“Kiran and I have lived all our lives in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India? That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make to me. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day.”
If a mother feels uncomfortable in the society. If she is not happy with the growing atmosphere of intolerance and insecurity, why can’t she say it the way she wants it? If you are a citizen of a country and you feel affected by certain incidences, you have all the right to speak about it. Open the newspapers, scan the television channels or just go through your social media platforms, I bet you will find the reasons for concern. Seriously, if you don’t see it, there is something really wrong with you. Okay, I assume that you do not have any concerns but those who have, please don’t term them as traitors or unpatriotic. Calling names simply proves Aamir’s point very well.
For those who have brought it all to Hindu and Muslims and how they are claiming that India is the safest place for Muslims, this really had nothing to do with religion, this is about time we grow up beyond our surnames. Its not the Khan in him that spoke it that way, it is the Aamir, an actor, a creative person who has been taking stand and making contributions for the good of the country. We say India is the safest country for Muslims, we are secular country, but never ever we spare a chance to tell a Muslim that he/she is a Muslim, then what is the good are we talking about?
Now comes the point, why didn’t she/he fear when there were worse things happening before. Firstly, how do we compare such things. To me the things that are happening now are more of worry than that happened ten years ago. The rapes, molestation, ugly statements from people like Sakhi Maharaj and Satwi Prachi, beef ban, ruckus in a book launch, beating innocent people, calling names or targeting minorities sounds more atrocious than a terrorist attack or political scam. You dint react then, you can’t speak out now. Whose made the rules? Our generation is more informed, we have more avenues to speak, more platforms to put across our views and then why will we not speak for the right reasons?
I have a point to make. You have a point to make. We do not agree on certain things. Does that mean one of us is a national and other anti-national? How quickly we use these words which mean so deep!The intolerance has definitely grown in our thoughts and actions because we are just not ready to talk it out soberly. There is an impatience to refute. We are just not ready to listen to each other. We have forgotten the art of sober articulation of our views. Maybe we should start teaching it in our schools. It will bring down the stress too.
Just that people are speaking about it now, everything has boiled down to the ruling party? Can we think bigger and better? Can we not once think about our nation as a whole and not just political camps? Why do the Bhakts get agitated and go berserk on the social media? There are many more ways of showing your disagreements than trolling each other. If you believe that India is more than tolerant now, prove it with your actions. You are not thinking of leaving the country, you see no problems around it, this itself is more than enough to prove that you find it tolerant. Good enough! Prove your point by maintaining decorum. Why burn effigies, uninstall applications, make slapping sites, declare money or slam violent remarks?
I couldn’t stop laughing when another actor said, India has made you a superstar, you should be thankful and not talk like this. I mean its our choice to watch his movies. He has never paid us to do that. Why do we have to remind him that we made him a superstar. He is there for his work and his hard-work. We Indians can take credit for everything. How mean can we be? The moment someone speaks a different tune than ours, we suddenly start bashing him left, right and center. Do we remind Mr. PM or the ministers everyday that all the luxuries they enjoy, its because we voted them so they better do good for the country? Have we asked anyone why do the ministers get away with petty and shameful remarks and keep repeating it again and again?
And last of all, did you actually see the video or read what he said? If not please do before making any opinion around it. Most of the people who have been uninstalling Snapdeal or talking about sending him to Pakistan or booking a ticket for him are just croaking it out without even deciphering what he actually said. Read, listen, think and then speak. Period!
I do not have a clan of ‘bhakts’ or anti-nationals to support me on my points. This was just my personal view as an Indian.