04 February, 2013


In Kashmir apparently a three-girl rock band has been silenced, allegedly due to a 'fatwa' by a Mufti, calling such public singing un-Islamic.

Several media channels - again led by Times Now - have made a mountain of this mole hill. The questions they asked are:

a. Why is the Mufti interfering with everyday life?
b. Why is the state quiet and is not interfering?
c. This is an attack on the secular fabric of the nation..blah blah

My questions:
a. Is there an embargo upon a Mufti from expressing his opinions?
b. Are clergymen precluded from exercising their right to advise in matters of religion and religious conduct?
c. Are Kashmiri clergymen denied the right to safeguard their version of Islam by merely expressing their opinion?

[My personal opinion about this rock band:
Let the girls sing, if they wish to. Let the Mufti also pronounce his verdict as long as he doesn't ask for physically stopping them.]


The Hindu seers at the Kumbh mela are expected to pronounce who they want as India's PM, and very likely they are going to endorse Modi.

Have any of these august channels questioned and criticized the Hindu saints?
Have they asked the state to intervene and stop this 'interference' in what constitutes a clearly secular matter?

On the contrary BJP has officially stated that the seers have every right to express their opinion, even influencing the minds of the people of India in a wholly political matter that has little direct relations with Hinduism.

As I write this the TimesNow is going full blast with Fr Arnab Goswami holding court with no less than eight panelists playing courtesans.

[Arnab effectively bull-dozed any question that he found inconvenient repeatedly interrupting the Kashmiri Muslim panelist but when Ashok Pandit accused them of terrorism he was comfortable. Such debates make fair minded people sick for their stark hypocrisy. One wonders why such TV-crazy maulalanas appear on TV with their outmoded perspectives in the first place, and if they do, why don't they protest and walk out on such hypocritical criticism?]

Was this an issue worth so much prime time and reams of papers? If it was, isn't Modi's endorsement much, much, much more serious?

Here, a person accused of perpetrating or facilitating, or at least failing to prevent a genocide is going to be recommended as the PM of India by saints and sadhus who are least qualified to opine in statecraft, and this barely makes news. And a single Mufti advising against a small three-girl innocuous rock band, is headlined. Is this our secular, balanced, responsible media? Is it behaving communally, or hypocritically or what?

You decide.

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