Politics make strange bedfellows. One such pair is Mohan Bhagwat and Javed Akhtar. In fact, Mohan Bhagwat was busy practicing one-liners in the recent past. And the latest one was when he thought the current young generation should be taught to say “Bharat Mata ki Jai”.
And as expected Asaduddin Owaisi, who is working overtime in expanding his constituency in various states responded negatively to Bhagwat’s suggestion. “I don’t chant that slogan. What you would do Bhagwat sahib?” was his retort.
I don’t know how Bhagwat would respond, but I know how Atal Behari Vajpayee would have responded. Atal, for sure would have asked Owaisi daily to chant “I don’t say Bharat Mata ki Jai” one hundred and eight times. Sadly, he is nowhere in the picture and I had to be contended with my imagination.
Indian polity is such a confused lot, not a single leader from any of the so called secular parties have come forward and replied to Owaisi. Whosoever tried to shout down Owaisi don’t matter much, except in the pocket of their influence. It was a “pleasant surprise” when Javed Akhtar responded to Owaisi. Now, it is common that whenever a famous Muslim takes a stance that was not in line being followed by the predominant leaders, he was accused of playing to the Hindu gallery or he was never a Muslim. Even the former president Abdul Kalam was not spared.
Here is the curious twist in the current tale. Unlike Kalam, who in many ways liked the native culture [yes, that is what it is – the culture popularly called Hindu culture is the native culture of this country, continuously evolved from the contributions of countless people of former generations], Javed Akhtar is an atheist. One columnist writing for Huffing Post wondered how Javed Akhtar expects Owaisi, a practicing Muslim to respect an image of Mother India, as Islam prohibits idol worship. Moreover, Javed Akhtar had said that chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ is not a duty but a right to him, as an Indian. Case is too complex!
This is not the first time such controversy had emerged. Earlier also there was a refusal from some dogmatic Muslims to say “Vande Mataram” claiming that a real Muslim cannot pay obeisance to anyone but Allah. Not even to one’s mother!
At that time I thought it was a ridiculous argument that doesn’t deserve a comment. However, when I read when the news broke that one Syrian lad killed his mother for trying to persuade him to leave ISIS, I realized the danger of neglecting mother, at God’s cost.
Idol worship in a way is primitive. And like all other primitive things, it is so far the most effective. Those who don’t agree that primitive is the most effective needs to pause and reflect about all the feelings, emotions and desires they have. It is the primitive feeling of hunger to sex that drives humans to strive for living. And idol worship was effective and was practiced world over, from Mayans to Egyptians to the Greek, though survived in the main form in India only.
In fact, all religions practice idolatry to symbols. In Islam nothing represents the God. It was correct, because God, who was omnipresent was a superior being and nothing mortal nor material can ever represent him. Now, whenever Owaisi like people conveniently forget the basic tenet of Islam and cry about the Babri Masjid demolition – as anti-Islamic act, it exposes the hypocrisy and stinks with political opportunism.
Meanwhile, Owaisi, I respect him for his knowledge and skill – had tweeted an old quotation by none other than the Guru Rabindranath Tagore.
Must Read this should be definition of Nationalism pic.twitter.com/vSKz62CHSn
— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) March 16, 2016
Now, reading half is the most dangerous thing, but a politician is not a politician if he reads completely. And Owaisi is a good politician. He did not read the last sentence and tried to understand it. Tagore glorifies the ‘living words that have issued from the illuminated consciousness of her great sons….’.
I was wondering what Owaisi learnt from the words of the sons of Mother India. Tagore was talking about the native culture that has evolved over millennia because of continuous contribution of many people spanning generations. Owaisi claims he is a nationalist. I wonder what he loves about India, if not the history of India, which was native to it – and not imported it. If he chooses to love the imported dogma over the native one, I wonder whether it is nationalism. And I am not talking about one’s personal faith – for religion is a personal affair. One can be a practicing Muslim and a nationalist. And that was what Kalam was.
Coming to the doubt of others regarding the atheist Javed Akhtar liking the idea of ‘Mother India” who was a symbolic one, atheism was different from symbolism. Atheist doesn’t accept the concept of god and so no matter whether the god is represented in any way. For him, the non-existent god was as good as a statue or vacuum filled space.
For Javed Akhtar and many other people like him, patriotism was something that each person feels collectively toward the remaining persons living in this land. It is the native culture that puts Mother above everything else – as stated in “Matru Devo Bhava”. And there is the age old saying “Janani Janmabhoomischa, Swargadapi Gariyasi”.
To love one’s mother and motherland, one need not believe in god, any god of any religion. It is a right as felt by Javed Akhtar to love one’s mother and motherland. And to understand it we shall find a mother who feels it is a duty, and not a right, to raise her children! Only those who respect their mothers can only respect others’ mothers. And that is the beauty and essence of the timeless native culture had tried to inculcate into us.
All it takes is one second for Owaisi to close his eyes and introspect what his mother would have told him to do. Meanwhile fishing in the troubled waters, those who worship Italian Mummies also ganged up with BJP and Shivsena only to suspend one of Owaisi’s MLAs. Too much of “Flag Politics” opposed by Rahul Gandhi. This exposed hypocrisy in the other side of political spectrum. But, who cares? If it can attract votes, anything is good.
And on the finishing the master Poet Javed Akhtar is playing smart. He has been rabidly critical of BJP, Modi, Center-Right politics, RSS, VHP and alike. Also, he is nearing the completion of his tenure as a RS Member. One praise can win a lot of lost patrons and Javed Akhtar knows that. Haven’t we all seen the famous left wing blog scroll.in coming up with Pro-Modi posts every once in a while. Business, it is after all. Good job there! Javed Akhtar Sahab.