Radical Islamist Aatish Taseer who recently in a brazen display on Twitter called the Muslims to organise as he claimed that Muslims don’t need peace has been whining relentlessly ever since the Indian government revoked his OCI card. His whining has fallen on deaf ears and his privileged columns have received little traction which has now forced Taseer to use his clout among the so-called intellectuals fraternity to urge the Indian government to restore Taseer’s citizenship.
Over 260 personalities, including authors Orhan Pamuk, Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie and Amitava Ghosh have written an open letter to express concern over the alleged “targeting” of journalist Aatish Taseer.
John Coetzee, Ian McEwan, Don DeLillo, Chimamanda Adichie, Jonathan Franzen, Zadie Smith, Elif Shafak, Steven Pinkar, Jhumpa Lahiri, Amitav Ghosh are some of the signatories.
The letter claims that the Indian government is retaliating against Taseer for his critical coverage of PM Modi. The letter claims that: “Denying access to the country to writers of both foreign and Indian origin casts a chill on public discourse; it flies in the face of India’s traditions of free and open debate and respect for a diversity of views and weakens its credentials as a strong and thriving democracy. This is outright retaliation against a journalist who has ticked off an increasingly nationalistic and authoritarian prime minister. Let’s not pretend this is something else.” The letter reeks of entitlement and privilege pretty much like Taseer’s articles in the Time magazine and NYT.
The letter conveniently chooses to ignore the Indian laws as it clearly states that one cannot get an OCI card if any of his parents are citizens of Pakistan which is in the case of Taseer whose father- Salman Taseer who was the Governor of Punjab in Pakistan and a leader of Pakistan People’s Party. Taseer has resorted to writing pieces in the Time Magazine which aim to represent a distorted picture of India and PM Modi and the entitled Taseer has the audacity to compare his so-called plight to that of Syria. In his biased article, he writes that: “I was due to fly to India from Greece a few days later to finish filming a documentary, but a lawyer advised me that I could be exposing myself to detention if I were to do so. As a journalist, I have been in many fearful places in my life – from interrogations in Iran to questioning by the mukhabarat in Assad’s Syria – but this was the first time I had thought of India in that way. Instead, I left Greece and headed back to the U.S.”
Taseer in the name of being anti-Modi regularly peddles anti-India agenda and the morally corrupt Taseer went a step ahead and compared his situation to that of Kashmir in a desperate attempt to gain sympathy as he writes: “The government that stripped me of my overseas citizenship had just stripped the state of Jammu and Kashmir of statehood, autonomy and basic human freedoms.” Unsurprisingly, yet again Taseer showed his absolute disregard for the Indian laws by questioning the revocation of Article 370.
Taseer by birth is a British citizen and has never been an Indian national. He has chosen to keep hold of the lucrative British passport which comes with its own benefits and also celebrated like a child when he received the coveted Green Card from the US government and claimed: “As a South Asian male, with a Muslim name, I had hardly ever before entered the US without being carted off to secondary screening.” The question which arises is that what stopped Taseer from choosing to become an Indian national if according to his claims, India is his destiny and nation? He just wanted to enjoy the benefits that come with the OCI card while being a British citizen which is basically a liberal visa regime. It allows its holder to visit India and stay there indefinitely, buy land and enjoy certain privileges that other immigrants normally wouldn’t be eligible for. Taseer is nothing but an entitled human being who is now crying when his privileges are rightfully revoked.
His mother, Tavleen Singh resorted to emotionally blackmailing the Indian government and its citizens as he posted a video of Taseer’s grandmother calling for his return to India.
Taseer’s OCI was revoked because his father was a Pakistani which is indisputable and his move to keep his father’s surname directly contradicts his claims that he and his father were never really close. The hue and cry over Taseer’s OCI card are due to the humongous amount of self-importance associated with the liberals. They feel that they have every right to be entitled and privileged and feel that their biased articles can make the government wary of them. Taseer’s case is a perfect example of what happens when an entitled liberal is revoked of his unwarranted privileges.