The Atlantic’s staff writer Ed Yong yesterday won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. However, the same publication published a hit job article by OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) card reject Aatish Taseer, to even the highs of award-winning journalism with the lows of a known hatemonger regurgitating his venom.
Not exactly the biggest fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Aatish churned up an article, where he played the age-old Muslim card that has been used incessantly way past its shelf life. Replete with his obvious and inherent bias, the New York-based author tried to pin the blame of ‘Khan’s of the industry’ losing their relevance, owing to their Muslim identities, under NDA’s supposedly ‘Hindu-centric’ rule.
“In ways reminiscent of the old Hollywood blacklist, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is using powerful tools to curtail the creative freedom of Bollywood—in particular the influence of Muslims, who have an outsize presence in the industry.” the article establishes the villain, right off the bat.
Claiming that BJP’s IT Cell started targeting the top Muslim actors of the industry after 2014, the author made his cutthroat observation.
“Muslims have always had a disproportionate influence in Bollywood. Actors such as Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, and Aamir Khan have towered over the landscape of Indian cinema for the past 30 years… during Modi’s first term, which began in 2014, the BJP’s ‘IT Cell’—a network of online influencers and hate-mongers—made some of its most serious social-media attacks on Muslims in Bollywood,” stated the article.
The leap from BJP against Muslim actors to BJP against the pluralism of the country was undertaken with utmost finesse by Aatish. After all, the point of the article was not to highlight the waning of powers of the Khan’s but to drill another propaganda piece to supposedly highlight the growing divide between religions of different faiths in India.
“There is a heartbreaking inevitability to the confrontation between Bollywood and Modi’s BJP. Modi does not view India as a composite culture, to which Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians have all contributed, but rather as an essentially Hindu entity whose destiny lies in bringing about a Hindu cultural renaissance.”
While Aatish drowns in his wallowing pit of hatred, based on some mythical, anecdotal, instances — the truth, however, cannot be far from it. The Khan’s and the anti-Hindu brigade still dominate the industry. Take for example the numerous web series that have sprung into existence in the last year.
Every alternate show has had a thematic line of Hinduphobia running throughout and it was essentially one of the reasons why the government was forced to bring in new compliance IT rules for both Digital publishers as well as OTT platforms.
Tandav, Sacred Games, Ghoul and several other shows were weaved around the narrative to show Hindus in a bad light. When the masses objected to the content, the likes of Aatish used it as an opportunity to turn it into a diktat of the BJP.
Sitting in their plush studio apartments, the woke liberals often forget that the change in India is not anti-Muslim or that the Khan’s are losing their relevance. It is the fact that the audience is far more sensitive to the content served, it gauges and scrutinizes the scripts carefully and when it sees a clear pattern in the working of the partisan scripts, it speaks its minds. Simply put, the wokes cannot mind a woke audience when it is from the different end of the political spectrum.
As for the Khan’s, they have simply not kept up with the changing times. Releasing Radhe was one of the cardinal sins that Salman did and to be fair he has been involved in some far more shady businesses over the years. Shahrukh is constantly banking on his nostalgia factor to drive the sales while Aamir Khan, who does one movie in eternity is far more content spending time with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family, knowing well and truly what Erdogan stands for.
Reported by TFI, the government in 2019 had revoked the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card of Taseer for not “complying with basic requirement and hiding information about his father’s Pakistani origin”, which was essential for its renewal.
Taseer hid his father’s Pakistani identity while submitting his application. He was given the opportunity to reply to MHA’s objection but he failed to ‘dispute the notice’. “Thus, Aatish Ali Taseer becomes ineligible to hold an OCI card as per the Citizenship Act, 1955. He has clearly not complied with very basic requirements and hidden information,” the ministry had tweeted back then.
The left is somehow convinced that re-introducing the ‘religious nationalism’ debate after every political cycle is going to help the establishment wrestle the authority back. However, seven years down the line, it still hasn’t worked and doesn’t appear to be working anytime in the future.