I’m mortified and painfully disgusted by the bigotry of these people. They have adopted a malicious vendetta against a respectable citizen based on a private conversation he had with his wife.
Aamir Khan recently shared that his wife, Kiran Rao, has been deeply disturbed by the wave of intolerance, and that she fears for the well-being of her child and wonders if they should move to another country.
Kiran Rao isn’t alone in feeling the way she is. Oscar-winning music composer, AR Rahman, recently echoed similar sentiments, of feeling insecure in his own country. He was referring to the Mumbai-based Raza Academy’s fatwa against him. How dare he compose the music for Iranian film, ‘Muhammad: Messenger of God’, without adding the holy word Prophet? Even VHP took potshots, saying he should become a Hindu, his ghar wapsi.
These are preposterous reactions. A large number of people with questionable sanity have gone into a frenzy of mocking, humiliating and even threatening Mr. Khan. There’s a multitude of whatsapp messages doing the rounds, demanding that Aamir be banished to Saudi Arabia, or Pakistan, and only then will his bi**h of a wife and son value the tolerant country that is India. Witnessing the shameful reactions from a variety of people, including politicians and intellectuals, I’m drawn to not just agree with Kiran Rao, but also relate with her fears.
How emotionally delinquent and ignorant does a person have to be to hatefully condemn a fellow Indian, demanding that he be banished from his own country simply because he expressed his wife’s justified fears. I’m a Hindu and I have the exact same fears. I fear for my three-year old being raised in an environment that reeks of intolerance, hatred, and hypocrisy. While I fear for his life, like every other mother, I’m more plagued with terrible thoughts of my child growing up absorbing all the insanity and ignorance around him.
There is a large number of people asking to boycott ‘Snapdeal’ and other brands Aamir endorses. Absolute foolishness, I say. He is questioned as to why he did not raise his voice when people from his religion burned his city. Is that even a legitimate debate? There are others who say he should move to Syria so his wife Kiran Rao can wear a veil and be confined to a restricted life. They abused her and called her humiliating names on social media platforms.
Insulting a woman and wishing evil upon an innocent child, are these the morals and values of the Indian culture? How frightening is the knowledge that the people spewing venom and displaying naked hatred are the ones who consider themselves the custodians of compassionate, peace loving, and tolerant India.
It’s outright ignorant to suggest that he should exhibit his patriotism by not voicing his emotions just so that the country is not shamed to the outside world. Aamir Khan did not Insult his country, he did not say, or do, anything that might insult the nation. He simply shared the fears and concerns of his wife with respect to their child amidst a tidal wave of intolerance and mass condemnation. I’m sure there are many who share the same fears. As for her thinking of relocating, well, most of us have considered that for one reason or another.
All this Media hype aside, let’s not forget that Aamir Khan is made of his own hard work. He built a life for himself and his family with his own efforts, the people of India do not own him, even though he’s a public figure. He does not deserve the judgmental rants and malicious attacks on his reputation. Before you pelt stones at him, ask yourself how you would feel being part of a minority community in India at a time when people lynch an innocent man for allegedly eating beef, or how the whole world is quick to pronounce every honest and patriotic Muslim as a ‘Jihadi’ simply because of his faith.
Most of us make it a point to periodically voice our disappointments over the way things are in our country. Bad roads, air pollution, faulty infrastructure, water shortage, power shortage, and every other little inconvenience. A huge number of Indians migrate to the US, Canada, The Uk, etc for higher education, better jobs, or even a better life with improved medical care. Why not brand them all unpatriotic and shut the door on them forever?
It’s alarming to see this wave of ‘nationalism’ and pseudo-patriotism that does not allow a man to express his fears for his own country.
When Tagore wrote the lines, “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high, Where knowledge is free, Where the world has not been broken up into fragments…By narrow domestic walls… Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake”. He prayed to God that his country India should be an atmosphere of fearlessness. If the same bigots condemning Aamir had their way, they’d brand Tagore a terrorist too, and accuse him of questioning India’s freedom.
Our beliefs and values are personal, as are our fears. We have a right to our expressions and free speech. AAamir did not disrespect his country, or its people, he was dismayed and disturbed, much like most of us right now. He shared how his wife was deeply troubled by these turbulent times. It worried him and he expressed his wish for things to change.
Shahrukh Khan voiced a similar sentiment a few days ago, as did Kamal Hasan, when a recent movie was facing a violent response. He actually stated that if things didn’t change, he would consider relocating to a more secular country. No one condemned Mr. Hasan. Why this sudden tsunami of hatred for Aamir Khan? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we couldn’t stop raving about his humanitarian work through television?
Enough with the madness. Too many people have lost their lives, too many families broken up because of hatred and religious judgments. Mindless rants on social media can catapult into long-term disasters. I fear for the children, this is not the environment we want to raise them in.
I hear you Kiran Rao, please be reassured that India has withered greater storms, we will survive this one. You and your baby are safe. Mr Aamir Khan, I humbly apologize on behalf of your fellow countrymen for the ignorant and severely damaging reactions on a perfectly innocent sentiment. Satyamev Jayate!