Thursday April 26, 2018
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Personal freedom comes with some non-negotiables

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In a ‘shocking’ news today, a family in Mumbai was asked to get out of a theatre as they refused to respect the National Anthem and chose not to stand up, as it is required. As it happens in present media scenario, coupled with the towering 72-point headline and prime time obsession with the word ‘intolerance’, the video went viral. The news was covered showing the family being asked out from the theatre.

One can sense the issue being taken up by the custodians of every-single-thing in India, in today’s prime time debates with raging fire coming out of our dragon-like news anchors.

A family being forced out is as shocking as them choosing not to stand up during the time the Anthem was being played. It was not a football anthem, it was the Indian National Anthem. People have laid down their lives to have a nation for us and it is the least that we as citizens should do.

Personal freedom doesn’t mean you do whatever you like. Personal freedom is choosing not to enter the theatre when the anthem was being played. Personal freedom is choosing not to feel good about this nation and its national symbols.

Personal freedom has been guaranteed by our Constitution. But the same Constitution expects us to follow some duties as citizens. Respecting the nation and its symbols are some among many.

It is a reality that my friends in Army are stationed in Siachen where temperature goes down to -40°C. It is another reality that even in the absence of any military threat at that altitude, they are guarding it. It is another reality that people from all walks of lives have sacrificed their lives for the nation.

People do their jobs and continue to live in this nation passed on as a socio-political and cultural entity which gives us several rights as citizens and makes sure they are not attacked.

Expecting someone to stand during the National Anthem is neither hyper-nationalism nor jingoism, it is rather the minimum amount of respect we can give to the nation where the usual phrases and abuses to India and the idea of India is guarded by our Constitution itself.

India and the idea of India are not related to Modi, BJP, Shiv Sena, Congress or any person or party. They are insignificant parts of a whole. They neither own it nor can dictate it to go one way.

We own India. It is a heritage. It is the thread that keeps us together in the times of crisis as well as in the times when we do something great. It is the beauty of the people, irrespective of their religious identities, stand together when Akhlaq is lynched. It is the beauty of this country when a Muslim girl recites Geeta and A Hindu knows Quran by heart.

This beauty needs to be preserved. This idea needs to stay in the times when a breaking news that concerns no one is blown to proportions unimagined to hide the actual issues that plague our societies.

At the same time, mob justice is heinous. One must not be forced, kicked and killed by a mob just for the simple fact that we have a judiciary and policing system to take care of it.

However, in my personal opinion, respecting national symbols and identities is a non-negotiable thing. If we enjoy the rights, we must do our duties.

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Copyright 2015 NewsGram

  • DeeKay Don

    An apt take on the whole Tamasha.. No scope to disagree!

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Malaysian Rapper’s Dog Video Sparks Claim of Insulting Islam

"I am not afraid because I believe Malaysia has justice,"

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Wee Meng Chee, left, a Malaysian rapper popularly known as Namewee, is escorted by plainclothes policemen on his arrival at the magistrate court in Penang, Malaysia. VOA

Malaysian police said a popular ethnic Chinese rapper has been detained over complaints that his latest music video featuring dancers wearing dog masks and performing “obscene” moves insulted Islam and could hurt racial harmony.

It was the second time in two years that Wee Meng Chee, popularly known as Namewee, has been investigated over his music videos.

Police said in a statement that Wee was detained Thursday after they received four public complaints that his video marking the Chinese year of the dog had “insulted Islam and could negatively impact racial unity and harmony.”

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In the video entitled “Like a Dog,” Wee sits on a chair in a public square in the government administrative capital of Putrajaya with dancers wearing dog masks around him. Several of them mimic the “doggy-style” sex move. A green domed building in the background led some people to speculate it was filmed in front of a mosque, leading to criticism, but Wee later said it was the prime minister’s office.

The song includes the sounds of dog barks from various countries. In an apparent reference to government corruption, Wee sings that dogs in Malaysia go “mari mari, wang wang,” which in the Malay language means “come come, money money.”

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Dogs are considered unclean by Muslims, who account for 60 percent of Malaysia’s 32 million people. Pixabay

 

Several ministers have called for Wee to be arrested. He has defended the video as a form of entertainment and said he has no intention of disrespecting any race or religion.

Earlier Thursday, Wee posted a picture on Facebook of himself at the federal police headquarters as he was wanted by police for questioning.

“I am not afraid because I believe Malaysia has justice,” he said.

ALSO READ: Tripura rapper likes songs on issues such as discrimination and racism

Previous controversies

In 2016, he was detained after enraged Malay Islamic activists lodged complaints that a video titled “Oh My God,” which was filmed in front of various places of worship and used the word “Allah,” which means God in the Malay language, was rude and disrespectful to Islam. He was not charged.

In one of his earliest videos, he mocked the national anthem and was criticized for racial slurs. He also produced a movie that was banned by the government in 2014 for portraying national agencies in a negative way.

Race and religion are sensitive issues in Malaysia, where the ethnic Malay majority has generally lived peacefully with large Chinese and Indian minorities since racial riots in 1969 left at least 200 people dead. (VOA)

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