Thursday September 19, 2019

Naseeruddin Shah Controversy: Is He An Anti-Nationalist?

It is strange how I never thought of Naseeruddin Shah as a Muslim until now when his religious identity is being used against him to prove he is anti-national.

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Naseeruddin Shah
Why is Naseeruddin Shah under attack? (Column: Bollywood Spotlight)

It is strange how I never thought of Naseeruddin Shah as a Muslim until now when his religious identity is being used against him to prove he is anti-national.

But hang on. Why is Naseer anti-national? Because he expressed trepidation about the future of this country and, more specifically, his children.

Here is what Naseer said: “The poison has already spread. It will be very difficult to capture this djinn back in the bottle. There is complete impunity for those who take law into their own hands. In many areas we are witnessing that the death of a cow has more significance than that of a police officer. I feel anxious thinking about my children. Because they don’t have a religion. Tomorrow if a mob surrounds them and asks ‘Are you a Hindu or a Muslim’, they will have no answer. It worries me because I don’t see the situation improving anytime soon.”

I think he is pretty unique filmmaker
Naseeruddin Shah’s Controversy

I am a little lost after repeatedly reading this. Which part of the observation is anti-national? Have we all not felt the same terror grip our hearts in recent times as mobs decided to lynch alleged cattle-offenders? Or set on fire a rape victim who doesn’t withdraw her case against her offenders? Don’t we all worry about our children? Except maybe Anupam Kher, who thinks everything is hunky-dory in India today.

But you never know what will be deemed “anti-national” in today’s super-charged atmosphere of pseudo-patriotism, will you? Is it anti-national to say Vivek Oberoi playing the Prime Minister is a bit of a joke? Or is it seditious to suggest that demonetisation was a demoniacal disaster? Am I going to be branded anti-national for defending Naseer’s right to defend his family? Is it right to book him a ticket to Karachi because he spoke about his insecurities?

But I am happy to inform you that Naseer is not going anywhere. He is not wrong in feeling anxious about the future. And if he speaks up about his insecurities and is slammed for it, then isn’t it proof that he’s right in feeling insecure?

As the outspoken Swara Bhaskar said to me: “Quite simply, the attack on Naseeruddin Shah proves his point more than anything else. Intolerance is a government-approved malaise in this new Hindustan of ours.”

My dear Shabana Azmi is right in saying there should be some amount of distinction between the government and the national identity. If one criticises the government, one is not being anti-national. If one doesn’t watch Anupam Kher play Manmohan Singh, one is not pro-Congress. And if one disagrees with Mrs Kirron Kher that “The Accidental Prime Minister” (which coincidentally stars her husband) should be sent to the Oscars, one is not anti-national either.

The country is in the grip of an unprecedented culture of conformity. Everybody must love certain politicians to qualify as a true Indian. And if you have any reservations about any of the government’s policies (including reservations) you will be booked an air ticket to Pakistan. Or worse, forced to watch Vivek Oberoi play our Prime Minister on the day the film releases.

I threw away my Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Mehndi Hassan CDs the day Mrs Kher declared her husband’s film Oscar-worthy without seeing it. Am I a good Indian? (Bollywood Country)

Next Story

Facebook Again in Controversy For Search Function Suggesting Friends’ Bikini-clad Photos

Twitter users also noted how Facebook’s search bar automatically suggested photographs of female friends in bikini

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Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

Facebook has again courted controversy with a search function that allows users to scout for photographs of female, but not male friends, the media reported.

The feature was spotted by Belgian security researcher Inti De Ceukelaire, whose findings led to revelations that Facebook prompts users to search for photographs of female friends in bikini, The Independent said on Friday.

The tech giant originally called it a ‘bug’, only to issue a clarification later to explain that it is not a glitch but simply how the search feature works. A Facebook spokesperson said it is working to fix the issue.

“Facebook has modified its creepy hidden search feature this weekend,” Ceukelaire tweeted earlier this week.

Facebook, photos
This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

“You can no longer retrieve hidden photographs of your male friends. Women can/may still be stalked. Even more, when you request photographs from your male friends, Facebook assumes you wanted to see pictures of women,” Ceukelaire added.

Also Read- Global Software Major Infosys Launches Learning App For Engineering Students

His tweets prompted responses that Facebook is “sexist” due to the way its internal search feature functions.

Twitter users also noted how Facebook’s search bar automatically suggested photographs of female friends in bikini. (IANS)