Friday, March 27, 2009

Riot

The comments (including mine) on this post by Nita sparked off these thoughts. What good does a riot do? Bad for the stability, bad for the economy, bad for the image of the nation. And we bloggers get a new subject to rant about. Group A intends to humiliate or crush the spirit of Group B, they go medieval on them. Well then, after a while some one or the other from Group B will be plotting for revenge, and the whole shebang will start off again. The debate on the post was on Firaaq, an (Pakistani) award winning movie which depicts the suffering of the Muslim community in the Godhra riots. Many, including me, said that the movie is one-sided, and should have included the mention of the train burning incident as well. The others ranted on, how a riot, is not about the faith, but the death of innocent beings. So on and so forth. Read the rest to get a better idea. But then, is a riot, a contest of some sorts? Is it so, that the community which loses more members is to be sympathized with more, or the community to bear the brunt first gets a justification for the brutality with which they descended upon the others. Do we keep a score, and use that to settle the argument? Movies like Firaaq do not justice to tragedies like Godhra. What you need is objectivity. We need to look beyond who started or ended it, the blame game. We need to condemn the action and the reaction equally. A truly great and sensible movie would be one, which showed you everything, told the story in its entirety. It wouldn’t appeal too many, the pseudo-seculars or the minority-bashers, and it won’t get an award from Pakistan for sure, but that would do justice to it. A fellow blogger remarked, “You don’t need to belong to a particular community to speak truth. Nandita Das is a hindu and she bothered to empathize”. But then, if you are empathizing/sympathizing on the basis of religion, then it is not true empathy or sympathy. How different is the grief of a mother whose child was burnt from that of a one, whose child was hacked to pieces? Rioters and the inciters of those riots should be doled the harshest possible punishment, irrespective of the cause and effect; these episodes spread sociological cancer. And if being rational while analyzing such incidents makes me a “dhobi ka kutta” (thank you Indyeah), neither here nor there, then so be it.

Remember the movie, Desh Drohi? How a “North-Indian” comes to Mumbai, gets his ass whopped, how he kicks Marathi ass back, and all that crap. That again, is one hell of a flawed movie, and lame as well. If I were to ever make a movie on that subject, I would start off with the root cause, the non-development of UP/Bihar. How the “great leaders” of UP and Bihar let the states rot. How they are the front runners in the BIMARU group. And then move on to Mumbai and blame the likes of Thackeray. I am a Bihari, but an Indian first and foremost, and in that spirit, it would not be fair to put all the blame on one man and his party. It is not a black and white world. This is not just a Marathi or a Bihari problem, but an Indian one, and it should treated objectively.

People lose their rationality and sense of objectivity when it comes to their own. Their “own” could be their religion, language, caste, colour, city, state or sexual-preference, possibly everything except their nation. For me, India is my own. If not, then how can I claim to be a true Indian?


A poem I wrote as a teen, years ago, after the Godhra aftermath.

A riot broke in my land
Blood flowed and flooded,
through every hand,
Man slaughtered man, and,
in vengeance was butchered by him.
A father and son were amongst those,
One perished, the other vowed revenge.
But when the time to kill came,
He heard the cries of a weeping mother,
All around him were grieving losers,
Their cries pierced the depths of heart,
The tears were many, the anguish same,
His hands froze, the malevolence maimed,
In death, he saw us all as one,
For they had no religion, once they were gone.


p.s. Someday, I will make a movie on the Kashmiri Pandits, and then fast until death if the Pakistani Government refuses to acclaim,accredit and award that movie. I am banking on the fact that :-

1. I will win a lottery to finance the movie, and cast Nandita Das .
2. There will be a few Pandits left by then .
3. The Land-of-Pure would still be on the face of this Earth .

15 comments:

Indyeah said...

Agree with each word here....to the point...

'' What you need is objectivity. We need to look beyond who started or ended it, the blame game. We need to condemn the action and the reaction equally. A truly great and sensible movie would be one, which showed you everything, told the story in its entirety. It wouldn’t appeal too many, the pseudo-seculars or the minority-bashers, and it won’t get an award from Pakistan for sure, but that would do justice to it.''

yes to say that there is only one side ,be it of any religion is unfair and being biased...and I dont agree AT ALL..


''A fellow blogger remarked, “You don’t need to belong to a particular community to speak truth. Nandita Das is a hindu and she bothered to empathize”. But then, if you are empathizing/sympathizing on the basis of religion, then it is not true empathy or sympathy. How different is the grief of a mother whose child was burnt from that of a one, whose child was hacked to pieces?''


I agree.Dont have anything more to say because I am in agreement with every point here.

Vinod_Sharma said...

Kislay, that poem was written by a thinking, emotional, honest teen. And that honesty remains.

I don't know whether it is true or not but there are reports that the release of Firaq was deliberately delayed to be close to the elections.

If you make a film on Kashmiri Pandits, I think it will be dismissed as a communal effort...forget awards. No one wants to know about or see the suffering of the majority community.

Ordinary Guy said...

The poem was fantastic man... I could feel the pain and anguish behind it......

And I am confused on this topic....
I do agree with you, that the incident that sparked the whole thing should have also been shown, but since I have not seen the film, I reserve my judgement, until I see it...

You are an Indian dude... that shines out, first and foremost....

manju said...

Kislay, I have not seen Firaaq. But with regard to looking at the Muslim- Hindu problem, I agree, objectivity is needed.

I have noticed that the Gujarat riots are, particularly in comments on blogposts, just 'something to rant about'. Not many people think about the problem calmly and dispassionately.

You have expressed your feelings in a very mature way in the poem, Kislay. Do you still write poetry?

Usha Pisharody said...

No comments on Firaaq, save this, that yes... it should be as you say, put the whole story across, and let the audience decide; when one takes sides consciously, as it would seem, has happened with this film, the treatment suffers, the story suffers, the public does too. Period.

Your poem is so wonderfully sensitive to the times of horror. In fact tremors from it are still evident. I loved the way you closed it with a rare maturity of a teenager [but then they say teenage is probably the most idealistic of ages :)]willing to be optimistic. Great use of language too. Kudos for that, and for your dream.

God Bless! You'll get all our awards, be sure of that :)

Mavin said...

Hello KC,

Is'nt it funny that many get pangs of conscience only when Muslims are at the receiving end.

That is the surest way to get one's 15 minutes of fame in life. Like Manju said...Guj riots are something to rant about.

It is very fashionable to denounce anything that concerns the majority and applaud everything that is related to "minorities".

Artistic freedom is always appreciated but why be biased and as you rightly say...why not present an objective picture and let the audience make up their minds.

Here we have a great challenge - a biased media, a biased English speaking elite and a confused populace.

mesoliloquy said...

Kislay, That poem was very touching. So much pain for everyone irrespective of religion.

As a new blogger I had written a post on Kashmiri Pandits. Many might have not read it so I am posting the link here http://mesoliloquy.wordpress.com/2008/12/22/we-can’t-handle-the-truth/

If you are interested, do check.

Anrosh said...

riots is a tale that is abound in many societies including ireland, africa, europe and even israel ( the tribes fight among themselves like cock and hen ) and even england.

it is a tool used by "political cronies' in power/out of power to instiagate the feeling of power in them and powerless in the people. it is a mob like collective action used more for destruction than for organization.

( i cannot comment on the movie -- not seen it)

Winnie the poohi said...

The poem is so raw with emotion.. it touched me!

@ the movie.. have to watch it yet :)

Indian Home Maker said...

The poem is so apt and should be read by all.

We can't be expected to make movies on every issue that troubles us, but we can definitely blog about it, which you are doing brilliantly Kislay.
I remember the first post I read here, 'Being a Bihari'- it was brilliant and timely.

I have not yet seen Firaq, but definitely intend to :)

Chrysalis said...

Kislay

Beautiful post ..agree with every word. And yes an even lovelier poem.
Obejectivity...yes so needed and yet so elusive. I started blogging when the Amarnath Land Row started...and yes obejectivity was something I strived for but it was not easy...being from Jammu and Kashmir and all that. Nevertheless the fact that we are all tied by some divine relationship is the bottomline. This simple fact changes how we view any such event for sure.

Daneb said...

well expressed chummi....!!! all i can say is tht as far as the documented history goes back, religion has taken millions of life n even more ...n will continue to do the same. i thnk tht is exactly wht it ws made to do..n tht is wht it is doing pretty efficiently n effectively...sad bt i guess true...!!!

Kislay said...

Thank you everyone , for your comments . Dj , Religion , the organized and ritualistic form of it does suck man .

Child Of Adam said...

I think the reason why such riots are talked about, even years after their occurrence, is the lethargy shown by the judiciary, and also that not enough people are convicted and sentenced. The same applies for the 1984 Sikh massacres.
Its been almost 7 yrs since Godhra happened, and 25 since the Sikh killings, and yet the heart of every Indian dreads and the blood boils by the mere mention of it. Experience also shows that the longer a case drags on, the chance of the guilty being punished drops drastically...
I havent watched Firaaq, but credible sources do tell me that the movie doesnt do justice. I feel the honour bestowed upon Nandita Das will have some diplomatic fall out. Movies like "Desh Drohi" were meant to please a fraction of society and make money. Full stop!! So much so for the cencorships!!
The need of the hour is to be able to quickly punish the perpetrators , and the punishment should be so harsh that people will be forced to think a million times before they engage in such acts.
I beg to disagree with Daneb here.. No religion was formed to propagate man slaughter. It is we, the humans, who are to blame. For our vested interests, we turn n twist the texts to suit our needs.
Salvation lies within!

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

godhra and the riots that followed. it's not about just action and reaction. It's about who acted and who reacted.

the action was triggered off by muslim miscreants. ok. burnt the coaches. a truly heinous crime. if the raction was from the hindus, it was understandable. like the action and reaction theory.

but the reaction was not fom the hindus alone. it was a reaction of the state/the government. that's what's terrible about it. an elected government organising a genocide. how can any one justify that?