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Audacity of hypocrisy: Sameer Bhat

November 28, 2010

Guest post by SAMEER BHAT, written on 26 November in response to Kashmiri Pandits heckling the Mirwaiz in Chandigarh.

Aesop, the Hellenistic slave, narrated a profound tale in the winter of 6th century BC. The story is simple but the message remains relevant 2700 winters later. A Bee, queen of the hive, buzzed her way to Mt Olympus to present Jupiter some fresh honey. Jupiter, delighted with the offering, promised to give her whatever she wanted in return. The Bee thought for a while and then said, “Please give me a stinger, so that I can hurt whoever might come to take my honey.” 

Jupiter didn’t quite like the Bee’s desire to hurt people, but he had made a promise and had to keep it. So he answered: “I hereby give you the stinger you want, but use it at your own risk. For you may only use it once, and it shall break off in the wound you make. Thus you will die from the loss of it.” Right-wing Kashmiri Pandit groups have taken recourse to the stinger, over and over again. Cloaked in nothing but nuisance value, the loss is, in plain words, their very own.

I don’t frankly admire the Mirwaiz too much. I think he reeks of an elitist with all those expensive caps and well-pressed Kameez-yazars [Pathani dresses] but he is an important voice, however rapidly he talks on TV. The fact that some goon in ill-fitting pants will awkwardly lunge at the spiritual head of a huge section of Kashmiris is such a travesty. What compounds the pain further is the sight of neo-Nazi style fellow Kashmiris, cheering the mobsters on. Hell what have we become?

Heckling and assault on dissenting voices has become the new bench-mark of the largest democracy in the world. If instant 2-minute TV fame is your idea to spend a dull Thursday afternoon, then all you got to do is this: Rush to the nearest Kashmir seminar in town and behave like an undomesticated mare, kicking away at everyone. Bare your teeth menacingly and go ahead and smack the speaker. In no time the robot-like cameramen will have your attention. And Eureka: You are a nationalist. An ultra-nationalist, if you please. Friends can see you on telly. Simple.

One wonders if this is the educated, liberal, brainy, respected Pandits who once inspired awe. Not to mention an overwhelming majority of Kashmiri Pandits do retain their secular ethics and cultural upbringing. Somewhere in the melee (post the exodus, which is such a shameful chapter) several second generation KPs mingled with the rougher crowd. Soon they would become the flag-waving, uncouth sloganeering jokers in the pack. What is transpiring at the moment is part of the same transmutation.

Lately it has become quite fashionable to dub anyone ‘enemy of the state’ as soon as something displeasing is said. Ofcourse there are heart-aches, ofcourse there is displacement, ofcourse there are serious agreements but a passado at everyone who holds a position contrary to your own makes you a crack-pot. To shoot a man because one disagrees with his interpretation of Darwin or Hegel is a sinister tribute to the supremacy of ideas in human affairs — but a tribute nevertheless, the literary critic Steiner said sometime back. One only agrees.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. AK Raina permalink
    November 29, 2010 3:56 PM

    One cannot actually disagree with what the author says. Some may call it poetic justice but fact is KPs have also suffered and just becuase Sameer Bhat has a way with pen and writes eloquent prose does not mean that KPs are hooligans. Yes some black sheep are thre

  2. Sarmad permalink
    November 29, 2010 5:18 PM

    At no point is it metioned that all Kps are trouble-mongers but real character would be when Pandit community leaders stand up to this goondaism and condemn such acts rather than cast aspertions on others and start lamenting. That is when it becomes really shameful.


  3. ajit permalink
    December 2, 2010 4:44 AM

    ” real character would be when Pandit community leaders stand up to this goondaism and condemn such acts rather than cast aspertions on others and start lamenting.”

    Should all members of a community be required to “stand up to and condemn such acts” to everyone’s satisfaction whenever some members within them do something shameful ? And in the absence of such, do things become “really shameful” ?

    I am sure I have heard something like that in some other context. ;-)

  4. Nazir permalink
    April 27, 2011 11:59 PM

    None can deny the fact we all ‘ve suffered.One Community lost its homeland,other keeps losing its lives.If we intend to reunite & pave way for peace,then such actions will only hinder our desires.I may disagree with mirwaiz personally on certain issues,doesnt mean i’ll bear sum1 heckle him or geelani sb simplybcoz they dont like their version.Just to remind,mirwaiz was only talking of army’s excesses in that event.I ‘vent cn anyone condemning these goons.

  5. Shama Zaidi permalink
    January 30, 2012 11:17 AM

    if j&k is ever trifurcated then panun kashmir have the right to ask for some districts for kashmiri pandits. displaced sindhis from pakistan did not do so and theirlanguage and culture in india is vanishing.


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