Powered by Blogger.
  • Home
  • Yogi Adityanath's assertions apart, co-existence of different cultures is at the crux of India's formation

    Whether one likes it or not, Yogi Adityanath, the powerful head of the Gorakhnath mutt, is now the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. His party, the BJP, has won the recent electoral contest convincingly, defeating all other competing forces. For many, the ascendance of Yogi Adityanath is unthinkable, while for others it is a positive development. A part of the existing narrative wants to allay the anxieties among those who belong to the ‘unthinkable’ crowd but painting him as a saint (in the social sense of the term and not in the literal theological sense) with certain extraordinary human qualities — a lover of animals, supported by minorities, simple lifestyle and such.

    In this age of media, such spins and counter spins compete. That is where reality is made, far away from actual truths on the ground. Given the attempted whitewashing of Yogi Adityanath, it is important to present some of Adityanath's public statements that he has not denied and try to see what are the ultimate implications of such a stance. More importantly, what are the repercussions of having a leader who believes in such stances while being the chief minister of the most populous Indian state.
    Much of what Yogi Adityanath has said is on public record. This article will not quote his whole speeches, but only portions that are relevant. Are those taken out of context? Possibly.  However, it is also the perspective of the reader or the listener who end up finding a context to these lines:

    This statement comes with certain issues. Uttar Pradesh has nearly 20 percent of its population comprising of Muslims. Now, whether Muslims of Uttar Pradesh have Islam as their culture, we don’t know since human cultures revolve around numerous things, including religion. Take for example, Yogi Adityanath’s decision to ban "illegal" slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh, which incidentally means most places where animal slaughter takes place in South Asia. These are non-cow slaughterhouses, since cow slaughter is banned in Uttar Pradesh. So, it affects non-cow meat eaters. I am a Bengali Shakto of Bengal. Meat is the prasad of Kali that we consume with respect and veneration. We sacrifice buffaloes, goats and various animals, not cows, to the holy mother and seek her blessings. We have been doing this for centuries. Our religious tradition is timeless. Yogi Adityanath is not. Yogi Adityanath will not take this prasad because he does not belong to that "culture".

    Ka Bodyscapes censorship row: Pahlaj Nihalani, here's why the CBFC is wrong in denying certification

    Enough is enough. You and your medieval sena in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) are taking this way too far. Stop. Stop your fight against our freedom to see, our freedom to understand, our freedom to be. It should not come as a surprise for you, that we as biological adults are capable of deciphering for ourselves what is good and what is bad for us to see. So stop belittling our intelligence. The fact that at 18, we are capable of deciding who should run our country proves that the Republic of India trusts our intelligence and our capabilities. So please, just please, stop overworking your brain a little too much.
    Still from Ka Bodyscapes
    Your recent victim — Ka Bodyscapes — was denied certification because you accused the makers of "glorifying the subject of gay and homosexual relationship". “Glorification”? What you call glorification is life for up to 10 percent of any population across the world, including India. I will tell you what is glorification — chopping off a head in Rangoon is glorification of violence, running on top of a train and dancing is glorification of a fantasy that claims many lives. And you awarded Rangoon a U/A certificate? I loved Rangoon. But do you think watching the story of a girl child being bought, a war being fought, a head being chopped off is what children should watch, (even) if accompanied by their parents? Why such a lacklustre attitude toward violence, but such an obsessive attitude towards sex and sexuality? And yes, in this DNA India article, you ranted that no one appreciates you when you are being liberal. That’s precisely what I am contesting — why are you selectively liberal with big banners? Why are you liberal where you should be strict and issue a film an A certificate instead of a U/A rating?

    What is your problem with the women’s right movement? I am asking because your board called Lipstick Under My Burkha a “lady-oriented film”, and said it depicts “fantasies” that are “above life”. What is that supposed to mean? Are you going to ban Krissh 4, or hello, much to the displeasure of religious people — are you banning Mahabharata and Ramayana? They may be fact or fiction, that is debatable, but they are definitely “above life”. Why ban aka deny a certificate to Lipstick Under My Burkha? Do you know how important and empowering to a minority community, to a minority gender just the title of the film is? Do you even know the power of good cinema and the positive impact it can have in opening minds? O! how will you know. Your mind is closed.

    Total Pageviews