Art gallery in Ahmedabad attacked: Are Pakistani artists no longer welcome in India?

Published: August 30, 2013
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The attack on the art gallery exhibiting Pakistani art in India shows how the fascist aggressors are rampant in their activities to derail the two countries' relations. DESIGN: EMA ANIS/FILES

Radical Hindu right groups – like Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal – are known for their hooliganism and rabid communalism. It is therefore not surprising that they vandalise paintings and other works of art as well as burn literature when they find them not subscribing to their taste and political ideology. The recent attack on the art gallery in Ahmedabad, where the exhibition of a Pakistani artist’s paintings were on display, is the latest in their long list of criminality. 

What is surprising, however, is the silence of the mainstream and liberal India. Apart from normal reports in newspapers, no prominent face came out to condemn the criminality of the thugs; no one expressed anger over the blatant violation of the liberal space which this country claims to be proud of.

The Express Tribune, Pakistan, writes that one of India’s prominent artists today, Anjolie Ela Menon, was not even aware that such an incident had taken place.

The Hindu fascist groups’ main target was not the paintings but the artworks of Pakistani artists. The main reason cited by Bajrang Dal for the aggression is the recent border tension where five Indian soldiers were reportedly killed by the Pakistani Army. No one knows what actually transpired at the Line of Control (LoC) but the hysteria built around that issue has drowned all the saner voices.

Media, particularly electronic media, played a great role in this jingoism and provided fodder to the groups like VHP and others who targeted Pakistani artists’ works.

Artists are not prisoners of a nation and cannot be defined in terms of their nationality. They are the voice of humanity and, therefore, attacks on any work of art deserve the strongest condemnation.

But the silence on the part of the otherwise loud media is awe-stirring.

Why did the proponents of free press, and the so-called protagonists of righteousness, fail to take up this issue of the attack on the paintings of the Pakistani artists? What stopped them?

With this silence, the media, which appears to act unbiased, has exposed its narrow character. It demonstrated its smaller vision and where it stands vis-a-vis peace and normalisation in the subcontinent.

Had an incident like this taken place with the works of an Indian artist in any place in Pakistan, the nationalist media in India would have broken all records. They would not have left any stone unturned in damning Islamabad for harbouring radical elements and not acting against them.

The Express Tribune quotes Lahore-based artist RM Naeem – whose paintings were destroyed in the attack as saying,

“Why will India show a bad face to the world? They are cashing in on ‘Incredible India’. It is our media that is unchecked.”

The paper also quotes the veteran Pakistani artist Shakil Saigol saying that

“They [Indians] proclaim to uphold art in high esteem. But there has been no strong criticism of the vandalism. It should have been vociferously condemned”.

The media acts as a mirror for the society and when the mirror starts lying then the society begins to live in a false sense of pride.

The media in India constantly feeds the story of ‘a Pakistan which is terrorist-infected and where religious fundamentalism is the order of the day’ but it hardly highlights a burgeoning and progressive civil society. The emergence of a newly vibrant youth, which abides by liberal values, supports the dynamism of democracy and is as progressive in outlook and habits as any other parts of the world, is never portrayed in any news regarding Pakistan. As a result, the Indians develop a sense of superiority and look down upon its neighbour which is geographically smaller in size and grappling with an existential crisis.

The by-product of this indoctrination is the general apathy towards what happened in Amdavad Ni Gufa in Gujarat. The incident got such little attention in the media that even otherwise enlightened citizens remained uninformed about the happening.

Art connects and politics divide. The best hope of bringing the two neighbours together is the ‘people to people’ contact, exchange of ideas between them and if this route is hindered the real victims would be the people of the entire subcontinent.

A section of the vocal media and intelligentsia assume a nationalistic overtone and, in return, harm the large cause of normalcy in the region.

No matter how much you try to hide the hard reality of modern India, it is a truth that fringe radical Hindu voices have managed to infiltrate the liberal space and they are posing a greater danger to the secular and progressive India.

Just couple of days before the incident in Ahmedabad, a discussion in Pune organised by Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and Yugpath, an NGO, got disrupted by the ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad), the student wing of the Hindu right wing, BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). The ABVP physically assaulted five students because they were holding the seminar in memory of Dr Narendra Dabholkar, a proponent of rational beliefs in the society who was killed recently by some right wing Hindu organisation for his fight against superstition.

Kafila, a progressive website promoting disparate and alternative voices on contemporary issues writes that,

“The attacks on Amdavad ni Gufa in Ahmedabad and the cancellation of Sanjay Kak’s film at Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce, Pune, are recent examples of mindless violence by right-wing fascist groups. It is critical to challenge the growing impunity with which fascist groups are intolerant of artists, thinkers, students and other individuals who are either opposed or not inclined to their politics.”

The question is, can the silence of the media and a section of intelligentsia, on the issues of fascist aggression and intrusions into the liberal, space help the cause of the larger India?

We know the consequences of silence in Kashmir. The media and the established intelligentsia behave like an extended arm to the political establishment. They assume nationalist overtones and forget to engage with people at the ground, what they fail to understand and highlight is the grievances of the people and as a result, the state remains alienated and misunderstood in most parts of India.

Our silence cost us MF Hussain, one of the greatest painters India has ever produced. He spent the last year of his life in exile, away from his muse and motherland.

The more we give concession to the fringe Hindu fascist elements, the more the country loses its identity and character. Pakistan understands what it means to remain silent if fringe religious fanatics try to create trouble in the society. India’s economic expansion cannot be successful and its democratic dynamism cannot be sustainable in the long run if its liberal space keeps on shrinking.

sanjay.kumar

Sanjay Kumar

A New Delhi based broadcast journalist who reports on national and international affairs. He is a contributor to the Asia Pacific based magazine, The Diplomat. He tweets as @destinydefier (twitter.com/destinydefier)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Sane

    All attempts to ease out tension between Pakistan and India goes in vain by extremists Hindus, supported (or may be helpless) by current Indian Government, Indian Media and those who can voice. However, Indian Media has shown a very ugly face before and very recently now. I believe saner voices in India are hostage in the hands of Hindu Extremists.Recommend

  • http://na deep

    Tough reading this but you are right. Silence is complicity.Recommend

  • AbsoluteIndia

    @author:”Our silence cost us MF Hussain, one of the greatest painters India has ever produced”
    Can painter like MF Hussain paint nude picture of Mohammad or is it coz Hindus r tolerant whatever one wishes one can do???His act was not even supported by muslim groups..As a result of that he breathed his last breath in exile…Na ghar ke na ghat ke..Similarly Salman rushdie and his works r not allowed in india coz it will hurt sentiment of muslims..
    “We know the consequences of silence in Kashmir”
    Yes we know what is happening in kishtwar and how Hindu pandit were driven out of their homeland….Kasmiri Muslims announced in local mosqe that all pandit can leave valley leaving back pandit woman….What an irony and still Hindus r silent..
    Yet they r in search of abducting kashmiri pandit guy….
    “The ABVP physically assaulted five students because they were holding the seminar in memory of Dr Narendra Dabholkar, a proponent of rational beliefs in the society who was killed recently by some right wing Hindu organisation for his fight against superstition.”
    His rational thought was only for Hindus.Though he claimed to be an atheist but where was his rational thought when it comes to the case of christians and muslims…Recommend

  • BlackJack

    So much hatred for your own country is probably unhealthy – check for ulcers. (I don’t support vandalism – period; I also don’t support people who try to further their communal agenda by bringing a Hindu vs Muslim angle when a third of the paintings destroyed were of Indians; the same blog writer will hide under a rock when there are protests against Salman Rushdie or Taslima Nasreen).Recommend

  • Dr.N

    Interesting that the author has not mentioned that the VHP activists who vandalized the painting,protesting the soldiers deaths,faced backlash from Modi and the local police.Recommend

  • Indian

    If the indian media isn’t reporting this/covering it up,as the author claims…then how do I know about this incident,when I don’t live in Ahmedabad ? How did I see the vhp vandals get beaten by the police,for spoiling the paintings on indian news channels ?Recommend

  • LalaGee

    The RSS,Shivsena,bal thackrey are the people that are needed against such kind of people have a look at this….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbMnA3uO9As

    everything in the world is tit for tat…violence is unacceptable and force conversion or forcible ideological conversion is not the way these people can do…they need to accept that other people have equal and fair right to live like humans…….these people have done bomb blast in mumbai..etc..etc…Recommend

  • paki mujahid

    pakistanis are talented people …….they should only showcase there work in islamic countries….becasue they suits them better…….or may be african countries may tolerate pakistan… Recommend

  • blah

    Indian media should be plaing a much bigger role in harmonizing the situation rather than igniting. Ever since the LOC tensions broke they have been creating havoc with only their side of side of story and openly calling for a war! So this is obviously how general public would react. Recommend

  • sars

    Given that we are so intolerant of each other , no pakistani will every be shocked at intolerance towards us. We all need to become more tolerant and maybe things will improve for usRecommend

  • Milind

    The author is a loose cannon when he implicates Hindu groups by making statements like the below
    Dr Narendra Dabholkar, a proponent of rational beliefs in the society who was killed recently by some right wing Hindu organisation for his fight against superstition.”

    Well the needle of suspicion has been pointed to Hindu groups, but so far no evidence has been uncovered or arrests made… I hope the author understands the difference. Recommend

  • Parvez

    I read this as an article written by a person who cares deeply for his country. An attack on the arts wheather in India or in Pakistan is simply inexcusable.
    Recommend

  • Sane

    @LalaGee:

    .these people have done bomb blast in mumbai..etc..etc…

    Shouldn’t you be ashamed saying lies again and again. Those were your people who attacked in Bombay, attacked on your parliament etc. etc. The whole world now knows that your top government officials have submitted a confessing statement in your own court that those were all planned and executed by Indians. Why do not you read the book written by Indian and published in India ‘Who killed Kurkuray’. How far and how long you can conceal the truth?!!Recommend

  • Sane

    @Milind:

    The author is a loose cannon when he implicates Hindu groups……………

    When there is truth it is loose canon. Hindu radicalism and fanaticism shall never subside. This attitude shall kill India one day by disintegrating into pieces indigenously.
    .Recommend

  • ramanan

    @author

    While the act of destroying art works is despicable, we also understand your motivations to get a break into Pakistani press.

    It is okay, after all , everybody has to make a living.Recommend

  • AbsoluteIndia

    @Sane:
    “When there is truth it is loose canon. Hindu radicalism and fanaticism shall never subside. This attitude shall kill India one day by disintegrating into pieces indigenously”
    This high mindedness will take you no where…In this way you r damaging your own cause…Hindus have many grievances from pakistani muslim and this attack is mere its depiction….Recommend

  • Milind

    @Sane – If India disintegrates, it would be due to the lop-sided policies and intellectual dishonesty of these pseudo-seculars.

    Hindu fundamentalism in a strict sense doesn’t exist, since there’s no one set of fundamentals in the Hindu religion, unlike Islam. What we’re seeing is a political manifestation of Hindu assertiveness again due to the divisive policies of the pseudo-seculars who go slow on Islamic fundamentalism which is tearing the world (and Pakistan) apart… The Hindu radicals are in minority and their acts are a stray ones… they don’t go about bombing folks with sickening regularity, create mess abroad and with their neighbours or blame the West for the ills here. Recommend

  • LalaGee

    @sane..our people killed ……u went to Punjabi madarsaa or skardu madarsaa or lal masjid…school of pakistan studies……do some moral studies before pakistan studies…..Recommend

  • Gratgy

    @Sane
    The whole world now knows that your top government officials have submitted a confessing statement in your own court that those were all planned and executed by Indians.

    Lol! Where do you guys get this from? Maybe this happened in the parallel universe where you live.

    Reality check: The undersecretary submitted an Affidavit where he said he heard someone say that it was done by Indians.

    Only in Pakistan does hearsay become signed confessional statements.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    @Parvez
    I read this as an article written by a person who cares deeply for his country

    What gives you that impression? Recommend

  • true version

    I truely condemn this act…but atleast there is media who reported n our police who took action against the culprits..in india there is punishment but i cant say the same about pakistanpakistanRecommend

  • Naveen

    @Milind:
    Though I agree with your take on Hindu fundamentalism but I think we need to make a distinction here between Fascist communalism and religious Fundamentalism. It may be difficult (next to impossible) to convince Hindu masses to go back to the puritanical basics of their religion (as there exist none) , but it is perfectly possible to rally Hindu masses against another religious community on the pretext that the other community poses threat to existence or honor of hindus. One needs to be at constant guard against such fascist tendencies.

    On the other hand, Minority Communalism usually leads to a tendency of separatism based on common religious identity. Recommend

  • Critical

    @Sane:
    ‘Who killed Kurkuray’ . How far and how long you can conceal the truth?!!

    its Juhi Chawla because I saw her eating a Kurkure in a TV Ad…….Lets go and arrest her…..LMAO…..Recommend

  • Dr SHAHAB Javid

    Thank you for rationally discussing an issue.What ever may be the reasons for the arson attack,but the fact is that those Pakistani artist who were showing only good will towards India had been wronged and their paintings destroyed.The Indian government should feel her responsibility and give some compensation to the Pakistani artist for their monetary loss.Let us keep the ‘Aman ki Asha’ alive and don’t make it ‘Aman ki Ashes’Recommend

  • Indian Nationalist

    India cannot tolerate pakistani terrorists and artists hand in hand.Recommend

  • Alann

    India will disintegrate soon!Recommend

  • Nero

    Why exactly are many people (beginning with the author) acting so surprised about “hindu extremists”? Yes, Muslims might be in lead right now, but every religion has their share of extremists. What do extremists need – media attention. How do you get it easily – soft attack on soft target. Break few paintings, create some drama – no one dies, yet tons of attention. These are just “normal” political games in South Asia. This has got nothing to do with whether if Pakistani artists are welcome in India. India is not one city. Some people welcome them, some don’t. Some cities are more open than others. Rest is all business as usual!Recommend

  • syed

    You are babbar sher mr writer. Good jobRecommend

  • AbsoluteIndia

    @Naveen: “On the other hand, Minority Communalism usually leads to a tendency of separatism based on common religious identity”
    Typical pseudo secular rant..Why not take the name of that minority community..Recommend

  • gp65

    First of all vandalism is unacceptable. IWhat is also unacceptable is lies and half truths to misrepresent what happened.

    The author says that media did not cover the issue and tried to sweep it under the carpet. Here are 2 examples where popular media (electronic and print covered the issue). Not just was the event covered but there was no hesitation in naming the organizations and individuals involved.

    http://www.dnaindia.com/ahmedabad/1877641/report-9-held-for-vandalism-at-art-gallery
    http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/vhp-workers-lathicharged-by-police-in-ahmedabad-408239
    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-08-17/india/414200371international-creative-art-centre-art-gallery-paintings
    The author implies that such vandalism had support of government. The truth is that the vandals were initially lathi charged and later arrested as also evident from the urls above. What the author has failed to mention is that NArendra Modi that everyone loves to hate is the CM of Gujarat. It was the Gujarat police cracked down on the vandals.
    The author tries to somehow associate this issue with the murder of the rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and imply that the same Hindu extremists were involved in his murder. The reality is that there have been no clues in the Dabholkar murder case and hence no basis to support the author’s claim that murderers were Hindu extremists. There is however proof that tens of thousands of people protested non-violently against Dabholkar’s murder in Mumbai and Pune (in a state where 90% of population is Hindu) and the government of Maharashtra was forced to respond to this anger by bringing in an ordinance against commercial exploitation of superstition on the template of what he was working on.
    http://www.dnaindia.com/pune/1882199/report-dabholkar-murder-no-clue-after-9-days-a-matter-of-shame-says-dy-cm
    http://www.secularnewsdaily.com/2013/08/after-rationalist-narendra-dabholkars-killing-maharashtra-govt-clears-anti-superstition-ordinance
    http://www.mumbaimirror.com/photos/news/mumbai-pune-protest-against-narendra-dabholkars-murder/mumbaiphotos/21972716.cms
    The author makes the claim that what was once an extremist fringe has now become part of liberal mainstream. If this fantastic claim wee true, then thousands of people would not have protested Dabholkar murder, the legilators would have been under no pressure to pass the ordinance. Similarly in the vandalism case, the media would not have openly criticized vandalism and named and shamed the individuals involved as evident from the attachments provided above. Nor would police have acted so promptly against vandals. The fact is neither civil society nor law enforcement supports such actions as is clear from the attachments I have included.
    The author says that was silence with regards to violence against M F Hussain as a result of which he was forced to move to Qatar. First of all no violence had been carried out against the person of M F Hussain. Secondly there was a case against him in the courts that he refused to fight. The case was under section 295 which states that ‘Whoever destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship, or any object held sacred by any class of persons with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction, damage or defilement as an insult to their religion, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years,’ This is because he had made several paintings of Hindu goddesses which painted them nude and having sex with animals. HE never denied ownership of these paintings.

    Even so, there was a public interest litigation brought in by some Hindus that the government be directed to withdraw cases against Hussain that he could return to the country. The Supreme court ruled that it could not ask the government to withdraw the cases when complaints were filed by private individuals and while Hussain had every right to return to India the decision to return or stay out of the country is one tha only M F Hussain could make.

    @Parvez : I agree with you partially. I agree 100% that art vandalism is unacceptable. I also agree that bringing to light the negative occurences in a country is a good thing because it allows corrective action to take place both at legal level s well as changing mindsets and through public debate. What I disagree is that this particular author has been motivated by love for the country. If he did, he would not publish an article full of half truths which I have documented above with supporting facts. Recommend

  • Milind

    @Naveen – Agreed… THis may be termed as Fascism at the worst.
    However regarding “it is perfectly possible to rally Hindu masses against another religious community on the pretext that the other community poses threat to existence or honor of hindus

    there’s no pretext for Hindu masses to rally around. Threat to Hindu faith from Abrahamic faiths (Islam and Christianity) is real… Look at the no and condition of Hindus in Pakistan or for that matter in Kashmir or Bangladesh or Coptic Christians in Egypt… They’re almost decimated. One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to fortell the plight of Hindus in India, once the no of Muslims goes up. None of the so-called Hindu fundamentalists are after the other minorities – Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, Parsis and Jews in India…unlike Pakistan where everybody who’s not a Sunni Wahabbi is a suspect. This includes minority Muslim sects – Shias, Ahmedis etc.Recommend

  • np

    @syed: “You are babbar sher mr writer. Good job

    You probably think that these shameful events were deliberately swept under the carpet in India and this author is courageously writing about them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Please google ‘Ahmedabad vandal art’ or ‘Dabholkar muder’ and see what you come up with. You will not find any support for the crime or criminals in popular media outlets. In fact media widely eported and criticized the bandalism and police showed up at event of vandalism as it wasoccuring and lathicharged the vandals and later arrested them. Tens of thousands protestsd Dabholkar’s murder. In the absence of clues, there is no basis for the claim that it was done by Hindu extremists and legislators have passed an ordinance along the lines that Dabholkar was working on.

    There is no courage required to publish facts that have been widely covered by Indian media already.Recommend

  • Naveen

    @AbsoluteIndia:
    India’s case is by no means unique. Protestant minority of Ireland also took to separatism that ultimately led to partition of Ireland.

    In India, Kashmir is by no means unique, there was also a strong separatist movements of Punjab based on similar slogans of minority communalism. Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    This doomsday-soothsayers have always been present in India, haven’t they.

    If you had transported them to the 1940s, they would have certainly written India off. To their credit, many did, including Time Magazine, which was proven wrong with TIme

    But, Hindutva was never a threat to India. India does have a Sikh PM not because the non-Hindus voted for him, but Hindus voted for him. India’s secular Constitution and laws are not present because the minority HIndus wanted it, but because India’s Hindu politicians like Nehru, Ambedkar, Patel, etc., wanted it.

    In many ways, India’s Constitution is the true definition of Hindutva, no matter what twist the BJP and Congress give the word; No matter what demonic images the word conjures in Pakistani minds.

    The Arts – The music, the movies, the paintings, the sculptures, the dance forms – everything that sets India apart, especially from the un-India Pakistan; the Arts will always flourish in India, even if the goons of the VHP or whoever, try their best to redefine Hindutva and attack Artists.

    But, I gotta say, Pakistani Artists are much smarter than the Pakistani Cricketers and its Board. By not saying things like, “Hindus have much smaller hearts than Muslims”, they have made sure they are earning millions in India.

    India and Hindus, will always be open to Art. People who try to redefine the meaning of Hindutva, be it the BJP or Congress, they can never destroy India’s pluralistic culture, which is the reason Arts are flourishing in India.

    Why do you think India has a dozen Movie Industries, but Pakistan has, well, none? Both shared the same culture and genes at the time of Partition. Not just that Lahore was the Film Capital of India, not Bombay. But, Lahore Film industry, it seems gradually died after its oxygen – the Sikhs and Hindus – were deprived, after they migrated into India.

    When you have 1/6th of the Humanity in your geography, which so much freedom and so much emotion, you are bound to have such incidences. Only people who lack perspective, will base conclusions on a few acts of utter stupidity. Recommend

  • suzo

    when you have excuses of facists and fanatics . .you get your country ruined. . Pakistani people are understanding this now but indians are becoming narrower in their thinking day by day!Recommend

  • Shiv

    Without a question, attacks on artists and especially guests should be condemned and the guilty punished.
    Having said that, the VHP or the Bajrang dals are not in the same class as the LeTs or JuDs that run Pakistan. Many intellectuals like this author here take a pseudo moral high ground and compare the two sides on the same platform. While the VHP and others ransack the venue, their counterparts on the other side would at the minimum shoot down a few and at their best bomb the venue off from the face of the earth.Recommend

  • gp65

    @suzo: “when you have excuses of facists and fanatics . .you get your country ruined. . Pakistani people are understanding this now but indians are becoming narrower in their thinking day by day!

    Really? What is the evidence that you have observed? What I have seen isEvidence of Indian narrow mindedness comes from the fact that in India

    1) People involved in communal riots are prosecuted and convicted.

    2) Events of vandalism are widely criticized in media and acted upon by the police

    3) Thousands of people protest the death of a rationalist and government passes an ordnance that is based on a draft law he was working on.

    4) Tens of thousands of people protestrape and demand a change in outdated laws. The government sets up a committee headed by a retired judge which makes recommendations which are passed by the parliament.

    All societies have some crazy people, so does India, But neither civil society nor media nor police nor judges support such trouble makers. Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Gratgy: You and most of the Indian’s who commented, read this as a biased piece of writing and as per norm reacted and what has agitated you’ll more is the fact that the author is an Indian.
    I read this as coming from a writer who has expressed his views and he has the right to do so. In doing so he has pointed out stuff that possibly is incorrect or not in conformity with other Indian views but I do not for a moment doubt his integrity and his intentions. Plus its a BLOG and therefore he’s allowed a fair amount of latitude.
    The view given by Gp65 on my comment is balanced and appreciated.
    Recommend

  • Prabhjyot Singh Madan

    Can we have a arm wrestling match between the army chiefs of both the countries to decide the outcome of Kashmir issue. Best of 3 rounds in loc no man’s land with live international coverage. The referee can be moon ki baan. :) rab rakhaRecommend

  • Prabhjyot Singh Madan

    or even better, make it a 10 round wrestling match and after each round, the winner gets 10% of kashmiri votes for their respective countries and after 10 rounds, it can be deemed as 100% referendum and the guy with most wins and 10% votes for each round wins Kashmir. :) rab rakhaRecommend

  • Anand

    @Anoop

    Hope you reach out to the nay-sayers. Well done.Recommend

  • Gp65

    ET mods – please allow response to someone who has written to me.

    @Parvez:

    First of all thank you for the kind words. It is of course appropriate to give someone benefit of doubt as you are doing whene one has no prior background of the person’s work. The reason a lot of Indians are annoyed is because of this gentleman’s track record. Also if sitting in USA I am aware of the nature of media coverage and police response to the vandalism, it is difficult to believe that sitting in Delhi he was unaware – especially with a profession such as journalism.Recommend

  • Alann

    @Parvez
    If you read all articles by this author, you will come to know whats what. Not just he, but all Indian authors who write on ET on a regular basis – they all do the same thing: Appeasing the Pakistani public. And for that they will go to any extent. These same authors have no longer articles published anywhere in any Indian newspapers for quite some time- I don’t know why!
    Except for Aakar Patel who’s getting a bit of ‘sanity’ in him lately, rest all are still the same – I can’t really describe it, else ET will block this comment as it usually does.
    All I can say is, the common ‘things’ between all these authors are hatred for Modi and appeasement of Pakistanis by giving everything a Hindu vs Muslim angle and trying to portray how “evil” the Hindus are.
    Randomly add the atleast one of the terms: “Modi”, “BJP”, “RSS” into every article to give it a bit more flavour and there you have it – a full baked article ready to serve to the Pakistani public.
    ET please publish this comment.Recommend

  • Sahil

    I laud Mr. Kumar in pointing out the silence of media on this unacceptable act of hooliganism by VHP goons. At the same time I wish Mr. Kumar had provided a full picture for the benefit of Pakistani readers to get right perspective.

    A day after vandalism, local police went to arrest the goons. These goons resisted the arrest and turned aggressive against the police. Nevertheless police performed its duty diligently and put the goons behind the bar. They were arrested on the day of popular hindu festival.

    I hope these helps Pakistani readers understand these goons don’t enjoy popular support and police is able to act on them. And keep in mind these goons were arrested in the state whose government is alleged by mainstream media to be right wing.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    @Parvez

    I never mentioned the author in my post, but I am still curious how you reached the conclusion that this author “cares deeply” for his country from the article above.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Alann, @Gratgy, @ Gp65 :
    Gp65 – you make sense. I still hold that if the author is critical of events in India that does not make him a writer ‘ who writes only to appease the Pakistani reader ‘ as claimed by @Alann. That type of thinking is almost juvenile – sorry !
    To answer @Gratgy is a little harder – possibly its because the author is a writer, a journalist, an Indian who is going out on a limb to criticise his country, something that triggers an instant defence mechanism thrown up by most Indian readers. Mature criticism is good, it shows that ‘ one cares ‘ ……..he may be right or wrong but to doubt his sincerity is wrong and so I said ‘ he cares deeply ‘ , possibly I should have dropped the word deeply. What say you to my olive branch offering ? Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    Blackjack,

    If you don’t support vandalism, you needn’t be an apologist for it, and the kind of groups who carry it out. You can just nod in agreement with the author, and move on. No need to bring in Rushdie and Taslima as red herrings.

    Too much hatred for your own country is unhealthy…and so is too much nationalism.Recommend

  • Tabdeeli

    Shame on India. and those defending such acts knowing very well what happened was wrongRecommend

  • Gp65

    Pls. Allow response to someone who has written to me.

    @Parvez:
    I have said so not just in my comments on this blog but elsewhere that the general notion that questioning the ills in one’s own country is a good thing and to be welcomed. Like King Lear’s youngest daughter, the willingness o express unpalatable truths is a sign of love. So on that issue we are both aligned.

    However, do you really think this particular author was going out on a limb by writing outright lies and half truths in a Pakistani newspaper? I am referring to our response to @gratgy.

    As much as I disagree with Arundhati Roy’s views, at least she has the courage to express them in India where they have a likelihood to influence at least some people. So I applaud her courage to be willing to stand up for her beliefs despite the attendant unpopularity – beliefs that I singularly disagree with by the way. But this gentleman has not published anything in India. How then you consider this act of playing to the gallery as one showing love for the country?Recommend

  • Anon

    @ Faraz Talat
    Plain nodding means complete agreement…for that to happen,all the details on the blog need to be correct..

    @Parvez

    I think gp65’s last comment may clear it up for you-she is aligned with the thought of criticism,but the this author has penned half truths..so it’s not right to agree with him,even for people who want to criticize their country.Recommend

  • Indian

    @ Faraz Talat

    Why do we have to agree with an article with inaccuracies,just for the sake of proving to you, that we’re capable of criticizing our country ?
    Disagreeing with inaccuracies doesn’t make us too nationalistic or,in your words- go ‘hulk smash’.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Faraz Talat:
    “Blackjack,
    If you don’t support vandalism, you needn’t be an apologist for it, and the kind of groups who carry it out. You can just nod in agreement with the author, and move on. No need to bring in Rushdie and Taslima as red herrings.
    Too much hatred for your own country is unhealthy…and so is too much nationalism.

    Fail to see the logic in this comment. Why should BlackJack or anyone else agree with this author, nod and move on when he (the author) has a pattern of lying and half truths? Condemning the event (vandalism) and condemning the author’s lies can go hand in hand. This does not make one an apologist.

    Taslima Nasreen and Rushdie are not red herrings but also an example of art being censored and the artiste being threatened just like M F Hussain whom he also mentioned. If he has a problem with M F Hussain’s art being censored because he offended Hindus, he should have equally have problem with Nasreen and Rushdie’s art being censored because they offended Muslims. After all neither Rushdie, Nasreen or Hussain are recent events, why bring up one and not the others? This pseudo secularism is rampant in India and annoys many people who would like rules to be even handed..

    Incidentally, you yourself are not averse to referring to events unrelated to the specific blog/news item , if you can connect it up by showing the author’s hypocrisy. Pls. review your own comment here http://tribune.com.pk/story/579618/mira-nair-boycotts-israel-film-festival-in-palestines-support/ Why do you grudge BlackJack the same latitude?Recommend

  • gp65

    ETBLOGS1987

    @Tabdeeli: “Shame on India. and those defending such acts knowing very well what happened was wrong

    Why shame on India?
    – Indian media criticized this in no uncertain terms
    – Indian police first lathi charged the vandals and then arrested them
    – I do not see any Indian who has defended vandalism on this blog or in India.

    The only people who need to be ashamed is the vandals who will get plenty of time to do so as they are cooling their heels in jail.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Gp65 and @Anon : The bit at the bottom describes the author as a Delhi based broadcast journalist who reports on national and international affairs. Rubbishing him completely because he is critical ( rightly or wrongly as per your opinion ) of India on an open Pakstani forum……….is in my view harsh.
    Your point is understood and appreciated and I have explained my view…….so let it rest there.
    Recommend

  • Gratgy

    @Parvez

    As you mention that the author is a Delhi based journalist, but isn’t false reporting and misrepresentation of facts, the biggest disservice a journalist can do to his profession.

    Tell me this, if the author was just criticising art vandalism due to his “love for the country”, why would he drag in the Kashmir and Indian media into the discussion, If not playing to the gallery?Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Gratgy: You are defending your view as understood by yourself. I am defending the author who is an Indian juornalist who has expressed some negative views on India, on a Pakistani site, which may be factually incorrect ( he is human, is he not ? ) and because of that he is being rubbished to the point that his integrity is also being questioned and that to me is unfair. I have nothing further to add because I have already repeated myself in these comments.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    @Parvez

    In none of my posts have I mentioned my views about the author, so I really have nothing to defend. The author really does not interest me. I was more interested in your line of thought so I just asked some pertinant questions. Anyway let it rest.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @gp65:
    Many thanks for the reply to @Faraz Talat – couldn’t have put it better myself. Recommend

  • Gp65

    ET(mods): 4th attempt) am responding factually to someone who has written to me.

    @Parvez: the byline is misleading. Delhi based refers to where he lives not whom he writes for. Similarly he writes ABOUT Indian events not FOR Indian media. A simple google search can confirm that not a sinle article of his has been published in the Indian media. So my original point about questioning how this represents going out on a limb stands.

    Likewise definitely human error is posse ble. But do think about the nature of ‘error’ – the claim that the issue was not covered in Indian media when in fact it was not only covered but condemned. No mention of the polic lathi charge or arrest either implying that this action went unnoticed and unresponded. If t he whole premise of the article is completely wrong, do you still think it is an error?Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Gp65: I’ll take your word for it and look a what he writes with a little more caution.
    But if what you and @Gratgy so firmly accuse him of doing………….it does raise the question of WHY ?……..and to say its to pander to the Pakistani audience is rubbish.Recommend

  • gp65

    ET Mods – Pls. allow response to someone who has written to me.

    @Parvez: “@Gp65: I’ll take your word for it and look a what he writes with a little more caution.
    But if what you and @Gratgy so firmly accuse him of doing………….it does raise the question of WHY ?……..and to say its to pander to the Pakistani audience is rubbish.”

    I have commented about his lies and half truths. I do not believe @Gratgy ever did – his discussion with you was limited to wanting to understand your perspective in stating why you think this man loves India. By the way I understand where you are coming from since you did not have the information that we do.

    To your question ofwhy does he do this? My guess is he finds it easier to be published when he does that in a Pakistani newspaper. This is a simple professional decision by him. So attributing great courage to him is unnecessary imho. Recommend

  • Gratgy

    @Parvez

    Where have I accused the author of anything??

    and to say its to pander to the Pakistani audience is rubbish.

    Why?? Just because he is a “Delhi based broadcast journalist who reports on national and international affairs”?? He gets paid for writing in a Pakistani newspaper, obviously he is not writing for free, why could he not pander to the Pakistani public if that gets him published (and paid).Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Gratgy: Possibly he has a bit more integrity than what you credit him with. Your selling the man short just because he criticised India ( even if he got his facts wrong – not deliberately but because that was his view on matters ) on a Pakistani web-site even if he gets paid for writing ( he is a journalist )……..reflects poorly.
    This is the stand I have taken because I believe in it, not because I am a Pakistani and have some ulterior motive to pander to the Indian audience reading this site. I hope now after spelling it out, you understand.
    Once again lets put this to rest……….it was a pleasure interacting with you.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    @Parvez
    @Gratgy: Possibly he has a bit more integrity than what you credit him with. Your selling the man short just because he criticised India ( even if he got his facts wrong – not deliberately but because that was his view on matters ) on a Pakistani web-site even if he gets paid for writing ( he is a journalist )……..reflects poorly.

    I did not credit him with anything. Neither did I sell him short. Each time I put this topic to rest, you bring up my name and accuse me of being biased, and then say “lets put this to rest”

    I did not say the author does not love his country, neither did I say he does. You are the one who said he “deeply cares for his country” and have failed to give any logic to your statement other than “the author is a Delhi based broadcast journalist who reports on national and international affairs”

    even if he got his facts wrong – not deliberately but because that was his view on matters

    Are you saying that the author is passing of his views as facts. This is what we would usually call Propaganda. That is a very serious allegation you are making :D

    I do not buy this argument that the author was not aware that the incident was not covered in Indian newspapers. He is a journalist for heaven’s sake. Was he writing this article from a cave on a remote uninhabited island?

    I would give a man, the benefit of doubt if he makes a mistake, maybe once, maybe twice maybe even thrice. If I keep giving someone the benefit of doubt again and again then I deserve to get fooled.

    Its been a pleasure interacting with you too, Lets put it to rest. Olive brance accepted :)Recommend

  • Gp65

    @Parvez:
    Regardless of if our opinions match or not. I would never question YOUR integrity or imply that you are taking a certain stance only because you are a Pakistani. You believe what you sa. I respect it. I do not believe what you believe based on this author’s history and also even just the fact that he was well aware of the vandalism that happened in Ahmedabad, he was not aware of its coverage in the media. Difference of opinions is fine and not all discussions need to result in consensus. Understanding each other’s points of view is in itself progress. So agree with all that time to let the matter rest.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Gratgy: To each his own…………and I do respect your view.
    Recommend

  • Beenaa

    Shame I agree Recommend

  • suzo

    gp65; All societies have some crazy people, so does
    India, But neither civil society nor media nor
    police nor judges support such trouble makers.
    so do you think pakistani society,media, police or judges support trouble makers or terrorists. ??? If you think so, then you are mistaken. .Recommend