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    Creative Commons License
    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    February 12, 2010

    Parochialism pays

    The state government does nothing when political party 'leaders' make statements claiming that 'Marathi Manoos' should get priority in jobs, education, toilet queues, buses, etc. in Mumbai. Previous governments did nothing when those leaders successfully managed to get a book on Shivaji banned.

    I've never really been a Shahrukh Khan fan except for admiring the way he came into the film industry without any sort of film dynasty background, played anti-hero characters and then moved on and started playing hero roles.

    On this occasion though, he has got it spot on. We can always debate on whether Pakistani players were ill-treated at the IPL auction. Yet, his expressing an opinion on the (non)selection of Pakistani players resulted in his patriotism being questioned and threats that movie theatres in Mumbai wouldn't be allowed screen his new movie 'My Name Is Khan'.

    What stops the Maharashtra government from jailing Bal Thackeray, Uddhav Thackeray, Raj Thackeray, Sanjay Raut, and indeed anyone else who threatened violence (or threw up their hands claiming that they couldn't control mobs who protested). Treat them as common criminals or rowdies. They should be thrown in jail without any of the drama around them volunteering arrest, being placed under house arrest, taken into preventive custody or coming out on bail.

    How likely is that to happen when it is fairly well established that parochialism pays, and a general culture of intolerance pays really rich dividends?!

    Here are 3 examples, over the last 25 years or so:

    • Congress (I) came to power at the centre despite organizing and implementing the anti-Sikh riots in 1984
    • The Shiv Sena came to power in Maharashtra a couple of years after organizing and carrying out riots in the aftermath of the demolition of Babri Masjid and the bomb blasts in Bombay
    • The BJP came to power in Gujarat within a year of the riots of 2002

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