Intolerance seems to be the byword for patriotism these days in India

Mohanlal and nationalism Can we engage with each other without labels
Voices JNU row Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 20:16

Mohanlal gets cut to the quick with trolls -both online and offline- coming down heavily on him for his emotional blog on dead soldiers, university activism and patriotic flavours.

In the olden days when celebrities -especially those who shone on the celluloid- were supposedly wiser, they retained their aura of unattainability by remaining as aloof screen gods or goddesses, depending on whom you worshipped as your current reigning onscreen deity.

With internet shrinking the world into one global village all of a sudden, almost everyone now stood a good chance of becoming an overnight sensation.

And that’s when the online omniscient gurus stepped in: they were experts on almost everything under the sun with comments and advice freely pushed down one’s throat. Mind you…all in the name of freedom of speech!

You see, freedom of speech in India has nowadays come to be synonymous with spewing venom on anyone with an opposing point of view.

It really doesn’t matter who says what or even whether what they say does make sense or not. The more famous you are, the better chances you stand of being bullied or blasted both online and offline.

And if you are -God forbid- from a minority group, you’ve had it, no doubt. Unkee thoh bas poochoh, kab leh leeh!

While the online trolls target you with downright abuses, their offline counterparts dutifully stamp and trample your posters (since unfortunately you are not available in person) to teach you just how you should voice your thoughts. Mohanlal, are you listening?

If you don’t delineate your opinion in just the way it is mentioned in their recently published “Handbook of Jingoistic Speak”, you might as well pack your bags and leave for Pakistan. Why Pakistan and not Sri Lanka or Nepal is well a matter to ponder…what the hell…they say go to Pakistan, you just go - Period. Amir, that’s for you, by the way.

And Shah Rukh, all that talk about you being Khan and not a terrorist, well apart from Umar Khalid, no one else is buying that stuff. Maybe changing the surname would help, would it?  I don’t know because I too am frantically searching for a neutral name which will not set the patriotic hounds after me.

Aah, but then they didn’t spare Kanhaiya or Mohanlal either! So at least you cannot blame them for differentiating on religious lines at least.

So when Mohanlal is all emotion when blogging about the death of a brave-heart, he becomes a Sanghi or at least his ghost-writer becomes one, but who remembers he had also blogged in support of the Kiss of Love?  

Does that then make Mohanlal or his ghost-writer a Sanghi with a penchant for smooching…now that would make an awfully interesting combo, right?

Well, till the saffron or crimson tide (whichever is on the rise now) turns, I am one Bhajrangi Bhai fan – so what does that make me now, I wonder!

 

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