Currently I am reading ' I am Malala ' - To be honest , I started reading this book to know more about Pakistan ....this feuding brother of India...who walked away , one stormy night after fighting with his elder brother , to a house next door and ever since then always trying to snatch something of his elder brother , by whatever means he can !
That is not say that I think any less of Malala....hers is a really inspiring story....how even a seemingly weaker person can come out stronger through difficult circumstances.
But what stands out in this book is , the general public of Pakistan or the Swat valley is not pro- Taliban nor they are anti art and music . They are ordinary people ...just like us , not gun brandishing terrorists who kill at the slightest provocation.
Nowadays , Pakistan brashing has become a mark of patriotism. Agreed - they are the ones who created and glorified mujahideens ( freedom fighters ) and their textbooks depict Kashmir as their territory . To love your country and to be angry against anyone who attacks it is permissible....but why attack and threaten the artists ?
Art and music have no religion , language or country . It is felt from depths of your soul by shutting up your ever chattering intellect.
We will listen and enjoy their songs on the CDs and freely downloadable internet sites and yet if they come here for live performances , there is a huge hue and cry...why ?
Our artists go there and work in their films and get appreciated for that , no one even notices that . Or that our films earn crores of rupees there but no one will think that is against our country , But if their artists are working in our films , there is immediate call for ban ! Why people keep on saying that we have so many good actors , why import somebody from Pakistan ? Why not import from Pakistan ? One could always be happier with fresh faces with delectable accents and good acting !
Or is it that people think that Hinduism is such a small religion that it will get polluted or destroyed by this import ? Wake up guys....we were always magnanimous and flexible and that is the reason we have progressed .
We are opening our economy to China who is a bigger threat anyday...but with Pakistan it is only the artists ( because they have no economy that will threaten us ! )
They always have been a military nation , ready to fight at the drop of a hat and look where they are right now ? ( Nowhere !) Their only wish was to snatch Kashmir and be better than us ...have better weapons and army ...not much attention was paid to education , economy and infrastructure . With Taliban hiding in the country , overrunning certain districts , art and culture was also going underground. ( Does the Taliban think it can really wipe out colours , music and art ? What about the colours of the sky and the spring ? And the music of the wind and the sea ? Can they destroy the sand dunes...nature's own sculptures ? They thought they were destroying the history when they blasted the ancient Buddha statues of the Swat valley but history can only be created..not destroyed )
Are we trying to emulate the Taliban ? By banning this and that ? Looking at religion in everything ? Religion is a very personal thing....it's your personal relationship with God....why show it to the whole world ? And at the heart of every religion there is only one thing.....becoming a better human being....Rituals may differ but all paths lead to Him.
If somebody is intolerant why should we be so ? After all we are responsible for our behaviour and not theirs .
We are and always been a magnanimous , tolerant and peace loving nation...always ready to appreciate art and culture ...Let's be that , please !