Let us be clear. Salman is not saying anything that has not already been stressed many times by others on the Indian media landscape, including distinguished editorial contributors of the Hindustan Times and other papers. He is being attacked solely because he is a Muslim. Of course, it serves the establishment to distract attention from the truth of his statement by trying to paint him as “insensitive” or “unpatriotic”. That is the sole reason the Shiv Sena (SS), BJP and others are attacking him. Because they fear what could happen once the Indian masses truly understand and internalize the fact that their government is of the elite, for the elite and by the elite.
If anything, the attacks on Mumbai served to reveal the deep economic and social divides running through the Indian body politic. Whether they originated in Pakistan or Timbuctoo is mostly beside the point. For decades the Indian masses have suffered countless atrocities at the hands of enemies, both internal and external, and have struggled against many natural and man-made disasters. On such occasions the reassuring hand of the powers-that-be has been pointedly absent except in those instances when an establishment such as the Taj Hotel in Mumbai and its clientele were involved.
These words of mine can be also be easily twisted by demagogues and bigots to suit their own selfish purposes. However, as in Salman’s case, such disingenuous attacks will only serve to highlight the elitism – yes, that is the most appropriate word – deeply en-grained in Indian society. Only when the Indian people begin to value each and every human life, regardless of whether it belongs to the poorest of paupers or the richest aristocrats, will true change begin to come to my country.