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The Muted Moderate

All the hype surrounding MNIK and the SRK-Kajol factor got me to watch the movie (and later rue the 2h40m spent), especially irritating was the central idea which the viewer is reminded of, every five minutes as the movie unfolded, rather painfully at that, and that is, of course - His name is Khan(from the
epiglottis :P) and that he’s not a terrorist. What got me thinking was why the same line was being repeated, reinforced and re-stated, over and over again!

Maybe there was something else to it apart from just bad dialogue. Maybe it was just an overtly dramatic way of saying that every Muslim on the street isn’t a terrorist or encourages terrorism.

Where is the voice of the moderate Muslim? Why is it that people draw a picture of a bearded fanatic when we hear the word ’Muslim’ ? Why can’t we instead picture the neighbouring Ali Uncle, who takes the bus to work at a regular office? Why do some fanatic Maulvis who decry almost anything(a fatwa on trading in the stock market?! You gotta be kidding me!) have to be the self-appointed voice of the lakhs of Muslims in India?

Similarly why does the Shiv Sena or the MNS have to be the self-appointed righteous upholders of the ’Maratha way’ and become imposing chauvunists? The resillient 30-something man who stays in an ordinary Ghatkopar colony and takes the maddeningly crowded Western line braving stampede, torrential downpour and the why, even the odd terror attack(notice how local trains have
almost always been the target of terror attacks) is the deserving mouthpiece of Mumbai, not Saamna! The need of the hour is a leader, not an opinion leader. All empathizers of the Thakerays, Muthaliks, Stalins, et all. and their 'noble causes' - kindly take note.


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