Dear ‘Liberal’ Men, When It Comes To Women, Most of You Are No Better Than Right-Wing Sexists #CyberAbuse

Muhammad Arif  says “I wish you get a husband like him…”

Maninder Pal Singh says “…from which state u want MLA ticket?”

Mahfooz Alam  is reminding her “you remembered girls’ phone tapping incident???”

Mustaqim Shaikh making another personal remark “tumhe modi ke jaisa hi pati mile”

Sadath Ali says “and bhakti k be seema hoti hai. desh jalra ha hai economy dubra ha hai. phir mi modi k pooja kara h ho. sharam karo behen sharam karo”

I shared an article in a progressive, liberal Facebook group that I am a member of.

The article was about trying to understand why Modi continues to win the majority despite having blood on his hands. The purpose of the article was not to blindly praise Modi but analyze the propaganda machinery that has worked tirelessly to create this larger than life image of a mere government servant.

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Hatred, of course, is dumb and blind.

Instead of reading the article and understanding the context of it, some morons began to comment as if this is a Modi praise article.

A young woman made some comments about other reasons why Modi lovers are such die-hard fans. And there comes the sexist tornado of personal remarks and attacks.

Thrice I had to intervene and beg the idiots to stop harassing this woman Priya Rai who was merely adding to her analysis of why Modi fans behave the way they do. But the comments kept pouring in.

In another incident, a young woman actively sharing her political (informative) articles in the group was targeted viciously. In one of her posts or comments, she was barely criticizing a political leader. Some idiot in the group took screenshots of it and spread it in some other propaganda group pro that political leader and claimed that this woman is calling for the assassination of the said leader.

Hate comments, death threats, and rape threats began pouring in on her DM and profile in hundreds.

Shit got so real, she had to de-activate her profile completely because it was being mass reported too and she could lose her account. She was told she could be the ‘next Gauri Lankesh’, the journalist assassinated in 2017.

Some idiot was asking her ‘rates’ claiming she was a prostitute.

At first, she took it as regular trolling, that we women are all too familiar with. But when she saw some posts with hundreds of comments calling for her lynching, she was scared beyond words can explain. She has not been able to sleep or work or focus on anything since.

When I asked, she hopelessly said that she does not think women will be safe on the internet ever and not just the paid trolls but even regular guys know how to shut women up too well by threatening them with rape.

Normally when I talk about cyberbullying or online abuse, I hide the names of the culprits but I didn’t on this post because this is a teachable moment. When you see this particular guy made such and such comments, you put a face to that faceless anonymous abuser.

As men, you have a responsibility to hold fellow men accountable since you jump so quickly on the #NotAllMen wagon. Not all men, right? So prove you are not one of them abusers. Show us, women, that you stand by us when we are harassed online or offline.

Yes, we know not all men rape, abuse or attack women with acids.

But most of you look the other way when personal attacks are made on a woman in a so-called liberal, progressive group.

And don’t even get me started on the sexist bullshit I receive on most of my posts. Rarely ever you’d see a guy standing up to the sexist trolls and that’s where the problem lies.

That is what you need to fix if you claim to have better ways of treating women in your circles than the conservative right wingers.

You Want Socio-political (religious) Change, But Do You Have The Patience For It? (Saving Oppressed Muslim Women)

The degradation of our environment is horrendous!

Minority rights are being denied day after day.

The rise of the far-right in the world all over is scary.

You want all the nonsense, all the shit going on in the world fixed. Me too.

But social change requires a million things out of us and PATIENCE is the most important one.

For the last couple of days, in the DRS group, I have been reading a lot about the extremist scriptures from Hinduism and Sharia, in the CONTEXT OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS.

Being a Muslim Feminist, I found this as a fantastic opportunity to observe both sides of the coin: the people trying to make the change and on the other side the people whose religious sentiments easily get hurt.

The posts attracted tons of comments (because people get easily emotional about religious sentiments) in comparison to posts about sanitation, climate change, and education policies. A lot of this involved hate comments or labeling which I guess is the collateral damage of free speech over social media.

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But overall, the observation reminded me of a TED Talk I had watched in 2015, of a Baloch Pakistani young woman named Khalida Brohi fighting against ‘honor killing’s in her region.

Now, before you jump on the anti-national wagon, and question why I couldn’t think of any other example; here is why…

Khalida’s story has super important pointers about making social change.

She was 18 when she discovered Facebook and decided to campaign, rally against ‘honour killings’ in her tribal, conservative Islamist region.

She failed monumentally when the local people got offended and destroyed her property, threatened to kill her. (She says that was natural and she is right).

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The point in this talk that stayed in my mind, five years later is that YOU CANNOT MAKE SOCIAL CHANGE AMONG THE PEOPLE OF A COMMUNITY BY:

  1. Belittling or condescending them.
  2. Telling them how you are the most evolved one and they are unevolved.
  3. Standing in direct opposition to their CORE VALUES.

This is the MANTRA FOR ANY SOCIAL CHANGE that you ever wish to see.

It definitely helps when the person trying to make the change IS FROM THAT COMMUNITY because when you criticize from the outside, you might often not understand the full extent of their practices and beliefs and even if you do and you talk about them with utmost best intentions, it is easier for the people to dismiss you thinking ‘oh she/he is not one of us’ hence it is an attack on our beliefs. Coming from that community also helps in terms of the ‘savior complex’ which people of privilege often suffer from. There also internalized biases that all of us are capable of holding instead of factual criticisms.

I cannot speak for other religions but from the Islamic point of view, just like in Khalida’s talk, people did not need to become atheists in order for women to have human rights or advance as communities. What they needed was a reminder of the core values that get muddied under the patriarchal systems.

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Hence, she and her team apologized to those people. Asked to be accepted and offered an opportunity to make it up to the people.

Why did they do that?

Because it was her own community, her own people. You cannot abandon your own roots, regardless of how patriarchal or oppressive, they are. Many people do. But people like me, people like Khalida Brohi whose mission is to bring about actual change on the ground, we have got to REACH THE PEOPLE AT THE LEVEL IN WHICH THEY LIVE; IN WHICH THEY CAN RECEIVE YOUR MESSAGE.

Yes, this time it worked. Because they made it a point to engage with people’s own culture, music, art, fables in order to bring about social change.

Was it easy? No. Did it take a lot more time, patience, hard work and strategy? You bet your sweet ass it did. But did it work? A BIG FUCKING YES!

And just before you think this is all, came the next hurdle.

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The men in the community began to notice the change in wives and daughters… their confidence, their income capabilities, their talents… and as always, it threatened men and immediately they started stopping their women from participating in these programs.

Was it the end of social change?

No, of course not. It was time for the next strategy. It was time to up the alley, it was time to make the women’s handicrafts an official business so now men had to trade their fragile egos with lucrative women empowerment. 

Did that work? Hellll, yeah! 

Islamic scriptures are centuries old and today in various parts of the world, are followed by people all over the globe in various versions. The traditions are also mixed with specific cultural practices of specific regions and the melody and mash-up are just too complicated for an individual to understand. So, people pick and choose things that make sense to them, that they feel to be relevant in their lives and in this modern age.

What’s interesting is that in order to bring about change in the condition of women, feminism did not have to forgo Islam, instead, it became INTERSECTIONAL so women could accommodate their connection with God, along with human rights or women upliftment. This could be done because, in many ways, even those old scriptures have stood the test of time in terms of having outside home employment, riding camels and horses alongside men at wars, not being forced to take the husbands surname after marriage, writing your own terms and conditions for your Nikah and divorce, etc, just to name a few.

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Undeniably there are plenty of other things like polygamy or half valued testimony of women that need upgrading. But just like Khalida’s story, these or any other Islamic or cultural (not actually Islamic) practices are to be challenged,  it has to be done at the ground level and by taking the people in confidence; not by mocking them.

To this point, I am so proud to see so many Muslim Feminists all over the globe, from small indigenous tribal communities like the Baloch in Pakistan to super Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia where women like Manal al-Sharif live, women are standing up for their rights and challenging the patriarchal ancient customs that are laid upon them. And none of them had to give up their faith in order to work for women empowerment.

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A very common myth on the outer side (thanks to Western media and now Indian media too) is that Muslim women are oppressed and don’t have a voice. This statement would hold true in almost every country, every religion, everywhere in the world to various degrees. And as an outsider, if you really care about the conditions of Muslim women, here is what to do instead of head-on attacking the people’s faith or CORE VALUES:

  • Google ‘Muslim Feminists’ in the world and pick 5.
  • Follow their work, their campaigns, social media.
  • Talk to other people about their accomplishments.
  • Watch their work closely and send them messages of encouragement.
  • Help them out in whatever way you can.
  • Join their campaigns if you can and help them out with strategies, resources or ideas.
  • Most importantly, INSTEAD OF TALKING OVER THEM, be an ally and let them be their own voice. 

Khalida was the privileged one in her story, the one with knowledge and education of these oppressive cultural practices, but in her experience, neither talking AT THEM helped, nor TALKING OVER them helped.

What helped was showing genuine intent of helping those people, meeting them at a level they can understand (and not feel threatened) and ENABLE them to find their voices, learn about their rights, gradually dismantle those archaic practices with their own hands.

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After I learned about FEMINISM and evaluated my whole life against it, I wanted to scream out loud at the top of my lungs how things were wrong and injustices against women were happening all over the world.

I began writing blogs, books published. But that was the knowledge, on paper, not much was changing on the ground.

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So I began helping women through my blog in other ways.

I would hear their stories, point them towards doctors, lawyers, therapists, whatever resources they were in need of.

Sometimes, I also helped them financially, for example, to get out of violent husbands’ homes.

Informed them of their rights under the Sharia law, according to which they were married in the first place.

I talked about sensitive issues on my YouTube channel so people could use that to get validation and support.

I DISMANTLE the oppression with my Muslim community, among cousins, friends, neighbors, blog readers, book fans and internet strangers by MEETING THEM WHERE THEY ARE instead of challenging their entire belief system.

Is this all I could do? Perhaps more but I am only human and still learning social change.

I am still trying to find better ways, sharper strategies to bring about change in women’s lives, not just in my community but the world all over, but I have to make peace with these few things;

  1. Social change moves at glacial speed, so don’t expect things to change overnight.
  2. Probably in my lifetime, gender gaps won’t be closed and women won’t have equal rights as that of men.
  3. I can’t change a person or their opinion unless I find something in common with them (sometimes it could just be our humanity, an important negotiation technique I learned in my Swiss Business School).

Should I stop trying because it was too hard and too exhausting?

I would probably die if I stopped. I do this because it gives me purpose to live.

I am in it for the surprises, NOT the PRIZES.

For me, a simple thank you from a distressed, domestically abused woman is enough.

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That overused, cliched story holds true- the one with the grandfather and the kid walking past by the shore and the kid throwing back fishes into the water that were left stranded on the shore by the waves. And the grandpa laughs and asks the kid “there are millions, how many would you throwback and what difference would it make?”

And the kid replies “it makes a difference to the one fish that is back in the water”!

Total cliche, I know, but I can’t help but feel exactly the same way. The war on social injustice is strenuous and sinister at best, tiring and life draining at worst. But if you are reading this long piece, I have faith that you care about the world and the injustices happening around, and you are working day and night to stand up for the rights of some people, whether or not they acknowledge your efforts.

HOW DOES THIS PLAY OUT IN THE WORLD OF SOCIAL MEDIA?

Over social media, the chances of someone coming to a Twitter feud and walking away with enlightenment is UNHEARD of. The same applies to Facebook.

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So how do we expect to bring about any change if our audience is on social media?

The honest answer is I DON’T KNOW because if I did, I would have an army uprising for me right now.

But the basic premise from Khalida’s story that we can learn are the ones I already mentioned in the beginning: that YOU CANNOT MAKE SOCIAL CHANGE AMONG THE PEOPLE OF A COMMUNITY BY:

  1. Belittling or condescending them.

  2. Telling them how you are the most evolved one and they are unevolved.

  3. Standing in a direct challenge to their CORE VALUES.

If you do even one, you won’t be making any social changes but inviting nonsensical debates from people that did not understand your intentions.

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Now also a thing to be noted is that this is a general approach to a tribal, uninhibited people.

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It does not apply to fundamentalist politicians, right-wing supporters, and leaders.

That’s because leaders, politicians are privileged people in power that are voted by democratic masses, and their job is to be secular and unbiased (no racist sexist shit can go down).

I also include supporters of the majority (often right-wing type) party supporters because in Khalida’s example we were talking about challenging only cultural/religious practices. 

However, in the other one, there isn’t just religion but political ideologies. And political ideologies do not work on the same principles. Politicians use fake news, propaganda, fear-mongering, hate speeches, polarization, inciting communal riots, and several other sinister tactics to keep the voter scared enough to vote for them. And these change state after state, politician after politician.

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Bringing about social change in the political area is something way harder (in my opinion) because of the awe-inspiring, larger than life image created by media for the politicians. And until and unless your very own existence comes under threat, your own women raped on the streets and your own life savings taken over by a bankrupt bank; it is hard to give a crap and understand how the minorities feel.

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There are people, plenty of privileged people who stand up for minority rights, challenge the status quo even when it is dangerous and put their own lives at risk. But with such compassionate people, on the opposite spectrum are also the vile, vicious and violent ones. And those are the ones that will take heed with time alone, maybe by having employment opportunities that keep them busy and provide them an environment to intermingle with the very people their politicians are telling them to hate.

But that’s a distant dream, right?

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Why Can’t I Use The Racial Slurs Like ‘Bhaiyya’ Mentality, ‘Cow-Belt, Low IQ Field Shitters’ For All Hindi Belt Indians?

So for the last few weeks, I have been part of a Facebook group that shares political and social opinions and facts. It has been an interesting experience and here is something that has got me worried about the way people reduce each other to labels while bathing in a superiority complex. (Well, it’s mostly just this one person)

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This guy has been using terms like ‘bhaiyya’ mentality, cow-belt mentality, field shitters etc. Here are some of the words that disturbed me including the person justifying British atrocities on North Indians, because they ‘deserved’ it. The person uses the word ‘bhaiyya infested’, yeah!

Despite several people confronting this person, they have continued to use these words which have added nothing to any discussions.

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Despite this person’s so obviously blatant privilege, I am not going to talk about their (hiding gender pronoun too, on purpose to protect identity) own race, state, language or launch a comparison to demean their place of belonging or race. Firstly, I don’t know any of those things because it doesn’t matter to me and secondly, this is not a personal attack because then what would be the difference between this person and me. I am NOT A RACIST so I neither care nor bothered to show light on their own race.

Let me clarify one thing-

There is no doubt UP, Bihar and surrounding areas have high crime rates, low education rates, sexism, rampant misogyny, and awful politicians that have done little to change the horrible state of their regions. 

Me, belonging to Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh am aware of these realities all too well.

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Never have I ever been delusional about the condition of my state or my people. Nither have I ever defended any of those horrible things done in my state.

The fact that I am aware of and working to change those things kills that stereotype right there. And I am far from being alone. Day and night, there are several people coming from these communities that are fighting against medieval and sexist traditions in order to better their people.

The point here is not whether these regions are backward and need to change; of course, they do need to change. 

The point here is that when you label a community like this and do nothing but spew hateful rhetoric against its people, you kind of become the exact same or rather worse kind of a person because when you yourself being educated and ‘evolved’ are not willing to pick better words to address groups of people, you expect uneducated people to act all evolved and civilized?

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I read this somewhere on the internet that really stayed with me and is relevant here:

When a member of a group tells you to stop doing something that triggers them or to not use a racist slur, they are not violating your free speech, because they don’t have any power to stop you. You won’t be penalized in any way if you continue to do the thing that bothers them. They are simply saying that if you respected them and people like them, you would stop. By continuing, you are simply stating that YOU ARE WILLINGLY CHOOSING TO NOT RESPECT them.

This person who has been using these nasty words has been in the group from way longer than me and despite people trying to reason with them, no one has banned or penalized them. Clearly shows who is the more matured and evolved one.

This person deliberately hangs out in groups with Hindi speaking majority and instead of considering Hindi speakers as ‘fellow Indians’, they constantly make derogatory remarks about them and then expect them to act ‘civilized’. And this group works tirelessly to criticize and spread awareness about all the awful things happening in India, all of India, there is no ‘my state is paradise’ delusion there.

Another thing that I read somewhere about political correctness and people ranting that they are now being forced to ‘accept’ things they do not believe in-

So many folks talk about how they are being ‘forced to accept’ things that go against their beliefs.

You are not being forced to accept them.

If you have a problem with people of color, with gay marriage, trans people, immigrants, or people of any race, you are still welcome to feel however you want to feel about those people. You are just not allowed to make their lives harder because of your feelings. You are not allowed to turn their daily lives into a battleground. No one is ‘forcing’ you to ‘accept’ a single thing.

This person who is so openly racist against people from North India is educated and all kinds of people have tried to speak with them in the politest, calm and respectful manner and tried to investigate if they are saying all this because of their personal experiences or whatever.

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What makes me worried is that if this person is so openly racist in a faceless social media group, imagine how horribly racist they would be in real life to people around them?

When someone would approach them for rent?

When they would meet a colleague or a subordinate from Northern areas?

My problem with all of this is simply- call it whatever you want but does your name-calling make any positive contribution to change the issues we are fighting?

No? Then please keep your judgments/opinions/rants and racism to yourself!!!

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Here is something else I read elsewhere that sums up the effect of this racist language on people:

It is not about trying to be overly sensitive or politically correct.

It is about having enough social awareness to realize that not every thought you have or action you take adds value to the lives of those around you and that your words may, in fact, diminish another’s personhood.

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You NEVER have the right to diminish someone’s personhood because they come from a certain area or belong to a certain race! Never!

A Feminist’s Opinion on ‘Should Nirbhaya’s Mother Forgive The Rapists of Her Daughter’?

So, only if you live under a rock you may not know about the rape of an Indian student in 2012 that sparked international outrage and brought India to a halt. The media called her Nirbhaya.

Recently, a Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaysingh advised or urged Nirbhaya’s mother to forgive the rapists which of course and very rightly outraged the lady.

Where does a FEMINIST stand on this?

There has been a long-standing debate on the topic of capital punishment/death penalty and whether or not such punishment would discourage future rapists.

Time and again through data, this has been proven that the DEATH PENALTY DOES NOT DETER RAPE. 

If anything, the death penalty will punishment will make things worse because now the rapist will not only rape but also murder in order to avoid any witness. The recent incidents of setting rape victims on fire is the direct consequence of this because the rapists know their DNA could be extracted. Hence the motivation to end the victim’s life is way stronger.

HUMAN RIGHTS activists and Feminists have long stood for the NO DEATH PENALTY argument because of the above reasons.

Dumb idiots who do not want to understand the full argument, immediately brand these Feminists as terrorist sympathizers or somehow think that human rights activists want to save evil people.

That being said, what this lawyer Indira Jaysing has said about forgiving Nirbhaya’s rapists is the most insensitive and outrageous thing she could have said.

First of all, it is shameful enough that it’s been 8 years and the rapists have not been punished yet.

To add to that pain, this weird notion in our society about ‘forgiveness’ is actually an extremely toxic thing to say to a rape survivor or their family members.

See, this is not Saudi Arabia where according to Sharia law if the family of the dead person pardons the murderer, the punishment is either reduced or written off.

Secondly, there is law in India. Whether Nirbhaya’s mother forgives the rapists or not, a crime has been committed and the criminals deserve the strictest punishment for such a barbaric act. The law does not run on the whims of people’s feelings.

Thirdly, in Feminist literature I often read this idea of ‘forgiving your rapist’, in fact, I have written about it in the past from my post about the famous Netflix show 13 Reasons Why. 

What I learned from Feminism is that there is absolutely no need to ‘forgive your rapist or abuser’ in order to move on. 

One therapist I was speaking to actually told me that if you have bitterness inside you or have feelings that you don’t want to face then you cannot heal. Your first step should be to face those feelings and forgive the people who wronged you.

SHE COULDN’T BE MORE WRONG!

Speaking with other learned and respectable therapists I learned that forgiving someone is only and only up to the person who has suffered the pain and in order to heal from that pain, there are plenty of other ways and ‘forgiving’ is NOT one of them.

Being a Human Rights lawyer, Indira Jaysing has not only spoken out of turn but she has emotionally abused the sentiments of Nirbhaya’s mother.

Indira Jaising is an Indian lawyer who is noted for her legal activism in promoting human rights causes. In 2018 she was ranked 20th in the list of 50 Greatest Leaders of the World by Fortune magazine. Considering her accomplishments and sensitivity on gender equality and human rights, this is shockingly upsetting that someone like her has spoken these words. 

If it was anyone else, dismissing it would be easier but considering her stature, this is unbelievably shocking.

I would argue against the death penalty in general but in this case, I won’t,  considering the barbarity of the act. But not in a million imaginations I would ever consider it OK to tell Nirbhaya’s mother to forgive those monsters.

Also, tomorrow even if Nirbhaya’s mother does forgive them for some unknown reason; the law still has to take its course. 

They did not have mercy on Nirbhaya while shoving iron rods inside her, they knew what they were doing. They deserve way worse than capital punishment.

 

Liberals Divided Over #KunalKamra Heckling #Arnab But Can #Injustice Really Be Fought When Playing By The Rules?

So, Kunal Kamra, the infamous Indian comedian broke the internet yesterday when a video of him went viral in which he is pestering/asking questions to Arnab Goswami (the government’s lapdog journalist).

Immediately within hours, Kunal Kamra was banned from flying the airline in question (despite there being no FIR or police complaints from fellow passengers or crew) and for some weird reason, several other airlines also announced a ban on Kunal.

Later Kunal issues a statement and clarified that:

a- he was NON VIOLENT throughout

b- he went to his seat when the crew asked him to

c- he apologized to the crew, pilots and fellow passengers as soon as the incident happened and his intent was NOT to bother people but to give Arnab a taste of his own medicine. 

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He also explained the reason behind his outrage/emotional outburst in a video that featured many pieces of information including Arnab’s latest propaganda questioning the CASTE of late Dalit student ROHITH VEMULA which is way below the belt even by Arnab’s standards. I mean we all know he is hate spreading, right-wing communal, polarizing, biased, paid journalist but trying to take away the dignity of someone who is not even alive to defend himself anymore… speechless!

 

Then began the debate among the liberals whether Kunal ‘heckling’ Arnab in this way was fair or not. 

People favoring Arnab said that if we use such language and acts then we are no better than the right-wingers. There was a whole lot of mention of ‘politeness’ and ‘peace’ while making arguments against opponents. And of course, there was the question of invading someone’s personal space and the safety of the fellow passengers.

I have been on the edge myself because I personally believe in all these things deeply. I respect freedom of expression as much as I stand for privacy and personal space. How does one choose a side in a matter like this?

One thing that comes to mind is why. 

Arnab Goswami is an aspiring war criminal.

He has, at the top of his voice, made calls for wars.

What Kunal did to Arnab in that 2-3 minute clip, Arnab actually does that for a living and not just heckles but rips a new one to the unfortunate participants he invites on his debates. He has played a huge role in dividing the nation as Anirban DasGupta, another comedian pointed out.

Some people claimed that if “you don’t like Arnab’s journalism don’t watch it, simple!”

But the point here is that people of the right-wing and others who don’t know any better, do watch him and more importantly, journalism has very high codes of ethics and practices.

Don’t like it don’t watch it seems apt for a TikTok video maybe but not for a field that is known as one of the pillars of democracy.

Whether I watch something or not does not mean there should be no ethical standards and no role of facts in journalism!

Maybe stepping aside for a moment and looking at world history would help.

Slavery was legal.

So was a holocaust and Sati pratha.

All major mass killings, genocides happened as per the LAW or the then rules of the land.

Would Stalin, Mussolini or Hitler ever be challenged by being polite and playing according to their rules?

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Gandhi was a nonviolent revolutionary but he too resisted injustice and did not play by the rules. Actually, there can be no revolution, no change, no progress if you play by the rules of the oppressor. That is the simplest logic.

In Feminist literature I read a lot about women asked to be ‘lady-like’, to be polite, subservient, play dumb, be obedient, never question authority and no woman ever made history by being polite and sweet. It was the badasses, the rule-breakers that brought about change.

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One might then question, where do we draw the line? Or is there a line at all between the two scenarios of rule-breaking?

I would like to think there is and we all know very well where it is.

Gandhi was sent to jail several times and so were plenty of other freedom fighters for opposing the ‘law’.

If Gandhi and his team approached General Dyer with a bouquet of roses and a letter to please leave India, would he have left along with his empire?

And when Gandhi and all the freedom fighters protested and resisted, they knew they were breaking the law and they were ready to pay the price for it because they could differentiate the right from wrong.

Heckling anyone is wrong.

Compromising the safety of fellow passengers is wrong (if I were on that flight though, I would have loved this entertaining episode but that’s just me).

The language Kamra used, ‘coward’ nationalist etc, is all wrong.

But when you look at Arnab, you know this episode is not even a tiny fraction of what Arnab himself has done to others. He not only does that on a daily basis but earns a living out of it.

Shaheen Bagh protestors have been putting their arguments across peacefully, right?

The ones Arnab has been branding as anti-nationals, hate spreading and what not nonsense… Despite playing by the rules, has the protest managed to appeal to even one person in the ruling party? Have their voices which they have been raising in Delhi’s stone-cold weather for over 40 days, managed to reach the PM who was awfully worried about Muslim sisters on the matter of Triple Talaq? I am not saying they are wrong to be peaceful, in fact, their best strategy is to remain peaceful because it wouldn’t take the government a second to shut them down forcefully if one word was uttered that was NOT right (Sharjeel Imam case in point).

The right-wing has in fact been waiting madly for these peaceful protestors to make one mistake so they can be torn apart.

Repeated attempts have been made to malign them; from paid women to lazy men bla bla. However no government official has bothered to communicate once.

Other peaceful protests have been happening at universities which as of yesterday have been banned from holding protests or lectures on ‘anti-national’ activities.

The second you disagree with the government, you become a traitor and now the universities are complying blindly with the regime also. Henceforth, the protests in IIT and other such places… dead. There you go, played by rules and crushed down by the rules.

What choice is the regime leaving for people?

How do they register their agitation? By following blindly?

Peeing Human, Akash Banerjee and Dhruv Rathee have shared Kunal related posts and offered support along with Anurag Kashyap and many other famous people.

Even if we agree that the ‘heckling’ regardless of who it was against was deserving of punishment, as per the aviation/airline rules, such behavior qualifies for a 3-month ban only! Not a day more.

And only from the airline in which the incident happened. What is other airline’s business banning him when the incident did not take place in their aircraft and no one has complained? Just because the aviation minister made a Twitter suggestion, the bootlickers immediately obeyed and all this official government communication happened on Twitter!!!

Don’t even get me started on the super offensive behavior of BJP ministers that range from literally thrashing an airline crew with a shoe to tantrums for a first-class/window seat and barely ever, if any, action has been taken against them. Because they rule the country, right? But the entire government machinery and the airline industry can outcast a poor comedian because he asked provocative questions to a journalist who uses the exact same language with others.

I may not agree with Kunal Kamra’s choice of words not just from the heckling but also from his standup comedy. But I don’t disagree with the argument.

People also claimed that Kamra only did this to collect standup material. Or he only wanted to gain attention etc.

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Let me tell you that there are a lot many, safer and more profitable ways of doing stand up comedy (like the 98% of India’s stand up comedians) than what Kunal did which has invited such indefinite bans on him. Like Kenny Sebastian said in his standup video when asked about why he doesn’t do political comedy; he said: “I like my family and not crispy”!

Another thing why Kunal’s outburst makes sense is because this Arnab has invented this phrase ‘Tukde Tukde Gang’ and set this ‘anti-national’ narrative against Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Swara Bhaskar, Kunal Kamra and of course anyone who questions the government.

This Tukde Tukde narrative is not just empty words. There was an assassination attack on Umar Khalid because of this. These hateful words have powerful consequences and Umar could have lost his life. Same goes with all these other people that Arnab has declared ‘anti-nationals’. 

To be honest, if someone BRANDED me like this with fake empty words that are code for calling to my murder, I would be a lot more furious than Kunal was. Arnab has never minced his words when declaring government opponents with the worst of phrases.

Arnab has insulted Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, and several prominent, most respectable, most legendary people just because they condemned the silence of the PM of India over mob lynchings.

This narrative led to director Anurag Kashyap’s daughter getting rape threats.

You can easily argue Arnab Goswami is NOT responsible for such rape threats or an assassination attempt on Umar Khalid. Yes, technically he didn’t do those things himself but he literally set the whole scene, didn’t he? It is like supplying the fuel, the matches, the hay, and every single thing and only not lighting the matchstick in the end.

This reminds me of PM Modi’s visit to the USA and when Hassan Minhaj tried to attend the rally.

Minhaj was banned from entering the conference because he had criticized Modi in the past.

This is what the fascist leaders do. They are so scared, they don’t even let satirists and opponents anywhere close to them because they DO NOT WANT RATIONAL DEBATE! They don’t want to answer your polite questions!

You have to take matters into your own hands by asking your questions and expressing your reaction to them (especially when they branded you as a traitor) when and where you can.

We can go on but in the end, I only want to ask one question- can polite rational argument win with hate-mongers who have branded the rest of the nation anti-national without rhyme and reason?

Can a revolution be brought about playing by the rules?

The right-wingers that have literally called for raping women of minorities, beheading Muslims, burying them alive, declaring them pests and parasites… do they care about rationality?

My fear is you become the monster you are trying to fight, sometimes. I would never want these comedians, directors, opposition to stoop so low as Arnab Goswami and question/malign deaths of people in the right-wing camp.

Liberals do that. We stood by the Delhi police when they were beaten up by goons. We expressed condolence for Kamlesh Tiwari’s murder and equally for the martyrs of Pulwama.

Neither Kunal nor any of these liberal-left people were ever seen supporting violence or celebrating murders or deaths.

However, the same has not been the case from the right-wingers. Do you speak to them in the language they understand and risk losing your humanity in the process or do you keep attempting in making rational arguments while they divide the country, sell all the national assets, kill the economy, eat taxes from the regular people and enjoy lives while branding anyone who even slightly criticized the government as a traitor?

And during the time they do all this, uncountable lives have been lost.

What is a 2 minute non-violent heckling when compared to genocide and war crimes? Equal?

I am torn. If you know how to answer this, please do.

The loud silence of Non-Muslim Indians on the #NewZealandTerror attack shows hypocrisy towards terrorism

I want you to look at these comments and pause before you read the rest of the article.

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Among all the reactions that poured in after the recent terrorist attacks on a Mosque in New Zealand, most were reassuring.

Being an Indian, it was obvious to see reactions from Indians in my friend lists and networks. Sadly, I waited and waited and there were barely any Non-Muslims who shared any reactions at all on this tragedy.

There are also Indian Facebook groups who are quick to share details and openly condemn attacks when the killer is a Muslim. For example, when the Manchester Arena attack happened, Hindu women in the group were vehemently expressing disgust and hatred towards Muslims, especially immigrants, despite being immigrants themselves.

However, the silence of the majority of Hindus in the aftermath of this terror attack on Mosque going people was appalling. While I was thinking silence is disturbing, I came across the comments from people that were expressive.

Instead of being sympathetic or sad, they were openly bigoted. You saw for yourself in the above picture. And this is just a tiny part of the screenshot. There are several posts under which such hatred and bigotry are flowing.

Of course, I know that this is not representative of all Hindus. My best friends have been and still, are plenty of Hindus and I know plenty who absolutely stand by people of other religions.

But is it only my job to understand that these hateful people do not represent all Hindus? And the non-muslims of the world are free to tag all Muslims as terrorists when one moron goes on a killing spree?

Exactly a month ago when the Pulwama attack happened 40 CRPF Indian soldiers were martyred, apparently terrorism was on the hit list of all Indians. Not one person was silent on their strong stand against terrorism. When the names of the terrorists are Muslim names, the passion and hatred towards terrorism are at peak. But when the terrorist is a Hindu or a white guy, then apparently terrorism is not that important of an issue to be talked about or challenged.

Anyway, the last two days have been unspeakably depressing not just because of the murder of these 50 innocent people but more because of this hateful rhetoric in the air. My mental health has been deeply affected by this because the fear of something like this happening to me or my loved ones is much closer. I’m dreaded to think if such a thing would have happened with me or the ones I love. It’s just something straight out of a violent film, just that this one is actually real life and the blood spilling everywhere is real.

I am a Muslim but I was equally expressive and disturbed when last year there was an attack at a synagogue in the USA killing Jews by a white power supremacist terrorist.

And the same when other innocent people are killed anywhere in the world regardless of the association of the killer. Just hope more people stood for the innocent people and could see past their hateful bigoted feelings.

 

Can people living in India support Pakistan in a cricket match

A few weeks ago Virat Kohli made some remarks that went viral and annoyed a lot of Indian cricket fans.
Growing up I was always oceans away from cricket as it didn’t interest me at all however whenever there was a match between India and Pakistan, there used to be a unique buzz in the air.
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Even in my home where no one liked cricket, everyone was excited about the results.
There were talks of some bad Muslim families who supported Pakistan and I remember my mom being furious at that. She’d scream “if you eat and earn in India, you’re supposed to root for India”. It seemed absolutely fair and natural.
That would be absolutely traitorous to be an Indian, live in India and support another team.
My naive, cute, patriotic self was happy in her bubble world until I traveled abroad and lived in the UK.
The English cricket team is one of the finest I hear and the match between India and England have that special backdrop of Lagan movie hence the deeply embedded patriotism bursts when the match is on.
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I found it weird that Indians who live in the UK, earn in the UK, struggled and acquired the British passport are rooting for India when the cricket match is on.
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This confused me to bits.
When one changed their nationality and don’t have their bread coming from anywhere else but this country, why would they not support it?
It feels very natural for us to call someone a traitor who lives in India and supports any other nation.
But when we live in other countries we want all the liberty and freedom to support countries that we want.
What kind of patriotism is this?

Indians in the UK, literally have their festivals celebrated, their restaurants, their cultural and caste-based organizations and groups. They parade around Piccadilly chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Great.

But if there is a ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ or Long Live Britain on the Indian soil… there’s sedition charges and national shaming on the media channels.

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I fail miserably to understand why one is traitorous while the other is a civil right.

What I saw as a kid in riot struck Kanpur post-Babri Masjid Demolition

Not sure where to begin this article.

The atmosphere of threat and violence.

Or the deafening silence of the then elders on bigotry and harmony.

Either way, the demolition of Babri Masjid and the riots that followed were purge like, to say the least.

I was a little kid visiting my grandmother in Kanpur in the 90s when a riot began.

My grandma’s home is in the heart of the super crowded Muslim population of the city of Kanpur, an area called Chamangunj. A place where illiterate young boys spend their days loitering in the narrow lanes listening to Tere Naam songs, with that same dope haircut from the said movie. A place where the community is closely knit and poverty is prevalent.

We had been hearing that the communal tensions were rising and my Dad who was in Saudi Arabia then, had asked us to go to Lucknow, our comparably modern and less riot preferring colony. Before the travel plans could be made, someone stuck posters of a burning Holy book around the local Masjid and thus began the riot. Muslims were obviously furious and the police had announced a total curfew.

In the deep and densely populated narrow lanes, police do not dare to just loiter around during those riot times and only the military and SWAT teams dare to get in the middle of all of this.

At some point, we heard gunshots fired. We heard someone got killed. There were plenty of fake encounters. We heard that Hindus were attacking homes in the outskirts of the Muslim community and you could sneak through the balcony and see the rioters on the streets in their black outfits and black bandana, carrying weapons or sticks, guarding through the night, in case there was an attack.

What I noticed that even as a kid, and why I am writing this article is because of what I noticed about the RIOTERS- the actual men who were on the forefront of these riots.

The educated, wealthy, or even middle class, privileged families kept their cherished sons at home. Or rather let’s say the young men who had something going on for them, in terms of education or a career or family business, did not participate in the riots.

Sure they were interested in knowing what was going on. They had sticks by the doors and made sure the house doors and windows were properly locked and secured. But they did not bother to go out in the danger zone against Hindu mobs who were attacking Muslim homes.

I am not saying that no educated guys ever may have participated in riots but clearly, what was happening there was remarkable. Did education make them coward or selfish? 

Who can say for sure?

Were the educated men scared and chicken? Or were they selfish not to put their own selves in danger?

Whatever it may be, one thing I can say for sure is that education makes a human think differently. Their brains are otherwise occupied. They have something to do and something to look forward to.

But the minds of the idle young boys that loiter around in the streets all day, what do they have to do or look forward to? They assume their manhood and their bravery can be shown to the community in a time like this. Its a piece of cake to even hire such mobs to cause violence for specific political purposes as seen in TV, films, and news.

And mind you, these young men participating in these communal riots were not the ones who attend a mosque ever, by the way. On the contrary, they are the farthest from religion. People often assume that it’s the hardcore Muslim fanatics who are violent and cause riots. Maybe in Iraq but not in India, not that I have seen any.

In India, Muslims who practice the faith and visit the Mosque on a regular basis, are not among the ones who’d kill other humans for rioting. A rioter is a very different case altogether.

I don’t know that when an angry mob attacks you or your family or someone in your community, do you sit and wait for the Indian police or the justice system to play its role or you take matters in your hands and defend those you love, no matter what.

At some point, education or no education, one has to stand against the persecution and subjugation of one’s gender, community or faith. But how wonderful would it be if this standing up did not involve violence and unnecessary killing of the innocents?

What I know for sure is that whether Hindu or Muslims, the rioters who go to streets are all the jobless youth of India who have nothing to look forward to. The Lallantop did a great video on the poster boy of the Babri demolition riots, who he is and what he does now.

What’s crucial is that a nation that has unemployed and uneducated youths on the streets has a high potential for violence and nuisance. I can only wish that our future governments spend money on educating youths and provide them with dignified ways of making a living instead of spending our tax money on religious causes and stupid statues.

The Sexist Stereotype of Women’s Obsession With Shoes Needs to Die. Here’s Why.

How many times have you been criticized for buying shoes and bags?

How many times did you yourself think you are crazy and obsessed with shoes and bags or any other such item?

We live in a society that is literally built on targeting women and using any and every opportunity to label women as crazy, psychotic and obsessed or worse money spenders because women in many households in the past and even today are not earning money, so they obviously do not understand the ‘value of money’ (or so they say).

BREAKING NEWS:

It’s a horrible stereotype that needs to die. 

Have you ever in your life, on TV, on social media, in films or in general conversations, heard about men’s obsession with sneakers?

And I’m not talking just about a pair of jogging shoes… I’m talking $800 and up shoes that go up to $8000???

If you haven’t then check this out:

So, when I saw this TED talk, the first thing that came to my mind was that how come I have seen women criticized for buying shoes countless times but not once have I ever heard someone criticizing a man for owning $800 plus sneakers or owning more than 500 pairs at a time?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that owning 500 pairs of shoes is a great, a healthy habit or spending $800 on a pair of shoes is a wise decision. Not talking about its value as an investment either.

And I don’t even want to go into the morality of how much difference could be made in someone’s life with that kind of money. Because we live in times where the self comes first and owning a lot more is rewarded while owning too little is mocked.

But what behooves me is the double standard of it all. The hypocrisy and audacity of men to mock and criticize women when you are no better.

We all have passions, (hopefully, that rely less on addiction and hoarding) but nevertheless, we do have things we love and like to collect. That’s awesome.

Yet, blaming women for liking something while calling your ‘hoarding’ a passion and a hobby is beyond disgust.

The next time you hear this stereotype, please show this video and level the playing field in the area of shoe obsession and money wasting.

Hoarders equality!

I Had Never Told Anyone ‘You’ll Die Alone’ But Today I Did & I’m Not Sorry

It takes a lot of anger and outrage to yell at someone “you’ll die alone”.

I have had my moments of rage, sparsely scattered throughout my small life but I have never ever hated anyone that much to say such a mean and cruel thing to someone.

Today I did, however, break my rule and said it. And I am not sorry at all and the reason I am sharing this with you over a blog post is:

1- Misplaced blame makes you say things you never thought you’d say.

2- Once an abuser, always an abuser. 

So, let me cut the suspense, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you know this guy.

Yes, this is the idiot stalker I wrote about in the past and also shared his stupidities in a video. 

He got married about 10 months ago. For some weird reason, he contacted me on my work email from his work email to tell me about that and asked me to speak to his fiancee. I asked him why and he never had a proper response but he kept insisting that I just introduce myself to her as a friend. I didn’t.

Last month, I got an email from him saying he was very depressed and in a lot of trouble.

I got worried and asked what was up.

Drunk as he usually is, he blurted a lot of bullshit about him loving me and all. And then he insisted again that I talk to his wife.

It was the middle of the night in India. I was confused, why would I talk to his wife.

Then he revealed a little.

He said that she and he had a fight and she was in the room either sleeping or pretending to be asleep. He asked me to talk to her and calm her down or something.

This was all totally weird but considering how some strange woman was locked up in a room with this psychopath, I really got worried about her.

I instantly told her that it was not my place to say anything but if she isn’t alright, she could share. That night our talk did not go too far but I got the jist of it.

He is a drunkard, abusive, narcissistic asshole who is beating his wife since day 1 of their honeymoon. 

The next day she got in touch with me privately and told me several other dirty secrets of his house that I as a friend never knew obviously. But those were the things about his background, why he has become such an asshole and the role his parents have played in making him that misogynistic monster– all credit of which goes mostly to his mom.

My heart broke into a million pieces listening to her pain. Ultimately she asked, what should she do. She was at her parents home that night because the fucker had fractured her wrist in the fight from last night.

I suggested what any sane, logical person would. Either seek professional help, set boundaries, give him a deadline to control his alcohol and abuse OR simply walk away from a marriage that is literally breaking her bones.

Through these last couple of weeks, she gave him chances and he has failed to keep his promises for more than 120 minutes!!! That is how long-lasting his sanity is.

Anyway, the reason that blew the handle and made me say the worse of things is because of what happened last night.

At about wee hours of the morning, Indian time, he was calling me.

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Look how he is attacking me ‘teaching his wife’.

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My DP these days btw is about divorcing in order to not set a wrong example of marriage in front of your kids…Something like that. It pissed him off as expected although it was not directed at him.

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The audio I forwarded him is the one in which he was blurting out that he loves me.

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These images fully opened are below once this conversation finishes.

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I feel weird now but I totally lost it when he tried to blame me for trying to create a rift between his wife and him and now that I encouraged his wife to stand up for her rights, he is attacking me saying my intention is wrong.

I had no faith in him and never expected any sense of decency from him anyway. But the only reason I spent my time speaking to his wife is that I can empathize with that poor woman trapped with him in this abusive marriage. 

And this is the second woman whose cries I have heard this past week who is being abused by her husband.

Should I feel sorry for these abusive morons who abuse these innocent women?

Nope. I don’t. 

I really never thought I would ever say “you’ll die alone” and other mean things I said above… but this was the height of my patience.

I have tolerated a lot of BULLSHIT from this moron in the past that I have shared in the blog and video, but the most I did then was just BLOCK HIM.

But getting to know how he is abusing his innocent wife, I cannot ignore his stupidities and simply block him without giving him a piece of my mind.

BTW below are the images I reminded him of who is in love with whom.

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Turns out, once an abuser, always an abuser. And that marriage and commitment do not change violent, abusive men.