Being Salman Bhaijaan
Posted on 2015-07-26 14:16:53
As Salman Bhaijaan limps towards the barbed fence using a stick to support his gait with hundreds of people dotting the snow-capped hillock behind him, we are reminded of a non-descript Kashmiri mountain dwelling, albeit, on the other side of the line of control. It is a pivotal moment before the end titles are supposed to roll out. Then, Bhaijaan turns back to take a final look at all his fans and supporters from Pakistan occupied Kashmir, tilts his head to the right and raises his hand for a salaam.
“Jeeyo mere Shahi Sultan!” (rough translation: long live the emperor) shouts a man in the crowd and there is loud cheering from the assembled audience who had been waiting for over two hours for this one moment of glory digesting all the “Jai Shri Rams” and laughing at the khaki nicker jokes. Mind you, the other big cheer from the audience had emanated at the very start when the opening credits were rolling; no, not at the name Salman Khan, but, surprisingly, at Kareena Kapoor’s starring role. It took a while for one to realize the reason behind that catcall and the reason was associated with another Shahi Sultan, or in this case, a Nawab. The fact that the Kapoor daughter was billed as “Kareena Kapoor Khan”, emphasising on her conquest by the Nawab had pleased the audience quite emphatically.
The joys of watching Bollywood masala fare in a north Indian small town on Eid day can be an eye opener of demographic proportions. In scores of youth, clad in white after a month long piety of Ramadan occupying that single screen theatre, we discover the catharsis of a shuddh shakahari Brahman, aptly named as Bajrangi (to remind us of those jobless love-Jihad hating Bajrang Dal activists) who travels to Pakistan occupied Kashmir and offers a salaam to his Muslim brethren. It is Eid after all. Every Bajrangi has to transform into a Bhaijaan and every Kareena must undergo a conquest of a Khan to create a box office miracle of 300 Crores known as Aman ki Aasha as a bridge between Pakistan and India through a cute little girl who talks only through her eyes and by showering kisses on a Pakistani flag.
After having built the bridge between two squabbling nations, singlehandedly, Bhaijaan had to emphasise his love for all of humanity… how could he stop at mere Aman ki Aasha? Bring back the tiger, he roared on twitter! Why hang an innocent Memon for the death of some 350 innocent Mumbai fools some 22 years ago?! Killing Yakub Memon would be the death of humanity, declared the superstar! Now one can begin to comprehend why so many of them cheered that salaam to Pakistan occupied Kashmir, for one realises the essence of being Salman Bhaijaan.
Being a Bhaijaan, just like being a Bollywood Khan is a state of mind. It is about cocking a salaam at the rule of law in India by killing innocent victims and getting away with it. It is about emphatically laughing at ‘foolish’ concepts like love-jihad and conquering the Kafir women. It is about celebrating terrorism as victimhood. Most importantly it is about forming a herd and terming it as “secularism”.
It is this Muslim herd that the likes of Teesta Setlavad and Javed Anand have been using for decades to buy male sanitary napkins and protect ‘secularism’ from the attacks of development and progress. When the law of the land tries to catch these napkin thieves, liberal democracy is deemed to be under threat due to Modi the disruptor who has distorted the idea of India. The stress here must be on “liberal democracy”, a new bird that is flying over Lutyens because normal democracy is no longer enamoured by the Gandhi dynasty as even ordinary chaiwalas are becoming prime ministers.
Over the next few weeks we will once again witness secularism in its true glory when all the opposition political parties will join hands to bring the Muslim herd under one banner in Patna. This momentous occasion would be celebrated by the media as a challenge to communal forces led by Modi! This is the reality of India today as one can witness in a darkened theatre on Eid day where secularism is engulfed by the black reality of a barbed fence on a snow capped mountain. The one question that we need to ask, the only question that matters, is how long are we, as a nation, going to live in denial? In denial of Yakub Menon’s guilt, in denial of Javed Anand’s male menstruation, in denial of Teesta Setlavad’s calculated crookedness, in denial of Rahul-Nitish-Lalu’s Islam-o-politics and ultimately, in denial of secularism.