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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Now, Who Is Polluting Ms. Nidhi Razdan's Mind?

Team Being Cynical
Nidhi Razdan has a history of shooting in the feet. If I count, I at least would have seen her making complete mess of her articulation half a dozen times in the past. So she did it again with her latest post in support of Gurmehar Kaur. No, I am not questioning her intentions in supporting Ms. Kaur and her not so required politically laced overtures devoid of any logic or reason. Neither am I questioning how Ms. Kaur, who enjoys a friendly association with AAP, can’t be questioned of her rants which may not be totally apolitical. After all, it is the FoE that is in jeopardy and who other than our Delhi based journalists to vouch for the same? So I give that to Ms. Razdan. As is, I don’t have much against Nidhi and I can even remotely associate myself as one of her fans. But that said this particular post of her needs a rebuttal. By the way, do read her creativity here before going ahead with this post.

So Ms. Razdan starts shooting from the very first line. Quite aggressive I would say. The tone and tenor of the post doesn’t at all give an impression of it being a neutral observation; not at least for someone who has seen the way Ms. Razdan conducted her show ‘Laft, Right & Center’ in last four days. Anger from each line was evidently oozing out. I am not sure if Ms. Razdan is aware of it or not, anger actually is a pointer towards the lopsided view. It was pretty much like Ms. Razdan delivering a monologue without taking into account the counter point of views. That is so absurd coming from a journalist who claims to be as holistic as Manish Tewari never was. Nonetheless, let’s read through her first stanza.
A young, feisty, intelligent woman has been trolled these past few days for having a point of view on India-Pakistan ties. She has been abused, attacked and hounded by the usual army on Twitter. But what should anguish our great democracy is that she has even been mocked by a senior government minister and a ruling party MP. When Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju asks who is "polluting" Gurmehar Kaur's mind, he is assuming she is too dumb to have a mind of her own, attributing political motives, patronising this 1st-year student of Lady Shri Ram college for having an opinion. The entire debate tells us a lot about the Indian male's mind too. That is why actors like Randeep Hooda are quick to assume that this "poor girl" is a "pawn".
Terrific!! But I read couple of monumental mistakes in first two sentences. Young – agree. Feisty – hmmm. Intelligent – Ohh my God; what is that thing you call, yes, LOL. First thing Ms. Razdan, there is nothing feisty about pushing your absurd views that has no base or value. Feisty is something where one upholds the truth against all odds. Pakistan didn’t kill our soldiers is as big a lie and skulduggery as it could be. More of, the feistiness goes for a political walk when you run a dumb charade while a known AAP clown behind the camera captures it for mass production later. It is plain political hypocrisy, period. And if we are not from different planets Ms. Razdan, in my planet, an act of hypocrisy is dubbed in as many words. We don’t call hypocrites 'feisty' or 'intelligent' in my planet. Not sure about yours though so won’t argue on it further. Now coming to the intelligent part – exactly which portion of her act did suggest a great lot about her intelligence quotient? Now don’t turn around and accuse me of mocking her because I am not. It is a genuine query. What I see instead is foolhardiness whole through. To crosscheck, I even asked few of my friends to find the ‘intelligent’ part but surprisingly none could find. As is, a lie doesn’t require much of intelligence. All you need to do is parrot the line that you are been told to parrot. Now don’t tell me that it was her own opinion which I squarely disagree, as much you agree of it being her own. If you want me to change, please do furnish facts, not just your emotional jamboree. That’s not going to cut the ice.

Now the second monumental mistake – abused, attacked and hounded. This sounds so heavy. Last time I read someone using these three words in one sentence, it was for the ‘Yazidi’ women kept captive by ISIS as sexual slaves. So let’s get rid of these exaggerations first. No one has hounded or abused her. She put forward her point of view and people with contrarian view asked her questions, at times tough. See, these are the perils of being vocal in public and open places. For example, this particular rebuttal post of mine is in public domain and it is me who only has put it here. Now that I have put it in public, I would very well be ready to accept and accommodate any opposing views. Who knows, it may be you who would jump out and call me a ‘guttersnipe’ as one of your yesteryear lady journalist friend called me once. If I suddenly grow a problem with all that negative I receive for being too adventurous in public space, a good, preferably ‘feisty’ and ‘intelligent’, friend of mine would turn up and slap me to make me understand – if so then you shouldn’t have been merrymaking in public domain in the first place. Since you have done what you had to do, notwithstanding your compulsions or political affiliation, now don’t be a ‘Rakhi Shawant’ and run around TV studios donning a ‘Meena Kumari’ look and play the victim card quicker than Sanjeev Nanda washed his BMW. No one is going to buy your victim card. Exchange of opinion and views is not a one Way Street, at least that is what I am being told. It can’t happen that you have your say and then safely run away like what the owner of the bat used to do after his batting is over during my school days. What is that famous English saying, yes – you can’t have your ‘Samosa’ and eat it too. Had an opinion and you are dying to open up then please do open up but at the same time be ready to listen to those of the others. If you are so adverse to what others say to counter you then keep your opinion to yourself. Simple!!

One more thing before we move to the next paragraph – since when questioning someone has become hounding and abusing? Or has the dictionary changed its word orientation in-between that I am not aware of? But Nidhi you know what, someone questioning against something that he/she doesn’t agree with and of all the people it is you who is adverse to this very idea of engagement, well, I wasn’t expecting it from you at least. Remember, it is you who taught or rather educated us on how we even should question/mock the judgments of our Supreme Court if it doesn’t matches with your agenda … err.. expectations? Remember, how in that ‘L, R & C’ edition you left that dumb ambassador speechless with your verbiage? Poor soul. He tried his best to explain how we shouldn’t mock our Apex Court but you stood to your ground? Honestly that was one ‘feisty and intelligent’ act of yours. So taking a leaf out of your book/s, we must also question/mock one and all if we don’t support their views. Do you see any harm here? At least I don’t. By the way it is you who assumed that Kiran Rijiju was assuming Ms. Kaur to be dumb while there is no fact to establish whose assumption looks more of a possibility, provided that your seasonal and pretty much tropical ‘Indian Male’s Mentality’ bashing crescendo makes any lyrical noise. As such a responsible journalist, that too after having a loving fan like ‘Me’, should have some differencing points from ‘Sanjay Jha'. So next time I expect Ms. Razdan to refrain from using ‘easy to use’ and ‘easy to infuse’ diabolic in course of serious debates. That kills the fun, you know?

Ohh wait, you have more problems it seems. I agree I haven’t seen Ms. Kaur’s entire video but what a work of generous gesture from you to take the pain and read out the autobiography of Ms. Kaur vis-a-vis her you-tube video in one single stanza. This is crisp and to the point. It is refreshing too. Kudos!! But how about revisiting it again? Here we go.
How many of those attacking her actually saw her video in full? Gurmehar was trying to make a bigger point about peace, because she lost her father, a soldier. Those attacking her called her out for one line: "Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him". But see the full video. She says "I was 2 years old when my father died...I remember how much I hated Pakistanis because they killed my father...When I was 6 years old, I tried to stab a lady in a burkha because for some strange reason, I thought she was responsible for my father's death...my mother held me back and made me understand that Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him."   
Well, for the earth-shattering question of yours in the first line, I have answered it I think. When you ask all to see the full video and then react, it kind of fills me with laughter of bizarre limit. Since when our Delhi based journalists have started going through every speech in entirety before concocting stories around it? ‘Puppies under the tyre’, ‘Rs 15 lakh in every account’, ‘Kabrasthan & Shamsan’ are few of the many such examples that our journalists, including you, have exploited no ends by excavating a line/phrase that suits the agenda. Or is it the liberty of cherry-picking that can only be enjoyed by our Delhi based journalists and that too when bashing the BJP? Why only BJP because each one of you suggest us to hear the complete statement of Rajiv Gandhi before cropping the ‘Big tree falls, earth shakes’ marvel but you never take time in denouncing BJP and Modi. Now this ‘Pakistan didn’t kill my father’ sounds so rubbish that I find it out of tune to even talk on it. She is not the only child whose father is a martyr, there are others. Have you ever cared to ask them of their opinion? Can you be so sure if Ms. Kaur’s ‘AAP infected’ view point hasn’t hurt the sentiments of other martyr kids? If she has hurt even a single soul, her opinion needs to be questioned with strongest of words. It can’t be a one-directional proselytization. 

And which 6 year old thinks of murdering another human being? When I was 6 the biggest dilemma with me was to formulate an excuse good enough to get that coveted 1 rupee coin from Dad for my next ‘Poppins’ bar. By the way, ‘Poppins’ was 80 Paisa at that time and rest 20 Paisa was for a small pack of tasty ‘Murukku’. Anyway, we are digressing. So, here the whole point is not what Ms. Kaur was feeling at the tender age of 6 after seeing a woman in a Burqua or a tent or whatever. It is her feelings and it hardly matters in the context of a mature debate. What actually matters is the line that appears grossly offending for many, including other martyrs and their kins. If you care to know the truth, I better should request you to talk to the father of Capt. Shaurav Kalia. Surprising even, you not only forcing others to tow the personal beliefs of an individual but also are bashing those who don’t agree to her opinion. This is not done. You can’t be another ‘Harbajan Singh’ who slaps ‘Sreesanth’ and then defends his slapping act in a ‘Mayanti Langer’ episode on Star Sports-1 five years later. Have you asked if ‘Sreesanth’ is buying it?

You have problems with Virender Shewag and Randeep Hooda too. No, I am not surprised at all nor am I questioning it. As it is, whoever supports BJP or any of its affiliates gets the same treatment from our Delhi based journalists so it is pretty much in line. But reading this paragraph again would be fun. So let’s do it.
The issue isn't about Virendra Sehwag or Hooda's freedom of expression. It is how they mocked this woman online, when she was already facing threats and abuse, only to send a new wave of trolls after her. They are well within their rights to disagree with her, and could have engaged with her directly. But they didn't even have the courage to tag her and have a civilised debate. People like Sehwag and Hooda have a huge following online, and with that comes a greater responsibility. 
Now, who mocked whom and where? Or am I missing something here? Anyway, a little ‘Gyaan’ on psychology for you Ms. Razdan. In fact our whole primary education system (or should I say education?) is based on this principle. If one is taught with pictures as supplement, the learning becomes far more easy and interesting. When Shewag put out that placard, he simply wanted to impart a very vital teaching on Ms. Kaur with an image for supplement. After all a young girl shouldn’t fall prey to the Hyenas of our dirty political world and she shouldn’t drift away from the truth. Was Shewag incorrect with his assessment? If Pakistanis didn’t kill Ms. Kaur’s father then Shewag didn’t score those triple tons. 

There was a hidden learning for Ms. Kaur in Shewag’s mock, if you are so desperate to call it mocking. And the learning is this – she is as far from truth as my Tennis coach was from Tennis. If she is perpetrating her own brain with all kind of falsehood for some reason then it is a different matter altogether but if not, then she requires all such mocking to get out of her hallucination. There can’t be anything other than hate with Pakistan and this feeling is mutual at both sides. More of, it is Pakistan that always have attacked us, not the other way round. When Ms. Kaur’s father was killed by the terrorists it wasn’t a war even. It is the Pakistanis ably supported by rogues like Umer Khalid that killed her father and she should be the first one to realize this. If she doesn’t, it is for her own good that someone pushes this truth deep within her. This ‘Love Pakistan, Love Pakistanis’ rhetoric has led us nowhere in last 70 years and would lead us nowhere in next 150 years either. By the way, in disguise of freedom of expression, people can push through their sinister plot of ‘Bharat tere Tukde Honge, Insallha’ but mocking is not acceptable. If FoE is absolute as you always suggest, then why so many ifs and buts be introduced? If the Azaadi gang can enjoy a call for destruction of India why not few chaps enjoy a bit of mocking? 
    
I am almost at the fag end of your post Nidhi but I am still struggling to figure out if the post is in support of Gurmehar Kaur or it is all about your whining against Mr. Kiran Rijiju. The poor minister of state makes guest appearance at many places in your post. At one point you even played out a skit of your interview with him in ‘Eastman Colour’. That was some 'Shakespearean' stuff. But in all of this the below stanza on Rijiju takes the cake. Lets read it all over again.
By the time Mr Rijiju tweeted, Gurmehar had already choked up on NDTV and talked about the rape threats she was getting. Instead of assuring her that she would be safe, Mr Rijiju, under whose charge the Delhi police comes, decided to attack her instead, deploying many more trolls to her timeline. Today he told NDTV he was not aware she was facing rape threats when he tweeted.    
Now here is a hypothetical scenario. Please don’t claim that I am issuing rape threats to you. It is just a metaphor, much like that ‘Puppy under the tyre’ type. Now suppose, you get rape threats, where would you approach first? Will you rush to NDTV studio to cry around or DCW chairman’s office to make it a political pawn or you would go to the nearest police station to lodge a complaint? I guess most, including you, would opt for the third option. That is judicious even. I am not sure about the compulsions of Ms. Kaur but she instead preferred the first two while completely giving a miss to the vital third option. May I know, what could be the reason provided that NDTV hasn’t started taking FIRs and issuing arrest warrants. It is the ABVP general secretary who filed a FIR on behalf of Ms. Kaur which in itself is an enigma to me. Had the ABVP chaps were involved in such deplorable threat calls they would have refrained from filing an FIR themselves. And who was finally caught issuing those very threats? A nugget from AISA, the very chaps who appear to be great friends of Ms. Kaur. 

And hey, these are facts, not fabricated outlays that we commonly associate with Delhi based journalists. Kiran Rijiju may have the Delhi Police reporting to him but he certainly doesn’t report to NDTV office for SoundBits. He can only have the knowhow of a rape threat when there is a FIR lodged. But Ms. Kaur never lodged one, for reasons best known to her. And yet, you expect the minister to visit the NDTV office every evening and procure the list of all rape threats issued on that day from your program manager. That would be slightly over doing the governance part, won’t you think? And please stop calling those who ask genuine counter questions as trolls. If you have the audacity to blabber incoherent ‘Bappi Lahari’ songs with absolute impunity and still hail it as facts and work of ‘intelligence’, don’t be judgmental in name calling of those who ask uncomfortable questions as counter. Either both could be wrong or right. It can’t be selective outrage if one wants to be realistic. Things don’t work that way.

And yes, Yogeshwar Dutta was furnishing a metaphor to show how Ms. Kaur could be wrong. I don’t see there is any kind of comparison. Rather he was trying to get the similarity, if at all, and if you ask me, I find lot of them in what Ms. Kaur said and what Yogi shared. You may not agree Nidhi and you are entitled to your hypocrisy but this could be a fact which you may not want to ignore by looking the other way. Facing the truth head-on is another ‘Feisty’ thing that both you and Ms. Kaur should aim at rather being cry babies in this tough men's world with all having that notorious 'Indian Men's Mentality'.

Grow Up!!  

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