Thursday, 16 October 2014

Unwanted neighbours and visitors

The differences are stark. 
Democratic state, as opposed to a theocratic state.
One with unprecedented economic ascendancy, other with the exact opposite.
In our country syncretism is largely upheld and minority numbers are increasing if anything; on their side radicalism has entrenched itself firmly and people of other religion have been hounded, converted, persecuted or chased away.
Yet the said state and its militia-terrorist nexus expect red carpets to be laid out as they approach a disputed territory to incite divisions.  Like a recalcitrant brat, impervious to frequent clips around the ear, this epicentre of global terrorism always expects to be treated equally and even royally!  It expects the world to treat it “on par” with its neighbour.  Ever since we have managed to exorcise ourselves from our horrid conjoined twin, it has made numerous attempts to seek attention, cry foul, throw tantrums, and, if all else fails, to covertly decimate its older brother. 
Actually it is not surprising if you consider the above differences; envy was always going to make its presence felt, which then makes the brat do these things.  Truly, the predominant colour of that nation as been well chosen – green: the colour of envy.  The brat has to get what the older brother has just got, if not it is going to create a fuss.  If it is beyond the reach of its capability, such as sending space-crafts to moon and Mars, or economic prosperity driven by an able leader, it would make sure that it would at least spoil the party for the other – through ceasefire violations, as we have seen recently. 
But we do share an ambivalent relationship with this country.  On the one hand, tennis players unite to win doubles tournaments, and films stars and singers of that country are ‘palanquined’ into ours as though they are god’s best creations.  On the other hand, each time there is a border skirmish, a hilltop war, or a terrorist attack, we cry foul, pin blame on them immediately (often rightly), and deride these attacks in our cinema. 
When a tennis player married a cricketer from the other side, news reports showed men from the other side dancing ecstatically to drum beats, with some even suggesting that we should bow down to them as we, being the ladkiwale, should be subservient to the more superior ladkewale.  It was like suggesting that your ladki has chose our ladka over the millions of men in your country; there must be something superior about us!  Some even suggested that she should play for her sasural country henceforth!  Actually they were exposing their own entrenched patriarchal and anti-feminine cultural mindset by saying all this.  But what happened after all that chest-thumping?  The ladki, now the bahu of that country, continues to play for our country – in short skirts, and with male partners to boot – something which occasionally causes a religious leader to throw a fit. 
Coming back to our imported celebrities, how many of them have actually criticized their country for inciting violence through cross-border ceasefire, or through covert terrorist attacks? 

How many of them have openly condemned 26/11?

Did any of them say that the terrorists, their countryman, was wrong in carrying out those attacks?

How many acknowledge the wide gulf that exists between the socio-economic situations of the two countries.  How many are grateful to a country, its society and its people, who have accepted them after overlooking all of these?  Like free-loaders, they enjoy the fruits that come their way, and maintain aloofness whenever their parent country unleashes another of its brazen plans. 
 In a misguided sense of secularism and largesse, we tend to overlook all of these and go all out to please them.  We end up giving needless importance to a rogue nation that just needs to be left alone.  Even those people who raise a voice against this are silenced, and even boycotted.  A singer, who has ‘ole ole’d a lot in the past, doesn't seem to be getting any work these days; probably because he openly questioned the need for importing celebrities from that country. 
Forget the celebrities.  What about the ordinary people from that country, who come here with their passports and then chuck them to get lost among the multitudes?  The number of people who have overstayed their welcome, or who have totally disappeared once on this side of the border, is staggering.  Is it not possible that at least some of these have contacts with, or indeed, are themselves terrorists?  It’s Sarfarosh all over again.
Forget even the people of that country for a while.  These days our cities are attracting students and workers from all across the globe.  Most of them, if not all, seem to revel in their audacity, which is unleashed as soon as they see the soft nature of our people and the lax implementation of our law.  Recently there was a rampage by a group of students from a North African country – the kind of thing that we would never dream of doing when in a foreign country.  Should we put it down to cultural differences, religious differences, or something else?  This just goes to show that there needs to be some kind of a screening process before foreign elements are allowed into the country; thorough vigilance of their actions is necessary, which may involve something more than just registering at the local police station; if they resort to violence or crime of any sort, they need to be deported. 
As things stand now, we seem to be allowing far too many indiscriminately without any kind of background check.  Our leaders and law enforcers are slumbering as infiltrators disappear into the local population.  If this is not checked, we may soon end up with a very real problem – in addition to communal clashes, strikes, rapes and murders – that of the rogue foreign immigrant.  We need to learn from other countries’ examples.  The UK, which had allowed a very similar immigration to occur on a mass scale in the 1950s and ’60s, is now faced with a problem that it is unable to solve.  Most of the descendants of the immigrants of that time are now UK citizens, but their loyalties are split, and in some cases, are even anti-British.  It is worth noting that the London Tube bombers were the so-called ‘home grown’ terrorists – descendants of immigrants.  There are ghetto areas in many of UK’s cities, which are considered to ‘no-go’ areas that you would do well to avoid.

The point is this.  You are welcome to come to our country.  You are welcome to stay and make use of the facilities here – whether academic, economic, or other.  We believe in the principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – the whole world is one family; one humanity.  But once you are here, do not show off, do not act high and mighty, do not degrade our culture/religion/nationality, do not expect special favours, do not overstay your welcome, and certainly do not indulge in covert anti-state activities.  In the meantime authorities all over – law enforcers, policy makers, ministers, educationists, employers, film producers, music directors – please be more vigilant and keep an eye open for misdemeanour from your foreign recruits.  

If not it would have to be A Wednesday all over again!