There are occasions when ignorance is bliss but not always. It is considered ‘bad manners’ if someone laughs loudly at graveyards and funerals. People learn to maintain the decorum of place and occasions. I often write about political phenomena here, in this blog, mostly about things that are ridiculous. But sometimes things aren’t very exciting; sometimes things are boring. And sometimes the situations turn out to be so bizarre that word ridiculous seems to be euphemism.
It happened today when the two senior BJP leaders, in the height of their silly depth ‘WISHED HAPPINESS ‘on the occasion of Good Friday. It must be a great shocker for the Christian Community all over the world as it is the commemoration of Day of Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma expressed his ignorance in his tweet – May you be blessed with goodness and prosperity. Happy #GoodFriday,” and the party leader Shahnawaz Hussain, in his full wisdom tweeted “Warm Greetings on #GoodFriday to all of you!”
I wish you all blessings of #GoodFriday as a dedication to the sacrifice of Lord Jesus Christ and to remember his noble and pious thoughts
— Dr. Mahesh Sharma (@dr_maheshsharma) March 25, 2016
The Twitterati called for “classes” on how “not to wish.” Most of the tweets declared that wish were in “bad taste”.
But ‘what is exhilarating in bad taste is the aristocratic pleasure of giving offense.’….. Charles Baudelaire
I’m the one who won’t believe that it was an innocent mistake. This Minister of Culture is known for making offensive statements. Following are few of those:
- ‘Night out for girls was not part of Indian culture. “(It) may be all right elsewhere but it is not part of Indian culture,” the minister had told a television channel.
- “We will cleanse every area of public discourse that has been westernised and where Indian culture and civilization need to be restored — be it the history we read, our cultural heritage or our institutes that have been polluted over years.” Sharma said this during a meeting with leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the first week of September, when he pledged to launch a countrywide movement to rid the nation of “sanskritik pradushan (cultural pollution).”
- This statement was made in the backdrop of the centre’s decision to rename the Aurangzeb Road in Delhi after India’s former President Abdul Kalam who recently passed away. “I don’t think Aurangzeb was an ideal person. Only a source of inspiration can be inspirational. Aurangzeb Road has been named after such a great man who, ‘Despite being a Muslim’, was a nationalist and a humanist, A P J Abdul Kalam. The road has been named after him” the minister said.
- “Gita and Ramayana reflect India’s soul. But we also respect Quran and would include best thoughts from it. I respect Bible and Quran but they are not central to soul of India in the way as Gita and Ramayana are. As India’s cultural minister, I recommend that Ramayana and Gita should be part of our school curriculum and I am working extensively with HRD Minister Smriti Irani towards this.” Sharma had told ‘India Today’ in an interview.
- While talking about preserving India’s culture from ‘western modernization,’ the minister said “In our culture women of three generations cook food in the same kitchen… in Europe, a 16-year-old leaves home.” He had also added that “Culture defines a nation. The time has come to win back our culture from the negative influence of Western culture.”
What he said that time in his defense was a great embarrassment for NDA. “I am a soldier of the Modi government. I cannot go beyond the Prime Minister’s line of action. I only remark within my capacity and on those matters that are related to my ministries. From time to time, we receive directions from the party high command about commenting on political issues. I do not cross boundaries drawn by the high command.”
Coming back to the subject of his latest idiotic tweet, Sharma later corrected his faux pas and tweeted, “I wish you all blessings of #GoodFriday as a dedication to the sacrifice of Lord Jesus Christ and to remember his noble and pious thoughts.” Nawab Malik, a leader of Nationalist Congress Party and a former minister of Maharashtra responded to Hussain saying, “If you have not read the #Bible at least read the #Quran and you will know the meaning of #GoodFriday and Jesus.”
Author Rana Safvi said wishing people on Good Friday was akin to saying “Happy Aashoor (Moharrum)”. Yom-e-Ashoor is the Martyrdom Day of Imam Hussain (AS) – the grandson of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). “Before Good Friday and 10th Moharrum can we have classes on how people should (not) wish their friends,” Safvi tweeted.
The latest howler of Shahnawaz Hussain has just preceded his earlier remark – ““Bhagat Singh went to the gallows chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ while fighting for the country’s independence. Comparing Kanhaiya Kumar with Bhagat Singh is an insult to the freedom fighter and all the patriots. Shashi Tharoor should tell if Kanhaiya is Bhagat Singh, then what are Rahul and Sonia Gandhi?”
It is in the fitness of RSS / BJP Educational Informational Standards that its leaders are unaware of the status of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul. The readers are well conversant of Ostirich Dilemma – Sensing the danger it buries its head in the sand and thinks that danger is gone. My friend, a consumed birder, explained me about it. According to him, it is quite an embarrassing accusation for the ostrich. “Male ostriches dig a sizable hole – up to 6 to 8 feet wide and 2 to 3 feet deep, which is plenty big for their puny heads—in which to stow the eggs. During the incubation period, both mom and dad ostrich take turns rotating the eggs with their beaks, a task that requires them to submerge their heads into the nest, thereby creating the illusion that their heads are buried in the sand.”
I don’t know which political eggs are hatched at Shakahs but the comments of BJP’s responsible leaders about ‘Good Friday’ reflect that whatever the ideological turns are being taken at Nagpur, they’re not proving helpful to expel the willful ignorance that become the intrinsic part of lessons taught about religion, culture and even politics there.
By Naim Naquvi
Image Source: 123