Haasan to Nandy

Haasan to Nandy

While the BJP avoided criticising the ban on the screening of Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroopam in Tamil Nadu, fearing it would antagonise Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, a cover story in the Organiser does not hesitate to assert that "it is strange that the ban on the movie should come so quickly" by "giving in to fringe elements who don't number more than a few hundreds". While the story focuses on Jayalalithaa's justification, it laments that "when it comes to threats from fringe groups belonging to some minority communities the state prefers to take quick action for the fear of large-scale violence".

The prominently displayed report, in fact, stretches its argument against the banning of Vishwaroopam to highlight the protests against Ashis Nandy's comments about corruption and the inability of writer Salman Rushdie to travel to Kolkata to promote the movie based on Midnight's Children. All of this is part of a trend that "reaffirmed the fact that India as a nation is still to come to grips with the modern ways of thinking that is prevalent in most of the developed world".

The article does not, however, hesitate to punch holes in Haasan's outbursts and Nandy's arguments. It objects to Haasan's threat to do an M.F. Husain, pointing out that even "Salman Rushdie could come and stay in Mumbai..." As for Nandy, the article objects to his alleged contention that West Bengal has been the cleanest state in the last few decades because the Left had been ruling it. It claims that Nandy's argument is "farfetched" because it ignores the "unrelenting corrupt ways and means adopted by the Left government" and so his remarks should be "condemned". The article does not demand his prosecution under the SC/ ST act.

Fearing Kerry

John Kerry's appointment of US secretary of state appears to have got on the nerves of the Sangh Parivar. An editorial in the Organiser says that "Terror as a tool of American duplicity" has been exposed. While the American response to the decapitation of an Indian soldier by Pakistani forces and the denial of David Headley's extradition to India have been used to couch the arguments, it is Kerry's appointment that appears to be the provocation for the saffron camp's harsh reaction.

... contd.

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