A mean act of a “writer”

Javed Akhtar is “very” angry that Salman Rushdie has emailed a very impolite, obscene and immodest message to Shabana Azmi. The Hindustan Times of 3 February, with reference to another English daily, reported that Javed Akhtar is very disappointed with the act of Rushdie and says that Rushdie has misunderstood the meaning of freedom of expression. According to the newspaper, the backdrop of this conflict is that at the Jaipur Literary Festival last year Javed Akhtar strongly defended the participation of Rushdie therein but at the same time he also made light criticism on his writings. Rushdie was pleased with his defence but got angry at his criticism and he expressed his anger by sending an obscene email to Shabana. He says that he wanted to send that email to Javed Akhtar but he sent it to Shabana as he had not the email id of Javed Akhtar. – This Javed Akhtar is a renowned poet and film scriptwriter and Rushdie, as the world knows, is a characterless “writer” and has emerged as the hero of the western world by writing a Satanic novel; many people including Javed Akhtar lend support to him in the name of “freedom of expression”. And Shabana Azmi is a famous personality of the cine world and wife of Javed Akhtar.

Their world is quite different
This entire episode is not deserving of any sincere comment, for it is related to professional litterateurs, poets and novelists, a majority of whom are wayward and wilful. Their very world is quite different and this world is not what meets the eyes. But, as these people go on causing chaos in the human society in the name of “freedom of expression”, sincere persons sometimes feel compelled to take notice of them, especially when their double-standard and double-dealing comes to the fore. In the given case, this is quite apparent; and it is about both the parties. Rushdie felt hurt with the criticism of Javed Akhtar on some of his writings and he went out of proportions. As he is a characterless and conscienceless person, he might not have realised that an entire community had felt mental hurt lakhs of time more than him with his Satanic novel. Javed Akhtar is an advocate of “freedom of expression”, and is to a great extent a conscientious and responsible person, so it is expected that he might have realised the mental hurt the Muslims had experienced with the writings of Rushdie as he has felt with the invective of Rushdie addressed to Shabana.

This is human psychology
And this is nothing new; this is human psychology. Many people get pleased at the time when a foolish person inflicts mental torture to others by throwing mud at the beliefs of others or hurling invectives against something dear to them. These people warmly welcome such a person. But when the same person or someone else (like him), does the same with them (or any one of them) they start crying and come out to claim his life. It is the same Rushdie who was very much pleased by dishonouring the sacred personalities of Islam but when once someone misbehaved with his “wife” Padma Lakshmi in an
American function, he was mad with anger and in the fit of anger proceeded towards that man in order to kill him. It is useless to say something to the characterless like Rushdie; however there must be some dialogue with Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi and others like them to discuss where the limits of freedom of speech come to an end, what are the criteria of modern western thought, and where will this society free from morals and character take humanity to. The most important question is that of justice and equilibrium. The persons from among those believing in the modern culture who care even a bit for these values, should guide the society.

10/02/13 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf

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