The real issue behind Khattar comments about Namaz

A minister grabbing the headlines with insensitive remarks on religion is not a new thing in our country. We all have seen it so often now that, for most of us, it doesn’t even comes as a surprise.

Such comments come out either as part of their pre-election tactics. The aim being cornering the mindshare of the public. Or they are just a result of half-formed cerebral capacities which make them say such things. Cribbing like a ten-year old about something they don’t like.

So the fact that Haryana Minister’s (Manohar Lal Khattar) face was all of my Facebook News Feed owing hardly came as a surprise to me.

He commented about banning reading of “Namaz” in public. That it should be restricted to within the boundaries of the mosques. And the fact that I didn’t even clicked on any news to read it further reveals the fact that I have seen enough of such news item to be fooled by them. I know the format by heart now.

A politician says something about a practice so dear to a religious community. The twitter community lashes out with comments like “How insensitive,” “How not right!” sort of comments. Angry Facebook comments fills up rows after rows of the screen. Supporters comes out. Fighting ensues. Abuses are hurled. And in no time the issue is morphed into something else before anyone knows it. Soon everyone is arguing based on their half-cooked notion about history depending on whether they are right wing or the left-wing. All this only to be forgotten unless something else comes out and the process is repeated again.

So now given this scenario the real issue should not even be “Why a leader said so?”

We are a country of over a billion people. And now Facebook and twitter has allowed the realm of celebrity-hood go beyond the Movie and Sports stars. Now anyone with a laptop and ability to write can reach millions of people. With so many people speaking someone is bound to say something which will irk at least one section of the society. And most of such comments border on utter bulshit with not even an iota of thought put into it.

Bullshitting doesn’t require brains or capacity to empathize

Nothing stays as it is, says the second law of thermodynamics. To keep something in a form requires effort, energy. If left unchecked, everything becomes more disordered, falls into disarray. And the same is true for “Celebrity-hood.”

Traditionally, the celebrity realm was occupied by “Sports Person,” and “Movie Stars.” And as long as they won matches or made good movies they maintained their celebrity-hood. The limited medium of TV & Theaters ensured that they focus on performing, only, for that was the only way to maintain their status.

Comes intenet and their offspring ,Facebook & Twitter, there came other ways to become famous. And opportunity for others to grab the field of celebrity-hood. For a person like Rakhi Sawant or KKR their work can speak only so much for them. But their tongue knows no limit. So they speak and speak, bullshit after another, becoming famous for being famous.

Politicians have learnt this trick now.

Speaking has always been their field, and need for celebrity-hood is embedded in the field of politics. So with internet in the hands of more hands than the number of toilets in India, they can’t miss the bus.

So their erratic comments is hardly surprising.

But what surprises me is our propensity to “not ignore” such issues. Start a conversation around them instead. Abuse each other. Fight each other. And in this process do exactly what the speaker of these words want us to become — a puppet in their hands.

And the same is happening with Manohar Lal Khattar’s comment on reading prayers.

In such cases we should not even question why someone said that. It is their understanding (or misunderstanding) of the situation. It is their limited capacity to understand the intricacy of the situation . It is not about Namaz or any other prayer.

In my opinion, it is just ust a logistical issue. As long as anything doesn’t messes with law and order it is alright. And this is true for everything — Namaj or Jagrata or Kanwadiya or anything else. (Kanwariya on the other hand does create issue to all irrespective of caste, class or religion.

So the only thing we can do as citizen is ignore such news pieces. Delete them from our Facebook feed, or better report them for being irrelevant. If we all do it, then the algorithms will start pushing back such content, stop spreading them around as gospel of truth. It is economics. Doesn’t matter how much we criticize such politicians (and such comments) in public, until we stop consuming such news-pieces in private. Stop reading them at all.


Originally published at Tidbits.