STATECRAFT BY HAPPYMON JACOB
Whether or not alcohol and cinema should be allowed in
However, let me begin by saying that it does not take a great deal of intelligence to understand that Farooq Abdullah is clearly engaging in a customized version of ‘diversionary war tactic’ to divert the undue attention from his party’s failure at removing AFSPA from J&K in spite of being a partner of the ruling coalition in New Delhi. Moreover, liquor and cinema are not the burning problems of today’s Kashmir; there are surely other more pressing issues to be dealt with in
And yet, I maintain that those opposing the ‘re-introduction’ of films and alcohol into the
Why opponents of cinema and alcohol are wrong
Some critics of the proposed re-introduction of films and liquor in Kashmir have suggested that it is a ploy of the government to push the normalcy argument about Kashmir, i.e., that popular forms of entertainment and free availability of commodities such as liquor will help create an image of Kashmir as a normal place which, consequently, will encourage the government to forget about the political resolution of the Kashmir conflict. This is a flawed argument. Consider this. After the 2008 elections, in which Kashmiris voted in large numbers, many in Srinagar and New Delhi tired to paint a picture of normalcy but the massive uprisings in Kashmir thereafter rendered such arguments about election-induced normalcy in Kashmir completely wrong. This means that trappings of externally-induced normalcy are unlikely to work in
When Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Hurriyat Conference (G) and Jamaat-e-Islami toe a particular political line, there is every reason to be suspicious. Look at the core argument that they seem to be making: “
More so, indeed paradoxically, the Hindu communalists and upholders of the Islamic state in
More importantly, it is necessary to remember that
When the sale of alcohol was allowed in
Moreover, in a liberal society it is impossible and undesirable to decide choices for everyone by using religious arguments or even secular arguments. All that we should do is to educate our children and instill good values in them rather than trying to make choices for them all their lives.
Finally, is it not a ridiculous argument that films represent and promote vulgarity? Some might, but most of them do not. Did 'Inshallah, football' represent vulgarity? Does interaction among sexes promote social degradation? Does the use of facebook/twitter/orkut and internet in general negatively influence people and promote vulgarity in society? They may, or may not. And at the end of the day how a medium is used, for vulgar or decent purposes, depends upon the attitudes of the person.