Open the newspapers and you will find a common thread of divisive social discord (and its after-effects) running across many of the stories being reported. Reflective of the wave of intolerance that has not only gripped the Indian subcontinent, but the world as well, it seems as if everything is being divided on religious lines.
Now, if poor and unsuspecting animals can be divided and made religious symbols or champions of a cause — the cow for Hindus and the goat for Muslims, what would happen if flowers, and even vegetables were divided thus?
This is exactly the sentiment that actor and comedian Javed Jaffrey spoke about at a lecture in Bangalore. Invited to speak at Hussain Day in Bengaluru, Jaffrey spoke about how the biggest danger to India is this religious divide. Expounding on the topic, the actor quoted the following lines that are dripping in irony, because beyond the humour lies a very sad and ugly truth.
Nafraton ka asar dekho,
Janwaron ka batwara ho gaya,
Gaye Hindu ho gayee aur bakra Musalman ho gaya.
Ye ped ye patte ye shakhein bhi pareshan ho jayein,
Agar parinde bhi Hindu aur Musalman ho jayein.
Sukhe mewe bhi ye dekh kar pareshan ho gaye,
Na jaane kab nariyal Hindu aur khajoor Musalman ho gaye.
Jis tarah se dharm rangon ko bhi baant-te ja rahein hain,
ki hara musalman ka hai aur laal Hinduon ka rang hai,
Toh woh din bhi door nahin, jab saari-ki-saari hari sabziyan Musalmanon ki ho jayengi
Aur Hinduon ke hisse bas gajar aur tamatar hi aayenge
Ab samajh nahin aa raha is tarbooz kiske hisse jayega,
Yeh toh bechara upar se Musalman aur andar se Hindu reh jayega.
(Such are the effects of hatred, even animals have been divided,
the cow has become a Hindu, and the goat a Muslim.
Even the trees, the leaves and branches would lose all patience,
if the birds next were to be divided into Hindus and Muslims.
The sweets are all very confused,
knowing not when coconuts became Hindu and dates Muslim.
The way religion is dividing everything,
that green is now a colour of Muslims and red for Hindus,
Then even that day isn’t far off, when all the green vegetables would belong to the Muslims,
and Hindus would be left with carrots and tomatoes.
Now, here is a conundrum — what does the poor watermelon do?
It’s Muslim on the outside, but from inside a Hindu.)
A video excerpt of the speech Jaffrey gave at the annual convention organised by Janab Aga Sultan Sahab to recognize the sacrifice of Imam Hussain was uploaded on Youtube and other social platforms that has resonated with thousands.