I would not say Virendra Sehwag and Yogeshwar Dutt are illiterate. In don’t know who Randeep Hooda is, so cannot comment on his literacy levels. I would, however, say that Dutt and Sehwag clearly do not understand the nuances of the English language like Shashi Tharoor does. This does not make the two sporting icons unintelligent or inferior beings by any stretch, as the supremely learned Javed Akhtar has insinuated. Sehwag’s wit is often as natural and brilliant as his batting, that has made him a Twitter sensation.
The batsman turned social media Nawab has effectively monetised his virtual presence, which goes to show that he knows a bit about online money creation. Many loss-making e-commerce unicorns have failed to do the same over years. Indeed, had Gurmehar Kaur uploaded “Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him,” in America or UK, where English is the staple language, most would have understood the crux of what she wanted to convey. The bigger enemy is always war, irrespective of the countries involved.
Families suffer on both sides. There are of course exceptions such as Donald Trump found anywhere in the planet who propound preposterous thoughts such as all Muslims are terrorists unless it is proven otherwise to immigration.
While Gurmehar, an English literature student of LSR, a top college, is adept at the language, the dynamics between India and Pakistan is layered and complex, which is never easy to fully fathom. This again is no reflection about her intellectual ability as Indo-Pak is a difficult subject that analysts have studied over their lifetime, without finding solutions. For instance when we talk about Pakistan, do we see it from the prism of vast sections who want peace. Or do we look at it as a failed state, where the Army, the ISI and non-state elements control strategy, politics, foreign policy and plotted the Kargil war. Or do we see it as the residence of handsome cricketer Imran Khan whom Indian women cheered in the past.
In an ideal world, it would have behooved better if Gurmehar’s post was perceived as just semantics, deserving of sympathy and sensitivity, given the fact the young girl has grown up without a father, who died defending us against an enemy that played dirty. Unfortunately, we do not live in simple times, anymore. Sehwag’s swipe at Gurmehar was innocuous. In hindsight it was perhaps the wrong subject to pick. In cricketing parlance, it would have been best if he let the ball pass rather than provide free fodder for the right wing opportunists to take centre stage.
These are the chaps who like to proudly label themselves as Modi bhakts, gau rakshaks, upholders of our national esteem and anthem, protectors of our rich cultural moorings. Unlike our brave soldiers who face real bullets, these cowards wage a virtual war glued to their laptops or mobile phones. These finger happy cretins want to fool us into believing that they are saving India online. They love to pick on soft targets such as Gurmehar, who can be browbeaten, abused, forced to apologise and retreat.
The fact that Gurmehar is a young girl speaking her mind, angers the misogynists even more. In their vacuous world view all women need to be shown their place, often violently. It is a pattern that has been repeated in the past, whether to hector Bollywood, Sania Mirza or MF Hussain. Alarmingly, over the recent past, the bullies are becoming bolder as they believe that they have the establishment in the form of the BJP, RSS and the Modi government on their side.
This basically means the cops choose to look the other way. It is an unsavoury trend that needs to be checked. For a start, Tharoor, Sehwag and Akhtar should deploy their wit or felicity with the language, Hindi or English, to show the hyper nationalist their place, which is inside a gutter full of crap and sewerage.