Guns N Roses

A restarted, and perhaps soon restopped, Delhi –  Lahore bus service could not do it.

The Samjhauta Express train service through the Wagah-Attari border crossing could not do it.

Shimla and Agra accords could not do it.

Handshakes at Davos and the UN could not do it.

Having a PM on one side and President on the other, born in territory on the “other” side, could not do it.

Yet, the unthinkable has happened. Catalysed by an unexpected event.

Extreme right-wing groups, that comprise most of the relevant population in each country, the ones supported by democratic governments, the ones who know what is good for everyone else and do not hesitate to intimidate others into agreeing with them, in antagonistic neighbours India and Pakistan, are now fighting for a common cause.

Can you believe it?

It is apparently a cause worth fighting for. After all, in a modern society, do you really have a cause, that will be supported by the democratic government of the day, if you do not intimidate others into agreeing with you, for their own good of course?

It passed this litmus test of worthiness.

No, it is not Kashmir that we are talking about.

Not even Baluchistan.

We are talking about Valentine’s Day celebrations.

The Islamabad (capital of Pakistan) High Court has banned Valentine’s Day celebrations at public places in Pakistan acting on a petition claiming it to be un-Islamic.

Apparently, it was important that it was banned because it was providing enjoyment for youngsters without throwing bombs or undertaking suicide missions while celebrating. Not even intimidating others into joining their celebrations.

It was important it was banned because businesses, without threatening or intimidating customers, were managing to sell everything from roses to cars to houses to salt to mobilephones to shoes to vegetables to floor tiles to butter to light-bulbs. This could only lead to greater economic activity and economic liberation. Who has it ever helped? 

It was important it was banned because in a modern society, often claiming to be democratic, only expressions of hate are to be allowed in public places, especially when backed by tactics of intimidation.

It was important it was banned because youngsters were spending their own time and money on the celebrations and letting others live. Who in a sane, modern society can call this a celebration? Especially if you are a leader of some sort who knows one can celebrate only when one gets to spend other people’s money.

Though initially stumped by the verdict as it took away the primary reason for their existence, of Pakistan-bashing, groups on the Indian side of the fence have displayed their maturity by applauding the decision and calling upon the Indian government to consider meritorious judges of the Pakistan High Courts for the many positions lying vacant in the Indian High Courts. As the request was backed by violent demonstrations and looting and arson, the government has agreed to consider the request sympathetically.

In deference to the secular nature of Indian society, these groups have refrained from calling Valentine’s Day celebrations un-Islamic or un-Hindu, plumping for a secular un-Indian instead. They have also identified it as an insidious western ploy to capture the minds and hearts of our responsible, intelligent, sensitive youngsters. Our responsible, sensitive and intelligent youngsters do not know what is good for them, one of the main reasons we allow them voting rights. We do. We will not let western culture corrupt our youngsters, debase our religions and denigrate our culture.

We know how. As do our political leaders.

We will shamelessly pander to rich companies in the West. We will change rules to make it possible for them to come and invest in our country and create opportunities for them to bribe decision-makers. We will raise a hue and cry when a western society seeks to reduce the number of Indian job-seekers and immigrants. So that our youngsters can get more jobs in western companies and promote Indian culture.

We will continue, year after year, to go to Davos and other destinations outside India that claim to be solving the world’s problems, on taxpayer money, to be clicked with the rich and famous and get our children admitted to Ivy League colleges. We will continue to send large delegations to western countries, especially in their pleasant summer months when it gets very hot in India, to learn about things that we will never implement here. 

We will not let our youngsters be corrupted by western influence.

We wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.

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28 thoughts on “Guns N Roses

  1. Since here in the US, Valentine’s day is the day when you have to fight other people for the last tatteted bouquet or a box of chocolates, wait for hours in a crowded overpriced restaurant, hunt for perfect but still disappointing present, or, if you’re single, feel your loneliness even more acutely, I think we should applaud the decisions of the Pakistani and Indian courts.

    • Now it all makes sense. Since nobody in Pakistan and India abide by decisions of the courts, there had to be a good reason for them to continue to deliver verdicts. These verdicts are well received in lands where these courts don’t have jurisdiction. 🙂

  2. Dear Ankur,
    I agree:
    How dare the West try to subvert all that is good and time tested and resilient in the East.
    How dare they stop Easterners from beating up their wives – yes, wives (wink!)
    How dare they try to get our women away from the kitchen and most importantly our bed chambers – because kitchens are better manned by maids who provide us men with dessert (wink-wink) – and send them out to work.
    Valentine’s Day is a conspiracy, I tell you! Most definitely!
    We must ban everything from the West – except MacDonald’s.

  3. Heard about this and was honestly surprised that certain groups from both countries are actually agreeing on the same thing. So much hype. Bans, strikes, protests, and whatnot. Seems like we can never have enough of them! Do they really think a ban can help? How about inculcating the values you wish to impart by starting at a smaller level – home, maybe?

  4. it was important that it was banned because it was providing enjoyment for youngsters without throwing bombs or undertaking suicide missions

    I often wonder, esp in Islamic world, if families do things like go to the movies, the sports game, have a pizza or just be happy as a family.

      • Difficult question. In my view, whether you are the intimidator or intimidatee, as long as you are a human being, feelings of love, laughter, etc. are bound to exist, though it may not be possible to express them in ways which some others might consider normal. And, a hamburger could well cost someone his life. The burger is the excuse. It could be a coke, or ice cream, or sneakers. It is about intimidation and establishment of power.

  5. I seem to be the only person on this thread who hadn’t heard of the story until reading your post. I rushed off to check a news article about it. If anybody ever asked me (which they won’t), I would oppose a ban Valentine’s Day. I’d limit myself to banning Hershey’s chocolate since I can’t stand the stuff.

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