Aman Ki Nirasha
N. Venkatesh and Ramananda Sengupta
In 2004, as the first renewed signs of terrorism started affecting France - the French reacted by putting the entire 40,000 strong Pakistani community under the scanner:
"France wary of its Pakistani community - PARIS, Aug 8 (AFP) - The Pakistani community in France and elsewhere in Europe is now, more than ever, being watched by intelligence services concerned about its role as a breeding ground for Islamic extremism that could give rise to attacks like those seen in London last month, French experts say. The daily Le Figaro said....the report by the DCRG intelligence agency also highlighted the need to closely observe France's 40,000-strong Pakistani community with a view to preventing an attack on French soil".
Please note that the French did not worry about fake distinctions between extremists and ordinary Pakistanis. The Americans recently did the same - they now mete out special pat-downs, luggage checks and security checks for Pakistanis (and visitors from 13 other countries).
Why did the French and Americans not make distinctions between ordinary Pakistanis and terrorists?
Perhaps, just perhaps, because these countries do not think that it is possible to make such a distinction.
On the other hand, we Indians, who have been constantly at the receiving end of deadly terrorism, sponsored and largely supported by Pakistani society and state - feel the need to flagellate ourselves with "we are the same onlee, they are just like us - only the right wingers cause problems," and other such forms of politically correct nonsense.
But is there any real asha for aman?
While we needlessly open up money-making opportunities for Pakistani businessmen, terrorists and artists in the misplaced hope of Aman - Pakistanis have been responding with gusto with what they do well:
First, let's take the Sohail Tanveer example - and the non-reaction to it, at least. As far as we know, neither has the Pakistan Cricket Board reacted to Sohail's vulgar display of bigotry - nor has their media reacted to this racially tinged journalism. But, first the story in the words of Tapan Joshi of the Ahmedabad Mirror:
"To give you an example, three highly reputed Pakistanis vented vitriolic religious hatred on air describing India post IPL snub. In a TV show hosted by a lady named Farah - Pakistan's highest paid anchor - the guests were paceman Sohail Tanvir and a journalist named Zahid Farooq Malik. Now, Tanvir became famous, and rich, only after his exploits for Rajasthan Royals in the first edition of the IPL. And here he was, saying on air, "Hinduon ki zahaniyat hi aisi hai (the Hindu nature is like that only)" while describing the IPL snub.
Image: Pakistani demonstrators burn an Indian flag during a demonstration in Multan, Pakistan. Picture copyright Associated Press. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.Don't miss Part I: Let's impose a terror tax on Pakistani cricketers