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archive: Honours like nishan-e-pakistan are trivialities before love

Honours like nishan-e-pakistan are trivialities before love

Vikram Gokhale
Maharashtra Times
July 20, 1999

    Title: Honours like nishan-e-pakistan are trivialities before love 
    Author: Vikram Gokhale 
    Publication: Maharashtra Times 
    Date: July 20, 1999
    I am deliberately and purposely avoiding use of normal mode of
    addressing a letter in this communication. The reason is obvious. The
    respect for your art has given way to deep indignation. What you have
    been doing in respect of the honour of Nishan-E-Pakistan bestowed on
    you by the enemy nation during the last 15 days, is not only
    unfortunate but highly disturbing. Your behaviour in this regard is
    like a small child persisting in his obstinacy wilfully. Your
    explanation on TV in highflown Urdu following your visit to the
    President must have been beyond the comprehension of the millions of
    common Indians. There are, however, a few people like us who love your
    Urdu language. They rightly understood what you had to say. In your
    so-called explanation, the words "I and for my country" did not figure
    even once. You frequently said, "I did this for this country" and "I
    did that for this country". Now on behalf of the millions of people of
    this country, I am tempted to ask you a simple question. Tell me, what
    this country has not done for you during the last 50 years. Respected
    Sir, this country of 1000 million people has given so much love to you
    that compared to this great love, honours like 'Nishan-E-Pakistan' are
    just trivialities. 
    Much junior people in age, like Kapil Dev, Ajaya Jadeja, Sachin
    Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar appear so bigger than you that even
    comparisons become superfluous. My Muslim soldiers every one of them
    who is fighting for the country on the borders is superior to you.
    Even the Muslim children reading in Urdu Schools and thanking soldiers
    on the borders when occasion arises, displaying the heavy boards with
    the slogan "We hate Pakistan" are much bigger than you. 
    Indeed, had you given up that honour even before a political outfit
    like Shiv Sena advised you to do so, then you would have been a Super
    Hero of this country of 1000 million people. Your action would have
    been an eye-opener for the cessionist and divisive Muslims who in the
    recent history of Indo-Pakistani cricket matches have very often
    celebrated Pakistan's victory by bursting crackers. You would have
    permanently sewn up the mouths which in private or in public accuse
    you of being pro-Pakistani. You would have been a person to fortify
    confidence of people of my ilk who always declared in no uncertain
    terms that in the world of Indian Industry, the Film industry is the
    only industry which upholds true secularism. 
    However, you never thought it necessary to think over these points.
    Because, you deem the value of 'Nishan-e-Pakistan' higher than this.
    Is it indeed a fact that you think the value of this honour given by
    Pakistan is higher than the value of martyrdom of our soldiers in
    Kargil? Does the glory and stature of the soldiers who were maimed,
    mutilated, desecrated and killed by Pakistani militia is nil according
    to you. Does the grief of the parents whose youthful and middle-aged
    sons were killed in Kargil is the grief according to you is totally
    insignificant ? 
    The nation whose honour you are so lustily embracing and holding to
    your chest is an abjectly cruel nation which leaves the dead bodies of
    its soldiers and officers behind for the vultures to devour on the
    battlefield. I tell you for your information, Sir, that for the last
    50 years you have been living in this country which consigns the
    mortal remains of the dead bodies even of its enemies to the earth or
    the fire with appropriate military honours. 
    Unfortunately, with one or two exceptions, no ideal leader is seen in
    this country. Rest of all of them are parasites. Otherwise, there
    would not be political parties who in the first instance showed
    displeasure at your not returning the Nishan-e-Pakistan and then
    making a complete about-turn within a matter of few hours. 
    The worth of these political parties who have an eye on the Muslim
    votes in the ensuing elections is even inferior to your Pakistani
    honour. Of course, the people will show these parties their place in
    the forthcoming elections. 
    Sir, I want to tell you one thing. Please do not think that I do not
    the know rule that when in water, do not offend the fish. I am fully
    aware that your name carries a great weight in the Indian film
    industry and it is looked upon with awe. However, please note one
    thing, there are people who will care two hoots about this when the
    question of patriotism comes up. 
    I pity the people who want to speak out, but dare not do so. From
    their point of view, I am showing a lot of courage in writing this
    letter to you. But I feel it my duty to call a wrong a wrong whether
    it is done by my father or my Guru. 
    I agree that there should not be politics in the spheres of arts and
    sports. But it will not suffice that I alone agree with it. Every
    citizen in the country which has conferred that so called honour on
    you should also subscribe to this view. What we have seen however,
    during the last 50 years is exactly opposite. 
    Sir, I never believed that this country is Hindustan. Because, this
    country indeed does not belong to Hindus alone. It belongs to the
    Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Buddhists as well. Otherwise, a
    question will arise why Hindus alone should not asked to bear the
    burden of fighting on the frontiers. This country belongs to everybody
    who loves it irrespective his or her sect or religion. Anybody who
    works against the interests of this country irrespective of his or her
    sect or religion is an enemy of this country. 
    You say that you will spend the rest of your life in promoting harmony
    and understanding between India and Pakistan. What exactly are you
    going to do? During the last 50 years, India and India alone has tried
    to promote a spirit of harmony and understanding. Pakistan never did
    it. And only a couple of our leaders made efforts to promote harmony
    without compromising the national pride and self-respect. Others only
    sought to brighten up their personal image at international image and
    in the context of national image, they swam in the dirty waters. Which
    image are you going to brighten up?
    Before embarking on your efforts, kindly do meet our Jawans fighting
    in Kargil. Please try to raise their morale. Call on the families of
    martyrs to console them. Sincerely compliment the officers on the
    frontiers and try to bring to the right path the shameless people who
    eat the food of this country and day in and day-out speak and act in
    favour of Pakistan and at least now give up politics and get engaged
    in social work based on social problems. Our country is magnanimous
    and tolerant. It will forget your blunder in respect of
    'Nishan-e-Pakistan'. Please do not to show your love for the country
    only by giving cheques of fat amounts. Instead of it, please throw
    away the Pakistani honour and dedicate yourself to social work . And
    then you will see how this country showers love, respect and honour on

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