sab ko sanmatee de bhagwaan - god, give peace to everyone
So I was reading the news in the morning like I usually do and then one news item hit me.
Excuse me a moment while I go grab a veil to write in a mullah-acceptable-way from behind or rather from under a burqa. Ok, now I am back and of course I am looking like a bad imitation of a Halloween ghost and having a bit of trouble breathing from under this contraption, that makes me feel like suffocating and wishing I could have one of those punkah wallahs. But for more effect I just had to subject myself to this sacrifice to get in the mood to write about those clerics in Kashmir who have condemned a pop song. Shakes my head, whatever next?
Left! Forget for a moment (if you please) that the song is by two (yes, sorry about that, but anyway) Pakistani singers (even they do sing and get into trouble!). So just try to forget about all the other problems about Kashmir, Indian-Pakistani rivalry, the partition, decade long hate etc and try to focus on these mullahs for a few minutes (or at least as long as it takes you to read this post, if you can force yourself to finish it that is).
So what are these mullahs on about? What pissed them off? For crying out loud, it can’t be just the line in the song, kachi pencil. I mean why the heck would those mullahs object to the line saying that Allah has written the fate of man with a fragile pencil? Don’t they have anything better to do than banning a song? And have they wasted long years of theology studies to focus on semantics?
I mean hey, they didn’t mind the kashmiri militants hiding under purdah’s and veils, posing as women just to be able to get around (if they don’t suffocate first) without the observant eyes of the watchful jawans, seeing them for what they are, but they mind one simple adjective? And such a delicate one too (pun intended) “FRAGILE”.
Well fact remains that in the Quran, the word “written” appears 14 times (yes! You can take my word for that. I did a quick search, and then dropped on my knees to thank Allah for internet-search-machines that locate words in a jiffy without you having to go read the entire book with a notepad and pencil [pun intended] on the side to mark down the number of occurrences). Anyhow of those 14 times not once was any description or further account given about the process of writing itself, pen, pencil, ink, fragile, thick, red, black or blue. (and you can go check yourself)
I mean I am a mere insignificant picayunish mortal, not a theologian, and not just that but also 'only' a woman, and not a mullah or anything remotely resembling a black cloacked, bushy eyebrowed and wild bearded guy (nobody ever heard of a mullahesse or imamess have they?) but common sense and my mind (as warped as it is) tells me that this is absolutely pathetic and downright ridiculous. Allah gave us a mind and asked us to use it, but are these revered mullahs using theirs?
What happened to: “[36.82] when He intends anything, is only to say to it: be, so it is.” That doesn’t require a pencil now does it? Fragile or not as the case may be. So these esteemed mullahs, after long reflections, deliberations and considerations (well one can at least hope so can’t one?) have decided that this is blasphemy and sacrilege and therefore they have issued a nicely worded fatwa condemning the song and banning it. They even went as far as to appeal to the people to throw away the cassettes. (Anyone know where I can buy one?)
I suggest that they change jobs (grins very wickedly from under the temporary purdah). They should really consider going into promotion and marketing or advertising at least. After all that fuss and their hoo-ha and hullabaloo, the song has become even more popular than it already was. (Anyone watching it climbing the charts?)
Akram Rahi and Naseebo Lal (the two singers) should really consider hiring these mullahs for their publicity campaign and find a talented mullah able to froth and foam perfectly to head their sales team. The fatwa has catapulted the song way up to be all the rage! (Anyone remember Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses and that old fatwa?) See? See? Saw? The mullahs elsewhere (namely in Iran) have already tried their hands at marketing and just like Rushdie’s verses sold like hot cakes, the cassette is selling vigorously. Someone should really consider this suggestion about changing jobs! It’s much more lucrative than issuing fatwas, after all the sales guys get a percentage of sales, don’t they?
(peels herself out of that damned thing, shakes her auburn curls and takes a deep breath) Does anyone think that God/Allah really worries about what songs we listen to or whether or not we picture him/her sitting there with a pencil or pen?
I close this post with a bible quote Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Relevant news item to be found at BBC