Sunday, August 17, 2008

Shabana Azmi on India, Kashmir, and Muslims

Shabana Azmi will be talking to Karan Thapar tonight IST on CNN-IBN [news post here, video promo here]

From what I read, she will be talking about how she is worried that the latest clashes in Kashmir are being communalized, and the govt is not doing enough to stop them. She also mentions how if they are not stopped, this could spread all across the country, and therefore speedy action must be taken.

Apparently, she also talked about how she and Javed Akhtar, and Saif Ali Khan could not buy houses in Mumbai because they are muslims.

Responding to suggestions of discrimination against the Muslim community, Azmi said with a tinge of bitterness: ‘I cannot get a house in Mumbai. I wanted to buy a flat in Mumbai and it wasn’t given to me because I was a Muslim and I read the same about Saif (Ali Khan).’

She also talked about how India is a very good place for Muslims, but at the same time, both muslims and non-muslims need to work towards fixing some very real-problems that they are facing.

The most interesting part of all this for me was the media coverage. Here is what google news showed me at the time [note the headlines]

Note that what is unfair to muslims ranges from "Indian democracy" to "Indian polity".

In my opinion, the best coverage of this is in the Sindh Today, a non-Indian newspaper, which chose to run a more content-based article, much longer in length that the other articles I saw. So far, even the comments are sane, unlike many I have seen on timesofindia and rediff etc.

No point pulling quotes from the article, but here is the summary. Also, I strongly recommend you to read the entire thing :). Go on, click it.

New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) Indian Muslims are in a ’safer place’ as they have a ’stake and space in Indian democracy’ as compared to Muslims in other parts of the world, feels noted Bollywood actor Shabana Azmi; but she is unhappy that there is still discrimination against the community.

P.S. Links to videos of the interview will be appreciated.
P.P.S. Also, as usual, comments most welcome. If this issue is truly as big as it sounds, then we all need to do some thinking.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. the issue of amarnath, as many others, is charged with emotions that are mostly out of place. political interests are offering incomplete truths or blatant lies to people, who either choose to join in and act, or are left to 'suffer' for eternity.simple emotional blackmail makes common people come to the roads.

    the original actions or issues are far separated from what is the ground reality and priority#1 today. And that is what makes it even more sad.

    I'd tend to agree to Shabana, a small minority from any community might be acting against the general interests of civil society, that does not give us the right to start abusing the community. Long disucssion, but an important point none-the-less.