He is a PR padded celebrity with a controversial baggage, prominently as a top signatory to appeal made to US authorities to deny visa to incumbent Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, while he was Gujarat Chief Minister.
He made an “intolerant India” statement, purportedly a concern voiced by his wife, and has invited all manner of skeletons in his cupboard. Opinions and facts contradicting his (er, wife’s) opinion, his bonafides, have been comprehensive, voluminous and unsparing. Every issue and aspect raked up online could keep a dicussion panel hotly engaged for hours.
I intend keeping this rejoinder brief : the real issue is why did he raise the matter at all ? The earlier rounds, started with “award wapsi” and fellow celebrity Shahrukh Khan’s statement, had just died down. Why, why now ?
We know the consequence : it has kept people divided and freshly exercised, drawn public attention to the exclusion of every other more immediate common concerns like economy and development, and generally disrupt even the possibility of a meaningful dialogue between the federal govt and the Indian people. The last part is tenuous at the best of times in a politically charged up polity, such as India has always been through days of Kamraj Plan, Emergency, Mandal, BJP wins in 1998 and 2014.
And that is the real, primary issue.
Why would Amir Khan, and those before him, serve to engineer these disruptions that have been remarkably regular and frequent of late, with a media clique waiting to lap up, further and push ?
Again, we know the consequence : it keeps the attention of the whole nation diverted and deeply factionalised, away from areas that would make the nation strong and its people better served, in real terms.
The last qualifier is subtle but crucial : in real terms, for even these disruptive agents claim to further the national cause albeit ideologically.
Which brings me to my final analysis : why is ideology, make that plural please, more important than Jan Dhan movement, reducing Gas subsidy, agriculture inputs, floods in South, Bangladeshi infiltrators, GST, cases of corruption, action on black money, improvements in justice delivery, etc etc. There are 50 more issues more important for our people and our nation than ideological rubs between diverse groups within the country’s population.
The next query : Who ?
Who wants and is investing huge in keeping India weak, militarily and economically, and the people divided and distracted from empowering and building themselves up ?
That is for our intel agencies to find and act to neuter.