Friday, September 30, 2016

Lit AF (Adnan-Fawad)

One event can hold several ramifications and can even mean different things to different people. Similarly, one event can lead to another and so on but the reactions displayed during a given point of time may or may not lead to more reactions. That's how we are. And by we, i mean can't-reason-with Indians and born-for-denial Pakistanis—the lowest of lows on the face of this planet. 

Uri attack: An event that left 17 Indian soldiers dead and 19 injured while they were sleeping turned the tide towards Pakistani artists in the country. Interestingly, only one city and one industry seemed to matter: Mumbai and Bollywood. All of a sudden, popular opinion was demanding the departure of Fawad Khan. They couldn't think of anyone else but the Karachi-based actor; although, eventually, a blanket ban was proposed by the producers body IMPPA. The reasoning behind why Fawad was particularly targeted was as hollow as it can get after a terrorist attack. Logic becomes the last refuge in such scenarios. Some even called him a mediocre actor—which either means they haven't seen his films and can't accept the fact that the guy is a showstealer—and someone Bollywood can do without as if the Hindi film industry ever cared about talent as much as surname. It's a shame on so many fronts when artists are not able to travel freely but a bigger shame lies in the denial of what's really going on at the border. 

Surgical strikes: Less than two weeks later, Indian Army responded to the Uri attack by carrying out surgical strikes (lasting less than an hour in actuality and killing more than 50 terrorists) at LOC. If you are in the know, these two words are mostly associated with countries like Israel, not India. But then, times are changing and India isn't the nice ol' restrained duck anymore looking to score moral victory. Retaliation is back in fashion and this critical move was greeted with support from nooks and corners of the country. For a change, even the businessmen vocally supported the strikes despite the market crashing when the news broke out. Adnan Sami, a naturalized Indian singer of Afghan-Pakistani origin, too joined the bandwagon by tweeting in support of the Army. This didn't go too well with Pakistan Twitterati. Even though Adnan's tweet didn't mention Pakistan at all, it didn't matter. His anti-terrorism endorsement got (mis)construed as anti-Pakistan, especially because his father had served in Pakistan defence forces! What's most interesting is Adnan has continued to stick to his gun so far.

The contrast between the situations facing these two artists shows us that, at the end of the day, what really matters is where you wish to stand for your own benefit. Fawad could have easily avoided scorn (to some extent, at least) by condemning the cowardly terrorist attack in Uri but he chose not to. On the other hand, Adnan didn't have to trumpet his nationalism on social media but he simply chose to.

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