My name is not Khan, I am Mr Kaul

My name is not Khan, I am Mr Kaul

Tarun Vijay, 22 December 2009, 08:55 AM IST

I am not Khan. My name bears a different set of four letters: K A U L. Kaul. As those who know Indian names would understand I happened to be born in a family which was called Hindu by others. Hence, we were sure, we would never get a friend like KJ to make a movie on our humiliations, and the contemptuous and forced exile from our homeland. It's not fashionable. It's fashionable to get a Khan as a friend and portray his agony and pains and sufferings when he is asked by a US private to take off his shoes and show his socks. Natural and quite justifiable that Khan must feel insulted and enraged. Enough Masala to make a movie.

But unfortunately I am a Kaul. I am not a Khan.

Hence when my sisters and mothers were raped and killed, when six-year-old Seema was witness to the brutal slaughtering of her brother, mother and father with a butcher's knife by a Khan, nobody ever came to make a movie on my agony, pain and anguish, and tears.

No KJ would make a movie on Kashmiri Hindus. Because we are not Khans.

We are Kauls.

When we look at our own selves as Kauls, we also see a macabre dance of leaders who people Parliament. Some of them were really concerned about us. They got the bungalows and acres of greenery and had their portraits were worshipped by the gullible devotees of patriotism.

They made reservations in schools and colleges for us. In many many other states. But never did they try that we go back to our homes. They have other priorities and 'love your jihadi neighborhood' programmes. They get flabbier and flabbier with the passing of each year, sit on sacks of sermons; issue instructions to live simply and follow moral principles delivered by ancestors and kept in documents treated with time-tested preservatives.

They could play with me because my name is Kaul. And not Mr Khan. I saw the trailer to this fabulous movie, which must do good business at the box office.

There was not even a hint that terror is bad and it is worse if it is perpetuated in the name of a religion that means Peace. Peace be upon all its followers and all other the creatures too.

So you make a movie on the humiliation of taking off shoes to a foreign police force which has decided not to allow another 9/11.

The humiliation of taking off the shoes and the urge to show that you are innocent is really too deep. But what about the humiliation of leaving your home and hearth and the world and the relatives and wife and mother and father? And being forced to live in shabby tents, at the mercy of nincompoop leaders encashing your misery and bribe-seeking babus? And seeing your daughters growing up too sudden and finding no place to hide your shame?
No KJ would ever come forward to make a movie, a telling, spine-chilling narration on the celluloid, of five-year-old Seema, who saw her parents and brother being slaughtered by a butcher's knife in Doda. Because her dad was not Mr Khan. He was one Mr Kaul.

Sorry, Mr Kaul and your entire ilk. I can't help you.

It's not fashionable to side with those who are Kauls. And Rainas. And Bhatts. Dismissively called KPs. KPs means Kashmiri Pandits. They are a bunch of communalists. They were the agents of one Mr Jagmohan who planned their exodus so that Khans can be blamed falsely. In fact, a movie can be made on how these KPs conspired their own exile to give a bad name to the loving and affectionate Khan brothers of the valley.

To voice the woes of Kauls is sinful. The right course to get counted in the lists of the Prime Minister's banquets and the President's parties is to announce from the roof top: hey, men and ladies, I am Mr Khan.

The biggest apartheid the state observes is to exclude those who cry for Kauls, wear the colours of Ayodhya, love the wisdom of the civilisational heritage, dare to assert as Hindus in a land which is known as Hindustan too and struggle to live with dignity as Kauls. They are out and exiled. You can see any list of honours and invites to summits and late-evening gala parties to toast a new brand. All that the Kauls are allowed is a space at Jantar Mantar: shout, weep and go back to your tents after a tiring demonstration.

Mr Kaul, you have got a wrong name.

A dozen KJs would fly to take you atop the glory - posts and gardens of sympathies if you accept to wear a Khan name and love a Sunita, Pranita, Komal or a Kamini. Well, here you have a sweetheart in Mandira. That goes well with the story.

And you pegged the movie plot on autism.

I wept. It was too much. I wept as a father of a son who needed a story as an Indian. Who cares for his autistic son, his relationship with the western world, his love affair with a young sweet something as a human, as someone whose heart goes beyond being a Hindu, a Muslim or a proselytizing Vatican-centric aggressive soul. Not the one who would declare in newspaper interviews: "I think I am an ambassador for Islam". Shah Rukh is Shah Rukh, not because he is an ambassador for Islam. If that was true, he could have found a room in Deoband. Fine enough. But he became a heartthrob and a famous star because he is a great actor. He owes everything he has to Indians and not just to Muslims. We love him not because he is some Mr Khan. We love him because he has portrayed the dreams, aspirations, pains, anguish and ups and downs of our daily life. As an Indian. As one of us.

If he wants to use our goodwill and love for strengthening his image as an ambassador for Islam, will we have to think to put up an ambassador for Hindus? That, at least to me, would be unacceptable because I trust everyone: a Khan or a Kaul or a Singh or a Victor. Who represents India represents us all too, including Hindus. My best ambassadorship would be an ambassadorship for the tricolour and not for anything else because I see my Ram and Dharma in that. I don't think even an Amitabh or a Hritik would ever think in terms Shah Rukh has chosen for himself. But shouldn't these big, tall, successful Indians who wear Hindu names make a movie on why Kauls were ousted? Why Godhra occurred in the first place? Why nobody, yes, not a single Muslim, comes forward to take up the cause of the exiled and killed and contemptuously marginalized Kauls whereas every Muslim complainant would have essentially a Hindu advocate to take on Hindus as fiercely as he can?

If you are Mr Khan and found dead on the railway tracks, the entire nation would be shaken. And he was also a Rizwan. May be just a coincidence that our Mr Khan in the movie is also a Rizwan.

Rizwan's death saw the police commissioner punished and cover stories written by missionary writers. But if you are a Sharma or a Kaul and happened to love an Ameena Yusuf in Srinagar, you would soon find your corpse inside the police thana and NONE, not even a small-time local paper would find it worthwhile to waste a column on you. No police constable would be asked to explain how a wrongly detained person was found dead in police custody?

Because the lover found dead inside a police thana was not Mr Khan. No KJ would ever come forward to make a movie on 'My name is Kaul. And I am terror-struck by Khans'.

Give me back my identity as an Indian, Mr Khan and I would have no problem even wearing your name and appreciating the tender love of an autistic son.

Source...I got it in my email an found it worth sharing with everybody.


Amrita said…
A hard hitting and i must say "controversial" forward. I have my thoughts and beliefs on the same, but prefer not venting them in a forum where i might not be active enough for the debates that might ensue :)
Jayashree said…
Thought provoking post.
Btw, you have to cook something from another blog in the microwave and then send it in for the event. Is the gajar halwa recipe from another blog?
The Bald Guy said…
Amazing. Truly heart wrenching. I know some Kashmiri Pandits who left the country and went any settled in the United States ages ago. They don't even want to come back. It's sad, really.
Madhu said…
Renu, This is the problem with with the movie; even though the intentions might have been right, the theme per-se didn't really touch me. Only because of the fact that it was entirely based on religious discrimination. I mean....just take any riots for example. You will always have bloodshed (and then discriminative bloodshed) where terrorism is involved. And we (Indian audience) love any kind of masala, especially a Violent masala involving religion.

Even if we go back in history, when Pearl Harbor was bombed, do you know that many many Japanese were massacred in North America? That is exactly what is happening even now....if a bomb blast happens, many civilians would also get affected. But the moment a minority religion is involved, it gains popularity. Because we are plain stupid!
Manjunath said…
More posts on names and surnames ;)
starry said…
Hi renu, Thanks for stopping by my blog,I am back after a long time and am feeling better.This was indeed a very thought provoking post.
Piper .. said…
as Amrita said, hard-hitting definitely! But over the last few months, I`ve been having a change of heart Renu. I`ll do a post on this.
Thanks a ton for sharing this with us. Also, I`m looking forward to reading a tag you`ve received - about a few qstns - whom do you want to thank, forgive etc etc. I forget who it was who tagged you, but I remember thinking that I want to read your post!! Looking fwd to it.
Renu said… waht Amrita..I would love to know what you think..I wantt he educated youth to come forward and say how they feel, because our generation was too diplomatic and forever hiding the truth.

Jayshree: No thats my recipe:(..ok then I will see what I can cook.

The Bald Guy:Yes I knew some kashmiris in Noida and know first hand how they have suffered and none bothers because neither it gets them power nor sympathy.

Madhu: Your last line says the truth..we are plain stupid.
We love melodrama and care only for our own our country a new definition of secularism and fairness is being written.and anybody speaking the truth is termed as disliking muslims or being communal.

MAnjunath:..It makes us think.

Starry: good to see you back, now start writing something.

Piper:...Mishy what this post wants to say I wrote to Madhu ..why we are called secular only if we favour one community and neglect others..secularism means..all equal..discrimination is not being brings only resentment.

I have so many tags pending that this recent tag by Amrita will take some time:)..I am taking one by one.
Sandhya said…
I too am dreaming to live in a peaceful place, Renu! Day by day intolerance is growing. Is the situation going to worsen? Feel scary.
My journey said…
Woow!! That is so touching. You said it very rightly.No one comes up when our dear ones are ill treated coz we are not Khan. The film industry is now all about glitz and glamor.
queserasera said…
its a gr8 post which i feel will make everyone think...i just feel that we have forgotten "Unity in the midst of diversity"...i mean we r just caught up on the diverisities....i sincerely hope that situation changes so that v get a better place to live...
SG said…
Very touching. Everyone is talking about the plight of Muslims during Pakistan. How about the thousands of Hindus who were raped and murdered? Nobody is speaking for them.
Renu said…
Sandhya: I am a very optimistic person and I always believe that good people always outnumber bad.

My journey: welcome here ! Nobody comes to resceue anyone..neither khans nor kauls..all this noise is always about earning money..whatever sells is made.

queserasera:In our quest to be secular, we have become communal..we care for certain communities only.

SG:..yes and nobody is interested in doing soemthing for our fellow countrymen even.
Shrutzz said…
These things make me only realise, I have been living safe, unaware of whats happening to those numbered ppl who are thrown to so much injustice...KHAN or KAUL, hopefully such nonsense reduces..

on a lighter note, i want to watch MY NAME IS KHAN!!!
Renu said…
Shrutzz:..many people dont come to know whats happening..its because media is selective..thats the reson I post these things.

You are also an SRK fan?
Deeba PAB said…
Breaks my heart to read the contents of your post. Life is so unfair, and even though I struggle to remain positive, there is so much despair! It just keeps getting worse and worse. Wish we could live together as human beings... just good and bad; have to be realistic. It's always a matter of one step forward and two backwards!
muthu said…

quite a read....

& yeah, I agree with you on a certain aspect of the issue,


The ruckus created when Khan was delayed due to security reasons --- I think was a bit blown out of proportion-- due to his own star status.....

& yeah though the movie had it's moments....

It was too much of a far fetched idea, to think that all who are discriminated will identify with khan in the movie...

I I believe, that U dont need a KJ to make a movie about real problems.

KJ is just a film maker who can sense the market drifts make good use of them, make films that make money 4 him.

See his Coffee with karan program. you can see he is a diplomat.

& so when he sees an instance where he can use the star status and the acting skills of khan to make some money, I dont really think he was trying to do something 4 discriminated khans... which is what the anguish of the author potrayed.

What is to be noticed here is that -- the way people bend for stars....

I understand that people in a lot of war torn areas like Kashmir, Lanka are undergoing more pain and problems than khan in the movie...

but do people really want to make a masala movie out of that and do they really need a KJ 4 tat..

think again....
Renu said…
Deepa Pab: welcome here Deepa and hope to see you more breaks my heart too..dont know when will we learn to be a good human being first.

Muthu: this post is just to make people think..think they have got selective in feelings towards people....we need to highlight injustice wherever it is..not only at selected places.
kirti said…
Thats the point Renu.We are so selectively secular.
MNIK clicks but Kashmiri Pandits don't. we even forget that they exist.
Barkha Dutt and her ilks sometimes are a royal pain who paint our vision by their sheer brilliance ,eloquence and lopsided sense of secularity and Right of expression (to offend).
Inferno said…
Talk to any Muslim, in any part of this world who is talking on behalf of his community - he will have a 'Victim Story'. About gross injustice being meted out to his people. Even Sangh parivar folks have this. And yes, Feminists too - Victimhood is the sole basis of their arguments.

Feminists and Fanatics have this attachment to their Victim Story and a strong compulsion to drag those Victim Arguments into everything.
Renu said…
Kirti:..selectively secular..yes that is it....our opinions are moulded by media be it newspaper or TV.

Inferno: welcome here....I used to consider myself feminist..not the bra burning type, but when I see today's girls, I find it an insult to be called feminist.

These victim stories dont take anyone anywhere.
Sorry, but I found the fwd utterly out of line. The person who supposedly wrote this email completely missed the message of the movie. The movie wasn't about religion, it wasn't about how good Khans are, the movie was just about the victimization of innocent people. In the movie, the innocent person was a Khan, and the background was 9/11. It could very well have been a Kaul with the background of Kashmir. The movie was just about not 'branding' people because of their surnames/religions.
Preeti said…
I am J& K ...and i must tell you Renu this is half truth ...i have friends who are both pandits and muslims from kashmir ...and both have suffered ...when terrorism started they never diffrentiate between the two ..infact when a bomb blast takes palce in a crowded palce who is to know the dying are hindus or muslims ...i dont say there havent been injustice but then associating kaul with khan is not right ...

because this issue is not about india and not just abt J&K ..this is abt global change of mindset ....and if we keep on discriminating we will force the ppl who are not yet in that mindset to be influenced by their fellow men ( as they call it ) to follow the wrong path closing our doors we are forcing them to follow other door ... its a very sensitive issue and should not be mixed with other issues...

i know many hindus who are anti-indian ..good for nothing goons ..and many muslims who will die for country !!! so all i say is dont close ur eyes and follow any thing blindly todays world we have to be vigilant and open our eyes for terrorist act at the same time calling everyone terrorist is inhuman and insensitive ...
Renu said…
Rebel:..I knew it:) may be right,but this is also right that people are more bothered about minority or show it may be because it sells.

Preeti: you are missing the point..its not that all muslims are terrorists or no hindu is a criminal..its not even a feasible idea...its abourt being selective in many things.

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