I spent half the weekend ranting about that case to friends. Basically it was "A man is in jail for weeks for a joke he neither told nor was intending to tell and has been denied bail repeatedly by the judge, just because of his name. Kafka couldn't dream this up." On loop.
With an "of course, no one should be arrested for jokes but we crossed that line in India years ago."
The world call now stop citing Minority Report as the reference for arresting people for crimes before they happen. #MunawarFaruqui case is even more dystopian. He is ostensibly under arrest because the local police think he might tell "insulting" jokes and threaten public order
When there was nothing at all. Nothing. At. All. He didn't even plan to do what they claim he did. It's just that the name #MunawarFaruqui sounds to whatsapp sanghi like a Sarfarosh villain that those Indore BJP folks were like, nice easy target to get some love from Modiji.
I have gone from how can #SudhaBharadwaj still be in jail to how can #UmarKhalid still be in jail to how can #MunawarFaruqui still be in jail. Rhetorical questions of course. Fascists gonna fasc. But it amazes me how most people shrug off the abolition of habeas corpus in india.
There are new Solzhenitsyn's being created everyday in India by the BJP.
The extent of anti muslim bloodthirst among my desi circles reveals itself in the most unexpected contexts. Remember when David Schwimmer said a FRIENDS reboot should be all black and people were like, dude, FRIENDS was like an explicit NBC white version of #LivingSingle?
In a group chat where the topic came up, I was like, yeah, I've seen both shows and while not identical, you can clearly see that LS was earlier and the inspiration and looking back, holds up better. I laugh more at a #LivingSingle rerun than a FRIENDS rerun.
I dare you to even imagine the bizarrely specific taunt I got from ban anti muslim sanghi in that group after saying this. It was so unimaginable and proved that no one knows arcane islamic theology and facts more than sanghis. You can't.
This dude checked out an episode and said oh I get why you feel like you have to say it is better than friends. The main woman is named Khadija like the wife of Prophet Mohammad.

That a brahmin dude should even know that and consider it a factor shows their commitment to hate.
That's why I'm really looking forward to deleting whatsapp at the end of the month. Exhausted by these sanghis hijacking even something as casually benign as a sitcom comparison to "own the sickulars".
I joked back that Rachel is also a pretty big name biblically. Looking back,I should have called out his obsessive muslimphobia.

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More from @gauravsabnis

26 Jan
Our species will go extinct because we didn't understand or value the concept of a Republic (where public is above the rulers) as much as the concept of a Democracy (where elections choose rulers).

India is still a Democracy. I don't think it's a Republic anymore.
Being a functioning democracy does not ensure individual freedom or rights. Being a functioning republic at least aspires to.
A Republic says the public is the main thing and yes we have a government, but the government better not cross these these these these lines. You can't just arrest someone without explaining why. You can't just kill someone! Etc.

Does not sound like today's India.
Read 8 tweets
26 Jan
2021 has been a great year overall except that I had to quit a group of very lovely nice people because of one persistently abusive dude. That hurt. Literally, one guy ruined it for everyone else. Despite several gentle Shishupal type reminders that you're being a Shishupal.
Context. A few days ago, I tweeted about how IIM Lucknow alumni whatsapp groups are mostly run and dominated by bigots and sanghis. Obviously, it led to my batchmates closing ranks, acting ultra outraged etc. Typical of the geedad gang that hunts in packs.
Said dude, fellow puneri and fellow manhattan resident who claims to be liberal but seems to always be picking fights with feminists over "political correctness" and never actually arguing with right wingers.

He sends me this. From an anonymous account that goes by "deep state" Image
Read 7 tweets
26 Jan
So much #FactCheckBait being put out by IT Cell today and so many people biting.
What is #FactCheckBait? Fascists putting out tweets or messages with very obvious rebuttal properties. So non-fascists are distracted by rebutting or fact checking them. And the fascists get more name recognition. What have the top sanghi twitter accounts done other than provoke?
Why are so many sanghi bigot handles famous & well followed on Twitter despite having no notable quality other than getting called out by liberals? Cos that's all it takes. If they can fool liberals into QTing or even screenshot-ing them, they become heroes and then are like
Read 7 tweets
26 Jan
I've done this before and I'll keep doing it every time a #MunawarFaruqui type case happens. Because other than just being blatantly bigoted and fascist, it also seems bizarrely self-destructive. So here's a paraphrasing of one of Shakespeare's best. /1
He is a Muslim. Hath not a Muslim eyes? Hath not a Muslim hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Hindu is?
If we prick them, do they not bleed? If we tickle them, do they not laugh? If we poison them, do they not die? And if we wrong them, shall they not revenge? If they are like us in the rest, they will resemble us in that.
Read 4 tweets
25 Jan
He gets headlines. That's how Trump & Cruz went 1-2 in the 2016 GOP primaries despite being non factors in 2012. Get attention through easily demonstrable hypocrisy and easily debunkable lies. Name recognition is the biggest hurdle for a a politician with national ambitions.
It's the global right wing playbook. Social media and 24 hr news have made it more effective than ever before. It was easier to bash Trump's outright fascist bigotry than Scott Walker's old school conservative policies that gutted Wisconsin. Who even remembers Walker?
Even now, CNN etc are regularly having on random insurrectionist members of congress and the anchors grill them looking very indignant and then people indignantly make clips of it viral. Like Trump and birtherism. Win win for them. Lose lose for us and the country.
Read 7 tweets
25 Jan
Most elite Indians (primarily savarna white collar urban english medium educated folks like me) land on Western shores convinced that we are just as advanced and developed as these countries as a people. It's just "corruption" in India holding us back. Then reality hits. /1
We see that the West works better on a daily level, but not because of some mythical genetic or societal immunity to this mythical "corruption" villain. Cos there is corruption in Western politics too. They seem to have institutions and systems built over ages to minimize it.
But most Indians who reach these shores are engineer/mba/doctor types. Trained in secondary vocational type disciplines. So our default approach is to find a quick engineering type solution. We have almost zero exposure to sociology, psychology, economics, anthropology, etc.
Read 18 tweets

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