NEW DELHI (Web Desk) – While celebrities like Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan have been severely criticised for their remarks over rising intolerance in the neighbouring country, people coming to India from other countries are also being subjected to discriminatory attitude, even on official level.
Aatish Taseer, writer-journalist and the son of late Pakistani politician Salmaan Taseer, has linked an unappetising encounter with the beef controversy in the Indian capital with unusual scrutiny of his passport by an immigration officer, to complain that there is an atmosphere of fear in the country.
“We ordered this beef dish we’ve had before at this restaurant. At first they said the quality of the buffalo meat wasn’t very good. And then they said that they had never served it in the restaurant before,” the 35-year-old writer said, clarifying that he meant buffalo meat..
Cow meat is banned in New Delhi.
The restaurant’s management, Mr Taseer alleged, finally admitted that they were not serving the dish anymore because of “political reasons.”
Mr Taseer told NDTV that incident and an immigration officer’s repetition of his name, all seemed to add up. “He kept looking at my passport and repeating Aatish Ali, Aatish Ali. This has never happened before.”
He said: “When you enforce an invisible force on people, where there is a rule book, and people can’t say certain words, can’t behave in certain ways, they have changed and they don’t realise that they have changed.”
“That is the reason why civil society and journalists have launched protests after recent incidents like the lynching of a man in Dadri near Delhi, over rumours that he had stored beef in his house.”
The British born writer also said India Prime Minister Narendra Modi must send a message to some leaders of his party, the BJP, who have made controversial comments like asking critics to “Go to Pakistan.”
“Why should I go to Pakistan? I would go to London or New York. And so would Shah Rukh and Aamir Khan,” he said about the two Bollywood mega stars recently caught in the “intolerance” debate.