May 27, 2006

Lying high

In 1980, the US and many allies boycotted the Moscow Olympics, in protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. (Seems like ancient history, now).

Naturally, this meant that in 1984, the Soviet Union and its allies had to retaliate by boycotting the Los Angeles Olympics. Only, they didn't have a reason, like Afghanistan, that they could offer for their boycott. So in the months leading up to the Olympics, they made plenty of noise about the crime rate in LA, the smog in LA, the apparent lack of security in LA, that sort of thing.

There was some kind of demonstration, or maybe some violence by gangs, in LA not too long before the Olympics began. The Soviet bloc had not yet announced their boycott. Some Soviet functionary pounced on this incident and used it to pronounce that these things happened all the time in the USA, and therefore Soviet athletes would feel uneasy there.

And then he said something like: "Why doesn't the US simply ban these groups?"

American columnists immediately slammed him. One said, I remember, something like this: "This poor guy, all he can think of is banning stuff. That's all he knows. He just doesn't get what the US is about. In this country, we don't ban things!"

This is about all I remember of this incident. (If anyone remembers it in more detail, please let me know).

So why do I relate it now? Because of this report, titled "Aamir has been foolish." It talks about how the BJP is critical of Khan for his recent support for people who will be displaced by the dams on the Narmada.

Routine stuff. But it ends by quoting a BJP leader: "My advice is he should lie low and let the controversy blow over."

The poor guy. All he knows is "lying low" and letting "controversy blow over". He cannot understand that some people say things out of conviction, and they will not easily "lie low and let the controversy blow over."

From all I can tell, Aamir Khan is one such. May there be many more.


Postscript: The BJP has been asking Aamir Khan to "apologize" for his remarks on the Narmada and on the recent violence in Vadodara (see this item, for example.

Just what did Khan say about Vadodara and when? I have not seen it, and can't find any news about it now. Can someone give me a pointer?


Anonymous said...

I thought I would reply to your points about my post, but finally gave up after I read this piece by Albert?? Ahmed??? etc etc etc.
This is how a reasonable arguement should be made. ASk this man to first use appropriate language. One of the co-bloggers is a woman. I do not think I want to engage in pointless arguements after reading this.

Anonymous said...

well! Apparently Aamir Khan had slammed Narendra Modi for failing to control the recent violence in Vadodara. So says Rediff

Manish Saini said...

Check out the CNN IBN interview by Sardesai in which Aamir plainly denies making any remark for what happened in Vadodhara.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Nikhil, what is the connection to this post? Which "post" of yours are you referring to?

Nazim, thanks. That rediff piece mentions a report from BBC, which I eventually found here. This is what everyone is quoting. I don't see a mention of Modi, nor do I see anything even slightly objectionable in what Khan said about Vadodara:

Khan said in his interview that he was saddened over the recent religious violence in the state of Gujarat.

He said he was upset over the recent deaths of Muslims after police opened fire on protesters and criticised the state's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party for failing to control the violence.

"I think it's very sad and what happened in Gujarat a few years ago was also equally unfortunate," he said.

"It's a shame that the administration is not able to control the situation there.

"And it's resulting in the deaths of innocent people. It doesn't matter which religion these victims belong to."

"The bottom line is, they are all human beings. It seems to me that the law and order machinery or the administration is simply not capable of controlling the situation."