Who Needs the Taliban?


It is the year 2020 and the Taliban having accomplished its dream of ‘invading’ India, has decided to ‘cleanse’ the country of all social ills. So, the Taliban chief (TC) calls his ‘Moral Brigade’ Chief (MBC) and the transcription of their meeting goes something like this:

TC: MBC, it is time to check the waywardness of the people and implement the Taliban way of life in India.

MBC: Sir, the ‘Moral Brigade’ is ready.

TC: Good! Let us first take the issue of crimes against women. Since we men can do no wrong unless tempted, I feel that we issue a ‘fatwa’ ordering the women not to ‘provoke’ men and thus ‘force’ them to indulge in immorality.

MBC: That’s right, but I suggest that since we have always been accused by the international community of arbitrarily enforcing our ‘code of conduct’ and are new to this country, we get a civil society member to guide us. Of course, the final decision will be ours!

(TC agrees and a distinguished civil society member (CSM) is promptly produced before them. After being untied and his blindfold removed, the rattled CSM is put at ease by the MBC who informs him that there is nothing to worry, as this is the normal way the Taliban calls for people they need).

MBC: Our TC wants to rid your abominable society of all its social ills, (he tells the CSM) and we want your help. Be free to talk but remember, we consider any argument based on logic, justice or humanity sacrilegious. Now, let’s get to the point. We first want to address the issue of rape. I think that women should be banned from wearing revealing dresses and we want to issue a ‘fatwa’ on the same.

CSM: Sir, please don’t mind, but this ‘fatwa’ is already in force. Issued by T Tiagarajan, the Puducherry Education Minister, it makes it compulsory for all girls to wear overcoats so that ‘men won’t be driven mad with lust’. Though this ‘fatwa’ has many variations, but in essence, all are the same. For example, in Rajasthan, the ‘fatwa’ of Banwari Lal Singhal, a MLA of the BJP is in force by which skirts have been replaced by trousers or salwar-kameez “to keep girl students away from men’s lustful gazes.”

TC: This is interesting. (Turning to MBC) No ‘fatwa’ on dress code is required. But let’s examine other aggravating factors which provoke us God fearing males to commit rape.

MBC: Sir, after our extensive research in Afghanistan and Pakistan, I have compiled a list. The first reason for decline in moral values is co-education. We could issue a ‘fatwa’ banning co-education. Yes Mister CSM, what do you say?

CSM: Sir, I’m sorry but this ‘fatwa’ are already existing. The Hurriyat (G) chairman SAS Geelani’s ‘fatwa’ banning co-education is explicit and based on a very scientific observation that “Young boys and girls are kept together in co-education system and are shoulder to shoulder with each other. You are keeping fire and hay together and no one can save the hay from burning.” Abu Asim Azmi, State President of the Maharashtra Samajwadi Party too has echoed Geelani’s keen observation by stating, “If you keep petrol and fire then it will burn”. This ‘fatwa’ also has the support of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind chief Moulana Jalaluddin Umri, who is also convinced that “the problem (crimes against women) starts with co-education.”

TC: OK, since this co-education problem has already been more than taken care of, let us see other related issues.

MBC: Next we have the use of mobile phones by women which is causing social degeneration. Yes CSM, I’m sure we can issue a ‘fatwa’ banning cell phones.

CSM: Sir, I’m afraid not. You see the ‘fatwa’ banning women from using cell phones has already been issued. The brainchild of the venerable Hurriyat (G) chairman SAS Geelani, this ‘fatwa’ states that all mobile phones in Kashmir are required to be “thrown into the Jheelum River.” But this ‘fatwa’ is not restricted to Kashmir alone. Elsewhere in India, we have similar ‘fatwas’. For example in Uttar Pradesh we  have the BSP member of parliament Rajpal Saini’s ‘fatwa’ based on his deep insight and meticulous analysis that “Why do housewives and school going girls need mobiles? It encourages them to make futile small talk and get connected with people outside their homes.” In Rajasthan too, we have The Anjuman Muslim Panchayat’s ‘fatwa’ that girls should not use mobile phones outside their own homes so that “they do not get involved with boys.”

TC: It looks like the Indians have already beaten us at our own game and we will look like fools for coming all the way to India for cleansing the society of its present ills and then not even issuing a single ‘fatwa’. This cannot be allowed; so MBC, you’d better think of something!

MBC: Sir, I think we can invoke a ‘fatwa’ banning women from taking up jobs and working outside. Any problems CSM?

CSM: Sir, we already have the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s ‘fatwa’ on this by which no women can work since, “A husband and wife are involved in a contract under which the husband has said that you should take care of my house and I will take care of all your needs.”

TC: I find that the Indians have not left us with anything we can issue a ‘fatwa’ against. MBC, our reputation as the dreaded Taliban is at stake if we fail to pass some ‘fatwa’ while on Indian soil. So, can’t you think of something?

MBC: Sir, I got it- we could pass a ‘fatwa’ banning the eating certain kinds of food. Surely, the Indians would not have thought of something as absurd as this. Am I right CSM?

CSM: No Sir, I’am afraid that a ‘fatwa’ to this effect already exists and is named after its originator, the Haryana Khap Panchayat leader Jitender Chhatar, as a mark of respect for his profound knowledge of how dietary habits influence the human mind.   This ‘fatwa’ states that, “consumption of fast food contributes to such incidents (Rapes). Chowmein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts.”

TC: Then we must issue a ‘fatwa’ against sex education. If people are kept ignorant about sex, they will obviously not know that a phenomenon like rape even exists.

CSM: Sir, thanks to the revelation of the enlightened Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh that “Countries with sex education in their curriculum only have an increased number of crimes against women,” a ‘fatwa’ banning sex education is already in vogue. 

TC: Can we find a way out by issuing a ‘fatwa’ that uses emotional or religious sentiments to prevent rape?

CSM: Sir, I’m afraid not. The great God man Asaram Bapu has already done that. His ‘fatwa’ invoked after the Delhi bus rape case of 2012 requires all women about to be gang raped to first take God’s name, then hold the hand of one of the assailants and plead ‘I consider you as my brother’, and thereafter say to the others ‘Brother I am helpless, you are all (by faith and conscience) my brothers.’ The Madhya Pradesh BJP leader Vijayvargiya ‘fatwa’ warns women to stay within limits and drawing inspiration from the Ramayana states, “Only when Sitaji crossed the ‘Lakshman rekha’, she was kidnapped by Ravan. If Sitaji (woman) crosses the Lakshman rekha, then “Sitaharan” (crime against women) is bound to take place as Ravans (villains) are out there.” 

TC: Now this is irritating. So before we decide on which ‘fatwa’ to pass, tell me if there are any more ‘fatwas’ regarding rape in India?

CSM: Yes Sir. We have many ‘fatwas’ and some of these are:

* The ‘Disqualification Fatwa’ conjured by Goa Rajya Sabha Congress MP Shantaram Naik, which that states that a rape case should be treated differently if the victim was known to be moving with strangers beyond midnight. 

* The ‘Age Factor Fatwa’ enunciated by BJP MP Ramesh Bais which states that “The rape of grown-up girls and women might be understandable, but if someone does this to an infant, it is a heinous crime and the offenders should be hanged.” 

* The ‘Time, Place and Appearance  Fatwa’ of Lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma which is based on his perceptive observation that “Until today I have not seen a single incident or example of rape with a respected lady” and states that a man and woman should not travel back late in the evening and not make their journey in public transport. 

The ‘Submission Fatwa’ propagated by a scientist Dr. Anita Shukla, states that “when a group of men intend to rape, they will do it. The victim should save herself for bringing the perpetrators to book.” Recommending total submission, this highly educated and wise woman supports her hypothesis by saying that “Had the girl (Delhi bus gang rape victim) simply surrendered when surrounded by six men, she would not have lost her intestine.” 

The ‘Prophylactic Fatwa’ issued by veteran politician Om Prakash Chautala which stipulates that, “Girls should marry early to prevent rising number of rapes.”  

The ‘Attire and Activity Fatwa’ issued by Maharashtra Samajwadi Party President Abu Asim Azmi, that there should be a law that women should not wear less clothes and roam around with boys who are not their relatives. 

The ‘Celestial Fatwa’ of Chhattisgarh Home Minister Nanki Ram Kanwar which states, “Harm (in the form of rape) can come on a person if the stars are in adverse positions … We have no answer to this, only an astrologer can predict.” 

The ‘Nomenclature Fatwa’ issued by the RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat which stipulates that rapes can only occur in India and not in ‘Bharat’, proving that Shakespeare was absolutely wrong when he said, “What’s there in a name?”

TC: MBC, I think we made a wrong choice by coming to India since they already seem to have a more virulent strain of Taliban here (and I’m sure that the people who call us crazy haven’t visited India). And this is giving our men an inferiority complex, so we’d better leave immediately. So, please issue a ‘fatwa’ right away- no, not for the Indians, they already are overburdened by them, but for our own men and women folk that anyone found eating chowmein will be summarily executed!  

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