Be Fearless + Be Bigotted
Director: Shaina Anand
Duration: 00:18:19; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 108.478; Saturation: 0.021; Lightness: 0.356; Volume: 0.383; Cuts per Minute: 0.218; Words per Minute: 145.813
Summary: Footage from Tellavision Mumbai, Rahul a young social activist from Nirbhay Bano Andolan (Be fearless Movement) speaks fearlessly about the events that occurred in the aftermath of 9/11, specifically America's war on terrorism and what are it's socio political and economic implications for Indians and the rest of the world. The interview takes place opposite VT station , in front of Jhunka Bakar Trust. Following in order of the raw footage is an interview, what could be called VOX POP, or popular voice by mainstream media. Retaliation is justified. If Taliban kills, innocents (Afghanis must die!)
RA: This issue about America...
SA: Could you be a little louder please, because I didn't get the mike.
RA: Should I start talking about America first.
SA: Just whatever thoughts
that come to your mind about it.
Shaina questions Rahul from the Nirbhaya Bano Aandolan
(Become Fearless Movement) about his views on America's war on Afghanistan.
Opposite VT Station,Mumbai
Nirbhay Bano Andolan
Opposite VT Station,Mumbai
become fearless movement
RA: What America is doing right now is not right, the war that they have waged against Afghanistan...the bombings are not right.They have such extensive support from various lobbies , they could have pressurized the Taliban in a non violent way. Because the poor people, the common people are dying in this conflict.
This war is not effecting George Bush or Osama Bin Laden, it is effecting the poor and the innocent.
Rahul doesn't agree with the America's use of violence against the Taliban because of the civilian casualties it's causing.
He continues by saying that America's actions are aggravating the sufferings of the already oppressed Afghanis.
RA: The Afghani people have been deprived of the basic necessities of life for a long time now. They've already been deprived of the human rights that all of us are entitled to .These bombings are simply adding to the sufferings of an already long suffering people.
Opposite VT Station,Mumbai
He says that violent measures will serve no purpose.
RA: As it is they have been deprived of many things the bombings are going to worsen the situation there . It is meaningless to try and solve the situation by bombing them...Russia also tried doing that for 10 years, what did they get out of it? Mountains and sand. I don't think America is going to get anything out of this.
He says that America could have resolved the situation peacefully.
RA: What the Taliban did was definitely wrong, but that doesn't mean we employ
the same means to get back at them. We could have resolved the situation peacefully with the support of the world.
We could have taken non violent measures
to resolve it, I think we would have been successful at it too.
He talks about how the war on Afghanistan is affecting India .
RA: Now this is impacting India too. We gave them our air base. I don't think they even asked for it. I think we volunteered quite willingly to give them the air base and
five hundred crore rupees(aid package to Afghanistan). People in our country don't have anything to eat and we are offering financial aid to others. I don't
see the need to offer these things when they haven't even been requested.
He says that the Indian Political leaders have blindly supported America in this venture.
RA: It has been an old policy of ours to welcome the whites..what's the word for it... talwe chatna
( lick the soles of their feet). It is an old habit and is still being followed. I don't feel like we've been freed from British Rule. We used to talwe chatna
British and now we do the same for the American government.
This is what our Prime Minister and Defence Minister doing .
He says that our involvement with this issue has drawn our focus away from important domestic issues.
RA: This has had a very bad impact on the
common people today. Everyone is concerned about what is happening in America and Afghanistan, but the concerns of the poor in our own country have been forgotten. The issues of employment, of people being able to make a living have been overlooked. The whole world seems to be obsessed with violence.. violence.. violence.. terrorism. So many new acts have been made to counter it. The American policy has always been to oppress poor countries.
He is skeptical about the introduction of POTA and cites the example of TADA. (the act was the first legislative effort by the Union government to define and counter terrorist activities. It was formulated in the back drop of growing terrorist violence in Punjab which had its violent effects in other parts of the country too, including capital New Delhi. The Act, which was criticized on various counts by human rights organisations and political parties was permitted to lapse in May 1995 )
RA: They've always had things their way, they wanted stricter rules against terrorism in all countries, so our country came up with POTA(Prevention of Terrorism Act).
TADA(Terrorist And Disrupted Activities Act ) has already failed in India and now we've come up with something new. This is not going to help the common man. They will entrap the common man with these new acts.
He says that the pervasive atmosphere of terror has been generated by America as a cover. They are using it as an excuse to wage war, but their motivations are monetary .He calls America an Arms Trader and alleges that it creates wars to sell weapons.
RA: They wanted to come up with some new regulations for the media also, we will see what will happen. The capitalist countries have created an atmosphere of terror. America is just an arms trader, they create wars to sell their weapons. It is a strategy they follow, create wars and sell weapons.
He points out that war is not the solution to terrorism and that the world needs to analyze what the long term repercussions of this war could be.
RA: You can see that there are peace protests all over the world. People don't want war. This anti-terrorism war that's going on is not going to produce any results. People the world over will have to come up with a way... they need to analyze the long term effects of the action that's been taken.
He says that the problem of terrorism has been a long standing one but now that America has been affected by it the whole world is taking notice of it.
RA: Many people in India are dying everyday due to the current situation , is that not terrorism. When America was faced with the same problem they recognized it as terrorism. What has been happening to others for so long is not terrorism. Our people are dying in Kashmir everyday, is that not terrorism? There are different kinds of terrorism. America was shocked into recognizing it and taking action because of what happened to them. We've been facing this problem for the past fifteen years.
He talks about how America never recognized the Militancy problem that India was facing in Kashmir.
RA: America never made any policies to battle terrorism when we were suffering but after what's happened to them they've been pressurizing our governments do so.
He says that the world needs to make a consolidated effort to establish peace.
RA: Everyone will have to come together to establish peace, especially the youth. History is witness to the fact that revolutions have always been brought about by the youth. The situation today is such, if the youth tries to talk about these thing, they are convicted on false charges.
He stresses on the need for the youth to create awareness about various issues.
RA: I feel that we, the youth, should coordinate and create awareness about issues by going house to house. We don't want these wars, we just want a way to make our living .We don't even have food to fill our bellies what will we do with bombs. Bombs are not going to fill our stomachs. These kind of wars are not justified. The only conclusion we've reached is that we don't want a war. This is nothing else but an ego war.
He disapproves of the use of violence in against Afghanistan.
RA: Even if America wants to catch the perpetrators they can do it peacefully. This
war is not required. It's as if they want to use their forces just because they can. It's been twenty six, twenty seven days but it feels like.. and you can sense things calming down...
He is concerned about the apathy of the youth towards important issues.
RA:History is witness to the fact that revolutions have always been brought about by the youth. The young people have brought about changes in the world. But in this generation we find that the youth is not concerned about these issues. We've been
tied and trapped in other matters. We've been manipulated in such a way that we never thought about revolution. Elders can guide us and show us the way but the youngsters will have to tread the path.
He continues in the same strain and bemoans that fact today's youth are not aware.
RA: Nowadays the youngsters attend college not to study but to have fun. If you try to educate them about history or revolution, about what's going on in the world today, they don't pay any attention to it. The college going kids hardly go for classes and when they do they go to pubs to have fun with their girlfriends or friends.
The office going people... the working people... go to bars to release some stress.
How will a revolution take place.
He says that the youth of today are distracetd.
RA: This is a way to suppress the young generation. I feel that there was some hope for a revolution when there wasn't a free license for alcohol. They seem to have realized that if the youth is distracted...garbled Because only the youth can bring about a revolution only the youth can question...
He says that citizens shirk the responsibility of solving various social issues.
RA: Nobody has the time to deal with these issues, after work people go to bars and then go home to sleep.. It becomes a routine and they don't get time to analyze
their own situation, the actions of the political parties..whether we are aware of our rights. They feel that dealing with these issues is the responsibility of social activists or political leaders. But nobody questions the political leaders about why we still cannot avail of the rights granted to us by the constitution.
He says the youth needs to question the system.
RA:We are not concerned about these things. We have money so we don't care and the people who suffer because of this are the poor. The people who don't get their rights fight for it and then they are entrapped by the law in such a way that they cannot escape. If you raise your voice against anything the authorities arrest you and charge you with unimaginable crimes. Even if such people are released they will never again think about changing things because of the way the system has treated them. They will stop caring about he injustice in society. It is my appeal to the youth of today to think about why things are the way they are. What legacy will we leave for our posterity if our present is mired in such confusion. This is a question I would like to put to the youth of today.
He talks about how the unemployed youth are manipulated by various political leaders.
RA: I'm not saying that violence is the way. We can resolve these issues peacefully. We can question why our rights ... We can complain about it. But nobody follows these measures. Now that the corporation's elections are coming up..now that the elections are coming up..the MPs(Member of Parliament) and MLAs(Member of Legislative Assembly) who do they use ...?The young generation. They get them from different places... give them fifty or hundred bucks. They misguide the youth.
He says that a faulty education system is the reason behind unemployment.
RA: The youth has strayed from the right path. They cannot come...I cannot talk about the whole world but the unemployment problem in India has greatly affected the youth. Our education system is such that it doesn't ensure employment. Experience counts for nothing without a degree. And modern devices like the computer etc are creating more joblessness. It's not that I consider computers useless.
He says that the crime rates are rising because the unemployed youth have no other money of making money.
RA: This is the reason why the young generation is straying from it's path. I feel that...I feel that this is the reason why the crime rates are rising.
He says that he has lost faith in the system because of unfulfilled commitments made by the government.
RA: Because when the government doesn't satisfy the needs of the people...when it doesn't give them their rights. Like providing them with employment, housing etc. Corruption is so pervasive today. During the elections many promises are made by the government, but once they win the elections they don't fulfill any of those promises. Whoever it may be... Even if a poor man wins the elections, he doesn't thinks about the good of the people, he starts thinking of ways to amass wealth for himself. This is how things have been going on for a long time. We need to fight this system and come up with a solution , with a new way of dealing with things so that we can have a secure future.
He says that he has lost faith in the system..
RA: You must've noticed that we are not getting education. It is only the wealthy..the ministers...who can afford to send their kids to America for studies. We don't even have food to eat. The existing system is not benefiting the common man. I feel that the young generation should not neglect these things, they should think of alternate ways of tackling these problems, so we could have a secure future. It is only then that we can establish peace in the world.
He again expresses his disapproval of the violence against Afghanistan.
RA: One cannot tackle violence with violence, there are alternate ways of dealing with violence. This is possibly the worst war after Hitler that so many innocent children have been brutally killed. We had only heard of such atrocities, but now we are witness to it. Small children,the poor, the innocent and the destitute are being bombed.
He again stresses that peace cannot be established under violent conditions.
RA: We don't want this war. The people are not getting anything good out of it , they simply want their basic necessities to be taken care of. human rights...education...we want food, clothing and housing... we want our right to live. We don't want these bombings. We can achieve many great things if our basic needs are taken care of. We cannot establish peace under these conditions.
CVS: This chair is a little shaky.
C.V Shastri opines that the people across the world should be concerned about the loss of life in Afghanistan .
CVS: The innocents who died in the U.S.A in the World Trade Center. People are concerned about that. Then they should be concerned about Afghanistan also. In Afghanistan also innocent people are dying. But if Taliban is asking about these things... that why innocents are dying, then they don't have a right to ask this. Only other people of the world can ask, not Taliban, not Afghanistan, not Pakistan. Other countries except Taliban, only others have a right to ask why innocent people are dying in Afghanistan. Taliban has lost that right.
Jhunka Bhakar Trust
But he believes that the attack on Afghanistan was justified. And that the afghans should suffer because of what the Taliban did.
CVS: Because they've killed so many innocent people all over the world. And they should be punished along with the innocent people. If the innocents are dying let them die. Because in USA also innocent people are dying , in Kashmir also innocent people are dying. All over the world Taliban has created havoc, by killing innocent people.
SA: Like where?
CVS: In Afghanistan innocent people should die.
Jhunka Bhakar Trust
CVS: That is my prime opinion.
SA: O.K... Sir do you know that the Taliban government is not a people's government?
CVS: It is not an elected government.
SA: So then you want the people who didn't elect them to die?
Shaina asks CVS why the Afghans should suffer because of the actions of a government that was not chosen by them.
CVS says that because the Afghans didn't oppose the Taliban regime it is justified if they suffer because of them.
CVS: No but they've not opposed it .They should oppose it , they should come out in public , that yes we are against Taliban . We're not with them . Let them...let... few people should be killed by Taliban... but they should oppose it. They're not opposing...neither are the Pakistanis opposing it. Pakistan is opposing for other reasons.
CVS says that because innocent people all over the world have died because of extremists it is justified if the innocent people in Afghanistan suffer.
CVS: For their own political benefits and gains. But these people...Afghanistan let innocent people die. Because so many innocent have died ... all over...in Punjab, Kashmir, in other parts of the world .In Chechnya.
SA: In Punjab they died because of Taliban?
CVS: No because of extremists .
CVS: See Taliban is equivalent to the word extremist now. See Taliban... you say extremists it means Taliban nowadays.And now they don't have the right to show the people that see they've bombed hospitals, they've bombed innocent people.No they should be...They should not show to any media that these innocent people are dying. They have no right to ask.
SA: Sir in our country also... in India there are lots of people who do terrorism. Do we all have a right to die because of that.
Shaina asks him whether Indians should also suffer on account of the misdeeds of extremists in India.
CVS replies saying that there are not many terrorists or extremists in India.
CVS: No. This whole country is run by
the Taliban... Afghanistan.
SA: No our country, I'm talking about India.
CVS: Whole country you can say...only few are with the Northern Alliance.
SA: No. Our country, India. I'm saying there's so much terrorism in India. So much...everyday.
CVS: But here are few...few. You can count them on your fingers.
CVS says that in India extremism or terrorism is not state backed and so we can't compare it with Afghanistan.
CVS: Here the whole country is such...
SA: No how...how.
CVS: It is there...now see if our government itself is helping extremists then our country should suffer. But in this case
Taliban is helping to exploit people, to kill people.
SA: I'm saying in India there's no terrorism?
CVS: Yes there is but the government is not enhancing that. Government is against terrorism .There the terrorism is backed by the government.
CVS: LTTE(Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ) is not backed by India.
SA: Do you think that if yesterday the VHP(Vishva Hindu Parishad ) people storm the (the birthplace of Rama) Babri Masjid site. They also broke it down a few years ago.
SA: You don't think that is terrorism.
CVS: It's a few people. You can count on fingers...Seven eight people...fifty people...five hundred people. Here the whole country is there. Whole government is helping extremists.
Shaina asks him if the demolition of the Babri Masjid by the VHP workers qualifies as a state backed terrorist attack in the Indian context.
CVS says that I doesn't qualify because the number of people involved in it was very few.
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
ram janma bhumi
SA: But wasn't our government helping VHP? Isn't our government helping VHP today?
CVS: No...No... It is not a banned organization.
SA: Do you think it should be banned?
CVS: No...No... Why? They are just fighting... their own rights. In country...Hindu country if they are asking for their own rights what is wrong with it?
Shaina asks him if accepts the role the government played in helping the VHP.
CVS says that the VHP is free from blame, because they were just fighting for their rights.
Vishva Hindu Parishad
CVS says that it has been proven Taliban has killed people all over the world .
Shaina asks him when has it been proven so.
CVS insists that everyone has been given the proof and that Musharraf has also admitted to it.
SA: The Taliban thinks that Garbled.
CVS: No they are killing they are exploiting.
SA: Who did they kill in the world sir?
CVS: VHP has killed how many people you just tell me? Have they attacked any country?
SA: Sir you think that the Taliban attacked America?
CVS: Of course that has been proven...shown to everybody.
SA: How has it been proved?Where is the proof?
CVS: It has been shown to everybody...Musharraf has agreed to it...yes it is a proof...
SA: That that Taliban has done it or that Taliban is sheltering...
CVS: Taliban is linked with the...
Background voice: You want to go with...
SA: Yeah Yeah
Background voice: they're on their way to the Police Commissioner's office.
CVS introduces himself.
SA: Sir what's your name?
CVS: My name is Mr. C.V. Shastri.
SA: O.K. Thank you so much.