Trolling Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan over what they would name their newborn baby is beyond offensive

All of it, once again, points towards the collective deep-rooted Islamophobia and the fear of a “takeover” that can’t quite face up to a Hindu girl falling in love with and marrying a Muslim

IANS Photo (File)
IANS Photo (File)
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Namrata Joshi

The infinite hideousness and hatred of assorted Twitter handles has been a well-documented fact. For the Hindi film industry, it was never more brutally evident than in the aftermath of the Sushant Singh Rajput death by suicide case when the trolls went about systematically disparaging and destroying Bollywood. This Sunday they plumbed even deeper by training their guns at the newest entrant in the film fraternity— the second child of Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan.

What should have been a moment to congratulate the family, became an occasion to spew endless bile. And, as it happened at the time of the birth of their elder son Taimur, the hullabaloo was mostly about the name that, incidentally, the parents are yet to announce as we go to press.

There was much speculation back then, when Taimur was born, about what his name meant (iron in old Turkish, also the name of a great military leader and patron of arts and founder of the Timurid empire in Persia), with some handles going to the extent of saying that Saif had

named his son after a “Pakistani missile” and a “mass-murderer who slaughtered Hindus”.

“Have Mughals invaded us again? If no, why is Taimur Ali Khan trending?” tweeted another. None of it was backed with any knowledge of history; far too much to expect it when logic and rationality are anyhow at a premium at large.

This time things got beyond offensive with the wide spread of names of supposedly “barbaric Muslim invaders” on offer from the trolls — Chengiz, Aurangzeb, Ghori, Ghaznavi, Nadir Shah, Khilji, Babar...

One of them even went to the abominable extent of calling the infant a “new-born terrorist”.

If names weren’t enough, there were jibes about Saif consistently adding to India’s population and breeding further nepotism in the industry. What’s worse is the role of media, with ABP and News Nation chiming in with the anonymous handles, stoking the fire for eyeballs and attention. This, when there was much else for them to have to focused on, including the rise in COVID-19 cases and petrol price hike.

All of it, once again, and very predictably at that, points towards the collective deep-rooted Islamophobia and the fear of a “takeover” that can’t quite face up to a Hindu girl falling in love with and marrying a Muslim and living happily with him at that.

Twisting history has become a convenient way to settle scores with the minorities and further vitiate an already communalised environment in which even the kid born of a privileged inter-religious marriage can be rendered vulnerable.

In the aftermath of joining the BJP, the ‘Metro Man’ E.Sreedharan, in an interview with NDTV, confessed that he opposed “love jihad”, claiming that the girls in Kerala got tricked into it. Twitter handles expressed shock. Two days later it was the same, ingrained fanaticism that united them all. A bigotry that can’t even spare an infant.

Views expressed are personal

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