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An open parade of hate

The last week was mad seven days when logic was thrown aside, writes Vijay Dutt.

india Updated: Feb 08, 2006 20:17 IST
Vijay Dutt

One can truly call the last week as a mad, mad seven days when logic was thrown aside and London witnessed a parade of hate and utter contempt to the rule of law.

Over a hundred protesters waving placards calling for the beheading of those editors and broadcasters who let published and aired the satirical caricatures of the Prophet and chanting similar slogans outraged even the moderate Muslims.

The community leaders obviously realise the dangerous fall-out of such open exhibitionism of hate. Even when the protesters were marching some tried to argue with them and in fact one driver of a white van even got down to argue.

Two others held up caricatures of the Prophet made by them and tried to wave them at the marchers.

Police officers prevented ugly clashes and even bodily harm by bundling away the van driver and the two caricaturists. But, the pressure of the public opinion has forced the authorities to take severe action against protesters who were inciting murder and religious hatred.

The two other events soon after the protests on Friday and Saturday have further caused concern among the moderates. One protester who dressed as a suicide bomber and was on parole after being released from prison where he was locked up for drug peddling to raise money for extremism, was re-arrested.

Then worse followed. The radical cleric Abu Hamza was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for inciting extremism and was charged with complicity in hoarding weapons at the North Finsbury Park mosque where he used to preach.

Worse the reason why July 7 was chosen by the four suicide bombers to commit atrocities on London commuters was also revealed during the trial of Abu Hamza. Three of the four suicide bombers were regulars at the Hamza mosque and July 7 was the date on which the trial against Hamza had opened.

Possibly the bombings were the protest planned by the bombers. This has been the most startling revelation.

London decks up for V-Day
The day lovers dream of is near and stores have geared up to entice them on the day most girls (and even the elderly) hope they will be flooded with love notes accompanied with gifts. But, I am amazed that there never is such hysteria on the V-Day as back in India.

Most confectioners display chocolates shaped like hearts and wrapped in red colour. Jewellers lure the heavy purse-wallah lovers with diamonds, bangles and pendants all carrying messages of undying love. It is no concern of theirs if the lovers change their object of attraction by the next V-Day.

Jewellers like H Samuel and Ernest Jones send booklets inside newspapers advertising special gifts all at half price. Florists send e-mails promising to deliver fresh red roses on the day, in the country or abroad. But most major store chains do not hype the event and let lovers work up their passions on their own.

Selfridges, for instance, on Oxford street has no special window exclusively decorated for the occasion.

But this year more couples have planned to marry on the day. There is, however, no news as yet if some high-flying couples have chartered any jet to circle around over 38,000 feet while they take marital oaths.

Possibly after the withdrawal of the Concorde the fun of getting married up in the sky is gone.

Net-age kid stuns grandpa
A seven-year old asked his grandfather when was he born. The old man said 1927 but asked why. The reply stunned the old man. Looking amazed the grandson said, "And you are still alive!"

The child could now hope to outlive that age and live up to 100, which would, the scientists now predict, be the normal span of life, sooner rather than later.

First Published: Feb 08, 2006 20:17 IST