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By Exchanging Their Liberals, India And Pakistan Can Make Peace

04/10/2016 9:48 AM IST | Updated 04/10/2016 10:23 AM IST
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Salman Khan has come out in support of Pakistani artists in India and said that art is not terrorism, despite what Atif Aslam's singing might suggest, and the two should not be conflated.

His statement has made Shiv Sena angry. Is there anything that doesn't make Shiv Sena angry? They get angry if Pakistan and India play cricket. They get angry at diplomats. They get angry at books. They get angry at Eid. They get angry at Fridays because they're not Saturdays or Sundays.

The amount of people suffering from hypertension in that organization must be very high.

Is there anything that doesn't make Shiv Sena angry?

They've told Salman Khan that if he loves Pakistan so much he should just migrate there. Technically he did, in Bajrangi Bhaijan, but like most of us who leave home for a higher calling, the love of a wrestler's daughter brought him back.

Though what would happen if Salman Khan actually moved to Pakistan? Somehow I can't imagine him in our drama serials. It would be strange for a domesticated father of three talking to his wife about school fees to suddenly tear off his shirt to reveal a waxed chest.

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A while ago, Shiv Sena told Amir Khan the same thing, for complaining about the rising intolerance in India. There was also a cash reward put up for slapping Amir Khan, I wonder if the cast of PK applied for that retroactively. It would be great if you could send both Amir and Salman to Pakistan on the same bus, dancing and singing in a red jacket and a blue cap, respectively.

India is understandably upset about Uri but some of the outrage seems misdirected. One of your extremist groups has put a one crore bounty on Nawaz Sharif's head, I think many people here would like to collect on that, it's just not easy when he's always in London.

Nobody seems more upset than Arnab Goswami, last week I saw clips of him choking on the word Pakistan, then he almost had an aneurysm saying Hafiz Saeed, his next show might need to be from an intensive care ward. I sometimes wonder if he shouts even in his sleep.

He's also told several people to move to Pakistan, including some who already live here. This has become a familiar refrain under Modi's government. Those who want to eat beef, go to Pakistan. Those who vote Congress, go to Pakistan. Those who think India is becoming intolerant, go to Pakistan.

India is the world's biggest democracy, it's so democratic that people can even vote for other residents to stay or leave.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images

But yes, India, you can exile our artists. Ever since Fawad Khan left we've been stuck with Humayun Saeed in every other movie. Think of the children who have to watch him. Send back our actors, please.

You can start by sending Dilip Kumar. Then the ashes of Amrish Puri and a toupee in the iconic shape of Dev Anand's hair. Afterwards, you can send Ali Zafar, Mahira Khan and the rest.

Keep Adnan Sami. India has been kind to him, he's looking and tweeting better than ever. Was liposuction part of his immigration process?

Send Arundhati Roy too, we like her better than you. You who are so mistrustful of her. A woman who writes? The only thing that could be more suspicious is a man who reads.

You were wasting the talents of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan anyway. It's barely believable when Huma Qureshi starts lip syncing to him. Huma will also have to come here, I suppose. Being Muslim. Send Arundhati Roy too, we like her better than you. You who are so mistrustful of her. A woman who writes? The only thing that could be more suspicious is a man who reads.

We do the same thing here by the way. If you have nothing nice to say about Pakistan, why don't you leave? If you don't support our army, why don't you move to India? Many Pakistani liberals are told to move to India.

In fact, many claim that lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir has her own reserve fund in the Indian defence budget. At least 20% of it. Or that those who oppose military courts are all agents of RAW. It would be nice if India took Pakistan's liberals, and Pakistan took India's, as a sort of political exchange programme. Our liberals have been murdered, shot at, threatened and vilified with smear campaigns, they would be safer with Shiv Sena.

Your liberals will also find Pakistan a very tolerable place. As they cross the border they will be offered beef at the customs booth and be allowed to take the offal home with them.

Your liberals will also find Pakistan a very tolerable place. As they cross the border they will be offered beef at the customs booth and be allowed to take the offal home with them. In Lahore, we eat beef all the time, even for tea. Everyone's knees hurt because of high uric acid and many develop gout, but nothing quite satiates the appetite like a freshly slaughtered cow.

Anindito Mukherjee / Reuters

Rahul Gandhi could join the Pakistan Peoples Party and exchange notes on becoming increasingly irrelevant with Bilawal Bhutto. As the scions who are bringing the curtain down on two of the biggest political dynasties in the subcontinent, I'm sure they have a lot to talk about.

Meanwhile, our liberals will finally be able to buy alcohol without hiding their face. They'll be able to stick to vegetarian diets while maintaining social lives. They'll be able to publish a book in a country they actually live in and be able to wear yoga pants to yoga classes.

I believe that after our liberals are there, and your liberals are here, the region will become a less volatile place for all concerned. We will finally be able to move on from pointless protests and focus on the non-violent things we have in common, like lynch mobs, separatist movements and nuclear bombs.

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