CITY NOTES: Biopic in Kashmir


In the era of #MeToo, Joe Biden, Obama’s Veep, is going to run for the Presidency. He’s 77, which makes him already four years older than Trump. He entered politics back in 1972, as a Senator for Delaware. When Obama became the first black to win the nomination of any major party back in 2008, Biden became his running-mate. The adult in the room. So perhaps the US needs him more than ever, but the problem is that there are allegations about him groping women at campaign events. With Trump on the other side, with his record of paying off women who had affairs with him, including the evocatively named Stormy Daniels, we are about to have a really dirty campaign. It’s lucky the voters are adults, because some of the allegations against both candidates will have to be euphemised in family newspapers.

Of course, if Trump is said to be a reaction to the election of a black President, Biden and him would be a reaction to the #MeToo movement. We over here are used to such dilemmas, even though ours is supposed to be a conservative society. Now no one talks about the PM’s alleged daughter, first wife, second wife, stepchildren, latest wife, her first husband, their children… Imran would probably get on well with Trump or Biden.

Well, neither Imran nor Trump was at the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. Though Imran’s first father-in-law was a converted Jew and Trump’ son-in-law is a Jew, neither attends synagogue. The shooting at the Poway synagogue, near San Diego, California, was probably carried out by a white supremacist who was a churchgoer. Before that, there was the series of six blasts on Easter Sunday in Colombo churches and hotels, killing 253. And before that, there was the Christchurch shootings, in which 51 Muslims were killed. The Colombo bombings were revenge for Christchurch by the Islamic State (or rather a local affiliate), but what was the Poway attack revenge for? If you ask me, somebody has got it in for all three Abrahamic faiths. So who could it be? Hindus? Sikhs? Buddhists? Shinto?

The Shinto probably cannot be blamed, or they were busy getting a new Emperor. Emperor Akihito has abdicated, and the Heisei era is at an end. Now we have Emperor Naruhito, who brings the Reiwa era. Akihito was the first Japanese Emperor not to claim godhood. His father, Emperor Hirohito, had renounced godhood after the atom bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, Akihito went through the ceremony making him a god. I couldn’t find any evidence that Naruhito went through it, but then Akihito, though a little decrepit at 89, is still around.

The Shinto followers should watch out because Amir Liaquat Hussain is going to play Burhan Wani in a biopic. I wonder if Wani is turning in his grave or spinning, but the thought of Amir Liaquat in red shirt and purple trousers chasing the heroine is too much. It makes one think that Masood Azhar would be a better subject for a biopic, even if he has been declared a terrorist by the UN. And if a movie is set in Kashmir, the hero has to chase the heroine around trees.

If the DG ISPR has his way, there will be no biopic of Naquibullah Mahsud, because the movement his murder set off, the Pashtoon Tahaffuz Movement, turns out to have taken money from India. I wonder if the PTM chief, Manzoor Pashteen, will try what Wali Khan did when NAP was banned. Accused of getting Rs 10 million from India, Wali Khan sued the Indian PM, because no one less than the PM of Pakistan had said that he had got the money, but he hadn’t got any money. He also clarified that there was no reason why he should get any money, but if Bhutto said he had been paid, then where was the money?

Imran was at the Belt and Road Initiative recently, even though he wasn’t being paid. I don’t know what impression he made, but I’m told by a highly unreliable source that the Chinese were not impressed by his disclosure of the secret of reverse swing, especially when he explained the role bottle tops played.

He got back safely, probably because they didn’t let him onto any train tracks in Beijing. When some teens went to a wedding in Panipat, they went to the rail tracks to take some selfies. They were run over by an oncoming train. Biopic, anyone? A story for the era, but not a hero in sight. But the wedding would provide not just love interests, but excuses for the song-and-dance routines.