New Delhi. The decision of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to arrange a beer party with Bollywood actor Emraan Hashmi and members of the housing society that allegedly refused Emraan a house for being a Muslim, has run into troubled waters. Although the decision was touted as a great step towards fostering communal harmony in the society, the same is now turning into a slugfest for religious beliefs.
Manmohan Singh’s original plan was to invite Emraan, members of the housing society, Mumbai Police officials, and a few religious leaders like Baba Ramdev from Hindu and Muslim sects over a beer party to discuss issues like religious discrimination of minorities. Prime Minister’s Office had claimed that Emraan would happily end up buying a house in the same society and all the religious leaders would jointly issue a statement appealing peaceful cohabitation of all Indians.
Prime Minister’s decision faced its first criticism when some Muslim groups objected to the presence of liquor based beverages in a party attended by as pious a Muslim as Emraan. These groups issued a fatwa that Emraan and other religious leaders would be boycotted by the Muslim society if they attended a party espousing consumption of liquor.
Before Emraan and others could react, Hindu groups retaliated with threats of mass agitation if Prime Minister succumbed to the unrealistic demands of Muslims. These groups lamented the culture of Muslim appeasement in India and insisted that not only liquor, pork should also have been a part of the menu of the beer party.
Although Baba Ramdev didn’t agree with such Hindu groups, he agreed that serving beer was a bad idea. Baba thought that beer made a person queer which had given rise to homosexuality in India. He instead suggested a joint yoga session of Emraan and the housing society members to ward off the differences. Sources inform that Baba Ramdev might throw his own party.
If these religious protests were not enough, liquor baron Vijay Mallya also joined the chorus and lambasted the PMO for having approached the Australian beer company Fosters for serving beer at the proposed party. Mallya accused the government of being insensitive towards domestic industries and declared that he would plan for a ‘beer black out’ on 18th August when all private airlines including his Kingfisher Airlines would go on a strike seeking a government bailout.
Following these reactions, PMO is in a fix over what to do with the proposed beer party. Emraan Hashmi too has gone into hiding and sources close to him say that he has dropped his plans to buy any house for the time being. Police arrested some Hindu and Muslim activists outside his house planning some kinds of protests. Fearing a public backlash, Prime Minister has appealed for communal harmony and suspended his beer party indefinitely.