Yours Socially, A Torn India
“There is tolerance, and then there is extreme intolerance. There is, I think, growing intolerance.”
SRK, who turned 50 recently, and such is the popularity of the star the event became a trending hashtag, gave this statement on an interview with Barkha Dutt. Not surprisingly, venom started flowing in and out against the Indian superstar, soon he was being labelled a traitor, and was being told to leave India and go to Pakistan.
We just have one question for such venom-spitting people. What have you done, apart from spreading hatred, to say such things against a man, who respects all religions, and who, unlike you, taught us love with his movies?
India is a country that prides itself on its democracy and secularism. Those are the two terms we repeatedly used while writing any essay on our country, at school, or even during an extempore because these traits are on auto mode in our minds when it comes to the constitution of India.
The question remains; was India always so intolerant? Or are there some elements who are hell-bent on destroying the peace and love in our country?
Our current govt has always identified itself with the majority, and the concept of Hindutva, in general. There is nothing wrong in supporting one’s beliefs, but the wrong comes when you want to impose the beliefs on the other communities.
The freshest example is that of beef ban, which became quite an issue. However, another question pops up here. The cow is considered holy in India, but the funny question is that the beef sold in India is actually that of buffaloes and bulls, which are given up by the farmers once they cannot earn their bread through them.
So, even if a protest had to be there, it should have come from animal rights organisations. Why the situation was given a religious turn when a cow doesn’t even come into the picture where beef consumption in India is concerned, is beyond my comprehending abilities.
Most of the governments have always upheld minorities and made false and somewhat unbelievable claims to uplift them. However, the only things that could have helped them actually grow, and were not promoted, were education and population control.
This somehow became a raging force that kept growing inside the majorities, who were just waiting to rant it all out, when the time is right. And what can be a better time than a government that openly condemns and criticizes minorities, and at times goes a step ahead and doesn’t even identify them as a part of the nation.
It is true that what other parties have done is wrong, False and unreal minority appeasement was the root of a resentment that started to grow inside the majority, and they started to feel threatened in their own country.
Understand that both are extreme situations on opposite poles, and both are equally wrong. The British game of “Divide and Rule” never left us, and the parties and politicians are playing the same game again and again, and we are too stupid to realize how much damage this is doing to our country’s secular fabric.
The reach of social media is also one reason of growing hatred, and of course, not just social media, but print and television media’s roles have also been very controversial. Media shouldn’t be biased, but in today’s world, money minting has become the sole purpose.
Whenever some incident of religious disturbance happens, media was shown to be biased towards the minorities, which became another reason for indignation in the majority.
The thing that should be noted here is that this unfair reporting by media, and appeasement by political parties, was never supported by the intellectuals and educated people of the minority committee.
These people were actually even against some of the subsidies that had been issued on the religious basis. However, the sad part is that the lower classes and lower middle classes of the country, which constitute a major chunk of the population, are controlled more by selfish religious leaders than intellectuals.
These leaders mold the crowd in any way, like a puppet, with their aggressive and hateful words. The surprising part is that they are surer and so confident in spitting venom, than we are while spreading words of peace and love.
Somebody has said it right, that ours has become the world where you can beat a person in public and no one will bat an eye, but you have to go behind closed doors to make love.
Some very common terms have also cropped up, courtesy of social media. Sickular is being used for any person who doesn’t blindly follow the current ruling party, Bhakts has been tagged as a retaliation to those who utter a single word of appreciation for the same.
People are casually throwing in words like “Go to Pakistan” to nearly every person of the minority community, and every other person who tries to make some sense in this sea of insanity that is otherwise flowing in waves of social media.
We wonder if freedom to speech is now only limited to a few people who can spread all kinds of abhorrence.
SRK did not deserve such statements. We, as a majority, have a sense of security, and because of this rising hatred, minorities are constantly in discomfort. Ask any person and he or she will tell you that do not want any special favours on belonging to a particular community.
All they want is to be treated equally. We implore the political parties to see reason and stop this game of divide and rule that they have been playing for years. We want a country where no one is given special preference, and no one is demeaned because of the same.
Why is it so important to divide people on the basis of caste and religion? It clearly had been done to bring everyone at par, so that they all contribute equally towards the development of the country as a whole, but now it seems that it has taken a different turn altogether; vote bank politics.
For us, the young Indians, it doesn’t feel good when the first question that you are asked is what is your caste, especially if the asking person is your colleague, someone who you expect to be on the same page as you are. It is not even their fault, it is because they have always lived in an atmosphere that tells them to identify themselves according to their caste and religion, We don’t care.
All we want, is a country where we get equal opportunities, not based on caste and religion, a country where people get humour (Those who are quoting “Charlie Hebedo” case should get the fact digested that it was done by terrorists, not a normal sane person of minority sitting beside you. There is a huge difference.)
Another question that crops up in your mind is that why we as Indians, blame Indian minorities for anything bad that goes on in the world, just because the people who do it “claim” to belong to their religion (which of course, they are not, as they would never have done those hideous deeds then).
We are all Indians. If the Hindus in Pakistan are treated badly, then what do we derive on giving the same treatment to the Muslims here? Is it not like blaming A for something Z did, just because they belonged the same community?
We need to be rational and educated Indians, not just blind pariahs of hatred, which we are soon on the verge of becoming. Pretty soon, a situation is going to come when all objective people will take the only remaining route of brain drain, and all that would be left here, will be people full of hatred. We certainly don’t want that to happen, do we?
It is not a question of just SRK, or any other celebrity belonging to a particular community. It is something that we all need to introspect about, as Indians.
Do we want to support hatred, and do an eye for an eye, making the whole world blind? Or do we want a country where everyone is given equal opportunity, on the cogent basis.
Do we want to be the divided nation, always bickering amongst themselves, or do we want to progress hand in hand, towards the betterment of India, as Indians? The choice is ours, and ours alone.
Do we have a will power and logical understanding that is so weak that anyone can tweak it to bring out the illogical us, or are we strong enough to stand up for what is right, and show them that it is time for better choices and newer agendas?
Rise above the caste and religion debate, to focus on the real issues here. No religion and god is weak enough to get threatened by foolish humans like us. It’s time that we get that and move over it.