All of a sudden, ‘intolerance’ seems to have become the most fashionable word in India. “India is getting intolerant,” the blame is rising loud and wide.
What is this India that is getting intolerant? Is it the piece of land on which we live? Or does the ‘intolerant India’ mean the people of India? The people who have been tolerating all sorts of dirty politics for long in which the parties only care for their votes and the politicians only care for their notes? Or the people who have been tolerating corruption to the extent of even adopting it as their life-style? Or the people who see garbage around their home and prefer to tolerate because saying anything won’t make any difference anyway? Or the people who know that most of what they are eating has been poisoned by the producer’s greed and might cause them serious harm, and yet not raise a protest? Or the people who have become habitual of tolerating long hours of power-cut and grievous water shortages? Or the people who are now scared of sending their daughters out alone because the demons are roaming freely on our streets? Or the people who know their air is getting polluted and their land is getting parched, and yet tolerate it and even contribute to it in the name of convenience and celebration?
It seems to me that we have been much too tolerant and must now start raising our voice in protest.
But I get it. The blame of intolerance is rising because apparently, “Indian majority” is getting intolerant towards “Indian minority”. And since I too am part of that Indian majority, I guess I am intolerant too. Since obviously the blame mongers are making no difference in the few goons and selfish politicians and the normal public who just wants to live in peace, get their due rights and prosper and build a happy life for themselves and their kids.
Yes, I do see all sorts of groups rising up to scream and shout and harm public and private properties in the name of hurt religious sentiments. But does that screaming or shouting mob represent India? Or the viral propaganda that keeps on flaring on social media represent India? Does it represent me? As far as I can see, those are just just people that have either been paid to blow up a minor event into national sensation or they do it just to bring their own groups and parties in limelight.
Yes, I too see all sorts of filthy messages floating about on social media. But I very much doubt that they are created by general public. Yes, general public spreads them much too happily. But is it because we are getting intolerant of our fellow citizens? Or because we are getting intolerant of being called intolerant despite tolerating being side-lined, ignored and considered unimportant in our own country and by our own leaders? All in the name of social justice! We work just as hard as the minorities and the so called backward classes. India is our land just as much as it is theirs. And we matter too. But the leaders are forgetting that when playing their votebank politics. And the public is reacting, making social media their voice.
But that’s it. We don’t go out holding battons and torches and hurting others. And those who do that, we refuse to consider them our representatives. They are not our representatives. They represent only their selfish motives and criminal mentalities.
It is sickening to see their fault being hurled as blame on my head. It is downright insulting! And those who are shouting that India is getting intolerant, and those who are joining their voices in that shout just to appear supportive of their votebanks, they are spoiling the reputation of a great nation that has so far tolerated everyone and given them a place in its bosom. For safeguarding their votes and notes, the selfish leaders are insulting their own motherland. They are insulting the common people of India. They are insulting me. And I am supposed to tolerate this without protest in the name of liberalism. Because if I raise a protest against this blame, that’s because I’m intolerant.
Even our dear Bollywood stars are raising hints of this intolerance. As per reports, they are even feeling scared to live in their own country. Of course, they have the right to express themselves. India is a free country. Everyone has the right to express their opinion. But if a public personality like a Bollywood star makes a statement on a public platform, the public too has the right to respond and express their feelings. The public has the right to protest. (But peacefully, without hurting anyone and without spouting foul words.)
This is my protest. Stop insulting my country. Stop insulting my countrymen. I understand there’s a problem. But don’t cast its stain on the entire country. If widespread blood shed cannot and must not cast a shadow on a religion, a few stray (and often selfishly ignited and manipulated) incidents must not be allowed to cast a shade on a glorious nation.
We have many problems to deal with, including selfish politicians, corruption, natural ruin and utter lack of civic sense. We can best deal with them together. We, the people, are together. Let’s start being intolerant towards those who are dividing us, defaming us and insulting us and our motherland.
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