Intolerance in India??? Yes or No???

I would say Yes..a BIGGGGG Yes. It’s not a major problem, but it is a problem, festering deep down and comes up now and then as irresponsible remarks, threats etc by Politicians, Celebrities, people with Power and now even with educated so called common man. Long ago if one did not agree with another’s view or opinion they had a discussion, an argument, then it lead to fist fights and brawls…..and now with the easy access to social media it has reached a new level of “trolling”, indulging in downright abusive and personal remarks, spewing venom with words and trying to act “holier than thou”.

Aamir Khan a noted Bollywood actor and a few days before him ShahRukh Khan another famous Bollywood actor and few other celebrities and common people have been voicing out their fear about “Intolerance in India” and how worried they are and how fear has struck the mind of the common man.

What Aamir Khan said a few days back has snowballed into a major controversy and I posted my views on a social networking site – which I am copying here….

When we feel our office doesn’t recognize our hardwork we complain and even think/speak aloud “we should leave this company, there is no use for loyalty and hardwork” and then we are taken aback when the Boss/HR/colleague tell us “Who stopped you from leaving,no one is indispensable” (a line which I’ve come to hate,having heard it a million times while I was working)-those words hurt us. When we complain about the food at home and praise the next door aunty’s cooking skills, or have a fight with our parents–does that mean we want to abandon our parents and go start living with the next door family?

When we complain about bad roads and infrastructure in India-we always think how beautiful USA/UK/S’pore etc are and how we wish we were living there. Does that make us a non-Indian or un-patriotic? Millions of us and our family have gone abroad in search of a better life and have even given up their Indian citizenship–at those time we are sooo proud saying..”Hey my sister/brother/uncle/aunt have now become US citizens”. We take pride in a spell-bee competition won by a 4th gen Indian origin kid who has never traveled to India/does not know much about India except their extended family living in India.

But when an Indian complains about intolerance or complains about anything that they are worried about-a hoard of people, even educated,logically thinking ones at that, complain,criticize and make personal and downright senseless remarks!! I’m surprised at this hypocrisy. To actually understand what was said-it was AK’s wife a Hindu who said she fears about the growing intolerance in our country and that “maybe” they should leave India. How different is it when we complain as I said above – “maybe we should leave this company,maybe we should leave this locality, maybe we should move to another city”???

I am not for or against any political party.But think about it–did people preach/talk/instigate nonsense about other communities even a year back?Did people in power talk about caste/religion and give such open threats to others? Even during the BJP ruled Vajpayee govt, people did not spew such venom, people did not make absurd remarks about women-there was not so much hostility. Our current PM is going a great job-but what gives people from his group to talk rubbish?

When did worrying or criticizing something that happens in our country become so bad? Yeah, it has become bad only when the surname is Khan, Mohammed, Verghese, Bhattacharjee, Barua etc. And to think that people are trolling and criticizing even Snapdeal because AK is their brand ambassador — It does show a lot of tolerance, dusn’t it???

Yeh now people will tell me to go back to where Jesus was born and not live in India. Yes, my India is a very tolerant country, but that does not mean we point at other countries and say they are worse. We have to strive to better ourselves every day and not stop with thinking “oh we are better than them, so all is hunky dory”. Think about it people.

I would like to add – even if the same statement was made by Mr.Amitabh Bachchan who is a Hindu, people would have abused him saying “oh he is half Bengali, so he is a communist”. Even if Mr.KamalHassan had said the same thing they would abuse him with “Oh he is an atheist. He does not have any Indian values”. But I wonder if so much hatred would be thrown out if Mr.Rajinikanth had said the same thing–that he feared that India is becoming intolerant. I have a feeling people would not dare to abuse him and say nonsensical things about him.  Infact maybe they would have agreed with him.

People who are calling these “Khans” names and asking them to leave India and go elsewhere—they all have family members who want their sons/daughters to marry NRI’s and settle abroad and bring back $ and Euros and Saudi money. For all the young educated men and women lashing out at these people, 90% of them are dying for a chance for their boss to send them on an onsite project. So, does that make them non-patriotic and non-Indian? Do well tell these parents – you educate your children with Indian money, in Indian schools and colleges and now you want them to earn and live abroad, so you also pack your bags and leave India. Do we tell the youngsters with a USA/UK/Australia/Europe dream to never come back to India??? We are intolerant when it comes to other religions and caste and communities. We don’t want our children to marry people from another caste. Though not seen in the cities, there is still un-touchability in villages.  We are killing people in the name of Temples and Mosques and Churches.

There is a growing problem here—and when people openly talk about it (rather talk about any problem), let us try to understand what they mean instead of jumping the gun and saying India has no such problem and that anybody who talks anything bad about a problematic situation has to leave the country.