It’s Like Closing Our Eyes To Say Intolerance Is Not Increasing In India – Open Letter By A Proud Indian

First of all, I am no congress supporter. I am not anti-national. And no, I am not a Pakistani either… Not that all Pakistanis are bad people or terrorists… I am just a simple human being and a proud Indian.

I agree that India is a far safer country than many other countries in the world. But it’s like closing our eyes to say intolerance is not increasing in India. I see that most people who deny the increase in intolerance are just looking around themselves… if they themselves are getting affected… If no, they conclude that there is no intolerance… Very few people are seeing the bigger picture…

For example many asked what’s the big deal about beef ban? Majority of Indians don’t even consume beef! Now that’s ignorance. When chicken and mutton were banned for a few days, these same people started sharing posts about why should non-Jains not have a choice on these specific days since they are not followers of Jainism? Then the dal became expensive and a few vegetarians started cribbing about it. Now if we can’t empathize with people who are losing their choices, and state that it’s no big deal, our opinions on the topic come across as ignorant and thus invalid.

Aamir’s statement has been miss-constructed to focus on just one line which even he himself didn’t say but quoted… His reply to that statement goes with the effect of “That’s a disastrous and big statement to make…” But who wants to listen to what he said as long as we get the sense of pseudo-patriotism by bashing him for using his freedom of speech? And yes, the people of India also have the right to express themselves but calling someone anti-national or directing them to go to Pakistan for expressing their thoughts is not a way of discussion but bullying. It just shows mob mentality.

I am not sure why we confuse patriotism with our inability to take criticism. I have not seen a country that has grown into a safe and liveable country without its citizens openly criticizing the government policies. Our own India is the best example. If no one would have criticized the popular ways of living in India, we would have still been a country with problems like Sati and dowry. My favourite freedom fighter Bhagat Singh was of the opinion that before cleansing India of foreign rule, we must cleanse ourselves of our deep rooted attachment to our religions. Only then will India be free in true sense. Alas! We are technically free yet imprisoned in our own pride for our respective religions. To make it worse, we have started attacking and crushing every voice that tries to criticize our ways of life or our traditions or patriarchy or our government policies.

I believe there is a lot of good that our present central government has done till date since it came in power. And I am happy about that. But there is also a lack of a strong voice against religious extremism. I don’t think expecting just a strong statement condemning these isolated events of extremism and to maintain the secular and liberal fabric on which India has grown so far is so much to ask for.

About rapes committed by Indian army or any other army in the world, it’s not the mistake of the army but the way the institutions of defense are built up to be sex starved. I still proud of our Indian army but such incidents do happen. And this doesn’t mean all army men are rapists.

The problem of intolerance is not just a Hindu problem. It is an Indian problem. The fatwas issued by maulvis in India are also an Indian problem. The Durga Vahini being built by Hindu fundamentalists is also an Indian problem. Indian youth enrolling in ISIS is also an Indian problem. The murders of rationalists like Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi is also an Indian problem. The moral policing carried out by fundamentalists of every religion is also an Indian problem. Right wing extremists storming into pubs and beating up girls is also an Indian problem. Incidents like Dadri lynching is also an Indian problem. Violence in Kashmir is also an Indian problem. Systematic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits is also an Indian problem. The growing tensions at our borders are also an Indian problem. Sexual violence in India is also an Indian problem. So please stop calling these Hindu or Muslim problems.

Yes, we are not an un-liveable country yet but we are slowly but surely In that way, if we stop criticizing our own ways of life and governance in our country…


This Message was commented by Samir Satam at I Live In A Country Where Shiv Sena is Offering 1 Lakh ...

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