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Were we really intolerant?
7/8/2019 12:28:18 AM
Shivam Sachdev

Let's slide back to 2015 and just brush up our memories. Intolerant India!! Award Wapsi!! echoed in every nook and corner. Usually when a big event happens suddenly it usually gets tough to gulp and digest it. The same happened with Indians at that time. Out of nowhere intolerance was seen everywhere, few intellectuals who probably had a larger penetrating vision to see the unseen started a campaign of award wapsi. Few influential faces adorned with celebrity status also joined in and painted a scene of havoc. Scratching the heads the common Indians could not figure out what happened suddenly in the country. Had we suddenly become so intolerant??? Something to be pondered upon...
We Indians actually belong to a culture which is known by its levels of tolerance, this culture embraced anybody who came to India and welcomed anyone and everyone with open arms ready to accept. Bhartiya sabhyata has from the very beginning taught non violence and acceptance. It is imperative to mention here that we considered the whole world as our home and even treated inanimate objects as if they were living creatures. Surprisingly we respect animals to the extent that we keep them at the same pedestal as Gods. Whether worlds accepts us as the members of one home or not but India has certainly accepted people from all over the world to be a part of its own family. History supports my contention. Judaism one of the earliest foreign religions arrived in India. Christianity, Islam, Parsis have all come in India. They not only stayed in India but have flourished both culturally and economically. What larger proof is required from the Indian culture to say that they are tolerant. Another aspect of this culture is very interesting though we allowed the outside cultures and religions to stay in India but we never tried to influence them or convert them or had our missionary missions to attack them. We started tolerant and have continued to do so. This culture has always been a step ahead and from the very beginning understood the essence of humanity in actual terms and preached the same. Not like some other cultures/ religions committing atrocities, bloodshed behind the veil of humanity and peace. Another aspect of intolerance can be rigidity. Usually a culture which is flexible and not rigid is tolerant. Appreciable aspect of this culture is acceptance. We accept the fact that society is dynamic, as times change certain ambiguities slip in thereby giving a bad colour to the culture. The same even happened with the Indian culture when we saw it being fumed in the darkness of sati pratha, child marriage, no widow remarriage, etc. Adhering to its very basic nature of acceptance and flexibility we were successful in eradicating these social ills. Something to be proud about. Right!!!
Astonishingly a culture carrying the weight of such beautiful badges suddenly lost it all. But this situation presented an interesting paradox though quite visible but so subtle to be pointed out by the mainstream media. The people crying intolerance were equipped with enough safety in the environment of intolerance that they could easily raise voice against the same, agitate, start award wapsi. Feels strange? Yes I felt the same. But I am still bewildered by the fact that India saw such a hyped episode of intolerance. Those who felt unsafe here in India due to intolerance should venture outside India to see what intolerance is. Sitting in one of the safest environments and cooking up fictions and then crying out loud does not make any sense to me. India is such a country where we do not have uniform civil code because a community/ religion which invaded India and plundered its wealth gets uneasy with uniform civil code. Where we have allowed people speaking ill of India to be parliamentarians. Where for the smiles of a minority community, majority community pays its price by relinquishing its rights. Where the execution of an order of a court is not possible because it will cause ripples in the community. The list is not exhaustive, but is enough to give anyone an insight whether or not India is intolerant.
It was 2015 when India started being intolerant and now we are living in 2019. If it was really the case then we all would have been equipped with multiple stories of bloodshed, of which we either were the part or a witness. But fortunately this is not the case in most of the cases!!!
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