Monday, November 30, 2015

The Intolerance Debate — Award Wapsi, Hindu-Muslim Ideology War and Other Facts

intolerance will not be tolerated
Intolerance Will Not Be Tolerated
The word Intolerance is so much in the fashion nowadays, even those who are intolerant themselves has a say about being tolerant. But before I tell you what I think about Intolerance, and we plunge into the Intolerance debate, let’s clear some facts.



How The Intolerance Debate Started?
In oppose to the popular view, the Intolerance debate is not a result of Hindu-Muslim ideology contest. But the debate has all different roots. In reality, the debate was sparked off by brutal assassination of an eminent Kannada scholar M. M. Kalburgi, the man who voiced against idol worship.

MM Kalburgi
In June 2014, during a seminar on Anti–Superstition bill, Kalburgi cited U. R. Ananthamurthy’s book, Bettale Puje Yake Kudadhu (literal translation, “why nude-worship is wrong?”) where author narrated a story of 7 year old self who urinated on god idol, as he wants to know, is there any divine retribution or not? This bought him and U.R. Ananthamurthy flak from right wing Hindu groups. And on 30th August 2015, two men posing as his ex-student gunned down Kalburgi in his home in Dharwad.

Many pointed the similarities among the assassination of Kalburgi and murder of other two prominent social reformist, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare. Though things didn’t stop with Kalburgi’s assassination, Dr. K. S. Bhagwan (retired professor of English, Mysore University) and Veerbhadra Chennamall Swami of the Nidumamidi Mutt received death threats from the same right wing Hindu fundamentalist group.

These incidences led to the protest by writers, artiste class and student unions all over the Karnataka against the government over growing attacks on writers, rationalist and artistes. In mark of protest of Kalburgi murder, it was Uday Prakash, a prominent Hindi writer, 2013 Sahitya Akademi Award winner, returned his honor. Uday Prakash commented, “Authors, artists and rationalists of our country are regularly being attacked. On one side we boast of freedom of expression by giving shelter to writers like Taslima Nasreen but on the other same things are happening here now.”

This was followed by Chandrashekhar Patil, who returned his Pampa Award (highest literary award by Government of Karnataka) in protest of the same. This is how, as they call it, Award Wapsi, was started. In an interview Chandrashekhar Patil said, “this was the least he could do as a writer to protest ‘the environment created in the country stifling dissent and freedom of expression.'”

But these things never came into the national limelight, till the Dadri mob lynching case. On the night of 28th September 2015, mob attacked a Muslim family in suspicion of eating beef killed Mohd. Akhlaq Saifi (the head of family) and seriously injuring his 22 year old son, Danish.

After Dadri mob lynching case, more prominent writers and artistes came out in protest over growing intolerance or right wing fundamentalist mentality. And one of them is Nayantara Sahgal.

Nyantara Sahgal, a prominent Indian english writer, known for her outspoken views, and who criticized her cousin and then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi for her actions during emergency in 1975. In an interview with the Hindu, she said, “I guess the death of this poor man in Dadri [Mohammad Akhlaq] was the final . . . the last straw.”

What is Happening Now?
But the things yet to get worse, when our so called Indian media and so called leaders (don’t call them politicians, please), changed the route of the whole debate from right wing fundamentalism, to Hindu versus Muslim ideology war. No one then, talked about dalit killings by so called Rajputs, but instead of that, they were focused on what Khans (Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan) and other Muslim artistes have to say.

It was never about one community as media portraying now, it was about right wing Hindu fundamentalism, who are acting like Taliban. In hypothetical situation, if they are given power, they will send all Muslims to Pakistan, all Christians to Europe, all Buddhists to Tibet and all Sikhs to Canada (Dude, they make up to 40% of Tax Revenue, Oh they are 22, 22 :D) and then they will start the chaturvarna policy where only Brahmins and Kshatriyas have the power.

Coming to Shahrukh Khan, and Aamir Khan statements, I truly back the Shahrukh statement, I believe the Shahrukh statement make sense but not Aamir’s. The reason why I back Shahrukh statement because he never said about intolerance in that term that it is portrayed. He said, it is not only in India, but all over the world, people are getting impatient. Watch the KRK video to know more about the same, this guy surprisingly came with all valid reasons.


About Aamir Khan statement, All I want to remind him, a dialogue from his own movie Rang De Basanti, “Koi Desh Perfect Nahi Hota, Hume Usse Perfect Banana Padta Hain.” (No country is perfect, We have to work to make it perfect.) I believe Aamir who inspires a lot of people, should have said something responsible.

The Solution
I admit, we can never get rid of intolerance. It is not because there is no solution to get rid of it. But because we are country of 1.25+ billion people, who follows 7 major religion, who speaks 18 languages in more than 1600+ dialects. So with each mile, our custom changes.

A Hindu who belongs to a small city of Rajasthan cannot relate to the customs of a Hindu who lives somewhere in Madras, Tamil Nadu. A Muslim who lives in Kashmir cannot relate to Muslim who lives in the Hyderabad. But they can easily relate to someone who is from their native place, even they have different religions.

So, what does this actually mean? It means that we are all connected with a social fiber which is unique in its sense. All we need to do, is to save this social fiber. The fiber which can make us one of the greatest nation in the world. And the way to save this fiber is…

First, we need to accept, we are more than Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Isai (Christians). We are Indians. We are Humans, first. We need to be open minded to accept each other beliefs, and forgive each others mistake. All we need to enjoy the bond of love we share.

For right wing fundamentalist, we need to learn, there is much more coded in our beautiful Vedas, Guru Granth Sahib, Kuran, and Bible than what we think. The first thing that they teach God made us all same, so there is no difference between you and other person next to you.

And for left wingers, we need to learn, there are more dignified ways to make your voice count, you don’t have to shame the person and use foul language, it is because you have knowledge, you need to bash about it. You need to learn how to teach people how to be rational without hurting their egos.

For Media Houses, they could come up with such programs, debates which promotes communal bliss not hatred, which help the society in dealing with taboo issues.

For Government, all they need to do, provide such environment and help people in making such environment.

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