Friday, 19 February 2016

Intolerance: Chief nemesis of the Indian democracy


                      

“The biggest and most interesting crisis in the world is the human crisis, and it never gets boring. It goes back to Shakespeare. You don’t need a gimmick; it’s just man against man and their intolerance of each other.”- Sylvester Stallone

‘Intolerance’ has unfortunately been the vogue in the nation over the past few months. Although the impression of India was never of a tolerant country yet recent times seem to have aggravated the minds of our people and transformed us into a mass of raging, rampant intolerant forces. It has suffered our nation’s global image too, as the media and internet show evidence of us being subdued under the machinations of revolutionary groups. There hasn’t been more misuse of the Freedom of Speech and Expression than in recent times. The actions of extremists and the inefficiency of the magisterial forces in curbing such malicious attacks on the integrity of the country have truly left our people in a deplorable state.
The Indian adventure is that of human beings of different ethnicities and religions, languages and beliefs, working together under the same roof, dreaming the same dreams. Even though this mounting intolerance began on grounds of religion, the malfeasance of these fanatics have resulted in the augmentation of intolerance and agony among people beyond the grounds of religion, nationality or communal interests. Mahatma Gandhi had said, “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.” And we can witness that truth today. The multifarious interests of India have been deteriorated by this scourge of sectarianism.
The lynching incident in Dadri was followed by the hysterical beef-ban that led to communal agony that obliterated religious harmony prevailing in the country. The assassination of rationalist writer M.M Kulbargi was marked by the recipients returning the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award. The latest spate of negative international attention is of the sedition charges on JNU students, accusing them of anti-national sloganeering. It is blaringly clear that India has become intolerant and the citizens with their bigotry, have disrupted the work regime of the administration. 
These unfortunate events could have been nipped in the bud, but instead the social sphere has been tainted with accusations on the government transforming this debacle into a political war.I wouldn’t say that the administration is solely responsible as this delirium began with the people taking law into their hands, and impairing the nation’s concord through mishandling of their own rights to freedom. If India provides us with freedom of Expression and democratic rule, it does not mean that we can consider laws and regulations to be puppets at our hand or malign the interests of others while pursuing our own. Even the tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.
There may be defenders saying that anti-nationalism is not punishable by law. But, if there are bigots among us, there would be no chance of peace or order. Such groups are to be strongly criticized and even though they have the right to present their views, the crowd should ensure that they are not lured by them. It is time for us to put India first.
India's great strength, and the source of much of its power and the respect in which it is held in the world, is the precious legacy of civilizational pluralism, coupled with our robust democracy. It is the supreme duty of every citizen to preserve the interests of the country before their personal or communal ones. Malefactors have to be punished and the country should ensure proper investigation and not hasty charges. There has to be an end to this campaign of intolerance which can only be possible if there’s collaboration between the people and the government to rehabilitate such ‘anti-national’ forces. Efforts should be made to introspect whether extremist actions can benefit our democracy or simply perturb national peace. We cannot claim to be a land of pluralism and Gandhian principles while promoting communal hatred, religious bigotry and minority insecurity in the country. So it’s definitely time for us to reconsider our patriotism and increase the credibility of India as a nation.