I usually refrain from making comments on social media about current issues, social, economic or political. More often than not, I feel quite strongly about things, but call me a coward if you will, I mostly keep my opinions to myself and occasionally indulge in vehement verbal arguments over tea with friends and foes alike. But, this time, I simply could not keep completely mum.
So, after the horrendous events that have been happening in India over the past few months, there is now a movement where people will march to prove that they are proud of this country, basically ranting and chanting the ever-so-patriotic “Mera Bharat Mahan.” To see this being pioneered by an actor I have admired so deeply is disheartening, to say the least. When I first came across the hash tags (#MarchForIndia and #IndiaIsTolerant) doing the rounds on Twitter, I assumed that its purpose was to express solidarity with the protesters. Ignorant? Yes, very! The purpose of this certain “March for India Movement”, as I understand it has driven me into unadulterated fury.
#IndiaIsTolerant, for sure; and let us see how and why;
Let’s begin with the Delhi gang rape case. The “juvenile” rapist will walk a free man, after all, officially washing down the drain our candle light marches, social media outbursts, opinion polls, our debates and discussions and endless protests. We are steadily heading towards a future that comes with a precautionary warning – “No Country for Women.” Then, a B-grade film actor is scraped out of the bottom of the vessel of nominees to head the nation’s premier film institute, as a reward for his devotion to our saffron masters. Protesting students are arrested and victims are turned into perpetrators. Right to Education. Sure. Next, we have our meat eating habits define not only our religion but our very existence, so much so that a man is lynched on the pretext of beef consumption. But now that it has been proved that the poor man had stored not-so-holy mutton at home, what could those innocent flag-bearers of religion possibly do? To err is human, of course. Murder is almost child’s play now. Make an anti-government remark, disapprove of the its policies, identify as a leftist and on top of that if you happen to have written a book or made a film, or worse still, have been a respectable academician all your life, the very dedicated “sewaks” who have taken upon themselves the noble task of purifying this nation shall make sure you are exterminated from the face of the universe. Last, but not the least, send Shah Rukh Khan to Pakistan.
Have we not “tolerated” this climate of disgust and intolerance for way too long? #IndiaIsTolerant; certainly.
In wake of all this, interestingly enough, all that our honourable leaders can think of is what the world perceives of this great country. Obviously the award-returning pseudo-intellectual protest manufacturers are defaming the nation, they say. What their scarcely exercised brains don’t tell them is that the world is not blind. The protesters, be it authors, film makers, artistes, engineers, doctors or chartered accountants, are not really looking to pull off an attention-grabbing, career-revamping publicity gimmick. Neither are they Modi haters or Sonia lovers. They are essentially sane humans fighting to preserve humanity. They really are the patriots who want to save this country from becoming a cow-worshipping, intellectually crippled, veritable living hell. Today, India needs to be intolerant. Very very intolerant.