Citizen, Intolerant India
I write in the wake of much debated statement of yours at the highly publicized media event, expressing alarm and despondency over growing intolerance in India. So much so that you contemplated moving out.
To be honest, it was shocking to hear what you said but a careful look at the video when you uttered those three magical words – ‘despondency, disquiet and intolerance’ and the loud cheer and claps with which it was received, it almost appeared that some people were happy to hear what you said. The speed and language with which your words were reported makes me almost certain that this was a fixed match with a fixed script. You knew what you were doing, after all you are what they call a thinking man’s actor. True to the image of a perfectionist that you are, you played your role beautifully, sticking to the script.
You knew that your words will be used to put down the Government for no rhyme or reason but you chose to play along and bracketed India with host of other intolerant nations like Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. At what prize and for what gain is anybody’s guess. But from what I see, there is a message and symbolism beyond the obvious – some of you have not been able to reconcile with the fact that a man of humble means has become the Prime Minister of this country.
And Sir, if this is the real reason for your ‘despondency, disquiet and intolerance’, please leave the charade of being apolitical and neutrality. Stray incidents of violence don’t make a country intolerant. A country becomes intolerant when their heroes incite minority scaremongering instead of calming and stabilizing nerves. It is no body’s case that intolerance does not exist in India, it does and it always has but instead of using your status as celebrity influencer to be a part of the solution, you chose to become a part of the problem. Insinuating that ruling dispensation has got something to do with growing intolerance is using your influence to create a fear psychosis amongst the minorities, which is extremely disturbing.
Artists have in the past expressed anger against ruling parties through protest arts, satires, etc. but no went so far to label it ‘Intolerant India’, particularly so when it used to be ‘Incredible India’ just about eight months back. Doesn’t the irony of your statement on rising intolerance at a highly publicized event on live television strike you even once? Or, is this part of your blind side?
Sir, remove the blinkers and see the bright side – the three biggest stars ruling the hearts of millions in India are religious minorities and for all its fallacies remember these lines from your own movie – koi bhi desh perfect nahi hota, use perfect banana padta ha! And if you still think the country is intolerant and blame lies with the Central Government, don’t leave the country just yet, wait another 40 months and let us all install another robot as PM of this country for ten years. Maybe then the winter of your discontent becomes a glorious summer.
Citizen, Incredible India