In this article, I would be using the term ‘Intolerance brigade’ to denote the Congress leaders, opposition leaders, actors, directors, writers, poets and scientists who affirmed that there is rising Intolerance in India after Modi became PM and even returned their awards as a protest against it.
For the past two months, one word has occupied Indian mind-space – Intolerance. While every Congress leader, Intellectual, Liberal, Secular and Journalist was contributing their whole energy to keep this Intolerance debate alive, nobody had mentioned in specific that who is contributing to this rising Intolerance. Now, International newspapers, like New York Times and Guardian have joined the bandwagon claiming that, there is rise in Intolerance in India after Modi came to power.
This Intolerance debate sprung from the Dadri incident, where a Muslim man was killed by Hindu men of his own village, for allegedly slaughtering and eating cow meat. This act is despicable and requires condemnation. But, bracketing the whole of Hindus, 800 million of them, for the crime done by 50 Hindus, does it sounds sane?
Not to mention, the Moodbidri incident, where a Hindu man was killed by Muslim Men, for preventing cow slaughter, can we extend the bracket there too? If whole of Hindus should be ashamed and declared Intolerant for the crime of a very few Hindus, can we extend the same to other religions?
Instead of doing a What-aboutery, can we just take a step aside and ask the Intolerance brigade to be more specific of who is contributing to the rising Intolerance in India?
If you answer ‘Yes’ for the below questions, then you can be vocal that Hindus have become Intolerant after Modi came to power:
- Can the whole Muslim population be declared Intolerant for the acts of few groups like Al Qaeda, Taliban, ISIS which call themselves as Islamic groups?
- Can the whole Christian population be declared Intolerant for militant activities of few Christians in Central Africa and North East India and for the sexual crimes that very few of their brethren had committed to young children?
- Can the whole Sikh population be declared Intolerant for acts of few Khalistani terrorists?
- Can the whole Buddhist population be declared Intolerant for few Buddhists involved in riots against Rohingyas?
If you had answered ‘No’ for the above questions, then you cannot term the whole Hindus as Intolerant in India.
And, the killing of three rationalists, which thoroughly deserved condemnation, does contribute to the rising Intolerance against rationalists in India. But Dhabolkar was killed in 2013, so that doesn’t account to the rising Intolerance after Modi came to power, which leaves us with two.
Pansare was killed in 2015 and a Sanathan Sansta member was caught. Recent investigation has revealed that the member was not involved in the murder. Kalburgi’s murder has community and property angle apart from Hindu extremist angle. So, there is chance that these murders were done by Hindu extremists and there is also a chance that this has got nothing to do with Hindu extremists. Even with the former case turning out to be true, crime of four Hindus does not account to the whole of Hindus being called Intolerant. Only those four criminals are Intolerant and deserves punishment of the highest order, not the innocent Hindus who can be tagged as Intolerant.
As we have seen the religious angle to the Intolerance debate, we can now proceed to analyse the contribution of religious groups to the rising Intolerance in India.
Please bring out a list of communal incidents that had happened in India after May 2014, for which RSS leaders or members had been booked or even alleged to have played a role? VHP? Bajrang Dal? Even if these Hindu organisations have contributed to the rising Intolerance, can you please show us a graph where it shows an escalation in communal atrocities by these Hindu extremist groups after May 2014? We want only post-May 2014 data, as the ‘rise in Intolerance’ is being portrayed as happening after May 2014.
Ok! Shiv Sena had prevented Ghulam Ali concert and poured ink on Sudheendra Kulkarni. This amounts to intolerance of a few Indians towards Pakistan. If Intolerance for India towards Pakistan is despicable, why are the same voices mocking BJP government for being unable to counter the Pakistani offensive on the border? So, the Intolerance brigade wants to kill Pakistani soldiers but want to invite Pakistani artists? What sort of a joke is this? If the Intolerance brigade want to extend the India-Pakistan argument to Hindu-Muslim issue, do they indirectly mean that Muslims are synonymous to Pakistan and thereby indirectly saying that all Indian Muslims must belong to Pakistan? Then, what is the difference between this Intolerance brigade and few motormouth Hindu leaders?
Let there come a clinching proof that Hindu organisations have raised Intolerance in India, does that mean the whole of India is intolerant? Do these Hindu groups represent the whole of India or just Hindus? Didn’t the voices belonging to the Intolerance brigade previously reject the same notion of ‘Hindu groups representing Hindus’?
If not Hindu groups, then is it Christian groups? Does making ‘All India Bakchod’ bend on their knees and forcing the ‘Agnes of God’ to be cancelled in Mumbai amount to Intolerance? Does making an Urdu woman editor to flee for life for reproducing Charlie Hebdo amounts to Intolerance? And the act of few Indian Muslims trying to join ISIS, which is actively involved in genocide, amount to intolerance? Can the Intolerance Brigade be more specific on which religious group is intolerant?
‘But.. But.. It is not the religious groups or people who are contributing to the rising Intolerance, it is BJP‘, you might say. Apart from Sakshi Maharaj, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyothi, how many BJP MPs has been booked with hate speech after May 2014, that had contributed to the rising Intolerance? Can the Intolerance brigade list the events that can be linked to BJP MPs, MLAs, leaders in the past 18 months that had contributed to the rising Intolerance in India? We want data on communal incidents presided by them or which happened under their watch. Not just hate speech, but that hate speech being translated into hateful actions.
If not BJP, then, is Congress the reason for rising Intolerance? Samajwadi Party? Trinamool Congress? Janata Dal (U)? Rashtriya Janata Dal? AIMIM? Can the Intolerance brigade be specific on who is contributing to the rising Intolerance and how?
‘Let us leave the political parties‘, you might say. ‘Look at Modi, his hands are stained with blood of Muslims killed in 2002 Godhra riots!‘, you might add. Is it not declared by Supreme Court monitored SIT that Modi is innocent and has no hands in riots? Is it not declared by Supreme Court that Sanjiv Bhatt had lied that Modi gave ‘free hand to rioters’? If you consider that Supreme Court is bought by Modi, how was Teesta Setalvad granted bail then? But since this debate is all about past 18 months, bring us a list of communal incidents which Modi presided or list of minority people Modi has slapped with his own hands? Make us believe that Modi is rising the Intolerance in India.
If not Modi, is it Sonia Gandhi who is causing the “Rising Intolerance”? Rahul Gandhi? Mayawati? Mulayam? Kejriwal? Nitish? Which political leader is then rising intolerance in India. Can the Intolerance brigade be more specific?
The Intolerance Brigade is supposed to be housing the Intellectuals of India. We have debated about the politicians in it. Now, let us talk about the others. Of all the contributors, Scientists who had contributed to the Intolerance debate must be criticized with all might, because the others in the Brigade are not expected to use their ‘brain’ to achieve in their respective fields. But every scientists works extensively to arrive at proofs. They cannot judge any event based on their emotions, they have to analyse under different environments and should arrive with proof.
Has the scientist PM Bhargava came out with any proof that Intolerance is rising in Modi’s India? Or did he reveal that he arrived at this conjecture, because he could not get any data? Data for communal incidents can be obtained from public data like newspapers and MHA website. If a journalist could come up with basic research based on available data, shouldn’t we expect a great scientist to come up with more credible proof that Intolerance is rising in India after Modi became PM?
Writers, actors, directors and poets approach an issue emotionally apart from using their brains. Since it is explicit that they have not used their brain in this Intolerance Debate by not citing proofs and approached the issue emotionally, we can forgive them for returning the awards.
By the way, an Intellectual is supposedly called Intellectual when the person acts intellectually instead of talking whatever comes to their brain. We are skeptic over the so-called ‘Intellectuals’ now.
If the Intolerance brigade claims that Intolerance is rising in India, does that mean they are not part of India? If they claim that they are very much Indian, do they also not contribute to the rising Intolerance, according to their claims, as they also constitute India? To clear all these doubts, can the Intolerance brigade be more specific about who is rising Intolerance in India?