Why we see incidents of intolerance and fundamentalism in India? Why is it opined that some Indians are becoming more intolerant? Are politicians, the real proponents of intolerance? Is it just a media hype?
India from its genesis is known for its multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-dimensional, with increasing social and economic inequalities, continuous poverty, malnutrition, discrimination based on caste, intolerance and tolerance acting simultaneously.
India is facing a growth of intolerance and religious fundamentalism as easily drawn from the incidents which has taken place in recent years and are happening now.
(a) Gujarat riots, Babri masjid, hate speeches, ink attacks on Sudheendra Kulkarni, legislator Rashid and Dadri lynching cases show dramatic rise in communalism, intolerance, fundamentalism and religious fanaticism. Thus showing a wide gulf between what the constitution enshrines and what is happening now.
(b) Farmers suicide, urban migration in search of any ordinary job instead of farming, decreasing crop area, inability of government to finance farming community shows that the backbone of Indian economy i,e rural India is showing signs of a rural holocaust and their voices are not heard & that is why they have to think something extra-ordinary.
(c) Practice of untouchability is still prevalent in India in spite of having constitutional legislation banning it. This practice of untouchability is not only limited to inter-community level but in intra-community level too.
(d) Some persons are trying to induce communal violence citing reports of census based on religion. And particularly with the coming of new government at the centre, communal violence has become routine of the day.
I don’t think that whole India i,e 1.2 billion population is turning intolerant. Surely no, but with the change of government at the centre , these communal and intolerant elements have found new breath of life and they are doing whatever they want and no one is questioning them. I don’t think only one community is responsible for it but some intolerant elements are present in both major communities of India (Hindus as well as muslims) and some sections of people assume themselves so sensitive that they cant tolerate rational views of rationalists ,some are murdered , some are receiving terror calls , even the scholars have been attacked and murdered, thus limiting the freedom of speech of other remaining portion of scholars. Whole India is not intolerant it is just a small percentage of Indian population , which has gone wild.
Role of politics:- Politics surely has an indispensable role to play. If politics promotes intolerance, then it increase exponentially and eventually it will lead to chaos and break-down constitutional machinery.
For the RTI and Lokpal , we have to capture streets and incur loss to national economy to get our rights. I think, had the politicians been pro-active and prompt , the murderers of Dadri case, murderers of Zahid Rasool, rapists and other criminals had not been roaming free.
I feel, had the strong statements, strict actions and proper punishment been issued against criminal persons or organizations, which are inducing intolerance in the society, incidents of communal violence and rapes(especially of minors) could not have become routine of the day in our country. Especially, the present should act pro-actively , if they yearn to see 2020 vision of Dr. Kalam become a reality.
By Irshad Ahmad wani