Thursday, November 12, 2015

We Are The Champions of Tolerance!

Dearest countrymen and women, till a few days back I was like you and SRK, wondering if intolerance is on the rise, pulling us back to the dark ages. Though I’m still not sure why they call it the dark ages, because our ancestors were pretty chilled out. They encouraged questioning, argument, debate and the give and take of ideas instead of banishing anyone who dared disagree, to a land infested by Mughals and calling them pseudo intellectuals. Instead of throwing ink at each other, they preferred inking literary works like the Urubhanga, Mricchakatika and Meghadootam as well as the most liberal Indian export in history, Kama Sutra. True, Edison had yet to light up their lives but even we in our modern times, experience dark ages, staring at walls, thanks to the efficiency of our vidyut boards.

Lynching for eating mutton that might have been beef. Lynching for being low-caste. Lynching for ‘just like that’. Inking Sudheendra Kulkarni (I’m no fan, even then). Killing of Kalburgi, for his frequent criticism of what he saw as superstition and false beliefs.

Dare you say that such concerted “incidents” are shameful! Dare you say that culprits are inflicting these with impunity because they know they’ll be safe! You were promptly labelled as ant-national, ‘pseudo Hindu’ and offered a one way ticket to Pakistan by ‘Yogis and Sadhvis’ who magically appear on TV. Come to think of it, are they actually Pakistani tourism, since no one in their right senses would visit that country!
Image courtesy Twitter

But seriously, where were these sainiks of true Hindu religion, when Babar invaded India? Where was the bravado when Tipu Sultan massacred Hindus and razed temples? Why didn’t they burst crackers when Humayun tumbled down the stairs and fractured his skull?


Like many, I chose to be angry in private. I’d nod my head in agreement every time I read a fierce critique of rising violence stoked by communalism. It didn’t help that our respected PM’s stoic silence encouraged his party members to amuse us with mothballed views (sorry for hurting the sentiments of the moth community) on patriotism and Hindu superiority to justify everything. According to them, all Muslims are evil and the only way we can counter evil is by being evil and behaving exactly like the fundamentalists.

I was busy expressing intolerance against those voicing intolerance against those protesting against rising intolerance in the country. Phew!

Finally I was hit by the blinding truth while stuck in debilitating Gurgaon traffic. Massaging my head, trying to drown out the impromptu horny symphony of irate drivers, I realised how much shit we tolerate on a daily basis. Of course, we are not intolerant!

Remember all those awful movies you sat through just because you’d paid 450 bucks for a ticket? Didn’t you put up with Mrs Sharma, your Boss’s bitter half, bragging non-stop about their luxury holiday in Warsaw while you spent a few miserable days in Mussoorie! Tell me, if we can tolerate potholed roads, power outages, Arnab Goswami on Newshour, the FB friend who uploads a new selfie with her dog every hour or the slimy inspector expecting chai paani for a hassle free police-verification of our passport – WHY CAN’T WE TOLERATE INTOLERANCE!

Why are writers, filmmakers and scientists returning their awards to protest against growing religious violence? Don’t men and women get killed all the time for reasons as trivial as a fight over parking space, rotis not being round enough, driving carefully, falling in love with a boy from a different caste or simply existing! What’s a few recent killings over cows and caste? Love is in the air only on Karvachauth and Valentine’s Day (only if you’re out of pouncing rage of an upholder of morals). But hate is in the air, all through the year.

I’m aghast why no one is accusing Maggi or even Chhota Rajan, also part of the wapasi scheme, of pseudo intellectualism and agenda driven outrage. How dare some of you celebrate the return of Maggi when you should be accusing ‘her’ of a hidden agenda to make us fat! In this season of returns, even Bihar engineered a Modi wapasi and sent him back to the UK. Or is it the US?

Dear pseudo intellectuals and Biharis, out to bring a bad name to our country, if you cretins are really serious about your protests, please do it the right way. Instead of resorting to sissy ways to protest, man up and bludgeon a few chickens instead with your trophies. Or pigs. Besides, the government will run out of storage space with so many awards arriving every day by Speed Post.

The only saffron lining in the cloud of outrage is that self-proclaimed patriots attacking these “traitors” have discovered their hidden talent. It requires immense dedication, flair, the fine skin of a hippopotamus and volumes of earwax to keep hurling insults at renowned filmmakers, accomplished writers and thought leaders and turn intellectualism and secularism into cuss-words. And that too, without ever having set their eyes on scriptures and books that truly embody our heritage.

There’s far too much polarization in this country – selfless individuals interested in the welfare of cows pitted against selfish ones only interested in development and India’s seat in the global community. Alas, this has made me miss the good old days, when UPA was in power. At least there was no polarization. We were all united by apathy and our wait for the dawn of achhe din.

Unfortunately in the era of achhe din, there are now three kinds of Indians – Right Wingers, Left Wingers and those wondering where their next meal will come from! And the most secular place – your neighborhood KFC, the only place where a right wing happily mingles with the left in a bucket.




53 comments:

  1. The part I loved most about your article is the 1st line of the last paragraph (loved MOST, because I loved the rest of it too!). We must look beyond right v/s left wings and focus on what the vast majority of our country needs - food, jobs and security.

    Freedom of expression, like many terms in today's times, has been diluted. Maybe we need to be less selfish and look at what is good for the country, rather than demanding what we think is right for ourselves.

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    Replies
    1. I have a problem with others deciding what's good for us. Telling us how a woman should behave and who a true Hindu is.

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  2. What a resounding post, Purba. And thanks for demonstrating your tolerance of haters by lovingly giving them something so substantial to chew on!

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    1. Much fodder for thought will produce even more cowdung :p

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  3. Now that you spoke about intolerance and animal meat, that too in somewhat superior English, Guruji is convinced that you are a liberal who took hotdogs in your tiffin box and visited Disneyland as foretold by the wise and the scholarly - http://bit.ly/1QjOMSJ

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    Replies
    1. Chetan Bhagat jee knows all. Afterall, all he had was poha for lunch.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. It is the duty of those in power to address the concerns of their critics. Telling the critics to go to Pakistan is not helping their cause. And, KFC guys, are you reading this? You have a great tag line here.

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    1. Dear KFC, I expect your payment in hardcash and not buckets of chicken.

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  6. Wonderfully written. It's frustrating to be a liberal these days because no one else is. You have to pick sides or you are not "aware" of the real world! Somehow democracy has become a sideshow of blind sycophancy. Loved your first paragraph. Very well researched !

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    1. Who decides what a true liberal is? I can be liberal in faith and conservative in my values. Just because I am not a Right Wing fan doesn't make me a Left winger. Just because I'm anti Hundu hardliners doesn't make me a hinduphobe. I'm allowed to pick and choose what suits my sensiblities and no one gets to label me.

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    2. wish there was a 'like' button here for your reply

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  7. Why have we suddenly become so active after having been somnolent for ages?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All the devout ones are out of their closets because they now have support.

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  8. The problem with us is we seem to be regressing ... Harping on what went wrong in the past instead of looking towards the future.Not learning from history but wallowing in it is our biggest mistake.

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    Replies
    1. When History is dredged to malign long dead rulers and settle scores with other communities, it's no longer history but propa'ganda'.

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  9. The problem with us is we seem to be regressing ... Harping on what went wrong in the past instead of looking towards the future.Not learning from history but wallowing in it is our biggest mistake.

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  10. Excellent article Purba! I also feel frustrated to be labeled as something or the other always - it's either agree to absolutely everything or relocate to Pakistan.

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  11. Let me be the first one to tell you to be prepared to be called Sickular, two-face, go to Bangladesh type of love mail.... soon... besides that... keep them coming :)

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    Replies
    1. I have already been called all of the above :p

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  12. Absolutely! We are the champions of tolerance. We have never stood up for ourselves and we will not... If we do we are anti-nationals..
    Can't agree more when I have just blogged about the lit fest where the audience (me too) let the actor get away even though he called us 'paid audience'.

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    1. What?

      Let me read your post first.

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  13. Fabulous satire, as usual, Purba. As Arun Shourie said and you've suggested in your inimitable style, earlier we had to put up with the Congress and now it's Congress plus the cow.

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    1. I laughed so loud when I read his statement.

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  14. Yet, another one and you nailed it. Sometimes, I feel that I should just read and not comment for the power of your words. Love this one: And the most secular place – your neighborhood KFC, the only place where a right wing happily mingles with the left in a bucket.
    Where are we going to learn to stand for ourselves and be more tolerant!!

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    Replies
    1. If you can't stand for yourself, at least don't demean those who are and call them anti-nationals.

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  15. Tolerating the tolerant,
    has got everybody's goat, cow and aunt,
    into being butchered into evolving a new
    sense of being offended, by the chosen few.
    Every lover of Maggi, thus, bow down in shame
    Let the only lover spared be the dewaani of prem.

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  16. Haha it is amazing how we take offence for everything ! I could quote some lines I liked about this article, but then I realized that it is the whole article itself..so..
    Brilliant !

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  17. Awesome read...

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  18. Trust you to find humor in the worst scenario! :D

    An admirable trait, mind you! And, something we wish that our leaders had! The world would be a better place!

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    Replies
    1. Maybe they do, but in private. In public space they speak only to instigate.

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  19. Wow love ur sense of humor and play of words here !

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  20. An excellent post and very well articulated! I agree with the title and a few parts of the article, and I respect your views. You have a great sense of humor. :)

    India is a very tolerant country. Period.

    The 6 metros are a very small part of India. Of those 6 metros, the English speaking twitterati who also watch English media channels and also read an anti-Hindu paper like the Hindu or Times of India are truly minuscule. They, the 0.1% of India, are the one's debating tolerance.

    Nobody else cares. Why? Because there is no intolerance.

    Bihar elections are over. Award wapsi counters are closed. Intolerance has now dropped drastically till next elections.

    Nobody was lynched because they ate beef, which turned out to be mutton - a suspected cattle-thief was lynched in the backdrop of massive cattle theft in UP for the last 1 year - many poor farmers lost their livelihood because of that - haven't found a SINGLE report on the background cattle theft in any mainstream English media paper. Why? Because (as somebody has said) media wants Muslims to die so that they can get a story - they don't care about Hindus dying.

    Mob lynching is a heinous crime and should be punished accordingly, not as a communal crime but rather as a violent act. If anybody is punished it should be MMS, for converting a horrific crime into a horrific religious crime.

    In almost all so-called Dalit-lynching cases, the Dalits were lynched by Dalits - there was no caste angle to it. But MMS gave it a caste angle.

    Kalburgi the so-called rationalist did not mind urinating on Hindu idols and expressed such thoughts multiple times publicly. If that is rationalism, thank God I am not. I am sure he would not have dared say anything about drawing cartoons. What happened to him was wrong, and the perperators of such a horrific crime have been nrought to justice.

    India is a very tolerant country on the cusp of mega-progress but our mainstream media which is funded by enemies of India cannot tolerate India's progress.
    - We tolerate Samlam Khurshid going to Pakistan, praising Pakistani government and defaming India.
    - We tolerate Arundhati Roy, who makes rabid anti-India statements and calls Indian Army a terrorist and praises Pakistan for restraint
    - We tolerate Owaisi, despite him making open recorded statements of decimating all Hindus
    - We tolerate Burkhma Dutt, despite it being clear that she has an anti-national agenda
    - We tolerate Salman Khan movies, Sharukh Khan's overacting and Amir Khans pretense intellectualism.
    - We tolerate Durga Puja visarjan in Kolkata being postponed by 2 days so that Muharram is not disturbed
    - We tolerate mediocrity which is an inevitable fallout of reservations
    - We tolerate an intolerant country like Saudi calling us intolerant
    - And we tolerated an Aurangzeb street!

    We tolerate so many things at so many levels, that it is ridiculous when someone calls us intolerant.

    If we have to progress, the only thing we have to stop tolerating is stupidity.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. If tolerance levels are normal, why is it every voice of dissent is branded as anti-national and branded a troublemaker?

      Why justify violence with past tragressions?

      Why say - I condemn so and so's killing but also say 'he desrved it' in the same breath!

      But I do appreciate that you chose to respond to my post in a civil manner and presented your set of arguments.


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  21. Dont bother much what you see in the news. Its paid or advertorial as they all call it.

    You will always see or hear the editors or the sponsors view.

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  22. Yes, the polarization is quite frightening. I feel every kind of voice needs to be heard -- the rightist and the leftist. The intolerance comes in trying to suppress a few voices and in believing that only one voice is the right voice. Also, there is the problem of media whipping up the frenzy rather than being responsible and reporting news. That said,no sane person would actually support bans or killing of people over food choices or curtailing of freedom of speech. How that blame is being apportioned in a well-thought out manner to a certain party is quite interesting. The government on its part is faltering in not sending unequivocal messages at the right time and in muzzling idiot elements. Overall, a messy situation.

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    1. Agree.

      All I want to say is, just because a certain section is not in favour of Modi and his policies doesn't make them Hinduphobes, ant-nationals or AAPtards.

      Delete
  23. Comming to UK was the best decision I made in my life..

    going on a tangent Did you see the killing in paris.. The media there .. I mean no minister or a leader speaking against opposition or blaming the other leader.. had this been in india we would have a TAMASHA of media ..

    Genuinly I feel that we need to wake up to a Different kind of intolerence where Terrorism is involved ..

    Bikram's

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    1. We are an emotional country and tend to overreact in situations like these.

      And our Politicians ; the less said about them the better.

      Delete
  24. Great satire. I loved the jibe about Pakistan Tourism. You might have a point there. That could be their backup plan. After all, why do always insist on Pakistan? Why not Singapore or US?

    I'm glad BNLF introduced me to your blog. Have a wonderful week.

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    1. Hehehe..why not Singapore or US indeed!

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  25. This is one post that sounded like a resounding slap that I am itching to exercise on the popping crusaders of nationalism and all the other 'isms' that deepen the chasm. Conversations now delicately balance on trying to figure out which side of the fence you are in...And what an analogy you found in the KFC bucket!

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    1. I'm just sickened by this new brand of patriotism.

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  26. The way you summed it with analogy of KFC says it all! Weare too diverse in every conceivable way in terms of social , economic and several other levels so one can only hope for the best, Purba !

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    1. This recent trend that's hell bent upon branding every voice of dissent as anti-national is scary.

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  27. I am reading your post after replying to all the comments on my FB post on the Aamir episode and it cant come at a better time ! I am aghast at the venom being spewed against him and his wife and also some bordering on the lewd and crude. Why cant we have a mature debate about this ?? But coming back to your post Purba, right on dot there !

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  28. Wonder how many will truly understand this post... The growing polarization worries me...a bird needs both its wings to fly... But then again when wings comingle in a bucket, they end up getting eaten...a wonderful read as always

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