What does intolerance look like in India? How intolerant are the citizens of our democratic country? In a secular country, in a domestic country, one does not even possess the freedom of expression or freedom of speech. It all began when awardees began returning their national awards in protest after incidents like Dadri and the lynching of writers. Soon, the number has swelled up, with everyone, including Narayan R. Murthy voicing their concern over the rising intolerance in India.
What has the Government been doing?
However, one big blow to the Government was when Bollywood superstar Mr. Shahrukh Khan shared his views and thoughts regarding the country’s development.
It was not until the very next day when a tweet from the BJP leader Mr. Kailash Vijayvargiya suggested that Khan’s “soul is in Pakistan.” This caused verbal diarrhea on social media. Not too late until we had another BJP leader comparing the actor with the mastermind terrorist Hafiz Sayeed. Other BJP leaders have followed suit as well, calling out Shahrukh for heinous crimes.
Intolerance in India: A Look at What he Said
I do not want to impose my opinions and beliefs on anyone but, have we all forgotten that we live in a democratic country? And that the actor was only giving out his views and opinions when asked. Have we all forgotten that we are in a secular state wherein unity is enjoyed by celebrating diversity and not posting such raging statements out on social networking websites?
It doesn’t end here, and we have our media cooking a broth out of nothing but water.
Shahrukh: “There is growing intolerance in the country.”
Media and many talented individuals: “Shahrukh stated that there is intolerance in India.”
Many even went on to say that Shahrukh shouldn’t say such things to a country where he was born and that the country which made him so great wouldn’t have done so if it indeed discriminated against him on the lines of religion. The fact here is, he only stated there was growing intolerance. And if he, being an Indian citizen, isn’t allowed to voice his opinion, who is?
Unfortunately, we don’t allow foreigners to tell something about us – because, well, they are Westerners and deserve no right in what we say. Fine enough, but if we don’t allow our people to speak out against what they feel is wrong, who will?
So, what is the way out? Does banning the bans and becoming intolerant of the intolerant the only way out?
Bollywood Support for Shahrukh’s Intolerance in India speech
The actor in no way suggested the bad governance of the country. Yet, we have them spewing such irrational statements all over the channels, and we have actually been absorbing whatever the media pours out. “The intolerance in India” debate isn’t about that.
The actor received a lot of applause and a lot of support from his fellow B-town folks.
The Other Side of the Story
Interestingly, the issue was politicized by most political parties, including people from those across the border. Hafiz Sayeed, who is wanted in India for several hate cases, tweeted and supported the actor, saying that he would welcome him in Pakistan. The development did mean a few BJP supporters crying hoarse that they were right.
It’s interesting how people, and politicians, in particular, speak up at the most opportune times to seek credit for things they have taken no role in.
Being Tolerant is the key.
At Icy Tales, we believe in loving everyone for who they are. You may hate Shahrukh for more reasons than one, but you cannot stop him from expressing his opinion. His opinion might differ, and you may believe that intolerance in India is just as it was before. However, you cannot resort to defamation if someone thinks and believes in something else. You can argue on merits but not by hurling accusations at him or defaming him – that belittles you. And when such accusations come from the ruling politicians in the country, there is a problem.
And that’s why we love Anupam Kher. The actor has been vocal about how he believes that the awardees’ return has been politically motivated and selective but hasn’t stopped when it came to defending Shahrukh.
Some members of the BJP really need to control their tongue & stop talking rubbish about @iamsrk. He is a national icon & We are PROUD of him.
— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPkher) November 4, 2015
The actor has been compared to a criminal mastermind and an agent of Pakistan. What next? Are the fans going to be mistaken for sleeper cells? It’s high time we stop this fascism. In high time we start acting like one united entity. India is a great country; it’s time we started respecting each other and stopped hating everyone.
There is a lot of zeal to hate, but there is a lot more happiness when it comes to love.