How much intolerance in India is there right now? In a secular country, in a domestic country, now one cannot even practice 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 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 the Government has been doing?
However, one big blow to the Government was when Bollywood superstar Mr. Shahrukh Khan, shared his views and thoughts regarding the development of the country.
It was not until the very next day there was a tweet from the BJP leader Mr. Kailash Vijayvargiya suggesting that Khan’s “soul is in Pakistan”. This caused a bit of verbal diarrhea on the 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 naming Shahrukh for heinous crimes.
Intolerance in India: A Look at What he Said
Leaving behind the fact whether what the actor did was right or wrong; have we all forgotten that we live in a democratic country? And that the actor was just giving out his views and opinions when asked. Have we all forgotten that we are in a secular state wherein the unity is enjoyed by celebrating the diversity and not by posting such raging statements out on a social networking websites.
It doesn’t end here, and then 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 put bad words to a country he was born in, and that the country who made him so great wouldn’t have done so if it indeed discriminated 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 able to voice his opinion, who can?
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 mean the 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 actually 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 the 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, wanted in India for a number of hate cases, tweeted and supported the actor and saying that he would be welcomed in Pakistan. The development did mean that a few BJP supporters crying hoarse that they were right.
It’s interesting as to how people and politicians in particular, speak up at the 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 what it was before. However, you cannot resort to defamation if someone thinks something else. You can argue on merits but not by hurling accusations at him or defaming – that just 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 acrot has been vocal about how he believes that the returning of the awardees have 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 r 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? High time we stop this fascism. 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.
Because well, there is a lot of zeal to hate but there is a lot more happiness when it comes to love.