We have been listening to “intolerance” a lot these days in India. This has become a point of debate on a regular basis I think for last couple of weeks. The consistent point is – India has become intolerant, especially off late when the Narendra Modi led BJP Govt has come in power.
It’s obvious to have opinions, I too have my views on the same. Before, I scrutinize the subject further – I have been feeling that the intolerant India is more of a figment of few minds who are breaking their bread on this.
Before, going any further on my analysis I thought to get a definition of intolerance. No doubt I searched on Google (actually dictionary) for meaning of intolerance. Here is a Google screenshot of the definition – “Unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behaviour that differs from one’s own.” The definition on Dictionary.com is – “unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect persons of a different social group, especially members of a minority group.”
Based on the above two definition I started scrutinizing current state of affairs. The killing of Mr Kalburgi in Karnataka falls under the definition of intolerance. The Dadri incident happened in UP recently also falls in that category (both the definitions). I had criticized the same earlier – Tolerance. These could be stray incidents, and also how can we make Centre Govt liable and responsible for state level incidents? Especially when these have happened in states where Govts are of opposition parties?
In recent past I did not see any such incidents that were anything new. We are tolerant to many encroachments by Mandirs, Masjids and organizations affiliated to political parties. We are too insensitive to many things including terrorist attacks to killing of animals or people trying to save them. Surprisingly there was no hue and cry recently when a person (of one community) was killed by a group of people (from another community), who was trying to raise voice against cow slaughter in Karnataka (news link).
The next question is – if it is intolerance; do the minority groups feeling insecurity across India? Perhaps they are feeling as they have been for last so many years. Well, the other apt question could be – how do you define minority? According to census of India 2011 (Population distribution), there were few religions namely; Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist and 2 options no religion & others, effectively making eight divisions. So, if we divide 100% population by 8 divisions it comes out to be 12.5%. The definition of minority should accordingly be – religious group which has population <=12.5% is minority. According to this definition in 12 States & UTs Muslims are not minority (includes UP), in 8 Christians are not minority, Sikhs in 2 and Buddhists in 1. So, should we ask questions about how other groups (minority) are feeling in these states?
Also, before anyone concludes that I’m a BJP sympathizer I had been India Against Corruption enthusiast and therefore for many AAP supporter. However, I have kept my abilities to analyze open and have no political affiliation.
Here are two recent examples and therefore I think this could be termed as intolerance
China – China bans Ramadan fasting in mainly Muslim region
Switzerland – Switzerland overwhelmingly votes for burqa ban with £6,500 fine for Muslim women who rebel
So, I in this post, I tried to define intolerance, made my opinion on the same. Also, since the definition of intolerance had “minority group” in it, I tried defining that too. In the end I gave example of what could be termed as “intolerance”. Certainly that kind of thing has never happened in India since ages. Only remembrance of that historically is when Aurangzeb applied Jazya tax. Read details here – Jazya Wiki and Aurangzeb Jazya tax.
I posted on twitter
Penalty of apostasy in Islam is Death! That is intolerance. I do not see any intolerance in India.
Here is a link of discussion I am having with one of my childhood friends. We studied together, we were in Engineering together.
My point is simple define intolerance first and than ask if India has changed in last so many years or last 2 years?
My take – India has not become intolerant as discussed by many!