‘India is trying to be a super power with all this poor people, it is not possible’ said my Swiss friend while having lunch at Delhi’s Imperial Hotel. 'Tourists hardly prefer to come in this dirty country that is even costlier than Thailand, and Thailad is very clean’,she further added. Then she kept on explaining how she get sick whenever she comes to India due to pollution, dust etc including her bad,funny sometimes strange experiences in India as a woman.Yes we are very tolerant people, I thought. And we Indians live in a cocoon thinking that our country is perfect and most tolerant in the world.
We do not think it an issue when we see filth around us, when we see children begging around us, of course we get to know about murder,rape and other such evils on a daily basis. But we are used to such things and life goes on. Perhaps we are more interested in silly things. These days we are caught up with another issue to fight over-Nationalists Vs Anti-Nationalists, though we never dare to call our corrupt politicians anti-nationals!According to the 'guidelines' of Hindutva brigade, anyone belongs to minority community or one who criticizes PM Modi is anti-national. I had a taste of their venomous attacks in online forums , my crime is that I belong to a minority community.
I grew up in an India where I was least bothered about my religion, it never occurred to me that I am a Christian. But these days whenever I try to write my opinion in online forum, I get trolled targeting my religion.One person even called me ‘Britisher’, ‘destroyer of civilizations’ ‘rice bag converts’ (I am sorry, they do not even know the history of Christianity in Kerala)and someone who ‘worship Goddess Sonia’.((Frankly I do not have any idea where Sonia Gandhi stands in my life and what she has to do with my views.)Anti-national,professional hater of Hinduism etc are common abuses and some I cannot even write here. I am sure those online trolls do not have any idea about the culture or history of India but somewhere I feel let down by my compatriots, one part of me gets angry and other part of me gets hurt.Who has the right to question my 'Indianess?', Who are they to question my patriotism?
When actors like Sharukh Khan and Aamir khan have voiced their concerns over growing intolerance in India, they too are trolled by the online Hindutva brigade.
Even people go out to burn Aamir’s effigy(I just wonder where do we get all those youth to destructive work? Do they participate with equal enthusiasm to some constructive work to build a better India?)
They say that they are hurt by Aamir’s words.Why they do not get hut or betrayed seeing a little girl begging on street? Why they do not feel ashamed seeing filth aroud them? Why they do not get hurt when daughters of India are raped and abused?Why do they not ashamed seeing the cancerous corruption in the society?Why do they not react with such passion and aggression against all this social evils?
Did they ever reach out and ask a person belongs to minority religion, how does he/she feel? I do remember the panic and insecurity feeling of my Muslim friend in Delhi during Dadri incident, and many Muslims share that insecurity feeling. Only a person belonging to minority community can feel that and it is really insensitive to brand those who speak out their fears as anti-national, it doesn’t make us human beings. Besides people jump to compare India with certain autocratic Middle Eastern countries and Pakistan, but those countries are not model states and our democracy is modeled on western system.
The issue is that we mix religion with politics and this trend is getting dangerous with the ascent of BJP to power. A deliberate attempt to polarize majority Hindu vote is going on in India and it would only pull India backwards.Europe has learned her lesson from the mistake of mixing religion and politics,ofcourse with a heavy price. I do not know when we are going to learn that.Again Pakistan is a perfect example of a failed nation for the fault of mixing religion and politics. Thanks to our founding fathers especially Gandhiji,Nehru and Ambedkar to whom we are indebted to the secular aspect of the constitution.I wish our youth to wake up and work for a better India rather than wasting their time and energy on divisive and viscious agenda.