Welcome to the world of inhumanity, insensitivity and uncertainty. India, which was once known for its integrity and diverse nature, is no more a tolerant nation. Peace and non violence which was the dream of Mahatma Gandhi during independence has remained merely a dream. Atrocity and barbarism has become the part of culture. As of now there is no leader like Azad to live for secularism and no Jaiprakash to die for socialism but yes, there is long list of people who survive to taste the blood of masses.
From the ongoing incidents it seems like intolerance among Indians is increasing because of cultivation of ‘politics of hate’ and the behavior shows India is tending towards an era of barbarism and the civilization of illiterate where nobody thinks of his own but believes in whatever so called religious and political leader says. Here sentiments are much more worthy than life of human beings. A man is lynched by hundreds of people just because of a rumor that he consumed beef. Condemning Dadri incident former High Court judge Markandey Katju said, “What could be more unfortunate than this that a man is killed on the basis of rumor and for no other reason”, during a lecture at Banaras Hindu University. Incident like Dadri have become common and normal incident, the right wing activists don’t hesitate to take law in their hand and behave more like culture police. After the brutal killing of Akhlaque, now it was turn of Zahid Bhatt and Noman Akhter who were again killed by a wild mob. Incidents like Dadri are not only limited to Uttar Pradesh and Haryana but have reached up to states like Kashmir, Himachal and Manipur. It sounds so desperate when a Chief of a state advices Muslim and Christians not to eat beef if they want to continue in India. Manohar Lal Khatter is not a fringe element but Chief Minister of Haryana and statement from such chairs clearly indicates where India is moving. In fact the statement of Prime Minister on Dadri lynching came after a week which was also not very mature. He spoke on unity but kept himself away from the main issue, he expressed sorrow over the death of Akhlaque but didn’t condemn the killing that resulted in the death and nor did he defend the constitution and its values.
In India many groups like ‘gau raksha samitis’ and ‘gau seva mandals‘ are emerging and hence it is clear who is responsible for changing the definition of Indian democracy from ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’ to ‘of the cow, by the cow, for the cow.
Suddenly cow became the instrument to mobilize Hindu population for saffron agenda of RSS and ally BJP to make Hindu rashtra. Apoorvanand, a Hindi teacher of Delhi University explains this phenomenon in his article to The Indian Express “according to the RSS narrative, Muslims are the political rivals of Hindus. But since Gandhi and Nehru conspired to make them equal citizens of Hindu country, ways have to be found to show them ‘their place’. The cow has proved useful for this. If Hindus hold it sacred they can kill whoever defiles it. And Muslims are the first suspect”. RSS is following the same footprints of Pakistani extremist who use symbol of prophet to suppress minorities.
However the debate on intolerance began when BJP sworn into power but raised sharply in September after the cold murder of Malleshappa Madivalappa Kalburgi and other rationalists. Kalburgi was gunned down at his home in Karnataka. He was an academician and a rationalist.
After these two specific incidents social forces start uniting and protest evoked from all over the India academicians, writers and artists followed by scientists and filmmakers took the charge and start returning their award. Eminent writer Nayantara Sahgal also returned the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in protest against what she called the “vanishing space” for diversity. In an interview to The Indian Express daily newspaper what she said is notable “The attacks that are taking place today have to be countered, have to be opposed in a loud, clear voice, not the muted voices we are hearing from very diplomatic commentators on TV programs. There are times in history when you have to stand up and be counted. And this is one of them.” Irfan Habib, the renowned historian, also joined the row and attacked directly on fundamentalist approach of RSS by saying “There is not much difference between ISIS and the RSS as far as intellect goes.” Later many personalities like Saeed Mirza, Narayan Murthy, Arundhati Roy, Raghuram Rajan and Shahrukh Khan joined the protest against increasing intolerance.
Now perception is also building that Narendra Modi has used the slogan of development merely to stimulate the principles of its parental organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Perhaps this is not the first time that India is facing intolerance, but this is surely the only government which is propagating and communalizing population to promote ideology of ‘Hindutva’ of its parent organization.