There is some or the other type of intolerance rising in India at this time, and there’s been an even greater intolerance among some people rising in the denial of the fact that ‘intolerance is indeed on the rise‘. But I am here to highlight the third set of people who hold a permanent place in the society and are always on the lookout for finding a fault with others — and have been doing an excellent job of judging them. These are the people who are intolerant to anything and everything at any point of time.
There have been few instances where they have shown remarkable display of brightness in picking up an unusual twisted side of a case and presenting it to people. Then there some more intellectual set of Facebook (or offline) Janta who do not think twice about the validity of any point of view and instantly propel them forward
I noticed some people sharing the following image on Facebook.
To add some insight, Satyameva Jayate talked about sensitive social issues of the country with genuine victims on the show to discuss their experiences. Almost all episodes were hard-hitting to bring the audience to tears to the sufferings that people have been through. One episode particularly was an awakening for me, that discussed our attitude towards Mental Health related issues. I had never given any serious thought to this fact that like any other physical illness, mental disorders are just improper functioning of emotional behavior and can, in fact, be treated with medication. There was something or the other for everyone to raise their level of awareness. SMJ team has indeed put a diligent effort in bringing up people to open their eyes to things that they have been passionately doing all wrong all the while.
Then, there are some who felt otherwise: “wo sab to thik hai…par usne paise kitne donate kiye (all that is fine… but how much did he himself donate)?”
Me: “But there is a difference between, ‘raising awareness’ and ‘raising fund’? Nevermind that, though, have you ever made a donation?”
Them (in a mocking tone): “But there is a difference between earning in lakhs and earning in crores!”.
Jyoti Singh Rape Case Enthusiasts:
The shocking case of the brutal rape of Jyoti Singh in the year 2012 was put on the fast track court owing to the mass public protest and the severity of the crime committed. Surprisingly, the case did not end there and still seems to be floating in the social media with a twist in the tale — in which there has been an enormous effort to associate this incident with friendship day. How, you ask? I was also struggling to figure out the logic — I mean isn’t friendship in itself special enough that we need to have a reason and example to celebrate it? Few even went ahead with comparing how her friend bravely fought with criminals yet did not receive any monetary help from the government, whereas Jyoti’s family did.
I was puzzled and wanted to ask some social media intellectuals who seemed to have understood the concept and were busy spreading it around via WhatsApp and Facebook etc. Here’s a piece of conversation I had with them where I mustered enough courage to ask the rational thoughts behind it.
Me: Umm… You know I totally empathize with the whole ‘Jyoti Singh’ episode and can understand the ordeal both she and her friend must have gone through while trying to fight the crime that night. But what’s it with a connection between friendship day suddenly with the survivor friend? A brave person will be brave irrespective of relationship he holds with the person. Shouldn’t bravery be more of an appropriate recognition in this case?
SMI (Social Media Intellectual): Every occasion celebrated in India is associated with some sort of mythological/historical story around it, and now that being part of the global culture, we can’t prevent our people from celebrating simple and straight forward special relationships, we must try to associate them with something that is emotionally touchy. Simply celebrating friendship day in India, a place where a person acquiring a lot of friends is seen more like a threat among Indian parents rather than a socializing trait of their child — isn’t encouraged much. For a long time, we resisted such celebrations in the name of not-our-culture defenses and it didn’t work. We can’t tolerate the fact that a country like ours having a plethora of celebrations itself, copying an occasion from the west just like that. So having an emotional angle to friendship day will primarily demonstrate our ability to come up with meaningful celebrations, on our own. In fact, along the same lines, we are thinking of initiating few more changes in the dates — like Valentine’s Day to be shifted to the date when Sri Ram attacked Lanka to rescue his beloved Sita from Ravan, instead of having it on 14th of February. In this way, Shiv Sena goons will no longer be able to claim it to have western influence and might, in fact, just start celebrating.
Me: I get it! A relationship all by itself among earthly human beings is surely too mediocre. Pretty clever indeed to carve out a link between celebration and an extraordinary reason for celebrating it. But what is the problem with the father receiving financial help from the government. After all, the loss of an all grown up child is a huge personal loss for him. Isn’t it insensitive to make a comparison of him with the friend in terms of who received what? And if they are making a conscious effort to recover from it by accepting some aid, collect their shattered lives up and get going despite the adversity, how does that become questionable?
SMI: We know what a personal loss is. We have seen a hell lot of movies after all. We understand people forever grieving a death and here is a father who is still trying to be alive for the rest of the people in the house. Pity he sold his agricultural land to educate the daughter or worked double shift be able to pay her school fees. But he should have never attempted to accept any help if he expected a continuous flow of sympathy. That’s just not the typical thing that happens in Bollywood movies, and those are after all, so close to the reality — it’s too hard not to judge such people.
I was now beginning to see why people have no idea what a movie like ‘Dor‘ is all about — where an orthodox Rajput family’s young widow is made to live a life completely devoid of joy. Mourning her lost husband is expected to become the sole purpose of her life after his death. And why dumb films like ‘Chennai Express‘ earn in crores.
If only all these people were limited to only the virtual world, life would have been so much tolerable! But, as a matter of fact, they aren’t. Like the following person very much in flesh and bones, who can drop some knowledge about the entire world — to anyone just by virtue of her own imagination.
They have a name in Sanskrit, Kupamandukas
Their world is restricted to their limits, and so is their wisdom
There is this particular lady I keep bumping into, who has hypothesized that everything she is associated with, is the most superior thing in the world. Whenever we meet, she would start enquiring about things in a pretentious manner as if she’s genuinely interested in my well-being — but then suddenly she would slam a comparison on my face, that’d leave me annoyed for quite some time. So, I made it a point, that I would keep my conversations with her neutral about stuff and expose little information so that she would keep her opinions to herself.
The other day we happened to begin a formal conversation. While trying to keep the topic absolutely non-controversial, I spoke something about her and her son. Typical things about how she must miss her son now that he’s all grown and busy in life etc. But pretty much to my surprise, her reply came as an explicit comparison between her community with respect to others — how they are supposedly more close-knit a family than any other on the planet, and how she is the most heartbroken one to have her kid stay away. I wanted to shout back, “Can’t agree more on this!! Because we all in my family totally hate each other you know!” But I was in no mood to get into a nasty discussion at the moment. So I tried to reply back with a completely unrelated example to keep it non-personal to both of us.
Me: “Well, aren’t all moms in the world supposed to be like that? Even American moms would be just as emotional about their kids as we are. It’s in the nature of any mother in the world.” I hoped using geographically a distinct set of samples from us might be the most clever thing to put my point across, but I was wrong!
She (in the most disgusting manner ever): “Huh, American moms ‘kick’ their kids out of their homes when they become 15 years old!, We never let our kids on their own until they start making a decent living.”
Me: “But that might be their culture. Children in their lands become independent faster as compared to ours. They are brought up like that. How does that count as lack of love for their children?”
She: “We happen to be the protective kinds. Children being on their own is not our society.”
Me: “Sure! You happen to be that kind, who want their children to have just about enough brains to be good at academics, to brag a flashy degree and job someday — but certainly not so much to find a life partner on their own. In which case, you get super upset. Supreme parents I must say!! Btw, you seem to know so much about American culture; have you ever been there?”
Me: “You sure are then qualified enough to make a judgment like that!”
I realized I had suddenly failed all American moms on her scale of worthy-of-mommy-ness and I didn’t want to put any other mother at stake. So I decided to shut my mouth to her rant. I left her there to gloat over her victory on the self-proclaimed best in the world titles.
Only three instances? Hell no, there are countless out there — but these were the chronic ones lumbering in my head of late and I had to put them down here to take the load off. Now I feel better!