News: Intolerantly Tolerant India


I was blissfully ignoring useless news like outrage over Bollywood actors’ comments and stuff like that until some popped up in my timeline.

Comments on how Aamir Khan should go back to Pakistan, how he could make movies like PK, he can never do those things in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, how tolerant  India is, how our constitution guarantees secularism ‘unlike other countries’ etc.

My views:

  1. What an intolerant reaction to his comments proving that we are indeed intolerant!
  2. Anytime someone criticizes India, why do we jump to compare ourselves with (non democratic) countries like Pakistan or Saudi? There are over 190 countries in the world and we cherry pick the most intolerant countries and compare ourselves to them and make ourselves feel better. Why doesn’t anybody pick other countries like Switzerland/Sweden to compare to? Because it makes us feel better comparing ourselves to the lowest ranking countries than the 150 who are ahead of us?
  3. Another standard argument is claiming India was so ‘insert any nice adjective’ according to our scriptures 2000 years ago as if that negates the need for improvement now. It does not matter how great things were 2000 years ago, what matter is the situation now and how we can improve it today. There is nothing wrong in being proud of our past but that should not stop us from progressing in the present.
  4. Stating what is granted in our constitution is futile. We have many things but a lot of it is not implemented. How swift is our action against racial/religious crimes? 
  5. I just did not get the idiots who were wasting their time gathering outside Aamir Khan’s house protesting. People hang outside to get a glimpse of all the actors when somebody goes to jail (for like 2 days) for potential hit and run and not protest but protest when people express their views. I feel this kind of joblessness is one of the reasons our country hasn’t progressed.
  6. Now people are sharing posts on why they will boycott brands endorsed by Aamir and Shahrukh because of their statements because they insulted India. How come nobody boycotts brands endorsed by Salman by the same token? So what do support when you buy brands endorsed by Salman? Hit and run? A justice system than bends for movie stars and gives them bail super fast?

Note: Gross generalization ahead but there is plenty of at least some truth in it.

It is the same all over Asia. From this end to the other. From personal relationships to nations. We just cannot accept honest criticism.

  1. We prefer brushing things under the carpet.
  2. We take offense and take is personally without really reflecting when anybody criticizes us. Worse if the said person is an outsider.
  3. We take a worse offender as an example, compare ourselves to them and feel superior.
  4. We cannot accept the truth about ourselves. 

How can anything/anyone improve until they can objectively look at their flaws and work on them.  

Admitting that there is a problem is the first step to solving it. 

5 thoughts on “News: Intolerantly Tolerant India

  1. I loved your post! I felt the same way about this Intolerance debate going on! This line was exactly what I told everyone whom I’ve heard complaining: “What an intolerant reaction to his comments proving that we are indeed intolerant!”. I think it will still take many years for India to “mature” in this topics… and see what really matters!!

  2. Hello,
    Question which I raised on the bride blog as well: Do you agree that we have ‘turned’ intolerant in the past 6-7 months only?

    I believe people were more offended because he went from ‘Atithi Dev Bhavo India’ to ‘Intolerant India’ in 6-7 months ONLY. And no one appreciates someone who talks about leaving the country. That offends people.

    We are not brushing things under the carpet, we have had issues. We know the truth and we have heaps on areas to work on. We have to collectively work on fixing things. Bit by bit.

  3. Great post, I so agree. I was surprised at the amount of backlash Aamir got. I feel like he loves his country and he only wants it to improve. It is ridiculous how people should only say good things about their country. No country is perfect, and each country should really take into account it’s citizens and their happiness. I feel that sometimes Indians are particularly sensitive about any word said against mother India. And then yes, somehow people always compare it to Saudi Arabia….like WTF?! What IS that? lol

      1. In a recent interview when Amir was specially asked about the condition of India, a question on intolerance asked in a round about manner, he said that he is optimistic about India at present. Then, after I think, ten days later he said his wife told him that she is worried about the future of her children in India. I was personally taken aback by his statement though I must admit that being a muslim in India, what he feels may be different from how I see things. His concerns may be genuine. It is his somersault that took everyone by surprise.

        Was he trying to create panic in India?? being a public figure he should have chosen his words more judiciously. I know lots of public figures have not been very responsible recently with their utterances but Amir is more intelligent.

        I personally feel that people were more offended by his remark of thinking about leaving the country. I could see the context of his statement but there were people who did not. It required a more mature reaction but things became political and people started playing for the gallery.

        Above all, we should make a realistic assessment of whether India was any less tolerant one year ago.

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