The Intolerance Bug

Ideally, I would have preferred my first post to be something about my travels as I wander or the erratic thoughts upon which I ponder. But the persistent itch in my side, strong enough to bother lazy, old me to actually start writing a blog (instead of the random ideas that float about in my head or bits of paper here and there) proved to be a barrage of articles that has flooded my News Feed and all on-line avenues of news today.

We all must have played ‘Rock-Paper-Scissors’ when we were small, and we know that when there is a turn to be played, you try to put forth something different (and apt) from the person opposite you, in order to win the round. Somewhere along the way, (and in a way, also carrying on from archaic times), we have evolved to a collective state of equal exchange, where one is returned in kind. Theoretically, this is all good when it comes to materialistic purposes but for societal issues, this tends to be a wee bit too problematic.

Two major actors of Bollywood today (setting aside their popularity and religion) have been strongly criticized, even up to the extent of a large proportion of the population turning bully in response to a mere statement made by them. Both were legally valid forms of expression, being lawfully granted as a Fundamental Right under the Constitution of India, but the way either have been used, vary by a large margin. A proprietary disclaimer as an early intermission is that this is not taking sides (lest I am branded as a supporter for a specific sides) but merely stating facts as a not completely neutral spectator of events.

If someone comes up to you and says that they don’t feel safe or that they are worried about things going on around them, what would be your instinctive reaction? Get to know the context of the situation with more information or berate them for even stating such blasphemy about ‘what must not be mentioned’?

They as individuals and citizens of the country had the freedom to express themselves, and by the same yardstick so does the entire population that has been criticising them. But if we want to talk about tolerance, then let’s just go by the definition. Google ‘tolerance’ and what do you find? Tolerance is ‘the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behaviour that one does not necessarily agree with’. If we all agree that the nation is tolerant as a whole, then why do we feel the need to collectively oppose an individual who expresses his/her opinion with a barrage of not just comments but even talks of boycotting his/her work as well as in this specific case, proud screenshots of having uninstalled Snapdeal; a consequence of being associated with the outspoken individual. How is the absence of intolerance proven and justified by a mass display of further intolerance?

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