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ANINDA GHOSH

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 4/15/2017 |



INTOLERANCE  DIALECTICS OF PATRIOTISM VS   SECULARISM

Welcome  to this  month’s  article on Intolerance. Whether  it is  Kiran Bedi or Sangeeta or Teesta Stelvad or  Pradeep Sharma or Sanjeev Bhatt, all  righteous oriented people have  seen enough trouble in public life. Some  news pieces  we shall  cite  as it is at the end, but  such episode is nothing new  whether it is left regime, Mayavati  regime, Akhilesh / Mulayam regime /  Mamta regime . Congress  regime, for that, has been highest repressive & it is  so sad &  surprising to note that  WB CM who hesitates not to heckle  a  Jadavpur University professor to  police custody  just for drawing some cartoons of hers.  Elections were, are & shall be most unfair in Bengal &  ruling party shall  never garner tolerance  to bear  media criticism , nor  appreciate honest  officers.  Officers  toeing party lines  shall  always  be rewarded &  it is  astonishing that so intolerant Mamata & her  subjects  like Derek O Brien talk of Tolerance....!!!!  People in Border districts  are tolerating day in & day out the influxes  from across border &  also the whole of  Bengal are tolerating her  ruthless political  opportunism, oppression of opponents &  excesses of Namajs. We  are all tolerating the  influx of  BNP & Jamat cadres across border , chased by Awami League Govt  &  the blasts  happening here  by  Bangladeshis plotting to kill Hassina sitting in Bengal.

Let  us start  with a TOI  news report;The excerpts  from TOI:---
New Delhi: In unusually candid remarks on Emergency, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on Friday said it was a "mistake" and what happened during the anti-Sikh riots in 1984 was "wrong".
"Why can't we say together what happened during Emergency is wrong. Let us not go back and forth on it. What happened in the Sikh riots is wrong. Any loss of life in the country irrespective of which government is in power, we need to say what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong," Scindia said speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here.
Scindia insisted that people of the country feel that there has been enough of "tu tu main main" (sparring) about wrongs happening during the rule of one party or the other.
"Anywhere, If an incident is wrong, it is wrong whether it concerns my party or some other. If something is right is right. If something is wrong it is wrong. That is where lies the accountability of a politician," he said asserting that the party affiliations come only after humanity.
Asked to elaborate about his views on Emergency, Scindia said that irrespective of what was the environment then and that there is also a need to look at the issue contextually, "At the end of the day if you if you hail our country for being the world's largest democracy, you have got to stand for democratic values".
Disapproving of "any action, which throttles the freedom of speech and expression", the Congress leader said, "Emergency was a mistake" for our country when asked whether it was a blot on the nation.
The remarks of Scindia come days senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram openly admitted the ban imposed on Salman Rushdie's controversial novel The Satanic Verses during the regime of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was wrong.
Participating in a session called "the Challenges Before Us", Scindia repeatedly targeted the NDA government on the issue of intolerance and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "not speaking out" on such incidents.
But it’s not just The Satanic Verses . India has banned scores of books, whether for hurting religious sentiments ­or because they broached political and historical controversies. India is an odd sort of democracy, which clamps down on the very lifeblood of democracy: free speech.
Here is a list of 11 books that central and state governments need to unban immediately.

1.     Unarmed Victory, Bertrand Russell,
2.     The Polyester Prince, Hamish McDonalds ( on Antilla of Ambanis as nothing lesser than a distinct state)
3.     Nine Hours to Rama, Stanley Wolpert (a fictionalised account of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination written by the University of California historian, Stanley Wolpert), on how  Home Ministry  provided scanty security to Gandhi on d D day.
4.     The Ramayana, Aubrey Menen
5.     Rangila Rasul, which caused Lahore riots in 1927 for attacking Prophet  & sowed  the seeds  of Intolerance Blasphemy in India
6.     Shivaji – Hindu King in Muslim India, James Laine
7.     An Area of Darkness, VS Naipaul (
8.     Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India, Joseph Lelyveld—on Gandhi’s  sexuality & homosexuality
9.     Jaswant Singh’s  Jinnah Biography ( banned in Gujarat & some Hindu states)
10.                        Lady Chatterley's Lover, DH Lawrence
11.                        The Lives of Sri Aurobindo, Peter Heehs, (  a cricism on the Avtaarship  of Sri Aurobindo)
In Delhi  that  did  not tolerate rape  of Nirbhayaa &  reverberated endlessly  for days with  a  fasting Anna, who had to end d fast.  In a  city at d top of pollution table,  the  CM Mr Arvind Kejriwal  made zero intolerance of  corrupt  Gandhi family  in Herald Tribune  case.

The  paradox of Intolerance is nothing new  in India , where  Geeta  teaches  you not to pardon a foe but to kill  him if religion  gets  polluted. And  Chaandi / Durga  emerges  to save divine kingdom from  wrath of demon  by killing the demon himself. This is in stark  contrast  with what  Jesus preached& Gandhi preached—peace n love.  Indian mythology is  more  inclusive of Maoist  / Marxist-Leninist  doctrines in so far as the way to win over an opponent is concerned. So, there is no Christian / Gandhian  pardon ceremony  in Hinduism. The Hindu monarchy n feudalism of ancient India thrived  on  strict punishments to errant /  criminal, without any mercy pledge in general.  Buddhist monarchy brought in the concept of  peace n pardon &  the  degree of peace preached  by Ashok in Sinhal  / Ceylone  is  well known by  the  tumultuous n atrocious Srilankan times at Jaffna.   So, to limit / restrict  a Tolerance debate  to a small time  debate of 2015 is  , to me, biased n inappropriate. Raja Rammohan Roy  brought in Brahma religion as a reneissance over morbid Hinduism , long before Swamy Vivekananda went to the world with the  teachings of  an illiterate wisest  saint  Sri Ramakrishna that  contended “Jato mat, tato path”.  This is  the incarnation / reincarnation of  Vaishnav philosophy &  the  Sufism the Kabira way ; this is the  same Love message that  Chaitanya  preached in face of atrocities of Husein Shah. This is the  hymn of  what Lalan Fakir , another  near illiterate  preached  to humanity. 

But  Tolerance  has not generally been  a  central theme  of Aryan rules  anywhere in the world. Even under the veil of Democracy, both Napoleon &  Hitler evolved to  highest soars on the strength of  principle & policies highly intolerant of  other clans .  In the  name of Democracy , both extended Autocracy to a  peak  of cynical  treacherous  tortures &  even homicide, which no civilisation has consented, howsoever  financially oppressive  the other clan might be. And today, just look at the bloody streets across Gaza;  the same Jews , once butchered  at  gas chambers , are killing  boys, girls, children & youths after financially suppressing the Palestinians , only on the backing of  the most powerful nation of the world. So, where is tolerance?  Where was tolerance , when Christian  imperialists invaded  India  & African nations & ruled  them for centuries , shackling & enslaving millions &  draining  all their  wealth?   When Sashi Tharoor raised this basic common sense question in UK,  the support he got was from BJP & wrath he recd was from 10, Janpath. Is Congress  still afraid  of British lords? 

When Sashi Tharoor, in 2015, echoes the Reparation payment demand , against  Depredation from 23%  of world GDP to 4%  during 200 years  of its rule,  the Dadabhai Nawroji &  Ramesh Ch Dutt way , “One-sixth of all the British forces that fought in the war were Indian - 54 000 Indians actually lost their lives in that war, 65 000 were wounded and another 4000 remained missing or in prison.. Staying with India between 15-29 million Indians died of starvation in British induced famines. The most famous example was, of course, was the great Bengal famine during the World War II when 4 million people died because Winston Churchill deliberately as a matter of written policy proceeded to divert essential supplies from civilians in Bengal to sturdy tummies and Europeans as reserve stockpiles…. We literally paid for our own oppression. And as has been pointed out, the worthy British Victorian families that made their money out of the slave economy, one fifth of the elites of the wealthy class in Britain in 19th century owed their money to transporting 3 million Africans across the waters. And in fact in 1833 when slavery was abolished and what happened was a compensation of 20 million pounds was paid not as reparations to those who had lost their lives or who had suffered or been oppressed by slavery but to those who had lost their property….. Indian taxpayers had to cough up a 100 million pounds in that time’s money. India supplied 17 million rounds of ammunition, 6,00,000 rifles and machine guns, 42 million garments were stitched and sent out of India and 1.3 million Indian personnel served in this war. I know all this because the commemoration of the centenary has just taken place. But not just that, India had to supply 173,000 animals 370 million tonnes of supplies and in the end the total value of everything that was taken out of India and India by the way was suffering from recession at that time and poverty and hunger, was in today's money 8 billion pounds. You want quantification, it’s available. World War II, it was even worse - 2.5 million Indians in uniform. I won't believe it to the point but Britain's total war debt of 3 billion pounds in 1945 money, 1.25 billion was owed to India and never actually paid.”,  the same Congress that fought  British colonialism & INA at  same breath , cried foul &  NAMO praised him overwhelmingly. Is  it Tolerance?  Is it Tolerance  to admit n absorb n absolve all   atrocities  put in by Babar, Alauddin, Aurangzeb, Ghazni , Nadir Shah & Chengiz Khan?   Is it  Tolerance  to absorb all atrocities by Shakas, Hunas, Pathans & Moghuls ?   It was  a weak  Indian Aryans , after 5000 years of  invasion of  lands habited by aboriginal tribes &  defeating them, may be fatigued, that gave way to Muslim  feudal lords .   Bandemataram  echoes  the  resurgence of that Hindu  spirit  against   Islamic predomination /  oppression , with the Reneissant  aid from the Western powers , the wisdom n knowledge  &  social reforms that followed  the  liberation la Constantinople.  But  atrocities of British Raj  was  not  so explicit  to  public, since  atrocities  by the likes of Tipu Sultan & Sirajauddulla  were predominant &  only the Sepoy mutiny  gave some credence to  the freedom struggle against a  common enemy from  Britain. In fact,  whether it is Indigo oppression  or  Permanent settlement,  it was  peasantry which suffered  &  it was local feudal  landlords , who reaped  rich harvests .

Religious oppression of centuries drove dalits  to  convert  to Islam or Christianity , which too failed to eliminate  their  age old tolerance of Oppression  n injustice in the hands of upper castes . But  these poor souls’  conversion  resulted  in  turn of events , as  Hindu majority  feudalism flourished under  British raj  &  Hindus  became  new rulers  of  poor Muslim prajas. Division of Bengal by Carzon  saw  the emergence of Hindu militancy against  British Raj  &  throughout  the Independence movements  across provinces & monarchies, participation by Muslims remained  an issue , unless  local rulers were deprived or deceived by the British. So, Jugantar , Aurobindo, Alipore bomb  case, Khsudiram & Prafulla Chaki, most  of  revolting  terrorism  sprung forth with chanting of Bandemataram , which  was  adopted   from  the great anti-Muslim novel by  Bankim Chatterjee ,viz Aanandamath , much to the  discontent of   Muslim population, and  whether Bagha Jatin  to Surya Sen or  BBD to Matongini Hazra, most of  revolting names  come forth from Hindu clan  only even  after  1942 Quit India Movement started  off with a big bang. As  portrayed  by  Tagore in Ghare Baire, Chaar Adhyay, Chokher baali & Gora, &  Pother Daabi by  Saratchandra,  the majority  face  of extremist  as also moderate pan India anti British movement was  Hindu  &  there were  very few  Muslim fires  of Nazrul’s  stature, who  could  lead  a  literary movement against  the Imperialist forces single handed   . Frontier Gandhi , Maulana Abul Kalam Azad  etc were all mostly from the moderate clan .

This  divide & frustration of tolerance  was manifested  in  the post Independence riots  &  the long Tolerance by  Bengali  Muslim  in Bangladesh  , especially on intellectual front outburst  against   the  opportunist Muslim  Feudal  Democracy ‘s  oppressive & tyrannizing regime  on a great  21st Feb , leading to the creation of  the only nation in the world  carved off  a  linguistic  movement.

The ethnic  cultural history of India  made religion as a  part & parcel  of daily ritualistic life of India, of  habits , totems , & practices, which was  not a case in  the new nations of West. So, Secularism   induced  the new state of 1947  to  give equal  patronage to all  religions instead of dissociating with either religion .  So, for Irfan Habib or Romila Thapar  to complain of   INTOLERANCE growing just  for last 3—6 months  may be premature.

The paradox is,--- Nayantara Sehgal should have been more perturbed  during emergency/ MISA. And  same is true for  aged academicians.  Unfortunately, during  Naxalite Movements during 1969-1972 , when police n Congress  atrocities on common masses, especially refugees crossed  all limits, only Mahashweta Devi  had  the  guts to write the novel  1084’s mother. Hardly any voice was heard from Ray, Sen, & host of others in fear of retribution. Is it not similar  to the same MISA fear n fear of harassment faced by professors n leftist  pundits that Girsish Carnad  was afraid this year? Was he afraid of life to take back his claim of glory for  Tipu Sultan.

Vijay Tendulkar & Mahesh Elkanchuar  created  several   great  plays. In one of them, I recall, the Mumbai riot was beautifully portrayed, where a Muslim  family  was  sheltered as  Hindus  by a Hindu family but at dead of night , in promise of transporting them safely to a Muslim area, they are handed over  to Shivsena  / VHP/ Bajrandal hooligans. And  get butchered.  This was  the period  of real worry,--- in the aftermath of 1992 Babri carnage. All of these intelligentsia afraid  today  were alive but  did not return awards complaining of Intolerance. This is the dark time that  created a demon  Memon carved out of one very competent & successful, achiever CA.  And, as  we all saw, Mr Jagdish  Tytler  was  not hanged  for Sikh carnage, nor any Hindu  leader—Asimananda to any sadvi.  Even the blackest  chapter in Indian political history beyond Congress, -- the Gujarat carnage of  2002  did not  incite  any  such mass  grievance.

The real grudge of intellectuals may be different. The mostly leftist historians, economists to social scientists to academicians are already all perturbed   the way Smriti Irani is running the show & the way Censor board to NFTI are being run.  A parallel International film fest  to the official one  is an evidence thereof.  The great showbiz NAMO  has stopped  his Mon ki baat  after  his hollow calls  for  swachchhata & Beti bachao  have yielded  scanty results.  Industry is disgruntled over 0.5 % rise in SB Cess imposition. And is also disgruntled over  no conspicuous  progress  in opening up road, rail, water sectors with  public funds...  just  some non-populist  propaganda oriented insurance & remote bank integration....cement  to steel to infra ... the  whole  share market is reeling under  China fever  n there  is no rescue way out. And, coming to  intellectuals,  there  have  been threats n challenges to  so many  films over the years n films like Shool  could  not  be released in whole of Bihar. After Viswarupam, Kamal Hassan was too frustrated  to  want  to leave India. Aamir Khaan’s  fault was, he was late  in responding to confirm that he won’t leave India, but  just  watch Nandita’s  Fieaq  again,  or the play I  cited a  few minutes  back , &  feel, you are a Minority living in a  radical majority den &  then speak out  your feelings. You  shall probably  be a  similar  father  or mother , not much different  from Amir n Kiran.  Yes, he retracted n reacted to  the huge hues n cries...  after all, he is Amir Khan, &  Mr Anupam Kher &  Mr Ramgopal Verma did not bother to ask RSS & SHIVSENA  why, on drop a hat, a Muslim would be charged  with Sedition? And did not ask, how dare  any bloody Hindu hooligan on street  ask Amir  or Shahrukh  to leave India for Pakistan?   Nobody dared, & unchallengable Shivsainiks n Sanghpracharaks give birth to unchallengeable bhais across Mumbai , UP, Bihar... True, PK  could not happen easily in any other country , nor OMG;  Tasleema said  it in no uncertain terms.  But, as  President Pranab Mukherjee  put it in  his speech , when the minds  are so full of  dirt, how can sadvi ministers  clean  our nation n rivers off  filth n dirt????

Dr Abhijit Roy was killed, another 5 killed in Bangladesh... Dr Kalaburagi killed in Karnataka , not a single murderer  got caught . Dadri lynching is  just a  surface to a  BIG  BLACK HOLE... in a country, headed by an RSS man whom most  of world reckons as the biggest culprit  of Gujarat carnage ,, Indian SC  issues  a freechit  to him &  this man goes silent   whenever   people  vote  out  BJP  howsoever  patakas sparkle in Pakistan.  This man goes dumb, when  Dr  Amartya Sen is humiliated & DU to  IIT  tops; this man goes deaf , when in the name of ghar wapasi  innocent Christian n poor Muslims are targeted; this man  enjoys million rupee suit  n  popular show hosting in US & UK , when  farmers  are on suicide spree  for  lack  of  MNREGA sustenance support  in drought hit   areas,   &  he shirks off  his responsibility  like his party president, when  his  MP & Minister  go to a  SP  ruled  state &  instigates  killing of an innocent Muslim , because, he believes too firmly that he does not owe any responsibility  in a  state  not run by his govt. 

Bihar has ousted  NAMO, Delhi has ousted,  rural Gujarat has broken  his shining India image, all  ports  are  running under  a dishonest alliance admonished  by ruling  party, Vyapam scam – infested  CM  is  ruling high  in MP,   All  the IASs  &  NGOs  are  under daily harassment , whosoever  are  not  toeing  NAMO  line, but how long???  Is anybody  really omnipotent?  All  the intelligentsia  is  disgruntled  today, because  even Atal behari Bajpayee  never  silently supported   any of the  divisive  or  polluting agendas  as are  consented thru  silence by today’s head of state &  realizing  that  D day may be nearing, 2016  may see  more  Hindu hooligans  raising ugly  heads  crushing  bomb blasting  Memon bhais’  mastheads  all over  BJP strongholds .

When political columnist Tavleen Singh asked a question about the Paris attacks and Islam, he replied, “A person who is holding a Koran and killing people, he may feel [he] is doing an Islamic act, but as a Muslim I don’t feel he is doing an Islamic act... He is a terrorist and we should recognise him as a terrorist. My problem is not just with the ISIS, but it is with that kind of thinking... This extreme thinking is what I worry about.”

The above piece about Amir Khan clearly depicts the mindset  of an average Indian Muslim whether married to a Hindu or not, but  secular credentials  of whom cannot be challenged by street side Romeos n cameos.  Average  US  Citizen  has  reposed  faith in Barck Obama , because  at all crisis  hour he is available  by the side. But  an average  minority  in today’s  India  knows, NAMO is not his PM, he shall not stand by him at his hour of need.  Just  because  I am a Hindu &  an RSS  ideologue , I have  right  to  do anything &  just  because  you are a Muslim ,  you  have to  measure  each of words without  freedom of speech is  a Pakistan like  immaturity n emotional idiocy, as Rahul Gandhi has put it. And Dhabolkar to Pansare to Kalburgi to Ananthmurthy  are  bigger assets of the nation, to crores beyond sangh parivar & outside India  than Saskshi Maharaj, who adores Nathuram Godse as a Patriot.  Indian history  could not be rewritten by Murlimanohar Joshi , nor the staunch rightists  be able to do that  this time;  only  Standard & Poor  ranking for India  is going down daily  despite NAMO’s  sincerest efforts resulting in  upgrading India’s  rank in Ease  of Business Index substantially.

And the stubbornness of the rulers  is reflected  in the way they have   humiliated  old BJP stalwarts  like Arun Shourie  &  Advani &  the Indira like autocratic n authoritarian style  is explicit in the way  GOI is handling Parliament , only to fail  in most fronts.    In 2015, nobody would have made Indira Gandhi a Priyadarshini PM  whatever be  her success in  carving out  a free nation out of Pakistan.  And when   the  CM  of Haryana or  Governor  of Assam can  give  anti-Muslim & pro-Hindu  statements  without  reprimands  n removals  from PM,  like  the  provocative  remarking Advaitanath &  Sadvis ,  any  intellectual assuming  India to be an intolerant country  would be 100%  correct in his  assumption.

Of all  animals,  cow  is d most sacred in India, strangely, whereas  tiger, lion ,garuda, peacock,rat,owl, swan  etc are carriers of our great gods & goddesses but they  are not holy. But Cow on a  balloon nay a plastic cow caused  removal of  Bovine Divine sculptor Anish Kapoor  from a  Rajasthan Govt  panel &  it may be more intolerant than  murder of   idol worship hater  Kalaburgi. Tolerance  means just towing  rowdy  Sangh / Shivsena line today  or else risk property, fame, life...NRIs  are no bigots but  for last 2 years  they are  hero worshipped much more , &   talents ;like Dr Vinayak Sen  are charged with sedition...!!! By any means, Indians escaping  hate socio polity across Jaath to goth to caste Hindu lands  cannot be subjugated / relegated  to  dust  at the cost of   spring cuckoos that shall  flees as spring shall be over.   Since independence  there  have been many riots &  I  personally  have followed  the course  of dalit uprise in Bihar’s  hinterland, where CPI(ML)  garnered strength &  imparted that to  have-nots  after  massacre  of  16 dalits by Ranveer sena.  32 Bhumihar males were  butchered  by kasais @ 100/- per head. That  has not  reduced  atrocities harped / showered  on dalits  in Punjab, Haryana, northern Rajasthan & western UP. It has not  reduced rape n murder  of  dalit girls even in ruling family’s  bus... Abduct n forced marriage of   poor  girls  from eastern states  , from  gunpoint dance parties,  to  multiple  brothers  into Draupadi lives  are  running unabated.   In a country  where  Brahmin   Shaivites &  Vaishnavites,  Lingayats n Iyers-Iyengers-Nayars -Pandeys  hold the  most of the power & below  that  power is grabbed  by Rajputs., Thakurs ,  Bhumihars,  reservation  has  made rich OBCs  richer;  Yadavs to Kamas to Kapus  the power centers;  &  harijans the  ultimate champions of  tolerations . There are just handful of  mahadalits  gone up the  economic echelons , rest  are  unable to ride the  ladders whatever be the degree  of  incentives.

All  of a sudden  people  who do not even know  the full text n context  of Vandemataram   are  too active in implementing  Total stand up  by  audience , by law.  And  minorities who do not stand  up , are kicked out  of hall / charged   huge fine/ surrender of passport. Even Pretty Zinta engages in such  zealous act . This is primitive. In US  a citizen has a democratic right  to ignore  a special homage to national flag &   models  wear innerwares  made in national flag design.

In Parliament, Rajnath Singh said the literal translation of the word is "sect neutral" and not "religion neutral" or "dharm nirpeksh". "India's religion is already dharm nirpeksh," he said. ? Some would argue that it is the BJP's insistence on a monolithic Indian culture that lies at the heart of the intolerance seen in recent months. Pushparaj Deshpande, an analyst with the Congress Party, contrasts the idea of a secular Constitution with the concept of a Hindu Rashtra. During the earlier NDA regime people believed that Prime Minister Vajpayee could not turn his eyes away from social conflicts beyond a degree because it was presumed the BJP’s coalition partners in the government would mount pressure on him to uphold, to use his own term, raj dharma. This comfort is no longer ours. Today, people know, ruling party is engaged in Love Jihaad  , much more than   Make in  India. There may be no denial of Tipu Sultaan’s  massacre of 200  Hindus. But  that he fought British  should  not need  a  threatened  Girish Karnad  to  drop the demand for renaming  BIAL after  him.  At  the same time, Govt of Karnataka’s decision to celebrate Tipu Anniversary  is more  Muslim patronizingly political.

Now, just have a look at the following treatise excerpts from Scroll,--

***This proclamation of Indian tolerance is meant to showcase Hindu magnanimity, which, it is asserted, envelops the “sisterly” traditions of Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. It is the Muslims and Christians who are intolerant – they refuse to accept their Hindu-ness or find the Idea of Hindu problematic – and of course the liberals.

***Everything is hunky-dory with the nation, they claim. Tolerance is India’s signature and never has it been as pronounced as it is now. Had so-called liberals not been muddying the waters, India’s spirit of tolerance would not have been questioned today.

***Hindutva’s sway has been checked, and people are rebutting majoritarianism. But the real credit for initiating this must go to the students of the Film and Television Institute of India who pressed their demand for the removal of the new institute chairman for months, even after the media lost interest in their agitation.

***In the past too we have protested regimentation, bullying, arrogance and bigotry in this country, like when Nayantara Sahgal sharply criticised the draconian Emergency regime, or when people spoke up after the Babri Masjid demolition, the 1984 Delhi riots and the 2002 Gujarat riots. The People’s Union for Civil Liberties founded by Jayaprakash Narayan, PEN International and NGOs too numerous to name have raised the red flag at different times with courage and conviction.

***Khushwant Singh, we must recall with pride, had driven to the residence of President Giani Zail Singh to return his Padma Bhushan after the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

****The much deeper issue is the way these akademis and ministries use awards to gain a hold over academic, scientific and artistic communities. Without doubt, many members of these collectives have, and continue to, pamper people in control of these bodies. Everyone knows this, including those who have received the recognitions without indulging in vulgar lobbying. When these clean recipients accept their awards, are they not unwittingly being party to practices that undermine the value of their work. And beyond themselves, have they not reduced the value of academic, scientific or artistic integrity and independence? Have awards not been given to the same intolerant people that the returnees today oppose on principled grounds? Getting an award is a moment of great pride, but we fail to recognise that this pride blinds us to the larger malaise afflicting these recognitions. Intolerance begins right there. We have not seen the same national condemnation from us, the self-proclaimed liberal group, of the ridiculous sedition charges against the Tamizh folk singer Koven and the way he was arrested. Engaging with the society cannot be a reactionary process, it has to be observational and constant. We have to remain sensitive and proactive even in the most peaceful of times. Did we need to wait for the death of people to speak up in an unequivocal voice? In the past few months, India has witnessed an alarming rise in attacks against minorities, over 600 cases of violence (406 targeting Muslims, the rest against Christians) have occurred between May 2014 and May 2015. In the last five months, countless such instances have been recorded with lynchings in Dadri, Udhampur, and Uchekon Moiba Thongkhong being just the most prominent. We have seen people being murdered for nothing more than “offensive” comments on social media, and for transporting beef. Similarly, atrocities against Dalits have registered a 19% increase (47,064 cases in 2014, a majority after May). Again, 2015 has seen horrific caste atrocities in Faridabad, in Ahmednagar and in various places across India.

****“Unfortunately…our Constitution has…given equal rights to everybody, just as a person without understanding may give equal rights to his children and to the thieves in his house and distribute the property among all”, said Golwalkar.

****Two articles in RSS’ Organiser (on 30th November, 1949 and 25th January 1950) demanded that instead of the Constitution, the Manumsriti be enacted as the law of the land. This is the same document that Ambedkar publicly burnt, because it prescribes that:


1. Women are an embodiment of the worst desires, hatred, deceit, jealousy and bad character. Women should never be given freedom (IX-17 and V-47 & 147).
2. The Lord has prescribed only one occupation for the Shudra, to serve meekly the other three castes (I, 91).
3. Killing a woman, a Shudra or an atheist is not sinful (IX-17 and V-47 & 147).
4. If the Shudra intentionally listens for committing to memory the Veda then his ears should be filled with molten lead and lac (III-4).

*** The debate over film actor Aamir Khan's comments has gone so far off the rails that it has inspired, among other things, the perfect Hindutva sentence. But the discourse seems dangerously disconnected from what was actually said and done, almost as if real individuals and what they say don't matter in what appears to be a higher-level drama played out on a broader stage. Nuance no longer matters. Say the word intolerance, and you're a politically motivated, anti-national, paper rebel who is actually being intolerant. Here's the thing though: It's not all that hard to present an alternative narrative in which what Khan said could be championed by the same patriots who are going hammer and tongs at him now.He said that he was concerned about people committing crimes not being brought to justice and about government representatives not making responsible statements in the aftermath of messy incidents. Moreover, he made it abundantly clear he wasn't pinning the blame on one party, using as his example what went wrong in 1984.

***Narendra Modi was not always prime minister of the country. He has, however, admitted that there have been times when Indians were ashamed to be from this country. Instead of leaving, Modi too remained in the country and made efforts to change the way things are. In many cases that involved appearing in front of large crowds of people and bemoaning the state of India. Khan essentially did the same thing.

***Back in August, I read a heart-warming piece by a Jewish Indian named Nathaniel Jhirad that celebrated India’s ecumenism and religious diversity. Recalling the chant of his synagogue’s hazan being followed immediately by a similar sounding azaan issuing from a nearby mosque, Jhirad wrote, “This is what it means to me to be Jewish in India: The idea that multiple faiths can peacefully intermingle not only doesn’t shock us, as it does for some in the West ‒ it’s actually taken for granted."

***This is not to say I found England an intolerant society. On the contrary it was in most ways far more tolerant than India. But its tolerance had a very different texture, seeming like something learned gradually, with difficulty but also determination, while India appeared from a distance like a society where tolerance had grown organically, and has a far longer history, and was more deep rooted for that reason.

*** While India’s tolerance was deeper, though, it was not as wide as England’s, for it was based on a respect for religious rights and customary rights but did not extend to any modern conception of individual rights as a whole. To illustrate what I mean, think of the incident . A few months ago where the Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare, dissatisfied with the food served in Delhi’s Maharashtra Sadan, acted in the manner typical of a Shiv Sainik, stuffing a chapatti in the mouth of a catering supervisor. The man happened to be Muslim, and happened to be fasting for Ramzan. The offence, captured on a cell phone video, was momentary, and appeared so even when looped in slow motion on news channels, but Vichare found few defenders even among Hindutvavadis, for he had transgressed against a religious taboo respected even by those who didn’t share it.  The same regard for religious and customary rights makes Indians wary of European laws that restrict the wearing of turbans and burkhas. At the same time, far more serious violations of human rights and Indian law, such as the torture that we all know is routine in police stations across the country and often directed at innocents, do not evoke anger or elicit any protest from the population at large.

**** Those unfamiliar with Islam tend to view it on the basis of news reports the way the two Yale professors viewed life in Bombay. Conversely, Muslims who experience their religion as grounded in amity, goodwill and compassion respond to news reports of terror by saying, “This is not Islam at all." And both sides are wrong in the sense of failing to capture the complexity of what I have called limited but organic tolerance. In this light, it is easy to understand the negative reaction of large sections of the public to intellectuals returning awards in protest against growing intolerance. One would wish the responses were less personal and vitriolic, but their general drift is natural. These are people who experience daily the respect for religious rights evident in Indian society, and can’t understand why a few isolated and seemingly unexceptional incidents have led people to take such a step.

****India is a rare but not unique case in its tradition of organic tolerance. Across Asia in particular, we find numerous examples of communities living together through some form of amicable compromise that stops short of a liberal recognition of individual rights. We also find examples of those traditions coming to an end, often a violent one, under the pressure of nation-states defining themselves in narrow religious, ethnic, or linguistic terms that fail to capture their historic diversity. Pakistan is the most obvious example of that unfortunate trend.

****Where is a sense of justice in India today, in Dadri or beyond? On which topic – minority protection or otherwise – did we hear a word of reassurance from Modi? Did he tell his chief minister in Haryana to stop talking about cows and instead focus on removing pigs wallowing in muck outside the Cyber City in Gurgaon? Did his party offer a word of solace to the family of the poor Kashmiri trucker killed by goons on the Jammu national highway? Did he speak to his government in Rajasthan and ask why it felt the need to remove a Safdar Hashmi poem from a textbook? The fact is that many in India do feel a sense of despondency today and it runs beyond the minority community. One doesn’t have to be a Muslim to see how Modi’s silence has emboldened hoodlums who see it as his tacit approval and, as a result, are leaving their internet troll avatars behind to come out on the streets.

**** All  baseless  news items are high on page 1 , while  daily political  intolerances  in West Bengal   are becoming unbearable  to stir up the Tolerance-Intolerance  coexistence fabric of India,  the way Islamists & Extremists coexist &  wealth n fear  coexist in Gujarat & Punjab.

An article from The Telegraph that you may have all  read out...  it is just one of so many happening each month, but no national newspaper found it important to put it  conspicuously.

What happened to Dhiren Let, a former four-time MLA of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), in Mayureshwar in Bibhum district on Saturday should have been on the front page of all the national dailies. It, however, found place in only The Telegraph.

The only way to describe the sadism is in Dhiren Let’s own 
words:

"I joined active politics in 1962 and have been a CPM member since 1968. I have seen a lot but nothing can match today’s experience.

I was pleading – not for my life but for my dignity – as the attackers wanted to take off my clothes in what would have been a very public humiliation.

I had to hold my ears and squat in public, and promise to dissociate myself from the CPM. I did it to spare myself further indignity.

Nothing can be more humiliating than a (former) four-time MLA being stripped in his (erstwhile) constituency in public. I feared that could happen and pleaded with them. In the process, tears rolled down my cheeks.

We were 250-odd and had begun our march from Gargaria in Mayureshwar (about 190km from Calcutta) at 10am and reached the village of Satpalsa half an hour later.

Around 10.35, while passing through Satpalsa’s marketplace, the rally was attacked from behind by 50-odd people who carried rods and sticks. We identified some of them as Trinamul activists. Eight to 10 cops had been deployed for our rally but they disappeared.

Most of us started running but I came back when I saw from a distance that my colleagues Ray (the MLA), Dom (a party central committee member and former Bolpur MP), Arup Bag and Faridar Rahman (local politicians) were being mercilessly thrashed. That’s when some among the attackers got hold of me. There were 15, or perhaps a few more. I knew many of them by face as active Trinamul workers. While some of them started beating me, others - and this was unforgivable - tried to strip me. They kept saying, 'we’ll finish you here today”, and (among themselves) “bring out the bombs and wipe them out'. They were hurling expletives. Some of them reeked of alcohol. Most were young enough to be my son or grandson. It was all happening in front of hundreds of local people in and around the marketplace. Not one protested. At one point, with my bloodstained clothes half torn, I stood up and tried to scamper away, limping in excruciating pain. But they caught me. That’s when that video was taken. At least 10 times they made me hold my ears and squat while barking out an oath for me to repeat - an oath to detach myself from the party. It was extremely insulting. But I was by then determined to live to fight another day. So I went through the motions and they let me off.   *** Last year, Bishnu Chaudhary from Bansberia in Hooghly district was dragged out of his house to a local club, battered and 
burnt with cigarette buttsfor the crime of attending a rally of the national president of the Bharatiya Janata Party. News of vehicles being waylaid on the way to BJP rallies did not shock the people of Bengal. Of course, it can be argued that the culture of political violence in Bengal is not new. The CPM had practiced it for so long and with such impunity that it assumed a veneer of normality and became an accepted democratic method. It was, after all, under the Left that Bengal turned into a party state with no dividing line between the party and the government. It was also the CPM-led Left Front government that responded with an iron hand when peasants protested against it. One cannot forget that Medha Patkar, a greatly respected activist, was accosted and slapped by CPM members while she was on her way to Nandigram, where farmers were agitating against the usurpation of their land. In his heyday, senior CPM leader Prakash Karat had declared that violence was part of the everyday political culture of Bengal – whatever his party did, therefore, was normal. This was the way political opponents should be treated, he seemed to suggest. Still, during the days of the CPM hegemony, local party committees had some degree of control over the violence. Now there are no constraints, nobody to curb the violence. The Trinamool Congress has replaced the CPM in all spheres and delegated violence to local goons. Besides, it must be asked, can the history of violence justify the events of today? Last year, the ascendance of the BJP at the Centre had sparked fears that it could soon replace the CPM as the second biggest political party in West Bengal. Strengthening these fears, CPM members migrated en masse to the saffron party. This too resulted in more violence. But today, while the CPM seems to be regaining its old space under the leadership of Suryakant Mishra – who has managed to drag the demoralised party out of its offices and on to the street – the Trinmool Congress has become even more desperate. The temerity of its leadership can be seen in their statements. Dismissing the allegation of the involvement of the Trinmool Congress in the attack on Dhiren Let, one of its leaders said that instead of running to the press and crying before it, the CPM should seek their protection before taking out processions. And what is our response to this violence? In the early days of it, when some respected writers and intellectuals were asked to join a protest against the attacks on the CPM by the Trinamool, they refused by describing the episodes as inconsequential. This is exactly how some of the leading Leftist intellectuals had reacted to the revulsion against the Left Front-led violence in Singur and Nandigram. Increasingly, students in universities and colleges – including Jadavpur University and Calcutta University – are being roughed up for daring to join outfits critical of the Trinamool government. Principals of colleges and headmasters of schools have to pay the price for showing reluctance in following the diktats of Trinamool’s local leaders.

****SABARMATI, AHMEDABAD: President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday commented on Swachh Bharat Mission saying that "real dirt of India lies not in our streets but in our minds" and "in our willingness to let go of views that divide society into 'them' and 'us' and 'pure' and 'impure'.""At the heart of this violence is darkness, fear and mistrust," he said adding "while we invent new modes of combating this ever spiraling violence, we must not forget the power of non-violence, dialogue and reason"."Ahimsa (non-violence) is not a negative force. It is not just non-injury. Ahimsa is that moral possibility which can dispel the darkness and make us aglow with light. Gurudev Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi were bearers of this light and that light must continue to guide us," he said.President says that those who believe in God do not take lives of others. "Those who abide in truth, those who are devotees of truth as God, of Satya Narayan, do not take lives of others, but sacrifice their own," he said. The chief of armed forces also said that India must free its public discourse from all forms of violence, "physical as well as verbal". "Only a non-violent society can ensure the participation of all sections of the people, especially the marginalized and the dispossessed in our democratic process," he said.

Now, please have a look at  the Intolerance in US .

Tolerance may break a final logjam, to ultimately rein in the too powerful Arms lobby, to reduce the hapless vulnerability to masses to gunmen.  Maybe, Obama is finding himself helpless even after 2 terms before the power alleys  that run the show  from greenrooms. But there  are  speedy trials too . However, when it comes to Al ghariv / Guantonamo, it is worse than Kashmir , where  hundreds simply disappear everyday. Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first degree murder Oct. 24 in the death of Laquan McDonald. A video released by police shows Van Dyke shooting the teenager 16 times. Van Dyke is an extreme example of a pattern of unnecessary deadly force used by US police. American police kill a few people each day, making them far more deadly than police in Europe.

Historic rates of fatal police shootings in Europe suggest that American police in 2014 were 18 times more lethal than Danish police and 100 times more lethal than Finnish police, plus they killed significantly more frequently than police in France, Sweden and other European countries. As a scholar of sociology and criminal justice, I recently set out to understand 
why rates of police lethality in the US are so much higher than rates in Europe.

Annual fatal police shootings per million residents. Data is based on most recent available. US: 2014; France: 1995-2000; Denmark: 1996-2006; Portugal: 1995-2005; Sweden: 1996-2006; Netherlands: 2013-2014; Norway: 1996-2006; Germany: 2012; Finland: 1996-2006; England & Wales: 2014. 
This article was originally published on The Conversation.

Conclusion-----------  Intolerance is a very wide term, worldwide. If the Communist China intolerates any voice against Communist & pseudo-Communist  leadership at gun points, so did the  USSR  with the ever tolerating  Russian people , queuing up daily in freezing cold  for a piece of  bread / some potatoes / some Vodka, for hours . And  atrocities of  Stalin &  his deputies were to be tolerated  by not only opponents & public, but also his party colleagues having difference in opinions.  In India, probably a Hinduistic rashtra was  possible with Netaji at helm , which did not happen. Golwalkar   could not ascend  to be a people’s leader . Had he been so, today we could have found a Hindu India. Nepal has recently suffered the brunt of all atrocities from a Hindu Indian leadership for not toeing  the  Hindu line in constitution but adopting secularism much to dismay of  RSS n BJP. All over the world , Rightism preaches Intolerance. And extreme leftism, howsoever suffering from Sedition charges of  pseudo secular sovereign, also prospers thru Kangaroo Courts ( goth type ) judgements against whosoever  dares Saloa Judam .  And liberation mongers in Kashmir  go abducted by state & their half-widows live lives of extreme misery.  Anti Awamy League infiltrators  flare n prosper to treacheries in West Bengal &  people , especially in border districts  suffer haplessly in the hands  of  minority appeasing  forces . See, the fate  of girls & ladies enslaved n killed by ISIS , Boko Haram & Talibans .  And  see  the similar plights of  common Muslim masses irrespective of  African to Saddam to ISIS to Irani ( pre & post Khomeini) , post Russian Afghanistani, pre & post Gaddafi Libyan , &  Idi Amin administration. And in monarchies / autocracies  in the likes of  Swaziland to North Korea, the ladies  of  omnipotent lord are the ones suffering the highest. Why ladies alone?  Shiites , Kurds  &  thousands of  Syrians are fleeing n dying daily . Girls that join ISIS  also cannot escape the sexual greed of militant lords. { Che served his  fasting soldiers  with some innocent ladies, who had to tolerate it all  in the name of revolution.}  

Since, even in Communist nations  , there is  hardly any  cessation of tolerance, it  may be highly unfair n inequitable to ask for same in a nation n society ridden by  class, creed, religion n caste divides .


ANINDA GHOSH

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