What is this debate on tolerance and intolerance? Is India intolerant?
These questions are being raised again, and again, first because of Award Wapsi, now because of Aamir Khan’s recent interview at the Goenka awards.
Rajkumar Hirani and Javed Akhtar, at a recent tete-a-tete with Rajdeep Sardesai, were again confronted with this question. To which, both of them gave answers that stumped the audience. Literally.
Rajkumar Hirani went on to explain what the real meaning of his film PK was, which wasn’t a critique of just ‘Hindu’ society, but religion in general. Javed Akhtar pointed out that if Indians believe in lashing out at every person whom they believe critiques ‘Hindu’ society, then what is the difference between us and our neighbouring nations? For those who believe Akhtar himself has biases towards ‘Muslims’ (even though he is a self-proclaimed atheist), he also pointed out that no communal Muslim would have said the things like Aamir Khan did.
Killing or attacking those who speak up against society makes us no different from the Taliban. He went on to say that India is a beautiful country because it is tolerant, in fact, if one picks up movies from the 1970’s they can see so much critique of religion. Society back then never erupted in this way that we are doing today, which is disturbing.
In short, both Rajkumar Hirani and Javed Akhtar nailed it. Watch what they had to say in this video: