From ‘Intolerant’ To Anti-National: Can We Indians Stop Being Offended By Everything?

Posted on March 18, 2016

By Gajendra Yadav:

intolerance_anti national“The progress of a nation can be measured by the happiness of its citizens.” That’s a dumb quote. “Why?” You ask. Admittedly, and also quite evidently, our country is progressing. I mean, with Deadpool retaining as much as seventy percent of its curse words, the progress is clearly visible. Kudos to you, Nihalani.

But, one can’t ignore the genuine unhappiness among the people, given recent happenings.

This article is not anti-nationalist. I love my country. I also love vada pav.

It’s funny how something small spoken by someone big can create a massive stir. First, it was Mr. Shahrukh Khan who chose to be open about his views on the growing ‘intolerance’ in our country. Openness? Here, in India? Wrong decision, dilwale. (Heavy pun intended)

Joining him at the receiving end of the mass flak was Aamir Khan. Both their comments, after being widely misinterpreted were heavily criticised. Also, both of them were asked to move to Pakistan. Whatever that is supposed to mean!

Two leading Bollywood actors, voicing their opinion, ended up being thrashed. The people of our country, the wisecracking, intelligent people of our country, opposed their views on intolerance by literally displaying some of it.

Loosen up, guys. Ours is a free, democratic country where men and women have freedom of speech. Someone else’s opinion shouldn’t even matter to you if you disagree with it. No one is imposing their views on you, just wanting you to hear them out. No need to get all dictator-y.

How fast has our country moved on from the Bhartiya Janta Party fighting everyone else to the nationalists fighting the ‘anti-nationals’. The recent JNU episode has certain hypocrites mouthing slogans that call for inciting hatred for the very ideas that constitute nationhood. Our nationhood. They call for a separation from the country, initiate ‘Destroy India’ slogans and yet, somehow manage to hide all their misdoings behind the veil of ‘freedom of speech’. Or at least, they hope to. Such incidents, although very unfortunate, raise a number of questions.

A programme was organised in the University marking the anniversary of Afzal Guru’s hanging. During this programme, anti-India slogans were raised. Its video clippings spread like wildfire on almost every social media platform of the country. According to me, slogans of breaking up India can in no way be justified by any amount of elaborate, complex logic.

How many times has it happened that an unfortunate incident takes place and then, triggers a series of even more unfortunate ones. Almost every time, yes. The same was the case with the JNU row. Some goons (read lawyers) attacked the Patiala House Court premises and fought with the JNU protesters and journalists present there. Advocate Yashpal Tyagi, who was caught on camera during that attack, said in a press conference that the fight against “anti-nationals will continue” and that “they would not tolerate anything said or done against the country.” On top of that, a group of lawyers clashed among themselves. Now, this is downright unfortunate. The guardians of the law of our country, the legal heroes, took the law into their own hands. Later, these lawyers turned goons turned so-called ‘mercenaries’ while protesting at the India Gate, went all out with the ‘Jai Bharat’ and the ‘Hindustan Zindabad’ slogans because hey, in India, slogan shouting is a big thing. It’s a huge, huge thing.

While protesting at India Gate, Advocate Yashpal Tyagi (along with others) forced an ABP News reporter to say ‘Hindustan Zindabad’. This was the condition he placed for talking to the reporter. Is this a way to prove if a person is a patriot or not, Mr. Tyagi? I am an Indian and I don’t need a certificate confirming my nationalism. Sorry, Mr. Tyagi, I don’t. If you can, do watch the video of Mr. Tyagi trying to affiliate the reporter. It’s hilarious. You’ll thank me later.

I agree that the hypocritical protesters of JNU deserve a tough reply but that tough reply has to come from the authorities. From the government. There’s nothing differentiating those lawyers from us, the ordinary citizens, other than the fact that they wear black robes and possess legal knowledge. And that makes their current action(s) even more nonsensical. I’m sure, like everyone else, Lance Naik Hanumanthappa too thought of a beautiful, peaceful world before he sacrificed his life for his country. Are these the people he gave his life for? He became a martyr for them?

And then, there were the recent Jat protests. Yes, more protests. The Jats want reservations for themselves and won’t stop burning houses and killing people before they achieve their goal. So, basically, they are showing their backwardness by overpowering others? Come on guys, at least, make some sense. If you want to be recognised as ‘officially’ backward, then hey, go ahead.

Let’s move on from the protests and slogans to some of the low profile dolours. We all know Star World, right? The TV channel that telecasts English language TV shows? Well, according to a report in Times of India, the channel recently received a warning from the Ministry Of Information & Broadcasting. According to the good folks over at the Ministry, Grey’s Anatomy being telecasted on Star World is obscene. Why? Because it shows/promotes ‘lesbianism’. And that is ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘illegal’. Meanwhile, child marriage in ‘Balika Vadhu’ is alright. Men slapping and physically abusing women in almost all Indian soaps is alright. But love is unconstitutional. The Ministry also wants TV channels to blur women’s lingeries on screen, mostly bras. Because apparently, men wear boxers and underwear but women, women wear things that can’t be seen. Makes sense.

A lot of other things are wrong in our country. Rahul Gandhi is still doing whatever the hell it is he has been trying to do since forever. Lalu Prasad Yadav is winning elections. Varun Dhawan compared ‘Dilwale’ to ‘Inception’. And much, much more.

I’m not bashing our country. I’m also not demanding change. I’m just asking you guys, the people of India, to loosen up. To chill out. To not get offended by almost everything. The day we start accepting things the way they are and realise that everything can’t be as per our individual choices/wishes, that day, change will genuinely come.

(If a Government official is reading this, Sir, I was forced to write the whole thing. I really was. Jai Bharat. Jai India.)

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