Cultural Preservation should never come at the cost of violence. Non-Violence is an inextricable, indispensable and inseperable part of our culture and if someone uses violence as a tool in the guise of preserving the cultural values, it is like trying to fortify one pillar of culture by decapitating another one. What this does is that it gives a de-jure license to people to organize themselves into a mob and coerce the people into submitting to their beliefs. This is a really really pernicious trend that needs to be shed. Unfortunately, Narendra Modi has not been able to diffuse his words of wisdom to the people who are seeking refuge in violence to preserve the culture. He should have sternly directed the chief-ministers of BJP ruled states to be strict in these kinds of incident. He should have been more blunt, direct, open and vociferous against all the fringe groups. He should have directed all his Ministers, MP(s) and MLA(s) to speak on sensitive issues with caution. He should have done a ”Mann Ki Baat” episode on the issue. Of course, Prime Minister has a hell lot of other things to do but this a serious issue that cannot be sustained in a culture as old as ours, in an economy that is growing, in a democracy that has come of age, in a society that celebrates dissent and diversity, in an age where social media has empowered everyone with their own views.
P.S- The excerpt is from my upcoming book, Modi’s Reign.