“Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the wrong. At some point in time, you’d have been all of these.”
That being said, before labelling something as wrong and giving up on the urge to express ourselves, we need to work consciously on developing our faculty of discernment. When information and misinformation spread at the same time, one happens to sit on the fence. But, factoids begin to constitute a phenomenal proportion of the news feed, perceptions take distorted shapes and crowd turns into a mob. While some of the incidents related to expression of intolerance are justified in themselves, a fair number of these have their roots in a behaviour known as herd mentality.
India is well known for its democratic system of governance, and needless to say, this form of government is revered worldwide because of the legitimate freedom of expression it empowers its people with. However, freedom is a double-edged sword. This is the reason why lately, people in our country have begun resorting to unlawful means to exercise their freedom of expression, which is otherwise a privilege given to them by the virtue of law.
What used to be the most unbelievable oxymoron has now become the stepping stone to violence. Peaceful or symbolic protests, which start off as a safeguard against criminal conviction, end up becoming violent. Thanks to the marvels of the faster-than-light technology, violence is stoked in no time. Not a single day goes by without one coming across an incident of stone-pelting or setting public property on fire.
Interestingly, while such a state of affairs speaks volumes about the inefficiency of the prevailing law-and-order system in the country, it is the same inefficiency that is ranted at, when people indulge in violent demonstrations against the lackadaisical attitude of the police force in dealing with crime. In other words, if this inefficiency is addressed, it’d bring order to the chaos created by repeated manifestations of intolerance in society.