I am a social animal, proud to be born in a country with the beautiful culture of “unity in diversity”. I grew up hearing that “India is a secular country”. Sharing lunch box with friends during my school days is the most memorable part of my life. With my changing life cycle, I am observing how people, politics, society and culture are also changing.
Nowadays, people are becoming straightforward—straightforward to criticize each other’s religion. People had different opinions earlier too, but individuals never nurtured hatred for each other like it is today. Human beings are divided into “Majority” and “Minority”, not only through self-interest but also major political influences. The enactment of CAA, NRC itself is evidence of that.
The recent “Tablighi Jamaat” issue can be considered as a big example of intolerance. In lockdown period after getting the news, most people started accusing each other by saying Muslims are doing “corona jihad”, “Muslims are the reason behind spreading this virus, they are orthodox”, and the worst thing is, TV channels fueled such opinions. One rumor was also spread through a TikTok video and WhatsApp that Muslims are spitting on the fruits they sell. For one incident, the whole community was blamed. Naturally, communal hatred was spread everywhere.
Swami Vivekananda said in his speech in Chicago, “I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal tolerance, but we accept all religions as true”. In the current scenario, what I feel is that most people are losing their sense—of humanity, of being religious and understanding the truth. Media is busy entertaining people by showing them eye-catching headlines; the reality of news and ethical issues are secondary.
During the sudden lockdown, migrant workers walked miles and miles on an empty stomach and barefoot, but there were very few people who spoke up for them. People are used to news headlines such as “Mob-Lynching”, “A man killed for not saying Jai Sri Ram”, “Rape” and Cow Vigilantism—the controversial topics. Memes on social media and fake news are attracting people more than reality.
We are more interested in updates on drugs in Bollywood than Krishak Andolan. Every day, so many people who depend on farming die by suicide. Knowingly or unknowingly, we are not just as passionate about demanding justice for them. We are not taking it as a serious issue, as the media doesn’t focus on it and make it ‘breaking news’. And now, the well-known burning issue of the Hathras gangrape case is another heart-breaking incident. The Dalit girl didn’t even get a chance to move on, to speak out, and to live her life.
There are poverty, unemployment, domestic violence, malnutrition, and many other social and political issues that need our attention. On the other side of the coin, there is still hope; there are people who are spreading love and peace, encouraging inter-caste marriages and conscious about country’s wellness. The culture of India should be protected like the border.