Did you know that the Muslim Regiment refused to participate in the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War? And that the regiment got dissolved later because of this?
If you have across this fact earlier and think that it’s correct, congratulations, you have been brainwashed by some anti-social elements in our society.
Nothing like a ‘Muslim Regiment’ ever existed.
We should be really concerned about where are we heading as a nation and as society. To be very honest, over the past six years, we have gradually become more and more intolerant and started moving backwards. If not all, then at least a large section of the society is headed this way.
A recent example is the controversy over the Tanishq ad. Just ask this question to yourself: what was there in the ad that hurt your sentiments? There was nothing hurtful about the ad, right? It was rather meant to promote the idea of communal harmony and inter-religion marriages, and it was such a beautiful ad indeed. But some anti-social elements just attacked the Tanishq group in every way possible and eventually, that ad had to be withdrawn. Now just see what has happened to us, we can’t tolerate communal harmony anymore.
India has always been known for its unity in diversity, but now, I wonder if we can say this about our country anymore. Now, we are just not ready to accept our differences with people —be it political differences, difference in opinion, or anything for that matter.
Just consider this Tanishq case again, the conservative Hindu group told the Tanishq group that they should make a similar film that has a Muslim girl being married to a Hindu family. What kind of ideology is this? Is this how they think about women? India has grown to be more and more dangerous for women — the crime rate is growing like anything; in UP itself, after the Hathras case, more than 10 such incidents have been reported so far. The per capita GDP of India, which was 40% more than Bangladesh six years ago, will soon be less than that of Bangladesh.
Be it the economic front, educational front, in the health sector, social security or women’s safety, we have failed miserably, again and again over these years. But look at our priorities, we are far more concerned about our religious institutions that, to be honest, hardly do anything good to anyone in my view. The more you are possessive about your religion, the more prone you are to be misled by anti-social religious organisations.
I wanted to explicitly name a political party here, and also the person who, particularly for his political gains, has been dividing the country on religious grounds. If you know, you know. I won’t name them, because it’s not just about a political party, it’s about us as society and as human beings. Why can’t we think about others’ sisters the same way we do about our own sisters? Why can’t we feel the pain someone else is going through when we can feel the same for ourselves? Why do we oppress people when we ourselves can’t tolerate the same kind of oppression on ourselves?
If I go on to list the serious problems that we as society or nation possess, then it is going to be never-ending.
But one thing that we all should be concerned about is how tolerant we are as a society. This is a red alert for all of us. If we don’t understand this now, then I am afraid it would be too late for us, and we as a nation and as a society will again get divided.
We have come a long way as a nation — we abolished the practice of sati pratha, encouraged widow remarriage, and so on. Remember that these practices were considered “our dharm” at some point of time, and opposing it was “adharm”. But we all know now that this adharm was the right thing to do at that time. Why aren’t we opposing things as a society like we have in the past?
Remember whenever evil practices prevailed, they did so because of obedience. And progress always comes with disobedience. We learn how to be disobedient and challenge the beliefs and the institutions around us.
Remember that if you are emotionally attached to your religion, caste or political ideology, to the extent that truth and justice become secondary considerations for you, your knowledge and exposure is worthless. If you can’t reason beyond petty sentiments, you are a liability to humankind.