India is a country of diversity where since ancient times people of different sections follow different religion and culture. In history many times there were disputes among such different section of people but later they forget their differences and stood together like one “Indian.”
However this is not happening today, our country is seeing a steady growth of intolerance? Here are few instances; Dadri lynching, a mob of people attacked a Muslim family on the night of 28 September 2015 in Bisara village near Dadri, U.P. the attackers killed 52 years old Md. Akhalaq Saifi and seriously injured his 22 years old son Danish.
Intolerance happened on 12 October 2015 when persons from Shiv Sena threw ink on Sudheendra Kulkarni and blackened his face in Mumbai.
Intolerance happened when right wing organization Hindu Sena men thrown ink on face of independent MLA from Jammu and Kashmir engineer Rashid.
Intolerance happened on 9th October 2015 when the fatal attack on a Muslim truck driver was made in Uddhampur over rumors of killing a cow.
Intolerance happened when M.M. Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare were killed.
Intolerance crossed all limit when Hindu Mahasabha celebrated Nathuram Godse’s death anniversary as “balidan diwas.”
On 6 October 2015 author Nayantara Sahgal returned her Sahitya Academy award in protest of growing intolerance in country. It created a chain reaction and many writers, historians and scientists returning their awards.
It is in this context, Amir Khan, a leading bollywood actor, has reopened the debate on intolerance during an interview with Anant Goenka. Without referring to Dadri lynching, Amir Khan said, “When elected representative fail to make strong statement in response to people taking the law into their own hand, then citizens feel a sense of insecurity”.
Mr. Amir Khan said, “My wife Kiran told me, she fears for her child, she feels scared to open the newspaper every day, she fears what the atmosphere around us will be tomorrow.”
These statements made by Amir Khan clearly mention his concern about his country and his family. After this interview many politicians and Bollywood stars started to criticize Amir Khan.
Paresh Rawal attacked Amir Khan saying, “if I believe this is my motherland then, I will never talk about leaving but I would, if I had believed otherwise”.
He also said about Amir Khan’s super hit movie ‘Pk’ did rattle the belief of Hindus but Amir didn’t face the wrath of Hindu majority but made it a super hit film.”
If according to Paresh Rawal ‘PK’ was against Hindu sentiments then what about the movie “Oh My God”? The concept of both films was the same which was to remove the superstition from the society. However, when Amir Khan said something then questions are raised about his nationality.
What Amir Khan said was not an issue to debate intolerance. The real concern is the reactions of some people who are not only creating bigotry in the society but also bent on proving that, what Amir Khan said was incorrect. This face of intolerance debate is something that is alarming.
One more thing that has come out from this controversy is that if any anti- religious or anti-community statements are given by people belonging to Hindu community they remain nationalist and patriotic. But if any such statements are made by someone from minority community they are dubbed as anti-national, not a single minute is taken call such person a Pakistani.
Well every individual in India has right to express his opinion under article 19(1) “freedom of speech and expressions”. Amir Khan also did the same. So what is wrong about it?
In every society there are some elements that spread fear and hate among the citizen and its government responsibility to book such elements for creating enmity among the different section of the society.
As a citizen of India, it’s mine and as well as your duty to spread the message of peaceful coexistence among our countrymen. Each of us has the right to live and let live others. And with the help of love and trust we can build unity amongst us that would throw hate and intolerance from our society.