Tolerance Is A Misnomer, ‘Ahimsa’ More Apt – OpEd


India Positive because…that’s the truth. Despite the world beyond its borders pitted against the largest democracy and a sea of dissidents within, threatening to derail the process, India continues to surge ahead in the myriad indices that matter to the ‘developed’ world.

Today, armed with a 5,000-year-old culture five times older the English language, India is the world’s third largest when it comes to Purchasing Power Parity and has the world’s third largest army. India possesses the oldest mantra of all times…the Middle Path that was evolved by Gautam Buddha 2,500 years ago and the Ram Rajya concept symbolic of the softening of a king’s otherwise-unrelenting stand. Little wonder then, that India remains Positive.

The inevitable induction of Narendra Damodardas Modi as India’s leader with an overwhelming never-before-registered majority was fought tooth and nail by a parallel force that works with stealth and speed through Non-Governmental networks professing to “address” issues as seemingly innocuous “yet crucial” as “climate change”; an “unbiased media” powered by Politicians yet run by “Journalists” now being flayed as “presstitutes” and “paid media”; and Sections across the world whose interests are directly subverted by the ‘Make In India’ campaign.

Real Growth vs Tolerance Tattle

The Tolerance Tattle was inevitable. With the Indian economy picking up in the second quarter ended September 2015 and growing at 7.4 per cent during the quarter on the back of strong growth in manufacturing, trade, hotels, transport & communication services, there had to be a hurdle.

So, on September 28th, 2015, when a mob attacked and killed 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq Saifi, it was turned into an issue of national importance that had direct and dire relevance to the surge of “Intolerance” in India. Indian scholar, academician and former vice-chancellor of Kannada University in Hampi, Malleshappa Madivalappa Kalburgi’s murder on August 30th 2015 triggered a spurt of protests among nondescript writers across India, returning their Sahitya Akademi awards.

That Kalburgi had faced death threats previously and had demanded security from the ruling Indian National Congress government of Karnataka but was not provided with it initially, was conveniently lost on the protestors who seemed to have a single-minded agenda – to flay the State for “Intolerance” in general and Narendra Modi at the helm of affairs, in particular, for failing to “personally apologise” for the murder. Ironically, despite being finally provided security, Kalburgi had “requested the police to have them removed in August 2015,” just before his killing. It was an obvious lapse of personal judgement and a crime against the State committed at worst. Blaming the nation’s Prime Minister is so pedestrian a charge.

Also, predictably, nobody in the “Free Media” wrote about Kalburgi’s murder with the objectivity so closely associated with the calling but instead reported with utter glee, byte by byte, about how ‘Ho’, ‘Ho hum’ and so forth went on to “Return the award,” to “Protest the Intolerance” in India.

The Centre has been more than willing for a CBI inquiry in the Dabholkar (Killed in August 2013 before the BJP came to power in Maharashtra or at the Centre) or the Kalburgi murder revealing a more-than-ever tolerant approach.
Ironically, when the United States of America “Refused a visa” to Narendra Modi despite being a democratically elected Chief Minister of a state in the world’s largest democracy, nobody flayed the US for being ‘Intolerant’ or “Returned their own visas” or “Cancelled” them, to “Protest an act of Intolerance,” against India. Neither did any self-respecting Indian in India or living beyond, in the United States of America do that.

Investigators probing the Burdwan blast and the Mujahideen Bangladesh terror network in West Bengal identified four operatives who “trained recruits at Simulia and Lalgola Madrasas” in Burdwan and Murshidabad districts. In a symbolic-seeming retributive retort, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, “refused financial assistance to Madrasas.” The Unaided Madrasah Bachao Committee has planned a stir against the Mamata Banerjee government. And, India is “Intolerant”?

Attacks On Muslims On Rise In USA

In the United States of America, a FBI report says hate crimes against Muslims are on the rise. While number of hate crimes against Muslims is relatively small, it has gone up over the last year, according to new data the FBI released.
Hate crimes in all other categories went down; attacks on Muslims bucked the trend. In 2014, of the 1,092 reported hate crimes related to anti-religious sentiment, 16.3 percent were anti-Muslim—a total of 154 incidents and 184 victims. In contrast, in 2013, there were 135 reported anti-Muslim incidents with 167 victims. That said, the United States of America continues to look “Tolerant”.

Said It Like Only Aamir ‘Khan’

Aamir Khan’s bashing in social media and beyond for his comment: “Kiran (his wife) and I have lived all our lives in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India… She fears for her child, she fears about what the atmosphere around us will be,” in an interaction at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism ceremony organised by The Indian Express was a given considering Aamir Khan’s penchant for melodrama and proclivity towards drawing mileage out of a populist Satyameva Jayate.

Why, his fears of “Intolerance” were even struck down by all-season Modi-baiter All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi who said, “I would have never said what Aamir said. We have seen numerous riots but still we continue to live here as it’s our country. We will not succumb to nonsense talks.”

Ahimsa Holds The Key

‘Tolerance’, as a term itself, seems patronising. When used in description, it indicates that the entity has a higher standing and an authority by law or position through which it ‘chooses’ to tolerate another different from itself, despite its stark discrepancies and allows it to co-exist. It accords a sense of propriety and political correctness when instead it should be replaced with Ahimsa, as Mahatma Gandhi preferred.

Ahimsa in all forms, action and thought, puts all on par with each other ensuring an equality of treatment that comes from within and isn’t forced by law.

Gajanan Khergamker

Gajanan Khergamker is an independent editor, legal counsel and documentary film-maker with over three decades of media-legal experience across India. He is the founder of DraftCraft – an India-based think-tank. Through strategic writings and columns across global media; niche workshops held for the benefit of police personnel, lawyers and media students as well as key lectures held at corporate venues and in Law and Mass Media colleges and universities across India, he analyses and initiates 'live' processes that help deliver social justice through the media and legal channels. He trains students, journalists, lawyers and corporate personnel to ideate, integrate and initiate the process of social justice which “isn't the sole responsibility of the State”. He holds legal aid workshops and creates permanent legal aid cells for the deprived across India through positive activism and intervention. He furthers the reach of social responsibility by initiating strategic process by offering consultancy services to corporates in the rapidly-growing CSR scenario. To further the reach of social responsibility, Gajanan Khergamker works closely with state entities, law universities, educational institutes, research think-tanks, publications and media houses, corporates and public-spirited individuals. His areas of interest include public affairs, inclusion, conflict of interest, law and policy, foreign affairs and diversity.

One thought on “Tolerance Is A Misnomer, ‘Ahimsa’ More Apt – OpEd

  • December 25, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    British PM said Britain is a Christian country and that is why it is tolerant to other faiths. India is a Hindu majority country that never called itself as Hindu country. It is secular only because of the tolerance of the Hindus.The discredited Congress party and the fanatical left are not able to digest the fact the Hindu consolidation took place and installed Modi in power.Under BJP rule, India continues to be secular.So they pick on isolated incidents here and there and create a hue and cry about intolerance.Most of the media is controlled by foreign interests and they don’t want a powerful India to rise and claim its rightful place in the world.


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