My two cents on religious intolerance.

A lot of things are going on in my country lately – evil things, intolerant things, inhuman things – each one punching a hole deeper into my heart. How did we become like this? When did rape and murder become justifiable? Intolerance of any kind is harmful to the society. But I’m afraid that is where we’re going to end up in near future. India is a country that prides itself with the slogan, “Unity in diversity”. But all I see is “Hatred in diversity” looming on the horizon.

When a certain Health Minister of the country proclaimed to the masses, “Promote Indian culture, not condoms, to prevent AIDS”, I should have been wary that this was going to be the beginning of a string of other comments aimed at plastering archaic morals on the population. What exactly is “Indian culture”? There is no definitive answer. But if you know anything about culture, it’s that it’s not a constant. Culture morphs according to time, and nobody gets to decide and write down laws according to which you are supposed to live your life. What the aforementioned health minister meant when he referred to Indian culture is that sex is between a husband and wife only. And yet, you have Hindu Gods who broke this rule all the time. So where exactly are these morals, this self-proclaimed “culture” stemming from? Ooh, I know, the pigeon brained human.

And this is the problem when you bring religion into everything. Sometimes, life is just life, without any divine and spiritual underpinnings. So why does practicality go out the window in most of the cases? The only explanation I can come up with is this – it makes them feel good about themselves. And sometimes, humans will go to any lengths to achieve it. Is pre-marital sex wrong according to you? That’s fine, it’s your opinion. It’s your decision. Total respect. But you need to now that that doesn’t make you a better person than me. You’ve just chosen a different lifestyle. That’s all there is to it. But more importantly, you have no right to go around criticizing people who break the rule you have imposed on yourself. And this is where our society fails.

Now I know for a fact that the majority of the urban Indian population doesn’t give a shit about all of this. Most of us have learned to “live and let live.” Which is great. But I also know for a fact that there are a lot of people out there who get outraged with the deeds of others. How can two men, against nature, sleep together? How in the name of God can a Hindu eat beef? How can a woman wear skimpy clothes and not be calling attention to herself? But the thing is, these are not your problems. If you don’t understand them, so be it. You have all the right to worry, you have zero right to oppose.

You have all the right to worry, and zero right to oppose.

Just this last week, a Muslim man was lynched by a mob of Hindus based on rumors that he was consuming beef. Here’s the interesting thing, the man in question was a Muslim who has no obligation whatsoever to forgo beef. And yet, the village community found it horrifying that somebody could actually eat cow. You can understand their worry, given their belief system. But to actually go ahead and inflict death on that person? No amount of “culture” and “religion” can justify this. While I’m happy that the President of India Mr.Modi has finally broken silence on this matter and urged everyone to stay united and not heed provocations by communal leaders, I’m not still happy with the way a lot of other things are going on in this country.

There is just too much intolerance and hatred floating around. And sometimes even among educated people. And this is what saddens me. Because for a country to progress, the last thing you want is people fighting among themselves. But there are some groups out there( religious, right-wing, whatever you want to call it) who seem to be hell bent on polarizing the population over religious matters. Call it the Indian equivalent of Jihad, if you may. And it’s terrifying.

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24 thoughts on “My two cents on religious intolerance.

  1. Totally agree with you bro. This needs to stop sooner or later.

    I would like to share something I came across the others. Totally sums it.
    In a small village in India, a little fox told its father of his desire to eat human flesh. Next day father fox managed to get some pig meat and offered to his son. But the little fox didn’t have it. Then the father fox managed to get some cow meat and offered it. The little fox declined to eat that as well. The stubborn little fox was adamant that he will not settle for anything other than human meat.
    That night the father fox left the pork in the front of a masjid and the beef in the front of a temple. By next day morning the entire village was filled with human dead bodies.
    The little fox ate human meat for a week and was so happy his father managed to get so much human meat.
    Story might be hypothetical, but the Fox is for real.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think you’ve spoken for a whole mass of people. A lot of whom who believe the same but don’t voice just for the simple reason of not stirring up any more controversy than there already exists.
    I can’t agree more, Uday!! Invigorates me so much ahh.

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  3. A thought provoking write up!
    The concept of Live and let live is misunderstood in the rural and Urban areas!
    Since i have lived among-st both cultures, this is my interpretation of how it has been adapted.

    Rural – Live(**according to our laws) and let live! (**we’ll probably poke our noses a little less into your business)
    Urban – Live(**Leave me alone) and let live(**Hey man! We won’t bother you, but don’t come pester us if you need help! We have our own battles to fight!)

    But, yes this is a general statement, as the nosy people care a lot more than they should, and the blissfully ignorant ones won’t as much as they can/should! Having opinions is just fine, but the actions that follow shouldn’t hurt someone! Is that so difficult to practice?!

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  4. I couldn’t agree more to what you said. The root of majority of evils in this world is religious intolerance. I was heartbroken when I heard about that “beef incident”, and I’m equally heartbroken whenever I hear about some Muslim killing someone. God has NOT given the right to take a man’s life. In any culture, in any society. If someone has that right, it’s the state (based on tolerant rules).

    If I may, I kinda have to point one thing out. I hope you don’t mind. This is NOT a lecture 😀 I just like clarifying some things to my close friends.

    The word “Jihad” is used as the equivalent of “kill anyone who doesn’t hold the same beliefs” nowadays. Yikes. But as Muslim I beg to differ. It literally means “to struggle”. It include both internal and external struggles. Internal means: if I abstain from lying, it’s Jihad. If I control my anger, it’s Jihad. (in short, controlling the immoral urges is Jihad). As for external: serving and helping humanity and spreading love, it’s Jihad. If someone tries to kill/attack you and you defend yourself, it’s Jihad. Military action (as per defined by the official government/authority of the country) is one type of minor Jihad. The media has just hijacked this concept and turned it into something ugly 😦

    Sorry for droning on. I’m not imposing my belief on you, I’m just saying knowing the full picture is always a good thing 🙂

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    • Hey you know what, I was just looking up the word Jihad in Wikipedia this evening and realized that there might be more to it than what the media paints it to be. So I totally get what you say. I’m glad that you came forward and explained it to me because that is what I look forward to when I write such posts, to have a healthy conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well Wikipedia too isn’t the most reliable source of correct information 😀 It’s edited by the general public. You know if you Google ‘Jihad’ the first meaning pops up to be “War against the infidels”, and I’m like LOL 😛 Anyway, I’m glad you have such an open mind ^_^ You have no idea how much I value that in a friend 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s interesting. The second meaning happens to be “the spiritual struggle within oneself against sin.” I think this definitely warrants more reading 🙂 You have no idea how glad I am that I have friends here from such diverse backgrounds. 🙂 I’m learning stuff, hearing counter points, it’s a great experience for sure! And yea, I value openness a lot too. The most amazing friend is someone with whom you don’t have to censor yourself. ^.^

        Liked by 1 person

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