I did not want to write this post. But after seeing so much stupidity and hatred on social media, I thought there needs to be at least some sort of sane argument over the matter.
So then, what exactly happened?
Aamir Khan, one of India’s top film star has made a comment recently on the country’s rising intolerance. The below are his exact words –
“As an individual, as part of this country as a citizen, we read in the papers what is happening, we see it on the news and certainly, I have been alarmed. I can’t deny. I have been alarmed by a number of incidents. When I chat with Kiran at home, she says ‘Should we move out of India?’ That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day.”
And how did India respond?
- Slammed him for insulting and betraying a country that made him a star.
- Drew religious remarks, just because he’s a Muslim.
- Abused him for disrupting the integrity and harmony of the country.
- About 85000 people (and counting) have uninstalled the e-commerce app SnapDeal and left 1-star reviews on app stores. Some people who did not already have this app have installed and uninstalled just to give a negative review. Why all this? Aamir Khan is a brand ambassador for the service, that’s why.
- People have pledged to not watch any of Aamir’s movies ever again as he’s a traitor.
Basically, all hell broke loose.
But what does it say about us as a society? Are we not being intolerant by doing all or any of the above. One person has shared his feeling and opinion, and that’s enough to put us into enough a raging fit that when I open the internet, all I see are ‘Open Letters to Aamir Khan’ with people criticizing his shameful comment.
Also, how amusing it is that most of us will just believe whatever the media tells us. If you read his statement that I copied above or even better – watch the actual interview on YouTube – at what point did he even say that he wants to move out of India? It was his wife who made that remark out of fear/frustration, and he’s as alarmed as we are that it has finally come to this. He’s sharing his fear and concern and not a single person says, “I’m sorry Aamir that you feel this way.”? I’m not trying to defend him here, but just look at this whole thing from his perspective. Has he really committed treason, as a certain group is calling it now? Aren’t we reading a little too much into all this?
Is India really tolerant or intolerant? That’s a question that has no answer. But I’ll say this, we’re tolerant, somewhat. No nation can boast of the kind of diversity we have, and to cap it off, we are a predominantly Hindu nation but with three Muslim actors at the helm of Bollywood. But the truth is we seem tolerant only when compared with other nations. On our own, not so much.
Is there zero intolerance in India? If anyone answers “yes” to that question, then they’re clearly delusional. So why can’t we even let somebody trying to call a spade a spade, call it so? I’ve said this before, if we don’t accept that we have a problem, we’ll never get better.
Look what one unruly comment by an actor has brought out in us? And most of us think that the only way to show our patriotism is by uninstalling an APP from our smartphone? An app that has got nothing to do with the person in question. What actually have we achieved instead of showing our lack of sense?
We all know that Aamir Khan is one of the more sensible and empathetic out of all the celebrities, so let’s not become judgemental all of a sudden, and that too on hollow premises.He does not deserve the backlash, and neither should you be wasting your time in propagating it. Instead, think, and try to face the reality instead of running away from it.