Religious Intolerance in India – An Analysis

Intolerance is not such a big problem India right now is facing as certain sections of the society is projecting. If we look around us, tolerance levels have decreased as a whole. There is so much violence in our thoughts that was not there 15 years ago. The amount of stress that we go through everyday has made us impatient and tolerance in general is difficult to comprehend. We are constantly looking out to vent out our anger on someone or other because of the frustrations. Although, some of us have learned to cope with this and learnt to enjoy our lives but most of us are still trying to figure out. As one of my friend says, “Some blame Modi, others blame the traffic.”

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The number of communal violence is still very low. The percentage of communal violence as crime is still less than 1% of total crimes reported in India. The real problem is denying the existence of the problem. Just because it happened during Congress rule does not negate it. It is also unfair to blame Modi led BJP government for it. However low it might be, we have to stop it from happening. For that, we have to analyse it properly. While, the number of incidents is fluctuating each year, the number of people injured is increasing. The number of people killed in communal violence is more or less constant. We also have to look that the law & order strategies customised to each state. States like U.P., Maharashtra, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka has shown a greater number of incidents of violence. Let us try to figure out what is the factor behind it. In Northeast, Assam has a history of communal violence and the balance in the society is fast changing due to the problems like illegal immigrants and most of the educated youth moving out due in search of work. So, I request the BJP Government to look in the real issues and stop issuing statements telling that all the protests are politically motivated. Some people might have remained silent during earlier riots, that doesn’t deprive them of protests. In the same breath, I would request people returning their awards to stop that because it is doing more bad then good. No Government cares about it. Chose a better way to protest and prepare yourself for counter arguments. A data driven protest will only help in this age of internet.

Coming to the our original objective of discussion, I have observed that although our tolerance levels have decreased, the religious tolerance levels has in fact increased among us. Nowadays, no one has the time for these things. Going back 15 years, my parents did not approve of eating with Muslims because of the difference in food habits. Let me tell you, my parents have a very modern thinking and they always knew that they will never serve beef to us especially since we were Brahmins. Today, however they’ve understood that Muslims take great care while serving food to us and they have absolutely no problem if we eat with Muslims. I have even gone to some Muslim marriage reception parties where they had different menus for Hindus and Muslims. Last decade has been very exciting and things are changing very fast.

I believe we will move forward leaving back these sporadic events of communal violence and media will act wisely in educating the society and not instigating more violence after one event of violence.

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