Everyone around us today are making us believe that we are intolerant while the truth indicates otherwise. In reality, we are a very tolerant nation. How else would one be able to explain the fact that we have been tolerating mediocrity in public life for so long? Haven’t we tolerated corruption and stinking scams the last many decades? What about our tolerance of the media’s obsession with a celebrity murder or the fact that we have been tolerating being home to 1/3rd the world’s poor?
How can anyone call us intolerant when we tolerate the road rules being broken with impunity or the collapse of our civic agencies? Aren’t we tolerating our women being disrespected and sometimes publicly disrobed even? What about the fact that we tolerate the increasing number of rapes in our country?
We not only have been tolerating the increasing banality of public life but also the fact that our Government has been gifting away an average of Rs 400,000 crores each year for the last ten years to India’s rich and the mighty. And people call us intolerant while we have been tolerating the dis-respect that our honorable soldiers have been shown the last many years, all for asking their rightful due.
How can anyone label us intolerant when we have been silently tolerating the budget cuts in the social sector? Are we not tolerating the fact that millions of our children continue to be mal-nourished and many more millions of our country men are rotting in our jails as under trials? How dare people call us intolerant when we have tolerated the elite capture of our Nation’s public policies and the increasing number of crony capitalists? Are we not tolerating the last mile delivery problems of our public services or the fact that our higher education is in a mess or that the youth of today are getting increasingly restless about their future? Have we not tolerated the growing social and economic inequalities despite being told that the good effects of globalization, privatization and de-regulation will trickle down?
Our tolerance stands vindicated by the fact that we have hardly raised a whisper to the promised black money not being brought back; the fact that even today 65% of Indians in rural areas do not have access to a toilet and nearly 50% of India still struggle to access clean drinking water. Are we also not tolerating our pseudo-intellectuals and writers returning their awards with a new found sense of intolerance while they hardly noticed how tolerant we have been to all these issues over so many years? How can we be intolerant when we seem to tolerate celebrating the past deeds of an intolerant King while we are continuing to tolerate the fact that we have stopped worrying about the future of India and its countrymen?
I could go on and on for I know that you readers will tolerate me and my writing too…for after all we are a very tolerant nation. Right now, we will only have to tolerate those who continue to call us ‘intolerant’.