Intolerance in India: An Unending Saga

Must Read

What is the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016?

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (“RERA”) is an Act of the Parliament. It seeks to protect...

Should the Exorbitant Amounts Charged for RT-PCR Tests be Refunded?

Introduction A plea has been filed in the Honourable Supreme Court of India seeking a refund of exorbitant amounts charged...

Should CCTV’s be Installed in the Police Station?

Introduction In a recent judgment, the bench led by Justice Nariman issued directions to both the state and Union Territory...

A Legal Analysis of the West Bengal Political Crisis on IPS Deputation

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recently summoned three IPS officers of West Bengal (WB). The decision was...

Explained: Postal Ballot for NRIs

At the end of November 2020, Election Commission sent a proposal to the law ministry to amend the Representation...

Explained: Constitutional Provisions and Legislations With Regards to a Person with Disabilities

The world celebrates December 3 as International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). This day is also called World...

Follow us

We open the newspaper everyday to find numerous instances of social injustice and criminal offences. However, a sudden uprising of a “new social evil” in the guise of religious intolerance in the country has shaken its secular pillars.

Taking a short tour into the glorious history India, it can be seen that the Hindus and the Muslims were at one time, as the Bengali poet Kavi Nazrul Islam said, “ek e brinte duti kusum, Hindu Mussalman” (just as there are two flowers on the same branch of a plant, so are the Hindus and the Muslims in India). They fought shoulder-to-shoulder in what is known as India’s first war of independence- the revolt of 1857. There are several such instances where Hindus and Muslims have together made sacrifices for the country. The Hindu-Muslim unity was considered as a threat by the British and they did not leave any stone unturned to break it; starting with the partition of Bengal in 1905. This brotherhood, however, was successfully ruined during the India-Pakistan partition back in 1947.

It is true that there have been several instances of communal riots and terrorist attacks post- independence. Starting from the Bombay bombings in 1993, which were widely believed to have been coordinated by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, to the 1998 Coimbatore blasts and the recent 2008 Mumbai attack by the members of Lashkar-e-Taiba-an Islamic militant organization, the death toll of the Hindus has been high. But, it has not always been the Muslims alone. No one can forget the horrendous act of the destruction of the Babri Masjid in 1992 by the Hindu KarSevaks (a voluntary organization) in an attempt to reclaim the land as Ram Janbhoomi in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. Back in 1857, it was Ayodhya where Maulvis and  Mahants and common Hindu-Muslims stood united in rebelling against the British rule and kissed the hangman’s noose together! Violent riots broke out in Gujarat in 2002. All this and several other such incidents widened the gap between.

All that said, none can ignore the immense contribution that the Muslim community has made to the art and culture of the country. From sports to the entertainment industry to politics, there have been numerous Muslims who have rendered timeless contributions to the Indian landscape According to reports; the Indian Army has had 8 Muslim Generals so far, while the Indian Air Force was once commanded by a Muslim Air Chief Marshal.

Yet the country which is the birthplace of four religions, which considers “secularism as a basic feature of the Constitution” (held in S.R. Bommai v. Union of India) and which houses around 175 million Muslims, is today facing the biggest controversy of religious intolerance! The first instance was a spate of assassinations of Indian writers. In August, Kannada scholar M. M. Kalburgi who was a Sahitya Academy Award winner was gunned down by two visitors at his residence. He was a well-known critic of idol-worship, a practice adopted by most Hindus. Kalburgi’s killing led to comparisons with the 2013 murder of Narendra Dabholkar, a former doctor turned campaigner against superstition who was shot dead by unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants while out on a morning walk in Pune in the western state of Maharashtra. More recently, in February 2015, veteran communist leader and rationalist Govind Pansare was killed in similar circumstances in the same state.

The second trend is that of an increasingly violent reaction to Indians who consume beef. In September, a Muslim man was beaten to death by his Hindu neighbors because of a rumor that a carcass of cow was seen nearby. When an announcement was made at the local Hindu temple, emotions flared, a mob formed, a (Muslim) target was identified, and a horrific act turned into international news. Over the next couple weeks, at least two other Muslim men were attacked: one over rumors that he was transporting beef, the other for allegedly smuggling cows.

It triggered great upsurge in the national and international media. Around forty writers, poets and essayists returned their national literary awards in protest of the rising intolerance in the country. The first to return the award was Uday Prakash, on September 4, 2015 in protest against Kalburgi’s assassination. Following him, other eminent writers like Nayantara Sahgal,  Ashok Vajpeyi, Shashi Deshpande, etc returned their Sahitya Akademi Awards. Comments and remarks by several eminent people made headlines of almost every newspaper A mere comment by an eminent actor and icon of the country, Shah Rukh Khan, roused great debates. “Religious intolerance will take us to the dark ages” was all that he had said. That was construed as a remark which might, in the long run, affect the peace and tranquility of the nation. It was distorted and several unintended meanings of the statement were brought out. A senior BJP leader, Kailash Vijayvargiya, targeted him saying “Shah Rukh Khan lives in India, but his heart is in Pakistan. His films make crores here but he finds India intolerant”. After facing much criticism from his own party, he later apologized. Contempt against his comments had not fully died down when the party’s lawmaker, Yogi Adityanath compared the eminent actor with the 26/11 terror mastermind, Hafiz Saeed of Pakistan. Several others came forward to support Shah Rukh Khan like Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Sanjay Raut of Shive Sena, Derek O’ Brien and Anupam Kher. News channels beamed with heated debates on religious intolerance of a country that boasts of rich cultural diversity. Another veteran actor, Amir Khan joined the intolerance debate when he said at an event that his wife, filmmaker Kiran Rao had discussed moving out of India for the sake of the security for their child. This comment of his faced intense backlash. Protesters demonstrated outside his residence in Mumbai. The popular e-commerce site, Snapdeal, which is endorsed by him, was flooded with negative comments. The social media buzzed with tags like “antinational” against the actor. What started as a protest on the death of Kalburgi and the anti cow-slaughter barbarism turned into a national phenomenon in weeks.

Without delving into any political aspect of the national scenario, there is a very humble thought that crossed several minds- where exactly lies the problem? Is it the fact that the Muslims have rituals that seem to be contradicting those of the Hindus? Or that the “rising intolerance” is more of a deliberate creation than an instance of reality? The Indian Constitution has always protected the rights of the minorities, that is, if we can actually consider a 13.4% of the population a minority! Article 25 guarantees to every person the freedom of conscience and the right to profess practice and propagate any religion. Articles 29 and 30 protect the language and culture of the minorities and even give them the right to establish educational institutions.

These incidents have been really unfortunate and disgraceful to have occurred in a country like India. This country’s glory spreads far and wide, of its diversities and the incredible amalgamation of the various religions and culture. The Hindus and the Muslims have been living together harmoniously in India for centuries now and it is disagreeable that the Hindus in the quest of establishing their majority in India would do anything to hinder the peace and security of the Muslims. Every citizen of India should come together to prevent any barbaric act of intolerance towards any innocent Muslim

Latest News

Parents of Road Accident Victim Entitled To Compensation: Delhi High Court

Justice JR Midha said, “Even if parents are not dependent on their children at the time of an accident, they will certainly be dependent, both financially and emotionally, upon them at the later stage of their life, as the children were dependent upon their parents in their initial years.”

Plea Challenging the AIBE Rules Framed by BCI Filed in the Supreme Court

A Writ Petition was presently filed in the Supreme Court by a newly enrolled lawyer challenging the All India Bar Examination Rules 2010 which have been framed by the Bar Council of India which mandates that an advocate has to qualify for the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) to practice law after enrollment.

Bombay High Court: Mere Presence at the Crime Scene Not Enough for Punishment

The Bombay High Court ruled that it cannot be considered a crime if a person is merely present at the crime scene which falls under the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels and Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women Act 2016. It also quashed two First Information Reports (FIR) against two individuals who were arrested in a raid at a dance bar by the Santacruz Police, in 2017.

CAIT Files a Plea Against WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy in the Supreme Court

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has filed a petition against WhatsApp’s new privacy rules in the Supreme Court. The petition says that WhatsApp which is known to render public services by providing a platform to communicate has recently imposed a privacy policy that is unconstitutional, which not only goes against the fundamental rights of citizens but also jeopardizes the national security of our country.

RTI Activist Files a Plea in Bombay High Court Against Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin

On Saturday, a plea has been filed before the Bombay High Court by an activist stating that Bharat Biotech Covaxin had not been granted full approval but a restricted use in clinical trials according to the Drugs Comptroller General of India. The Company's phase 3 trials are ongoing and the DGCI has not made any data available in the public domain for peer- review by independent scientists.

WhatsApp Emails Delhi HC Judge Asking Her Not To Hear the Plea Challenging New Privacy Policy

The Delhi High Court raised strong objection to an E-mail sent by WhatsApp asking a judge not to hear the plea which challenges its new privacy policy. Justice Pratibha Singh said that the e-mail that was withdrawn later was totally unwarranted as she was anyway going to recuse from hearing the plea which was filed by Rohilla Chaitanya who contends that the new privacy policy of WhatsApp provides 360-degree access to a customer’s virtual activity and is against the fundamental right of privacy.

TRP Scam Case: Bombay HC Extends Protection To Arnab Goswami and Other Employees Till the Next Hearing

On Friday, the Bombay High court extended the protection that was given, to Republic TV’s Editor in Chief Arnab Goswami and other employees of ARG Outlier Media Private Limited till January 29th in the alleged case of Television Rating Point manipulation. A status report was submitted by the police to the division bench of Justices S.S.Shinde and Manish Pitale by the Police on the ongoing case.

Plea Seeks FIR Against Maharashtra Minister Dhananjay Munde in Bombay HC for False Info

A plea has been filed in Bombay High Court seeking an FIR against Maharashtra minister Dhananjay Munde who is undergoing times of trouble due to his extra-marital affair. Recently, an FIR had been lodged against Munde by a woman, accusing him of raping her sister. Munde clarified that he was actually in a relationship with that woman and had two children. He accused the two women of blackmailing him.

Writ Petition for Compensation Accepted by Calcutta High Court 

Introduction The Petitioner Purna Ch. Biswas filed a Writ Petition with the complaint that their claims for a higher quantum of compensation have not yet...

No Members Could Be Disqualified Without Authorisation by Political Party: Gujarat High Court

Excerpt The dispute application no.7 of 2020 filed by respondent no.2 before designated authority. Thereafter the designated authority order dated 28.10.2020 disqualified the petitioner and...

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -