#RaiseYourVoice Responsibly, Not Out Of Spite Or Vendetta #BAD2015

Intolerance seems to be something everyone is talking about these days. In fact, if you were to believe some folks, educated folks mind you, India had never seen fanaticism or narrow mindedness in the past. Well, I guess books can only enlighten you so much.

Truth be told, racism or just basic intolerance has always been there in one form or the other in this country. In fact, all over the world. Whether based on region, religion, caste, creed or status in society, it has been there all along. Perhaps at one point in time it was even more than it is today. I can’t vouch for it though but I can certainly try and find out, but that would take some time. Having said that, India is also a land where there is a lot of unity and tolerance, if you consider how diverse and complicated our social fabric is. Hence, it is important that you and I recognize both. It wouldn’t be fair otherwise.

So, where was I? Yes, if you think that evils have suddenly crept in our milieu with the sway of a magic wand or that we have reached the nadir in terms of living in a civilized society, then I have to but call you naïve. The problems we are fighting today have been our foes for as long as I can recall. The difference today, if you can make the effort to recognize it, is the urgency to pick, highlight and twist incidents in a communal and blinkered light. To top it all, there is no dearth of fools harping on gender, region or religion to add to the nonsense. But you getting swayed by it just exalts your inexperience.

Of-course, that’s not to say that society as a whole shouldn’t condemn incidents that reek of everything against humanity. We definitely should and I think we do too. But do you think it is wise to paint the entire country in the same light because media and a section of polity wants us to do so?

One of the things I was taught about being educated was, and correct me if I am wrong here, to question every piece of news that reaches you. Making an opinion based on dislike for a certain line of thinking, a faction or a figure, is not the mark of an educated individual. I’m not saying I don’t get swayed or that I don’t believe in a certain ideology more than the other. But I try and form my opinion, as much as possible, after a lot of introspection, facts, reading and research. I do falter but I also recognize that. Most importantly I try to keep my protests centered around the issue, which is what we should fight for in the first place. But that's not what happens today, is it? Today the voice of reason and the voice for change is lost somewhere. What remains is the superficial fight against personalities and ideologies.

Being revengeful won’t win you battles or won’t further your cause.

While it’s very good to make statements that sound morally upright with words like secularism, communalism, tolerance etc sprinkled abundantly; a half-baked knee-jerk reaction only just adds to the propaganda. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there is a wave of planted vengeful puffery in the country today.But do you know what is even worse? It is the imprudent reactions that you and I resort to.

In the name of taking a stand we take reports on face value. We neither research nor question, instead just add to the discord. Since when did behaving like show monkeys become the hallmark of literate folks? I can understand the uneducated getting conned by rancorous news reports or politicians but even us? Do you know who wins when that happens? Those people behind the curtain actually orchestrating these events. Are you and I really so gullible?

Everything that you read about or watch in news channels isn’t the gospel truth. And when you promote a negative wave out of spite, you sir have a lot to answer for.

If everything has gone wrong in the country only now, then what was happening in the past? Where were your voices and concerns then? Or, have you woken up only now?

Raise your voices and concerns as much as you want but don’t be hypocritical declaring such things never happened in the past. Or, don’t do it just because you loathe a certain faction.

I’m not saying it is okay for things to go wrong just because they did in the past. But the addendum to your opinions which insinuates that things have never been as bad as it is today, is wrong and venomous. Add to that the allusion of every damn thing to one entity or clique. It just shows you are like John Snow, that you know nothing! (I couldn’t help making a GoT reference)

At the risk of being termed a troll or subjected to such other slander, I implore you to be responsible in the expression of your outrage. Because if you are not, you are no different than the hundreds of things you are apparently protesting against. You cannot mix genuine protest with malice for someone or something, it just doesn’t work that way.

Before you go, a few questions for you to ponder upon.

Do you think regional chauvinism is a new phenomenon in India? If yes, why was I treated as a second class citizen for belonging to the North East in an education institution in Uttar Pradesh? Or, why was I made to feel unwelcome in every other state in my own country just because I wasn’t from that state? Who should be blamed for that?

Why are inter-caste marriages frowned upon and so difficult in India even today? Do you think they have only started being difficult in the recent past? Do you think this intolerance for something different from what we know is a new fad?

Do you think the rapes, dowry harassment and work place bias that women in India face is something new?

And yes, the nonsense spelled out by God-men, is this also a new phenomenon just happening now?

Now, think about these.

Do you judge people based on the part of the world they belong to?

Do you mock people for their mother tongues?

Do you make fun of vegetarians or non-vegetarians based on your food habits?

Do you think the love for your mother tongue is more important than anything else?

Do you think your religion is better than your neighbor’s?

You don’t need to tell me, keep the answers to yourself and then decide if your way of response is what will bring about the change. Decide if the venom being spread and your part in that is what India needs at the moment. Decide if you really cannot see through the cloud of conspiracy. Decide if you want to actually put your education to use or just be mouth pieces to, well, you know who!

Decide if you need to fight these issues plaguing India earnestly or just be vindictive while doing so?

#RaiseYourVoice by all means but do it responsibly not to further your personal vendetta.Otherwise, you'll just be one of them.


Linking this to Blog Action Day 2015 #BAD2015 #RaiseYourVoice