So, we have been told that we as a nation have become intolerant! And who has told us this?
A handful of self-styled half-intellectuals, pseudo-yellow-journalists, artists posing as intellectuals and of course corrupt politicians. Now-now, have I stirred a hornet’s nest here? I guess I may have but I hold on to this view because I have full reason to say what I said. Let me explain.
I will take one or two persons each from the above groups of people who were either involved in germinating the thought that we as a nation had suddenly become intolerant and then the people who kept it alive in public discourse and finally those who helped propagating it.
One of the first murmurs of we as a nation becoming intolerant came from a nondescript writer named Nayantara Sehgal who returned her Sahitya Akademi award, which was conferred in 1986 by the Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress government. Who is Nayantara Sehgal? She is Motilal Nehru’s granddaughter, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit’s daughter and Rajiv Gandhi’s aunt. She returned the award that Rajiv-led government gave her in protest to rising intolerance in the country citing killings of Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar & M.M. Kalburgi along with the Dadri lynching victim. Now, for a moment, let us set aside the fact that she’s a Congress loyalist and look at the reasons cited by her – the killings of one of the persons (Dabholkar) happened during Congress regime in Maharashtra (when UPA was in power in the center), the other (Kalburgi) happened in Karnataka (ruled by Congress) and third (Pansare) happened in Maharashtra within a few months of BJP-led government was formed in Maharashtra and last one (Dadri) happened in UP where a SP government is in place. So, why is Ms. Sahgal suddenly feeling the intolerance? Where was her intolerance in 1984 when there was Congress-led carnage of Sikhs when more than 5,000 innocent Sikhs were murdered – then, he had happily taken the award within two-years in 1986. She chose to remain silent then – was this the reason Rajiv bestowed Sahitya Akademi award to her? This clearly shows her hypocrisy. After her, many other writers followed suit – and if we were to look at them too, we would certainly see that most of them had Congress patronage (which is evident if 55 years of the 68 years of independent India was ruled by Congress and many of these people got their awards and patronage from Congress governments).
Lets now look at the pseudo-yellow-journalists – one of the big ones among them is Barkha Datt – who also wrote an open letter to the PM Modi recently – I wonder what makes us as a nation tolerate the likes of Datt – we know now with clinching evidence in form of recordings of what she was doing with Nira Raadia – Datt is not a journalist but a power broker who worked for corporate big-wigs to fix power deals in the UPA 1 & 2 regimes and is currently jobless and hence is back to trying her hand at journalism! Clearly, she’ll work for the interest of Congress and therefore try and sully the image of Modi-led BJP government using her part-time journalist job and organization i.e. NDTV, which helped keep the topic of intolerance alive in public discourse and sullied India’s image. There are many such pseudo-journalists and media-houses who did exactly like what Datt and NDTV did to help the cause of “intolerance” in this country.
Now, lets look at artists such Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan – both of these are plausibly good at their job i.e. acting albeit I think otherwise, yet I won’t take anything from them on that count. However, in acting they are directed by the director who helps mold them into the said character they have to depict. But are they intellectuals or do they qualify to comment on a topic such as intolerance? I don’t think so. Again a look at their background – it is very well known fact that Aamir is anti-Modi and the same can be traced back to his interview with another pseudo-yellow-journalist Shekhar Gupta, when he was trying to implicate Modi for 2002 riots in Gujarat. So, Aamir too has vested interests to support the intolerance plank and just as in movies he is directed by a director, here too he was perhaps being directed by a commendable director because of which Aamir also offered his wife’s to act for free along with her opinion to support the intolerance plank – the objective being that with millions of fans of Aamir and Shahrukh, the plank of intolerance shall spread far and wide and the government shall be kept busy tackling the non-issue and not be able to work for the people and for the nation.
And finally let us look at political parties who raked up the intolerance debate – most prominent among them being Congress who has been championing the cause of intolerance in the country – what has been their credentials: masters in corruption and looting of this country at an unprecedented scale for nearly six decades. It’s been a rarity to see them out of power and whenever they have had to sit away from the treasury benches, they have only raised non-issues to affect the performance of new government so that by hook or crook they can return to power and continue with their loot. Therefore, for establishing that there is “intolerance” in this country, they orchestrated the whole issue from germination by employing select so-called-intellectual loyalists such as Nayantara Sahgal, followed by brokers in media such as pseudo-journalist Barkha Datt who helped in establishing “intolerance” in public discourse and finally for propagating the same they used the actors in Bollywood with large fan-following such as Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan.
And, we as people of this country bought the story they touted and fell for it lock-stock-and-barrel.
What a pity!