Thought and Reason

Tolerance or Terrorism?

I found this thoroughly thought-provoking article on this blog and posted a response to it. Wonder what you think on this topic. Please do feel free to share.


I really liked your essay and the message of the common Muslim man being the only one who can help us in this war against terrorism. Its probably true in today’s scenario.

To play devil’s advocate, isn’t this the same tolerant and passive attitude of us Indians, over the last several centuries, that has ultimately led to this anti-Hindu and anti-India sentiment itself?

Today, everyone takes shelter under some racial/casteist umbrella and then makes demands on the country.

Look at the Gujjars for example. Are they a potential Al-Quida-like faction in the budding ? Will they too, turn around and stab their own motherland in the back because their demands are not met some day?

I think we should put an end to tolerance. Those who want to live in India should accept the country the way it is. Those who don’t are free to move to a land where their religion is a majority.

And the odds are, everybody stays put in India, because all said and done, their women enjoy freedom, and their children are much safer here, (and are beneficiaries of such privileges as education quotas), as they probably cannot dream of in other countries.

With regards,
A thoroughly perplexed Indian

4 replies on “Tolerance or Terrorism?”

hey Pal, thanks for your message. i thought you were my very close frnd Pallavi, who has a couple of blogs too…and she is Rocky’s biwi…searched for Rocky on your blog and the only entry was a “can someone’s name be Rocky?”… which made me realize you aren’t the same one 🙂

yes, thanks for your message. and i have replied too. about how we are moving from being ultra tolerant to zero tolerance now. but first we gotta weed out all the rotten apples in politics…

Oh, so we’re off on a rocky start (LOL, pun intended!). But thanks for your message too, Oreen. Will reply on your blog. Cheers!

On the contrary, I think we have just done lip service to tolerance. If we are “so” tolerant, why is it that we still are so caste and religion obsessed as a people? Why are there “honor” killings, for men adn women who marry out of that ( there are enough examples in the media for me to quote any)? Why do we still continue to listen to people, politicians specially who “otherize” then and “their religion”? Why do we particiapte, very willingly in vote bank politics- specially the one that benefits us and our co-religionists and co-casteists. We have “tolerance” written on paper somewhere, and we think we have been following it. In reality, we are very bigoted. A small case in point, someone once said they did not like my petname , Muskan, because it sounded Muslim. That does not happen in a tolerant society.
However, I think that pandering to a religious minority ( or the majority) or to a caste is wrong. But an “our way or the highway” goes against the spirit of democracy, which we still pretend to be.

Hi Ally,

I think its basic human nature to inflate the ego, by subscribing to something particular – be it religion, caste or a club! We tend to criticise and put down people who don’t ‘belong’. Which is why there are caste-based riots. Don’t the Shias and Sunnis hate each other? Catholics and Protestants do not marry into each other! So-called upper castes cateorise people as ‘untouchable’. This sort of ‘intolerance’ is characteristic of the human race. It reflects a self-ego-pandering philosophy.

However, when it comes to a question of various communities co-existing, I believe India is incredibly cosmopolitan. There is a church, a mosque and a temple in every other street of India. People worship their God without fear. They live a life of dignity. They celebrate their functions/rituals with full freedom. They come to power,(sometimes, even using the same ‘vote-bank’ techniques you have mentioned). How did an Abdul Kalam become the President of the country if minorities are indeed ‘oppressed’!

With all its defects and potholes, I believe India is still a wonderful country.


So, what do you think?

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