Indian media today is buzzing around the very question when did tolerant India become intolerant? This question came out to a heated debate recently on every media network when the bollywood superstars, the Khans, Sharukh Khan and Aamir Khan expressed their views about the tolerant India.
Sharukh Khan who recently said in an interview “There is intolerance, there is extreme intolerance… there is, I think… there is growing intolerance.” drew a lot of criticism against him and more recently Aamir Khan told in an award function “When I chat with Kiran at home, she says ‘Should we move out of India?’ That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day.That does indicate that there is this sense of growing disquiet, there is growing despondency apart from alarm. You feel why this is happening, you feel low. That sense does exist in me.” also attracted much more heated criticism from all works of life whether be it from within the film fraternity or any other work.
However, to what extend are these debates being carried out reasonable and valid in terms of how much hatred and anger being shown upon these stars for such comments? They are faced with extreme hatred and lashed out at them with comments such as ‘Go to Pakistan!’. Are these stars actually expressing their concerns for the incredible India or are they being patriotism biased religiously in this Hindu dominated country? However, a major part of the hysteria is created by the media speculation for sure.
Both the stars have spoken strongly of the fact that they are proud Indians who would never want be anyone else. Both of them are born Indians and this is clearly not a question of moving out of India which they could easily do as far as name and fame are concerned. What is to be understood from both sides of this debate is that both are being too outspoken irrespective of facts.
Is India actually intolerant? It is a question to reflect upon from different angles where the stars have to understand that India is actually very tolerant from any point of view. The Khans of bollywood who rule the Indian cinema are actually holding the stardom of Hindu major country while they are themselves proud muslims. When you look at their works too, they do not hesitate to work on any issue. Is this how India is intolerant?
Or when the people criticising these stars not seeing the sort of pro Hindu activities being carried out by this pro Hindu government recently? The beef row that sparked extreme controversies inter-religiously, or the sort of reaction shown upon the mere statements made these stars; are these what tolerant India stands for?
The perspectives of approach to the Incredibly tolerant India should have been much broader from all sides.