Wednesday, November 25, 2015

India isn't intolerant, it is too tolerant

Aamir Khan​'s situation reminds me of a scene from Sholay​ in which Kalia does something wrong and says, "Sardar, maine aapka namak khaaya hai", and Gabbar says, "Ab goli khaa..."
People have assumed that Aamir's statements were his opinion but it wasn't an opinion, it was a concern and it wasn't his, it was his wife's. It was like during my school days, everyone hated when teacher taught too much and for many days but no one spoke a word. One day a student is heard talking about it, merely expressing his concerns to someone, and that student is made an example of, bad mouthed, branded a "traitor" of sorts. At least despite realizing the consequences, Aamir still stands by his word. Satyameva Jayate indeed.
So what is it that's bothering us? That we, the Indian people made him The Aamir Khan? Is it about money and fame? We willingly adored him for his performance and he earned his wealth legally doing things we enjoyed. Compare his statements to the obscene remarks made by our politicians on the most horrendous crime, Rape. "Boys will be boys", "Chowmein should be banned because it propagates rape", "girls should not be allowed to wear jeans for their safety" etc. (paraphrased of course). I am sure most of you will remember these statements. Moreover, we laughed off the matter of politicians watching porn during an active parliamentary session. When our guardians who were elected to serve us take our safety so lightly, why don't we raise our voice against them? Because they have power. Celebrities don't have the kind of power to put you in prison. And let us not forget, most of these politicians do earn wealth through bribery and other illegitimate means (scams).
Are we trying to protect our national image? What national image? A nation where millions don't get to eat food twice a day and have to sleep hungry, and live in deplorable conditions, what image should it really have? How does intolerance even matter in the face of lack of basic amenities for majority of our population?
It is easy to boycott a certain brand and movies of a certain actor (i.e., easier to stop doing something) than to try and fix the real issues (not the ones fabricated by political entourage) faced by fellow Indians on a daily basis.
"All Indians are my brothers and sisters", remember? Perhaps with these sentiments he would have shared his personal conversation with the whole nation, like one shares with our siblings. And what do we do? We decide to dig out his past and boycott his movies and brands. (slow clap!)
Perhaps Aamir was wrong. We're not intolerant, we're too tolerant !! We tolerate all the crap and fabricated bullshit fed to us like whether to ban beef or not, when millions are shivering and starving, in our own country.
A country where we let politicians get away with anything but target powerless celebrities, where we get offended by what a person says rather than what a person does or doesn't do (fulfilling promises made during election campaign), where we're ready to attack someone's livelihood (be it Aamir or Beef sellers) just because they hurt our sentiments rather than using our time and effort towards helping other citizens live a better life, I can never be proud of such a country. Perhaps no country is perfect but I always thought India and Indians were better than this.