Thursday, April 10, 2014

Breakdown of intellect

I am fed up with this sort of commentary which presents itself as a work of intellect but which has a clear partisan tone.

In this article, the writer paints a picture in which the Hindus alone have to be blamed for the breakdown of tolerance in India, while tucking the name of Owaisi in between. I say this on the basis of the examples that they put forth.

Essentially, the article revolves around individual rights vs community rights. There is required a negotiation between individual rights and community rights for tolerance to prevail in a country as diverse as India. For example, a house owner who follows Jainism would find it difficult to rent his house to a Muslim who wants to eat beef.  Both of them want to exercise their religiosity. Whose rights should prevail in this case?

Instead of asking this, the writer suggests that the Jain owner is at fault and is perpetuating intolerance. Not only that, the writer suggests that there should be a law to prevent "this intolerant rental discrimination".

Yes individuals have rights,but they live in a community. And every community lives with certain norms, which one can call community rights. This is the reality. There will be clashes between individual rights and community rights, and this requires negotiations. . It is this one-sided verdict on the rightness or the wrongness of the community rights that breeds intolerance.

Yes, the Hindu community is to be blamed for caste based intolerance. But is it the Hindutva ideology alone that is to be blamed for rising religious intolerance in India? The writer fails to bring into picture Islamic fundamentalism or Christian Missionaries conversion acts.

Also, the writer is factually incorrect, when they say that the tribal community is non-Hindu. Large number of Indian tribes are Hindu tribes.

And therefore, it is no surprise that such an article found its way as the leading article in The Hindu's opinion page.

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