The country is facing the wrath of insensitivity and I often wonder what the causes of religious intolerance are? A few weeks back, when I thought about the cause I wanted to chatter about at Blogchatter, I wanted to bring awareness on how judgmental and insensitive we have become. I did not realize then, we will face the worst case of insensitivity soon. In a few weeks, I am ashamed of how inhumane we have become. Insensitivity has reached new heights in our country and the leaders of the country are to be blamed for it. The death toll due to the religious violence in Delhi has reached 25 on 27th February 2020 and our politicians are still playing their favorite game of politics. Where has this ‘secular’ country come to and where will we go from here? These questions just remain questions and I am scared to look for the answers too.
While growing up we were taught to respect everyone around us. I still remember my parents reiterating to never judge someone based on religion or money. The house help had to be respected and we celebrated all festivals. I do not remember for the longest time that I even knew that some very close family friends were of a different religion. This is the same way I intended to bring up Little Miss A, but how is the million-dollar question we both as parents face.
I have always refrained from writing about politics on my social media or my blogs. This is not because I do not have an opinion but because I feel this just instigates a discussion full of toxicity. Even the most educated people have views which for me at least are shameful. Last year, Surf Excel had released an advertisement for Holi. It had received a lot of criticism. You might want to read my post on the Surf Excel Holi Ad and how religious intolerance in our country just takes over the most innocent of ads.
Is the Citizenship Bill One of the Causes of Religious Intolerance?
When a simple ad had stirred controversy, then the government’s move with the Citizenship Bill had to reach this level. What else can be expected from people who judge others based on their religion? When the government of the country decides to treat the citizens unequally what can we expect from the public? Killing people because of the caste and religion is the most inhumane in my opinion and this is how insensitive and intolerant we have become. It is not that India did not face this in the past but do we not claim to be more educated and resilient. What has changed from the British Era to the 1984 riots to today? You can read a Brief History of Religious Intolerance In India to know how this religion game has been played for centuries and I am sure you will wonder what are the causes of religious intolerance.
My blogger friend, Noor Anand Chawla, wrote a brilliant piece of fiction based on the Citizenship Bill which she calls “lofty document that is meant to guide us as citizens, and guide the people in power to be upright leaders- the Constitution of India” and one must read it to understand in a simple way what the government is doing. I know many would not agree to our political views but this is what I am trying to say. Please respect my views, the way I respect yours. We have to stop being insensitive and intolerant with each other’s views. The constitution gives us the right to choose, so you and I are no one to take it away. Just that, our government has decided to dictate life. But I will say let us not blame the government. After all, we as voters ignored their history and elected them. We the people of India are at fault and no one else.
What Are The Causes of Religious Intolerance?
Before we look at the ways to improve, I think it is very important to understand what causes this religious intolerance. More than often, we complain about it, but before we find a solution, we need to understand the causes of religious intolerance.
We look at the Differences Only
In my opinion, when people start looking at things with a perspective of what is different between them and not what is common, there is a judgment that comes along which leads to intolerance. And this intolerance comes from ignorance and lack of acceptance and this is what we pass to the next generation. And this is what I think we need to stop.
The basis of ideas of all religions is the same but we only look at the difference. The people who judge others on their religion live with a view ‘my religion is right and yours is wrong’. Two people in a room can be right because they have their ideologies. If you do not agree with me, it does not make me or you wrong. When we look at each religion in a different light and exclusive from the other, it is bound to create conflict.
Lack of Knowledge
We do not have enough knowledge about other religions. People misinterpret religion and the books as per their convenience and this is the foundation of divide and rule which leads to communal violence. When people from a religion think they have an authority on their beliefs and close their minds to others that is where the problem begins. We remain biased and think everyone else on this planet who does not agree with us is wrong.
Another major cause of this intolerance is the passion people have for their religion. In the bargain, we forget that the other person can also be passionate in the same way. When we talk in favor of our religion and against the others, the other person will for sure get instigated and the argument starts. The passion we have for our religion causes us to shut our minds to others. All that we want to think about is our religion and how different or wrong yours is from ours. Passion for your religion is one of the main causes of religious intolerance in our country.
What can we Do?
The leaders all over the world take advantage of this psychology of people and play the divide and rule game. At the end of the day, everyone is bothered about their vote bank and nothing else. We have to try and change the attitude of people around us, but after interacting with many around me if feel it will be very tough. What we can do is to be human and respect and support everyone around us. And the most important thing we have to do is to make our kids tolerant. Kids are our future and as parents, we play a major role in shaping their thought process. Children learn from their environment and are not born with any malice and prejudice. We have to keep them away from prejudicial views but have to ensure we teach them to be open minded and tolerant. Kids need to be taught to be sensitive and you might like to read my post, Making Kids Sensitive is Important Too.
My next post will be on how to make children tolerant in this multi faith world. We have to take things in our hands. Parents have to pass the right values to their children and ensure their thought process is balanced and not prejudiced. Teachers and parents have to work on this together to ensure the country is not burning and people are not killed because of religion. We have to work on the understanding of the people. As Mahatma Gandhi said,
“Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding”
This post is a part of “How to become a profitable blogger” blog train. hosted by Neha and Surbhi. I am growing my blog and learning to be profitable with Grow Your Blog Challenge.