Purba Ray (@Purba_Ray), who happens to be my twitter buddy and a celebrated blogger (she has certificates to that effect on her blog http://www.purba-ray.com/ ) in her latest blog post “RIP, Voice of Reason?” laments the misunderstanding caused by our Pradhan Sevak’s “Make in India” campaign. Instead of manufacturing high technology industrial products like Hawai Chappals, sex toys, fake Arsenal jerseys and such like, some dudes have taken to mass produce Outrage and Intolerance in India. Suddenly, everyone is de facto licensed manufacturer of outrage from an unlimited supply of “hurt sentiments”. Purba expounds well on this industrial revolution in her blog post. However, she directs her lament at “our elected leaders” and it kind of hurt my sentiments. I now serve you my outrage dalia.
We are a socialist (or lately, capitalist) Republic of Intolerance. We can’t tolerate stuff like freedom of speech, attire, religion, language and political belief. Our tolerance sort of exhausted itself serving the Brits for over 200 years. Shorn of it, we commit bodily harm, damage property, or simply outrage, so much so that we have become the Republic of Outrage too, at least on Twitter and Facebook. But, who should we hold responsible for containing Intolerance? Our religious leaders, the government or each one of us? My take: Us! (Not U.S., as some of us are already blaming Obama for #AIBRoast).
Organized religion rarely counters religious or cultural outrage, simply because intolerance suits its ends. Also, not every religious leader is pahuncha hua like Baba Gurmat Ram Rahim Insaan. Ditto for our government. Good governance, as a vehicle for political success, is passe’. These are the days of magic and wonder. Of cult figures, who can redeem years of misrule by speeches alone. And, we, the hoi polloi, are losing our power of reason and questioning. We elect our “rulers” and they bamboozle us. The designer kurta wearing netas are holding #AIVRoast (All India Voterchod) every day in Lutyen’s bungalows. And, no one is outraging against #AIVRoast. We are impuissant. We are the black sheep, not the Ba Ba’s. We are cattle class.
Dear aam aadmi, the Babas, Swamis, Granthis, Saadhvis, kathmullahs, imams and the like, in concert with the netas, just hijacked your society, culture, country and peace of mind. Are you going to simply outrage on Twitter and Facebook or do something more substantial like archiving each act of intolerance and bigotry and throw the book in their faces every time they are on television or come asking for your vote?