So often it is said that we are 'sahishnu samaj' i.e. a tolerant society, that people begin to believe it from their childhood without realising that the truth could be just the opposite.
How much we know about tolerance, peace and liberalism? In fact, if you pick up newspaper of any day you will realise that we are a 'hinsak samaj'--a violent society.
Just today, the first story in paper was that of a man who was disabled permanently due to tortured by cops just because his vehicle had hit a cop's vehicle. A youth (Hindu), committed suicide because of harassment by cops.
Yet another case, a schoolboy brutally beaten by his teacher for touching 'thaali' of other students in Rajasthan. Just a couple of days back, a 90-year-old Hindu man was burnt to death in Uttar Pradesh for stepping into a temple.
These are mostly cases of injustice against Hindus. Not just police, anyone in power is engaged in violence against the 'weak', the 'poor, and the 'other. Law is applied in accordance with the victim's and the accused's social-financial status.
Further, recent incidents show that the facade of 'tolerance', 'liberalism', has fallen off completely. Claims about 'sahishnuta, sambhav' are not true. Many of us are beginning to see the reality.
For improvement, you have to accept that there are issues with your society, very serious issues. At least, I feel, that we are members of a 'hinsak samaj' that has a 'mob mentality'.
TEN POINTS ABOUT VIOLENCE IN OUR SOCIETY
1. It is common to term other countries as barbaric, but in which country do you hear leaders deliver hate-filled, racist, threatening and poisonous speeches day in and day out. This happens in world's biggest democracy.
2. The sadhvis, saints, threaten minorities on regular basis, demonising them, warning them to kick them out of the country, at the drop of hat, and the politicians 'justifying' hate, killings.
Where does it happen?
Does it happen in countries we contemptuously talk about, and whom we term as 'banana' republics. Are such political statements against minorities, atrocities, mob violence ever heard there?
3. In which country, there is such social sanction to violence, mob killings and discrimination. In which country, there are always 'action-reaction' theories floated.
4. Where would Ministers goes to site of tragedy and declares, "it was an accident". Takes meeting in the temple from where the false, provocative rumour was spread about an air force personnels' father carrying bovine meat in his house.
The minister categorically says, "it was not pre-planned incident". Then, he says, 'justice will be done, to arrested youths too'. This happens in India. Prime Minister doesn't speak up to allay fears or to rein in the fanatic groups. Ministers speak like louts.
5. In this violent society, lives of Dalits, Tribal, Poor, Minorities, so many others don't matter. There is so much hate prevailing in the society among different sections of people on the basis of colour, creed, caste, faith, class and region.
6. The laws are promulgated and applied to discriminate, subjugate your own people, cow slaughter laws made stricter and people are framed, bizarre punishments given.
The law-enforcing agencies put blame on victims. After an innocent man's murder, meat kept in his refrigerator is sent for lab test.
7. Where in the world, 'food fascim' has reached such bizarre levels. The country tops in beef export but people are attacked, killed just on suspicion of carrying beef.
There are housing societies that don't let 'non-vegetarians' live. In schools, children are asked not to bring 'non-vegetarian food', even omelette in the lunch box. In angan-wadis 'anda' is not given to kids, as it 'offends sensibilities'.
So you are taught from childhood that 'meat eaters are bad', that they are evil. This thought process can't be altered easily. All these your 'sanskaar'. The poor malnourished tribal kids are deprived out even egg in angan-wadi. This shameless violence is taking place in a country when 70% Indians are non-vegetarians!
7. Rationalists are killed. People are threatened for speaking in their minds. Governments refuse to act against extremist campaigns and vigilante groups' divisive acts and thuggery, as in Mangalore. Organisations that ought to be banned, are termed 'nationalist'.
8. With due respect to the courts, we all know who gets death sentences, who get hanged in this country. Most of them are Poor, Dalits, Tribal and Muslims. And further, the society has the cheek to claim that they are 'liberal', 'non-violent, 'good to weaker sections'. The list is endless.
9. People don't want to accept their own bigotry. If you talk about 'khaps', immediately the issue will be diverted and you will face the question, 'Why X things happen at Y place, reply first, Why you don't speak about it". So the problem is failure to 'confront bitter truths'.
10. I haven't talked yet about rapes, the gang rapes, the amount of sexual violence, which exists in the country, majority of which goes unreported. I don't even want to venture into this territory, as this piece can't end.
I haven't talked about communal riots, at all. The list is endless. But still we consider ourselves 'sahishnu'. Even on social media, people threaten others just because their opinions don't match with someone.
Hold the mirror and see your face. When I look, I see it as one the most violent, barbaric societies in the world. The reform, the change, can't begin unless we accept that there is a problem.