Let's hate hatred | india | Hindustan Times
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Let's hate hatred

Leanings towards racial, cultural and religious intolerance have become so prevalent in today?s world that rage and distrust can be raked up at the turn of a page of national or global news, writes Alleyah Asghar.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2006 03:58 IST

Leanings towards racial, cultural and religious intolerance have become so prevalent in today’s world that rage and distrust can be raked up at the turn of a page of national or global news. Instances of intolerance are becoming more frequent — the furore over an actress ‘desecrating’ Sabarimala temple; the attacks on women wearing jeans or trousers in a minority university; vandalism at an art gallery that showcased ‘objectionable’ art.

A psychologist recently defined a ‘normal’ person as someone who could deal with “factual uncertainty, conceptual complexity, moral ambiguity, cultural impurity, personal responsibility and total mortality”. Quite a mouthful there, but it certainly tells us what a fundamentalist is not.

A clear decline in our ability to treat another person with respect, trust and equality exposes many a cracked facade. One would ascribe this ‘insanity’ to a merging of political agendas and religious frameworks. But what is so new about this sociological shift? Our politicians have long been known to bank on extremism — both secular and democratic. The only difference today is the absence of forces that were inclined to balance perspectives.

The icing on this cake is a Supreme Court ruling that allows single-community housing societies, thereby sanctioning a non-tolerant existence. By this logic it is quite alright for the judicial system to lift the ban on dated rituals like sati. For some community might want to impose its way of life to assert its presence in society. We should perhaps find it comforting that there are other countries in our neighbourhood that boast of oppression of women.

To ‘want’ to fall back on good governance can be easily equated with ‘wanting’ to find life on Mars. It is even more crucial to know whether we are really keen on heading towards a ghettoisation of beliefs, whether religious or cultural. Or is deleting all socio-political unrest from our immediate surroundings of any value to us at all.

The apathy with which the supposed intelligentsia live is incredible. So terribly caught up in dealing with the travails of life, the common man has intentionally kept away from questioning issues of larger common interest.

Let’s not drift between deluges and blasts, whether in Delhi, Bangalore, Varanasi or Srinagar. Just reveling in a feel-good spirit works only to a point. We must address our own attitudes more critically. For starters, let’s become more intolerant towards intolerance.