oppn parties Bihar Poll Results Decisively Prove that India is not Intolerant

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  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
  • For the first time in history, Darjeeling loses first flush tea due to suspension of garden work for Covid-19 outbreak
  • Supreme Court asks journalists to be responsible and publish only the official version of news after it was brought to its notice that migrant exodus started after the 'fake' news that the lockdown will be extended to three months
Total count stands ar 3082 as India records 16 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in a single day
oppn parties
Bihar Poll Results Decisively Prove that India is not Intolerant

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2015-11-09 21:10:52

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The very fact that the Mahagathbandhan has decisively won the elections in Bihar shows that India is not an intolerant country. The BJP, along with the RSS and its various progeny and hangers-on, are not the sole guardians of the Hindu religion or the interests of the Hindus. The people of Bihar, especially the Hindus among them, have shown that despite the most polarizing campaign in recent history, Hindus have not voted as a religious block.

When we start saying that India is an "intolerant" country, we are insulting it's people who have time and again rejected the people and the parties who have tried to play with the country's identity of a nation where all caste, communities and religious groups have stayed together in harmony, barring a few disruptions. If Narendra Modi could win the elections in 2014, it was only because he eschewed religious bigotry to talk about development. The people of Bihar have told him resoundingly that bringing out hidden agendas will not meet their approval. He will get the same response across the country if he lets the RSS and its affiliates hijack his mandate.

My fight with those returning awards and calling the country intolerant is based on this premise. How have they based their calculations on the militancy of a few groups who do not represent a majority of the Hindus? If they think the present government is at fault, they should have refused to accept any award given by it. But the awards given earlier were national recognition and in returning them, they have insulted the people of India.

For those who are joining the bandwagon to claim that India is intolerant, my advice would be for them to look around. For every bigot, they would find at least a hundred Indians given to tolerance, reason and brotherhood. Like one is not supposed to brand all Muslims as terrorists or Pakistanis if some kill for religion or others gloat when the neighbour wins a cricket match, so one should not brand the country as intolerant if a chain of incidents occur that harm the minorities. There are enough Indians willing to stand up for harmony and reject divisive politics.

If this government has not done enough to address the issue of rising Hindu militancy, there should be political fight back like the one in Bihar. But this fight back should take care not to fall in the trap of reverse fundamentalism and should not appease the minorities to win their votes. Appeasement of minorities is the first act that the Hindu militants seize on to arouse passions. Minorities should be made to feel safe, secure and free like all other Indians without any special privileges. Our Constitution and all our laws, and above all a majority of our people, do not discriminate against them. So there is no reason for them to feel that India is intolerant.