Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
Apr 25, 2019, 11.50 AM
I, most times, refrain from writing on religions or ideologies. There is a fear that I might hurt someone's sentiments. But amidst the rising conflict, I had to pour out this time.
When I hear about a crime, inhuman atrocities, I react in a similar way irrespective of whether the perpetrators or victims were Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or Christians.
Whether it's Kathua rape case (8-year-old Muslim girl was gangraped and killed in Jammu and Kashmir) or Mandsaur crime (8-year-old Hindu girl was gangraped in Madhya Pradesh) - the pain I felt was the same, the words I used to express my agony were the same.
Nirbhaya rape case or Bilkis Bano's gangrape, the sense of relief was, again, the same when I heard of culprits being awarded appropriate punishments for the grave atrocities they had committed.
Akhlaq's lynching by cow vigilantes or Ankit Saxena's murder by his Muslim girlfriend's family - the condemnation from my side was indistinguishable.
With the country being clearly divided into the two now - Right Wing and Liberals, it's difficult for us 'neutrals' to speak our mind because we fear being trolled by either faction. (Yes, we exist).
Conflict over religion and ideologies is on the rise. Even Twitter CEO wasn't spared. Some people handed him a placard that said 'Smash Brahminical patriarchy'. Poor Jack Dorsey, who didn't even know what he was holding, was put in legal trouble for an indeliberate hurt he caused.
Same was the case with Air Vistara saga, the airlines decided to honour a war veteran, General G D Bakshi, by posting his inflight picture on Twitter. People opposed to General Bakshi's views trolled the airlines to the extent that Air Vistara had to delete the tweet.
Lest we forget, Surf Excel's Holi advertisement received a lot of backlash even when it promoted Hindu-Muslim harmony.
Let's understand that our ideology may differ but it's not ethical to make the third party suffer. Twitter CEO incident, Surf Excel ad and Air Vistara saga are cases in point.
Moreover, people who were claiming that Buddhist extremists were behind the attacks which killed over 350 people in Sri Lanka, went mum after it was revealed that bombings were planned and executed by ISIS-inspired Muslim radicals.
It's, obviously, okay to follow a specific ideology, this doesn't make us enemies. However, there is a problem when we take extreme positions.
There are extremists in both the factions - Right and Left - which also leads to 'selective outrage'. Crime doesn't have a religion. Hate crime should be condemned as a hate crime by everyone.
Branding each other as 'Bhakts' and 'Urban Naxals', fighting Twitter battles with an intention to score brownie points over the other - shouldn't we all be blamed for inciting hatred?
Let there be opponents and not enemies. Healthy differences and debates are totally fine but extreme views are forcing us to treat everything that goes around with opposing visions. It's so important to remind ourselves that religion doesn't take precedence over humanity.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL.)