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Intolerance in India

Updated Oct 14, 2015 08:13am


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The alarm bells are ringing; India needs to reaffirm its commitment to pluralism and diversity.—Reuters/File
The alarm bells are ringing; India needs to reaffirm its commitment to pluralism and diversity.—Reuters/File

FREEDOM is under threat in India and many of its right-thinking citizens are speaking out against the wave of right-wing violence and repression.

On Monday, no less a figure than L.K. Advani was moved to condemn what he said is “an increase in cases of intolerance” and suggested that democracy itself was under threat in India.

There is genuine reason for alarm. Some of the violence and intimidation has been Pakistan-related, with Shiv Sena activists in Mumbai forcing the cancellation of a concert by Ghulam Ali recently and, more menacingly, dousing in black paint the organiser of a talk featuring former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri.

But much of the intolerance and extremism is directed inwards, at India’s rich cultural and religious diversity.

This year alone, two progressive voices have been silenced forever with the murders of Govind Pansare, in February, and M.M. Kalburgi, in August. Both men were known for their opposition to religious extremism and had spent much of their lives championing progressive causes.

The lynching of a Muslim man in a village outside Delhi for allegedly consuming beef shocked not just India, but the world. In India-held Kashmir, communal tensions have been stoked by the revival of a long-dormant law banning the sale and consumption of beef.

Worried by the rise in religiously inspired extremism and by the indifferent attitude of the federal government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s vibrant civil society is pushing back.

More than 40 intellectuals and writers have returned literary awards or written open letters to protest the rise in intolerance and the assault on free speech.

Last week, Nayantara Sahgal, nationally recognised writer and a niece of Jawaharlal Nehru, announced her decision to return her Sahitya Akademi (academy of letters) award in a public letter titled The unmaking of India.

In her letter, Ms Sahgal has condemned Prime Minister Modi for remaining silent about the “reign of terror” that has been unleashed in India and offered her support to “all dissenters who now live in fear and uncertainty”.

The growing public outcry is a welcome sign that India’s history as a constitutionally protected secular democracy will not be erased by a single election or by extremists emboldened on the fringes of society.

Welcome as the pushback is, much more will need to be done if India is to protect its cultural diversity and pluralism.

This country’s long, painful slide towards extremism and intolerance suggests that if problems at the fringes are not addressed quickly by state and society, extremism can become mainstream and fiendishly difficult to roll back.

The Pakistani experience has also made terribly clear the destabilising effects on the region when intolerance and extremism is on the march nationally. In India’s case, the rise of the right-wing could have even more toxic effects regionally.

The alarm bells are ringing; India needs to reaffirm its commitment to pluralism and diversity.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2015

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Comments (130) Closed

shyam Oct 14, 2015 01:57am

Good editorial, but one should note that shiv sena has a legitimate grouse against pakistan- she has still not prosecuted 26/11 mumbai attackers.

Due to continued militant infiltration and not prosecuting LeT, there is a risk of shiv sena gaining more popularity.

Prakash Oct 14, 2015 02:03am

There is no doubt that Hindu fundamentlism is rising as reaction from other such tendencies throughout the world-but Indian PM has condemned each such incidents.There has been protest from large number of writers and intellectual ,which is assuring that there will be check on such tendencies.

Tej Singh Oct 14, 2015 02:09am

The concern mentioned here is right. I and many Hindus are ashamed of Muslim guy being lynched and manhandling being done by Shiv Sena

NORI Oct 14, 2015 02:59am

I don't support the black paint dousing,

kaliraja t Oct 14, 2015 03:28am

India is the land of Mahatma Gandhi, crores will come forward to protect his legacy. Have faith on our people who will defeat extremism. This is 100% true.

akm INDIAN Oct 14, 2015 03:32am

thanks for your concern

BNS Oct 14, 2015 03:51am

Compliments to those who are resisting. Pakistanis, please learn.

LOCKHORN Oct 14, 2015 04:08am

Great article. Let more people speak up - what is happening in India is unacceptable to Indians as well as others in the modern world. It has key social, economic and political implications and needs to be nipped in the bud.

Deep Oct 14, 2015 04:09am

Very well said and consequences of India slipping under extremism would be disastrous for entire reason and in fact the world. One can't image if a country of 1.2 billion goes into chaos and then what next. Some in India are still looking for that short term economic growth under Mr. Modi but have yet to realize Mr. Modi and his bandwagon have already done lot of damage to cause of India. No doubt Mr. Modi is a better administrator but also with a twisted mentality. He believes in retribution, supremacy of religion he follows, and delusional to the point that he believes ancient Indians had mastery over aircraft making and plastic surgery. I as an Indian and the one who voted for Modi am helpless and feel shame. I wish my constitution allowed taking back my my vote! Very sad to see decline of India and the principles it stood for.

Ani Oct 14, 2015 05:12am

A word on the beef 'ban' - it is officially banned, yes. But, as youtube and alcohol ban in Pakistan, you can easily consume it if you are at least a little resourceful.

Bakhtawer Bilal Oct 14, 2015 05:24am

Absolutely sane voice. India has to learn from Pakistan experience, and not to match it.

Rohit Oct 14, 2015 05:38am

The increase in incidents of intolerance has been a cause of concern for the common man.....hopefully the outrage has sent out a clear message to the powers that be....the PM's assertion that development cannot happen under such circumstances has been heartening.....still if there is no course correction then the voter will have some tough choices to make.

Kalyan Oct 14, 2015 06:24am

Good editorial. India's secularism and tolerance are it's most prized assets and we should ensure that they are always guarded. The good thing is the people of India are not a silent spectator and will show their might when intolerance rears its ugly head. I agree that a few of the past incidents are sickening but I am glad the way the general public and media responded clearly reminding the powers to be that this will not go unnoticed.

Skywalker Oct 14, 2015 07:14am

All such incidents are attention diverters. I am looking forward for a new controversy sometime in next few days to keep people of the sub continent entertained.

INDIAN Oct 14, 2015 07:40am

Don't worry we have a active civil society we will take care of these goons

kuz Oct 14, 2015 08:27am

No, this was not about intolerance. It was about Indians hatred for all things Pakistani.

hamza Khalid Oct 14, 2015 08:27am

I hope not that congress comes in next time, but that BJP learns tolerance and changes it party psychology. It will be more beneficial for India

Naveed Oct 14, 2015 08:29am

India is so big and diverse. Small incidents doesn't reflect the views of the indian society. I am a muslim and I don't see anything wrong with beaf ban to respect religious believes of a group of people. The society needs to be educated more about tolerating each other's believes.

Jai Oct 14, 2015 08:32am

The Shiv Sena is a rouge element within Indian society. Their sole agenda for political existence is religious divide and hatred. These so called sainiks will destroy the very fabric of Indian society i.e. multi-culturalism.

It is time all sections of Indian society including political parties rallied together to push these goons out of political relevance.

R S Chakravarti Oct 14, 2015 08:34am

The killings are of course condemnable. So is this incident

Inditramp Oct 14, 2015 08:38am

The event of Mr Kasuri's Book Launch still went ahead after threats. What does that tell about India? Some tolerance will always be there ,how we overcome that is important.

Third Party Oct 14, 2015 08:39am

India is governed by Civilian leaders !! So it is very resilient to all odds .

Najam Saeed Oct 14, 2015 08:39am

There is hatred on both sides - whether you talk about mullas/religious fanatics in Pakistan or Shiv Sena and BJP members in India. It is sickening and disgusting.

Ahmed Oct 14, 2015 08:40am

@Ani not if you are sure you will get lynched for eating it (even when it turns out to be some other meat). You don't get lynched for consuming alcohol or Youtube in Pakistan, poor comparison.

Ahmed USA Oct 14, 2015 08:40am

A very well-written editorial...

NIRAJ CHAWHAN Oct 14, 2015 09:12am

Thanks for your concerns. India remained secular not because politicians wanted but it was people's choice. And we will not let any govt. change it.

An Indian Oct 14, 2015 09:20am

India has more than 30 states and union territories and most communal incidences are happening in only two states of UP and Maharashtra. It does not mean 1.2 billion population of India is communal. In fact, Hindu people are the most secular and liberal people in the world. BJP is elected to power due to bad governance by Congress led coalitions and not because of its communal agenda. All readers in Pakistan should be clear about it. If BJP does not perform ,it will be thrown out of power. Pakistan seems more concerned about minorities in India than the condition of minorities in Pakistan.

Javed Oct 14, 2015 09:21am

@Prakash Only time will tell....

Javed Oct 14, 2015 09:34am

@Ani You are deleting the issue. It is basically against one community, the Muslim community, yes you can find alcohol in Pakistan and drink in your homes but no one will lynch you for that. And why you want go Pakistan route? We are paying a heavy price.Why you want to learn the hard way? Learn from our mistakes otherwise this extremism, intolerance will take India to dumps from where there is no coming back.

Zafar Oct 14, 2015 09:40am

Whatever the reasons of rise in anti Muslim or anti Minority sentiment in India, the effect in Pakistan is becoming clearer with each atrocity, "thanks God we have a separate country to live in" Ever thought the Indian minorities maybe pushed to where they would start feeling needs for their own protected lands, looks like a logical result of increasing intolerance to Muslims or other minority groups in India.

Bipul Oct 14, 2015 09:52am

It's very difficult to be right or wrong on Pakistan. Pakistan has done multiple anti-Indian activities in recent past and in long history. People who are against Pakistan are right. But hate will not solve the issues. Someone needs to take initiative to started finding a way to cooperate. So people like Kulkarni are not wrong either. Net net, I don't think either party can be criticized.

Dubya Oct 14, 2015 10:02am

Its intolerance with Pakistan ONLY is increasing ....

SSJ Oct 14, 2015 10:10am

look who is talking

kashmira Oct 14, 2015 10:11am

The govt did its job by providing adequate security even at the risk of losing coalition at state level and at the center. As far as writers returning award, they should understand that not every crime committed by hindus can be blamed on bjp. 77% of Indians are hindu and bjp only got 40% votes. So it is unlikely, bjp even represents majority of hindus let alone all of it. In 2013 during congress times, 133 people died in communal killings (higher than in 2014). Did writers check whose supporters they were? Nakshals and communists have killed 30000 people in India and communist parties were in UPA alliance. Why didn't any writers return award at that time?

Hassan Oct 14, 2015 10:14am

This world exists and flourishes where there is forgiveness, This world becomes sick and unjust where there is absence of forgiveness. What do we want for our coming generations? happiness or sadness? facilities or problems? love or hatred?

sri Oct 14, 2015 10:14am

@Javed India survived many of these type before..

Babar Ali Oct 14, 2015 10:26am

@shyam Pakistan is still waiting for the concrete evidence from India required to prosecute someone in Mumbai attacks. Mr. Hafiz Saeed, runs a huge philanthropic arm in Pakistan and there is no evidence against him to prosecute. If Pakistan procsecutes him without any such proper evidence, there would be a huge backlash in the country.

ramesh Oct 14, 2015 10:43am

ya In India everything is alarming but in pakistan everything is one step more to development and peace

Ahmed Sultan Oct 14, 2015 10:46am

People can lecture us on intolerance but not pakistanis. have u even seen ur country. You have no sizeable population of non-muslim.

Happy man Oct 14, 2015 10:48am

See who is talking of intolerance. Provide words of wisdom to your own people. India can handle itself.

Farhan Oct 14, 2015 10:50am

Lynch mobs are more dangerous than enemy soldiers.

beefeater Oct 14, 2015 10:57am

@Ani but what happens if you get caught ?

beefeater Oct 14, 2015 10:57am

@akm INDIAN Thank you ..sincerely.

Khalifa Oct 14, 2015 10:58am

@shyam But Pakistan has similar claims about Samjhota Express victims.

Hindi Oct 14, 2015 10:59am

Look who is worried about extremism

Bitter Truth Oct 14, 2015 11:05am

The only alarm bells that are ringing are in your head. Few isolated unfortunate incidents do not suddenly make India into another Afghanistan. Majority of Hindus and Muslims are very much happy together and the economy is shining bright!

Truth Seeker Oct 14, 2015 11:07am

Muslim in India or Hindu in Pakistan, what life will you choose?

You may live in one choice. The other choice means extinction.

satish Oct 14, 2015 11:14am

Secularism died the day India was partitioned...

R.Kannan Oct 14, 2015 11:19am

The article is based on the comments & actions of persons who are left wing in their thinking & find it difficult to adjust to a government which questions their way of thinking. To cover up idealogical issues, they raise the bogey of communalism. There have been far more deaths due to such issues in the years before the Modi government came to power. Factually, in the last 3 decades, the only riots in which people have been punished is the Gujarat riots of 2002. It happened in a state where the offenders were prosecuted by a government headed by Modi. But then, who cares for facts ?

syed wasim haider Oct 14, 2015 11:33am

Must appreciate the protests of the intelectuals against this wave of hatred.

Sasimann Oct 14, 2015 11:33am

The Congress pampered the Muslim community and this is the backlash,the intellectuals may worry and make noise, the majority of Indians don't bother they are busy trying to improve their lives. Modi is being pulled down by his foes in RSS and BJP etc,by wrong statements at the wrong times by the fringe brigade.

Mohyal Oct 14, 2015 11:35am

Very good editorial. Balanced viewpoint. As an Indian, I feel that report are exaggerated and situation is not as bad on the ground as is made out to be. But then, in some situations , over reaction is better than no reaction

Siddhartha Oct 14, 2015 12:12pm

When BJP came to the power, everyone thought this would happen. People voted Modi to see a non corrupt strong Government. But they knew that Hindutva agenda will be pushed. Modi himself, has no control over Shiv Sena and RSS. If IM can be banned why not RSS?

saurabh singh Oct 14, 2015 12:26pm

Good education for masses at very affordable rates consisting of both modern scientific ideas and old moral values is a best solution to this rising intolerance/ violence etc.

ambijat Oct 14, 2015 12:37pm

It is common and collective responsibility to quarantine South Asia from all forms of intolerance, religious, caste, ethnic, sectarian. The people of South Asia have the right to claim their civilisation and their culture. It does not a civil society to speak out for them. The people of South Asia would not harbour the anathema of hatred, never they did in past, nor would they, in future.

Hammad Qureshi Oct 14, 2015 12:48pm

@Truth Seeker

There are still many Hindus living in Pakistan and there were even more in former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). I just taught two who were on a government scholarship and they were one of the best students in the class. Open up your eyes to the truth Truth Seeker.

Infact, my students told me that they do not want to go to India ever (although they had IT degrees from a top university) as they feared more intolerance and prejudice because of their caste. What do you say to that? Who is more intolerant at least we do not divide humanity in to touchables and non-touchables.

Sabiha Oct 14, 2015 01:10pm

@kuz So this is the true colour of secular India

Sabiha Oct 14, 2015 01:11pm

@kuz So this is the true colour of secular India

Sabiha Oct 14, 2015 01:13pm

@Zafar The only sane analysis. This is the ground reality

chinto Oct 14, 2015 01:25pm

Very nice article. Intorelance among Hindu's was the major reason of partition in 1947.

N.S Oct 14, 2015 01:29pm

A per some comments, if the intolerance level in India is not that alarming then why a separate country for Muslims were created.

Junaid Oct 14, 2015 01:39pm

@hamza Khalid "I hope not that congress comes in next time, but that BJP learns tolerance and changes it party psychology. It will be more beneficial for India" -- I agree, but that will not happen as long as the Indian public keeps rewarding the BJP with an election victory every single time they orchestrate communal mass-killings against Muslims and Christians. All of the BJP's bad behavior is entirely the fault of the people of India.

Rayhana Anwar Oct 14, 2015 01:42pm

@Rohit "the PM's assertion that development cannot happen under such circumstances has been heartening." -- Actually, Mr. Modi has only been disingenuous by calling on Hindus and Muslims to fight poverty instead of each other. He still refuses to directly condemn and disown communal atrocities against Muslims (much of which is directly the work of his party cadres) and as long as he has a right-hand man and BJP party president (Amit Shah) who keeps inciting communal murders during rallies in Modi's own presence without any reprisal at all, then there is nothing heartening in anything Modi has done about the country's communal problem.

RAJ CHAUDARY Oct 14, 2015 01:46pm

It was done by very few members of small local party in Mumbai .

you should also highlight one incident which happen the same day in Mumbai where one small girl form Karachi returned to her country after successful surgery in Mumbai. Please note it was funded through crowd funding by local NGOs and local aam adami.

we have to highlight Good and happy news also to counter such act.

?Heck Oct 14, 2015 01:51pm

Whether a type of incident is occasional or infrequent or not, even a single incident should not be allowed to happen. Like it is written, killing even one man is like killing humanity. It is mind boggling, the number of innocent people that have lost lives due to identity politics in the subcontinent.

Most of our people are poor. It is the duty of our rulers to put the interests of the people ahead of anything else. What is urgently required is economic growth and betterment of the people.

Alas, we are not a mature people. I wish there was an island to which all the sane people of the subcontinent could migrate and live normal lives with liberty and security. The rabid, super-patriots could indulge themselves in their fancy.

Is there rule of law when perpetrators of the lynching (beef consumption) or the burning alive in a kiln (blasphemy) go scot-free? We should remind ourselves that one day we will have to pay not only for the crimes but also for our silence!

N.Sid Oct 14, 2015 02:01pm

It wasn't about hatred towards Muslims or any particular ethnic group, its more about a general intolerance gradually seeping through, Govind Pansare and M.M. Kalburgi, critiques and scholars killed were not minority caste people.

sanjay sinha Oct 14, 2015 02:07pm

i went to Europe first time at age 62. I found people of my face are from Pakistan or Bangladesh or Sri lanka or say SARC countries. They were too friendly. i request you to educate that if we can not discern between a British and a German who faught two great wars, they too also can not identify diffence within us. Let us not fritter our lives and energies in internal skirmishes.

M. Emad Oct 14, 2015 02:22pm

India has very good relation with Muslim-majority Bangladesh.

oneraja Oct 14, 2015 02:26pm

@kuz Did you not read about the Pakistani girl whose life was saved in Mumbai through crowd-funding by Mumbaikars? Do you know that a head priest of a prestigious temple is Kashi has invited Ghuam ali to sing at the temple? There are many such examples. Intolerance has indeed raised its ugly head, but we Indians will beat it down. Do you know that just last week Hindus in Dadri (village of Beef lynching) have contributed to get two Muslim girls in the village get married in the village? We have an active civil society which will get stronger and defeat fanatics in ALL religions. Intolerance will NOT be tolerated.

M.Saeed Oct 14, 2015 02:40pm

@shyam : Dear naive pundit of doom, your bias against Pakistan cannot be more pronounced. It also proves further that, 26/11 was a craft of your own people some of whom have already accepted it out of their conscience pressure. Further proof is in your Government's continued refusal to share concrete evidences about the Mumbai carnage with Pakistan, if they have any, to prosecute the culprit with authentic proof acceptable and prosecute-able against culprits in the courts of law.

santosh Oct 14, 2015 02:52pm

We learn Tolerance in family and school, society live in.Its not taught by Government in any country so please not involve govt in everything.

Salim Langra Oct 14, 2015 02:52pm

Goondaism at the central level is not unique this time (remember the Emergency..) and will meet the same fate.

byju Oct 14, 2015 02:53pm

please do not worry about India and Indians. our secular fabric is not going to be torn because of such incidents. in a huge country, such things do happen. of course, what happened in Dadri is very very bad and the culprits should be punished severely.

Usmani Oct 14, 2015 02:55pm

beef ban ? m i on earth .. indian society needs to respect other society ..i know its difficult for them to absorb this. but its reality.

Meraj Oct 14, 2015 03:03pm

I am an Indian Muslim and all I can say is that India is a very tolerant nation. The fact that there is so much of noise around these activities is indeed the proof that there is an active mechanism to question and resist illiberal tendencies.. I believe in 90% ofindian society if not 100%

M.Saeed Oct 14, 2015 03:04pm

@oneraja : Good people are always present in a large society but, such exception cannot be taken as rule!

M. Jan Oct 14, 2015 03:05pm

India is entering the same dark tunnel of intolerance and religious extremism that Pakistan is trying to get out at the other end. The suggestion is to not make the same mistake of letting the extremists take charge of the society. If India wants to learn the hard way then good luck with that.

Abdul Karim Oct 14, 2015 03:12pm

We as a nation should have a higher moral ground. Sadly we are worse off.

Taimoor Khan Oct 14, 2015 03:31pm

@shyam Mumbai attack happened much AFTER Samjhota express bomb blast in which scores of Pakistani lives were lost on "Indian soil". You dont see any organization making that as an excuse and bring forth as an agenda against India in internal Pakistani politics. Infact India is a non issue in Pakistan internal politics. Your argument is weak.

Taimoor Khan Oct 14, 2015 03:37pm

@Truth Seeker People like Deepak Parwani and late Justice Baghwan Das will have a word to say to you. Educate yourself about Pakistan.

Ijaz Oct 14, 2015 03:40pm

@kuz is this not intolerance and prejudice by another name?

Ijaz Oct 14, 2015 03:41pm

@Truth Seeker No it does not there a millions of Hindus living perfectly peacefully in Pakistan

Shankar Oct 14, 2015 03:50pm

Pakistan need not worry. We have our own style of law...........

Nauman M Oct 14, 2015 03:57pm


That's how it started in Pakistan 4 decades ago with a handful and everyone thought it would fizzle out. Look where Pakistan is right now?

Pakshot Oct 14, 2015 04:01pm

Its very amusing to watch all this happen... this is very sad.. Indians are true believers in religious harmony and never do they try to hurt any other people. Very polite and very nice People.. I still fail to understand why are they going towards such violence, there has to be a reason..

Proust Oct 14, 2015 04:10pm

@shyam what about samjhota express? It's a two way lane dear!

Proust Oct 14, 2015 04:11pm

@kaliraja t will? Why haven't they until now?

ukumar Oct 14, 2015 04:23pm

@Bakhtawer Bilal India has enough check and balances to prevent it go in direction away from secularism. Interestingly, India ,despite secularism, provides Muslims a separate civil laws.

ukumar Oct 14, 2015 04:24pm

@kuz And with good reason

Prasad Oct 14, 2015 04:29pm

Absolutely right... as an Indian, I strongly support the freedom of expression for my fellow Indians. I may not agree with them, but that does not give me right to try to suppress their voice or ideas.

As has been the case with India over the past ten thousand years, we will come out of this current wave of intolerance as a stronger and better culture...

Dr.Shahmir Oct 14, 2015 07:09pm

"if problems at the fringes are not addressed quickly by state and society, extremism can become mainstream and fiendishly difficult to roll back" well said. This is how it started in pakistani society few decades ago,and fire of hatred, intolerance and extremism has engulfed the whole pakistani society.

ADI Oct 14, 2015 07:12pm

Any country which compromises on extremism and where the government fails to tackle extremists will be ultimately ruled by the extremists.

Deepak Singh Oct 14, 2015 08:00pm

@shyam , plus look who is talking about freedom and tolerance

Farhan Oct 14, 2015 08:01pm

As long as the ideology of India stays secular and majority supports it the minority gets automatically protected. When Hindu leader Adi Shankar acharya went throughout India for revival of vedic dharma he never called for any war against buddhists. He won them through public debates organized by the kings and Buddhist temples of India in 7 th century. I am surprised when I first time read that such thing is possible without shading a drop of blood.

DownSouth Oct 14, 2015 08:29pm

A well balanced editorial. As an Indian I thank you for your concerns. The reaction in my country against such intolerance reinforces my bellief in idea of India.

Titu Chacha Oct 14, 2015 08:35pm

Shiv Sena Did right..

dshuman Oct 14, 2015 08:47pm

what intolerance , kulkarni is getting fame that is why he kept ink on him to get max coverage... he is feeling proud of media attention ...

i'll even PAY if i'm politician to 'ink me' or 'slap me' or a 'shoe throw at me' if that can bring desired media coverage to me... Also i'm not sure that these small act of me can bring end of the world or world war 9 ..

isn't every one is getting too reactive on all these incidents as if in past we were as peaceful as dead ?

dshuman Oct 14, 2015 08:50pm

@Deep do you really then what wrong Modi did, do you have someone in CBI reporting things to you,

is congress, SP JDU do not get benefit by showing Modi as extremist ? why everything has jumped to make modi responsible .. this is really stupid if you are real

Eramngalam somapalan Oct 14, 2015 09:26pm

@Meraj You are absolutely correct. The elements that create present sort of situation will do it even if there only Hindus around, just like in Pakistani Muslims doing to their own community. This is in human nature to have confrontation and quarrels. Even if one family remaining will have quarrel among its members. Leadership and society as a whole should develop wisdom to overcome this nature. Europeans have somehow managed it to some extend after two horrifying wars. We will certainly overcome all this nonsense.

Bilal Baloch Kamal Oct 14, 2015 10:12pm

Just by looking at the comments and their corresponding number of recommendations, it is clear that majority in India somehow justify such events.

Sad indeed.

Shafi Oct 14, 2015 11:06pm

@Ahmed but you get lynched even if some one shouts at you saying you committed blasphemy - even if its far from truth, is it not?

Arshad Oct 15, 2015 12:04am

Hindus are intolerant. Muslims are intolerant. Both are killing in the name of religion.

Rahul Patil Oct 15, 2015 12:17am

Killings can't be condoned but let's see the real picture. India is a country where majority have been made to follow rules while minorities gets 'concessions' simply because they're minority. Read Shah Bano case. Then as majority are feeling pushed against wall, there's intense, loud, unending hues and cries over muslim man's death (rightly so) but same day a hindu boy was killed for marrying muslim girl but no one cares? Why this selective reporting? Why selective protest? Let's think of the 'Liberals' now. Where were they when Sikhs were killed in 1984? Fine, let's not go into history. Why shld there be no uniform civil code? A secular nation shldnt cater to one particular religion while it curtains other. There'll be on only one result - Revolution

Ramesh Sharma Oct 15, 2015 12:38am

@Arshad If we have majority of people like Shafi and Arshad who can call a Spade a Spade then this world will be a great place to live.

pc amin Oct 15, 2015 01:08am


because this crimes are commited by those who have shelter of the existing governments. comparing this act with naxalites is a stretch

Imtiaz Oct 15, 2015 02:10am

What intolerance? How tolerant have we been? Pakistan was created on communal basis so we in Pakistan should look at ourselves before pointing to others.

Ron Oct 15, 2015 02:28am

Personally I am against the 'beef ban'. However beef ban is to respect the sensitivities of a large majority of population. Akbar, a Muslim emperor had also imposed beef ban. So did Bahadurshah , the last Mogul Emperor. Here in United States, no Chinese or Korean restaurant can serve dog meat because it is illegal and against Christian culture.

Javaid Oct 15, 2015 06:05am

Blackening the face of your own eminent Journalist is a slap on the face of the Indian Government and the society. Its false claims of Secular State has been shattered by such violent acts. India is a highly intolerant society. The riots between Muslims and Hindus are a good example of its hatred and intolerance exhibited by the Organizations like Shiv Sena. Mr. Kasuri should avoid such launches.

Imtiaz Oct 15, 2015 08:08am

@Rahul Patil
Very well said Rahul. These issues are raised only when Muslim community suffers.

Mahavir Oct 15, 2015 09:38am

How do one call this 'Intolerance'? The reaction of ShivSena was against Pakistan and not against any religion or race. Why misguiding people by wrong title? Why spreading disinformation?

rehan Oct 15, 2015 12:42pm

Due to great Mr.Modi , extremism and intolerance are on the rise in India . Thank you Mr. Modi

rehan Oct 15, 2015 12:44pm

@An Indian Oh of course , let us all get all "geographical" now . Let us abuse ALL Muslims when it comes to a few misguided Muslims but let's make delicate distinctions when it comes to extremist Hindus.

rehan Oct 15, 2015 12:48pm

@Rahul Patil Oh sure , let's all carry out a "comparative analysis" of reporting now that the ugly face of India is being shown to the entire world. Let's try to divert attention from the real , extremist India, shall we?

Sudhir Neyalasinger Oct 15, 2015 03:24pm

I condemn Shiv Sena's protest and the lynching. But I have no sympathy for the writers returning awards. Most of these so called intellectuals are not well known in India. They were mostly awarded when congress was in power and it was normal for congress to award writers with leftist leanings. These people hung on to their awards when worse things happened in India during congress regime like the 1984 genocide of Sikhs, Gujarat riots in 2002 and the most recent Muzzafarnagar riots. Just because the Modi government doesn't appease them they are giving back the awards.

gopal Oct 15, 2015 03:26pm

''Welcome as the push back is, much more will need to be done if India is to protect its cultural diversity and pluralism.'' However good the intention is,

Sudhir Neyalasinger Oct 15, 2015 03:30pm

@Deep I seriously doubt you voted Modi. You are blaming Modi for an incident in UP which has a different government. Given the UP police force's efficiency at this point we don't even know whether they have arrested the real culprits. The Maharashtra incident was due to Shivsena which is itching for a fight with BJP and this is not the first time Shivsena has done it. Arun Jaitley has aptly summed up what really is happening. Check it out.

Sudhir Neyalasinger Oct 15, 2015 03:35pm

@Javed Well said

Sudhir Neyalasinger Oct 15, 2015 03:48pm

@M.Saeed I wonder if you went through a piece in DAWN by the police officer who headed Pakistani investigations into Mumbai attack. He categorically stated that investigations by Pakistani agencies had revealed that the Mumbai attack was planned and launched out of the Pakistani soil. In addition the United States has loads of evidence from David Headly who was involved in planning the attack.

k p rao Oct 15, 2015 04:14pm

@Javed A good reaction sir.

Mac Oct 15, 2015 07:29pm

Most people India, including PM Modi, consider Shiv Sena as a rogue group.

DA Oct 16, 2015 04:10am

No one really knows who the killers of these so called rationalists were. I'd urge the Dawn's editorial board not to jump to conclusions. As for the writers who have returned their awards, I fear they are more annoyed at losing state patronage, than any specific loss of freedoms.

There have been legislative attempts at curbing freedoms in the past - one, a law to make the libel law far more onerous in the 80s, and another in the last decade to burden the internet service provider with the duty of policing objectionable content. The first died due to severe protests by journalists, led by Arun Shourie - a known voice on the Indian right. The second was struck down by the courts. No awards were returned, when the freedom of expression was actually sought to be curbed.

DA Oct 16, 2015 04:16am

As for the Shiv Sena, let's not forget who created this party. The founder, Bal Thakrey, was propped up in the 60s by the then Congress government to bust unions. Communist unions were a major threat to the mills and industry in Bombay. This threatened the very existence of these mills, and the social disruption was considered a a fair price to pay.

The mills shut down anyway, the workers became jobless, the communists and unions were finished, and we had a Shiv Sena that morphed into a party that would place regional pride above all else. They have, at different time, targeted Muslims, North-Indians, South Indians and Gujaratis. Equal opportunity offenders. Nonetheless, they do enjoy considerable political support in Bombay and coastal Maharashtra. They derive their legitimacy from the ballot, and it would be unwise to move against them as an organisation.

Pradip Oct 16, 2015 06:47am


That is rather kind and generous of you. The problem with respecting others feelings no matter what however, is that, there is no end to it. You may stop eating beef, but then the others will come and tell you that your daughters should not go to school. There are certain respect that the majority should extend to the minority community as well....alimentary habit is one such thing, especially inside one's own house.

Pradip Oct 16, 2015 06:58am


Against "Christian" culture? Where in the world did you learn that? In the US, even horse meat would be treated as unacceptable as is has nothing to do with religion!

rehan Oct 16, 2015 08:56am

@byju Why you Indians keep telling us what we should or should not say about India ?

B.N. Gururaj Oct 16, 2015 01:43pm

The blackened face of Sudheendra Kulakarni has acquired a statue like aura. This image will haunt India for many years to come, or even longer. What a mindless act!

byju Oct 16, 2015 04:16pm


simple, you also react in a similar manner when we criticize you. so should not you practice what you preach

sachin Oct 16, 2015 05:42pm

India should be very careful and not become another Pakistan

Ashish Mishra Oct 16, 2015 08:38pm

At least Pakistani's are in a position to visit India. Does Pakistan has any atmosphere where any one from India will visit and publish his book. You will get the answer.

Omar Khayyam Oct 17, 2015 12:42am

Intolerance is one of humanity's unfortunate characteristics. See DW Griffith's classic movie on the subject, done in 1911 I believe. In South Asia, most countries have devolved into theocracies (Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist). India is so far the one exception, much of it being quite secular in character. But Modi and those more intolerant than him seem to be wanting India to join the majority. This will be a huge step backwards historically and will eliminate any possibility of meaningful, inclusive development. Hitler, Stalin and Mao were all great developers and made their countries stronger and their economies flourished. Modi is copying some of their methods, which are quite common in the rest of South Asia where minorities are routinely pummeled, massacred, forced into the majority religion, etc.