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PRODUCT.|PHILOSOPHY.|LIFE.

Tolerance

Today and tomorrow were initially declared holidays before the verdict on the four title suits regarding the Ayodhya dispute was postponed by a few days. Security was tightened. Why? As a preparation for the communal riots that might follow the pronouncement of the judgement. It is commendable that the government is doing its best to ensure maintenance of law and order. But why should a court verdict on the issue raise such an alarm? Are the communal tolerance levels that low in our country? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Apart from this, the Kashmir issue also suggests exactly the same thing. There is almost zero communal tolerance among the vast majority of our population. Those who do seem to be communal tolerant, show intolerance in various other ways. The country is legally divided into states that comprise cities, towns, villages, etc. But, at a societal level, the population is divided into innumerable groups. Why, in my college alone, which has a negligibly low population of 2000 plus compared to our country's 1.2 billion plus, there are more localised groups than I can count. Groupism is an inherent characteristic of all humans. We tend to pick out fellows similar to us (higher the similarity, the better) and stick to them. It is observable everywhere and is only natural in the course of evolution. While this is totally acceptable and even necessary, what baffles me is the intolerance shown to the other groups. Each group is intolerant towards every other. While this doesn't always transform into hostility (cordial relations exist in most cases, thankfully!), the bonding is certainly absent. But in some cases, it does turn into hostility. I don't really have a theory as to why this happens at this point in time, but the fact is it does. There was an article in today's newspaper about a community that celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi by placing the Ganesha idol in a mosque. While this shows localised hindu-muslim harmony, it is not something that those who are stubborn and stupid enough to be intolerant in the first place will learn from. The problem is not as superficial as it is made out to be that it can be driven away by small (commendable nevertheless), localised acts like this one. A change in attitude is needed. Good parenting is the key to turn the problem of intolerance obsolete. It should start with tolerance towards neighbors and neighborhoods and colleagues and peers. We need a change in attitude, a change in our persona and not a superficial display of harmony or the problem will keep cropping up again and again like the 60 year old title suit.

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