“Why should I be not be intolerant?”
I am sure with all the debate in India about the government being intolerant to critical views, my statement sounds like a right-wing fascist, right? But I want to ask what is wrong in being intolerant? Should every intolerant person be tagged as a right-wing sympathizer or a fascist?
Everyday it takes me about 90 minutes to go to my office and almost the same time to come back to my home from office in the late afternoon, only to take evening calls with my counterparts in other part of the world; after all we are a globalized economy! This means, I end up spending at least 180 minutes a day literally on the road; in a week, I spend about 900 minutes on the road; in a month, considering 22 working days in a month, I spend 3960 minutes on the road; in a year, I spend 47520 minutes on the road; this comes to 792 hours or 33 days a year on the road! In other words, I spend just over one calendar month in a year on the road!!! Isn’t it ridiculous — all I travel everyday is just 9 kilometers to-and-fro, which means I travel a total of 18 kilometers a day. So, the distance is not the reason for me to be on the road for such extended durations; then, what is it?
It is the dismal traffic management and pathetic road conditions. On some of stretches that I drive daily, I do not even want to call it a road; there is absolutely no semblance of anything that can be termed a road.
Shouldn’t I be intolerant to people who have failed after being elected either to local bodies or state legislatures with the notion that they are fit to govern other people? Shouldn’t I be intolerant to people who are part of the system that is supposed to take care of the basic amenities of a society but choose to ignore their duty?
The day before yesterday, Cabinet ministers of the Bihar state were given oath by the Governor of the state. And obviously, at least one minister had difficulty in getting the words right; he had to be corrected by the Governor on more than one occasion. Now, some people do get overwhelmed on occasion and that may led to slippages.
The reason that makes me intolerant in this case is not the fact that the minister who took oath made errors during the oath taking ceremony, or he is a first time MLA, or for that matter he is a school dropout, it is because he is made a Deputy Chief Minister! Now, why do I have problem with someone who is duly elected to the State Assembly being made a Deputy Chief Minister? The reason is, absence of absolutely any credential other than the fact that he happens to be son of the leader whose party has the largest number of seats in the State Assembly.
Shouldn’t I be intolerant to such nepotism? Democracy is hailed as system only because it is supposed to provide equal opportunity to people. But when people use this system to further their own ends, shouldn’t I be intolerant?
Unlike noted personalities who have been returning their awards to the government in protest, I have nothing to return to the government although I protest. My only form of protest now is to let people who are interested to know that I am intolerant to such utter disregard to the society and such arrogance of power that has made people in power to have utter disregard to any sense of propriety.
So, why shouldn’t I be intolerant?