Crowdfunding Countercurrents

CC Archive

Submission Policy

Popularise CC

Join News Letter

Defend Indian Constitution




CC Youtube Channel

Editor's Picks

Feed Burner

Read CC In Your
Own Language

Bradley Manning

India Burning

Mumbai Terror

Financial Crisis


AfPak War

Peak Oil



Alternative Energy

Climate Change

US Imperialism

US Elections


Latin America









Book Review

Gujarat Pogrom

Kandhamal Violence


India Elections



About Us


Fair Use Notice

Contact Us

Subscribe To Our
News Letter



Search Our Archive

Our Site






The Intolerance And Crafty Hypocrisy

By Kshirod Bihari Bharat Nag

08 December, 2015

The dictionary meaning of the very term ‘intolerance’ is ‘unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, behavior that differs from one’s own. One is categorized as ‘intolerant’ when s/he does not accept views, beliefs, and behaviors of others, precisely because the later differ with the former. Undoubtedly, we have been witnessing this similar attitude under a draconian regime for the last few months under the leadership of Narendra Modi. Who can be more draconian than the 'Selfie man', who always reminds us of his bloody hands with 2002 Gujrat riots. His inability to tolerate the rational minds and invoking repressive attitude against the marginals ( especially religious minorities) proves this man being a draconian. This is far more sufficient to provoke a moral person to raise her/his revolutionary voice against the 'Selfii Regime' (the regime is happy in itself, notwithstanding the plight of its citizens). The modes of raising revolutionary voices against Modi by the moral and sensitive person are quite interesting and returning national awards is most interesting one. However, one has to put a pertinent question to the sensitive minds as to whether ‘intolerance’, both as an idea and practice confine to Modi’s regime or exist across political tenures in Indian society? To put it differently, whether ‘intolerance’ has been ingrained in Indian society, where conventional politics is a mere part of it?


Some started returning awards during this period, as if previous regimes ( including Atal Bihari Bajpayee tenure) were so much tolerant. These stalwarts were happy in accepting national awards during those times, as if there was no sign of intolerance. As if, there was no atrocitiy on women, dalits, tribals or not a single case of witch hunting on minorities. How these person find differences between Modi and his predecessors. It was UPA-II at the centre, during which Kandhmal riot occurred and hundreds were victimized by the Hindu fundamentalists. During this regime only, Bhotmange family in khairlanji was massacred. It was Congress and its allies at the centre, when Laxmipur Bathe massacre occurred in Bihar and all the culprits were aquitted later on. The infamous 1984 anti-Shikh riot was manufactured during a regime which was not ofcourse Modi’s regime. Lakhs of Adivashis are being displaced from their homes and are massacred every now and then in the name of development. Laws are legislated to satisfy the needs of corporate and rich at the stake of the lives of the poor. In other words, Indian society, be it post or pre independent period, has been carrying the principle of intolerance against the Dalits, Adivashis, religious minorities, and so on. Data, produced by the government of India itself shows the level of poverty exist in this society and the way crimes has become an everyday phenomenon. Even the so-called left parties are not exception to this attitude of intolerance and they have proved it in Shingur and Nandigram while killing hundreds of Dalits and poor Muslims, Tapsi mallick was brutally raped and killed. Under the CPI (M) rule, Chitralekha, a dalit woman was raped by CPM goons and the case was sidelined by CPM government in the state of Kerala. Then question arises, what is the basic criterion for the award returning people to define the term ‘intolerance’?

Althuser, Arundhati Roy and Awards

Political philosopher Luis Althuser, being so ideal in his approach to imagine for an egalitarian society, was so skeptical on the functioning of the rulling class state. Equally afraid of two apparatuses of the state- ideological and repressive. Ideological apparatus is an instrument which is cunningly used by the state (liberal) to create only docile animals rather than thinking beings. State's sponsored awards, films, music, sports, literatures are all belong to that apparatus. Arundhati Roy like moral beings have been developing skepticsm against the Indian state in the same line what Althuser does. Arundhati Roy, a fierce critic of liberal state for its limitation to provide justice to all and a strong advocate of communism for its emancipatory potential. She is humanly afraid of capitalism as it carries inhuman capacity to destroy organic linkages of the society and allows mechanical relationships. Arundhati shows the same spirits, what can be seen in a typical Marxist ( please, go through her public lectures on displacement, state, development, etc on youtube). But, then ...one can be surprised on her acceptance of national award and Booker prize, sponsored by liberal state and capitalist respectively ( booker prize is financed by the Booker company, a private agency, which was initially meant for writers from commonwealth nation).


Two major things come out of this kind of actions (returning awards) by the moral beings like Arundhati Roy. One can be understood by dealing with it internationally and another can be of national character. Under the first category, it shows the world that for the first time, India has become intolerant under the leadership of Modi. In other words, Modi has maligned the tolerant and peaceful Indian society. Huge protests against Modi in the foreign land is a showcase of this understanding. Under the second interpretation, the current debate on ‘intolerance’ welcomes and justifies the rule of non-Modi regimes like Congress, CPM and others.


We live in a very strong society administered by a very weak state. We forget that the state personnel which administer the rule of law belong to a inhuman society. A society, which doesnt treat women equally, a society which treats Dalits as untouchables, a society where Tribals are considered as criminals, a society where religious minorities are treated as others. A caste-based patriarchal society, where in every second we come across an unwanted incidents, victimising women and Dalits. The democratic institutions can not work, even though those are imposed arbitrarily on the undemocratic society. The undemocratic behaviour of this draconian society is a long process, for centuries. Then, how can one confine his/her criticism to one political tenure? Worshipping cow as a sacred thing is not a modi invention rather a pan indian Hindu phenomenon, exists across political tenures. Historically, India being a caste based society has taught the values of inequality and intolerance and it has been ingrained in every possible social practices. Therefore, it is bound to be intolerant towards ‘others’ like Dalits, Adivashis, religious minorities and women.

If returning awards can be regarded as a mode of protest, then also learn to not accept it, as exploitation or humiliation is not a single day phenomenon, rather of centuries. Democratic struggle long live.

Kshirod Bihari Bharat Nag is basically from Odisha pursuing Ph.D inSociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. My research area includes democracy, public sphere and Dalits in contemporary India. I have been writing short commentaries on some online journals including countercurrents, roundtableindia. I am part of UDSF, a socio-cultural organization works in JNU, New Delhi.



Share on Tumblr



Comments are moderated