Overheard during a shopping spree last evening – “Adha desh Aamir Khan ko India se bahar nikalne pe tula hua hai!” (Translation – Half the country is bent upon driving Aamir out of India!)
It was a hilarious and yet a telling comment.
Are we so intolerant that one person’s views makes us take out all our swords and poison arrows? Twitterati has exploded in righteous anger, LinkedIn and Facebook are trending with self-eulogizing letters to the superstar.
Why is that so? So many drivers here:
- I am a patriot/ nationalist and he is not?
- I am an Indian, and he is a Muslim?
- He has earned so much, and I don’t earn as much?
- I contribute to his earnings, and he is ungrateful?
- He is a Khan, and he should be grateful that I not only let him live in my country but become a superstar?
He is scared to stay in a democratic country where he cannot even openly express his views. Do you blame him?
Let’s consider another scenario. You are staying in Gulf, and you are not allowed to drive/ go without Hijab, etc., etc. You crib and curse within your four walls and hate the people who put all kinds of restrictions on you, and you are scared, scared to speak in public because the regime is ‘intolerant’ of you expressing your views openly.
Would you want India to become like this country?
It is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants.
To accept unconditionally another person’s right to act, speak, or think as he/ she wants as long as it is not endangering the life or liberty of other people.
By this definition, are you tolerant?
It is the quality of being morally right or justifiable.
By that definition,
- Hitler felt righteous when he wanted only to support the superior Aryan race? Was he right?
- The US felt righteous when they bombed Iraq? Were they right?
- Scores of stone throwers feel righteous when they feel the victim has committed blasphemy. Are they right?
In the words of Eckhart Tolle, a truly judgmental person is someone who doesn't know he/she is judgmental. They are so identified with their mind that they completely believe in every thought (judgment) that comes into their head.
Awareness is the key. Most judgmental thoughts are of a negative kind, of course. So notice as much as you can your negative thoughts (about other people, individuals or groups, yourself, a place, a situation you find yourself in, something that is happening but "shouldn't" etc.) Notice the mind's tendency to find fault with people and situations, to complain, to pronounce righteous judgment.
Righteousness stems from Ego.
In the end, all I can say is,
Everyone has a right to their opinion, as you do.
They are as free or as restricted as their mind dictates, as yours does.
They can judge as you do.
They have many biases and prejudices, so do you.
They can love; they can hate. So can you.
They are human with all their strengths and weaknesses, and so are you.