Incredibly intolerant India

Most Indians are proud of their country. They believe it is a free, tolerant,liberal country, think the Constitution guarantees free speech and the law and order machinery keeps the citizens safe. Even many abroad feel the same.

But the truth is far removed from this imaginary liberal India.

Most often Indians elect parties with intolerant majoritarian and undemocratic ideologies to run the governments. There is a competition among political parties to use religion, caste, nationalistic icons and cultural myths to mobilise voters and to cultivate hate. Questioning any of these with reason become blasphemous. Such free speech invites attack not only from goons but also from law and order machinery.

See what happened to college professor when he questioned why Shivaji, a (Hindu) cultural icon in some parts of India and a former king , is having two birthday celebrations, one in February and other in March. He was physically attacked by his students and fellow professors and later arrested by the Police. He was denied bail because the court believed his life is at risk outside the jail. I am sure the Police will not be inclined to arrest those who assaulted the professor.

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Burkini ban – The French double standards exposed by social media

Ever since the photograph of armed French Policemen surrounding and allegedly forcing a woman to  take off her Burkini on a beach in Nice went viral, the social media is buzzing with reactions to #burkiniban.

Staunch supporters of the ban were seen underlining the supposed to be strict secular nature of French Republic.

Mayor David Lisnard of Cannes while banning Burkini has explained in the order that  “access to beaches and for swimming is banned to anyone who does not have (bathing apparel) which respects good customs and secularism,” which is a founding principle of the French republic.

“Beachwear which ostentatiously displays religious affiliation, when France and places of worship are currently the target of terrorist attacks, is liable to create risks of disrupting public order (crowds, scuffles etc) which it is necessary to prevent,”

But soon the French double standards on secularism was exposed by many by uploading pictures of Christian nuns wearing outfits similar to Burkini enjoying the French beaches.

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As long as the Christian nun outfits are not banned, no one can argue rationally that Burkini ban is to respect secularism by preventing display of religious symbols in public sphere.

The former French President Sarkozy strongly supports the ban. He said :

it is time to end the presence of burkinis on French beaches.
Wearing a burkini is a political act, it’s militant, a provocation.

If you agree with Sarkozy, how can you not agree with a Muslim who says drawing Mohammed is a similar provocative militant political act ?