There’s a new buzzword among the Indian media these days – Intolerance. After 67 years of living in harmony, some people feel threatened and insecure and have termed our nation ‘intolerant’. They feel they are being singled out and being discriminated against since they follow a particular religion. Their fear that their freedom of speech and their fundamental rights will be threatened. The irony is that most of these people are those who have received tremendous love and affection from our citizens who have placed them on the highest pedestal of fame and glory. And yet, they feel insecure. They should in fact feel tremendously safe. They have nothing to fear. That’s because far from being ‘Intolerant’, we are really the most tolerant nation in this world. Too tolerant by half in my opinion. Indeed, if anything we should be criticized for being ‘over tolerant’. Let me show you how.
Let’s take the clock back seven years. Seven years, on this very day a group of heavily armed terrorists across the border sneaked in by boat to South Mumbai and attacked popular targets such as the Mumbai CST and Taj Hotel. The drama continued for five days until all the attackers were either apprehended or killed. By the time they were done, hundreds of innocent people were killed and scores more were wounded. Their mission was more or less accomplished. They had come to spread terror, death, destruction and they had succeeded. The world was quick to condemn the attacks and expressed their sympathy. For the next few days, Mumbai and the rest of the nation boiled as angry citizens came to the streets and demanded justice. We all knew where the perpetrators had come from, despite their vehement denials. And what did our government do? They snapped all Cricketing ties with that nation. Yes you heard me right, Cricketing ties!! Jeepers! And here I was, thinking of a nice old black cat commando operation Entebbe style to nab or kill the perpetrators, and all I got was ‘No Cricket!’.
Now pause for a moment and think. Did the planners of the 26/11/2008 attack even consider this outcome as one of the consequences? Did they, in their wildest dreams ever imagine this step by our government? No self-respecting nation would have tolerated this kind of attack on it’s soil and would have taken steps for immediate retribution. Keeping that in mind, the planners and all those involved would have been on high alert! Imagine the look on their faces, when instead of a deadly retribution, they hear the usual ‘Stern Warning’ and ‘No Cricket!’ message. They would have simply laughed their @$$es off. For all that we know, they would have simply died laughing.
Ok so what’s done was done right? So the Cricketing ban would have hurt some players and some officials. Well, it was some kind of retribution at least. But then what does the BCCI do? Seven years after the dastardly attack, when the wounds have yet to heal for some of the survivors (or should I say, victims) the BCCI goes all out and announces resumption of Cricketing ties with our ‘Friendly neighbour’. That too, on the very anniversary of the attacks.
Now who would dare call our nation ‘Intolerant’ after hearing all this? To those who still brand our nation as intolerant, you have underestimated the magnanimity and the big heart of our government. Terror merchants across the border, perpetrators of scores of heinous and deadly attacks in India live a life of safety and leisure with the knowledge that justice might take a lifetime, if ever to catch up with them. That being the case, You: dear citizen of India can rest easy! Nothing is going to happen to you!