Thursday, October 21, 2010


We did not become a tolerant society by choice but by a helpless need. Different religions, different caste, different classes of people live together because a common bond binds them. When there is a hungry lion standing at the horizon the cat spares the mice. Same is the case with today’s society. The hungry lion is the need to survive, and the animal kingdom finds discipline under his impartial rule. Money has become the sole parameter for power and respect in society, overcoming the need for religious or communal supremacy. Thus the Hindus learned to work with Muslims and Maharashtrians learned to work with Biharis. Baring the few occasional tussles between the different communities, many of which are forced, the people live peacefully. They trade with each other when needed; they compete with each other when needed. Achieving a better future for the kids, family, society, country comes before one’s communal ego.

The mild reaction to the Ayodhya verdict showcased the same behaviour. The labourers and peasants or the “survivor class” did not care about the outcome until it was not ignorantly one sided, the urban middle class was also not affected as it had to get up the next morning and go to their yoga classes, laughing clubs, jogging, work, school, college. Their education could also have played some role in their temperament but the fact remains, none had the time or money to be spent on trivia’s. Time is opportunistic and money is expensive. The social structure has become the school which has taught the most arrogant fanatics to control their nerves.

One great example of this school is Railways, the seating arrangement in our trains is such that all the seats face each other. Thus there is always a group of eight individuals of different backgrounds sharing the same space. This removes, from the list of possible reactions – ignorance, arrogance, fear, hatred. And then the conversations start and understanding begins. Every person has to adjust for others to settle comfortably. We also have to adjust our mindset and outlook, may be not for the rest of our lives but still the 12 to 24 hrs of classroom atmosphere effects a change. By the end we have learnt our lessons, “adjust to be adjusted”.

The Indian railways have always been a great teacher. It has removed people from the comfort zones of their religion centric housing societies and orthodox communities and put them face to face. It brings to the table different realities from different part of this country, from success stories to hardships. I have heard numerous tales in the patches of conversations I let my ears fall on. Every new trip every new set of eight people have shaped my understanding of the society and this great country.

The rising economy has also schooled the society. It has rewarded Individualistic attitude and penalized community protectionism. It has created an atmosphere of opportunities and possibilities. More importantly it has made it clear that there is enough for anyone and everyone who is capable. This has inspired confidence and a sense of relief, translating into tolerance.


Yayaver said...

You have a very clear views on the contemporary topics. I love this approach in writing. The end line that there is enough for anyone and everyone who is capable is true but do not stand for uncapable ones.

Mohit said...

Thanks for the comment bhaia :)