Thursday, November 5, 2015

Take on Tolerance: Rajan shows the way

It is no more writers vs. Modi. Film actors to sportsmen, political parties to art institutions, and Govt. authority to seers, people from all segments of society are airing their view on tolerance. But give it a thought. It was not our national priority. We wanted economic growth, job creation, infra revival, smart cities etc. That should have taken the focus of public and the Govt. But the priorities seem to have changed. Some one has to put us back to work on those challenges. Neither ruling party nor opposition is doing that, they are immersed in leg pulling. In this chaotic time, recent speech of Raghuram Rajan during a convocation program at IIT Delhi, is an attempt to remind us our priorities.

You can watch the video here:

The takeaway is he asks all the parties involved to cool down, avoiding the urge to react violently and to engage in debate. He gives the example of flag-burning issue in the US which the older generation considered it to be a symbol of their freedom, so reacted with an outburst initially. Once the tolerance had set-in the society, flag-burning did not cause the same outburst.

Minorities in India should become more empathetic and sensitive towards feelings of Hindus and that should be reciprocated too with the tolerance and respect by their counterparts. But more importantly, we should not forget our priorities as a society. We need to work towards our growth as one nation and not lose all the time and productivity in this debate. Else, we run the risk of losing focus. We should not let it become a major issue. That is the message Rajan is conveying.

But will India listen to him? Is it possible to engage in a healthy debate? And who will facilitate it? I see no clear answers today. But wish that the society will find a balance and emerge stronger.