Tolerance and Zero Tolerance
Do age old Gandhian principles matter now? All the more so.
So many rumours floated immediately after the blasts, as communal hatred simply sparked in pockets of both Maharashtra and Gujarat. Can you recognize this animosity within yourself and still live with it without influencing your friend to think the same? Can you fight this animosity and reason with it?
Well educated persons expressed their anger at another community after the attacks. They were convinced that the blasts were the handiwork of a hostile community – aimed solely at one community. How do I convine someone like them? Can you?
At the most, you can tell them to tolerate and live with the hatred…till they can get rid of it? Will they go ahead and take up arms? I don’t think so. But would they end up instigating such acts? I don’t know.
While such acts must, as someone said, be met with ‘zero tolerance’ – the perpetrators of such acts have to be met with tough measures. At the same time, these acts must not be allowed to cause further divides in a torn communal fabric, whose holes have to be darned with a thread so strong, that a small tear will not be able to rip it apart.
A columnist had once written an article on communal hatred, entitled "The Centre Collapsed". The centre she talked about was the centre that held the communities together – that delicately balanced needs and beliefs of one religion with that of another. The pivot which balanced the two has, she said, irrevocably collapsed. But I argue, a collapsed centre can be repaired – it can be rebuilt. Surely, we have not reached a stage where the collapse is irrevocable. If we let ‘terrorist arms’ collapse our centre yet again, then perhaps the fabric has more holes then we thought it to have. Then truly, the darners have a lot more work now, then they thought possible.
Can you list ten positive strong threads that will make it impossible for anyone to rip this fabric again?