Amazon series ‘Tandav’ and the Vocal Hindu . As a democracy we have to fight at every level ..Complacency is dangerous.
The controversy over the serial ‘Tandav’ that was streaming on Amazon Prime has gained good support across the country. Led by mainly right wing organisations and saffron brigade citizens are vocal about the manner in which the serial portrays some Hindu Gods and characters. But then this is not the first time when Hindu Gods and Goddesses are used to convey messages by TV and film media. The only difference is earlier ( mainly under congress led Govts), they used to go unnoticed while now one can see popular sentiments against such depiction.
As a democratic nation we need to define our liberal values and tolerances for each other. Under democracy there is right for every person to express himself / herself but this should not be at the cost of hurting someone else. The Islamic followers are rigid in this regard and there is zero tolerance for anything that goes against the Quran or the prophet. The recent widespread protest in France is a case in point. There were wild demonstrations from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey to many other countries banning french products and criticising the French President.
Thus the choice is left for the Hindus to decide whether they would like to rigid islamic type attitude or adopt a liberal positioning against such depiction. While it is good to be liberal and more accommodative in such things to a limit, the society and the country cannot remain lopsided as others fail to adopt the same approach. Therefore to announce all love for being liberal is also full of dangerous implications.
Take the population explosion in the country. While the Hindus systematically adopted from 3 to 2 to 1 child norm the Islamist blatantly exploited the situation and had an average 5 children practice by and large. This has changed the demography in many parts of the country.
Another trend that is being observed is the construction of Dargahs and mosques across the country. We have observed these at many places on the national and state highways . These Dargahs are used conveniently as a means to earn money from passing traffic. WE have been seeing such things at a very large level that makes us write it and put it on record.
It is necessary to make a proper system with rules and regulations. It should be above religious biased ness and narrow mindset. IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT to raise voice against one sided narratives that exploit the democratic values. Only then there will be a balance and people will respect each other. The current wrong practices adopted by some vested interests has to be strongly countered at all levels. More and more people must raise their voice in a proper manner taking legal solutions. The guilty must be punished monetarily so that such things don’t get repeated again.
We request the central government to come up with rules and regulations. Hon’ble minister NItin Gadkai must pass a law that bans any religious construction 50 meters from highways and state highways and other infrastructures. Hon’ble minister I&B Sh Prakash Javadekar has to make sure that the censor board takes proper feedback and devices laws that strengthens the country and is not allowed to be misused by some.
In summary as we have been saying Democracy is not for the faint hearted. It has to be checked at all levels by one and all, only then it can survive and be vibrant.
Dr. Asheesh Shah
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