And Intolerance Lingers On!!!

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By: Peer Faizan Bashir

Intolerance prevails in most of the societies where some people claim their beliefs to be the ultimate truth, while others have their own stuff to narrate-and the process of refuting each other continues. We have seen an alarming increase in the incidents of intolerance from past few years- as a result of which several people were killed, lynched and murdered. So much so that people were persecuted for expressing their views regarding one or the other issue. The ideas, it seems, are dangerous thing if they are not in conformity with the majoritarian views.  The crux of the matter is that people don’t want to spare a moment to hear and understand what the others may have to say or share!

Of such kind, I recently came to witness in my area where a man who by making some constructive criticism about the animal slaughtering was abused, threatened and even hackled. He tried to suggest that animals are bound to feel physical pain, unlike plants that have no nervous system-so does it not behove a normal being to choose the latter as food rather than causing pain to the animals?

The people who took exception to this remarks came up with a completely shocking discourse that had threatening tone and even yells of ‘beat him’, ‘kill him’, started echoing around.”

What frightened me was the absurdity and dangerous nature of people who desist from even listening to something that they don’t hold in good humour. Ideas could have been shared, everybody must be given a chance to explain his ideas and even stick to them if it didn’t threaten anyone else’s freedom and right to make a choice.

We have seen similar rage among people who are against animal slaughter and eating of beef. I am not justifying or negating anything and my motive here is to analyze how rigid we have become that the very idea of listening to someone else’s perspective becomes a war-like situation. Now, what to speak if your words, your ideas can trigger a reaction of this sort?

I wonder at people for being so extreme in their views and beliefs and more so for the fact that only those views and beliefs carried sanctity while the rest didn’t deserve even to be heard.  Who has given them the absolute authority to challenge anyone’s basic rights? I too deserve to express. I deserve! Whenever there is some work outside my home, I wear a mask on my face- so that I would not be seen and protect myself from these predators disguising as humans. They have made my life tough. If else one has a dogmatic belief, it ought to be debunked by rational means (by providing facts and not just stooping to low levels). Does threatening help? It leads us nowhere and exacerbates our miseries more.

In the era of understandings, when no such thing should happen, there are still psychopaths and hooligans who display such intolerance towards ideas and thoughts. This  implies that we are caught in the trap of ignorance. We reside within something, and our comprehension can’t plunge outside its fixed boundaries.

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