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Editorial: Daily dose

Now it is politically correct to be frankly discriminatory
Right-wing fringe groups, powered by Hindutva believers, can create the appearance of popular protest, as has been happening in Sector 47 of Gurgaon. Although the spot is one of the designated ones for Friday prayers in the open after tensions in 2018, alleged residents are trying to disrupt worship by marching in with banners, loudspeakers and bhajans.

The Editorial Board   |   Published 21.10.21, 01:27 AM

A change is best sensed from everyday happenings. Different regions of India are displaying aspects of religious discrimination as though to leave no doubt that expectations of peaceful coexistence — not always ideal but always possible — can now be jettisoned. Sometimes the government takes the initiative. The legislative committee on backward classes and minorities welfare in Karnataka has asked for detailed information on churches, priests and missionaries in the state. The goal is to discover how many churches are “authorized” and whether illegal conversions are taking place. The Bharatiya Janata Party legislator, who presided over the committee meeting in place of the chairperson, was vocal about his conviction regarding ‘illegal’ conversions because his mother had almost been through one. Non-BJP members of the committee claimed that the order had been given without consulting them. Strong protests from the Christian community, some pointing out that the Christian population has shown no noticeable increase since Independence, have apparently fallen on deaf ears, since the chief minister has promised to strengthen anti-conversion laws. Elsewhere, too, the goal is the systematic destruction of unthinking, everyday coexistence. Right-wing fringe groups, powered by Hindutva believers, can create the appearance of popular protest, as has been happening in Sector 47 of Gurgaon. Although the spot is one of the designated ones for Friday prayers in the open after tensions in 2018, alleged residents are trying to disrupt worship by marching in with banners, loudspeakers and bhajans. That the police are protecting the worshippers from this barefaced display of intolerance has resulted in threats and vilification.

It is a contagious sickness. The Hindu religious and charitable endowments department in Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-ruled Tamil Nadu has advertised for only Hindu applicants to fill teaching and non-teaching posts in one of the four colleges it is opening. This may be a deliberate extension of the regulation for temple employees; in any case, it is blatantly unconstitutional and discriminatory. It could not have been expected of any government department even a few years ago. Now it is politically correct to be frankly discriminatory. Not even advertisements suggesting inclusion can escape outrage, whether it is a clothing brand accused of naming its Diwali collection in terms of all-India celebrations, or a jewellery company showcasing inter-community marriage. India is thriving on daily doses of aggression and hatred.



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