An Intolerant 2016

An Intolerant 2016

‘An Intolerant 2016’ has been edited by Abha Mehra.

By far, 2016 has been one of the toughest years for us as a generation. Terror attacks, shootings, and hate crimes have been so frequent that they are as regular as any other ‘event’. On a domestic front, the alleged ‘anti-national’ campaign and controversies in reputed, rather prestigious colleges and the wave of not so tolerant discourse over intolerance cannot be ignored.

While if we go global, the United States of America’s toughest election, and Donald Trump’s victorious run has only raised questions as to where the world is heading. The rather infamous “Brexit” too took place this year where a majority of British citizens opted to vote out of the European Union.

The underlying commonality among all these events is petrifying; the increasing hate, insensitivity and intolerance.

This year has seen ISIS push over 1200 people into the pit of death. Jakarta, Normandy, Baghdad, Istanbul, Orlando, Dhaka, Nice, Munich are some of the places where ISIS is culpable of killing hundreds of innocent people. They were merciless towards those who never intended to harm them or wished ill. The heartlessness of the act doesn’t help but leave me trembling. The fact, that they’ve gotten more gruesome than they were, is the most worrisome trait of it all.

One of the instance that daunts me the most is the one in Dhaka, where guests at a hotel were held hostage and were forced to recite verses from the Quran. Those who failed were ruthlessly killed by those terrorists. Not to forget, in Nice whilst celebrating Bastille Day, a man who was identified to have pledged allegiance to ISIS, ran over 84 people with a lorry.

Every time something like this happens, I tell myself it cannot get worse. Yet, it does.

Apart from the terrorist attacks, the civilian’s outbursts shakes up the entire idea of security in one’s own country.

You may argue that terrorists and serial killers have been here before.

Then why is it that I claim that 2016 has been a lesson in hate? Looking at things in a narrower scheme, India’s rising rape cases, the murders reported out of spite, the outrage in colleges and public figures’ appalling statements are detrimental enough to corrupt the essence of the country. The complaint of intolerance across our country has only increase, and from where I stand, to some extent rightly so.

Looking at a global level, there are two key incidents which scream loud and clear that we are heading in the wrong direction. And it has to the unexpected rise of Donald Trump and the British exit from the European Union.

Donald Trump’s campaign’s highlight has been his hate for immigrants, and Islamophobia. And to everyone’s surprise, he managed to secure a nomination from the Republican Party and as horrifying as it may sound, he is a very serious contender to be the most powerful man in the free world. The hate that he sells has found so many buyers.

‘Brexit’ or the British exit from the European Union is another incident which altered the course of history. Regrettably, after the campaign concluded, it became clear that the majority of the people who voted for ‘out’ were senior citizens. The beliefs that they held will now dictate the future generation, which wanted to stay in the EU.

Now you may argue that what is mentioned in the article isn’t a problem for the most of us. “Why should we give a shit?” is a common reaction to such happenings, but if we look at these individual incidents at a microscopic level, it becomes very clear that they are all fuelled by hate. The angst cannot be ignored if we are capable of feelings.

Intolerant 2016 - Lutalica

The “unfortunate incidents” I’ve been talking about are the ones driven by resentment, insecurity and I won’t deny, at times by pure sadistic evil minds.

This intolerant 2016 has smacked us enough on our heads to open our eyes, and to open them real wide. If there is a good time to recognise the need of introspection as a race, this is it.

When this article was under process, I talked to a friend to get his insights. I was intrigued to know whether sharing something like this would make a difference. With complete honesty he told me that it wouldn’t to him. He went on to explain, that not because he doesn’t care. But he used to, and he states that there is enough going on with him to care about such things.

I couldn’t help but agree to a valid point that none of this was inflicted upon us…directly. However, deep down it does matter to everyone. It matters because that is what sets us apart from those cold blooded killers and irrational rioters. Our humanity and capability of being remotely logical and sympathetic, if not empathetic.

So yes, I still do care. And I’d succeed if even one of you begin to care again.

The writer is open to all your views regarding ‘An Intolerant 2016’. 

P.S. ‘An Intolerant 2016’ does not disregard all the positive aspects of the year and people.

Rushi Bhimani

Punny. Gujju. A phone addict; could be caught on Twitter and Facebook at all times. Busy living in the ‘House of Cards’. Not to forget, a mellow narcissist.