The Ongoing Intolerance Movement in India is Inspired by Rabindra Nath Tagore!
The trends of returning back renowned titles to the government by Indian scholars can be traced back to the early 20th century. In fact, it was started by none other than the noble prize winner & one of the prominent poets of all time, Rabindranath Tagore, who returned the title of ‘the Knighthood’ given by the British India government on 30th May 1919. But that came due to the government’s brutal & deadly action on a huge number of Indians at the Jallianwala Bagh (also known as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre). He supported his action by saying that if killing fellow men is the intention of the government then any respectful titles or awards given to anyone like him in terms of praising humanity through their works are meaningless and a false step. His ideas were later followed by many others including Mahatma Gandhi.
However, the era of returning titles and awards seemed to fade away throughout the years after independence but somehow it opened up in the year 2015 and since then more than 40 novelists, essayists, play writers & poets have given back their awards from the country’s most prestigious literary institution, the ‘Sahitya Akademi’ referring it as a protest against what they call a “climate of intolerance” in India. This may be a revolutionary idea in their context but besides, we are also required to study the causes of intolerance in the country. Do only the cases like communal riots, mob lynching, etc create intolerance? If yes, then India has been facing these problems for decades. Another major thing to point out is whether it is fair to compare the present government of independent India with the British government of that time. Let’s leave the decision on you!
Blog by - Shivam Jha
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