A lot has already been mentioned concerning the controversy surrounding the Tanishq advert—the message of inter-faith marriage it sought to convey, the assertion of the troll military and its aggressive objection to what it wished to interpret as ‘love jihad’, the shortcoming of the Tata Group to withstand this orthodox and obnoxious politics, and finally its determination to withdraw the advert. Pragmatism of the enterprise rationality over the much-hyped ‘Ekatvam sequence’ advertisements triumphed. In a world full of the fixed stimulation of ‘breaking information’, we’d quickly neglect this episode as a result of within the age of instantaneity one thing extra thrilling is certain to occupy our consideration. In the meantime, the enterprise would go on as traditional; the city elite would proceed to purchase Tanishq jewelry; and the likes of the Maharashtra Governor wouldn’t hesitate to make use of the phrase ‘secular’ in a really sarcastic method.
Our society shouldn’t be but snug with inter-faith marriages, and people who dare, typically expertise the ache of ‘social boycott’.
The Tanishq advert appeared ‘lovely’: the metropolitan elite—visibly prosperous, stylist and able to shopping for diamond jewelry—conveying a message of the sacred merger of a Hindu daughter-in-law and a Muslim mother-in-law. Nicely, it appeared like a smooth and lovely tv serial. Do your enterprise, attraction the potential consumers, create an phantasm of cosmopolitanism, and generate a ‘really feel good’ second! However how can we neglect that even this class—I imply those that earn an awesome deal, go to Dubai and Singapore over the weekend, and love to purchase diamond and platinum jewelry— shouldn’t be actually free from all kinds of regressive concepts? Take a look at the sociology of the elite matrimonial columns, and it isn’t unimaginable so that you can see that, as an illustration, an IIT/IIM educated software program engineer settled in Los Angeles prefers a ‘fair-skinned, convent-educated, slim Punjabi Brahmin lady’ for marriage! Barring exceptions, we’ve not succeeded in overcoming the lifeless weight of the previous; caste, ethnicity and faith proceed to play a big function in marital decisions. True, the hidden persuaders who coordinate the Tanishq advert sought to experiment with a dream; however then, paradoxically, the troll military made them see the tough actuality of Indian society.
We should be sincere and see the psychology of the ghettoised thoughts. Nicely, we’re deeply conscious of the ghettoised house. We stay amid Dalit slums, Muslim colonies, and plenty of different demarcated areas. As an example, to be able to really feel the festivity of Eid, I’ve to go to visibly distinctive Muslim areas—say, the noisy and crowded Previous Delhi or the slender lanes of Hazrat Nizamuddin. I do know I can’t really feel the vibrancy of this competition in posh Vasant Kunj or Gulmohar Park. It isn’t simply concerning the ghettoisation of house; the very fact is that the thoughts too has been ghettoised. It’s troublesome for a Muslim to get a rented home within the center class Hindu locality. We’re terribly slender, restricted, fragmented and exclusionary. And stereotypes, apprehensions and rumours pollute the opportunity of a significant cross-religious communication. Not surprisingly, our society shouldn’t be but very snug with inter-faith marriages, and people who dare, typically expertise the ache
of ‘social boycott’.
In truth, the poisonous communal politics we see round has not emerged in a void. Our secular modernity has not touched our souls; it has did not encourage us to change our life practices, query orthodox and obnoxious values, and transfer in the direction of an open and inclusive social panorama. Moreover, secularism has typically been transmitted as a dry discourse of ‘cause’ restricted to English-speaking and college educated liberal/left intelligentsia. Due to its inherent elitism, it has did not enter a typical Hindu family or a Muslim neighbourhood. Even when at faculties kids are requested to write down of their exams that here’s a ‘secular’ nation, or, for that matter, all religions educate tolerance, they realise its falsehood as a result of they see its actual reverse within the society they stay in. Sure, secularism appears to be like good in calendar artwork, or within the imagery of a Bollywood blockbuster like Bombay. Orthodox monks, one-dimensional fundamentalists of all colors, Machiavellian politicians (together with the ‘secular’ ones) and hyper-masculine protectors of ‘religion’ invade our consciousness. We fail to stay collectively.
Is there a means out? It’s troublesome to not be a pessimist. In any case, be it Kabir or Gandhi, Nizamuddian Aulia or Rabindranath Tagore, none succeeded in making us free from the chains of bigotry and violence. And in the present day, when the dominant political discourse shamelessly pleads for majoritarian nationalism, the language of affection, relatedness and cross-religious partnership is more likely to be seen as a harmful ‘anti-national’ thought. As a result of it needs enemies, not buddies; it needs the partitions of separation, not the music of togetherness. And with the growing ghettoisation, the minorities too are unlikely to really feel snug with what the Tanishq advert was making an attempt to depict. In different phrases, regardless of the glitz of neoliberal consumerism and secular rhetoric, that is the age of extremism, fundamentalism and communalism.
But, we should strive. We’d like religious seekers (not simply rational agnostics) who can illumine our consciousness, and take us past the boundaries of organised religions, and make us realise that past all labels lies our shared humanity. It’s love—not the worry of the ‘different’—that takes us nearer to the divine. We ought to beat all kinds of ghettoisation, stay collectively, participate in collective struggles and shared moments of pleasure and ache. Solely then, can a Hindu see himself within the coronary heart of a Muslim, or a Sikh would see eternity in a residing Christ.