Intolerance inverted

Not just Mrs and Mr Aamir Khan, but a whole lot of Indians (and a foreigner-family) have reason to feel insecure and/or leave India. Here is a roll call of a few players in the tolerance-intolerance roulette:

Nitish Kumar and Lalu: Just a few months back the two could not stand each other. But their mutual intolerance was less than their shared intolerance of Modi. They are now chums and partners in power. Neither can afford to get intolerant with each other. But they will, soon.

Nitish was a honourable senior ally of the BJP. Presently he is Lalu’s puppet with the latter’s whole clan encircling him. What a fall for a proud, pristine protagonist of clean governance! His tolerance is bound to be tested as Lalu’s past catches up and old habits surface. Lalu, who loves absolute power and unhindered access to the treasury, for his part will soon rediscover his embedded intolerance of ‘that Nitis’. Needless to add, Modi will be at the root of their intolerances in the offing!

Rahul Gandhi: He is feeling insecure ever since the intolerant Subramanian Swamy, raised the issue of British citizenship. An intolerant nation is now curious too. That is because the Constitution is intolerant to dual citizenship and foreign citizens becoming law-makers on the sly. Suspiciously frequent typo errors are escalating the gross domestic intolerance on this matter. Of course, such official intolerance pre-dates Modi but decades long sleights of Hand had ensured escape. No longer.

Again, a huge crowd of intolerant college students rebuffed Rahul when he asked them if Swachch Bharath was a success. The chorus of ‘yes’ was a collective slap in the face. Very stinging times indeed for him. Should think of leaving India and vanishing without trace as usual till things settle down. We know nation or nationality is no bar for his long picnics.

Sonia Maino: She reigned unduly long as the most visible mascot of our ‘tolerance’. A very liberal nation tolerated her foreign origins, several spurious sacrifices and made-up martyrdoms. For decades the people of the country had tolerated her and her clan’s sordid legacy of corruption and abuse of power. She got away with unbridled authority without an iota of accountability. Soon, every UPA day meant a loss of several hundred crores. The nation’s tolerance may be unlimited but its kitty is not. Frustrated voters finally expressed their intolerance by packing off this nasty dynasty.

An intolerable situation indeed for someone addicted to being treated like an empress. The paltry Parli presence is another ignominy that can’t be tolerated. And then there is this intolerant chatter about Swiss banks. Add to it a son whose stupidity even a doting mother as she cannot tolerate. Hence the orchestrated crescendo from loyal retainees and those eager to return past favours. But then much to our disappointment Sonia is unlikely to even talk of leaving India.

Narendra Modi: He is the most preferred leader of India in a virtual Presidential-style poll. Yet a self-appointed few claim a divine right to overrule public choice. A sensation driven, much pampered media cannot tolerate him because he does not give interviews or organise junkets. The Lutyen club cannot tolerate him because he has no patience or penchant for elitist display. He is too down to earth for high brow intellectuals and too rooted in Indian ethos for Leftist and foreign-funded academics.

He talks of Swami Vivekananda when history books extol Aurangazeb and Nehru. Babus hate him because he is intolerant to sleaze and sloth. Political opponents simply cannot tolerate his meteoric rise to the top job despite their frantic vilification campaigns. But worse, even some of his own partymen can’t tolerate him because he is too stiff and straight for comfort.

Really, it is Modi who must be complaining about intolerance. Now we are not suggesting that is the reason he ‘leaves’ the country so often. In fact, it will be good if he hangs around here more. See, we do not know when the voters will get intolerant to his absence.

Chennai resident: Modi and all those referred to above are the last on our insecure minds and lives. The person who sort of determines our fragile fate is one Mr Ramanan, the much-memed messenger of Mother Nature. We have tested her tolerance a tad too much with official apathy and civic irresponsibility. Not that she has been kind either, pouring her intolerance in torrents and promising more.

If really, Aamir finds a secure place for self and family, we Chennaiites might want to know. He will look for ‘ideal’ political climate. For us, it is just about climate!

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Jawahar T R