Intolerance Upturn 2018

Climate Change has been around for a while.  As corporates, we made ourselves “change management” innovators not so long ago to think global and find our profits amidst growing chaos. At some point, cinema even in India got “real”. Then they added “swag” to melody, spunk to neo-futuristic art forms and before we could grasp where this world is headed towards, even harmless pokemon video games turned suicidal. We keep having this daily dose of news and even at times, gory video clips of atrocities on underprivileged and minors, gang rapes, kidnappings and heists by educated youth, kids on murder trials and even shut our minds to within our own cocoons far away from all that.

“Change” is an adjective gaining such incrementing momentum, to which our mindsets are getting tuned not to pause, but to act on impulse and we tend to blindly “forward” whatsapp posts that impact us in any way. It is like man has gone back to his basic instincts and impulse, damn educative thinking, godliness or common sense for that matter.

It seems natural that Artificial Intelligence (AI) must no longer be just a scientific idea but a domesticated contributor to track and solve myriad futuristic riddles as man’s basic instincts take him back to what we now believe is animalistic. Factually, animals evolve naturally and man was meant to ‘hold his horses’ and do everything sane. So, will Robots do the needful? Myself, a heady pro-technology engineer, I find myself questioning if society’s overall ‘change management’ is too dull to matter after what it has already done to itself and have started sighing at sci-fi future updates.

I fear if I too, after all those efforts to stay ‘today’, will attain grandfatherly and old fatherly intolerance, as depicted in cinema and TV serials in US of ’70s, as grumpy old couch-potatoes who sat in front of the ‘idiot box’, scowled and had only negativity to perception of the young, who in turn just left the room in dismay to just go on ‘do their stuff’. Maybe writing this blog might absolve me (lol!).

But now as we herald dawn of 2018, it is the youth to middle age and past fifties who have found equal rationalism to brandash swords of newage progressive change in manner that was not befitting even until recent decades. While some are insinuating that any old history needs revisiting to find faults under ‘today’s spectrum’ of perceptions and re-written to bring back old glory, there are increasing sects of belief that freedom is about having the uppermost hand in everything and that they must cross all lines of modest human self control to achieve, just that. 

While I feel that chat sites and status bombarding have more ‘postmen’ who forward sweetly alarming oddities of the times while urging “please forward to as many” (why??); the world seems to have found its “platform of Socrates” at large, although ‘originality’ that builds on ‘pausing to think’, analyse, formulate and (then) write is evaporating. Less said about quality of education would make this blog shorter for your kind patience to read it to its climax.

Admittedly, it is my daily dose of social media, newspapers and bombastic news-queens and newsmen on heavily commercialised news channels, who have given me my very own, perhaps unique subject line; this very serious issue of “Intolerance Upturn”(should I patent it?). While I shall stay away from distinguishing between ‘good’ or ‘bad’ intolerance, this blog limits itself to what we generally witness via-media and here are some examples :

  • Only yesterday, a high school Delhi boy reportedly shot his principal because he pestered him into showing bettered results for his board examinations, in fact the trigger to this post as I was alarmed enough to drink 3 cups of morning tea.
  • Criminal minds is no more a term that might be used for those who have attained legal adulthood. Kids murdering kids, their parents or whomsoever is no more the tale of accidental firing of dad’s revolver; there are fast increasing records of cold blooded, planned murders styled on popular cinema and TV crime shows. Horrendous rapes and frivolous suicidal yearnings not just limited to any one or few countries often make me hide in shame for having done little in life, for a better society not created!
  • In the ’70s, a Bollywood movie characteristically depicted “my father is a thief” written on forearm of a kid whose adult role played by the great Amitabh Bachhan turns him into a Robin Hood character later in life, for rationalization in favour of the “gray hero” born then. But, Mr. Anurag Kashyap, love your movies sans statutory warnings now mandatory and with hopes for betterment of society!
  • But what’s this with stylish drivers in swanky cars nowadays who drive at 60 through residential colonies and could cut you off on the road, even bring out revolvers and shoot, if you overtake their car. The phrase gaining popularity on Delhi and NCR roadsis,”do you know who my dad is?”. The Don, hey?!
  • And yes it all started and is now perpetually ending with “who killed Jessica?”. The police mostly doesn’t and the frequency and period of a court verdict is doing little to throw any serious fear.
  • The reasons for power and crime may be Shakespearean, but the bizarre lies in the fact that these are no more stories of one-off cases now and then. From the poorest of poor to richest of rich they have permeated into a docile middle class that now wants more and more, more than ever and “right now”. The process from fame to riches is no more limited to a Haji Mastan or Dawood, nay, Amitabh Bachhan kind of mass optimism; it is now mandatory middle class educated too, from the rapidly falling grace when India, once ‘land of educated and wise’ claimed to be shining. 
  • Sabyasachi and Versace are typical words attached with minor twists on branding and fetish of all and sundry to be always up to date with fashion in India’s awkward middle class that is somewhere along nowhere to find themselves in the crowd of “India shining”. Add million dollar Indian weddings, the qualification of those who sold land to multinationals, are all now added exponentially to India’s wealth (??). Is our wealth truly ‘make in India’ and tax-paid?
  • Technology, international branding of salesmanship and mass-producing power is not only giving us abundance and best looks for less, but also dangerous yearnings to have it all today. The rat race has taken such dimensions that it will only enrich health providers, for stressed people dying to demonstrate their existence. Health providers too, are those who will cut corners to maim society in a competitive world. Add to this, doctors who create medical tourism out of killing people for body parts – all from a country whose doctors have excelled as respected emigrants  the world over.
  • Suddenly, we are a dangerously vulnerable society with early heart problems, depression, feelings of detachment leading to unstable mindsets in every class of society , which seems to have little recourse. Professionals too have become shameless. Courtrooms already overcrowded in utter disarray and relationships are on ‘take-my-way or leave’ basis. At times some would pray for old family traditions and joint family systems to reappear, just out of their frustrations.

But all said, to most of us this is now a way of life and any grudges ought to be dismissed if we wish to be “in” with social peers. There seems to be a natural urge to ‘put a show’ of how happy you are, just because you posted daily smilies and received those well intended ‘good mornings’ from friends. Let’s work to find deeper meanings as educated people have responsibilities and do possess capabilities to cross umpteen perils; so no need for short-cuts. My only problem per se, with way social media and self-positioning ways today’s society in general is, that we work hard where we were asked to (the office!), but not in shaping where we ourselves are headed!

Oh yes, we are tolerant too, in the way we allow our children their freedom and find to amazement that they do find the righteous paths after customary blimps and bumps here and there. ‘Google’ does what we would have done probably worse as elders to somebody, for Google does not ask to be repaid probably. It’s fo free and on punch of few buttons after all!

There will be parents who keep a continuous eye on their children and there will be those who choose to be internationally liberal; yet nothing is guaranteed. Let’s try harder to be tolerant without being inert, stupid, dumb, deaf and voiceless, if we can help it. Stop forwarding and start creating so you find the bumpy roads to get better rather than to be one of the crowd that will inundate you with false self-perceptions of having the world under your control too.

Ironically, we will continue to get intolerant even for being casual or not consulting social media world-view, viz. google maps, bookmyshow, zomato et al. Some fast-buck contractor might just let the roof down on us or a flyover sinking for poor workmanship strand us on road for hours, fire in unregulated buildings cause a fatal impact as we casually celebrate a new car purchase with friends and family at a popular resto-bar (last week’s news, Mumbai!). I believe that somewhere, business profitability, success and ‘instability of mind’ too needs to be redefined for sake of my own brilliant career too to find better meaning hereon.

Author: Yogesh Bahadur Mathur is a business consultant specializing in international business, power & energy infrastructure and marine engineering and architecture. He is also a musician, lyricist and non-compulsive blogger who likes to explore the world with enthusiasm for learning. Music from my on-the-run studio available on YoutTube and Soundcloud. Please see other blogs on this site as well.

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Thank you!!




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