Indian Writing . Religious Tolerance

My grandfather seldom talked about things. He said he had it better out through writing. But when he did, it was amazing for me. One instance I clearly remember is when he talked to me about ‘writing’. He told me about how people used to get influenced when they read something, how words used to drive people into a state that made them DO something. That was when the pen was really mightier than the sword.

Now I know people who are pretentious of their children, whom they deem to be ‘voracious readers’. All I find in their bookcase is a couple of books by what they call ‘the new-wave’ authors. Books have hence become a pass-time recreation to people. It is even probably because this is the kind of time we have grown into – serious novel-reading, poetry-analysis, intellectual-cinema watching, drama going are all for “serious” youth and it isn’t “very cool”. And then there is the evergreen accusation on the amount of work the syllabus gives us to do that we do not have time (make time) to do all this.

One question is on how much we are exposed to serious writing? Isn’t the quality deteriorating day by day? Will we hail new authors for their words rather than their extraordinary marketting techniques? Will the legacy of authors like RK Narayan, SL Bhyrappa, Amitav Ghosh, Ruskin Bond, Phakeer Mohammed Katpadi, Shashi Tharoor and Sara Abubakar continue who are the scholars of this art of weaving imagination with words and blending it with the right amount of realism? Will we have serious writers as well as appreciative audience?


There has been a lot of talk and news running around us about freedom of expression, or the lack of it today – on how before talking or writing anything, a person is forced to think about his safety and the rhetoric he has to indulge himself into, if he says anything that is disheartening to a section of the society. There have even been protests in various forms, silent and violent regarding these.

And most of this, by twists and turns leads to “religious tolerance”, or again, the lack of it. I feel, that when anything has to be accepted with tolerance, there has to be tolerance in it already. So when we write anything, it should also not be intolerant towards any religion. That is a part of religious intolerance. I feel a protest on any religious belief or system should only be done if it is causing harm to the society. And I do not see anything like that happening in any religion in India, today. Although one does not believe in such practices, he does not need to enforce his disbelief over others. It is time we realize that tolerance in the society, in all respects, can be achieved when, we accept others’ beliefs as theirs, and ours as ours, and strive to live together.

So a writer has a bigger task, than just gaining popularity. He (she) has the power to create a better society, where one can think freely but write and act with responsibility. That is the kind of writers one should yearn to see, and for people who want to, become themselves.

We need to create pure art that is also profound and intriguing, that has both scope for feelings and meaning – that which makes us look into ourselves and our surroundings and capture the confusions and understandings. And then THINK, and ACT in what can possibly be the right way.

Freedom is not simply doing what we like. It is doing what is required. And I am definitely not trying to be Sir Thomas More!



22 thoughts on “Indian Writing . Religious Tolerance

  1. Harsha Ashok says:

    Hmm… Well now, that really has an appeal to the readers of today to actually bring out art of writing and appreciating a write up by looking at its quality! Well done Vighnesh.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Veena Ramesh says:

    Well said, young man! Three cheers for the new blogger for a very articulate and earnest voice! I see a brilliant clarity of thought when you said ” If anything has to be accepted with tolerance, there has to be tolerance in it already.” And, “The bigger task… to think freely but write and act with responsibility.” (Repeating your lines for the sheer amazement it caused me when I read them).

    Freedom is not just doing what we like…” Yes, that would lead to a maniacal society. Freedom is indeed never devoid of responsibility. When it becomes so, it will cannibalize itself.
    While on the one hand, one doesn’t approve of actions or the sort of incidents which have led to the ritualistic returning of Awards, on the other, the “already intolerance” also can not be overlooked. And for those among us who are smarting between these two – between the “already intolerance” leading to “further intolerance” as a chain reaction – expression is difficult. But you put it so well. Of course you are far from ushering a Utopia, but the thinking is necessary NOW and HERE.
    Good beginning, blessed one. Proud of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That was what I was expecting everyone to understand. The incidents provoking religious intolerance is itself an intolerant act. And both have to be stopped immediately.
      When writers can stir a revolution of an “AWARD RETURNING” ceremony, they certainly have the power to create a better society where, in Tagore’s words “the mind is without fear”
      Thank you for your blessings mam 🙂


  3. Veena Ramesh says:

    That reminds me how without all those superbly nourishing activities of serious reading, intellectual cinema-watching, drama and all, life is so so so so mundane! Got to catch up!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Suhas Shanbhogue says:

    Man has a lot of tendencies which is contrary of the humanitarian emotion which he always boasts of. Whenever man sees a revolution he never fails to be critical of the socio-economic changes the revolution has brought which is again contrary to his thoughts before the start of revolution. This is perplexing for the man himself to understand. Today we see people ranging from writers (who ought to be the bestower of tolerance through their writing) to scientists ( who form the bridge between science and religion ) fail to understand the basic point. This leads for me to say we indeed need a revolution in human values .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suhas, perhaps, this very comment ,such an intellectual insight into the “revolutionary” mind of the human mind leads me to say you indeed need to start writing!
      Scientists & Writers 🙂 I caught the point.
      Like you said, the ‘social’, ‘economical’ & ‘popularity’ changes that one situation can bring to a writer is enormous, but the reason shouldn’t, or rather, should never be those changes. The reason must be ‘writing’. This is here.
      About the revolution in human values, we can, and need to add more people, not just writers, for that revolution comes from inside us – and is very natural, if we allow it to come out, by restraining our restrains.


  5. Suseela says:

    Congrats to you for the blog VOICE– express your inner voice through your writings. This is the first step. All the best wishes. The analysis about tolerance is very matured and wise.” Think freely but write and act with responsibility. Freedom is indeed never devoid of responsibility.” Great young responsible man! Wish you all the success in your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you ma’am.
      I saw another news item in the paper today that said, “We should all centre our intellect to battle ‘a-particular-name-of-a-religion’.”
      Isn’t this religious intolerance? This provokes another act, & another new news item….and will never stop. And the one who made this statement, sadly, is a writer.


  6. Amruth Anand says:

    Brilliantly written Vighnesh…. I would only wish that all the so called “religious ” ones in our society read these words of wisdom… Kudos to you on these thoughts…. It is such a pity that in a country like India for whom religious tolerance is supposed to be second nature we never cease to find communal trouble…
    I certainly hope that the next generation will boast of writers that are not only responsible, but can produce more classics for the future. I think it is high time we believe we are Indians first and everything else later….
    I will you all success for all your future blogs…and by the look of it.. You’ll need it. Because you have already set very high standards for yourself…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oui Amruth. It is high time. Today, incidentally, I read a post, intended at none (hope you get the subtext here) on a boy refusing to throw his hard earned 100 rupee note to the dustbin, because he ‘earned’ it.
      And I do hope you understood the writing. I am trying to say that the spider is the reason for the destruction of its web.
      Its a tit for tat game going on. And it has made everyone blind. An opthoclearance surgery is required.


  7. uma Jaisimha says:

    You have made a good beginning and taken a bold step by writing on a very sensitive issue. Yes, freedom comes with responsibility. Even after 60 and odd years we r beating around the bush in the name of democracy defining and redefining the word ‘Freedom’.Is it freedom for…….. or from….. It is about time to reflect on… Freedom is doing right for the right reasons without bias.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you ma’am 😀 “….defining & redefining freedom….” Loved that sentence.
      It is, I wish & hope that it is freedom for people from cynicism, intolerance & unnecessary ‘civilisation’ and the twenty five & odd social diseases we are facing from the past 69 years.


  8. sandhya Nadiger says:

    Well written Vignesh…proud of you. This is a fantastic and very effective way of expressing your thoughts and reaching to the society. Keep it going… WRITING.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Adarsh S. says:

    As an agnostic, I’ve always had trouble understanding religion. Here’s what I feel .
    Religion isn’t bad. Faith in God gives people hope of a brighter tomorrow, strength to survive a drak today waiting for those better times ahead. Religion as a path to express this devotion in God is good thing. The problem, I believe, arises when religion ceases to be this spiritual endeavour and transforms into a pretext for violent people to do commit heinous crimes. If it wasn’t for religion, I am positively confident that the fanatics would have chose another excuse to spread the hatred within themselves. The problem isn’t with religion, it’s with us people. With the hate inside us.

    Liked by 2 people

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