Apr 7, 2009

Religious (Lack of) Tolerance??!!

I hav been meaning to write about this for a long time. There was this incident tht happened a while back, on one dull Tuesday morning as I went to college. It wasn’t very crowded in d train, and since it was sunny, I wasn’t standing at my usual spot near the door, I was standing inside the door, leaning against the frame inside. There was a line of ladies standing in the same way I was, opposite me in the same fashion as I was. And they all kept staring at me.

The reason for this blatant staring was confusing at first for me, and then I slowly realized what the problem was. Like following the progress of a ball, in the tennis match, the eyes of this one particular lady kept alternating between the pendent in my neck (my 21st Bday present) and the tattoo on my hand, which was very visible, as I loosely held the support rod which was above my head.

Religious (lack of) tolerance. Ah! The age old vice! U see, like in d pic above, the pendent I wear around my neck, glittering wid tiny diamonds and rubies, set around a yellow stone shaped lik Ganeshji, supposedly proclaims me as “Hindu”, while the tattoo inscribed on the inside of my wrist, in a calligraphic Arabic font, supposedly proclaims me as “Muslim”. On top of all that a friend called and I said “Aree Haan, Annie bol rahi hu..” Lolz. “Christian” now.

It was so irritating and disgusting and ridiculous at the same time to see the puzzled, some even bordering on dislike, looks on the faces of the women there. Why is it that most of us are identified with tags that call us Hindu or Muslim or Christian? Y cant we be jus Indian? Y cant we be jus Human? It’s a topic that I can go on ages about. But this isn’t about me. Its about what u think. Tell me people. What are ur views about this Religious Lack of Tolerance.


P.S: For all those who want to knw so who i am then? I m Indian. Period.


Zai Kerkar said...

I've had similar experiences too. I have pendants of something in urdu (probably allah oh akbar), and a christmas bell. I've got wierder reactions from my own relatives than from strangers. they get pretty scandalised when they see me wearing a "muslim" pendant. They ask me whether I've converted or something. I always say the same thing- I am an athiest, so there is no question of conversion or such stuff. I see all Gods as the same, why should we differentiate between Jeses or Allah or Ram?

Dream'R said...

heyyy...u know maybe tat aint it..maybe they werent staring at ur tattoo or ur pendant..maybe like today it could be ur attire..lolz...(beaming)...or maybe even ball e boski..haha

anyways...back to ur topic..yeah i guess thats how some people r jaan..we might live in the 21st century but i guess they dont know that yet!!...age old customs..age old people...chalo chodo..ask me how my party went..hehe

Dream'R said...

and yeah i got back at 11..!!....sleep well ;-)

sawan said...

i liked the foto, the pendant and the tattoo.. u and i are human first, even Indian come second forget the religion.

just out of curiosity: wrist is suposed to be a very delicate area right? how could some one agree to tattoo there? aint it dangerous? [dont laugh alrite, i seriously dnt know how tattoo works :(]

IcE MaiDeN said...

yeah seriously!!! my family didnt knw i was goin to get a arabic tattoo, and they was scandalized whn they found out..ofc, it was too late!! hehe :)

(narrows eyes) u came at 11, and u didnt wake me up?! goin by ur enthusism, ur party rocked i guess!! didnt u meet someone? (wink wink)

N i was wearing a perfect attire on the day of the incident!! Normal clothes, no baski, they WERE staring at the confused religious identity! hehe. :)

yeah seriously, whts ahppening wid teh world?! religion has become more imp than jus being humans! sheesh!

as for ur question, it didnt hurt at all. wrist was ok, my tattoo artist said tht bony areas will hurt more, the soft muscle apprently prevents pain. :D see my MY tattoo post for details. hehe :P

Ms.R. said...

Two Thumb Up!! :D

gargi said...

oh man..ur so right!...first of all..love that pic with the pendant and the tattoo..looks cool :)
second of all... i hate all this religious discrimination..and all this caste shit! We are people..normal human beings!..treat everyone equally for crying out loud!..being a hindu or a muslim or a christian or sikh shouldnt change the way people look at us or treat us!
You won't believe..this is not only in India!... when i was in israel I had these friends who were Jewish... so once our class had to go to this christian monestary..which by the way was BEAUTIFUL!... and the retarded parents of those girls/guys (who were in 7th class!!!) said that they won't send their children to a "christian" place! omg..i was like wtf???..what fucking age are u living in u freaks?!?!... my parents have never ever stopped me in respecting other religions or faiths... i respect every religion and the god that they believe in.. i bow my head in respect to every god they believe in! And my parents have never stopped me!.. and if I ever come to want to convert so other religion (which i personally don't believe in actually) my parents will not utter a word against it! I don't blame india with all that religious lack of tolerance thing.. their are bigger freaks in other countries..blieve me!..
loved the post!!!!!!
u take care..n keep writing :)
mwah mwah!!!!

ps...you should have received the call saying.. "satsri akal" (i hope im spelling it right!!).. and then said ur name.. that would have made u a sikh and christian! :P ..lol...

IcE MaiDeN said...


if only we coukld do away wid all this religious differences stuff, we ould hav had a better world!!! almost everythng bad ahppening in d world has a religious lack of tolerance conenction!!! sheesh! grow up people!! (shakes head)

hi5. :) :D

Anonymous said...

did any one questioned you aout it....yes, any1 will get confused!! every1 of us follow the almighty, names might be dffrnt!! i think it was just that people around you were confused trying to fig out which religion u follow.
All fingers are not the same, so are the people!! Relax, let them keep guessin ;)

IcE MaiDeN said...

@common man,

It wasnt jus d looks.. lolz. They kept muttering amongst themselves too.. wid looks of dislike. They probably thought i was a hippie wid no sense of religion ... hehe. And this isnt jus a solitary incident.I get the question "So, which caste are u?" practically everywhere!!! :D

C R D said...

i guess mumbai is still not truly cosmopolitan. or mebbe u faced it bcoz of the surroundings u were in.

tolerance is not enuff

we need to be accepting of other communities. in fact we need more of a single Human community than all the tribal confusion we've created around us


and do find out what ur tattoo reads like in arabic :P

rads said...

So true. I pray to all Gods alike be it Jesus, Allah or Rama. I just believe that there is one supreme power who created us but don't understand why do we have to fight over it. As someone said we are human first and the rest shouldn't matter. btw cool pendant n tattoo. loved your post and views.

Aditya Sengupta said...

Nice post.

What on earth does "Al-Izimah" mean?

IcE MaiDeN said...

Heyy Aditya. First time here, Finally!!! :)
It means "Strength of will" or "Determination". u never noticed d tattoo in college? strange! i thought every one knew abt it in class. comps, tonix, trical whtever! :)

Ash D said...

Maybe they were just wondering where this pretty gal came from! :P

But seriously, the differences exist only here. Its just a local scale. Go anywhere abroad, and no one cares if you're Hindu or Muslim, You look the same either ways to them! In fact chances are that bronzed skinned Indians can be easily mistaken for South American.. Unless they are driving a taxi.. :P And seriously, You would have them flummoxed with your Hindu Chain, Christian name and Arabic tattoo! Am surprised no one suspected you were a badly disguised terrorist trying to mingle with the crowd or something! :O

IcE MaiDeN said...

hahaha!! Not i assure u they werent thinking tht!! hehe :P;)

nice to hear ur comments. come by again! :)

Twisted Elegance.... said...

Why shouldn't we be tagged according to our religion? Religion gives us identity. Religion gives us a way of life. In a highly diverse society like our's religion gives a sense of belonging and pride. When we are so proud to be part of a religion why is it that we hate being called as one belonging to a particular faith. I will be more than happy if people identify me as a Hindu and tag me that way.

You know why they stare at you with disgust? It is because the are hurt by this. When you say you belong to a religion it is your duty to follow its principles. Wearing pendants of other faith or doing tattoo with religious marks of other faiths offends people who are committed to a way of life. Yes in a liberal society like ours we have the right to do whatever we want. But you must also remember that in a liberal society like ours people have the right to get disgusted!

IcE MaiDeN said...

@Twsited Elegance.

Awesoem to hear ur comments!! Thanks! but i guess u got me completely wrong..

My views are that we are humans first and then whtever else society tags u. Hindu Muslim whtever. I was never big on religion, bcz at the end of the day the teachings are all d same. Y follow any one whn i respect all?

Abt the sentiments part, people who look at me, can get disgusted all they want. it isnt if i care!.. bt this approach of categorising people on d basis of their faith is teh root cause of all d trouble in d world. N i HATE it.

rest assured my way of life wasnt meant to offend anyone. :)


Twisted Elegance.... said...

This false propaganda that all religions teach the same should be put to a stop. They all don't teach the same. Each in their own way is different.Infact they are very different.

If we are just Humans then we remain animals. Only when culture is imbibed by us we become real humans. I feel mixing up cultures is somewhat like becoming a cross breed. You are not so worthy when you are a cross! But we are all so today, totally influenced by foreign thought, especially the lesser ones :)

And what kind of a human are we when we do not bother about the sentiments of the people? We must regard them and make sure we don't hurt them. :)

Do not blame religion for the evils in the world. Blame yourself because religion made us refined and gave us morality and ethics and also a goal.

:D :D

IcE MaiDeN said...

@Twisted Elegance..

OMG! As much as i love to hear varied opinions and comments on my posts, I feel i need to set ur views right. As a teacher, I hav always atught my kids that all religions are the same. And tht is not a sentence i say just out of the blue, I hav read the Bhagvad Gita, the Kuran as well as teh Bible. Let me tell u, that everything says the same things. Who said widout religion we will be lost? If ur feel that religion is what gives u identity, then ur very shallow indeed!!! seriously!! religion can alwasy be something ADDED to what u are, but never be EVERYTHING of wht u r.

Religion IS wht makes the world a evil place. Nothing cud seperate two people more than religion, bcz at the end of the day we all are made of teh same heart, same mind. Bas, religion has divided us into sects.

I donot wish to get into a argument, or hurt anyones sentiments, but i jus cudnt resist. But i m sure, the young generation here is a lot more sensible and will agree wid my thoughts..


Karan said...

Each and every religion preaches the same thing.. and all religions might hv different names fr God... but its just a way of addressing the same supreme power... sme may call it Ram, some Rahim, some Jesus.. and some might call it The Almighty.. or even plain 'Mother Nature'... None of the religions preaches us to disregard any other religion or call them 'Lesser People' ...

I completely agree to wht u hv said Annie.. we live in a world where we are already troubled by so many things... terrorism.. borders... corruption.. poverty.. natural calamities.. and wht not.. why cant we just stay away from one more division ?? Isn't being divided on the basis of nations enough ?? what did we get by creating India & Pakistan ?? war.. terrorism... deaths... tension... ??? we all are humans first.. and then anything else...

And we live in a free nation.. with right to express wht we want to.. it is this mentality of people ... to look down upon other religions or th ones who respect all the religions that creates all the problems... why cant we respect the individuality of the other people and stay happy in our own world ?? Why do the sentiments become so active when we talk about religion.. where do they go when a girl is being raped in wide daylight by a disgustin criminal ?? where do they go when it is time to stand up against terrorism and fight for our freedom ?? this is just not right.. we all r humans and as u have said it Annie... Religion just adds to our personality...what makes us different from animals is our brain...our heart..our ability to think with both..!!

lovely Pendant Annie... :) ...

PS - this is my own opinion.. and i don't mean to hurt anyones sentiments..just as i have a right to hv my own opinion.. all othrs hv it too...

neeraj_only said...

i thought i will give a miss to this topic , as far as "comments" are concerned.but.. ab ek comment ho hi jaae...der se hi sahi....

so many "hot" comments already, and well handled by u annie (with your return comments) ...well done :p

i don't want to state big words , but would like to say.....one irony....."all religions started by preaching peace , and all did end up spreading hatred"....consult history who disagree with me.....

everyone enjoy life...."why so serious" for god (if there is one )..let them be in peace.

amin :)

Misty Rhythm said...

ah...eternal problem. everywhere.
*touch wood* i haven't faced any religious hostility as such...but, yeah...i'm a bengali...and i have such funny incidents wid that! i've come across people (read guys) who do either of the two things...a)put their guards up (they've apparently heard that bengali girls r home-wrecking bitches)...or b)suddenly be extra-interested (lolz, these r the pervs who think any bong girl is hot n horny). i dont understand where people get these tags from! i'm neither btw!
i guess people feel safe with their tags...the common man's mind is so programmed that it immediately has a pre-prepared response to these tags...and when it's difficult to 'tag'...their minds dont know how to respond. so it's best to 'beware' of the unknown!
ah...and the tattoo...mine is japanese! where does that put me?? heehehe

IcE MaiDeN said...

@Misty Rhythm...

yes!! tht is exactly wht i wanted to say!! i wonder y we hav pre decided notions just abt everythin d world!! n religion comes d big first!! :)

lolz. i guess ur jap tattoo puts u on the indian-who-forgot-her-roots-n-turned-japani category!! lolz. :D

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