NEW DELHI. Former Indian fast-bowler Zaheer Khan was attacked by Muslim zealouts after he took to his social media accounts and posted a picture with wife Sagarika Ghatge to wish everyone a ‘Happy Diwali’.

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan too faced the wrath of Islamists for posting a photo that showed his youngest son AbRam, wife Gauri Khan and himself sporting tilaks on their foreheads on the occasion of the festival of lights.

Here’s why these intolerant Islamists and those shielding their fundamentalism need to be called out:
Islamist radicals get rabidly abusive when someone from their community shows respect for other religions. These radicals use secularism enshrined in our constitution to their advantage and convenience. For them, religion comes before the country.
They have no issues when people from other religions celebrate Eid, but they get abusive and aggressive when Diwali or Holi is celebrated with same fervour by people who follow their religion.
A true religion is one that allows its followers the freedom to choose, coexist and respect other religions. No religion should be so weak or fragile that it cannot withstand other religions.
What one fails to understand is why are these Islamists living in a plural country like India if they hate other religions so much. If they don’t seek inclusiveness, it’s best if they go and live in a country run under Sharia law. People with such communal filth in their minds disturb peaceful atmosphere in India.
The foundation of India has been laid on pluralistic ethos. Indians have always believed in the concept of ‘Vasudaiva kutumbakam’, that is, the world is one family. Hence, celebrating multiple festivals, languages and cultures is the beauty of our nation. Unity in diversity is our biggest strength and only those who respect this diversity are worthy of being called Indians.
Sadly and dangerously, our country has a number of people who are a threat to this diversity. Such bigots should be called out, exposed and not ignored. As long as their fundamentalism is pandered to and allowed to flourish, they’d continue to be intolerant towards other religions and their practices.
Apart from Shabana Azmi and few others, there were not many who came to Zaheer’s or Shah Rukh’s defense. It is also time we question the hypocrisy and eerie silence of many of those who scream ‘rising intolerance in India’ as to why they haven’t found time to call out these Islamists for undermining the very ‘Idea of India’ that they claim is ‘under threat’.



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