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While I was reading this blog, little did I know that my college mate was getting beaten at IIT Madras. The reason behind this action was strange –my friend had conveyed that he eats beef!!! Leave aside the ideologies for the time being, to physically manhandle a person on the basis of his dietary preferences, by another fellow student and that too at a premier institute, left me perturbed. It was surprising for me to see that many people started to justify the act and some even went to the extent of suggesting harsher punishments for the victim. What was more horrifying was that these comments came from the educated /affluent/upper strata of the society. Through the trolls and the thoughts, this news spread like a fire in the social media, where people vented out at each other These kind of incidents leads us to most misunderstood, out of control and inconclusive debates we have had in recent times is that on tolerance in India. If we dwell deeply on what is tolerant behaviour –we can see its provenance in spiritual, even poetic, experience, we encounter. Now this is somewhere connected to the way we have been brought up and the culture which was inculcated to us. We have all learnt white is good and black is bad, there are devas and there are asuras. So somewhere we bring in the sense of hatred while growing up. All are taught to participate in a mindless race, where we need to move ahead of the others and prove our superiority. Here is where Gandhiji makes relevance. “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong” Gandhi once said. Gandhiji was a compromiser par excellence. He would always consider other party’s point of view and come up with solutions acceptable to all parties. Both in his legal and political work he brought in parties together for resolution of their problems. The president of India reminded us that Swachh Bharat starts in the mind; the real dirt, he said, is not on our streets, but in the minds of some of us. He is right,let’s identify the Gandhis residing in each of us and make this world a better world.

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