Reading in the metro, especially if you manage to find yourself a seat, is such a pleasure. But, thanks to the volatile environment we are currently living in, a person (of an unknown gender) had the most unpleasant experience ever. Why? Because he/she was allegedly ‘caught’ reading a booklet of the recently concluded Jashn-e-Rekhta festival which happened to be in Urdu.

Here’s the tweet doing the rounds:

As you can clearly read, the person in question was reading a booklet in Urdu. What’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing!

But the tweets that followed were “quite an insight into organised trollery”:

Thankfully, there were others who showed us that there is still hope left for this world:

 This tweet sums up the debate:

For the uninitiated:

  • Urdu happens to be one of the eighteen national languages of the Union of India. Hindi is one of them and NOT the only one.
  • It is NOT a crime to read in the metro. Shoving your bag in people’s faces is.
  • Having an opinion is NOT a crime. Forcing others to accept it is.
  • Reading is a good thing. Everyone should try it out.
  • Thinking is an excellent thing. People should be careful when doing that.

Intolerance is a heavily loaded word. Recently, it has been thrown around quite a bit with every other pot calling the kettle black. It is the trend to notice the speck in your brother’s eye while completely ignoring the plank in yours. In the midst of this volatile environment, what we need is anything but partisan politics.