Why are different opinions about religion considered anti-religious?

Why are different opinions about religion considered anti-religious?

Today, different opinions about religion are considered anti-religious. Is it really anti-religion or does it highlight a unique point of view that no one has ever thought of?

Neha SinghUpdated: Saturday, April 01, 2023, 07:37 PM IST
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We all love to celebrate festivals, whether it’s Holi, Diwali, Ramadan, or Easter. We Indians celebrate festivals with such fervour that even foreigners come to our nation to be a part of it. During the recent Holi celebrations, social media was swamped with photographs and videos of the happenings. However, a video of a foreigner entangled in Holi celebrations went viral on social media for wrong reasons. In the video, some boys were seen smearing colour on a Japanese woman aggressively, and at the end of the video, a boy was seen assaulting her. The incident happened in Paharganj, Delhi. However, three people, including one juvenile, have been held by the Delhi Police in connection.

This is just one case that has been highlighted, many other women suffer this ‘Bura na mano, Holi hai’ phase. Men use ‘holi’ to force and assault women, and due to this, many of them have stopped playing Holi. Nowadays, brands are not limited to advertisements; they create awareness and run so many social campaigns for the benefit of society. Recently, Bharat Matrimony, an online matrimonial platform, drew criticism from social media users for its latest Holi campaign.

Twitter users asked the matrimonial platform to remove the advertisement. As they believed it to be anti-Hindu. They also demanded that the matrimonial platform issue an apology. In the Holi ad of Bharat Matrimony, a woman’s face is coloured with gulal. Then she uses water to wash her face. As she cleaned her face, bruises and wounds — signs of domestic abuse — appeared. The ad attempted to draw attention to domestic abuse by contrasting the colorful face with the bruised face. “Some colours don’t wash away easily. Harassment due to Holi leads to immense trauma. "I used to like playing Holi, but a few years ago, some men harassed me by forcefully putting colours on me. From that day onwards, I stopped going out on Holi. I try not to remember the incident, but somehow I fear: what if it happens again? I don’t see anything wrong with this ad,” shares Shanaya Singh.

Today, we all know the power of social media — or the perils of social media, depending on which side of the fence we are sitting on. Whenever someone tries to hold a conversation about consent, festivals, or presenting some unique point of view, somehow they end up receiving criticism from social media users. “It was a good ad, and it is thought-provoking. It can change the perceptions of people or change their behavior and attitude toward certain things. But today, some people are taking advantage and converting their motives into their benefits,” says KV Sridhar Pops, legendary advertising veteran.

As Indians, we all love our traditions, culture, and religion. But does that mean we should consider other opinions as anti-Hindu? Everyone has the right to have their own beliefs, and all religions believe the same. So who are these people who are opposing these ads or showing their power through social media. Do they fear change or reality? Or they don’t want to accept reality?

A 35-year-old woman, Vidya Shah, mentions, “I think it’s a rise in hyper-nationalism, which makes people sugarcoat everything that’s Indian, and thus they refuse to hear anything negative about anything Indian. I find that the "tradition-bound" people are also generally those who are opposed to changing the status quo, such as the caste system, and inter-religious or inter-caste marriages. So I think this is a reaction to what they perceive as an attack on or a threat to their fundamental set of values, whereas it is just a question of equality for all.”

Everyone has the right to form an opinion as per their knowledge, experience, etc. In this era where you can express your views openly, you should also respect others’ opinions without getting offended. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an advertisement or any individual’s belief; just express your views in the right way. After all, it’s the game of perspective that differs from person to person.

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