Is there growing religious animosity in India? Are Indians becoming increasingly intolerant? Is it going to be impossible to defeat religious bigotry in India? These questions have been bothering us for quite some time now. We wanted our answers first hand.
Just a few days before Valentine’s day, we decided to do a social experiment. There was no script, no direction, we just left two actors on their own to find their way to reality, while a candid camera followed them all the while.
We wanted to see what happens when people see a pundit ji and his traditional Muslim wife walk through the busiest places in city hand in hand. We also wanted to see how do people react when they see a Muslim man wearing a skull cap walk into the Hanuman temple with his Hindu wife. We anticipated hatred, we feared backlash, but we were delighted to be proved totally wrong.
While some people could hardly believe their eyes, and kept staring at our actors, many behaved as if it was no big deal to see the interreligious couples. Some people stopped the couples to click selfies and pictures. Many came ahead to give them their blessings, while some people looked angry and refused to give them their blessings.
This experiment has been an eye opener for us. It proves that those who believe in hate mongering are hugely outnumbered by those who believe in love, compassion and kindness. These values hold this great nation together. Wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day!