Indians love to argue. They can argue about everything and anything and according to Nobel Prize winning economist Amratya Sen, it is rather an asset than a liability for the country and that India is so full of contradiction that any generalization about the country has an opposite argument and that argument is equally true. And of the infinite things that Indians can argue about and die in the process of defending their arguments, here are 7 of the most controversial ones.
1. Great Indian politics
There are close to 1800 political parties in the country and each political party represents the thoughts of a certain section of the society no matter how aloof they might sound or how tiny they are. There can be disagreements among the ideologies of the political parties but it would be a wrong thing to reject a political party altogether. Anywhere and anytime in India, people are ready to break each other when it comes to defending their political leanings or find faults in the beliefs of others. Even in a single family, there can be three to four kinds of people having completely different political beliefs. Indians eat and breathe politics.
Indians are possibly the most religious people in the world regardless of which religion they belong to. India itself is the birthplaces of four major world religions i.e., Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism and though despite of the diversity India has incredibly maintained a religious harmony over the years, very often, religions do lead to clashes and the issue of Ram Mandir is just one example of how sensitive people can get when it comes to religion.
3. Nehru and Gandhi
Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi were unparalleled stars during the freedom struggle of India and there cannot be a debate how vital they were in the entire movement. However, there is another part of the story and with each passing day the belief that Mahatma Gandhi was giving away too much to Pakistan is becoming more widespread, some even going as far as justifying the murder of him.
Similarly, Nehru’s character over the years have deteriorated and his policy on Kashmir in particular has attracted much criticism, dividing the country into two whether to love and appreciate him for his part in freedom struggle and making Indian democracy and secularism work or hate him for some of his policies.
Cricket is the only game in India, perhaps, over which people debates, because for most of Indians, sports is synonymous to cricket. They don’t even know the name of the captain of India’s football team, a game that is played by almost all the countries in the world. Since here everyone watches cricket, everyone has an opinion about every aspect of the game, everyone has a favorite cricketer and everyone thinks they understand cricket better than the others. They even learn the statistics of individual cricketers playing for countries other than India by heart so that in an argument, they can burn their opinions down.
In the past few years actually, the issue of tolerance has engulfed the country and divided it into two groups of people- those who believe India is as tolerant as ever, and those who believe India is becoming increasingly intolerant. Of course, selective reporting by the media and inflammatory speeches by the public leaders has worsen the situation.
6. 60 years of Congress
What has Congress done in the last 60 years for the country? This has become rather a catchphrase than a genuine question and every time this has been spoken, debates have followed. A section tables the argument that while China became an independent country just after a year India got her independence, India is far behind it and blames it on the successive Congress governments. They Congress supporters, however, disagrees and says that when British left the country, India was to start from scratch and how Congress has transformed the country from the abject poverty to be among the top 10 economies in the world is a testimony of its achievements. The arguments, nevertheless, don’t end there.
7. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
At this present juncture of India’s history, RSS is becoming gradually more popular, more powerful and more influential. But it is also a fact that it has been banned three times, first when Mahatma Gandhi was killed by Nathuram Godse, then during the emergency, and lastly during the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992. Today, whenever the topic of RSS arises, one can expect a certain heated argument about the bads and goods of it and there is hardly someone who has a moderate view about the organization. They either love it or hate it. There is nothing in between.