While the recent violent incidents being witnessed in the country send shivers down the spine, they also raise important questions such as, where are we heading as a country? What kind of a future are we trying to create? The answers appear bleak. With the manner in which every incident gets communalized, one senses a widening chasm between people in the name of religion.

A recent tweet by a political leader, who claimed to have cancelled a cab booking as the driver was Muslim, is a case in point. The tweet was said to be in response to another similar incident, in which an activist from Bengaluru stirred up controversy with her post on the Facebook that she cancelled a cab with an angry Hanuman sticker on it, describing it as a sign of “aggressive Hindutva”. The tit-for-tat that followed, dragging the recent rape incidents, was ugly, to put it mildly.

One expects political leaders to douse and not inflame communal feelings. Politicising horrendous crimes, like rape and murder, does not go down well with the people. The general public is no fool and can easily see through the games played by the political leaders and some of their blatant attempts to divide in the name of religion.

Of greater concern is the move to muzzle people. Anyone criticising the government ~ Union or state ~ faces a serious backlash and, in some cases, thrown behind bars. Where, one wonders, is the sense of humour and an open mind to accept criticism? Are our political leaders so struck by power that they are veering towards autocracy?