The debate around intolerance has been raging on for a while now, and it has unfortunately turned into a quagmire of emotion-driven shouting matches. But a written response to a question asked in the Parliamentary debate yesterday helped shed light on the issue. We looked at the data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs yesterday , as well as last year . The conclusion is inescapable - incidents of communal violence increased by 16% from January to October 2015, compared to the same period in 2014.

Moreover, states that are currently under NDA rule seem to be doing worse. Incidents of communal violence increased by 21% in states under NDA rule, while they increased at a lower rate of 11% in non-NDA led states.

Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of incidents of communal violence with 139, while BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh saw the highest increase. In the state, such incidents more than doubled this year from 42 to 86. Incidentally, the states with the highest reductions in these incidents - Rajasthan and Gujarat - were also ruled by BJP.

This data would suggest that Aamir Khan’s outcry against intolerance had some merit. One would hope that the government starts to address the problem head on, and begins to rein in the violent radicalism that is slowly beginning to rear up in our society.