Tag: Indian muslims

Request from an Indian Muslim

How would one describe the emotion when you are constantly reminded or questioned about your right of living in your country?


Outrage is so much easier.

People like us, can be mocked as the “keyboard” activists, whose outrage ranges from a blog post or numerous facebook and twitter posts. From the list of activities in a day, almost half of it is consumed by arguing endlessly with people whose ideas are never going to change. Yet, since we have so much time on our hand and the constant urge to not sit idle, we just never stop shouting about issues.

There are few who relate to us, few show their solidarity, few feel disgusted of every word we utter and even few who laugh at our plight.

Those of you who know me from Jamshedpur, understand how difficult life has been, and it has only been with Allah’s blessing, it has become a little stable. I doubt there is anyone in my family who even speaks about politics, national issues or everyday controversies. Except my late Grandfather who was into anything political. I’m pretty sure that my non-facebook using Ammi , if comes to know that I write things concerning issues like these, her first words would be, “kya zarroart hai tujhe ye sab ki?” (What is the need of all this).

Do you think any of us who do all this on Social media or elsewhere, likes doing it? We would feel ashamed if a non-Indian even points to incidents happening in this country to us. Even if some of you wouldn’t want to believe, it is our country too. We don’t need to do a Surya Namaskar to prove that. A lot of us have far better things to do. The concern of the most of the Indian muslim focusses around earning bread for his family. If you don’t believe, just take a walk across any of the city suburbs, ghettos, you’ll find a lot of us. Do you think they care who is in the government? Or whether there is a ban on anything or not? Or that there is something called Love Jihad? All this information doesn’t give them their bread.

request from an indian muslim

[Image courtesy: Saddahaq.com]

I’ve outraged a lot, be it shouting aloud about why I’m not sorry about eating beef or criticizing Modi to questioning the Closet Sanghis.

Outrage is Anger.

But it is not just about the anger. All this is Sad. If the present situation doesn’t make you sad, then I question you. Just like everyone is questioning our identity. And please don’t start the chain of messages of solidarity, if you really care about it, then do something.

From those politicians who is hell bent on sending us to Pakistan and anyone among you who never stops at putting that as a reference in your jokes. From deciding what we should eat and killing if we don’t comply and even justifying the same. More than the mob which killed Ikhlaq in Dadri, the MPs from the government telling, “If you eat beef, this will happen”. Not just that, the Chief Minister of a state proudly suggests, if Muslims don’t stop eating beef, they can go to Pakistan?

If what MPs, Chief Ministers and spokespersons of the ruling party, then this happens to be a Hindu Nation?!

I can list down Muslim freedom fighters, Kings, Nawabs and others who actually fought to get us this freedom which is now being shown to us as some sort of charity. And even if  list them down, those of you whose ideology still roams around India to be a Hindu nation, will ignore that piece of information.

If you really care about the Idea of India, then do something to save it. Instead of responding to the Dadri Lynching with “A hindu killed in Bihar by Muslims”, “Why were you silent when that happened?”, “What about Godhra?, try to understand that the Idea of India is being removed brick by brick. Now it is just a few bricks, but if this continues there will be a bigger wall between us. A wall which won’t be easy to break.

Please consider this a request from an Indian Muslim and save the idea of our country. It is neither yours nor mine, it is ours.

A Muslim Boy’s Diwali

Abbu Abbu.. diwali ke lie pathaake lane hain..paiseee do na”, with child-like innocence, I asked for money to buy firecrackers for diwali.  Dada , sitting nearby, before Abbu could reply, remarked kaiku re wo paise barbad karna… paise jalaaane ke jaisa ich na wo”. (Why burn money by buying those?) in his Dakkhani.

This scene, year over year, can be seen at home every Diwali.

By the time it was evening, I would definitely have some pathaakas with me from my “sources”, which included my dadi, who would part away some money from her khazaana. I would already make sure I had my emergency money in place from Abbu as well in the name of  “stationary”.


happy diwali

Evenings were not limited to lightening firecrackers alone. Although they were a part of it.

Diwali houses” made from mud and wood (with help from Ammi), batasha and mudi, would also be present as part of the celebrations. The diwali house preparation begins in the afternoon itself when the sun is out, so as to let the mud dry up. Colorful papers, all the toys, including those small kitchen cutleries, will adorn our new Diwali house for the course of the 3-day celebrations.

Once, it starts getting a little dark, you could see and hear firecrackers buzzing all around the dark skies, and we as kids, would excitedly merry around before starting our own spree of Fuljhaddis, Chakris, Anaar, Snakes, Mirchi Pathake, etc, while our neighbours would try to outdo us. All of the pathakaas would be in moderate amount, so we would make sure that we don’t finish the entire quota in one day. No one wants to be the kid who finishes off the first.

Then we also had “guests “coming in large numbers to pay our diwali homes a visit. This included, our basti wale friends, coming in one-by-one, bringing with them sweets and firecrackers. We would give them something to eat (after all, atithi devo bhava 🙂 ), fire a few firecrackers and then would follow the ritual of diwali home hopping post that.

And surprise, surprise! When the evening was about to end and we’d be up there on the terrace watching the lit up sky, dada would bring home some more firecrackers!! Yes, the same dada who was preaching us about “wasting money” and blah blah. All of us would again revel in the joy of those bonus firecrackers.  We had our unique way of celebrating this festival of lights, which was so much fun back then.

Of course, I miss dada , who is no more in person with us. That diwali celebration at home gradually stopped as we grew up. It wasn’t about religion, it was all about having fun and enjoying ourselves. And mind you, we lived in a Muslim locality, so there wasn’t even any compulsion to celebrate under peer pressure. Diwali used to be an Indian festival as opposed to a Hindu festival, back then.

Festivals in India are about the celebration of culture and upholding the idea of India. Over the years, we have strengthened this bond, and let us hope that it continues. Even with forces trying to make it otherwise.

muslims doing puja in india

Religion and culture are two different things. I may not pray or participate in a Puja, but I would celebrate the joy of festivities. Usually one sees images of Muslims (in skull caps) praying to Hindu deities. Sorry, I won’t do that. A muslim is not supposed to indulge in idol worship and I sincerely hope others understood this and take this as disrespect. As I, nor the others, mean any disrespect!

It is of course an individual’s choice, but this photo alone doesn’t define secularism. Secularism means respecting others’ religion and having the freedom to celebrate and practice our faiths the way we want. Each of our religions has earmarked a few boundaries, the principles and the code we have to abide by. And that should be respected by each of us.

Celebrating joy is beautiful and who doesn’t want to do that? Methods might be different but the intentions are always right.

[Related Reading: Why Urdu is not a “Muslim Language”]

Celebration and cultural bonhomie is something we should all strive for. The idea of India needs to be preserved. It cannot happen by forcing a ban on eating something or calling people anti-national or pakistanis. It can only happen when we consider all of us as equals and strive to progress further.

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