28 October, 2015


Young Muslim Boys and Girls,
Undoubtedly you are passing through tough times. How would I not know your pain, coming from where I do?
With recurring insecurity, riots and even lynching, rapidly rising beef-related harassment, everyday discrimination and barely concealed derision, menacing Hindu-policing, and unabashed imposition of non-Muslim [even anti-Islam values] etc your life is hardly enviable. You probably did not have things this bad in a long time in free India.
Yet, let’s count our blessings. Check these out:
- Over 300 eminent artistes / activists protested, took out rallies or conducted sit-ins, and nearly three dozen writers / activists returned their valuable awards protesting the failure of Modi government to protect minorities, liberalism and secularism
- Several eminent persons, nearly from every Indian community, stood up and spoke for you, shared your pains and expressed solidarity 
- Several Hindus have simply devoted their personal time, talents, writings, speeches etc to spread awareness of your suffering
- Despite brazenly communal appeal – and virtual collapse of the Congress - at some locations Hindus have defeated BJP candidates at various polls
- Several of the media that sang the swan song of the right wingers until recently have now clearly taken a tough stance at the growing intolerance. Channels like NDTV and anchors like Rajdeep Sardesai, Barkha Dutt, Ravish Kumar.. are clearly taking pains to articulate these concerns.
- Although one after the other most of the perpetrators of communal riots against you are going scot free, the courts have by and large held their ground. Indeed, recently higher judiciary led by the CJI himself have expressed categorical commitment to protect minority’s human rights
- The President of India went public with his message of tolerance and acceptance, and respect for diversity
- While there is palpable insecurity at several quarters and Muslims clearly have to forego umpteen opportunities of self-empowerment, communal crimes against Muslims are still by far minimal at the scale of the sub-continent. 
- Till date Ram Mandir controversy has not been revived, even Uniform Civil Code has not been vigorously put forth
- No credible incidence of blasphemy against Islam has been reported
Now, imagine 
- We were in the shoes of Hindus in Bangladesh or Hindus, Ahmedias, even Shias, in Pakistan!
- Or Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir!!
- Or Palestinian Muslims under Israeli occupation or even in Gaza strip!!!
Do not worry too much about beef ban. Hindu beef-eaters seem perfectly capable of taking care of it. At any rate heavens will not fall solely upon your heads for this reason. And making a little sacrifice for the sake of your believing Hindu counterparts is surely not a bad thing!
Stay clear of beef, marrying - and much less converting - Hindu girls, and some such controversial areas, and busy yourself in constructive activities, such as education, economic stability, networking with secular Hindus, urgent reforms within the community, specially on empowerment of women, cultivate greater, clear-headed patriotism, and acceptance of science and rationality as the sole source of your emancipation..

And things will brighten up sooner than later.

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