I have two Kashmiri brothers.
I wonder how my neighbours will react if I tell them this. Will they look at me with narrowed eyes? Will every broker I call looking for an apartment make eager offers until the moment he hears my name? Then suddenly all the flats get booked; the house we had agreed upon gets leased out at the last minute. Some, at least, are honest. They tell you to your face, “We don’t rent out to Muslims.” And the hunt for a decent place to stay, without people questioning your religious affiliation, continues.
I wonder if the day I get the keys to my house, bought from my hard earned money, a passerby will overhear me conversing in my mother tongue and alert the others. If the residents of the colony will round up and bully me to leave. Threaten to cut the electricity and water connection. Offer to call the police if I don’t get out of the building.
No, it doesn’t work like that. Tying a rakhi does not make me a part of the league. I still look like I come from the other side; I have a Hindu name for starters. I am entitled to live in peace. Everyone else can rot in hell.
This is India, where we brazenly proclaim that no citizen will be discriminated against on the basis of religion or community. Then turn around and do just that.
This is India. We live in a glorious pit of shame .
We call ourselves a secular and socialist republic. Teach your children that in your xenophobic homes. Teach them that in India secularism means “We hate anyone different” and that socialist means “Nakkad wale disco, udhaar wale khisko”.
Teach them that in a democracy it is the voice of the majority that counts. The minority have no voice. Tell them that we do not need the government or bureaucracy to make a sham of the ideals enshrined in the Constitution. We are doing fine by ourselves.
Teach your children that when God preached love and forgiveness to all human beings, he forgot to mention that you must ask their surname first.
(Reblogged from The Scribe)