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An open letter to Indian Muslims about prevailing climate in the country

An open letter to Indian Muslims about prevailing climate in the country

Dear Muslims,

I am writing this with full responsibility and knowledge of the situation on the ground. I live thousands of miles away from Indian shores but visit thrice in a year and closely follow events and remain in touch with friends and acquaintances.

Please do not get me wrong, this shouldn’t be interpreted as a patronizing lecture. I understand the sentiments you express on social media and share the anger and frustration over events taking place in several parts of the country.

However, please understand that nothing is permanent and what goes up is bound to come down. The prevailing climate will change very soon. I can see that happening. Things that happened six months ago are no longer happening. There are signs of change in every sphere of Indian society.

Issues of bread and butter are a great leveler and hurt indiscriminately, regardless of your caste and religion. It has started to hurt people — businesses are suffering, jobs are vanishing, sources of livelihood are shrinking. In a short span of time, these issues will consume all the sections of the society. You should worry more about jobs for your children than a silly tweet or an abuse from a right-wing motormouth.

Religion or ideology can’t fill tummies, create jobs or propel growth. People will understand this very soon, they have begun to understand — protests by farmers in Maharashtra and anger of Patels in Gujarat are good examples.

In a democratic society, disenchantment sometimes is masked by electoral victories. But public anger simmers below the surface and manifests itself in various forms – on social media and street protests.

Most importantly, for every person blinded by Hindutva, there are nine good Hindus who believe in peaceful co-existence and harmony. Just look around and see who are fighting these thugs. Lawyers, journalists, former bureaucrats and others — all are Hindus.

The recent case of Kathua rape-murder was investigated by Hindu officers and the girl’s parents are represented by a young Hindu woman lawyer. Moreover, hundreds of retired bureaucrats and academics who last week wrote open letters denouncing this climate of fear were mostly Hindus. This is a fight between right and wrong. Don’t make this is a fight between us and them.

Similarly, just look around at your workplace and neighborhood, you will find that most hate this climate of fear and polarisation. So, stay calm and focus on your jobs, studies and continue to do whatever you do.

Just avoid one thing — do not overreact and paint all with the same brush.

(The author is Editor at Gulf News, a UAE newspaper. This note was first published on Bobby Naqvi’s Facebook wall.)

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