Fear and alienation is changing the way middle-class Muslims live, from what they pack for lunch to how they’re naming babies
Fear for their dear lives, though the constitution gives them the freedom, Middle-class Muslims feel no longer safe in their own country, TOI reported.
With meaning jokes subjected to hurt their sentimental emotions, questions raised at their lifestyle or be the brutal jokes related to four marriages, Pakistan cricket team, Hijacking planes all these jokes are no longer limited to the jokes category but are intended to hurt Muslim community.
And in times when nobody cares if a Muslim is laughing or not at these mean meant to hurt him, directly or indirectly, but yes why should you care about it? It is not happening to you so why would you even bother about it. You are rather going to believe false, fake news such as the recent one where it said 95% rapes have Muslim perpetrators, so what’s if it’s a blatant lie, it doesn’t affect you unless it is about you? Right?
Now that the mob lynchings have just become a common norm in Indian society were no law and order is in place or, should I say, no law and order is here to protect Muslims anymore, the middle-class Muslims are now fearing for their lives and the unjust oppression by the Hindutva oppressors.
When a Muslim author Nazia Erum, was asked about naming her daughter, she said she wanted to pick one that didn’t sound “too Muslim”. “Many might disagree with me, but I wanted her to have a normal childhood, without any identity markers. I didn’t want her to feel she was different,” says the author of Mothering a Muslim.
Not only did the Erum named her daughter a little different than what she would have named with no unjustness and oppression in the country, Erum has stopped ordering mutton from the local butcher fearing she might get into trouble with her housing society.
Another Muslim and also a Historian Rana Safvi can too relate to this situation where she no longer feels safe. Recalling one of her past experiences on Bakr-Id last year, she says as a traditional gift, mutton which is distributed or given to families, relatives or anyone poor, her housing society watchman stopped an elderly gentleman who had stopped by to give the traditional gift, and that panicked her.
“My house is close to Dadri, and I was overcome by this feeling of helplessness. What would I do if some men barged in demanding to know if there was beef in my fridge,” she asks, referring to the 2015 Dadri mob lynching.
She immediately informed the society WhatsApp group about the incident and invited people to check for themselves so that she does not land into trouble.
“I wanted there to be evidence in case anyone chose to point fingers at me.”
Safvi, says there has come a huge change over the past two years with the oppressions against Muslim community. “For them, Muslims have become the other,” she says.
“People are being lynched on the basis of suspicion, not even evidence,” says Erum who says her family no longer brings back any meat from visits to their Moradabad home for the same fear.
Another Mumbai-based TV editor Ajaz Shaikh speaking about this says, “I have stopped traveling to my village in Fatehpur, UP, since last year. We used to go there to celebrate Id as a family. I would go choose the qurbani ka bakra (sacrificial goat). But now who wants to take the risk of transporting an animal?”
What came as a sudden blow to him was when recently one of his colleague’s questioned whether he was eating ‘’bade ke kebab” (beef kebab).
“Definitely it was a taunt for me and without any second thought I clarified immediately that it was egg curry. But it occurred to me that I should not have to explain myself.”
The inequality just don’t end here with other community people making fun of Muslims and their beliefs, even the domestic helps no longer want to work in Muslim households.
Another Historian and a writer Rakshanda Jalil who wrote an article for Outlook speaking of how the manipulation has crept in the minds of people, includes few of the unjust oppressions against the community, including “love jehad; the so-called blithe disregard for Hindu sentiments in killing and consuming cows for meat; the sheer nuisance of causing a law-and-order situation every Friday when Muslims congregate in large numbers; their refusal to sing Vande Mataram in a blatant display of their innate anti-nationalism, and so on and so forth.”
“As the elections come closer, this feeling will persist,” says sociologist Ashis Nandy.
And not only this but, nowadays, Muslims travelling in Trains are specifically asked by their kids or elders not to offer Namaz, so this is were India as a nation is exactly going.