For those who will rather listen
The real fool is YOU, irrespective of what your religion is.
You heard it.
I started writing this particular piece with a great sense of resentment and anger.
Because I wouldn’t let politicians make people fight with each other.
Enlightenment occurred to me when I understood the bigger game.
There are games everywhere.
Politics is a game. Religion is a game. Elections are a game. Blogging is a game.
Each game has its own rules.
If you understand the rules and follow along, there are good chances you’ll not be kicked out of the game.
But if you wanna be the winner, you’ve gotta learn the winning strategies and do whatever it takes to achieve your objective.
The problem in the game of politics is that it includes people.
The game of politics isn’t about money and power as much as it’s about people’s well-being.
Obviously, politicians don’t get that, and therefore, here we are: too sad about the harsh reality.
The Hindu-Muslim Conflict (Aka The Communal Game)
My mom has a Muslim Brother. I call him Mama. (The uncle term for specifically mother’s brother in Hindi.) We would attend their festivals and he’d attend ours. <3
As a kid, growing up, I wanted to be away from Muslim kids. Because they ate meat, and it’d be sinful to be around them as a pure Hindu kid.
Nevertheless, I’ve had read enough of my syllabus to realize that there should be no discrimination among people on the basis of their caste, religion, class, or gender.
Consequently, I’ve had shared happy bonds with a lot of Muslim folks.
The point is I’ve got more good memories/experiences of Hindu-Muslim unity than animosity.
If we talk about Hindu-Muslim tension in India, we must realize it exists for a reason.
The number one reason is, it benefits political parties.
Not one political party, but every political party.
So there are few incentives for people in politics to not amplify this narrative.
Innocent Peeps: The Victims (Aka The Pawns)
“Over the last decade, Hindu nationalist groups in India have floated a theory they call ‘love jihad.’ the belief that Muslim men lure Hindu women into sexual relationships and marriage as a way of spreading their faith.” – Whole Numbers And Half-Truths aptly describes it.
The story of poor Arbaz
Arbaz loved a Hindu woman, who of course loved him back.
Long story short, he got allegedly murdered by one of those extreme Hindu organizations, which absolutely deny this and despise his murder.
However, they also believe that what he did was wrong. Source.
Arbaz’s mother cries for her son but for other people too.
She says if it can happen with my son, it can happen with anyone’s son.
I feel angry enough to raise my voice but really, all I can feel is grief.
I think this grief means something.
I think this grief should not go to waste. I think we should take it personally.
I think we should just be brave enough to inquire for the truth.
A good counterargument to everything I’ve written in this section is, why can’t I be neutral – and leave the matters of the judicial system for itself to do?
I’m gonna go ahead and steal Mr. Ellie Wiesel’s words,
“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.”
I don’t know if I should cry or be angry. I am just asking for help.
So what can we even do about it?
We can let our daughters, sisters, and friends choose for themselves who they want to marry.
Because I think as much as it is about religious friendliness, it’s about women’s empowerment.
If we want to empower our women, we need to trust their decisions.
We also need to stop holding grudges against each other for what our ancestors have done.
If you ask someone why they are holding grudges against Muslims or Hindus, they’ll say kiddish things like they have started it, etc. They’ll even share the links to that “starting incident.” Haha
“An eye for an eye makes the world blind.” -M. K. Gandhi.
Bullshit of BJP
In UP, BJP sells exactly that, ‘Solution to the Love-Jihad Problem.’ Source.
The Politics of Communalism and The Manipulated Media (Aka The Real Game)
Having discussed the pawns of the game, let’s discuss the king and queens and their winning strategies:
The exaggerated narrative:
Hindu-Muslim tension is essentially a narrative that has been built by the manipulated media to distract people from the real issues.
What are the real issues?
Real issues are issues of the common people.
The real issues are unemployment, poverty, farmers’ problems, and even freedom of speech, etc.
Why do they need to do this?
They need votes to win elections.
They have to please 3 kinds of people – their funders, their party members, their local people. In that order of priority, of course.
Unfortunately, they know that funders and local people need different things.
For example, on one side, the manufacturing of coal may be beneficial for a mining company that has funded the governing party, and on the other side, it can be dreadful for the health of local people and even the environment.
Who do you think will be listened to? What policy would be made?
You guessed it.
What if they are creating misery for the common people, they can always fool them in the narratives that will distract them.
Narrative-building works because it’s extremely emotional and personal.
India is a deeply religious country. People love their religions. Their relationship with religion is so intense that their personal philosophy stems from it.
That means their guiding principles in life are derived from their religion. That’s so beautiful.
So the real problem is NOT that people respect their personal philosophies, but it is that they feel threatened by someone else’s personal philosophy.
The solution to that is simple.
That is, to educate them about coexistence and fundamental connection among human beings.
This one was important to share because if everyone is fooled by narratives, the truth will lose its significance. And that’s dangerous.
In a way, The Awakened Youth is anti-media. It bursts narratives. 😉
So what do we do?
We can collectively rebel against it.
We can use the power of our precious minds to think for ourselves and we can refuse to believe these distracting narratives.
If you think more people should know about this, kindly share the link to this article with your friends and family members.
See ya in our next battle!
Well said, but any Hindu listening to this and agree to this? Their emotional thought to safeguard hinduism from muslims ( with rhetoric) is too strong and victimhood is too strong. as you said as long as some one else started it its ok to follow the same mentality of some one else. Fighting against them makes one strong that’s what all bollywood movies preach, else u will be called a dummy. Who really has patience left like Gandhi, every one is in a hurry to fix things quickly (albeit we will be in the same state even after 100 quick years..)
The fact that a painful amount of virtue signaling exists and little to no media is trying to bring the focus on solutions are very painful, Shashi.