I dare say that no political event since 2014 has affected me as deeply as the anti-CAA riots that have swept the country. Perhaps even before 2014. Nothing has shaken me up quite as much.
Sometimes I wonder is it that I care so much about Pakistani Hindus? Liberals and Islamists are rioting in the streets. Property is being damaged. People are getting hurt. Is it all worth the trouble? Do the tears of this man, for example, move me that much?
Never forget that they burnt buses and trains because this man will get Indian citizenship pic.twitter.com/UW5zxo2EsM
— Rahul Roushan (@rahulroushan) December 21, 2019
His voice breaking, this unfortunate Hindu recalls his life in Pakistan. How they had to celebrate Holi under wraps. And how good he feels now that he is in India. In fact, he loves it so much that he has celebrated Holi multiple times this year. Then, I look at his poverty stricken life and wonder how this man could be so happy with so little.
Because, for the longest time, he did not even have the simplest rights that we take for granted.
Well, but there is so much more misery in this world. We have learned to look away. Why am I losing sleep over this man and his family? Am I secretly a Mahatma?
Probably not. The reality is that when I see this man’s eyes, I fear for myself. I fear for my own future.
What happened to him and his family in Pakistan could one day happen to me.
What was the big crime that CAA did? Why are we facing so much hatred from liberals and Islamists? Why is media of the whole world condemning us?
All we did is restore the humanity of some of the most oppressed people in the world. Why did it make them so angry?
Let me see what their objection is. Some say the law is unconstitutional. Some say the law is morally wrong. Or both. But the Indian Constitution identifies classes of marginalized people *all* the time and gives them special benefits. Every Indian is familiar with this concept. Why am I having to repeat it and why aren’t they listening? Are they so dumb?
Unless, they are not.
They don’t seriously think the law is unconstitutional. They simply don’t like the people that it benefits, i.e., Hindus.
Of course, I always understood that India’s secular establishment is biased against Hindus. But there’s levels of bias. For the first time, I feel like I understand the full intensity of the hatred that the secular establishment feels towards Hindus.
For the first time in my life, I feel like I have been isolated and targeted as a Hindu. I feel like I am not wanted in my own country. I am merely being tolerated. There is a clock somewhere and it is counting downwards. Counting downwards to the point in the future where people like me are no longer around.
Counting downwards to the moment when my name and names like mine have vanished forever from this land. And any attempt to turn around the numbers even a little bit, or to stop the countdown, is being fought tooth and nail.
In 1947, an Iron Curtain was dropped across the Indian subcontinent. The rich and glorious histories of generations were crushed under it and lost forever.
But it did not stop there. The Iron Curtain is closing in on us. We’re trapped.