I am a muslim. I declare my god as supreme and other's god as just a puppet of a story. I can vandalise , I can make anti-national statements and I can start a whole riot if my demands aren’t met. Last year, with advent of Modi government I felt a little insecure about the rise of right wing politics. But Modi vowed to protect my rights at any costs. But my local MLA plus some big guns from other opposition parties told me otherwise. When the elections were due in Bihar, opposition said that there is an atmosphere of ‘intolerance’ in India. Although no untoward incident ever happened with me, I joined their chorus and rallied against the ruling party with utmost ferocity and vengeance. I heard about the Malda incident where it was said that Muslims were also at fault. But I don’t believe that at all. I refuse to comment on Malda incident. Let’s talk about Dadri lynching.
I am a Dalit. My parents are government servants and they make a decent salary. We have a nice little hatchback at home. I live in Delhi in a 1000 sq ft government bungalow located at the poshest place of delhi. I studied at the most prestigious school of Delhi. Now I am in IIT delhi. I scored less than my Brahmin friend. He lives in a lesser known part of Delhi in a 650 sq ft bungalow with his parents, grand parents and two sisters. His father is also employed in Govt sector but at a low post. So he doesn’t own a car as of yet but I am sure their life is going smoothly I never hear them complain. He studies in NIT. He has to pay full fees of the course . Meanwhile, 50% of my fees has been remitted under Dalit schemes by government of India. I buy nike shoes and branded clothes and though times are hard, I still manage to scoop out a little money for that trendy haircut.
I am a dalit farmer. I don’t own any land. I work at someone else’s farm and he pays me just enough to feed my 4 children and wife. But it gets tough for me at the end of season because then I find it impossible to find any work. The school is located about 20kms from my village and it’s already running above its capacity. Besides I have 3 daughters. I had already married my eldest daughter when she was 10 and now we are waiting for her to turn 16 to send her to her ‘own’ home. My son gives me a helping hand in my work, so I really don’t see any point of sending him to school when he just has to work on farms like me. He should rather know about our business. I hear government is launching many schemes. One such is insurance cover. But the banker babu won’t even talk to me. He is always away and when rarely he comes to office, he keeps mostly to himself and have us kicked out. I hear my friend had successfully applied for the scheme but on the last step due to some missing document, he was denied the benefit of the scheme. With another scheme that entails my wife and daughter, I am entitled to some money for my daughter’s marriage. I have went many times to gram panchayat office but the secretary over there won’t enrol my name until I pay rs 5000 to him. The government is doing nothing for us Dalits. I feel powerless and helpless and have gone to opposition parties as well but they also don’t seem to have time for me. But when my friend committed suicide, everybody from congress president to even chief minister of Delhi came to our village and granted relief fund to his family. Sometimes, I also think that suicide is my only option. Atleast my death would ensure two square meals for my family.
I am a Hindu. I take a bus to work daily. I live in a small but decent house in a fairly large city. I manage to provide fairly good education to my two kids. My wife stays at home and like everybody else she has her demands. I try to make a few extra bucks on the side by working overtime and on some occasions I take a meagre bribe of Rs200. Atleast that way I can take my family for outings on weekends. I have to send a part of my income to my parents living in the village but that’s alright. We make a fairly decent living and have very little left as savings. Last year, my wife got ill. She had to undergo a minor operation but even that proved costly for us. I had to break my pension fund to provide for her medical assistance. I get hit really hard with increasing prices of petrol and pulses. But still I manage to scrape through the month somehow. I don’t feel the government is responsible for such condition of mine. I am myself responsible because may be I am not working hard enough. Sometimes I feel inadequate when I meet my old friends and see they have got fancy cars. But now nothing much can change. I am bound to this daily drudgery. This stagnancy in my life makes me depressed sometimes. But it won’t even matter to anyone if I live or die except for my family. They will suffer the most if I leave them midway. I fall prey to market frauds and Ponzi schemes easily, not because I am unintelligent but because I am desperate. I feel my children have the future ahead of them and they can really turn things around if they study well. I want my son to study in IIT. I don’t criticise the government each day with a newspaper in hand but yes I feel that politicians have destroyed this country. I have thought of contributing to government’s scheme of giving up LPG subsidy but with my income it’s impossible to do so. At my workplace, we have muslim co-workers and they also seem to be facing similar issues. They are intelligent and well mannered. Most of all they all are really nice and helpful. I don’t ever feel insecure with them and neither they do with me. It’s not like we concoct up harmony, it’s just very normal. We don’t even feel there is a difference between us. I therefore find it difficult to digest the polarising comments made by different political parties. Safe to say, I reserve my comments on these topics and stay away from politics. I have to look after my house first.
We are muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Dalits, Adivasi, tamilian, assamese, Punjabi, Sindhi. We doctors, lawyers, clerks afterwards. We are not INDIANS. We never were. Never will be.