What’s your religion?

I have been asked this question a lot of times. As I kid I had rattofied that I am a Muslim not really knowing the meaning.  I knew when someone asked my religion I had to say Muslim, only in school and to noone else. If a stranger asks my name I had to say Joyti.  Thankfully i never had to say that ,as I was a very introvert kid and never interested in talking.
In my 1st standard there was this fellow, I think he came from a very poor background and I don’t know what his parents taught him or what he heard at home, he used to tell me jai bajrang bali tood de muslaman ki nali.  I hardly understood what he was trying to say and felt sorry for him but he used to say a lot of bad things in a bad way and so I had to tell my parents. And I got my seat changed,that’s the best that could be done.
In the school bus I was asked why am I  in India and not Pakistan and this is their country and not mine. That’s what their parents talked and this is what they learnt at home as kids and I can only imagine what they must be now.
There were these riots when we were in Jaipur and my dad was out of station. We used to live in a big house which had 3 to 4 entrances and a big backyard. Few people used to come and set tyres on fire in the night in front of our house. My mom had put current in all the windows and doors of the house and we slept in someone else’s house(Hindu) for few days.
I was often asked how I am studying coz Muslim girls don’t study and Muslims are poor and not clean and god knows what not.
India is a poor country that means most of its population is poor be it Hindus or Muslims . Muslims being in minority are not that visible as the rich Hindus are. But they exist in the same ratio as the rich Hindus. You might not get to see them or know them but they are there in all parts of India.  The poor obviously are not literate and live in the same way as in any other poor person in India lives. So don’t be under the impression that all Muslims are illiterate and poor.
Similarly the females in India of conservative families are not allowed to study as much as of  modern families. I have muslim friends who are doctors and dentists and wear jeans and tops. Not every Muslim girl in India wears a Burqa.
A lot of incidents have happened in school and college. But I have made a lot of good friends and never considered or given importance to religion. There are good people and bad people,people you get along and you don’t get along. What hurts is to see such hideous and stupid updates on facebook and the way people still think. They might have got the best education and might be doing well but the way of thinking has still not changed. We need to evolve as human beings, not think evil for someone. What surprises me is that how a human can think like that for another human. We are all the same. Made of some bones and muscles,  and still are capable of thinking and doing so bad for another human.

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6 thoughts on “What’s your religion?

  1. Being a Christian in India, I can relate to what you’re saying. Maybe not all of it. I haven’t been picked on luckily enough, but there is a certain sense of underlying prejudice and negativity now and then. What’s really been bothering me lately though, is how religion is being politicised by fringe groups and activists. I personally feel, religion should be kept out of politics, particularly in a country like ours. :/

    1. Exactly my point.. ours is a secular country..but that doesn’t seem to be ok with a lot of people..and I feel poverty and not enough exposure are also the key reasons.. a lot of people have asked me how Muslims live and are amazed to see that Muslims and Christians also lead a life like them. I mean common we are all humans what different could we do.

  2. Hi, I completely agree with your comments. A country looks beautiful when there are beautiful people living in it and by beautiful I mean beautiful inside. The entire journey starts from home..what’s embedded in child minds is what he/ she will behave to outside world.. Hope this article changes many negative minds.

  3. If we can change the mind set, no one will face these type of problems, we can change this by giving education. Education is the only key to change everyone’s mind in India .

    @ila well said

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