“No, this land and country is not ours anymore…”
October 24, 2015
An open letter from an Indian student
Aslah K. Vadakara
Much love everyone.
I am Aslah, 21 years old, a post-graduate student in history. I have few things to tell this world.
During our school days, we had history to study learn. World’s largest country Russia, smallest country Vatican, most populated country China – all these we had by hearted then.
Also when asked about the largest democracy in the world, we would enthusiastically write India.
During school assemblies, the National anthem was being sung, not just did we keep quiet but also smacked the nearby friend on the head when he created nuisance. Watching police and army in cinemas gave us Goosebumps. In my school days, I have always dreamed with open eyes of becoming a collector and serving my India.
However, I have something different to tell all of you. This is someone else’s country now. Not ours. Yes. That’s what the people who rule us say. That’s what we have experienced.
This is a student who has lived in India for 21 years telling the world, “This country is not mine.” I don’t intend to open bundles of history. Just a few incidents that took place within the last week.
A 50 year old man was beaten to death by a mob in a place called Dadri, near to the country’s capital. His son was brutally attacked. Why was Muhammad Akhlaq beaten to death? Because he was a Muslim and a rumour mill started that he had consumed beef. Who had killed him? Followers of the Hindu powers ruling India. Yes, He stored mutton in his refrigerator and it was rumoured that what was stored was beef, and he was killed because he was a Muslim and he purposely ate ‘beef’.
Oh, and then what did this country’s government do? They sent the meat to forensic laboratory to confirm what it actually was and even the ministers justified the murder. The Prime Minister seems busy and has nothing to say.
The ruling party’s ideological brains continue to convey in their stages and pages that anyone consuming beef would have the same fate.
The second day after this cruel incident, a 90 year old man was burned to death in Uttar Pradesh an Indian state. Burned to death alive. You must have heard of temples in India. He was a dalit and he tried entering a temple. As he was considered to be lower caste, he entering the temple would only make it impure; they burned him alive on the entrance.
Again, the second day after this incident, in the same state, a Dalit family was seen being stripped naked on the public road by the police. Because, according to Hindu Varna system, they belonged to the lower caste.
Same day , a 12-year-old Dalit student was severely beaten by a teacher for touching a plate “meant for non-Dalits” during the mid-day meal at his school
All these happened in this country within 6 days. And the response of those who rule India to these, frighten humanity. Whoever responds is killed. They shot and killed M.M. Kalburgi, prominent writer and Kannada University vice chancellor, because he responded.
They jail people for years without a trial using horrific laws. There exist thousands of Muslim and dalit youths in Indian jails.
Sometimes the government may directly kill. They killed Ishrat Jahan, a Muslim lady, in a fake encounter and they dealt with Afsal Guru by hanging him to death.
It is very difficult for a Muslim to own a home in the renowned city Mumbai.
This is the country where a young Dalit man was killed because his Ringtone praised Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, father of Indian constitution.
No, this land and country is not ours anymore. I don’t have any security in this country being a Muslim with an Arabic name. My Dalit friend’s honour has no value in this country.
Because I am a Muslim, I have no right to choose my food in this country.
The world has to know. India is no more a democracy. This country’s prime minister is on a world tour praising India. You need to stand up and ask. Whether what your brother said was the truth.
The prime minister himself is the inner energy for this violence against humanity. When he was the State chief minister of Gujarat, it was his party that gave leadership to the Muslim genocide. He even compared Muslims to helpless puppies caught under wheels.
I don’t know what I would have to face after writing this. But whatever it is, it doesn’t matter to me. This is the truth.
Aslah Vadakara is a graduate student in Historical Studies, Nalanda International University, Bihar.
Donate to the Indian Writers' Forum, a public trust that belongs to all of us.