When I was in Class 4, my friend Savitri refused to share my lunch. Though we shared the same bench, she would never touch my food. This was because she was a Brahmin and I was a Muslim. Her mother had asked her to do so saying ‘we’ ate goats and buffaloes and ‘we’ were an impure lot.
I came to Mumbai for higher studies. I needed a paying guest accommodation for my internship period. But every broker I called said, “Muslim ho? Mushqil hai.” We boast of this city being cosmopolitan and India being a secular state. Yet such prejudices still exist here.
I do not know whom to blame for this but the sad part is the community in itself is responsible for this in a way. Once I was travelling to Kashmir. There was an elderly Mulla who was brainwashing some boys about jihad and Islam. No wonder the community is stereotyped. We have let the world point fingers at us.
But we all must remember, no religion teaches to kill, so it’s not the religion but the person who decides to kill or shed blood.