Dear Hindu Friend,

Dear Digital/Non-Digital friends of mine residing in this nation,
 
Hope you are having a great day today. Could we have a quick chat?
 
There has been an increasing number of occurrences of incidents like the one linked along with my post. All the way from the first death last year ( alleged beef lynching incident) to this frighteningly crazy seeming woman and her call to free India of Muslims and all those other stories and conversations in between the two.
 
This note (really just a FB status updated) is not about me talking about the tendency of these incidents to take place, neither is it about why they are taking place or what role does the BJP and therefore those who voted BJP into power play in the occurrences of such events. We shall not talk about the national and international socio-politico climate that has lead to such a headline trending almost every other week here in my home country.
 
No,
What I would like to know – friend is;
AM I SAFE?
 
For, highly surprisingly and also disappointingly, no-body I know (Digitally or Non digitally) seems to say anything regarding this sudden need for a Hindu vs Muslim agenda. The media goes about covering it, sometimes with an apt surprise and other times with frightening nonchalance. Facebook chooses to have stories like that trend in it’s “Trending” section. Talk shows, unsurprisingly, talk about it. Our youtube stars vlog and snapchat about it.
 
Yet none of you seem to say anything about it to me, whether directly or digitally. Almost as if it isn’t even happening, everyone goes about doing their own thing.
 
This scares me.
 
For there can logically only be two explanations for this indifferent behavior of my non-Muslim friends here in India.
 
1 – YOU AGREE
 
Your frightening silence seems to tap me on my shoulder and whisper, ‘We agree! We don’t want Muslims here. This is Hindu-stan and not Pakistan.”
 
It sends chills down my spine, while I constantly wonder – do these friends of mine agree with what I regard as sheer madness? Is that why they are silent? Do they agree I need to go to Pakistan? Is it unanimous and I just wasn’t CCed on the e-mail?
 
Maybe that’s why you are silent. You agree that the presence of Muslims is somehow detrimental to the progress of the nation.
 
Should I reconsider? Should I revisit my religion and spend time trying to understand how Islam is destroying the future and present of my glorious home country?
 
Makes sense right? I mean why else are all my friends quiet. Why else have none of them once bought it up in a conversation with me. Whether the conversation was to side with or against, not once has it come up. Unless…….
 
2 – YOU ARE AFRAID
 
Honestly, this scares me much more than the previous reason. And the previous reason states that my ‘friends’ think I am bad for the nation.
 
This really frightens me. Are you all silent because you are scared of speaking out? Are you afraid of the repercussions of speaking out on my behalf or on the behalf of any fellow citizen Muslim? Are you afraid of being associated with me? Are you afraid of what the Government or it’s associated will do to you?
 
Think about what it means to live in a democracy, think about what it means to live in India. Now tell me which of the above two questions tarnish that thought more? That the people no longer want to be associated with each other OR that the people are afraid of the government they voted into power?
 
The plain fact is that I belong to a minority.
A minority based on which faith we practice and today I’m starting to get scared. I am not afraid because apparently Hindus hate Muslims (which I do not agree with, I love my Hindu friends and they love me back – seemingly).
 
I’m only afraid because you are silent.
 
 
With respect,
Rayyan Shaikh
 
 
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