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Letter to the Editor, March 1, 2024 | Humra Quarishi

Friday 1 March 2024, by Humra Quraishi



Letter to the Editor,

This is in response to the review of my book that appeared in Mainstream, on Feb 24, 2024

The reviewer raises two questions in the review, and i am keen to answer these here

1. "But one wonders, and I do wonder, if this diary is indeed a true reflection of the life all the Muslims in India are now leading? Or is one section more adversely affected than others? "

MY answer: "Muslims in the country are going through extremely tough turbulent times. There is fear and apprehension and anxiety and also exodus. The recent riots in Haldwani left hundreds of Muslim families not just ruined but homeless ...they are moving out, leaving back their ancestral lands and whatever they possessed.

Political mafia unleashed by the ruling brigades together with the land mafia are making inroads...Mosques and even madrasas are targeted and with that the madrasa children. I have been visiting madrasas for years but never before witnessed this level of hopelessness cum helplessness as in these recent years. ’Muslim looking’ and traditionally attired Muslims are becoming easy targets in the communally surcharged atmosphere. There is no helpline where they can even dare lodge a complaint! They cannot dare fight the state machinery! They cannot openly voice their disgust cum anger at the treatment meted out to them and at the discriminations and double standards holding sway! There is immense fear of the aftermath,

I have been focusing on and writing on the grim ground realities faced by the largest minority community in the country - the Muslim community.
In these recent years all the Muslims i have been interacting with, sounded very upset and perturbed and disgusted by the Right Wing government’s tactics and moves. Communal slurs have been unleashed not just on Muslim Parliamentarians but even school going children not spared. And the culprits get away with the backing of the political who’s who! In fact, it is important to point out that the majority of the lynch victims are young Muslim men and even teenaged boys.

An atmosphere has been so very systematically built by the Right Wing, to portray Muslims in the darkest possible shades.All facts to the dismal living conditions faced by the Muslims are either bypassed or an atmosphere where no one cares or bothers! If one speaks out there’s that scare of the aftermath! Leaving one to chant these lines of Ahmed Rahi ( tucked in the pages of ’Anthems of Resistance’ by Ali Husain Mir and Raza Mir- Roli Books) : “Our lives were spent in despair; hope had begun to stir in our hearts

We thought our destiny would change, but alas, we were deceived.”

2. whether one section more adversely affected than the other?

MY answer - " Today All sections in the Muslim community are affected in one way or the other except, perhaps, those few who have joined the BJP!

yours sincerely,

Humra Quarishi
New Delhi

March 1, 2024

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