Saturday, October 21, 2006

Happy Deepavali (I miss the month of Ramzan)

Happy Deepavali to the readers for whom it means much. To me it meant a holiday till I reached Nagpur to do my engineering, where it meant a month of holidays. And then eventually a festival that many of my friends celebrated. Who get goodies from home when they come back after the holidays.

And I miss the month of Ramzan back home. It did mean a lot to us in our school days. (My friend here asks me if I could write this without fear if I were a Muslim. I leave that question to you. On second thoughts, how does it matter when one is living every moment in fear and in pressure to prove one's Indianness?)

Ok, we were talking of Ramzan. Yes it meant a month of holidays-- when I was in primary school (till 7th std) Ramzan used to coincide with the month of June. Our school, along with other "Muslim" schools, closed one month late and opened one month late on 1st July when all other schools opened on 1st June. It also meant Patthiri and Irachi (thin Rice roti and chicken/mutton/beef) coming in from the neighbourhood houses in the evenings. And more..

Things aren't so good these days-- a Hindu has to wear signs of being a Hindu (one my little friend in class 2 asked his parents why wasn't he wearing a tika when every other Hindu child in his class did), and a Hindu is not really welcome in a Mosque (this doesn't apply to temples, as "non-Hindus not allowed inside" or "ahindukkalkku pravesanamilla" board was always there). Don't know where we are headed..

Let that not stop the celebrations. Happy Deepavali and Id Mubarak!!

[image courtesy : "jung aur aman"/anand patwardhan]


Anonymous said...

dear sudeepettan,
nalla post. i also share the same feelings.

Anonymous said...

Good post Sudeeep. We live in sad times indeed that we have to go through what we have written to ensure it comes upto someone else's expectations of 'Indianness'. Who is more qualified than ourselves to decide on our patriotism? The best thing I like about Indian democracy ( yes , it is still alive and kicking ) is this quote attributed to Voltaire, " I may not agree with what you have to say , but I will fight till my death for your right to say it".

Anonymous said...

good post. just reading your earlier posts. interesting.

Anonymous said...

I do understand your feelings. I dont want to hurt any one but I would like to ask some questions here :

1. Why is it that "Muslims" refuse to pray their motherland ( India) ?
2. Why is that that Indian court verdicts some one like Imrana's Father-in-law(any logical person will agree with the judgement) , the Muslim apex body will oppose the judgement in the name of religion?
3. Why is that when Ajay Jadeja and Ajharuddin are accused of Match fixing, Ajhar communalises the issue saying he is being accused only because he is a muslim?

On all these small issues which I think has nothing to do with religion the Muslims ( not all but whoever does, claims to be representative of whole religion) try to separate themselves from the mainstream and present some other views in the name of religion.

I dont know the answers ? And I fail to understand how come the literate and educated people("Muslims") follow and tolerate such baseless arguments in the name of religion.

Sorry if it hurts any one but these questions always come to my mind.

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous:
No need for last sentence. Even if somebody's feelings are hurted, they cannot identify you to take revenge.


Anonymous said...

I can identify with your sentiments anonymous...In India there is an increasing trend to mollycoddle minorities - As long as you criticise Hinduism you are alright , a true secular, but the moment you direct criticism , however justified or legitimate, at the minorities, the whole 'liberal' establishment will start baying for your blood.This is not something unique to India. The worldwide reactions to the Pope's or Jack Straw's statements bear me out - Iam not commenting on the correctness or otherwise of these statements , just the reaction to it. Time we learnt to call a spade a spade.

hariputtar said...

Hi Sudeep,

best wishes and greetings. your post is a very topical one - you give voice to a lot of us. even if things have deteriorated, we should keep this conversation going. Conversations such as these, will help us learn to coexist in a better manner again - not like zoo-animals that, resigned to live in close proximity, exchange snarls for greetings.

[ i read some of the comments; i am reminded of the times when little ones in the family always had the rights to remonstrate, throw tantrums and be appeased. :) ]

A V Koshy said...

Hi Sudeep,

I have been bloggin on and off for sometime now. But it is only recently that I have been stuck by the sheer amount of posts that are floating around.

I was reading through a whole lot of your posts and those that are linked to you and whom you link (is there any diff??). I am amazed and outraged at the sheer brutality of some of some of the incidents that are portrayed. I was especially moved with the saga of Bant Singh. I think there should be a medium whereby these sagas are continually kept in the realm of human consciousness so that the newer generation (as well as the old) can continually be sensitised to the atrocities that are being perpetuated ad nauseum. I believe that slowly but surely things will change, but a continuum has to be maintained.

Only just got to know that you are a mallu too. So am I. Does that change anything? :-)


sudeep said...

Dear Anonymous: Yes there are Muslims who are out there with baseless arguments that use the name of the religion, but as you rightly point out, it is not reason enough to crucify all Muslims. (There are people who claim to be representing "Hindus" and come up with other as baseless arguments but let us not get into that now).

Coming to your particluar question number one, I believe you are refering to the "Vande Mataram" issue. It is not as simple as praying one's motherland, the original context (Anand Math) has blatantly communal and anti-Muslim shades.

Sachin identifies with some of these sentiments- yes a spade should be called a spade, the essentially patriarchal "APEX" and other bodies should go, but why is it that when we talk of a "Uniform" civil code, we often associate that with a "Hindu" civil code with all the illogicalities of the Hindu religious laws in place? Worth pondering about.

Koshy, thanks for your comments. Have you heard about Chandralekha? Chances are that most of you haven't. Not the A R Rahman hit. Nor the old Sunday morning hit on DD. A Mallu girl. Hope to write about her sometime.

sudeep said...

and pc, thanks! (sorry i missed you out)

Anonymous said...

heheehe.. just happened to read ur writups.
dont know what excatly you are trying to say here.

my friend just one question, Why A HINDU only tends to be secular????

you are worried about the growing practise of wearing bindi or thilak for a hindu girl. but can u imagin a muslim girl without a head scarf in any of the malapuram school?

sudeep said...

dear anonymous 2, to your question "Why A HINDU only tends to be secular" (i have heard many nationalist hindus asking this question, claiming that religion is the first priority for ALL christians and muslims) boss, you are wrong.

One my muslim friend who was running a "secular" magazine with some of his Hindu friends were hunted by the police as a "suspected" terrorist because he had a Muslim name, and many letters and couriers his father sent him went to the Police. (A google search on his name now throws up links to hi being suspected a terrorist). The magazine was forced to discontinue.

I have known many Muslim girls in Malappuram who didn't wear thattam (head scarf). Not just girls, I even know an elderly women in a very very religious Muslim household (read very religious Muslim husband) not wearing head scarf in Malappuram. Yes, times are changing, the Muslim fundamentalist forces are becoming stronger and stronger, and the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the alienation of Muslims after that have contributed a lot to it. And the dear Bush who made it clear you are either with us or with terrorism, leaving terrorism as the only option for many.

Like we, the "nationalist" Indians did in Kashmir years ago. Also see If Mahatma came back, Gargi's blog.

sudeep said...

To add to what I said in the previous comment, the films like Paadom Onnu Oru Vilapam and Daivanamatthil that were celebrated by those who try to label the Muslim community as anti-women in general were both written by a Muslim. And even in these times when the fundamentalist forces are gaining a lot of strength, if Malappuram has not completely become a burkha-clad Taliban it is because of the intervention of secular Muslims. I also know Christians and Muslims who turn to Vedas and Upanishads, becoming sufis.. I think we've had enough of these "all these people who speak secularism are Hindus, thats why we Hindus are under threat" kind of arguments.