I’m Muslim & I’m Not The Problem


I am a Muslim Indian, and I am not the problem. All around I see a siege being laid for the Muslims of this country. Government, TV media, social media – everywhere there is a cacophony around the Muslims.

This cacophony is the problem. I am not the problem.

Hate is being mainstreamed by the very people responsible to maintain harmony, to bridge divides.

This hate is the problem. I am not the problem.

Are farmers’ woes over? Do people have jobs? Is the education system world class? Are poor not dying because they can’t afford basic healthcare? Has corruption become history? Didn’t someone make certain promises on all these fronts four years ago? Have all those promises been fulfilled? Are Muslims the only impediment to achche din? No. Why is TV then obsessively debating Muslims day in and day out?

This obsession is the problem. I am not the problem.

Who are these mullahs who scream from the TV windows every night? They only stereotype Muslims. Who decided that they speak for Muslims? TV anchors? Why? Or, are they part of the ‘demonise-Muslim’ game?

This game is the problem. I am not the problem.

‘Hindu khatre mein hai’, ‘Rahul ka Muslim prem’, ‘Congress Muslim party hai?’, ‘Rahul ke kandhe pe janeu, dil mein Jinnah?’, ‘Musalmanon ke votebank ki rajneeti?’  Who writes these headlines? Are these journalists? Most media is busy obfuscating the real issues, providing an easy exit route to a deeply failing government.

This obfuscation of real issues is the problem. I am not the problem.

Muslims are medieval, Muslims need reform, Muslims need to be mainstreamed. Muslims don’t speak out enough. They are so anti-women. They are so anti-modern. We need to fix this problem called the Muslim. That’s the script hogging TV space.

This script is the problem. I am not the problem.

There is a nexus between the media and the government. A leader meets some Muslim intellectuals. All hell breaks loose. He says his party is “also for” Muslims. Like it is for every Indian. His statement is twisted. The twisted version is debated. ‘That party is a Muslim party,’ blare the headlines. Anchors are frothing. They are very angry. Why? Is association with Muslims – political or social – now a crime? Are Muslims not Indians that a party that talks about taking them along need to be crucified?

This nexus is the problem. I am not the problem.

Muslims can be hounded, killed on the streets, in their homes. The powers that be openly side with the criminals. They garland them. Did we see any #SackTheMinister trending? A man kills a Muslim, burns him, films the barbarity. New India makes a tableau for the killer. Hundreds support him, collect money for him. Welcome to New India. It’s no longer shameful to be associated with a criminal, a murderer. Ministers do it.

This shamelessness is the problem. This celebration of hate is the problem. I am not the problem.

After the crime, the political leaders don’t speak. After all, a Muslim is killed. Big deal. The silence emboldens the killers. They go for the next kill. They know they have backers sitting in the government. They know they will be feted, lionised.

This silence is the problem. I am not the problem.

Prime Minister goes to a farmers’ rally and talks about Muslims. Why? He wants farmers to forget their hardships. To forget that the government has failed them. He wants them to vote for him again just to keep Muslims in their place. Muslims need to be fixed. So that farmers don’t complain. SO that they just can keep hanging themselves. His politics live on.

This politics is the problem. I am not the problem.

Secularism, Liberalism, Harmony. Bad words. Very bad words. Enemies of Hindus believe in them. Sickulars, Libtards, Commies are coming. Muslims are coming. Hindu khatre mein. The narrative is nauseating.

This narrative is the problem. I am not the problem.

Fake news flows from the top. It’s shared by ministers, leaders. Then they enacted the drama of trying to check it. Bigotry flows from the top. Hatred has been mainstreamed, normalised like never before.

This fake news epidemic, this bigotry is the problem. I am not the problem.

What do they want to do? Turn all Hindus into a loony mob that is baying for the blood of Muslims? Yes, Hindu khatre mein hai. Of being led down this dangerous abyss, where they don’t see the evil designs of the people playing Pied Pipers today. Yes, Hindu khatre mein hai of being turned into just Muslim-haters who would not expect anything from the government except the momentary adrenaline rush. Country be damned, Muslims must be shown their place.

This toxic adrenaline rush is the problem. I am not the problem.

Most TV anchors are part of the lynch mob. They lynch our harmony, our social bonds, the future of our country every night. Don’t call them journalists. They are the suited-booted bigots. Call them the mobsters. The hatemongers.

These primetime mobsters are the problem. I am not the problem.

My dear countrymen, talk to me. Don’t let some loonies define me for you. Let’s talk. Let’s cut through the cacophony of hate that has surrounded us. Let’s start a dialogue. #TalktoAMuslim.

The Article First Appeared In The Indian Express

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