Nothing Sensational, but riots did make an impact on me…
Blog :I love life... so I explore.
Date: 7/26/2012 9:32:03 AM
My father was posted in a small town in UP. There were a large number of Muslims in that town and the way we were being brought up, we never realised any difference between the two communities. There was one difference though, my mother wouldn’t eat at our Muslim neighbour’s house. We knew the reason, she wouldn’t eat at any place where non vegetarian food was cooked in the kitchen. Our friends knew that and wouldn’t mind, uncle would comment, bhabhi ji ka to aaj fast hoga. She still doesn’t eat in the restaurants where non vegetarian food is served. Nothing to do with religion. Life was fun, we participated in their festivals and they played Holi with us. They were nice people, very civilised and sophisticated.
There were news of Hindu, Muslim riots in the city one day. Door Darshan and AIR were the only source of news other than the news papers. For a child of my age, the news of riots didn’t mean much, there were no screaming anchors and tragedies were not sensationalised. Life for children went as usual and curfew in the city meant we had holidays. As usual I went to the neighbours house to play. There was a sombre atmosphere in their house. Everybody in their house was safe but there was a sense of insecurity, even a child of my age( I was 10 years old ) could sense something unusual. I heard Bhaiya( my friend’s elder brother ) talking to his father, musalmaano ke saath zyadati ho rahi hai( injustice is being done to the muslims). His father replied- hum log Hindustan main gaddar kehlaye jaa rahe hain aur Pakistan main muhajir ( we are being called traitors in India and refugees in Pakistan). There was pain in his voice, I still remember that. Don’t know who started the riots, who killed whom but that was the first time I was made to realise that there was a difference between my friend and me.
Fortunately everything was normal after a few days. There were no communal or pseudo secular parties then. SP, BSP and the likes of Diggi, Mulayam, Lalloo and Togadias were not seen on TV channels poisoning young minds. The riots in Assam have brought back old memories. For the sake of the young children of India, I hope situation in Assam normalises soon and the topic of conversation changes.