Why do many people I know not like Muslims? Are they communal?

“I have many muslim friends, but I don’t like Pakistan. They cut goats on the road.” says a hindu friend of mine. Many hindus I know have similar if not the same opinions. But then when you ask muslims about their saffron patrons they have a not-so-patronising opinion too. “My family and I suffered during the ‘93 riots. We had to shift to a muslim area.” The fact that I cannot mention the quote givers’ names says a lot about the silent tension that still exists among the communities. “Its pre-conceived bias and a lot of traditional prejudice.” says Geetanjali Jhala, a colleague at DNA. Bias, and all kinds of biases can direct the human mind to think negatively. Communal as defined by the dictionary is : For or by a group rather than individuals. Man is a social animal is an old adage. We all want to belong. Belong to a group of fellow, like-minded individuals. We want to support a cause to quench our thirst for revolution. There are very few causes to revolt for today, so my observation tells me that because of the lack of ’causes’, human minds create ‘controversy/issues/mind wars’ to fill in the gap.

Personally speaking: All communities have people who make them proud and losers who they are ashamed of. I may not like the way young bawa men use expletives in every sentence they use. It’s funny and shocks you. It is in your face. If you ever visit a parsi colony you’ll know what I’m talking about. But then there are sweet bawas too.

Today the city is divided into ghettos where people belonging to the same religion exist ‘harmoniously’. I am a Zorastrian and the community that I belong to, too has existed in colonies in Mumbai. Mohammed Ali Road for Muslims, Dadar for Hindus and so on. Ghettos for people who follow the same customs and eat the same ‘kind of food’ many would say. But wouldn’t there be more cultural exchange with a richer community existence if different people with different customs and different ideas lived together.

Terrorists, I hate them.

Terrorists are made, not born. Extreme mind control and conditioning. I never understood the passion to kill. Terrorists and prejudices. They are similar. Both are products of conditioning to believe the fictive.

Today, the Samjhauta Express, which translates to ’peace express’ caught fire due to a bomb blast. Personally, I think a journey from India to Pakistan is romantic. So very romantic. India and Pakistan are just two lovers who were separated due to a silly tiff. Two lovers who are trying their best to get back together because they want to ‘feel’ the way it felt before. Teasing. Reminiscing. And then, they have to face angry families, society and prejudice. Face terrorism.

Personally speaking: I think its hard to find true love. Superficial ideals of love. So I have learnt, thanks to Oprah  to expect the worst. (Priyanko, another colleague say, “In U.S there are only two gods, there is Oprah on the right and Bush on the left.” Me smiles back at him.

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