The constitution of india declares it to be an “indestructible union of destructible states” and thus lays down the idea of single citizenship, that means we all are Indians inspite of any religion, caste, state or gender we belong to. But are we truly Indian in our spirit, I don’t think so. We are more of hindu or muslim, we are more of north Indian or south Indian, upper caste or lower caste, Bihari or Marathi than being a proud Indian. Many of the incidences of my life made me to feel this particularly after I reached my college years in BHU. Here i would like to share some incidences of my life before introducing about last night conversation with my Roommate.
As a child I lived in a homogeneous locality since there was no muslim house in our colony.We always heard that muslims are very bad, they eat cow’s meat and they mix drops of cow’s blood in everything they eat, we were told that muslims are cruel and the stories of muslim kings as being barbarians. Even when we hadn’t meet them we hated them due to the things told by people of our locality about them.
It was in class 6 when I joined one of the famous schools of my city i.e, St. Xavier’s from a small school of my colony, since I was a late admission I was very nervous about my first day in such a big school. Suddenly a boy who was late came rushing towards me and asked for a seat, I agreed and we both sat down , the whole day we both had a lot of talks and soon we turned into good friends, after a few days he revealed to me that his name is Wamique and he is a muslim. I felt like vomiting at that time because of what I personally heard about muslims from the people of my locality. But that fear and hatred soon evaded and since from then we became best friends and not only him but my majority of good friends till my high school were muslims and I didn’t feel that they are any different to me. My school was like a cosmopolitan hub where people belonging to all religion lived and we all felt like a family sharing our tiffins together and gossips abut our teachers and other students of the class.
With passing my class 12th exams I passed the UET entrance of BHU and my college days started, but during councelling when my father was talking to a guard about how good the university was he suddenly asked me : ” kis caste ke ho” I replied BHATT brahmin.
He : “Accha ham bhi pandit hi hai, panditji thik se padhiyega aur yaha kisi lafde me mat padhiyega”
I nodded yes and then moved because during my days in a private convent school we never talkd about castism but instead the matter was about reservation that it should be removed and on but I suddenly felt from this and some other incidence in my campus that my caste and my position became more important than my merit. College days passed by and I was very pleasured by the atmosphere of BHU where people from all over india studied, there was no student union and campus was peacefull relatively to other university campuses in our nation .
My second interaction to the stereotypes in our country came from my own roomates of the lodge which I live( since i wasn’t alloted hostel as it was very scare in social sciences.) one of my friend quoted that majority of muslims support pakistan and they burned firecrackers when pakistan won champions trophy finals. But this time I argued to him that his statement were false and this didnt happened anywhere and called it his preassumption, but he remained firm on his stance he even got further by saying majority of the muslims hate India and they start the rights by teasing the hindus, majority of muslims are terrorist or supporters of terrorism etc. I replied that there are almost 1.8billion muslims in the world and if according to you if majority of them are terrorist and then we would have atleast 1 billion jihadis in the world i.e, 1 out of every seven person on the earth are terrorist and if this would had happened we all woudn’t have remained alive, but even after that he remained firm on his stance and that discussion ended with long hours of argument between both of us.
Last night me and my roommate were just joking with each other and I said that people even had made bihari as an abusing word and then suddenly he replied.
He: bhai mano na mano tum bihari log bahut hi gande tarike se rahte ho .
Me: tum ye baat kaise kah sakte ho .
He: Bhai mai bahut logo ko janta hoon tum mano ya na mano bihar me bahut garibi aur gandagi hai , tum log bihar chor ke jaha bhi jaate ho kam daam me kaam karne ke liye taiyar ho jaate ho aur market ke rate ko gira dete ho yahi karan tha ki Raj thackrey ne tum logo ko Maharashtra se bagana suru kiya.
Me: Bhai garibi kaha nahi hai is desh me aur rahi bhai gandagi ki baat to chalo bihar main dikhata hoon tumhe hmare ghar me kitni safai rahti hai, aur ho sakta hai tum jin bihariyo se mile ho wo majdur ho isilye tumhe gandagi dikhi ho par tum uske karan poore bihar ko to ganda nahi kah sakte. Aur rahi baat raj thackrey ki to kisi ko kanoon apne haat me lene ka koi haq nahi hain aur hamra constitution har bhartiya ko kahi bhi kaam karne aur kisi bhi jagah rahne ki izazat deta hai tum kon hote ho use chinne waale.
He: Par iska matlab ye nahi ki tum kahi bhi jaakar gandagi karo aur crime karo tumne dekha na ki 16 december 2012 ko jinhone rape kiya wo bihari they. Bhai jo log dekhte hai hain wahi opinion banate hain jyadatar desh ke bade criminal jaise dawood ibrahim, abu salim aadi to UP, bihar se hi hai na phir accept karne me kya burai hai.
Me: Bhai tum ek insan ki kartoot ko pooore rajya se kaise jor sakte ho kal ko tum isko bhi justified karoge ki bharat ke logo ko america aur england se nikaal dena chahiye kyoki wo waha pe kaam karne jaate aur kaafi kam salary me kam karte hai. Aur rahi baat crime ki to jo crime karega kanoon usko saja dega tum uske karan sabhi bihariyo ko to galat nahi thahra sakte. Aur agar bihari galat hain to phir south india ke logo ko kyun nikala gaya mahrastra se shiv sena dwara wo to crimrinal nahi the na.
He: uska mujhe nahi pata par haan jyadatar bihari aise hote hain maine dekha hain.
Me: Bhai kabhi bhi kisi ek aadmi ko dekh kar poore dharam, jaati , rajya ya desh par stereotype nahi banana chahiye, tum aaj is baat ko nahi samajh rahe ho par ye soch tumhare aur desh ke liye bahut hi hanikarak hai.
He: Main jaisa dekhta hoon waisa hi bolta hoon aur tumhare kahne se wo sach badalne waala nahi hai aur main ispe aur bahas nahi karna chahta.
I was very disheartened the way he reciprocated at my regionality. This was the first time someone has made such stereotype on me and above all that boy is my roommate who was previous night talking to me about the Article 35A of our constitution which according to him pose a serious threat to our national integration because we cannot settle in Kashmir but the same boy was talking about me as being bihari and was very particular in criticising biharis.
i felt that whatever happens to Article 35A of our contitution who will end the article 35A of our mind which we have for different regions of our nation, different religion, caste and community because of which North-east people are lynched in Delhi and banglore, because of which a politician of BJP made racist remarks on south Indians and Because of which Muslims and dalit still feel vulnerable in this country. And the I feel that before sacking that Article 35A of our constitution we need to destroy 35A which exist in our mind against the same people of our country.