I do not recognise my country, India, anymore.
2014. That is when the seeds of hate were planted: Hindu against Muslim. Hindu against Christian. India is only for Hindus.
Hate is like the dreaded opium. It ravages. It destroys.
And that is what it has done. The BJP, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his lieutenant, Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, is destroying the fabric of India, where once Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist and Jain lived side by side in peace and amity. There were differences that at times would erupt, but life would go back to chai and samosas very quickly.
That was until the BJP discovered the opium of hate. That opium brought down the Babri Masjid in 1992. And the BJP quietly fanned the smouldering embers of hate and hurt.
2014. That is when the lynchings of Muslims became a sport. All you needed was to suspect someone of smuggling beef. Game on. Pursue the prey and lynch. Modi kept silent. The lynchings carried on. Modi kept silent. His heart bled for every untoward incident overseas. But the atrocities at home were met with his silence.
Muslims found it difficult to rent houses. They were heckled on the streets with the same refrain: Go to Pakistan.
2019. The BJP came back to power riding the back of the beast: hate. The election promise of building a Ram temple on the site of Babri Masjid is now seeing fruition. And there is one other dream that Modi and Shah are weaving: a Hindu state.
They have got the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) passed which gives citizenship to persecuted minorities fleeing from neighbouring countries. Of course, persecuted Muslims from these countries cannot seek shelter in India and there is no question of granting them citizenship. And Amit Shah has told everyone to note the chronology. First the CAA and then the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which will ask people to show documents to prove they have the right to Indian citizenship. Read: weed out Muslims.
But India has woken up to this diabolical game. College students, and not India’s worthy Opposition, have shown the way. They have taken to the streets in mass protests against the nauseating, diabolical game to divide Hindus and Muslims. That love is now spreading across India.
2020: What I want to see? Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Jains having chai and samosas again. That is the India I know.