|Dear Mr. Bhagat,|
At the very outset, let us make it clear that we are not fans of your regressive fiction. Therefore, we write to you not as crazy fans but as Indian Muslim youth, who felt utterly patronized, insulted and hurt after reading your article, 'Letter from an Indian Muslim Youth'. You might have not realized this, but in pretending to render "a strong modern Indian Muslim voice'' to the youth and the Muslim community at large, you have ripped them of their agency. You have reaffirmed stereotypes that many in the community have been fighting against. Heard of the Muslim god and his flock?
Sir, one does not need a name like Ahmed or Saeed or Mirza, or even be a Muslim to show one's genuine concern for the community. One just needs to see beyond one's own prejudice and biases. Believe us, this disgusting piece of your writing made us more nauseous than any of your (or Madhu Kishwar's) love-verses to Modi. Your article is nothing but an extension of the thought process that anything Muslim is backward and regressive. Since you have assigned to yourself the task of bearing the moral burden of the community, would you care to explain what a 'Muslim cap' is?
We agree with you when you say political leaders make promises that go empty post elections. And that there are Muslims who have achieved much without any ''cap-wearing politician'' helping them. But who is this leader that you are suggesting; one who would understand ''the desire'' of the Muslim youth ''to come up in life'' and ''inspire us to do better''? Is it by any chance the mass murderer, Narendra Modi?
You know what hurts? That people pretend to care for you when they don't. When in fact they use you to grind their own axe. How cleverly you turn everything that the Muslim youth face today - "being frisked with greater attentiveness, denied renting an apartment" - into a product of the community's inherent backwardness, as if it bears no relation to the increasing communalization of our polity and society.
What makes you think that the 'cap' wallahs exercise a great deal of influence within the community? Interestingly, one particular party has been lately seeking a lot of photo-ops with precisely these kinds of community leaders. Make no mistake Mr. Writer. They don't.
"Because of you", you write castigating an imagined Muslim leadership, "people feel we vote in a herd." Now, isn't that really clever, Mr. Bhagat. People feel we vote in a herd because certain parties never tire of screaming hoarse about 'minority appeasement' and 'vote banks', even though, any psephologist or political scientist, or even an ordinary Muslim youth at Chai dukaan will tell you that Muslims vote just like any other community does: according to a mix of factors: local, national but above all, keeping in mind who will preserve their interests best. And their interests do tend to include the safety of life and livelihood.
We are sorry, Mr. Bhagat, but the ''democratic republic'' you talk of is not so democratic. If it were so, Afzal Guru wouldn't have been executed to ''satisfy the collective conscience of the nation''. Muslim youth would not have fallen prey to minority witch-hunting, and their killers not decorated with gallantry awards. Adivasis in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa would not have been ripped of their fundamental rights to live with dignity. Dalit poets would not have been falsely charged under sedition laws.
Loving one's nation is well and good, but being blinded by patriotism is not. Why do Indian Muslims always have to prove their allegiance to India? Why can't they also be critical of their country?
The party whose path you are treading has had Indian Muslims pass through too many Sita-like ordeals of fire, Agni Pariksha. You may have the privilege to turn a blind eye to the post-Babri Masjid Demolition violence, the Gujarat pogrom, but many others don't. How then do you think a leader who doesn't even have the integrity to apologize for his complicity in the Gujarat pogrom represent Muslim youth's aspirations for ''scientific way of thinking, entrepreneurship, empowerment, progress'' and above all, ''personal freedoms''? And just by the way, have you heard of the word, 'Justice'?
1. Rafiul Alom Rahman, Student, Delhi University, Delhi; 2. Mahtab Alam, Civil Rights Activist and Journalist, Delhi; 3. Javid Parsa, Student, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad; 4. Zulaikha Jabeen, Researcher and Activist, Raipur, Chhattisgarh; 5. Shahnawaz Malik, Journalist, Delhi; 6. Abdullah A Rahman, Student, TISS Tuljapur; 7. Abu Zafar, Journalist, Delhi; 8. Sadika Saiyed, Law Student, Surat; 9. Omar Rashid, Journalist, Allahabad; 10. Imran Ali, Filmmaker, Delhi; 11. Rashid Hussain, Software Engineer, Jaipur; 12. Mahtab Azad, Development Consultant, Araria (Bihar); 13. Ali Amir, Student, TISS Mumbai; 14. Gauhar Iqbal, Entrepreneur, Delhi; 15. Bilal Kagzi, Advocate, Surat; 16. Imran Khan, Journalist, Bangalore; 17. Nesar Ahmad, Researcher, Jaipur; 18. Aasiya Aslam, Architect, Chennai; 19. Saif Khan, Student, IIT Kharagpur; 20. Ejaz Ahmad, Student IIT Delhi; 21. Mohd Tanveer Iqbal, Civil Rights Activist, Chennai; 22. Mohammad Noor Alam, Medical Student, Bagalkot; 23. Khan Rashid Ayyub, Legal Translator, Azamgarh; 24. Tariq Shabibi, Software Engineer, Hyderabad; 25. Naim Siddiqui, Marketing Professional, Gurgaon; 26. Shahid Parwez Saiyyad, Entrepreneur, Mumbai; 27. Yuman Hussain, Social Activist, Kishanganj (Bihar); 28. Mansoor Ali, Network Administrator, Vellor, Tamilnadu; 29. Mohammad Altamash, Operation Manager, Gurgaon; 30. Naveed Hasan, Software Engineer, Bangalore; 31. Syed Hassan Kazim, Journalist, New Delhi; 32. Shehla Rashid, Policy Analyst, J & K; 33. Abul Kalam Azad, Student, TISS Guwahati; 34. Tasneem Khan, Assistant Professor, Galgotias University, Noida; 35. Najmul Huda, Research Scholar, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi; 36. Dayam Anwar, Accountant, New Delhi; 37. Shahrukh Hameed, Asst Bank Manager, Lucknow; 38. Mohammad Rafiq Mulla, Web Developer, New Delhi; 39. Ershad Ahmad, Development Consultant, New Delhi; 40. Shoaib Mohammad, Student, Bangalore University; 41. Faraz Ahmad, Business Executive, Mumbai; 42. Sikandar Azam, Journalist, Delhi; 43. Tarique Shafeeq, Activist, Azamgarh; 44. Rabab Iman, Social Worker, Delhi; 45. Najid Hussain, Scientist, Indian based in USA; 46. Sana Maryam, Writer, New Delhi; 47. Sadiq Naqvi, Journalist, New Delhi; 48. Md. Zaurez Danish, Mechanical Engineer, Manipal; 49. Ovais Sultan Khan, Social Worker, Delhi; 50. Saleha Tahseen, Corporate Trainer, Bangalore; 51. Syed Zameer Hasan, Software Engineer, Mumbai; 52. Mohd. Jalauddin, Executive with Coal India, Maharashtra; 53. Malik Abid Rasool, Student, Amar Singh College, Sri Nagar; 54. Mohd. Imran, Real Estate Appraiser, Indian based in New Jersey; 55. Sahil Rafiq, Student, Kashmir University; 56. Younis Altaf, Student, Hyderabad; 57. Javed Iqbal, Corporate Employee, Hyderabad; 58. Zoha Khan, Student, Dehradun; 59. Irfan Hashmee, Student, Hyderabad; 60. Md. Ali, Journalist, Delhi; 61. Saira Manzoor, Homemaker, Kolkata; 62. Shafaque alam, Journalist, Delhi; 63. Afreen Khan, Student, Dehradun; 64. Afroz Alam, Journalist, Delhi; 65. Mazin Khan, Publisher, New Delhi; 66. Mohd. Reyaz, Journalist, Delhi; 67. S M Fasihullah, Freelance Journalist, Hyderabad; 68. Zoha Abdul, Student, DU; 69. Tarique Anwar, Journalist, Delhi; 70. Mohammad Muneeb, Private Employee, Kohir, AP; 71. Areeb Rizvi, Student, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi; 72. Ufaq Paiker, Research Scholar, JNU; 73. Sania Mariam, Student, Kolkata; 74. Ayesha Farooq, Student, DU; 75. Falak Khan, Student, Bangalore; 76. Sarah Jameel, Student, Doon University, Uttarakhand; 77. Talha Hussain, Software Engineer, Gulbarga Karnataka; 78. Maheboob Shahana, Student, Jamia Millia Islamia Delhi; 79. Abdul Haadi, MA Sociology, Kottayam Kerala; 80. Waseem Ahmed, Circulation Executive, Hapur (U.P); 81. Atiya Firdaus, Student Activist, Kota Rajasthan; 82. Abdul Raheem, Procurement Manager, Bangalore Karnataka; 83. Imran Ahmed, Real-Estate Developer, Kota Rajasthan; 84. Inam ur Rehman, student, Delhi University, Delhi; 85. Md Khalid, Ph.D Scholar Jamia Milliya Islamia, Delhi; 86. Ubaidurrehman, Ph.D Student, JNU Delhi; 87. Shuaib PV, Student activist, Kerala; 88. Ts Amanullah, Engineering Student Chennai Tamil Nadu; 89. Riaz Ahmed, Law Student Chennai Tamil Nadu; 90. Aminulislam, Political Activist Murshidabad West Bengal; 91. Danish Raza, Journalist, Delhi; 92. Sharib Zeya, Research Fellow, Delhi School of Economics: 93. Nizamuddin Ajmeri, Social Worker, Bundi Rajasthan: 94. Jeelani Basha, Software Engineer Poona: 95. Kosar Jahan, Student Activist, Kota Rajasthan: 96. Lukhmanul Hakeem, Student Activist, Edappal Kerala: 97. Abdul Raheem Mulla, Corporator GCC, Gulbarga Karnataka; 98. P. Abdulnazar, Student activist, Vengara Kerala; 99. P Niyaz, Photo Journalist, Chennai Tamil Nadu; 100. Naveed Parsa, Engineering Student, Chandigarh; 101. Haseena Khatoon, Teacher Chennai Tamil Nadu; 102. Anjumand Ara, Teacher, Delhi University; 103. Ziyaullah, Political Activist Chennai Tamil Nadu; 104. Umer Farooq, Engineer, Punjab; 105. Saquib Ahmed, Advocate, Ahmadabad; 106. Mohammad Syeduddin, Student, Patna; 107. Parvez Bari, Journalist, Bhopal; 108. Shayed Sayeed, Software Engineer, Ahmadabad; 109. Zafar Mohammed, Business Executive, Mumbai; 110. Mohammad Saif, Journalist, Cuttack, Orissa; 111. Tauseef Ahmad, Technocrat, Delhi; 112. Mohd. Zakaria Siddiqui, Researcher, Indian currently in Australia: 113. Haseeb Mustafa Alvi, Engineer, Delhi: 114. Mohd Aarif Khan, Systems Engineer, Mumbai; 115. Fazal Ahmad, Advocate, New Delhi; 116. Qazi Sadaff Rehan, Student, Bhadrak, Orissa; 117. Aarif Khan, Assistant Professor, Indian currently in Riyadh; 118. Faisal Iqbal, Electronics Engineer, New Delhi; 119. Pervez Chaudhary, Student, AMU, Aligarh; 120. Fehmeena Ahmad, Activist, Delhi; 121. Mohd. Yousuf, Student, Chennai; 122. Mohd Abdul Rasheed, IT Manager, Hyderabad; 123. Moosa Azmi, Activist, Varanasi; 124. Saman Roohi, Phd Candidate, Indian currently at Amsterdam; 125. Dr. Uzma, Medical Practitioner, Mysore; 126. Dr. Zaheer Ahmed, Neurologist, Chennai; 127. Adnan Farooqui, Academic, Delhi; 128. Farhatullah Khan, Research Scholar, University of Madras; 129. Munawwar Kavungal, Trichur, Kerala; 130. Muneebuudin, Advocate, Hyderabad; 131. Samiullah Khan, Quality Control Manager, Bangalore; 132. Mohd Saif, IT Engineer, Kareem Nagar, AP; 133. K T Hafis, Student, Jamia Millia Islamia; 134. Fawaz Shaeen, Law Student, AMU, Aligarh; 135. Shihab Khan, Civil Engineer, Bhopal; 136. Abdul Raheem Kaiser, Student, BITS Hyderabad; 137. Salima Aarif, Blogger, New Delhi; 138. Abdullah, Teacher, West Bengal; 139. Azhar Khan, Advocate, Jalgaon, Maharashtra; 140. Syed Salman Ali, Law Student, AMU; 141. Waseem Siddiqi, Entrepreneur, Delhi; 142. Parvin Sultana, Research Scholar, JNU; 143. Kashif Ilyas, Student, Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh; 144. Riad Azam, Student, Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh; 145. Imran Kichloo, Student, Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh; 146. Ameen Ahmed, Student, Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh; 147. Roshan U. Alam, Civil Services aspirant, Delhi; 148. Shaheen Ahmed, Performance Artist, Delhi; 149. Mohd Arif Dagia, LIC Agent, Raipu, CG; 150. S M Zaki Ahmad, Development Professional, Delhi; 151. Ahmar Afaq, Law Student, Saharanpur, UP; 152. Muhammed Imtiyaz Ahmed, IT Consultant, Delhi; 153. Memon Junaid, Dentist, Ahmedabad; 154. Omair Anas, Researcher, JNU; 155. Mukkaram Niyaz, Web Developer, Hyderabad; 156. Imran Khan, Journalist, Noida; 157. Zaheer Hussain, Journalist, Bangalore; 158. S. Mohd Saim, Advocate, Rampur, UP; 159. Md Iqbal, Engineer, Ranchi; 160. Mohd Sajjad Hussain,
Student, Delhi School of Economics; 161. Syed Humayoun Shabir, Research Scholar, AMU; 162. Fairoz Ahmed, Software Engineer, Bangalore; 163. Moinuddin Ahmad, Journalist, Delhi; 164. Yasir Iqbal, Engineering Student, AMU; 165. Faheem Ahmad, Planning Engineer, Vellore; 166. Abbas Hasan, Marketing Professional, Delhi; 167. Sadiq Umar, Young Scientist, Delhi; 168. Sarfaraz Nawaz, Consultant, Bangalore; 169. Shahnawaz Akhtar, Journalist, Delhi; 170. Rabia Khan, Marketing Consultant, Lucknow; 171. Rasshad Khan, Technology Entrepreneur, Noida; 172. Abdullah Azzam, Law Student, Faculty of Law, AMU; 173. Meher Jahan, Law Student, Faculty of Law, AMU; 174. Sarah Hashim, Law Student, Faculty of Law, AMU; 175. Anam Khan, Law Student, Faculty of Law, A M U; 176. Sheeba Aslam Fehmi, Writer-Activist, Delhi; 177. John Dayal, Member, National Integration Council, GoI; 178. Anuradha Bhasin, Journalist, Jammu; 179. Sukla Sen, Activist, Mumbai; 180. Brijesh Kalappa, Advocate, Delhi; 181. Archana VB, Software Professional; 182. Smita Charbarty, Phd Scholar, Kolkata; 183. Himanshu Kumar, Activist, Delhi; 184. Faisal Ahmed Khan, Assistant Professor, Kerala; 185. Brinda Bose, Teacher, Delhi University; 186. Neha Misra, Student, IMT Ghaziabad; 187. Shehba George, Activist, Ahmadabad; 188. Imran Khan, Educator, Aligarh; 189. Faisal Khan, Advocate, Meerut; 190. Clifton D' Rozario, Advocate, Banglore; 191. Masihuddin, Pharmacist, Betiah, Bihar; 192. Aftab Fazil, Educationist, Delhi; 193. Nandini Rao, Activist, Delhi; 194. Dr. Aurobindo Ghose, Advocate, Delhi; 195. Asgar Hussain, Bank PO, Delhi; 196. Dr. Aslam Rizvi, Medical Practitioner, Delhi; 197. Naaz Khair, development consultant, Delhi; 198. Garga Chatarjee, Columnist, Kolkata; 199. Menu Seshu, Activist, Shangli; 200. Nitya Vasudevan, Research Scholar, Bangalore; 201. Rukmini Sen, Journalist, Mumbai; 202. Vimochana, Women Rights Activist, Bangalore; 203. Shraddha Chickerur, Delhi; 204. Girish Pannikkar, Accounts Manager, Kerala; 205. Aruna Ganadason, Christian Feminist, Kerala; 206. Ms Jarjum Ete, activist, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh; 207. Navneet Shrivastava, Mumbai; 208. Dr. Shelly Dahiya, New Delhi; 209. Himadri Sekhar Mistri, Research Scholar, Delhi School of Economics; 210. Soma Marik, Visiting Professor, School of Women's Studies, Jadavpur University; 211. Sudipto Muhri, Assistant Professor, Pune University; 212. Kalyani Menon, Feminist, Gurgaon.
News Updated at : Wednesday, July 3, 2013