Being a “Bombayite” (Sorry, just never got around to calling it Mumbai ~ having spent 40 years calling it Bombay ) ~ We have been subjected to this kind of unspoken but direct discrimination for decades and yet, it infuriates me that people now have the audacity to say it out openly !!
We tend to throw every tiny and huge issue at our political system and probably to a certain extent, it is the divide that they (political parties ) cause between us during the election drama, that has left this stigma in society. But I don’t believe that ONLY areas like Bhindi bazaar, Mohammed Ali road, Mumra, Mira Road, Bhivandi etc are where the concentration of Muslims, deserve to reside. Perhaps a jolt down memory lane is that in the late 50s, a large part of the polished Film fraternity were Muslims and had made the plush but then-quiet area of Bandra, including Pali hill, Carter road and Bandstand, their home. They still inhabit these now-sadly-over populated areas in co-existence with the rest of the world.
Scores of authentic hadiths have been told about a Muslims behavior towards his neighbor. I’ll share just one here :-
The Prophet (pbuh) explains the rights and obligations toward a neighbor in the following hadith of Tabarani.
The rights of the neighbour is that, when he is sick you visit him; when he dies, you go to his funeral; when he is poor you lend him (money); when he is in need you protect him; when he is in happiness you congratulate him; when he is struck with a calamity, you condole him; don’t raise your building above his to cut off the wind from him; don’t harm him with the good smell of your food unless you let him have part of it. [Tabarani]
That is the perfect neighbor ! And if Muslims practice this hadith ~ then they too are the perfect neighbors !
It baffles me, why while a Muslim boy from a chawl – celebrates every Hindu, Christian and Sikh festivals, what could prompt people to refrain from keeping Muslim neighbors ??
When we educate a community ~ it grows ~ it develops ~ becoz we have empowered it with education and rational thinking.
When we add hurdles, lest a community not taste the fruit of education ~ we are shunning an entire generation from seeing the light of the day. We are depriving it from moving, from change, from improvement, from betterment, from growth.
If Convents are going to target Muslim parents for enormous donations, how do you think, these children are going to make a difference, if not to the whole of humanity, at least to his own capabilities ~ to his own family ? Are the parents not being penalized for being Muslims ?
If 60% of jobs are safely reserved for the privileged (non-muslim) class, how do you expect the Muslim student to score a reasonably good job ?? Would we rather he turn back and run a kebab store or even better, flee to the middle eastern states ~ while depriving his own country of his abundant talent and economy ??
Why are we so judgmental ? What makes us above the next person we are seated beside ? What he wears ? What he eats ? What he believes ? Where he prays Or how he behaves with us ??? Lets just say, I expect a complicated answer with twists and turns from the learned ~~ but from the righteous ~ He has already embraced his neighbor regardless his religion.
Our forefathers fought and won our freedom decades ago but its a pity, that they could not free our enslaved minds of our preconceived notions ~ “about ourselves” !!
Grow up and grow out of your self contained and self contaminated shells. Live and let live.