My Story : How This Encounter Changed The Way I Looked At The Word “Intolerant India”

As a part of my research and eagerness to find out the life of refugees in Hyderabad from Myanmar I went to one of the camps. I met many families constituting of their struggle and how they flee from their homeland for their lives. Some families lost their Sons, Daughters or the whole family itself. Some misplaced even their body parts. They had stories which gave me goose bumps and it affected me to the extent that their plight kept me haunting even after coming home.

Although I was extremely disturbed witnessing their plight in the camp but my anxiety to know more about them made me visit again. I met the refugee’s families yet again. They told me how difficult it is for them to afford medical facility, earn money and survive here in a new country. Most of them were contractual labourers who worked all day only to get 200 Rupees a per day or sometimes they have to starve because of no work.

3My conversation with them by regular meetings with them made me realise they had problems more than I was thinking. So I randomly asked them a question which put me in to shame and reflect on my own country and the feelings which are prevailing these days “Why did you choose India, Why not Pakistan or any other Muslim country?” To my question Wajid Abdullah one of the refugee became emotional and said with teary eyes “I was thrown out of my country undignified, I was not even allowed to pray, gather or fast during Ramadan but here in India I can pray all five times, talk about Islam freely and even gather among my brothers to remember God with respect. Every part of my body is thankful to India and its people”.

ThumbI was filled with guilt with the response he gave me. A chill ran through my spine and thought about the intolerance debate going in the country. I had no answers but self-realisation that I live in such a great country yet we are unthankful for the enormity it has showered on us.

That night I slept late because Abdullah’s word kept repeating in my mind. I felt guilty, the injustice which has happened in the past to minorities has made me lose hope . I have yelled out my voices against all the injustice happening to minority and underprivileged classes. I was deeply hurt what happened to Ikhlaque and there are many cases as such which goes unreported.

But behind all this chaos inside me, sometimes we tend to overlook the blessings this country have showered on us. Maybe the refugee which I was talking to had no Idea who Narendra Modi or what RSS is, but he was thankful enough to this country to just let him pray and practice his religion in peace.

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