There are certain things I stay away from- in real and in the virtual world. But before that…. a few things:
– There are certain days I am happy to have learned certain skills from my parents like my mother’s organizational skills, my father’s interest in reading and his geekiness. On most days though, am glad I grew up in a boarding and have not been influenced by their prejudices like
- Anti Muslim sentiments. It is no secret Gujjus and non Gujjus staying in Gujarat are anti Muslim. I have come across so many of them. My parents may have Muslim friends but they don’t encourage friendship with Muslims. There were days before my marriage I was grateful I fell in love with a non Muslim because the road to being together would have been so much more difficult. All the horror stories of honour killing would never be far from my mind. I am not saying my parents are capable of killing or anything. But who knows, right? We never know about our dark sides till our limits are tested.
- The maid in the house had a separate glass and tea cup for her water and tea. I never thought much about this while growing up but now am horrified. Even now if a new maid asks me which glass she should use for drinking water, it makes me cringe. The discrimination against the so-called “lower” caste still exists? That is sad.
- There was a young child who was the maid’s cousin or something who came to help out with dusting. Child labour. Again, not horrifying then but it is now. Despite it being very common in Gurgaon, I ensure a maid is much older than 18 years before I employ her.
- If it wasn’t for my boarding education, I would be an anti Muslim, caste discriminating, child labour supporting person.
The reason am saying all this is… that certain things are not acceptable anymore. Times have changed. You should either change your prejudices but then again, if that was possible, then they wouldn’t be called prejudices. At the very least, be very careful who you air your views to.
Certain rules I have started following on social media and in real life:
– I have realized it is futile to debate with people who have already made up their minds. There may or may not be strong logic for why people think what they do and so it is a waste of time to try and change their minds. I find it very amusing when people waste time arguing. I have done it in the past and realized it is useless. Social media teaches you to exist with people of varying views and opinions but there are rules for that.
– There are very few people in my life I listen to and call for advice. They are the only ones who can make me change my mind. Everyone else is wasting their time. And I don’t need social media to keep in touch with them. Need WhatsApp though.
– I never follow a discussion to its closure because most of the time I am just trying to provoke people or am provoked. I say what I have to say and never go back and check the other person’s reply. It is irrelevant. I had time… and views… and I mentioned them. Topic over.
– I don’t think twice about using the “block” button for religious extremists. I find discussions about religion tacky and uncouth. I have friends from all religions, I had a Christian upbringing with Hindu extremist parents trying to influence me. I prefer to look at people as human beings first. And I prefer to classify them as “losers”, “pretentious”, “liar”, “asshole”, “useless”, “untalented”, “ass-licker” etc etc rather than on the basis of caste, creed, colour, religion. I prefer to discriminate basis how boring someone is.
– On twitter I have stopped indulging trolls. Like, I wrote a decent review for Bombay Velvet and Anurag Kashyap retweeted it. With popularity came the trolls who accused me of sleeping with Anurag for the review. I am not sure how that is supposed to make any sense. And then soooooo many people got offended because I called “Raveena Tandon” ugly. Umm… really? Instead of replying to anyone or losing my mind… I just blocked each and every person out.
– I decide who I want to speak to and what I want to talk about. I won’t let people involve me in discussions I don’t want to get into…. whether in real life or the virtual world.
The reason am pissed is because someone heckled me on instagram. I blocked this person on fb… only to realize she can still message on messenger… then blocked her on fb messenger and now had to do the same on instagram. I wanted to put this conversation here when it happened a year back but KC asked me not to. But now am going to…. because people should be careful what they type… specially on social media. If you are a religious extremist, stay away from people like me. You maybe educated, we may know each other since we were kids, you may come from a family I really like and admire…. but none of that matters if this is how you think. You are the lowest of lowest scum in my book.
*After my Kashmir visit I posted an article on the atrocities of the army on the Kashmiris. I won’t get into the details. The topic is not up for debate. This conversation followed*
Her : I’m sorry I just find a way to bring this topic up but i was reading your blog and you mention that indian army has failed the kashmiris….
Me : It has…they have killed innocents… Raped women and not been punished
Her: I’m sure you do know about kashmiri pandits slaughter in kashmir… almost all of them were wiped out and no media covered them… congress has suppressed it… and even today teenage and younger boys are paid by paki militants to pelt stones at the army … I’m not denying army might have failed them… but this is what happens when a certain community are in majority or power… what happened in gujarat was a result of decades if not years of atrocities and terrorism… and before 2012 there was curfew every now and then i’m sure u do know… since 2012 no riots…. i’m sorry 2002 i meant
*Never thought someone could justify the Gujarat riots*
Me : Sorry, was asleep. Kashmir is not about religion, it is politics… Also, some reports state that the government wanted pandits to leave the state so they could deal with the militants harshly
If I was in Kashmir and saw the atrocities committed , I wouldn’t think twice about joining militants/freedom fighters
Her: okay I haven;t really interacted with anyone except kashmiri pandit from that region, so dont know their side of the story…. but I find your stand strange considering it’s exactly the opposite in Gujarat where the public took law in their own hands and mass murdered muslims…. this is what I find odd with so many people who claim to be secular but actually hold pro-minority thoughts…
Me: I am not pro minority. I am pro humanity. The govt’s treatment towards Kashmiris is inhuman. I am against that. Gujarat was just 1 riot… Not a big deal. Kashmir issue is a way of life. Read up a little online and you will get a better understanding
Her: the truth is a certain religious minority cannot live anywhere in the world peacefully hence the issues…. ofcourse i blame congress govt here for the way they have dealt with it… but i cant accept that within india, in kashmir and other states in india, pakistan is cheered for instead of india… we are divided in our votes as we claim to be secular… but the muslims all go “hum log” and “hamare log” and this i’m talking about educated people like us… software engineers settled in USA…
Me: So what if Pak is cheered? They are people too. In fact, sindh is in Pak… That’s where our ancestors came from
Her: yes exactly but now we are in india we are indian citizens
Me: I do not believe in division basis religion. I don’t divide people into hindus/muslims/christians Etc
Her: yes, i was like that too not very long ago like a year ago
Me: But … I don’t believe in divisions at all… Basis caste, color, religion, nationality. We are all people.
Her: that is so sweet but it doesn’t work like that, i have spent whole nights reading starting independence and till now, argued with friends and acquaintances, from both majority and minority
*As soon as you demarcate people into majority and minority you are an extremist*
Me : That’s ok. My parents are completely opposite… They have seen worse. But I am not them…
And my world is different
Her : yes i know that as well
Me: Its a different world now
Her : if u remember u stayed at ours during riots … that is when u told me…. my parents were also like ur parents and i was always different. well if you would then i would want to share articles with you
Me: Sure. I don’t mind reading all views and opinions
The thing is… I have stayed in hostels… Where I had to mingle with all kinds of people. And it didn’t matter where we came from. It mattered only when we left boarding
Her: what you are saying is very good and idealistic but it’s also dangerous
Me : Dangerous? How?
Her : i would not mind my kids marrying muslims, it is not about that, muslims are reproducing like rats, and soon will become a majoriy. talk heart to heart with a muslim hardliner and you will know what their theory is
*Read that again, if you will*
Me : That’s offensive
Her: yes i know but it is true. i am sorry for using those words but it is true
Me: You think Hindu hardlines are any better?
Her: their dream is to take over the world and see that no other religion exists
Me: I mean… People are good or bad not Hindus and muslims
Her: they are very few and the avg hindu population doesn’t care. we are either atheist or secular or psuedo secular and we are numb to the atrocities of our own kind as we are educated and do not buy such vote bank arguments and believe them to be just politically motivated but not muslims if you have a chance speak to a muslim at length
*Lol @ someone with such views calling herself “secular”*
Me: I don’t agree at all.
Her : my parents are not so, they would have allowed me to marry a muslim as well, you look at Mumbai, look at a’bad pre 2002, look at UP, kishtwar, muslims cannot live peacefully with any other religion, check out any part of the world, if they are the ony religion, they cannot live peacefully with other section of muslims. their religion is based on the fundamental thought that no god other than allah and all other people are kaafir and should be wiped out… probably that is not what the prophet might have said but that is what the theory has become now
Me: Hindus cannot live peacefully either…. There are castes and there are sub castes and then sub sub castes
Her: yes you are right but they dont kill each other. by nature in the history of india, hindus have been the least aggressive and violent
Me: I have stayed in Muslims house for 4 days in Kashmir. They were the nicest, most hospitable people. And that’s the impression I will keep about muslims
Her: while u start from ancient history and you will know that muslims have always slaughtered people of other communities. i have muslim friends too who used to invite me for id in school. i wasn’t allowed to go but they were lovely people. i am not talking about one or two muslims but as a community. i’m not saying they are evil but the mass mentality is evil
Me : I don’t agree. History is bloody… For Muslims, Hindus, nazis, blacks… Everyone
Her : i know i cant convince you because i dont have enough facts right now to present but i will share what i find and i want you to read it up
Me: Lets leave it at that. We will keep arguing… No wonder u r a Modi fan and I am praying he does not become the PM
Her: i was a modi hater till april 2013 a year ago. i had fights with close friends and did not speak to them for months when i heard the same words i speak today. i was so shocked that educated people think this way. and support 2002 riots and the person who allowed it
Me: Obviously, there was support. That’s why they happened
Her: i am not denying that but i am saying inspite of that i will support him
*Ignore the typos in the chat. I don’t want to correct them*
When this person started a similar discussion on facebook on another article I posted, I decided to weed her out of my life.
Also, random strangers… please don’t post nasty comments. I am a strong believer in keeping my timeline (fb, twitter) and blog comments section clean and nice. I don’t believe in feeding trolls.