Teesta Setalvad

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I just finished reading the recent book written by her and it has shaken me up. Whatever she has said is not new information, I have read, seen and watched enough to be able to imagine the details of the 2002 Gujarat riots and its aftermath.

What shook me up was this:IMG_20170128_232401_948

According to Teesta, the grounds for what happened in 2002 was set years in advance in Gujarat and the same is happening in India right now.

The fact that Gujarat and its residents are anti Muslims/minorities is not a secret but a fact. I hail from that state and have heard anti Muslims rhetoric over the years. Sure, my father is in a partnership with a Muslim man and this person comes home for chai and a chat with my mom. That means nothing.

There are 3 incidents which I provide as evidence:

  • When I was a kid and asked my mom why she didn’t trust Muslims, she would tell me about the riots and how Muslims killed Hindus in her neighbourhood. I don’t remember which riots these were but nobody in my family was personally affected by them. My response was “Well, Hindus killed Muslims too”, her answer was very evasive. Please note that I was still in school and not a teenager yet when this conversation occurred. How would I have shaped up as an adult if my schooling hadn’t been in a Christian boarding school away from home?
  • In 5th std, I spent a year in a school in A’bad. Few days before exams I had lent my Hindi workbook to Zainab. She, conveniently, forgot to return it even one day before the exam. Now this is a common thing in Gujarat (maybe other states too) where there is a strong undercurrent of jealously, unhealthy competition and unhelpfulness in school and colleges. Everyone is very guarded about revealing how much they study and helping anyone else out. Thankfully, the boarding school I shifted to after this has/had the opposite environment. Anyway, I went home and told my mom what happened. Her anger exacerbated when she realised that the book had been loaned to a Muslim and what else was I expecting.
  • I have mentioned this earlier on the blog. You can search for the conversation with a family friend’s daughter who had horrible things to say about Muslims. Despite repeated warnings that I do not subscribe to such views and she is making me sick, she wouldn’t shut up. I had to block her on facebook, messenger, instagram and then put the conversation on the blog so she would leave me alone. Then she contacted my brother and asked him to tell me to delete the post. He, being the sensible types, told her he can’t ask me to do that since her name is not mentioned in the post and nobody reads the blog anyway. (Kidding about that part).

I am afraid of the future. Indians really need to stop worrying about Trump and focus on what is happening in the country and around us.

Sharing snippets from the book.



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