Celebrating Independence Day never felt more uncomfortable

August 15 is a black day in Kashmir. Since the day I started to understand things around me, all I’ve seen is a total communication blockade. Our phones stop working from midnight all the way into the evening. Personally, I’ve never ever embraced the idea of the “independence” of India in my life. But ifContinue reading “Celebrating Independence Day never felt more uncomfortable”

I’m an atheist but I’ve never felt more Muslim than in Modi’s India

Trigger warning: This story contains instances of Islamophobia, police brutality, and state-sponsored violence that readers may find disturbing. “We would’ve never let you go there,” said one of my best friends, the most fearless of them all, who was now, however, forced to feel fiercely protective of me. She was trying to pull me outContinue reading “I’m an atheist but I’ve never felt more Muslim than in Modi’s India”

A migrant laborer’s arduous journey back home

Content Warning: Some details may be disturbing to readers. The government of India, when it announced the Janta curfew on March 21, 2020, forgot to relay any information about how the most vulnerable sections of the country would be protected during the course of the pandemic. While a Rs. 20 lakh crore package was announcedContinue reading “A migrant laborer’s arduous journey back home”

Gulab Pasha: When Muslims perform Seva in the time of COVID

“My life is dedicated to the service of India through the religion of nonviolence which I believe to be the root of Indianism. My mission is to convert every Indian, even a fascist, and finally the world to nonviolence. It is the only way to regulate mutual relations, whether political, economic, social or religious,” Gulab told us, adding how India was built on the principles of Ahimsa. “To me it means that you may not offend anybody; you may not harbor uncharitable thought, even when it comes to those who consider you their enemy. Even when the police detained me under the unlawfully-imposed Section 144 in Bangalore in December 2019 during the anti-CAA protests, I was Gandhi.”

The Indian classroom: A microcosm of sanghi country

On February 20, 2020, 19-year-old Amulya Leona Noronha was booked for sedition under four Sections of the Indian Penal Code. In the midst of a media frenzy manipulated by local officials of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), it had been alleged that her praise for longtime enemy and neighbor Pakistan was “anti-national.” I had metContinue reading “The Indian classroom: A microcosm of sanghi country”