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Dear Rahul,   ( A Tryst with Congress? )

Felt like writing to you after your being hailed as the new messiah of Indian secularism.

Today you charm the youth and warm our hearts. This new avatar is refreshing, what with your carrying your own luggage, standing in an airport queue, watching Star Wars or wishing a grandma happy b’day.

Endearing.

In this damp trash of unhopefuls that fill our political mine fields, there emerges a sliver of hope. May be, just maybe, you are that one leader who gives us that rare cherished  feeling that he is one of us, from us.

Your and our relation, i.e. Muslims and Congress relation is now beyond complicated. The indifference that has set in is palpable. Funnily enough I find this relation of ours akin to those famous Hindi movies where the harried Pundit ji is shouting hoarse to bring the bride to the mandap and she is found reluctant.

But who is the bride here?

I guess, we both play the reluctant bride role to perfection, by now.

These Hindi movies and their drama.

I am not the only one, fed up.

Your party was never known to be true blue secular. But hopes are like family heirlooms we cling to, knowing well that they are no longer useful. The House (Sarkari) Muslims who have been bargaining/selling us out at the slightest hint from your perched hat are still in their seats. No idea how much they have made but the loss has been entirely yours. The old favorable Congressi topi has surely shrunk to give way to the proverbial high brow hat,that bars your view to our plight. Our lynched, whipped, pummeled, smashed, hammered, flogged,caned ,smashed, pounded and beaten blue bodies, could and should give us melting hearts and streaming eyes, but cold shoulders have become our destiny.

But dear Rahul, let me come to the point straight.

The sudden sprouting of media interest in you a few months ago was amusing but not surprising. You were smart with your quips; [Gabbar Singh Tax!]. Were some corporate house feathers ruffled for your positive visibility in the media? Pappu had finally passed? But there was nothing to be surprised; it seems everything runs according to a certain script, in our country, where people like us have no idea of what is happening and why. Anyway we are glad you have re- arrived, again, one more time.

So I was wanting to tell you about how happily we watched when Jyoti Singh (the Delhi brave heart)’s mother confessing, Rahul Gandhi was the guardian angel for her son and had helped him realize his dream of becoming a pilot.

Good boy, you.

 But why don’t you try to become at least a Santa Claus to us?

Are we not eligible for some cheap gifts even?

Yes, I am sulking but not sorry.

By any chance have you read about a Muslim boy, 15 years old, a hafiz ( one who has memorized the entire Quran)?

It was the first time for him to wear a jeans, hence he took a detour to avoid stares on the ‘fashun’ of a Madrasa educated lad and the new eid clothes he had gone to shop for remained unworn. I am being elaborate to tell you that he was a normal teenager, so what a Muslim? This young man was cut to pieces ,maimed and pulped on a railway platform near his home town. There were no witnesses only 400 hundred plus eye balls who watched the new sport of new India, mutely.

This hafiz was Junaid. Just 15 years old.

I was thinking by any chance,  would you like to become the guardian angel for Junaid’s brothers, just like that pilot brother of Jyoti Singh?

No?

Yes?

While you are at this we have stopped counting petals of, Congress hates me, it loves me not, kinda thing. What is the use?

But useful is Hartosh Singh Bal’s evaluation of your tweets in a New York Times article;

‘Mr. Gandhi regularly posts on Twitter his critiques of Mr. Modi’s economic policies, but he has referred to India’s Muslims (or the threats they face) just once in over 3,000 tweets spread over two years’, (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/15/opinion/rahul-gandhi.html)

Et, tu, Rahul?

Tut,tut,

It must be said, you have come into the picture recently? (Really?). You are still re re learning the ropes, but if you keep making the mistake of listening to the skullduggery of the old guard of Congress, then I tell you, nay ,I warn you, you will have to keep booking the tickets to Star Wars.  Oblivion will be the next movie, you will need to watch.

The refreshing energy exuded from your quarters can prove to be a good starting point in your favour. You can turn this into your core strength. At the youngish age of 47 you can look charismatic (if only you try to not look dumb by staring into the air). Face it, Rahul! This is your moment. It has the potential of getting transformed into ‘our moment’. A moment for us all ,we the Indians.

Yes, we the Indians! Why surprised?

I confess it has turned into a lesson almost forgotten and looks absurd on pronouncing in these times. Whether it’s Jyoti Singh’s brother or Juanid’s ,you can become a guardian angel for both. Make it all inclusive,Rahul.

In a reply PM’s Munn ki baat, you listed three things he should be doing and doing it fast,

Dear @narendramodi, since you’ve requested some ideas for your #MannKiBaat monologue, tell us about how you plan to: 1. Get our youth JOBS 2. Get the Chinese out of DHOKA-LAM 3. Stop the RAPES in Haryana.

You failed to mention Junaid, Afrazul, Pehlu ,Akhlaque? And these Cow-Murders are going on since last two years?  You can’t keep mum on our lynching while trying to appear more acceptable with the modern day shenanigans of a popular Trudeau, while still pandering to the right wingers with your temple visits, Janeu dhari Brahmin thing and your complete silence on murders of the minority who only want to pray, eat (beef) and (spread) love. You have to condemn every murder of the innocent; because a murder is a murder is a murder!

Ain’t it Rahul?

Your right wing leanings are dangerous for you ,your party and the nation. Your father tried to play this card too, but time tells us, failed miserably at that.

Dear Rahul, it’s our earnest plea to be and stay inclusive.

We hope so. And hopes are hard to die. They are stubborn. They don’t easily go away. We are not allowing our hopes to die because when the hopes die we die too.

In the advent of the new mavericks Kanhiayya Kumar, Jignesh Mevani and company who play the politics of all inclusiveness; it becomes imperative that you turn bold and talk about our original and natural tradition of harmony in differences. You need to be that face, for us. We, the Indians. You have the advantage of the grand old party, a whole solid support system  behind you, which these two don’t .

If you lose this opportunity, then there might not be another.

 

Listening to your instincts, might bring you rich dividend of votes from all Indians, I would love to believe.

Our people, I tell you ,are tired of riot lynching and rape recipe.

Dear Rahul, do not play Hamlet for long, To be or Not to be.  You have to decide whether you really want to be that iconic figure for our troubled nation, where words like ‘killed for what he ate’ have lost their shock value, which should normally come attached with it. You can make all of us go back to, we the Indians.

If you come to us, we will run to you, Rahul.

The liberals become perturbed the moment we criticize Congress. Words like comparatively, secular, lesser evil, if you try seeing things in the current scenario are poured into our fatigues ears. What they are saying is please put up with the soft Hindutva of Congress, because it doesn’t pierce holes in our liberal conscience like BJP does, with its blatant anti-Muslim propaganda. What is more we are asked, what do you want folks? Mandir or masjid?

We  want a school , a hospital  Rahul. We want safety of our people where we are not killed or harassed for our choices within the legal purview of our constitution. We don’t want to be lynched for  having the food of our choice.

Despite the dirty and long record of hypocrisies of the Congress , most of us might be ready to give the new You , a new chance.

Once more, Rahul.

It’s up to you now to live this moment, to make it yours and ours as well and make history in the process.

Souls are not for selling, Rahul, we have just been reminded by a bunch of four upright men.

Don’t sell yours, we hope.

You can bring the change, you can be that change. So, Rahul, let’s hold hands together for both Junaid and Jyoti.

Dr. Asma Anjum Khan from Maharashtra teaches English, a motivational speaker, has written for  prestigious national and international publications and websites on social, ethical, and gender related issues. FEEL (Foundation for English and Ethical Learning) is her NGO that wants to bring change by equipping people with the language of English. Twitter: @AsmaAnjumKhan

 

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