I was supremely secular on 6th of December 1992. I was in the hostel. When the news came, I took my roommate and sat in the room of a Muslim classmate. I thought he might be feeling so alienated. We didn’t say anything. We sat silently.
Then came Ganesh Charurthi. Mess was closed. My Muslim friend and I were moving around and I told him, why he so hung up on rituals. So I went picked a fruit from the offering and we laughed off. Next Muharram I saw his back bloodied. I was shocked. Asked him why so ritualistic.
Suddenly it dawned that rational thinking extended only to Hinduism. I asked him how hurting himself helps a battle which happened centuries back. And then slowly as I read history after engineering, I understood how a way of life was being encroached upon.
I also realised how Hindus responded to it in places where Hindus were a majority was way different from the way Muslims reacted where the latter were a majority. Then I found how the destruction of temples is ok for them and one mosque isn’t ok with them, even unfrequented one.
The reading about Pagan Rome and about shrinking Hindu spaces was another thing. I felt when during Pakistan, a Muslim land was created, not having a Hindu space was deception against Hindu. And thus this deception of secularism started to wear off
And then I found Beef become a necessary thing. Beef had no religious significance for Muslims just as Babri didn’t. Both were a way to test Hindu patience, a way to rub the Hindu noses into mud. To show them their place. I started to realise the great game.
When I started to look closely, the rationalist nonsense which exclusively targeted Hindu thoughts. They started pretending if killing Cows was a necessary part of Islam, as if Babri structure had some historic significance for Islam connected to origin of faith.
Coming from engineering background, history bored, mythology bored even more. But then I felt, left to its own, without invading faiths, why did it all continue for so long. And that set me on path to reading and trying to interpret mythological writing and history.
Then I read more and more. I got annoyed by stupid attacks like Pollution on Diwali, water on Holi.. all the festivals which were to worship nature were turned into anti-environment acts. They came dressed in green. As they went after American Indians, killing cows first
I knew there were 1000s of temple turned to mosque during Islamic rule. No Muslim will ever speak about it, not even the liberals. Funny even after independence, it continued. Nepal went commie, we never bothered. Then I found Indian Muslims rallying behind Palestine and Rohingya
This annoyed me. This meant we need to close ranks and fight for what was dear. I am not for reversing the history. One cannot. I only about preserving it. We can’t convert all 1000 temples back. But we can at least talk of Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi. They are in the face.
Liberal Muslims can come forward and offer the two as a sign of goodwill. But they won’t and atheist Nehruites won’t let them even if they want to. There is no Islamic significance of Kashi And Mathura, except being a symbol of cruel rule of Turkish invaders. But not one inch.
They want to preserve memories which only are a knife in the heart of majority Hindus, but want Hindus to let go. Let go the sacred even after the land of our origins have already been let go in 1947. Point is, if you start running, earth isn’t enough. So I am what I am now
I realise that the most irresponsible teachers I have ever had were those of history. Chasing the dream of engineering, it didn’t matter. They didn’t feel the significance of what they taught. That made me lose the historical perspective of what was happening around me.
I read how the earth shrunk under the feet of world’s oldest faith. And then it made me more and more determined to do my bit. I read and I wrote. When I read about destruction of Palmyra in AD 385, I could think of destruction of #RamMandir. So I feel relieved today🙏🙏
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