The Indian Social set up appears to be screwed up left, right and center. I mean, we all know this isn't it?!?!? No - we don't know it enough. We never know enough. Yesterday, i had a bitter reminder of this fact when i got to know someone knew.
This is a female who had got in touch with me almost two months ago - might be more. She was planning to appear for the GMAT and wanted to clarify some doubts. She saw my posts in PG and courtesy my good score, i was chosen :) I received a message from her stating all this and also things abt her u get to know in a intro session. Now my profile in this forum just says "iday" and so she asks "what's ur name?" I reply with mine and she's gone. Whoosh...
Now, she was a Gujarati and it did occur to me that something might be wrong here. But i dint want to take any wrong meanings out of it and left it as such. But yeah, the girl was really GONE :) She dint ask me any questions abt GMAT and it proved it. Then, to my surprise, she re-appeared yesterday. Same old GMAT clarification. We shared our yahoo ids and were chatting.
I decided that i better ignore the whole thing coz i dint want to create any awkward moments. So we talked a lot about GMAT. Once this was all over, she dropped this question "You are a Muslim right???" Now i cudnt stop myself anymore.
Me: Yes i am! Isn't it obvious from my name? But - Why did u ask?
She: Nothing - aise hi.
Me: Coming from a gujju, this question has a lot of meanings. So it wud be better if u can explain.
She: No, i am generally afraid of Muslims.
Believe, me! I was kind of prepared, but not for something like this. I don't blame the girl. Anyone who had been there during the riots would have developed strong sentiments about either sides. As someone who has read a lot about this, i knew i was gonna face this sometime. I had a gujju guy in my dance team which performed recently. But he dint seem to have any of these apprehensions. He has moved back to Ahmedabad and we are still good friends. But this one was so awkward.
This girl had been so affected by all that happened that she had kept herself off from Muslim folks till now. She apparently dint attend lectures handled by a Muslim prof :) I then asked "Okie - but what made you get in touch with me again?" She replied "I changed. My managers in my company are Muslim and they are good people". It was really heartening to see that she actually thought she should get back in touch with me and let me know :) She could have really not bothered at all and there are so many others who can perhaps give her better GMAT tips than me :)
But what she did is representative of all of us, the common ppl. We common public are generally nice. We normally wudnt do those kind of things that happened during those riots or any other riots. I am not gonna get into stuff like which community is wrong and which is right. There are lot of theories doing the rounds and it is really not my business. My general theory abt this has always been the same and this is exactly what i told her yesterday "There are ppl with screwed up minds in all communities. Infact, they are beyond the community tag. I don't think they even qualify to be called humans. So as common ppl, it is better that we look and value ppl for what they are and not based on any other discriminating characteristics - including age, gender, caste, community or social status."
There was a huge grin on my face when i was telling this to her. I was thinking "what if i had tried to explain this to her when she was, err, still afraid of Muslims???" I'm sure she wudnt have bought it. I'm glad she realized. I'd be glad if the others do realize as well. I'll be really glad/thankful if the politicians dont play with sentiments and allow the ppl to realize.