SECULAR HIJACK

I was sent to Rajkot in 1996 by the Indian Express to launch Saurashtra Newsline which indeed was a hit. I then often travelled back home to Ahmedabad and during one of my travels I saw something that made me acutely aware the PERVERTED Quota-Secular India we live in.

It was RAMZAN PERIOD and I had boarded the bus one evening and it was nearing Limdi (an hour from Rajkot) and a small girl with her mother was sitting behind the driver’s seat. She was getting vomiting sensation and was in misery struggling to regain her composure. The bus driver suddenly turned and started abusing the girl’s mother in Gujarati because she dared to vomit out of the window. Loosely translated he said “Control your idiotic girl”. The mother was distressed and terrified. MERCIFULLY the mother and daughter were going to Limdi and both got down with their ordeal ending within 10 minutes of the driver’s misbehavour.

The bus took off and after an hour or so dusk was falling around 6 pm when suddenly two heavily built Muslims with dark black beard in spotless white clothes (they were the only two Muslims in the bus) suddenly stood up and knocked sharply at the grill behind the driver asking him to stop the bus. The bus was passing through NO-MAN’S LAND and the driver SUDDENLY and quietly as if sensing danger stopped the bus without a murmur and the two got down and went to the field close by and began praying which lasted maybe some 5 minutes.

{{{{{{{{{{ NOTICE HOW BRUTAL THE BEHAVIOUR WAS OF THE DRIVER TOWARDS A POOR GIRL WHO HAD NO natural control over her spasms. While the same bus driver went down abjectly on all fours when the two Muslims menacingly ordered him to stop. Here the bus driver could have told them stopping the bus was out of question and against rules and if they wanted to pray they can do as much as they want once they reached their destination which was an hour or so away }}}}}}}}}

THE ANGER IN THE BUS SUDDENLY EXPLODED AND MANY WERE SEEN SHOUTING AT THE TWO MUSLIMS PRAYING AND the common thread WAS “WOULD ANYONE ALLOW HINDUS TO STOP THE BUS FOR PRAYING?”

The two Mohammadans were in no hurry once their prayers was complete which was again resented by many in the bus. They sauntered back and took their time seating themselves.

THE HINDUS WERE IN MAJORITY AND DESPITE THE SIMMERING ANGER and the injustice clearly evident in the two incidents cited above none was ready to resort to violence. It could have been easy for the Hindus to knock the two down without any questions asked. NOR DID ANYONE CAST SNIDE REMARKS AT THE TWO AFTER THEY ENTERED THE BUS AND THERE WAS QUIET AND DIGNITY.

The next day from my home I filed this story on how the Secularism had played out in the bus. IMMEDIATELY there was an explosive reaction from MY RESIDENT EDITOR WHO FLASHED THIS MESSAGE TO THE DESK “kill, kill, kill……repeat kill Bala’s story…..” {Later the chief sub of the regional desk who read the story and killed it told me the story was written without any bias against anyone but “what can I do?…..”}

QUOTAS AND SECULARISM ARE THE TWO CANCERS INDIA IS SEIZED WITH and which is eating its vitals. Sad part is there is no imminent cure.

WILL INDIA SURVIVE THE EMOTIONAL TRAGEDY OF TRYING TO STAY UNITED WITH THE CANCER RAVAGING ITS BLOODSTREAM IS THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION.

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