Born Into Hate: Freeing Myself From the Shackles of Religion

Born in a brahminical order, why is it that an individual is taught to perceive Muslims as the ‘other’?

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Born in a brahminical order, why is it that an individual is taught to perceive Muslims as the ‘other’?
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Born Into Hate: Freeing Myself From the Shackles of Religion

I hurried out of a client's car

like a recoiled spring, when he said,

Yeh sale humare desh ke thali mein

khate hai aur isi mein ched karte hai.”

At least, It’s nice to know

plants and animals

are not born into a religion.

Or do they?

My roots are as pure as the moon,

the dark patch is Brahminism.

They reflect misguided light.

I never heard the Madhvas malign anyone.

Their question at any point of life has been

‘Hope you perform Sandhyavandanam,

or recite the Gayatri Mantra?'

When I was young as a free antenna

to absorb everything in the air,

I picked from the streets,

the way you pick up

the nuances of a language,

or cuss words, or learn about

the sex organs of the opposite sex.

I learnt Hindu is good and Muslim bad,

vegetarian is good, eating meat is bad.

In school, I picked up fights with Kazi

because his name was Kazi.

I pelted stones at the Khan meat shop

near Konnagar Government Abasan

from behind a high wall

because he sold meat.

You choose what to love, or who to love

and how to love, and if you are good at

loving, or living, then you will have

not time to think of the others, to hate

I left behind the limping gods

on my journey across books, people,

ghats, beaches, forests, mountains,

minarets and places of worships,

which serve Eid ki sewaiya

as yum as semiya payasam.

Many suns set as I sit at the feet

of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya.

Goosebumps and starlight run through me

when the qawwals sing,

Bekhud kiye dete hai, andaze hijabana

aa dil mein tujhe rakh lu, aye jalwaye janana.

I empty and scrub clean

of all they taught me

yet the blood scars confidently walk the ramp.

I am all religions that I freed myself from.

I am the oppressed.

I am the vulnerable.

I am an artist.

I am baul, fakir, sufi,

nirgunpurush, the truth,

carrying pain as flagrantly

as one carries a protest in head.

How many children are born everyday

with their umbilical cords buried in this hate?

(The writer is a poet, social activist and art event curator. His first book of poems, Make Me Some Love To Eat appeared in 2016. This is a personal blog and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)

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