Open Letter to Tasneem Balapurwala

Dear Tasneem,

Hope your doing well.

I read your post which was circulated on twitter and decided to write you an open letter for two reasons –

1. The fact that I have never let out my house to a prospective Muslim tenant
2. The fact that I don’t see anything wrong in positively discriminating thus

You said you have never been “the idealistic or the religious Muslim” but a proud Muslim nevertheless. I have not understood what this meant even when some Hindus claim a similar characteristic for themselves. I guess what I’m saying is that if a Muslim claims to be proud of being one; then there is a little idealism and a little religion in him/her. These are not inherently negative traits to own and you should perhaps change your mind. Else why call yourself a “proud” Muslim?

Hindu Jatis and Janajatis (even in urban locales) have traditionally allowed themselves “space”, spiritually and physically; to grow at their own pace. This does not mean Jatis and Janajatis have segregated themselves but that they simply have not trodden upon one another. For instance, I have had meat eating Hindu tenants and currently am a tenant myself with a meat eating Hindu landlord. Conversely, one can still see some amount of segregation amongst Hindus but that’s the way some like it.

The point of “space” is very important.

If I had Muslim tenants, then they would have to live by my codes of behavior so as not to intrude upon “my” own physical and spiritual space. You might think this strange because I have had meat eating tenants but the fact is Muslims are not known to respect others’ need for “spiritual space”. On the other hand, they have been past and present masters in claiming such space in places that are not theirs to claim.

So my issue with Muslims seeking tenancy in my house is that they cannot respect my spiritual space and will not allow themselves to be modulated. Therefore meat eating is not really the problem as you have correctly pointed out.

Now, why do Muslims want to live amongst Hindus only to be rejected and then experience angst? I live in Bangalore and know plenty of places where Muslims live amongst their own. Why cannot a Muslim find houses in such areas? There are obvious advantages of not having to “modulate” one’s lifestyle and self to suite cranky Hindu landlords. So it is puzzling. The common refrain one gets to hear is that some Muslims, such as yourself I suppose, want to move into “posh” localities. Not many Hindu localities are “posh” but that’s another matter. A common thought process I sense is that some Muslims are not comfortable living in Muslim localities for a variety of reasons I find weak. Even so, I think it would be better for these Muslims seeking change, to remain amongst their own and improve their surroundings instead of finding residence where they are not welcome? In fact, I would think they would be more than welcome if they showed a propensity for change for the better in their own localities.

Finally, Muslims have messed up our history and politics for far too long and far too much all the while not showing the mildest inclination to introspect and reflect upon blunders committed and being committed. Common Hindus are very angry and give vent to their angst in a variety of different ways. Misplaced Hindu decency coupled with imposed political correctness do not permit them to speak up in Muslim presence. Therefore they would much rather repel or eject Muslims from amongst themselves to save them the pain of impoliteness.

Tasneem, one has little reason to be a proud Muslim in Hindusthan. That’s the first lesson aspiring young folk like you should imbibe instead of arrogantly laying the blame at the Hindu doorstep.

Do give this letter your consideration.

– Namaste

PS – There are liberal Hindus who will never tell you all this because they are too busy deluding themselves and their own to be worried about realities staring them in the eye. Listening to and being taken in by such Hindus has been one of the many Muslim weaknesses; perhaps because they make Muslims feel good.

19 Responses

  1. My point exactly!
    Once, a cab driver asked my sister, who lives in the US, how she could continue to be vegetarian. “You should change”, he said.
    I asked him if he would eat pork if he shifted to the US, since he was a muslim. He had know answer. Each one has to live by his/her terms and traditions.
    The newer generation living in cities insist there is “no difference”. When nobody follows any traditions, or has no code of beliefs or doesn’t mind giving up those beliefs or traditions, I guess nothing remains. Amazingly, good families and better traditions are the first to fall by the wayside. I guess, in this kaliyug, the Lowest Common Denominator is the ideal for the urbanized Hindu.

  2. I congratulate and commend you, Pala, on your explanation and reason for ghettoisation. Throw in a few Aryan references, shave your head and 1943 Berlin this shall be. Heil Hitler!
    P.S: Love the RSS feed at the bottom, does it come with SRS stumble-on as well?

  3. CC a copy to N. Modi. Get a garland from Yeddurappa and start a whole Mussolini march right out to Stalingrad.

    It is “Hindus” like you that make me realise that “Hindu fundies” are as retarded as “Muslim and Christian fundies” who blame all the problems on every other faith apart their own. It’s days like these I say to myself: “Thank god(s), I’m an atheist”.

  4. Love the outrage this little post has caused. First with the muslim chick in question calling it a ‘hate mail’ on twitter and then a couple of Hindu nicks here trying to show solidarity with muslims.

    Ashwin Sriram, do you imply that an atheist should not/could not discriminate against muslims? shoddy logic.

    I remember an ingenuous statement Gautam Naulakha(a liberal) made on a TV show during the recent Kashmir stone pelting when the question of the treatment of Kashmir Pandits came up during the course of the discussion. He simply stated that the majority muslims were insecure and it was unreasonable to expect them to be nice to the minorities who are vulnerable. In other words, solving Kashmir issue will solve the pandits issue too.

    Now extending this to muslims in India, it can be argued that Hindus in India feel insecure too with the inability of the state to protect them and have their own mechanisms to keep out the bad apples. However I must admit that I like Palahalli’s argument better, but was only trying a ‘liberal’ argument against muslims 🙂

    Haven’t you guys ever wondered about the hypocrisy of muslims whining in India, about state discrimination against them but never shy of using the state to push for claiming their ‘share of several rights’ to the detriment of hindus.

    If ‘live and let live’ is a good policy, Palahalli has the best idea. Everything else is fascism.

    P.S. if you haven’t figured out already. I won’t rent to a muslim too and a christian too. And I’m an atheist. Life’s good.

  5. Subhash: “Do you imply that an atheist should not/could not discriminate against muslims? shoddy logic.”

    Here’s a lesson 101 on how to make sense of sarcasm: “Don’t bother if you can’t.”

    Did I ever imply that an “atheist can” or “should discriminate” someone? But your fondness for bigotry aside, I am glad that “some atheists” do understand the “obvious bigotry” involved and don’t take open-mindedness to mean having a hole in their heads.

  6. Patanjali – Do you have an argument? If yes, let’s hear it.

    Ashwin Sriram – Your history is terribly mixed up. Moreover, how does all this concern you? You claim to dislike Hindus and others anyways.

  7. Pala sounds crazy to me. Well! I congratulate Wikileaks for leaking Rahul Gandhi’s comments to US envoy, “Radical hindu outfits are a bigger threat to this country than terrorists”.
    Pala, get a life. Do you belong to one of them?
    Be it Hindu or Muslim, a person has the right to live. Do you want to step in to that space too????

  8. Shubham Batra – Why do you feel I questioned anybody’s right to live? But please let Hindus live as they want to. That’s all.

  9. Mein Führer, didn’t I just make my point? A little world history brush up, if I may suggest? I am sure this proud country– Bharat–had that in the seventh grade. Whenever you decide to invade Poland, do tell me, I want to come along. I love to take pictures. Just remember, don’t go to Russia in the winter. Twice bitten thrice shy?
    They say sarcasm is lost. I feel like the lone champion to the cause. And just to be a little more cryptic, my proud Hindu brother. You spelled “Hindusthan” wrong. Drop the H, or you will sound like a Dravidian championing an Aryan cause. Erm, wait…

    Heil Hitler!

  10. If you still don’t get sarcasm, then I am sure you get the basic essence of Hindu culture. Let me direct you to this line– Vasudhev Kutumbakam. It is Sanskrit. Look it up. Cheers.

  11. Patanjali – Your sarcasm is misplaced. I hope I’m not wasting my time in asking you for an argument but if your limit is “vasudhaiva kutumbakam”, then please don’t confuse it with “whole world is one family and all of them can live in my house”, because that’s not what it is.

    As regards Hindusthan, i’d be happy if the Dravidians at last accept Sanskrit sounds.

    If you still don’t have an argument, that’s ok.

  12. Still don’t understand that you sound like Hitler delivering the famous anti-Semite speech just before the holocaust. I was talking about Hitler delivering the famous anti-Semite speech just before the holocaust. Gettit?

  13. Vasudhev Kutumbakam doesn’t mean whole world is one family and all of them can live in my house. Damn, I must have misplaced my Hinduism 101 by Uma Bharti. MK Gandhi must have been an idiot to suggest that. Gasp! Did he say that you ask? Yes, he did. Maybe a little more history brush up. Grade 9th that was.
    Pala, did someone touch you wrong when you were a child? Does it still hurt when you go pee pee? Why do you have your panties up in a bunch. Our former president was Muslim, you wouldn’t give him a house to live in, if he asked? What if Kabirdas came to you? You would give him the birdie? Where’s the love? You can’t trace your roots, neither can I. We were all the spawn of the randy recreations of the same monkey. The one that got off the tree and walked.
    Just asking, do you earn money off the blog? It could be a good business idea. Your scandal creates a whole lot of clicks, cross link it with Times Now–cash cow! Kaching!

  14. Dear Pala,

    Hope you are doing well as well. At this point, i think it is time to establish the difference: most of my closest friends are Hindus and i am absolutely not a Hindu hater. If that is what comes across in my blog, then it may be an error of perception. I simply complain about a system gone awry. That can be any community with a bias.I for sure don’t in any way support the Muslim fundamentalism either, I just expect every case to be judged on the basis of individual merit. A few Hindu fundamentalists don’t put me off Hinduism, just a few Muslim fundamentalists shouldn’t make you hate all Muslims. Now i respond to a few other points that you make:

    1)I am a proud Muslim because i believe it a part(focus on the word part) of my identity, but it is not my be all and end all nor my entire identity. I dont see why i need to live it and breathe it everyday, i say a quiet prayer every morning which i think suffices.

    2) Why i seek tenancy anywhere is my personal business and if i am correct, as an Indian, not ‘hindustani’, but Indian, i am entitled to settle anywhere i will. But i will respond to the question of why i seek a house in my chosen area. It is a matter of convenience. I am not craving to live in a place which you believe ‘posh’,though i see as nothing better than a primitive society, but nonetheless a convenient location to live and work from.

    It’s a shame that living in the 21st century, this is what you would like the world to see this “Tasneem, one has little reason to be a proud Muslim in Hindusthan” as the slogan of this country. I am first an Indian, then a Muslim. Question is, are you?

  15. Tasneem,

    It’s a shame that you have the right to live where you wish in India, but the home owner doesn’t have the right to let his home to anyone he likes without being called a bigot.

  16. MK Gandhi was an idiot.

  17. Thank you for your response Tasneem.

    Let me take you up by the points you raise –

    1. I’m not sure what you meant by “system gone awry”. I knew there were Communist States which decided tenancies for their citizens; but Hindusthan is a free country. Here, the owners of houses get to decide who they want to Let to.

    Do you want to change this?

    2. I did “judge” your case by the merits of your blog post since I do not know you personally. Your convenient positing of a few Hindu extremists against a “few” Muslim ones induces me to “judge” your case adversely.

    3. I honestly don’t care about how seriously you take your Muslim identity as long as it doesn’t stick in Hindu throats. But I’ll say this – Proud Muslims have made Hindu lives a misery.

    4. I figured it would be convenience if you had to put up with this much rejection. However, like you, the owners have their rights to choose who they want to Let.

    5. Speaking for myself, I’m beyond such “guilt-trip the Hindu” style of dialogue. Muslims in Hindusthan have never shown they are “Indian” first and yet they keep whining. That makes me think about the Hindu’s own value as an “Indian” because we are constantly expected to “understand” Muslim angst in the name of nebulous “Indianness”.

    I’d much rather think of myself as a Hindu national in Hindusthan. Nothing wrong with that since it gives the Hindu nation its space, identity, purpose and sense of ownership and also allows the Muslim minority to thrive.

    We don’t have to tread on each others toes to prove we are civilized.

  18. Tasneem,
    It seems you have found the perfect landlords in Patanjali & Ashwin Sriram. In fact you would a very good deal as they sympathize with your cause fully, but just check out with them if they are pork eaters. Deciding between the two of them would be an ordeal for you.
    To set the record straight, if a society does not want Muslims in their midst, it is perfectly legitimate and good sense. There is enough evidence all over the world that Muslims have been trouble makers wherever they have gone. Probably they are too proud of being Muslims, for reasons best known to them.
    Talking about communities with a bias, go preach that to your brethren in all Muslim dominated countries. You seem to one of those Muslims with a modern facade who is being tried to be planted by the mullahs with an agenda in the midst of Hindus.
    There are no Hindu fundamentalists. It is only a creation of our English media ably supported by the communists, congress and other so called sickular parties. As for Muslim fundamentalists, they exist the world over. If something is pan universe, you can’t call it few or isolated. There has to be something inherently wrong.
    Vande Mataram

  19. This Patanjali dude is comical. Good entertainment for the morning. So simply using one’s private property as one sees fit is fascism? Yeah thats left liberal logic right there – trot out the mustachiod man whenever you don’t like an argument. Who did the mild-mannered Pala ask be invaded?
    Anyway, none of this matters. The hysterical hitler-mongering he has shown indicates hes only out on a warpath.

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