Wednesday, February 1, 2023
HomeOpinionFrom Hadiya to Tanvi Seth, casual bigotry is fashionable, politically celebrated

From Hadiya to Tanvi Seth, casual bigotry is fashionable, politically celebrated

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The blatant display of communal hatred in everyday lives shows the scary direction towards which New India is moving.

Yet another Hindu-Muslim love story and yet another round of moral policing. Earlier, it was Hadiya whose marriage to Shafin Jahan consumed Indian courts and investigating agencies. Now, another mixed-faith couple, Tanvi Seth and Mohammad Anas Siddiqui, have been lectured on religious conversion.

Anas says the officer at the Lucknow passport office, Vikas Mishra, “asked me to change my name, my religion. He said one of us has to change our name or religion.”

It appears that a person’s choice in marriage is now everybody’s business in India. Government officials, police officers and judges can choose to provide their opinion to consenting adults on their marital choices at any time.

Not only was Hadiya mentally harassed by her own parents and society, she was even denied her basic rights — all in the name of the so-called propaganda slogan of ‘love jihad’.

But, the fact that a government officer feels emboldened by the country’s politics to pass offensive remarks about Tanvi Seth and Mohammad Anas Siddiqui, who have been married for 12 years, shows how India is changing. Desh badal raha hai, indeed.

Mishra thought it was acceptable to question Tanvi’s decision of not changing her name after marriage, and in asking Anas to convert to Hinduism. This reveals the disapproving attitude many Indians are developing towards inter-faith marriages. Our families have, for long, frowned upon Hindu-Muslim marriages. Now it is okay for authorities to do as well?

This isn’t just another case of an official casually disrespecting another person’s faith; it represents the conscious choice of a government official in a secular country to toe the hegemonic narrative of bigotry towards a community.

Take the Airtel incident or the Ola cab driver incident, for instance. They all show how complacent we are about the tattering social fabric. Airtel spoke up against Pooja Singh’s mistreatment of their Muslim employee later, but only after assigning her another representative. And this apology also came after people on Twitter expressed their anger with the telecom company.

The fact is that Abhishek Mishra, a verified Vishwa Hindu Parishad member on Twitter can openly say he cancelled his Ola booking because his driver was Muslim and receive no response from his organisation or higher authorities.

Not only this, Abhishek tweeted in support of Vikas Mishra, which just goes to show the shameless display of hatred and communal bigotry that he has been spewing out on his feed.

Who gains from such incidents? As of June 21, Pooja Singh has 17k followers on Twitter, as compared to the 13.2k followers on June 19.

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  1. Mr Vikas Mishra of Lucknow Passport office has given his version of the event. What about that? It seems you want every hindu citizen to agree with your kind of thinking. Who gave you the right to call a government servant a ‘bigot’ without hearing his side of the story?

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