Rejoinder to Chetan Bhagat from Indian Muslim youth

    By TCN News,

    New Delhi: Following is the text of a letter that was initially written by some of us and subsequently endorsed by the undersigned. This letter is a rejoinder to the article written by Chetan Bhagat titled , ‘Letter from an Indian Muslim Youth’ published in The Times of India on 30th of June 13.

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    The letter was sent to The Times of India for publication with 166 signatures yesterday afternoon but we are yet to receive any response, or even an acknowledgment. Hence, we are left with no option but to make it public with additional signatures which we have received in the course of time.

    In the letter sent to The Times of India, we included only ‘Muslim names’ since Mr. Bhagat, in his letter pretended to be an Indian Muslim Youth. However, here we are including all the endorsements we received (at [email protected] ) because a large number of the emails read, ‘I am not a Muslim but I am equally disgusted by Chetan Bhagat’s letter’.

    Given below is the text of letter followed by more than 200 signatures:

    TEXT: A Letter to Mr. Chetan Bhagat from Indian Muslim Youth

    3rd JULY 2013

    Dear Mr. Bhagat,

    At the very outset, let us make it clear that we are not fans of your regressive fiction. Therefore, we write to you not as crazy fans but as Indian Muslim youth, who felt utterly patronized, insulted and hurt after reading your article, ‘Letter from an Indian Muslim Youth’
    . You might have not realized this, but in pretending to render “a strong modern Indian Muslim voice’’ to the youth and the Muslim community at large, you have ripped them of their agency. You have reaffirmed stereotypes that many in the community have been fighting against. Heard of the Muslim god and his flock?

    Sir, one does not need a name like Ahmed or Saeed or Mirza, or even be a Muslim to show one’s genuine concern for the community. One just needs to see beyond one’s own prejudice and biases. Believe us, this disgusting piece of your writing made us more nauseous than any of your (or Madhu Kishwar’s) love-verses to Modi. Your article is nothing but an extension of the thought process that anything Muslim is backward and regressive. Since you have assigned to yourself the task of bearing the moral burden of the community, would you care to explain what a ‘Muslim cap’ is?

    We agree with you when you say political leaders make promises that go empty post elections. And that there are Muslims who have achieved much without any ‘’cap-wearing politician’’ helping them. But who is this leader that you are suggesting; one who would understand ‘’the desire’’ of the Muslim youth ‘’to come up in life’’ and ‘’inspire us to do better’’? Is it by any chance the mass murderer, Narendra Modi?

    You know what hurts? That people pretend to care for you when they don’t. When in fact they use you to grind their own axe. How cleverly you turn everything that the Muslim youth face today – “being frisked with greater attentiveness, denied renting an apartment” – into a product of the community’s inherent backwardness, as if it bears no relation to the increasing communalization of our polity and society.

    What makes you think that the ‘cap’ wallahs exercise a great deal of influence within the community? Interestingly, one particular party has been lately seeking a lot of photo-ops with precisely these kinds of community leaders. Make no mistake Mr. Writer. They don’t.

    “Because of you”, you write castigating an imagined Muslim leadership, “people feel we vote in a herd.” Now, isn’t that really clever, Mr. Bhagat. People feel we vote in a herd because certain parties never tire of screaming hoarse about ‘minority appeasement’ and ‘vote banks’, even though, any psephologist or political scientist, or even an ordinary Muslim youth at Chai dukaan will tell you that Muslims vote just like any other community does: according to a mix of factors: local, national but above all, keeping in mind who will preserve their interests best. And their interests do tend to include the safety of life and livelihood.

    We are sorry, Mr. Bhagat, but the ‘’democratic republic’’ you talk of is not so democratic. If it were so, Afzal Guru wouldn’t have been executed to ‘’satisfy the collective conscience of the nation’’. Muslim youth would not have fallen prey to minority witch-hunting, and their killers not decorated with gallantry awards. Adivasis in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa would not have been ripped of their fundamental rights to live with dignity. Dalit poets would not have been falsely charged under sedition laws.

    Loving one’s nation is well and good, but being blinded by patriotism is not. Why do Indian Muslims always have to prove their allegiance to India? Why can’t they also be critical of their country?

    The party whose path you are treading has had Indian Muslims pass through too many Sita-like ordeals of fire, Agni Pariksha. You may have the privilege to turn a blind eye to the post-Babri Masjid Demolition violence, the Gujarat pogrom, but many others don’t. How then do you think a leader who doesn’t even have the integrity to apologize for his complicity in the Gujarat pogrom represent Muslim youth’s aspirations for ‘’scientific way of thinking, entrepreneurship, empowerment, progress’’ and above all, ‘’personal freedoms’’? And just by the way, have you heard of the word, ‘Justice’?


    Name—– Profession—- City (State)

    Rafiul Alom Rahman, Student, Delhi University, Delhi
    Mahtab Alam, Civil Rights Activist and Journalist, Delhi
    Javid Parsa, Student, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad
    Zulaikha Jabeen, Researcher and Activist, Raipur, Chhattisgarh
    Shahnawaz Malik, Journalist, Delhi
    Abdullah A Rahman, Student, TISS Tuljapur
    Abu Zafar, Journalist, Delhi
    Sadika Saiyed, Law Student, Surat
    Omar Rashid, Journalist, Allahabad
    Imran Ali, Filmmaker, Delhi
    Rashid Hussain, Software Engineer, Jaipur
    Mahtab Azad, Development Consultant, Araria (Bihar)
    Ali Amir, Student, TISS Mumbai
    Gauhar Iqbal, Entrepreneur, Delhi
    Bilal Kagzi, Advocate, Surat
    Imran Khan, Journalist, Bangalore
    Nesar Ahmad, Researcher, Jaipur
    Aasiya Aslam, Architect, Chennai
    Saif Khan, Student, IIT Kharagpur
    Ejaz Ahmad, Student IIT Delhi
    Mohd Tanveer Iqbal, Civil Rights Activist, Chennai
    Mohammad Noor Alam, Medical Student, Bagalkot
    Khan Rashid Ayyub, Legal Translator, Azamgarh
    Tariq Shabibi, Software Engineer, Hyderabad
    Naim Siddiqui, Marketing Professional, Gurgaon
    Shahid Parwez Saiyyad, Entrepreneur, Mumbai
    Yuman Hussain, Social Activist, Kishanganj (Bihar)
    Mansoor Ali, Network Administrator, Vellor, Tamilnadu
    Mohammad Altamash, Operation Manager, Gurgaon
    Naveed Hasan, Software Engineer, Bangalore
    Syed Hassan Kazim, Journalist, New Delhi
    Shehla Rashid, Policy Analyst, J & K
    Abul Kalam Azad, Student, TISS Guwahati
    Tasneem Khan, Assistant Professor, Galgotias University, Noida
    Najmul Huda, Research Scholar, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
    Dayam Anwar, Accountant, New Delhi
    Shahrukh Hameed, Asst Bank Manager, Lucknow
    Mohammad Rafiq Mulla, Web Developer, New Delhi
    Ershad Ahmad, Development Consultant, New Delhi
    Shoaib Mohammad, Student, Bangalore University
    Faraz Ahmad, Business Executive, Mumbai
    Sikandar Azam, Journalist, Delhi
    Tarique Shafeeq, Activist, Azamgarh
    Rabab Iman, Social Worker, Delhi
    Najid Hussain, Scientist, Indian based in USA
    Sana Maryam, Writer, New Delhi
    Sadiq Naqvi, Journalist, New Delhi
    Md. Zaurez Danish, Mechanical Engineer, Manipal
    Ovais Sultan Khan, Social Worker, Delhi
    Saleha Tahseen, Corporate Trainer, Bangalore
    Syed Zameer Hasan, Software Engineer, Mumbai
    Mohd. Jalauddin, Executive with Coal India, Maharashtra
    Malik Abid Rasool, Student, Amar Singh College, Sri Nagar
    Mohd. Imran, Real Estate Appraiser, Indian based in New Jersey
    Sahil Rafiq, Student, Kashmir University
    Younis Altaf, Student, Hyderabad
    Javed Iqbal, Corporate Employee, Hyderabad
    Zoha Khan, Student, Dehradun
    Irfan Hashmee, Student, Hyderabad
    Md. Ali, Journalist, Delhi
    Saira Manzoor, Homemaker, Kolkata
    Shafaque alam, Journalist, Delhi
    Afreen Khan, Student, Dehradun
    Afroz Alam, Journalist, Delhi
    Mazin Khan, Publisher, New Delhi
    Mohd. Reyaz, Journalist, Delhi
    S M Fasihullah, Freelance Journalist, Hyderabad
    Zoha Abdul, Student, DU
    Tarique Anwar, Journalist, Delhi
    Mohammad Muneeb, Private Employee, Kohir, AP
    Areeb Rizvi, Student, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
    Ufaq Paiker, Research Scholar, JNU
    Sania Mariam, Student, Kolkata
    Ayesha Farooq, Student, DU
    Falak Khan, Student, Bangalore
    Sarah Jameel, Student, Doon University, Uttarakhand
    Talha Hussain, Software Engineer , Gulbarga Karnataka
    Maheboob Shahana , Student ,Jamia Millia Islamia Delhi
    Abdul Haadi, MA Sociology , Kottayam Kerala
    Waseem Ahmed , Circulation Executive, Hapur (U.P)
    Atiya Firdaus, Student Activist, Kota Rajasthan.
    Abdul Raheem, Procurement Manager, Bangalore Karnataka.
    Imran Ahmed, Real-Estate Developer, Kota Rajasthan
    Inam ur Rehman , student ,Delhi University ,Delhi
    Md Khalid , Ph.D Scholar Jamia Milliya Islamia, Delhi
    Ubaidurrehman, Ph.D Student ,JNU Delhi
    Shuaib PV , Student activist ,Kerala
    Ts Amanullah , Engineering Student Chennai Tamilnadu
    Riaz Ahmed, Law Student Chennai TamilNadu
    Aminulislam , Political Activist Murshidabad West Bengal
    Danish Raza, Journalist, Delhi
    Sharib Zeya, Research Fellow, Delhi School of Economics
    Nizamuddin Ajmeri , Social Worker , Bundi Rajasthan
    Jeelani Basha, Software Engineer Poona.
    Kosar Jahan , Student Activist , Kota Rajasthan
    Lukhmanul Hakeem , Student Activist , Edappal Kerala
    Abdul Raheem Mulla, Corporator GCC, Gulbarga Karnataka.
    P.Abdulnazar , Student activist , Vengara Kerala
    P Niyaz , Photo Journalist , Chennai TamilNadu
    Naveed Parsa, Engineering Student, Chandigarh
    Haseena Khatoon , Teacher Chennai Tamil Nadu
    Anjumand Ara, Teacher, Delhi University
    Ziyaullah , Political Activist Chennai Tamil Nadu
    Umer Farooq, Engineer, Punjab
    Saquib Ahmed, Advocate, Ahmadabad
    Mohammad Syeduddin, Student, Patna
    Parvez Bari, Journalist, Bhopal
    Shayed Sayeed, Software Engineer, Ahmadabad
    Zafar Mohammed, Business Executive, Mumbai
    Mohammad Saif, Journalist, Cuttack, Orissa
    Tauseef Ahmad, Technocrat, Delhi
    Mohd. Zakaria Siddiqui, Researcher, Indian currently in Australia
    Haseeb Mustafa Alvi, Engineer, Delhi
    Mohd Aarif Khan, Systems Engineer, Mumbai
    Fazal Ahmad, Advocate, New Delhi
    Qazi Sadaff Rehan, Student, Bhadrak, Orissa
    Aarif Khan, Assistant Professor, Indian currently in Riyadh
    Faisal Iqbal, Electronics Engineer, New Delhi
    Pervez Chaudhary, Student, AMU, Aligarh
    Fehmeena Ahmad, Activist, Delhi
    Mohd. Yousuf, Student, Chennai
    Mohd Abdul Rasheed, IT Manager, Hyderabad
    Moosa Azmi, Activist, Varanasi
    Saman Roohi, Phd Candidate, Indian currently at Amsterdam
    Dr. Uzma, Medical Practitioner, Mysore
    Dr. Zaheer Ahmed, Neurologist, Chennai
    Adnan Farooqui, Academic, Delhi
    Farhatullah Khan, Research Scholar, University of Madras
    Munawwar Kavungal, Trichur, Kerala
    Muneebuudin, Advocate, Hyderabad
    Samiullah Khan, Quality Control Manager, Bangalore
    Mohd Saif, IT Engineer, Kareem Nagar, AP
    K T Hafis, Student, Jamia Millia Islamia
    Fawaz Shaeen, Law Student, AMU, Aligarh
    Shihab Khan, Civil Engineer, Bhopal
    Abdul Raheem Kaiser, Student, BITS Hyderabad
    Salima Aarif, Blogger, New Delhi
    Abdullah, Teacher, West Bengal
    Azhar Khan, Advocate, Jalgaon, Maharashtra
    Syed Salman Ali, Law Student, AMU
    Waseem Siddiqi, Entrepreneur, Delhi
    Parvin Sultana, Research Scholar, JNU
    Kashif Ilyas, Student, Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh
    Riad Azam, Student, Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh
    Imran Kichloo, Student, Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh
    Ameen Ahmed, Student, Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh
    Roshan U. Alam, Civil Services aspirant, Delhi
    Shaheen Ahmed, Performance Artist, Delhi
    Mohd Arif Dagia, LIC Agent, Raipu, CG
    S M Zaki Ahmad, Development Professional, Delhi
    Ahmar Afaq, Law Student, Saharanpur, UP
    Muhammed Imtiyaz Ahmed, IT Consultant, Delhi
    Memon Junaid, Dentist, Ahmedabad
    Omair Anas, Researcher, JNU
    Mukkaram Niyaz, Web Developer, Hyderabad
    Imran Khan, Journalist, Noida
    Zaheer Hussain, Journalist, Bangalore
    S. Mohd Saim, Advocate, Rampur, UP
    Md Iqbal, Engineer, Ranchi
    Mohd Sajjad Hussain, Student, Delhi School of Economics
    Syed Humayoun Shabir, Research Scholar, AMU
    Fairoz Ahmed, Software Engineer, Bangalore
    Moinuddin Ahmad, Journalist, Delhi
    Yasir Iqbal, Engineering Student, AMU
    Faheem Ahmad, Planning Engineer, Vellore
    Abbas Hasan, Marketing Professional, Delhi
    Sadiq Umar, Young Scientist, Delhi
    Sarfaraz Nawaz, Consultant, Bangalore
    Shahnawaz Akhtar, Journalist, Delhi
    Rabia Khan, Marketing Consultant, Lucknow
    Rasshad Khan, Technology Entrepreneur, Noida
    Abdullah Azzam, Law Student, Faculty of Law, AMU
    Meher Jahan, Law Student, Faculty of Law, AMU
    Sarah Hashim, Law Student, Faculty of Law, AMU
    Anam Khan, Law Student, Faculty of Law, A M U
    Sheeba Aslam Fehmi, Writer-Activist, Delhi
    John Dayal, Member, National Integration Council, GoI
    Anuradha Bhasin, Journalist, Jammu
    Preeti Sampat, Researcher, Delhi
    Sukla Sen, Activist, Mumbai
    Brijesh Kalappa, Advocate, Delhi
    Archana VB, Software Professional
    Smita Charbarty, Phd Scholar, Kolkata
    Himanshu Kumar, Activist, Delhi
    Faisal Ahmed Khan, Assistant Professor, Kerala
    Brinda Bose, Teacher, Delhi University
    Neha Misra, Student, IMT Ghaziabad
    Shehba George, Activist, Ahmadabad
    Imran Khan, Educator, Aligarh
    Faisal Khan, Advocate, Meerut
    191. Clifton D’ Rozario, Advocate, Banglore

    Masihuddin, Pharmacist, Betiah, Bihar
    Aftab Fazil, Educationist, Delhi
    Nandini Rao, Activist, Delhi
    Dr. Aurobindo Ghose, Advocate, Delhi
    Asgar Hussain, Bank PO, Delhi
    Dr. Aslam Rizvi, Medical Practitioner, Delhi
    Naaz Khair, development consultant, Delhi
    Garga Chatarjee, Columnist, Kolkata
    Menu Seshu, Activist, Shangli
    Nitya Vasudevan, Research Scholar, Bangalore
    Rukmini Sen, Journalist, Mumbai
    Vimochana, Women Rights Activist, Bangalore
    Shraddha Chickerur, Delhi
    Girish Pannikkar, Accounts Manager, Kerala
    Aruna Ganadason, Christian Feminist, Kerala
    Ms Jarjum Ete, activist, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh
    Navneet Shrivastava, Mumbai
    Dr. Shelly Dahiya, New Delhi
    Himadri Sekhar Mistri, Research Scholar, Delhi School of Economics
    Soma Marik, Visiting Professor, School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University
    Sudipto Muhri, Assistant Professor, Pune University
    Kalyani Menon, Feminist, Gurgaon