Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Hindu Food, Muslim Food, SC/ST Food.....

In the movies of 40s and 50s, one can see the occasional scenes of a train stopping at a railway station and the vendors screaming, 'Hindu paani, Muslim paani', 'Hindu chaai, Muslim chaai' (Hindu water, Muslim water).

But that was more than 50 years ago when untouchability was widely prevalent and casteism of a much higher degree existed. Naturally the tea and water were sold by Hindus and Muslims separately for their communities. The untouchables could not buy from either of them.

But this situation exists today. In Patna, the food prepared for policemen is cooked separately. The Hindu food (for upper castes) cooked by their rasoiya, the Muslim food by Muslim cook for Muslim personnel even if they number juste 5 or 50, and so is the case for lower castes.

Isn't it surprising? When the newly elected Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was informed about this practice. He said, "I will seek information and then take action". Now the Bihar Police Association is getting vocal and demanding the top officials be axed for such a practice continuing till date.

As long as the groundlevel situation is concerned, ask those eating and serving, they don't find it disgusting in secular India that got independence almost sixty years ago. For them it's nothing unusual. It was a millennium ago Subuktgeen told his son Mahmood that 'Hindustan ajaayabat ka mulk hhai'. A 1000-years later there is no change apparently.

An Urdu couplet:
Legend in Urdu crime fiction Izhar Asar's poetry:

Milti hai wahi shai jo khayalon mein naheen hai
Yeh baat kitaabon ke hawaalon mein naheen hai

Paas aa ke kisi shai mein tajassus nahin rahta
Ab chaand bhi chehre ki misaalon mein naheen hai


1.The launch of Microsoft 2003 this week at Karachi is a welcome step. For years the need was felt but it is to be seen that when the version reaches India. None of the top portals have felt the need for Urdu emails in India until now.

2. Now comes news about a financial scandal in AP Urdu academy. Nothing unusual. After all, the institutions either that of Urdu, Waqf Board, Madarsa Board or similar Muslim academies are always in the midst of such crises.