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Monday, August 11, 2008

Hindu-Muslim prisoners hug outside jail


Isn't it a cute photo? A middle-aged Muslim guy with a long beard and the Hindu guy with the tilak, hugging each other. Both have the typical looks of a Hindu and a Muslim hailing from the country-side of India.

Their smile conveys the feeling of freedom and happiness. Together they must have spent quite some time in the jail. And as they come out they bid each other adieu, before going towards their respective families who have come to the jail to receive them.

There is nothing unusual about this picture except their facial expressions. The smiles are genuine. And it is people like them who are still a majority in this country.

These are the people who may not have studied books and got degrees but have naked wisdom in abundance. When they meet again, they will smoke a bidi together and have a conversation over a tea.

They are the guys who don't care a damn about communalism or nurse grievances against other religion unlike many of us with urban upbringing who appear polished but have numerous biases against each other. At least, that's what my experience has been.

It's a photo taken at the jail's main gate. Generally prisoners are released from the jails all over India at the time of Independence Day and the Republic day. All the state governments reduce the sentences ranging from a few months to a couple of years, depending on the age and other factors.