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« Cartoon Overkill | Main | The Chorus Line »

February 09, 2006


On your profile I saw you are from New Delhi, India. My family is from India and my parents were born in Delhi, India. Alas for numerous reasons most of our family had to migrate to Pakistan. Till her death my maternal grandmom dreamed about going back to her ancestral home in Delhi. So needless to say I fell in love with Delhi in my childhood. Couple of years ago our few relatives came to Pakistan and I found them very backward and economically deprived (compared to us). Out of politeness I cannot ask them about their situation in India. As they all have praise for their homeland and nothing else.

So will you please enlightened me little bit about the conditions of Muslims with respect to other population?

I am not sure that I can answer your questions about the socio-economic condition of Indian Muslims in an intelligent or informed manner. My own Muslim friends in school and college were - middle/ upper middle class, educated and progressive.

I am sure there must be studies and statistics available on this matter in libraries and on the internet. I would recommend that you look up the writings of M.J. Akbar an Indian journalist, who has written some of the sharpest, humane and unbiased articles about what it means to be a Muslim in India.

As for Delhi, it is a fascinating place. I of course like it better than many others since I have very fond memories of the place. I recommend a travelogue, "City of Djinns" by William Dalrymple. This may be one of the most charming and readable books about contemporary Delhi and its long history through hundreds of years.

Better still, why don't you visit Delhi?

I really hope that now that we've found this untouched patch in the Foja Mountains we can keep ourselves from ruining it.

Joe: Don't hold your breath. With enough money to grease the palms of the Indonesian government, any thing is possible. Poorer countries are especially vulnerable to the lure of foreign tourists bringing in much needed dollars and euros. They will probably do it under the auspices of something like "spiritual renewal", "back to mother nature" type of crap and attract the beautiful people from hollywood and other trendy sections of society. One of the surest way to keep something like this from being trashed is for the UN to declare it a "world heritage nature preserve". I hope that will happen.

Ruchira - Thanks for such an insightful reply. I will look into your suggested materials. I wish to visit Delhi but kinda apprehensive about the limitations which Pakistani citizens faced in India. I heard one can’t move freely from one city to another and to be truthful don’t wanna spoil my fancy.

Good news is relations between Pakistan and India are becoming better or so we heard. I know it is hard for Indian politicians to deal with their counterparts in Pakistan (Army). Someday when we have democratic government then I hope relations become friendlier.

I am from Karachi and majority of them have very nice feelings for India and Indians. It is hard to comprehend but in 80’s a political party raised a slogan for Karachi and Hyderabad to break away from Pakistan and join India. They did win the local elections but of course that thinking didn’t go too far.

You did remove some misgivings by telling me about middle and upper middle class Muslims around you. Sometimes we heard propaganda that most Muslims in India are poor and destitute and discriminated at all levels.

Take care friend.

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