4.7.2015, Fremont, California
It is 3.40 a.m. and I am about to do my sehri ( breakfast during Ramzan ).
Why do I, a confirmed atheist, keep one day symbolic roza during every Ramzan, and appeal to non Muslims to do the same, while also appealing to non Hindus to keep one day Navratri fast ?
My answer : It is one dose of the antidote to the communal poison which was injected into us since 1857.
I have already mentioned that communalism was injected into us by the British since 1857. after the Great Mutiny.
By 1857 communalism had almost entirely disppeared in India. Hindus and Muslims lived peacefully like brothers, and helped each other in times of distress.The letters of Mirza Ghalib to his Hindu friends Hargopal Tofta, Shiv Narain Aram, etc attest to the great affection between the two communities upto 1857.
In 1857 the Great Mutiny broke out, in which Hindus and Muslims jointly fought against the British. After suppressing the Mutiny the British decided that the only way to control India was divide and rule ( see online ' History in the Service of Imperialism ' by B.N. Pandey, and my article ' The Truth about Pakistan ' online and on justicekatju.blogspot.in ).
After 1857 the British policy of divide and rule came from the British Govt. in London to the British authorities in India. B.N. Pande's speech refers to many of such letters.
All communal riots start after 1857. The British Collector would secretly call the Hindu Pandit, give him some money, and tell him to start speaking against Muslims, and similarly, he would call the Muslim Maulvi, give him money, and tell him to start speaking against Hindus.
Agent provocateurs were hired to incite communal hatred e.g. by playing loud music before mosques during namaz time, and throwing carcasses of cows at night in Hindu temples, and writing on the wall 'Allaho Akbar '..
This poison was injected into our body politic year after year, decade after decade. In 1909 the Minto Morley 'Reforms' provided for separate electorates for Hindus and Muslims.
These, and many other steps, aggravated by Gandhi and Jinnah, loyal stooges of the British, led inevitably to Partition in 1947.
Even after 1947 certain wicked vested interests have been inciting communal hatred. among us.
Now the time has come to administer the antidote.
This antidote cannot be administered in one single injection. Several doses will be required, and over several years. The poison which has been systematically injected into us for 158 years will not be neutralized by a single shot. The antidote has to be administered again and again for over a decade.
This symbolic one day roza by non Muslims, just like one day vrat by non Hindus, will be a dose of that antidote, though, as I have said, many doses will be required to get rid of the poison completely