Friday, September 14, 2007

The Riot

" Put a tyre around his shoulders, pour petrol and burn him." It was twilight in Ahmedabad. They were atleast twenty men. And they were talking of burning me alive. I was staring at death. Strangely i wasn't afraid. I tried to reason with them. I tried to convince them I wasn't a Muslim. I tried to chant 'hare rama hare krishna' or some other hindu mantra. They weren't amused. One of them hit me with a stout stick. But his blow was hesitant. Others goaded him not to be afraid and to hit me with vigour. I felt another blow on my head. I saw no point in fighting that horde; or in running. They were too many and I was alone. I calmly bore their half-hearted attempts at beating me. Soon they were tired and started pushing me. They warned me never to come back to their locality. I didn't say I wasn't interested. When I somehow made it to the hospital, the X-rays didn't show significant injuries. But my mind couldn't be scanned. I knew that day what it meant to be a Muslim in Gujarat.

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