Saturday, 25 January 2014

My Dear Ruhi,

My Dear Ruhi,
As someone who considers himself a Cultural Muslim living in Gujarat since 1999, I read your article, with 1) pride at a fellow academics achievement in writing on a subject often ignored 2) dismay at the darkness of your tone.
I have had an experience of working on Minority Entrepreneurship and Development on an ICSSR project conceived by me for Rs 30 Lakhs, every weekend me and my muslim friends Javed Rahmatullah and Ahejaz Chauhan go for an evening out/movie in Ahmedabads multiplexes, one of my best students in my career of teaching and research in the last ten years is Wasim Shaikh, who studied economics seriously with me and is now working in Bombay, my dear friends Salahuddin working for BBC Urdu service and Faiz working as an ivory craftsman in Jma Masjid are my companions when I go to Delhi, Saife Ali Abbas my ex student takes me around in Dubai when I visit him ( in his SUV).
According to me, history is being made in countries like Egypt and Bangladesh which are the battlegrounds for secularism today and there battle has a lot to do with Indian Muslims, when we Indians say WE in Hindi, it means H for Hindus and M for Muslims, I am as much a Muslim as any Hyderabadi or Lucknowi or Jamia nagar practicing Muslim, and for that I don’t have to practice the religion or even adopt its cultural tehzeeb, I am a living, breathing enthusiastic symbol of the pride of HIND, beacause of what I am, feel and think…simply…and no one can take that away from me, every Ruhi in the world is special to me….and you know why? Because I love the name Juhi…and I love the name Ruhi even more…because it is different!!!
More later,



  1. Thank you Munish for the sensitive reading. And yes my tone was dark, but then it was at a different point of time. However, even as hope rises in my heart, the fear of how identity politics may play out in neoliberal India creeps in. We all have to work together to create a just society for all and not just focus on M or H. I will call you when I come to Delhi.

    1. We all have to work together to create a just society for all and not just focus on M or H-to be able to do that people like me, who are far behind people like you in terms of professional detail of crossing the t's have to work hard, for instance, me on my project on Minority Development....