Will the Kathua Rape Mark the End of the Indifferent Hindu?

Politics

Will the Kathua Rape Mark the End of the Indifferent Hindu?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

I

t’s been an awkward time to be a peace-loving, secular Hindu. Sure, we got an extra day to get over our New Year party hangovers thanks to the Bhima-Koregaon Mumbai-bandh on January 2, but we could just barely ignore the reasons behind the Dalit protests. It was a grim start to a year that we hoped would be better.

We’d hoped for outings with our Muslim friends where we wouldn’t have to hurriedly gloss over political talks, or newspapers without headlines of Hindutva lynchings. Perhaps it was too much to ask that minorities would feel safe in our supposedly secular democracy, but couldn’t we go back to the good old days where tensions of caste, religion, and communalism, simmered under the surface instead of being acceptable dinner table conversation? After seeing Padmavat burnings, beef bans, and the horrific hacking of a Muslim man over “love jihad” by Shambhu Lal Regar, the bar had been set pretty low for tolerance in this country.

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