My parents aren't pro-Sanghi but like most moderate Hindus of DK have been infected by the Islamophobia virus. All my past attempts to touch the holy cow had hit a wall, so I was maintaining a studied silence. But today, on hearing the Umar Khalid incident, I blew my top.
My mom doesn't condone lynching, but she cites the problem of cow stealing, "How do you know it is not Muslims?" she challenges. "How do you know it is Muslims?" I asked. She has full faith in her informers.
A relative from her native village told her it is not local Muslims, but Muslims from Kasaragode (Kerala) who are into cow stealing/smuggling. "They have lived so long in the village, they have seen it with their own eyes. How can they be wrong?" she asks.
I intervene trying to tell her the news about Bajrang Dal role. She is not entirely unaware of such news, but she says, "it seems the Kasargode Muslims are making use of poor Harijans, etc. to get their job done." I lost my cool, and go on a long rant. 🙀
I swear I wouldn't have let it come to this if I was around. In my long absence an uncle who visits often has brainwashed them. In my estimate 90-95% of our community is Sanghi. They are politically so unaware, I was having a hard time figuring where to start the topic from!
She has little respect for my education. "What do you know about farming & village life?" she asks. Academics & journalists do only theory, she says. "What! journalists provide you ground report. Do they drop from another planet?" I ask her. "They come from the city" she says.
I want a time machine to travel back 2 decades, burn my degrees & become a DK-based journalist.🧐Sanghi indoctrination began here in early 90s with Advani's Yatra. Soon after I left KA for higher education. Not because I wanted to do. Choice wasn't a word in my dictionary then.
DK=Dakshina Kannada (South Canara) is a district in a region also referred to as Karavali (coastal Karnataka). DK when I grew up was a single district, now it is split into Udupi &DK. It has a distinct language (Tulu) & culture, but is a potpourri of lang/cultural communities.
I am overwhelmed with the kind responses to this thread on #Islamphobia in Dakshina Kannada (DK). Many have shared stories of angst. I promise to reply to each of you soon. I was depressed at the status of our freedoms this #IndependenceDay2018, this conversation gives me hope.
I want to update you on my conversation with mom. But today is NagaraPanchami & our focus is on Patholi (sweet turmeric-leaf rice dumplings), a dish of Konkani origins. DK is a melting pot within a melting pot that Sanghis turned into a communal cauldron. We HAVE to reclaim it.

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