I have often heard the phrase, “It’s not easy to be a Muslim in India”. Therefore, I set out on a social experiment with just one objective on my mind, to feel the emotions of a Muslim on the streets. The streets of Delhi were my arena and the mindset of the people was my opponent. Even though I did have a preconceived notion about the subject, I was surprised by the result..

The experiment lasted two days in which I travelled via the Delhi Metro and buses in Noida. During these trips, I travelled through areas which were Muslim and Hindu majority respectively. Apart from this I just had a simple Kufi on my head and this skull cap made all the difference.

Deplorable glances, suspicious eyes and a ray of hope, these words define a majority of my experiment. The moment this idea came up on my mind, I was time and again warned about the dangers of doing the same, “What if someone harms you, these are sensitive times. What if people get to know that you are not a Muslim, won’t people be aggravated at you?” Even though these concerns stormed through my head time and again but still I knew that I had to investigate this through.

I started my journey from Jasola Vihar, Shaheen Bagh metro station on the Magenta line. The area is a Muslim majority one and thus didn’t give me any ‘special’ attention. Moving forward I got down at Okhla NSIC and exited the station. As I walked towards the GrubHub café, some glances from here and there started. But nothing too intimidating. I again entered the station and here things were different for me. Travelling via the Delhi metro, one becomes pretty used to the frisking done by the security personnel. But as I walked through the security gate the security took a good view of my Kufi and then did a thorough frisking of me. Checking each and every pocket of mine. To be honest it did feel a bit uncomfortable but I was mentally ready for this.

As I boarded the metro for Botanical Garden Metro station, a girl of around 10 years was siting besides an empty seat and so I, considering myself lucky to find an empty seat in the metro sat there. But my move made the father of the child a bit uneasy and he commanded his child to stand with him. This gentleman also did not let his child get the comfort of sitting just because a man with a kufi was sitting adjacently.

As I got down on Botanical Garden, I boarded a bus to Greater Noida. The same suite followed. Another man preferred to stand rather than sitting beside me. The whole trip was, to my surprise, filled with a lesser number of glances and nudges.

The second day was what I really wanted it to be, perfectly normal. It seemed that people were not at all uncomfortable with my kufi and even the metro security personnel weren’t giving me any preferential treatment.

The whole experiment taught me that even though some people may have preconceived reservations about other minorities, the larger part of the nation looks upon everyone as fellow citizens rather than Hindus, Muslims, Christians, etc. Thereby I can say that even though the darkness of prejudice exists there also exists a ray of hope which fills up our hearts and our nation with not only tolerance but also secularism.

Feature Image Credits: Vistapointe


Aniket Singh Chauhan

[email protected]

Whenever you think about China what comes into your mind? Mobiles, laptops, alibaba.com or Jackie Chan, but does it ever occur to you or does it ever cross to your mind that nearly 3 million people are being held by China for so-called ‘re-education’, I am also pretty sure that a very few of you would even have the idea that China is indulging in such a gross violation of human rights on its own citizens for just a single reason, being a minority in China. If you have heard about this for the first time then read on.

China, the most populous country in the world, the second largest economy in the world, and the fourth largest country in the world looks just perfect from the outside but as you dig deeper you will discover how brittle this country is. Around 4,000 kilometres away from its capital, Beijing, lies the city of Kashgar or as the Chinese have renamed it Kaxgar. At one point of time, the city woke up every morning with the sounds of Muslim prayers from the local mosques but now only the sounds of marching boots of policemen wearing bullet proof jackets, having shields on one hand, batons on the other and a rifle on their back are heard. The Uighurs, are an ethnic minority who live in the Xinjiang province, which lies in the far western China. The capital city of Xinjiang is Ürüqmi. Uighurs are ethnic Chinese Muslims who have been living in Xinjiang for centuries. Uighurs essentially are a Turkic origin ethnicity who inhabit a lot of central Asian countries like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, etc. Not a very long time back it was revealed that Uighurs are being taken into so-called ‘re-education’ camps,which are run by the Communist Party of China or CCP. The numbers of these camps are speculated, some say that there are only around ten while other say that they go beyond hundreds.However, earlier China had never acknowledged that it had these education camps, which the world today label as detention centres. But after leaked documents of the CCP were published in the New York Times and were also highlighted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalist (ICIJ), this whole inhuman project of social engineering of China with its Muslim citizens came to light. So, first let’s understand as to what is the Chinese Muslim genocide?



Image Caption: Image Credits:
Image Credits: Insider.com                                                          Image Caption: The location of Xinjiang in China and Re-Education camps in Xinjiang

Majority of people who live in China are Han Chinese. This is the majority ethnic group in China which accounts to nearly 91% of the whole Chinese population. But there are several different ethnic groups who live on the other parts of China. Like Tibetans in Tibet, Mongolians in Inner Mongolia, Manchus in Manchuriaand so on. CCP for a very long time has considered the Han Chinese as the prime citizens of China. The Han Chinese, mostly loyal to the Communist Party command most of the high ranking posts in the government. They are also given an unspoken preference over all the other ethnic groups.This grand and ruthless plan of social engineering was initiated by Xi Jinping himself. Under the plan, various detention centres were opened and people were taken into these detention centres for crimes that are so small and negligible that it’s painstaking to even think about how China is committing crimes on its own people. Victims say that people like them are sent to detention camps for doing things like reading the Qur’an, learning Arabic, not eating pork, not speaking Chinese, travelling overseas and contacting people overseas without taking permission from the government. One victim even said that he was taken into the detention centre and was locked up for over seven years just because he had opened a kindergarten school which started teaching Uighur language. The people in Xinjiang are not allowed to speak to journalist and journalists themselves are not allowed to interview any person in Xinjiang without a permission from the government itself. This tells us as to how scared is the Chinese government about the truth of its activities being told to the world. Whenever someone is taken into a detention centre, their DNA samples are taken, their face and voice recognition is done. Victims have even claimed that pregnant women are forced to abort their children against their will. Moreover, on the other hand children are taken away from their mothers and sent to hostels which also act as re-education centres for children. The Chinese government has gone to such extents that now it does not even allow its citizens to keep the names freely, names like Muhammad have been banned in Xinjiang. Apart from this the most sophisticated surveillance systems are placed all over Xinjiang to monitor each and every activity of Uighurs. And based on these systems, the Chinese government stops any kind of revolutionary activity to take place. Think of it this way, cities like Kashgar, Hotan and Aksu in Xinjiang have CrPC 144 imposed on them but for life.The majority Chinese population which sits on the eastern corner of China blindly approves of this activity and this is where the Chinese government’s PR team comes into action. China has for long time taught its citizens about the so-called,‘The Three Together’. Which translates into Eat Together, Live Together and Work Together. Via this major statement the Chinese Communist Party wants to ignite a feeling of Nationalism in its citizens. The CCP, has for a long time told its citizens and has made them to believe that anybody who raises their voice against the Government of China, is raising a voice against the idea of China and against the people of China. The largest mosque in China, the Id-Kah Mosque in Kashgar was made out of bounds for its own worshipers. When the Uighurs protested against this action the Chinese government ‘appealed’ to its citizens that it should maintain unity and it should not stop the government for doing‘development work’. It is estimated that nearly 5,000 mosques in Xinjinag have been demolished and moreover converted into government buildings. The Chinese government calls the Education Campus, Vocational Centres where vocational training is done but the police forces here lockup the people and if the detainees do not obey the rules then not allowed to talk to their fellow inmates and they are not even given their food. Moreover to get your food you have to sing some songs without which you do not get anything, an example of which is, “Without the Communist party there won’t be a China,and the Communist party toiled for the nation”. If a detained citizen refuses to do these activities, they can also be shot dead. Chinese government also justifies its activities in Xinjiang because at one point of time this region was a hub for terrorism. Terror outfits like East Turkestan Liberation Organisation (ETLO)and East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) were mostly of Uighurian background and are even supported global terror outfits like Al-Qaeda and Tehreek-e-Taliban. These organisations demanded a free Turkestan or Xinjiang and did not want to be a part of China. The reason given by these people was that the cultural difference between these mainland China and Xinjianghuge and that China is trying to exert influence on to them. And therefore they want an independent nation. Though this is not the first time that China is trying to influence the culture of a place to make that place its own, we can see the very recent example of Hong Kong, where people still protesting day and night against thetyranny of an expansionist China. The difference between Chinese detention centres and the ones run by Nazis is that the Nazis wanted to kill the Jews. Whereas the Chinese are onto something even worse. It has no plans of killing the Uighurs but instead they want to kill their heritage, their culture, their language, their religion, their ethnicity and their pride. In short they want to carve out the ideal communist Chinese forcefully out of an ordinary citizen. This is the type of hyper nationalism that China wants in each of its citizens. Moreover this hyper nationalism is not directed towards allegiance with the nation but for the supreme Chinese Communist party. Cruelty in these cases goes beyond all measures. It is alleged that whenever an Uighur man is taken away by the Chinese authoritiesthe woman of the house is forced to live with another Han Chinese man and even forced to sleep on the same bed. Whenever a whole family is taken into detention centre their house is given to another Han Chinese family so that even when they come back to their houses they cannot find one.

But we have to ask, if we know so much about China then why anyone isn’t doing anything. This is where China’s economic supremacy comes into place. All of us have seen various activists speaking up for the independence of Palestine, about the Human Rights violations committed by the Israeli Defence Forces, Human Rights violations committed by US defence forces in Syria and the Human Rights violations committed by Saudi Arabian forces or Turkish forces in the middle eastern region but nobody ever, not even a single Muslim majority or Islamic Republic Nation has ever criticized China. The reason is that basically all of the Muslim majority nations around the World are under the debt of China. China has been building huge number of infrastructure projects and providing aides to these Nations and thus these Nations can’t really speak up. A very viable example is that of our beloved neighbour Pakistan. Pakistan has been very vocal about India and the Human Rights violation that India commits in Jammu and Kashmir, even though the evidence of it is not substantial. Still Pakistan goes on and on with this. But the Pakistani Government and the Pakistani people have never even bothered about this gross Human Rights violation in China. Muslims in China are forced to speak Mandarin, forced to not read the Qur’an. They are even forced to drink alcohol and eat pork even though it is forbidden in Islam to do these activities. But nations like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and numerous other Islamic activists have never spoken or been even vocal about this issue, the reason being, money. International politics also plays a major role here, any resolution which needs to be passed by the United Nations needs the vote of all the five UNSC (United Nations Security Council­) members and China is part of this council. Even if the United Nations wants to pass a resolution against China based on these Human Rights violations, China would never let that happened because it has what we know as a ‘veto power’ with which it can stop any resolution passed by the UN without giving any reason whatsoever.

We as students also need to be ask is that, do Uighurs deserve such a treatment by their own countrymen. Does it not hurt you as a student that we in India have the right to question the government, that we in India have the right to protest against the government but in China if you do so, you will be taken into a detention centre and not released for years on end. I am not saying that we are the perfect democracy but at least we can fight for our rights. All of us students have the right to investigate and to go to which ever part of India we want and to which ever part of the world we want. But what about students and children in Xinjiang? They can’t learn about their culture, they can’t learn about their language, they can’t be sure whethertheir parents will be with them, they can’t maintain the name which was given by their parents and sometimes they can’t even meet their parents because they are forcefully sent into Foster homes. What have the Uighur children and students done to deserve this? The only crime according to Chinese government that they have committed, is that they are Muslim.

Respect all human beings irrespective of their religion, caste, sex, language, status, property, birth and so on.

-Quran 17/70

 Aniket Singh Chauhan

[email protected]

Feature Image CreditsForeign Policy

Studying cultural relativism is considerably easy, but applying it in a world where intolerance and oppression come easy is a lesson in empathy. This is a piece which will help you find out what minority communities’ students experience in the educational hub of the country.

With the recent political developments in the country all parties, candidates, and persons with political ambitions, are gearing up for elections and have decided to garner the support of their respective vote-banks. The move to
provide reservation to the General category candidates from economically backward groups in higher education
and government employment is a part of the political agendas, being used to appease the majority of voters. A
democracy, though, is ideally supposed to be inclusive and fair to the minority’s desires and choices as well. So, what is the way our education system treats the minority groups in the time of politically motivated communal and religious intolerance?

There exists an Equal Opportunity Cell in the University of Delhi (DU) to incorporate the needs of minority groups. Different colleges too have outreach programmes and Cells to make minority groups comfortable in the environment of the city and college. But the working of these Cells is often under the supervision of non-minority
individuals and this stumps the factor of representation.

Another issue with the functioning of the cell and initiatives of the likes is its accessibility to the students of the
School of Open Learning (SOL). Take for instance, a 21-year-old Dalit girl studying at SOL, committed suicide on
facing casteist ill-treatment at the hands of her boyfriend. As per the report of The Indian Express, the authorities at
DU were of no help because she had no access to the Internal Complaints’ Committees as a student of SOL.

There appears to be a lack of empathy in trying to understand the way minority groups cope in the educational
atmosphere. In a survey conducted by DU Beat, 57.1% people- ranging from minority and non-minority groups
responded that the professors in DU colleges are usually ignorant to the differences when dealing with students from minority groups in a classroom discussion. In fact, linguistic distinctions are taken for granted to such an extent
by the authorities that there is a compulsory test in Hindi (CTH), which must be taken up by students who have
not studied the language in the course of their schooling years. In a country with over twenty-two official working
languages, this imposition of a North Indian tongue is unjustified. A shocking 42.9 percent responses in the survey
indicated an imposition of culture and language, by non-minority peer groups and/or by teaching methods and

Numerous people feel a sense of insecurity in ‘fitting in’ with the crowd at DU, and even undergo mental health problems in lieu of this desire to be a part of a circle. One student of Hansraj College revealed on the condition of anonymity that she/he had to visit three different psychiatrists in three semesters because of the mental health issues their minority identity presented in DU. The psychiatrists were seldom understanding of the crisis, they stated, and most people do not even have the privilege of availing therapy.

There are some safe spaces in the city for revisiting this form of one’s identity. Kartik Chauhan of Hindu College states,“However, there are some places like the Meraki events, where Northeastern Indian students meet each other.
Likewise for the South Indian students, they organise various events and celebrate the festivals together, far from
home.” Nida from Lady Shri Ram College finds her safe space in Jamia Masjid Area at Chandni Chowk, while some responders feel there is no real escape from this lack of empathy.

The best way to create an actual environment that is safe by virtue for all groups appears to be a task based on
the mindset of the people, as per the survey. Most people believe that being thoughtful about cultural differences
and learning respect are the ways to go for a larger change, so as to invite students from all spheres in a holistic
environment where they can feel at home.

Feature Image Credits: Niharika Dabral for DU Beat.

Anushree Joshi

[email protected]

Graphic Credits :- Sahil Jain

Every passing year, securing admission in good colleges is getting tougher and tougher. Not for everyone though. If you happen to belong to any of the numerous communities deemed to be underprivileged (SC, OBC etc), all the skill that you’ll require is that of correctly filing a form.

The reservation system has received fervent criticism from all corners but can a country which has historically discriminated against certain minority groups afford not to provide them with opportunities for bettering their status? Or is it that reservations are the wrong way to go about uplifting minorities.

This week, Juxtapose sets the jury out on whether the reservation system is good for the country as a whole. So what are you waiting for? Scroll down and voice your opinions.

Juxtapose: Are reservations in colleges justified?
Show of Hands:
Justified: 2
Not Justified: 8
The Arguments:

1. Thangchungnung Mangte, Not Justified
I do have a great respect for the founding fathers of our constitution and their empathy towards the underprivileged sections of our society who were discriminated and exploited for hundreds of years. However, if we want to help those people to be able to grow and improve their condition, the very basis of granting reservation should be on the basis of a person’s economic condition. Giving reservation to a caste, tribe etc. will only help those, who are already doing well. A poor dalit or a tribal hardly gets to use the benefit of reservation granted to his/her tribe or caste and instead it is used more by the sons & daughters of, let’s say for example, an IAS officer.

2. Vikas Jaipuria, Not Justified
The ideal situation should have been: Merit alone triumphs! Having sat on a hunger strike when I was in class 8 in AIIMS when this debate broke out in 2006, I have seen the agitation from close quarters. This is a paralytic policy decision, which is far from the principles of equality espoused by our constitution. Sure the weaker sections and minority should be uplifted, but providing reservation in higher education is not the correct means. The government should have created better infrastructure in primary/higher secondary schools in small towns/backward areas. It should have extended the benefit of its social schemes by bringing more OBC’s/SC’S/ST’s under its net. The true effects of this paralytic decision is more evident in DU – OBC’s/SC’s/ST’s from well of families are sitting in top colleges with less than qualifying marks, while hard working students of General category who slogged their ass in class XII are precluded admission (even if they fall short of cutoff by a small whisker!). And we all know in a country like ours where bribing public officials is a cakewalk, no wonder you can get yourself made a fake SC/ST/OBC certificate.

3. Ankita Mukhopadhyay (LSR), Justified
When Dr. B.R Ambedkar formulated the Constitution, little did he foresee the uproar that his policy of reservation for minorities would create once education and literacy became a prime concern for most households in India. I think reservation for minorities is justified, provided there is an income bracket to justify their need for reservation. Reservation has come into the limelight today because of the UPA government’s policy to give preference to the minorities in order to garner more votes. The issue of reservation shouldn’t be a politically contentious issue; it should be more of a moral issue.
People belonging to the Scheduled castes and tribes are still discriminated against today in the villages, and even if a person belonging to the SC/ST or OBC category manages to break the mould and succeed in the corporate segment or any other sector, he/she is always looked down upon by the general candidates as an academically weaker peer. I agree that there are many general category candidates out there who lose out on a seat because of reservation, and economically backward general candidates face a bleak future due to no government support for them, but we should also look into the historical origins of this caste problem. The government should change its policy, and instead of demarcating lower cut offs or marks for SC/ST and OBC candidates, they should evaluate them on an equal level, barring only the fact that they have a quota for themselves. One should look for a solution to the problem, not ponder over it needlessly. We should learn from our forefathers and not continue repeating the mistakes that they committed hundreds of years back.

4. Riddhi Dayal (Sri Venkatswara College), Justified
I think reservation was a justifiable means to be used in the scenario of the caste-system in India, and many people have actually benefited from the same. Therefore, to completely write-off reservation is unjustified. Many students had a problem with the fact that General Category seats would be reduced in number due to reservation, however, that was taken care of by the court order that stated that the total number of seats would be increased to incorporate reserved seats while keeping General category seats constant. Thus, I don’t think its really a big deal.
However, I’d like to clarify that I don’t believe reservation should be continued indefinitely. As with all policies, it should be in practice till one reaches the stage of emancipation of the downtrodden and then be discontinued.
The Verdict: Reservations are neither justified nor beneficial.