Whatever the young mother told her daughter who asked about the skullcap worn by a Muslim co-passenger in Uber carshare in Delhi deserves a standing ovation from the entire nation.
NEW DELHI: Whatever the young mother told her daughter who asked about the skullcap worn by a Muslim co-passenger in Uber carshare in Delhi deserves a standing ovation from the entire nation. This shows a secular, plural India is alive. If her views about Muslim skullcap, or other special attire worn by other religious communities for that matter, are taught by all mothers to their children, the shops of divisive politics will be shut down soon, and forever.
A woman co-passenger Meghna Athwani, who heard the mother-daughter conversation, posted it on Facebook on 7th July. In just two weeks, the post has gone viral, getting around 10,000 likes and 3,000 shares on her own Facebook page, but over 20,000 times on different platforms.
Here is the Facebook post of woman co-passenger Meghna Athwani:
A few months back, I was traveling in Delhi through Uber Pool.
This one time, I was the first rider, then a young lady with her little daughter joined us and in the end, after about a kilometre, a Muslim guy sat in the front seat.
This guy was wearing their traditional white cap.
So this little girl got curious and asked her mother, “Why is this uncle wearing a cap in the evening? There is no sun outside!”
Till now, the radio was on, the Muslim guy was having a conversation with the Driver and I was busy scrolling through my news feed.
But this question made me take my eyes off the phone, the conversation between the Guy and the Driver stopped and the Driver lowered the volume of the music player.
I thought of explaining something to the kid, but, the mother was already ready with the answer.
She said, “Have you not seen me covering my head with a dupatta, whenever I visit the temple? Or when some elder guests come to our house? Or when I have to touch the feet of your grandparents? It is sign of respect or to pay our regards my child.”
The girl wasn’t quite convinced. She came up with another question, “But who is this bhaiya paying respect to? There is no temple here. He is not touching the feet of anyone. Neither is anyone so big in age sitting in this car. So, who is he trying to give his regards to?”
Surprisingly, the mother was ready for this too.
She very calmly replied, “His parents have taught him to respect everyone he meets and to pay them his regards. Just like I teach you to say Namaste to guests.”
In the post, Meghna wrote her own observation on the incident and said “If this is what people are actually teaching their children…Then our politicians are failing at dividing us.”
“No one was expecting this reply. Not even the Muslim guy himself. I was the first one to take the cab so we reached at my destination first. I got down, smiling, and thinking:
If this is what the common man thinks about people around him..
If this is what people are actually teaching their children,
If this is how today’s generation wants their children to learn..
Then our politicians are failing at dividing us.
All the orthodox idiots are failing in disturbing the secular fabric of this nation.
All I can say is-
MERA BHARAT MAHAAN..
On 19th July, her post had gone viral by then, she wrote on Facebook expressing sorrow on some people calling her story “their own story”:
“On 7th July, I posted about a small incident that happened with me while traveling through Uber. The post received a lot of appreciation and has been shared for over 20,000 times on different platforms. Though I feel sad that people are calling it “Their own Story”, the main purpose of the post was to spread love and radiate harmony and because it is actually doing the same, I have no grudges. I’m proud that all of you responded so well to that post. It has proved that even today, most of the people of this country are way above communal politics and hatred towards different religions.
P.S. I don’t know if posting my story as their story amounts to plagiarism from their side, because it is annoying that they are getting way more likes and shares than my original post did.”