By Promod Puri
I am a proud Canadian citizen. In this land of multi-cultural and multi-religious freedoms I am also a proud Hindu.
But when I visit India I am not a Hindu. Because, I confess, many, many, many times I have eaten beef steaks. And that I am not “hiding” the fact that our refrigerator often has minced beef.
I am not a Hindu in India because I don’t adore Trump, and I did not share the pictures showing special Hindu prayers for his success in the US presidential race. Unlike Trump, I am not an anti-refugee, and I’m not an anti-Muslim either.
More seriously, I am not a Hindu in India because I don’t understand the “moral vigilant” squads apprehending and thrashing young couples, married or unmarried, indulging in the “obscene” act of holding each other’s hands in public.
I am not a Hindu in India because I denounce the violent and at times fatal acts of “gau-rakshak dals” projecting their bizarre vision of Hinduism under the pretext of saving the holy cow. The same cows don’t get their compassion when often seen gnawing plastic garbage bags.
My non-Hindu status in India qualifies me in the expanding outcaste of “go-to-Pakistan”. I love to visit Pakistan, especially to my ancestral town of Sialkot. This is the place where poet-philosopher Allama Muhammad Iqbal was born. He wrote: Sare jahan se achcha Hindustan hamara….
Back in Canada, in the land of true freedom, I am a Hindu again.