News of angry mob lynching Muslim traders and even a teenager have been haunting us over the past couple of weeks. Debates about growing religious intolerance in India have been the most dominating and concerning issue. But has India really turned so hostile for minority communities? Has hate replaced the love and the very essence of India — unity in diversity?
To find all such answers, a young Muslim man who was fasting during the holy month of Ramadan took up a task — to break his fast with Hindus. Did he succeed?
The man stood blindfolded in the heart of India’s capital at India Gate, New Delhi. Scores of people passed by carefully reading the placard in his hand that read, “Main ek ‘Musalman’ Hu….Aaj Mera Roza hai…Main Chahta hu ki mera Roza…Hindu Bhaiyo ke saath kholu…’Jai Hind’ (I am a Muslim, I have kept roza today, I want to break my roza with Hindu brothers”.
Speaking to IndianExpress.com, Atif Anwar, the creator of the film said that he did the social experiment as he wants “harmony among all the fractions” of people in the country. Talking about his inspiration behind the project, he said, “I am from Etawah, Uttar Pradesh and I have lived in this harmony and peace where Hindus and Muslims celebrate all the festivals together without even thinking that its Eid or Holi. Inspiration was my experience at Etawah.”
The 26-year-old filmmaker who has made 10 such in short films works as a video producer with a media channel and says have shot all his films on mobile camera.
When asked if he feared any backlash or negative response about the film, he said, “I am a storyteller I want to tell people my side of the story as well as I want to listen to theirs. Loving my work or rejecting is not my choice. Even if one person has seen it and has felt good, my purpose has been served.”
The video of the social experiment was uploaded on a popular page on Facebook called Afla Toon on June 21, and since then has garnered over 1.3 million views, at the time of writing. The comment section of the video proves love is not lost, people have been commending the man for his efforts of reassurance that humanity is not lost completely.
Prviously, after the horrific Manchester attack, a Muslim man carried out a similar social experiment in Manchester asking people if they trusted him enough to give a hug. Another such experiment was carried out in Paris in 2015, after the French capital saw a terrorist attack, and in both the cases, the men were not disappointed.