Celebrities and commoners from across India have started a new social media movement with a hashtag #TalkToAMuslim that has been trending on Twitter since Tuesday evening, which is encouraging Indians to shun hatred and communicate with their Muslim friends. Actors like Swara Bhaskar and Gauhar Khan have extended support to the movement with placards and tweets and netizens from different communities have also joined the movement. The trend seems to have kicked off after writer Zainab Sikander tweeted using the trending hashtag to highlight the growing anti-Muslim sentiment in the country.
BJP accused Congress of being a 'party of Muslims' In response to the allegations, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday responded to the allegation with a tweet giving clarifications. Gandhi is being targetted by BJP leaders after an Urdu newspaper quoted him saying 'Congress is a party of Muslims'.
Rahul Gandhi's Tweet in His Defense
I stand with the last person in the line. The exploited, marginalised and the persecuted. Their religion, caste or beliefs matter little to me.
I seek out those in pain and embrace them. I erase hatred and fear.
I love all living beings.
I am the Congress.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 17, 2018
Zainab Sikander's Tweet Using the Hashtag
I'm An Indian Muslim.
I'm Human too.
— Zainab Sikander (@zainabsikander) July 17, 2018
In just three hours, the hashtag #TalkToAMuslim had over 7,000 tweets. Sikander and other Muslims started posing their pictures with the hashtag, requesting people to look beyond communal hate politics and uphold secularism in India. It has become the top trend on Twitter in India.
Gauhar Khan's Tweet Using #TalkToAMuslim
#TalkToAMuslim seriously didn’t think a day would come where talking to a muslim leader or a commoner would question ur patriotism or ur belief in ur own faith!!by land I am a Hindu ,by faith I am a Muslim and by heart n soul INDIAN is my identity !!! #killThehate #spreadlove pic.twitter.com/kiXaHNmplA
— Gauahar Khan (@GAUAHAR_KHAN) July 17, 2018
She wrote: "Seriously didn't think a day would come where talking to a muslim leader or a commoner would question ur patriotism or ur belief in ur own faith! by land I am a Hindu, by faith I am a Muslim and by heart n soul INDIAN is my identity!!"
Swara Bhaskar Also Joined the Movement
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) July 17, 2018
I'm an Indian Muslim
I have fun,
I enjoy life
I can talk to you on Shakespeare, Ghalib, Meerabai, the Mughals and the First war of Indian independence
Of Muslim contribution to freedom struggle
— Rana Safvi رعنا राना (@iamrana) July 17, 2018
— Rani (@reliablerani) July 17, 2018
If you think that Muslims aren't feeling persecuted
If you think Muslims aren't fed up of being the national conversation every night at 9pm bulletins
If you think Muslims don't feel otherized, demonized & marginalized
Then you need to talk
I am an Indian Muslim#TalkToAMuslim
— Nazia Erum (@nazia_e) July 17, 2018
Gandhi's tweet came after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a speech on Sunday quoted Gandhi as saying that he wanted practices like triple talaq to continue. The Congress president denied having made any such statement and the Congress party demanded an apology from Modi.