A letter to Chetan Bhagat from Indian Muslim Youth

Given below is the text of a letter that was initially written by a group of individuals and sent as a rejoinder to the article written by Chetan Bhagat titled,Letter from an Indian Muslim Youth published in The Times of India on 30 June 2013. The letter was sent to The Times of India The signatories include non-Muslims, because a large number of the emails read, ‘I am not a Muslim but I am equally disgusted by Chetan Bhagat’s letter’. Given below is the text of letter followed by more than 200 signatures:

A Letter to Mr. Chetan Bhagat from Indian Muslim Youth

3rd July 2013

Dear Mr. Bhagat,

At the very outset, let us make it clear that we are not fans of your regressive fiction. Therefore, we write to you not as crazy fans but as Indian Muslim youth, who felt utterly patronized, insulted and hurt after reading your article, ‘Letter from an Indian Muslim Youth’ .  You might have not realized this, but in pretending to render “a strong modern Indian Muslim voice’’ to the youth and the Muslim community at large, you have ripped them of their agency. You have reaffirmed stereotypes that many in the community have been fighting against. Heard of the Muslim god and his flock?

Sir, one does not need a name like Ahmed or Saeed or Mirza, or even be a Muslim to show one’s genuine concern for the community. One just needs to see beyond one’s own prejudice and biases. Believe us, this disgusting piece of your writing made us more nauseous than any of your (or Madhu Kishwar’s) love-verses to Modi. Your article is nothing but an extension of the thought process that anything Muslim is backward and regressive. Since you have assigned to yourself the task of bearing the moral burden of the community, would you care to explain what a ‘Muslim cap’ is?

We agree with you when you say political leaders make promises that go empty post elections. And that there are Muslims who have achieved much without any ‘’cap-wearing politician’’ helping them. But who is this leader that you are suggesting; one who would understand ‘’the desire’’ of the Muslim youth ‘’to come up in life’’ and ‘’inspire us to do better’’? Is it by any chance the mass murderer, Narendra Modi?

You know what hurts? That people pretend to care for you when they don’t. When in fact they use you to grind their own axe. How cleverly you turn everything that the Muslim youth face today – “being frisked with greater attentiveness, denied renting an apartment” – into a product of the community’s inherent backwardness, as if it bears no relation to the increasing communalization of our polity and society.

What makes you think that the ‘cap’ wallahs exercise a great deal of influence within the community? Interestingly, one particular party has been lately seeking a lot of photo-ops with precisely these kinds of community leaders. Make no mistake Mr. Writer. They don’t.


“Because of you”, you write castigating an imagined Muslim leadership, “people feel we vote in a herd.” Now, isn’t that really clever, Mr. Bhagat. People feel we vote in a herd because certain parties never tire of screaming hoarse about ‘minority appeasement’ and ‘vote banks’, even though, any psephologist or political scientist, or even an ordinary Muslim youth at Chai dukaan will tell you that Muslims vote just like any other community does: according to a mix of factors: local, national but above all, keeping in mind who will preserve their interests best. And their interests do tend to include the safety of life and livelihood.


We are sorry, Mr. Bhagat, but the ‘’democratic republic’’ you talk of is not so democratic. If it were so, Afzal Guru wouldn’t have been executed to ‘’satisfy the collective conscience of the nation’’. Muslim youth would not have fallen prey to minority witch-hunting, and their killers not decorated with gallantry awards. Adivasis in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa would not have been ripped of their fundamental rights to live with dignity. Dalit poets would not have been falsely charged under sedition laws.

Loving one’s nation is well and good, but being blinded by patriotism is not. Why do Indian Muslims always have to prove their allegiance to India? Why can’t they also be critical of their country?

The party whose path you are treading has had Indian Muslims pass through too many Sita-like ordeals of fire, Agni Pariksha.  You may have the privilege to turn a blind eye to the post-Babri Masjid Demolition violence, the Gujarat pogrom, but many others don’t. How then do you think a leader who doesn’t even have the integrity to apologize for his complicity in the Gujarat pogrom represent Muslim youth’s aspirations for ‘’scientific way of thinking, entrepreneurship, empowerment, progress’’ and above all, ‘’personal freedoms’’? And just by the way, have you heard of the word, ‘Justice’?


Name          Profession      City (State)

  1. Rafiul Alom Rahman, Student, Delhi University, Delhi
  2. Mahtab Alam, Civil Rights Activist and Journalist, Delhi
  3. Javid Parsa, Student, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad
  4. Zulaikha Jabeen, Researcher and Activist, Raipur, Chhattisgarh
  5. Shahnawaz Malik, Journalist, Delhi
  6. Abdullah A Rahman, Student, TISS Tuljapur
  7. Abu Zafar, Journalist, Delhi
  8. Sadika Saiyed, Law Student, Surat
  9. Omar Rashid, Journalist, Allahabad
  10. Imran Ali, Filmmaker, Delhi
  11. Rashid Hussain, Software Engineer, Jaipur
  12. Mahtab Azad, Development Consultant, Araria (Bihar)
  13. Ali Amir, Student, TISS Mumbai
  14. Gauhar Iqbal, Entrepreneur, Delhi
  15. Bilal Kagzi, Advocate, Surat
  16. Imran Khan, Journalist, Bangalore
  17. Nesar Ahmad, Researcher, Jaipur    
  18. Aasiya Aslam, Architect, Chennai
  19. Saif Khan, Student, IIT Kharagpur
  20. Ejaz Ahmad, Student IIT Delhi
  21. Mohd Tanveer Iqbal, Civil Rights Activist, Chennai
  22. Mohammad Noor Alam, Medical Student, Bagalkot
  23. Khan Rashid Ayyub, Legal Translator, Azamgarh
  24. Tariq Shabibi, Software Engineer, Hyderabad
  25. Naim Siddiqui, Marketing Professional, Gurgaon 
  26. Shahid Parwez Saiyyad, Entrepreneur, Mumbai
  27. Yuman Hussain, Social Activist, Kishanganj (Bihar)
  28. Mansoor Ali, Network Administrator, Vellor, Tamilnadu
  29. Mohammad Altamash, Operation Manager, Gurgaon
  30. Naveed Hasan, Software Engineer, Bangalore
  31. Syed Hassan Kazim, Journalist, New Delhi
  32. Shehla Rashid, Policy Analyst, J & K
  33. Abul Kalam Azad, Student, TISS Guwahati
  34. Tasneem Khan, Assistant Professor, Galgotias University, Noida
  35. Najmul Huda, Research Scholar, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi 
  36. Dayam Anwar, Accountant, New Delhi
  37. Shahrukh Hameed, Asst Bank Manager, Lucknow 
  38. Mohammad Rafiq Mulla, Web Developer, New Delhi
  39. Ershad Ahmad, Development Consultant, New Delhi 
  40. Shoaib Mohammad, Student, Bangalore University
  41. Faraz Ahmad, Business Executive, Mumbai
  42. Sikandar Azam, Journalist, Delhi
  43. Tarique Shafeeq, Activist, Azamgarh
  44. Rabab Iman, Social Worker, Delhi
  45. Najid Hussain, Scientist, Indian based in USA
  46. Sana Maryam, Writer, New Delhi
  47. Sadiq Naqvi, Journalist, New Delhi
  48. Md. Zaurez Danish, Mechanical Engineer, Manipal
  49. Ovais Sultan Khan, Social Worker, Delhi
  50. Saleha Tahseen, Corporate Trainer, Bangalore
  51. Syed Zameer Hasan, Software Engineer, Mumbai
  52. Mohd. Jalauddin, Executive with Coal India, Maharashtra
  53. Malik Abid Rasool, Student, Amar Singh College, Sri Nagar
  54. Mohd. Imran, Real Estate Appraiser, Indian based in New Jersey
  55. Sahil Rafiq, Student, Kashmir University
  56. Younis Altaf, Student, Hyderabad
  57. Javed Iqbal, Corporate Employee, Hyderabad
  58.  Zoha Khan, Student, Dehradun
  59.  Irfan Hashmee, Student, Hyderabad
  60. Md. Ali, Journalist, Delhi
  61. Saira Manzoor, Homemaker, Kolkata
  62. Shafaque alam, Journalist, Delhi
  63. Afreen Khan, Student, Dehradun
  64. Afroz Alam, Journalist, Delhi
  65. Mazin Khan, Publisher, New Delhi
  66. Mohd. Reyaz, Journalist, Delhi
  67. S M Fasihullah, Freelance Journalist, Hyderabad
  68. Zoha Abdul, Student, DU
  69. Tarique Anwar, Journalist, Delhi
  70. Mohammad Muneeb, Private Employee, Kohir, AP
  71. Areeb Rizvi, Student, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
  72. Ufaq Paiker, Research Scholar, JNU
  73. Sania Mariam, Student, Kolkata  
  74. Ayesha Farooq, Student, DU
  75. Falak Khan, Student, Bangalore
  76. Sarah Jameel, Student, Doon University, Uttarakhand
  77. Talha Hussain, Software Engineer , Gulbarga Karnataka
  78. Maheboob Shahana , Student ,Jamia Millia Islamia Delhi
  79. Abdul Haadi, MA Sociology , Kottayam Kerala
  80. Waseem Ahmed , Circulation Executive, Hapur (U.P)
  81. Atiya Firdaus, Student Activist, Kota Rajasthan.
  82. Abdul Raheem, Procurement Manager, Bangalore Karnataka.
  83.  Imran Ahmed, Real-Estate Developer, Kota Rajasthan
  84. Inam ur Rehman , student ,Delhi University ,Delhi
  85. Md Khalid , Ph.D Scholar Jamia Milliya Islamia, Delhi
  86. Ubaidurrehman, Ph.D Student ,JNU Delhi
  87. Shuaib PV , Student activist ,Kerala
  88. Ts Amanullah , Engineering Student Chennai Tamilnadu
  89. Riaz Ahmed, Law Student Chennai TamilNadu
  90. Aminulislam , Political Activist Murshidabad West Bengal
  91. Danish Raza, Journalist, Delhi
  92. Sharib Zeya, Research Fellow, Delhi School of Economics 
  93. Nizamuddin Ajmeri , Social Worker , Bundi Rajasthan
  94. Jeelani Basha, Software Engineer Poona.
  95. Kosar Jahan , Student Activist , Kota Rajasthan
  96. Lukhmanul Hakeem , Student Activist , Edappal Kerala
  97. Abdul Raheem Mulla, Corporator GCC, Gulbarga Karnataka.
  98. P.Abdulnazar , Student activist , Vengara Kerala
  99. P Niyaz , Photo Journalist , Chennai TamilNadu
  100. Naveed Parsa, Engineering Student, Chandigarh 
  101. Haseena Khatoon , Teacher Chennai Tamil Nadu
  102. Anjumand Ara, Teacher, Delhi University
  103. Ziyaullah , Political Activist Chennai Tamil Nadu
  104. Umer Farooq, Engineer, Punjab
  105. Saquib Ahmed, Advocate, Ahmadabad
  106. Mohammad Syeduddin, Student, Patna
  107. Parvez Bari, Journalist, Bhopal
  108. Shayed Sayeed, Software Engineer, Ahmadabad
  109. Zafar Mohammed, Business Executive, Mumbai
  110. Mohammad Saif, Journalist, Cuttack, Orissa
  111. Tauseef Ahmad, Technocrat, Delhi
  112. Mohd. Zakaria Siddiqui, Researcher, Indian currently in Australia
  113. Haseeb Mustafa Alvi, Engineer, Delhi
  114. Mohd Aarif Khan, Systems Engineer, Mumbai
  115. Fazal Ahmad, Advocate, New Delhi
  116. Qazi Sadaff Rehan, Student, Bhadrak, Orissa
  117. Aarif  Khan, Assistant Professor, Indian currently in Riyadh
  118. Faisal Iqbal, Electronics Engineer, New Delhi
  119. Pervez Chaudhary, Student, AMU, Aligarh
  120. Fehmeena Ahmad, Activist, Delhi
  121. Mohd. Yousuf, Student, Chennai
  122. Mohd Abdul Rasheed, IT Manager, Hyderabad
  123. Moosa Azmi, Activist, Varanasi
  124. Saman Roohi, Phd Candidate, Indian currently at Amsterdam
  125. Dr. Uzma, Medical Practitioner, Mysore 
  126. Dr. Zaheer Ahmed, Neurologist, Chennai
  127. Adnan Farooqui, Academic, Delhi
  128. Farhatullah Khan, Research Scholar, University of Madras
  129. Munawwar Kavungal, Trichur, Kerala
  130. Muneebuudin, Advocate, Hyderabad
  131. Samiullah Khan, Quality Control Manager, Bangalore
  132. Mohd Saif, IT Engineer, Kareem Nagar, AP
  133. K T Hafis, Student, Jamia Millia Islamia
  134. Fawaz Shaeen, Law Student, AMU, Aligarh  
  135. Shihab Khan, Civil Engineer, Bhopal 
  136. Abdul Raheem Kaiser, Student, BITS Hyderabad
  137. Salima Aarif, Blogger, New Delhi
  138. Abdullah, Teacher, West Bengal
  139. Azhar Khan, Advocate, Jalgaon, Maharashtra
  140. Syed Salman Ali, Law Student, AMU
  141. Waseem Siddiqi, Entrepreneur, Delhi 
  142. Parvin Sultana, Research Scholar, JNU
  143. Kashif Ilyas, Student, Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh
  144. Riad Azam, Student, Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh
  145. Imran Kichloo, Student, Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh
  146. Ameen Ahmed, Student, Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh
  147. Roshan U. Alam, Civil Services aspirant, Delhi
  148. Shaheen Ahmed, Performance Artist, Delhi
  149. Mohd Arif Dagia, LIC Agent, Raipu, CG
  150. S M Zaki Ahmad, Development Professional, Delhi
  151. Ahmar Afaq, Law Student, Saharanpur, UP
  152. Muhammed Imtiyaz Ahmed, IT Consultant, Delhi
  153. Memon Junaid, Dentist, Ahmedabad
  154. Omair Anas, Researcher, JNU
  155. Mukkaram Niyaz, Web Developer, Hyderabad
  156. Imran Khan, Journalist, Noida
  157. Zaheer Hussain, Journalist, Bangalore
  158. S. Mohd Saim, Advocate, Rampur, UP
  159. Md Iqbal, Engineer, Ranchi
  160. Mohd Sajjad Hussain, Student, Delhi School of Economics
  161. Syed Humayoun Shabir, Research Scholar, AMU
  162. Fairoz Ahmed, Software Engineer, Bangalore
  163. Moinuddin Ahmad, Journalist, Delhi
  164. Yasir Iqbal, Engineering Student, AMU
  165. Faheem Ahmad, Planning Engineer, Vellore
  166. Abbas Hasan, Marketing Professional, Delhi
  167. Sadiq Umar, Young Scientist, Delhi
  168. Sarfaraz Nawaz, Consultant, Bangalore
  169. Shahnawaz Akhtar, Journalist, Delhi
  170. Rabia Khan, Marketing Consultant, Lucknow
  171. Rasshad Khan, Technology Entrepreneur, Noida
  172. Abdullah Azzam, Law Student, Faculty of Law, AMU
  173. Meher Jahan, Law Student, Faculty of Law, AMU
  174. Sarah Hashim, Law Student, Faculty of Law, AMU
  175. Anam Khan, Law Student, Faculty of Law, A M U
  176. Sheeba Aslam Fehmi, Writer-Activist, Delhi
  177. John Dayal, Member, National Integration Council, GoI
  178. Anuradha Bhasin, Journalist, Jammu
  179. Preeti Sampat, Researcher, Delhi
  180. Sukla Sen, Activist, Mumbai
  181. Brijesh Kalappa, Advocate, Delhi  
  182. Archana VB, Software Professional  
  183. Smita Charbarty, Phd Scholar, Kolkata
  184. Himanshu Kumar, Activist, Delhi
  185. Faisal Ahmed Khan, Assistant Professor, Kerala
  186. Brinda Bose, Teacher, Delhi University
  187. Neha Misra, Student, IMT Ghaziabad
  188. Shehba George, Activist, Ahmadabad
  189. Imran Khan, Educator, Aligarh
  190. Faisal Khan, Advocate, Meerut
  191. Clifton D’ Rozario, Advocate, Banglore
  1. Masihuddin, Pharmacist, Betiah, Bihar
  2. Aftab Fazil, Educationist, Delhi   
  3. Nandini Rao, Activist, Delhi
  4. Dr. Aurobindo Ghose, Advocate, Delhi
  5. Asgar Hussain, Bank PO, Delhi
  6. Dr. Aslam Rizvi, Medical Practitioner, Delhi
  7. Naaz Khair, development consultant, Delhi
  8. Garga Chatarjee, Columnist, Kolkata
  9. Menu Seshu, Activist, Shangli
  10. Nitya Vasudevan, Research Scholar, Bangalore
  11. Rukmini Sen, Journalist, Mumbai
  12. Vimochana, Women Rights Activist, Bangalore
  13. Shraddha Chickerur, Delhi
  14. Girish Pannikkar, Accounts Manager, Kerala
  15. Aruna Ganadason, Christian Feminist, Kerala
  16. Ms Jarjum Ete, activist, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh
  17. Navneet Shrivastava, Mumbai
  18. Dr. Shelly Dahiya, New Delhi
  19. Amalendhu Upadhyay, Journalist, Ghaziabad
  20. Himadri Sekhar Mistri, Research Scholar, Delhi School of Economics
  21. Soma Marik, Visiting Professor, School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University
  22. Sudipto Muhri, Assistant Professor, Pune University
  23. Kalyani Menon,  Feminist, Gurgaon  


94 thoughts on “A letter to Chetan Bhagat from Indian Muslim Youth”

  1. Please add my signature too!

    Shruthi Padmanabhan, Housewife, Nashik

    And I dislike Chetan Bhagat with all my heart. I don’t understand the system that allows an idiot like him to flourish.

    1. Why do you dislike him. Dislike his views,, if at all you want to dislike something, for he remains different from his views.

      1. I dont understand, where CB actually insulted Muslims? I dont understand why Muslims always end up making a fuss, even if someone is speaking good or defending them? Some people have linked up Bhagat with BJP, RSS and Modi. Then they further went on to claim that, BJP staged a fake encounter in Ishrat case. Well, are they forgetting that the CBI report says, that the encounter was done by IB. And IB comes under central govt’s jurisdiction, CBI report also mentions that the rest of the folks killed along with her were terrorists. Again confirmed by David Headley, who was investigated by NIA. When this encounter happened, it was June 2004, when Congress was ruling India at the center. So who is to be blamed really? and What was CBI doing all these years?

        1. I would like you to read a little deeper into the Ishrat Jehan case. One IB officer collided with the top Gujarat Cops for the fake encounters. The timing of the fake encounter was critical. The five were picked up by police on 14th of June 2004 a day after Vajpayee openly declared in an interview with ZEE TV that he will call for a leadership change in Gujarat in the upcoming BJP annual meet in Mumbai on June 22nd. These killings and the declaration of their intention to target Modi and Advani was used to get the Hindutva forces firmly behind Modi before the meet and ultimately after the conclave in Mumbai Vajpayee came out defeated and disillusioned with the BJP so much that he openly declared that he has had enough. The same top cop DGP Vanzara was also involved in the encounter killings of Tulsiram Prajapathi and Shohrabuddin who were believed to be those involved in the killing of Haren Pandya, the former BJP home minister who was ready to dispose before fact finding commission against Modi for his role in the 2002 riots. Ironically it was DGP Vanzara himself who investigated the Pandya murder case and the case build by him against Islamic terrorists failed in front of the courts miserably, with facts coming to light that all the people accused by the investigation were framed. In a clear letter to HC, the NIA has mentioned categorically that Headley has not mentioned about Ishrat at all. It later turned out the same story was planted by the same IB guy to make Ishrat look like a terrorist.

          1. Good one Mahesh!!!

            A nice response to the previous comment made by someone….some of the facts you shared were new to me.

  2. Bhagat is no doubt a Sectarian propagandist and from nowhere he gives a feel of an objective writer. I don’t know why people even read a pseudo writer like him. We Indians need to move forward beyond Hindu – Muslim or other sectarian divides towards making our country a better country. The political compulsions of our filthy rich, arm twisting leaders, irrespective of their castes, creeds or regions, are killing the basic fabric of our country – UNITY in DIVERSITY. This divide is being percolated from the top and specially the role of Bhagwa brigade is ignominiously biased and eccentric. The RSS has a devious larger plan for the country and their recent moves in forcing Modi ahead and blindly supporting him is a part of that game plan. It will be a difficult time for everyone. All Hindus are not in favour of this plan but a national awareness against this deviousness need to go to the masses. Religions never teach hatred or divisions. Religion is surrender and acceptance.

  3. shabash
    well written and telling it like it is
    though i am on the wrong side of 50
    count me in

    rafiq kidwai

  4. I remember a broadcast from India Gate on the 5oth eve of independence which had M.J.Akbar as one of the anchors, and in responding to a similar rhetoric about muslims should rise above religious issue and seek more “meaningful” issues such as equal representation, economic upliftment etc…he said something which will stay with me for the rest of my life. “indian muslims like any other community in this world do not live by bread and butter alone..”!! There is of course a need to make matters economic better, but any community to grow and prosper needs a certain degree of religious immunity and certainly protection against the threat of violence specially if the margins are a 80-20 ratio. Also the religious identity of a people is centeral to their place in society be it muslims or hindus. last but not the least, i can understand a non communal party/leader telling us to move on and concentrate on matters more “important” but if the implication is that we adopt this forgiving attitude towards a mass murderer , well then that’s liek pardoning yourself isin’t it! or rather Mr.Bhagat “pardoning” Mr.Modi on behalf of the “Muslim youth” whose voice he so callously assumes !! it stinks Mr.Bhagat, it stinks very bad !

  5. CB has gone mad after he joined the allies of unofficial BJP promoters alike Baba Ramdev, Subramanyam Swami et al….
    CB… will you join BJP officially in near future or will just continue to promote it for a cash?

  6. Really great its a travesty yhat first we have to go through yawning novels of mr bhagat but since getting paid by apco he has behun his verbal namonia through these nonsense writeups….its really shameful to tolerate fun of ones religion & beliefs through such soulless creeps.

  7. damn, you guys take a letter by chetan bhagt so seriously? who do you think he is? are we forgetting he is a fiction writer?

    1. Just FYI, look out for the new TV series out sponsored by Endeavour – it isn’t as innocuous as it seems — now you know why Chetan Bhagat is doing this whole show!!

    2. Dear Utkarsh, the point here is what is his following. Mr. Bhagat’s writing were an object of fancy for me too once, and i distinctly remember blindly following him. Such as, today there are a number of people who blindly follow him and also there are those bloomers who still are getting the hang of whats happening. In such a scenario, what happens is people end up simply believing instead of thinking about it themselves. Which definitely is not in anyone’s benefit. Voice of the people, needs to originate from the people. Mr. Bhagat here is a gatekeeper, a facilitator, an influencer, who definitely needs to know that his words are no longer an object of play and amusement. Specially when you’re writing in a national daily.

  8. As a journalist I must say it is a well written letter and it is interesting to see so many people responding to a news. As you had stated, let me also make it clear at the outset that I am no Chetan Bhagat fan myself. However, to the enthusiastic writers may I please point out that you have either failed to read through to the end of ‘Letter from an Indian Muslim Youth’ published in The Times of India on 30 June 2013 or you clearly do not understand the concept of sarcasm.

    Before you get all fired up and react to a published piece of opinion please pay attention to make sure that you have understood the concept clearly. All the accusations that you have registered in your piece against Chetan Bhagat are false as he clearly states towards the end of his letter that the stereotypes that have been mentioned are no longer true if it ever was.

    To quote Chetan Bhagat:

    “What makes you think all a leader has to do is wear a cap, dole out some freebies, speak empty words and expect us all to vote in a pack? What are we, a herd of sheep? Does the God we pray to make us all part of one flock when it comes to politics?”

    Please give a man the benefit of doubt before thrashing him with such severe words and listen to what he has to say. As cheesy and romanticized as the Chetan’s writing is his intentions are not wrong.

    1. As a matter of principle I perfectly respect the right of CB for writing his view and also his opponents . But I feel that unnecessarily adivasis and dalits are mentioned in the aforesaid article , it is just attempt to make whole thing appeal to leftist oriented intellectuals and commentators and to paint one particular section of majority community in bad light .If the subject of article was ‘Muslim Youth’ ,please restrict your views to that only without any prejudice ,otherwise there is no difference between right wing propaganda and so called leftist ‘free’ media

    2. Mr. Nair, interpretations of his intentions can be varied but to read Mr. Bhagat’s letter and read again, all I realise is that no one should have right to represent a community and this holds true for this open letter as well.

      And to Madhuji, agreed that Chetan Bhagat has the right of writing his views and at the same time everyone has the right to interpret in their own way, but the basic thing is Why was it on behalf of the Muslim Youth.

      It should only have been Letter from Chetan Bhagat, That’s it.

      And I would stress upon it again that this letter too should not be put forward as a generalised point of view of the Muslim Youth.
      It is simply a reply by a section of people who are in total disagreement with Mr. Bhagat.

    3. How did you know what was his intention? How absurd! I don’t believe in fiction but facts makes a better movie

  9. The person who wrote this clearly seems to have more issues with Chetan’s political affiliations than the open letter he wrote. Read more like a sentimental rant which failed to address the “what” but took on the “who” of the letter.

    1. Sender -> Message -> Receiver
      That’s how it works, right?
      Equally important facet of any communication, especially when the receiving end is not ‘a’ person, but the masses.

  10. So, that’s why Muslim youths are subject to communal profiling and witch hunt ,staged encounter deaths and state sponsored killing..
    Chetan Bhagat :
    “..We have a wonderful religion. However, like any religion, the interpretation of it can be orthodox or liberal. In many parts of the world, there’s an extremely strict interpretation of Islam in daily life. India is more liberal,,.”
    Quote from a school kid’s essay on patriotism could have made better sense !

  11. Keeping aside what Chetan has written and what has been your response, will someone care to enlighten me about the sympathies expressed in this article for Afzal Guru, the convicted terrorist. Since when and how did he become a martyr for ‘Indian Muslims’ as seems to have been claimed here.

  12. It was needed. He needs to understand that one needs to know first then write. Even a good fiction has to be researched. Hope people who read the article in Times Of India, take it more as a child writing an essay in school. This child has just started writing and knowing people so I can’t blame him if he just enhances the stereotypes which exist. This is what I felt when I read the article in TOI. Please stop being spokesperson, we as a community(if people want to keep us in that way) don’t need one.

  13. A most excellent letter, all the better to expose the Modi-APCO machinations, enjoyed the parody letter put up by YD as well.

    The bottom-most signature caught my eye, though. Feminist is a designation now?

  14. Very well written.
    216. Sufiyan Sarguroh. Student who tired of the Namonia around. Mumbai.

  15. Mr Bhagat says that Islam is a wonderful religion, but like many other religions, it has many interpretations. I wonder which interpretation of Islam he truly believes in. He says some interpretations of Islam in many parts of the word are extremely strict, but he fails to see the socio-economical conditions, interplay of the games by the super-powers in these regions and the colonial rule that nourished and nurtured these ideas for a pretty long time for their own benefits. But that is beside the point. One can hardly expect his views in these matters to be more than this callous, shallow and inane observation. What is more worrying is that this condescending tone seems to follow the similar line of thoughts that suggests to move on with life, ignoring the attentiveness, frisking, occasional gibes and perhaps even occasional extra judicial killings.

  16. The Letter is the perfect answer to the stereotypical mindsets of people and glorious Intellectuals. It is because of these mindsets that we have never actually grown up from Castism and Religious discrimination all these years. Instead our present situation (that of the Indian Society at large) guarantees that these boundaries are going to stay in our lives forever.

    Chetan Bhagat has been a sensible individual so far and the article he published would have been better if it would have been his point of view and not that of the Muslim youth. What it describes might be experiences and aspirations of an individual but to categorize those as the state of Muslim youth in our nation as such, is a ridiculous idea.

    Mr. Bhagat you have hardly been off the hook so far but sadly with this article, you have trodden the wrong path and you have gone a little too far.

    And as for the apt reply in the form of this open letter, I just want clarifications and that can be healthy discussions, on the Afzal Guru hanging. I am not advocating it as a justified and correct act on part of the establishment but what I don’t understand is the terming of the event as 100% incorrect and anti muslim.

    I look forward to replies from the distinguished members.

  17. How can a biased emotional response be any more useful than a piece of crap written by a self proclaimed daddy-cool of India? No one, except his tiny-bopper fans, has any love for his fiction. The way to counter that is to write a rational response, not emotional one.

    To someone who is not taking sides – This letter doesn’t seem have a problem with the piece that he wrote, neither does this seem to have problem with chetan bhagat himself. The problem is NaMo (because the original piece was written on his behalf).

    When we take that approach – that’s when we stoop as low as chetan bhagat to fight him.

    That’s what makes it as disgusting as the original piece itself.

    1. Rightly said Kanchan, emotions should not interfere in rational thinking. The point where this reply to Chetan Bhagat’s letter is justified is that no one gets the right to generalize and speak on behalf of a community and that too the one which is so diversified in our nation.

      But we should keep this in mind that this holds true for everyone, even those who belong to that community.

      This is why we fail as a nation, we have people who take charge of others and become spokespersons for communities, regions and sections when they are highly ineligible to do so.

  18. Signed. Rajesh Das, IT Professional, Bangalore
    (and, to those for whom it matters, I am also a temple going hindu)

  19. well written. direct and minces no words. a good rejoinder. let us see how Bhagat replies to this.

  20. I think Chetan Bhagat should stick to fiction(although I found them a waste of my time) which help him earn his bread and butter. He should not speak in public about matters he understands little or nothing about.

  21. Signed, Radhika Mohandas, Writer, Mumbai.
    I refuse to acknowledge someone by their religion because I really have nothing to do with it. No one does. A politician, leader, person needs to treat any other person like a human, and addressing a religious community is stupid. Mr Bhagat may have his credentials but his prejudices need to be kept away from mass media.

  22. Disgusted with the patronising attitude of Chetan Bhagat’s letter. Empathy and nuance of thought are concepts alien to Mr. Bhagat. He would do well to remember the quote from the British philosopher Herbert Spencer, ““Civilization is a progress from an indefinite, incoherent homogeneity toward a definite, coherent heterogeneity.”

    Signed: Sumit Katyal, New Delhi

  23. I would appreciate if a Muslim were to take on Hindu majoritarian subjectivity and caricature it like Chetan Bhagat has done while claiming to be speaking on behalf of the Muslim youth. Or rather more specifically speak for the Right Wing Modi loving Hindu fascist youth and thus make their inner stupidity and ugliness manifest to them. That would be really creative and also pay this nitwit in his own coin. Anyone up for it?

  24. If Chetan Bhagat can conjure his dream Muslim so can a Muslim conjure a dream Hindu or at least laugh at one! It is about the power to represent and the direction of the gaze. The Indian cinematic gaze, popular media and pulp fiction caricatures Muslims, women and various other minorities. The gaze can and should get reversed.

  25. Inspired by Chetan Bhagat’s ‘Letter from an Indian Muslim youth’ Some YellowDoggie already wrote this.

    Letter from an Indian Hindu youth

    Dear caretakers of Indian Hindus (includes swayamsevaks, once-and-forever-ethnic chauvinist parties, confused allies, Babas, Sadhvis, and generally anybody in New Jersey these days).

    You are probably wondering who I am. After all, I don’t have a name like Narendra or Thakre or Subramanian, anything that will clearly establish me as a Hindu. You have the good fortune to never have read some awful fiction this writer once wrote. So perhaps I, or what I say here, is nothing but a fabrication.

    Everyone seems to care for Hindus, but no one actually wants to listen to us, particularly the youth. I keep hearing political leaders promising to give us our due. I don’t know how they plan to do this for us and only us, without giving the nation its due. But then, I am a nobody, what do I know?

    I see them wear saffron headscarves and wield homespun trishuls, perhaps to show us that they really do mean to improve our lives by lopping off some bystander’s limbs. However, a tilak on your head doesn’t change anybody’s life. Using what’s inside your head might. You haven’t. For why else do we continue to be one of the most inclusive and diverse communities in the world? I mean have you seen the Gujjus, Bongs and Tam Brahms coexist in Edison?

    It is not like India has a shortage of Hindu achievers. There are Hindu stars in almost every field (even Bollywood). These people achieved what they did without any mob-inciting politician helping them. They had a modern outlook and a desire to come up in life. We need a leader who understands this, and inspires us to do better. In fact we voted twice for an Italian. We need jobs. We need good schools and colleges. We need a good, clean home with power and water (yes, all of us in one home). We need a decent standard of living. We don’t need it as a handout (with some understandable exceptions such as the Ambanis, Jindals and Adanis). We are willing to work hard for it. Just, if you can, create the opportunities to do so.

    What makes you think all a leader has to do is wave a rusty sword, threaten to chop some minority limbs, indulge the therapeutic effects of cow urine and expect us all to vote in a pack? What are we, a herd of slow-moving bovines? Do the Gods we pray to make us all part of one flock when it comes to politics? Is that India? Last I heard we are not a religious republic. So treat us like democratic citizens.

    You know what hurts? We do not have a strong modern Kanyakubj Brahmin. If I am an Indian Hindu, who believes in ambition, scientific way of thinking, entrepreneurship, empowerment, progress and personal freedoms, where do I go? Which party is backing that? Can someone give me a Brahmin leader who represents my aspirations? And I don’t mean those Maoists, even though this guy I know from Bastar who works at IBM said he could swing me a sweet limestone quarry if I paid them off.

    I cannot tell you the frustration we feel. It is bad enough we find it difficult to rent an apartment to a Muslim (so many – everywhere!), the police ignores us even when we burn the Samjhauta Express and we have to bear the frequent jibes from SC/STs (are they Hindu anyway?). But what is truly sick is this: you guys claim to care for us but are only reinforcing communal divisions. I mean I may not want to rent to a Muslim but it’s not like I want to start beating the crap out of one for the heck of it. Not good for GDP growth. People have repeatedly rejected your brand of identity politics (note previous point about voting for an Italian. Twice.) Don’t hide your sins behind your fake caring for us. We know you neither care for India, nor for Hindus, nor for the United States of America.

    Maybe I am being too harsh, and some of you are indeed well intentioned (except for Subramanian Swamy who is clearly batshit). But realize the consequences every time you slot us by our religion. There is more to us than that.

    If you truly want to help, there is one area where you could. We have a wonderful religion. However, like any religion, the interpretation of it can be orthodox or liberal. In many parts of the country, there’s an exclusionist interpretation of Hinduism in daily life. We discriminate against women, Chinkis, scheds, pretty much everyone who isn’t gora. India is more liberal, and many Hindus would prefer to keep it this way. Can you support us in that? Don’t let our religious heads, extreme voices and fundamentalists control our lives, for that isn’t the essence of India. If you can do that, we will back you. You will truly be our representatives if you promote real progress – through empowerment and modernization of our community. The Indian Hindu has evolved. It is time you do too.

    1. I see nothing wrong in both Chetan Bhagat’s as well as Yellowdoggie’s letter though the latter is supposed to caricature the former. Both seem cry against stereotyping, patronizing, and cynically exploitative leadership. Very sane voices, which is more than can be said of many people posting here..

  26. Signed. Kshitiz Roy, Student, Delhi University.
    Chetan Bhagat, u better keep your mouth shut when it comes to serious issues about which a cocooned elitist like you has absolutely no idea. Please stop this intellectual ” KOLAVERI -SISATION” of each and every issue with which India is grappling with.

  27. Please add my signature too — Radhika, freelance writer, dog-blogger, travel tripper, India

  28. Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are. Sign me in. Rafat Khan.

  29. I don’t feel he has written anything against the Muslim community. He has just highlighted how majority of the political parties are treating them and because of which we have to face this reality today. Well if you are not a fan of his regressive fictions that is fine, you should not have read his this article too. After all we don’t like each and every articles which are being published in the newspaper. And why is that every time we are talking about the “community” we have this name Modi crop up. His article never mentioned about Modi and yet you have brought his name. True, major part of the country is having NaMonics ..good or bad, that I would not comment. And he is not suggesting any leaders, he is just making a comment on how the leadership in general should have more scientific approach for general upliftment of the society. You write “You know what hurts? That people pretend to care for you when they don’t. When in fact they use you to grind their own axe”. This is what the major political parties see the community. And where did this name Afzal Guru come up in your article. How is that related to Chetan’s article. SC convicted him, President unpardoned him ..chapter close. I believe President unpardoned one more serial rapist which was at all not related to this article. “Muslim youth would not have fallen prey to minority witch-hunting, and their killers not decorated with gallantry awards.” Any examples for this sir (I fail to understand your’s this statement). Sir..why you remember always Gujrat, because, certain political parties are keeping the fire burning. You would not talk about Assam (2102), Delhi (1984) in the same vein, because that are not part of cheap political game of some parties. I don’t know if my post would be published between you impressive list of signatories but it is high time that you people should move ahead of these petty religious politics and think about jobs, schools, colleges, power, infrastructure, housings and all because that even after 60+ years of Indian independence, these still are basic requirements of major part of our population, weather the population belongs to this community or that community.

  30. I do support you against Chetan Bhagat’s Modi – fied thoughts.
    Saeed Shaikh, Civil engineer & President of Rahber Education And Welfare Society, Ahmedabad.M: 09624046677

  31. Hello- It may just be because of the subcontinental Moslems’ history and behaviour that causes non-Moslems, particualrly Hindus, to view them differently than they would Parsees, Buddhists, Sikhs( Khalistan movement notwithstanding) Jains, Jews and Christians. Creating Pakistan through rioting and violence, separatism in Kashmir and ethnic cleansing of non-Moslems in the newly created Moslem majority countries and Moslem majority state of Kashmir, is not something that can be ignored.

  32. I too appreciate that many of us like minded human beings are condemning this fictional writer who is fictional fictional and fictional and does not exist. Why to take him so seriously

  33. Chetan Bhagat, what an idiot.

    Please write down my name as well. Shourav, alienated youth, New Delhi.

  34. now people like you should rise up and give rebuttal to all the organised and planted lies of these sort.Include my name. ihad earlier sent him a reply on an individual basis too.I had asked him to confine himself to narrating juicy tales of the call centres rather than becoming and undercover agent for NAmo.I am happy a detailed reply has come.

  35. I quite liked Kai Po Che, the movie based on Chetan’s book – 3 mistakes of my life. It had a balanced and sensitive portrayal of communal discord. Unfortunately he has damaged his credibility by writing this patronizing letter. I would be cautious about running him down so early. If we engage with Chetan, I am sure he will see the facts for what they are and reduce the intensity of his support for Modi.

  36. First, any comment that starts with the sentence ” I am not a fan of Mr. Bhagat” but wishes the readers to rise above polemics and read his letter carefully, shows that it is still deferring to the opinion of the many in this post who have either not read his letter properly or are so blinded by their own prejudices that it wouldn’t matter if they did read it.

    Second, Bhagat’s letter was against the hypocrisy of politicians who play the minority card. At least, that is what I got from it. If there was any hidden agenda of Bhagat as some of the commentators have claimed, then it was truly well- hidden. What was not hidden in the letter given in response, however, was the tagging of issues that Bhagat neither mentioned nor alluded to, whether it is Modi, Guru, Adivasis, etc. He speaks of India not being a religious republic but a democratic one. The implicatiom of allowing people to get equal opportunities to better their lot is the quest for procedural and distributive justice, not politics. By wearing caps, which is a vestigial gimmick, one cannot achieve this. If commentators find this aspiration for and assumption of a democratic republic objectionable or untrue then that is that.

    Third, why is it so objectionable to put oneself in another’s shoes and try to talk from their perspective. In conflict studies, people are encouraged to do this in order to challenge their own assumptions and biases and understand the other person’s viewpoint. Yes, he is a celebrity and has a following but does that automatically mean he has no right to do this? From the beginning, he make his position clear that as a writer of fiction this is a fabrication, an exercise in imagination, but what comes across is that his concerns are not.

    My views are based on the strength of these two letters alone. It is just that we see so much of closed and value loaded interpretations and extreme positions in Indian media and society today that I wish we, as readers, were more circumspect.

  37. Enter my name too, Mazin Mohammad, graduate , Indian Institute of Information Technology Allahabad

  38. Signed..!! Well written..!!!! Add me too..!!!
    Tushita Mukherjee
    Social Worker
    Vacha, Mumbai

  39. I dont understand what qualifies CB to be a social comentator. His opinions display a level of maturity of a clever schoolboy whose ideas are built upon half baked observations and snatches of remembered parts of textbooks and lectures. In his article he reflects the same biases that he is writing against. He should have stopped with 5 point someone (which also is possibly utterly unrepresentative as its written by a 9 pointer! )

  40. “protection against the threat of violence specially if the margins are a 80-20 ratio.”

    This has got to be one of the most silly lines in the discussion. My goodness, what an horrendous outnumbering, 5 to 1. Moslems must be a tiny, microscopic minority in India and the rest of the subcontinent. Parsees, Jews, Jains and Buddhists have massive numbers everywhere, and thus feel highly secure. Actually, of course, their small numbers do not make them feel insecure in the least. So look elsewhere for this Moslem self pity and insecurity, like perhaps their religion or their leaders( or both).

  41. I don’t usually read TOI, but i was forced to pick it up at a relative’s for lack of any other newspaper. And then i see this article by Bhagat that made me want to vomit. I am overjoyed at chancing upon this response. An opportunist and idiot like chetan, being celebrated as an intellectual alone justifies any cynicism towards humanity.

  42. As per my viewpoint we need to read Mr Bhagat’s article objectively, keeping all the idoelogical differences aside. I have raised some of the points that potrays that the intention of Mr Bhagat was indeed well. The statement of the article,’ I don’t know how they plan to uplift us and only us, without uplifting the nation.’….this statement clearly spells out the fact that upliftment of Muslims is not, in any way, divorced from the overall progress of the nation, that they need jobs, good schools and colleges, clean water and food, just like any other person belonging to any religion or community. The fact that Muslim communities are deprived of these basic necessities has been revealed in the Sachar Commitee Report which extensively talks about ghettoisation of Muslims and the municipal agencies not paying adequate attention to the Muslim dominated areas. And the statement, ‘We don’t need it as a handout. We are willing to work hard for it. Just, if you can, create the opportunities to do so.’ can be linked to the oft held view that affirmative action policies are nothing but distributing freebies to least deserving people for the sake of vote banks. Next he breaks the myth that Muslims vote in a pack and that muslims have the similar criterias for casting their votes as anybody else, corruption and development. And in a paragraph he brings up all the widely held myths and debases them. And we all have to believe that across the world Muslims are always seen through the lens of religion, and an orthodox version of it, and the same is true of India. One just needs to go through Sachar Committee Report to realize the kind of biases and prejudices that they are facing and we, common people, have played no less role in it than our politicians.

    1. The New York Times called Bhagat “the biggest selling English language novelist in India’s history. Time magazine named him as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. All the books have remained bestsellers since their release and three have inspired Bollywood films. They are the WHO in your question reading Chetan Bhagat.

  43. I also feel disgusted by Chetan Bhagat’s such prejudiced views. Prejudiced views can target some illfully and benefit a fews, but are dangerous to the country.
    Count me as well in the list of signatories.

  44. The main culprit in this sordid affair is none other than The Times of India. Why should Chetan Bhagat write a letter posing or representing Indian Muslim sentiments when 200 million Indian Muslims have among themselves quite a few articulate writers who could very well write their views and concerns in the Times of India. None of them bothered, as the reputation of Times of India, within Muslim community is zilch. It will never publish true voice of Indian Muslims. Even letters to Editor will never be published unless they adhere to TOI policy. One will never find many articles by Muslim writers in TOI. So it is no surprise that TOI must have commissioned Chetan Bhagat to write such a stinky patchy job.

  45. except the part about afzal guru i agree to what you people have said. No doubt india is democratic country where every individual has all rights be it muslim , hindu , sikh or any other religion for that matter. we are indian youth first and then muslim hindu christian .
    if you consider your self in a bad position other will definitely take advantage of that.

  46. Just supplant the Muslim with Hindu and make the Muslim Caps into something the Hindus are identified by – like a tikka? The article holds true about politicians and on. And guys – please I urge you as a Muslim to fight other battles. Chetan Bhagat is not the battle you need to be fighting. ‘Leaders’ he talks about – he is a poorly researched person who knows little about Muslims and their travails – no elections have been held in the three Muslim Universities Aligarh, Osmania and Jamia for some years now. ALigarh they had elections but the candidates were factotums of the VC. The VCs of Aligarh – the less said the better. So it is. Fight against bigger and more pressing evils perpetrated against Muslims – Chetan Bhagat is a fly on the wall, Treat him as such.

  47. I would say the Letter from Chetan Bhagat wasn’t properly read or understood for he tried supporting those who went against him in the letter posted here. I am no fan of Chetan Bhagat but I could understand his concern for the youth of the minorities. Please try paying a little more attention and you may find his views supporting those of your own.

  48. I think I am late in responding to this article.. But, better late than never..

    I was born to a Hindu family and that family has taught me that I am a Human being ONLY and do not belong to any religion/caste.. I absolutely want to sign this article and show my support..

    Chetan Bhagat has started thinking that just because he has written a few books that were ‘best sellers’ he has the right and wisdom to speak on any topic.. I think the best response to such people, is to just not respond. They are not worth the time and effort.

    It is a shame that we have people like Modi getting so much support in our country…Looks like he may end up becoming the next PM, and that day would definitely be one of the ‘darkest’ days for our country..

    God save the country and the fools inhabiting it!!!

  49. Mostly CB is intimidated by saffron group for showing them in their true colours in the book “The 3 Mistakes of My Life” and subsequent movie “Kai Po Che” in the incidents like Godhra train burning, subsequent riots and so on thus CB joining their propaganda and endorsing saffron group directly or indirectly. OR CB might have actually sold out to saffron group for some personal motives. I am very pity on him, being such a intellectual and gifted person is used in this manner…

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