In the classic fashion that a movement goes viral online, another one has.
This one is called #TalkToAMuslim.
This hashtag was popularised by Bollywood celebrity Swara Bhaskar among others which included TV personality Gauhar Khan and eminent scribe Rana Safvi.
The aim of this particular movement is to dispel the misconceptions that people of certain communities hold about Muslims by initiating dialogue.
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) July 17, 2018
The hashtag is currently trending at the top on Twitter with a massive amount of people tweeting out photos of themselves holding a placard saying
“I am Indian Muslim
I am human too
You can talk to me
#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
This movement/trend is similar to the many that came and went before it. This begs the question whether the same pattern in which the movement trends for a few days and then fades away will be repeated here as well.
I say no.
The reason is that of the fundamental change in approach that this adopts. Whereas campaigns such as #MeToo or Gurmehar Kaur’s ‘War killed my father’ also got huge social media attention, they faded away with little to no effect on the diaspora.
This campaign differs as it promotes engagement and dialogue with a community which claims that it is being misrepresented in popular discourse. It provides an avenue to counter the slander and allegations being thrown on this particular community.
But while this chance at a dialogue does sound intriguing in this particular political climate, it also creates a new ‘Us vs Them’ divide by classifying the Muslim community as a separate people that need to be engaged with.
You further identify them as a people who are essentially in need of some kind of an affirmative action from you. This also cements the difference between a majority and a minority, hurting chances of reconciliation of all differences, which is the ultimate goal.
However, this kind of a positive campaign is needed in such a negatively polarised atmosphere to stem the polarisation and turn the tide back towards a less divisive one.
Image Source: Google Images
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