because of the Great Partition. My family members have never regretted the choice made, as life in India has been quite comfortable for us. Even in those days of tumult that followed the great Partition, neither our existence here in India, nor our faith, nor our loyalty was questioned. Neither was our patriotism. But now, with the passage of time there is a drastic change in people. This I realized when recently, I was asked to define which country I belonged to. I wondered why, but people told me that my very existence here was a threat unless I made it clear as to which country I support. I did not understand why my existence in the locality should trouble them when I am in no way connected to Osama Bin Laden and also very far away from the Kashmir Issue. They would not listen. When I actually understood what they were asking, it came as a shock to me. They were asking me to prove my patriotism. Am I a patriot? I never thought about it. But then, I was forced to think about my relation with the place I have lived so far and the place I was born.
Yes, I have been living in India benefiting from all the facilities, social, political and educational that the government of India has unquestionably provided me. I have enjoyed all the security it has provided me and made use of its resources for my development. I know and understand the need to express my loyalty to this country and I am ready to offer my services to it, whenever required. If one would want to give this the name of patriotism, then so be it.
But I cannot deny the idea that I would have had all these privileges even if I had been in Pakistan. Moreover, I was born in that country and my relatives still live there.
Now, if I am asked to support and render my services to only one of these places, which one should I choose? And, after choosing one of these places, will I still be considered a patriot?
These thoughts I suppose, have occupied the minds of many a Muslim, who are in a situation mentioned above, throughout the country. Will future India relieve them of these thoughts?