Source: The Washington Post
I can still recall the night of December 7th, 1992, when I witnessed human suffering and death for the first time. Streets around New Delhi were deserted due to the curfew imposed by the military. I sat with my parents at the dinner table and watched the evening news, filled with images of burning homes in Nizamuddin, a pre-dominantly Muslim neighborhood.
At the time I was only six years old, too young to comprehend that the Babri Mosque had been demolished by Hindu fundamentalists, resulting in wide-scale Hindu-Muslim riots. All I could think about was my friend Zafar - who I'd known since pre-school - and his family who lived in that neighborhood.
I fondly remember participating in Eid celebrations with his family and him celebrating Diwali and Pongal with mine. To me, Hindus and Muslims were all part of India; but as I sat watching with hopelessness, despair, and loss at the burning homes, this notion of India was shattered.