The current socio-political climate of India is a cause of concern for many people, but perhaps few people feel it as gravely as those who belong to religious minorities.

In this age of hate-fueled atmosphere, a young man's post about what it is like to be a Muslim in current India, is a stark reminder of the times we're living in. Aazar Anis commented about his upbringing, about being an atheist, and about the 'religious identity' he is made to identify with, in a post he shared on his Instagram page.

Aazar, who is an atheist, began his post by talking about how he belongs to an open-minded family - one that did not force him to follow a religious code of conduct.

I come from a fairly open-minded background. My name, given to me by Ayya (grandmother), is anti-Islamic. It means idol maker. I've never looked at myself as a Muslim. I don't believe in god.
Reading quran
Source: tikaprn.wordpress (Representational Image)

However, while he may have always thought of himself as more than just his religious identity, the world continued to remind him that he was a Muslim.

I have never seen myself as a Muslim. It's somehow always been the world's job to remind me. Be it my classmates who made me count down to Friday and then label it as my favourite day to the ones who would hug me ironically without it being Eid.
People celebrating Eid
Source: MSN (Representational Image)

From facing discrimination (subtle and obvious) to the action-oriented reminder of how he was a Muslim first, and an Indian later, Aazar lived with the knowledge that 'he did not belong here'.

It was also there in seemingly harmless jibes when acquaintances wished me a Happy Independence Day on 14th of August and told me they're wearing green for me. I know that tone. It seems annoyed and friendly at the same time, like a reminder. And I can sum it up: 'You don't belong here'.
Independence Day
Source: The Hindu (Representational Image)

He ends his post by talking about how, imagining 'dire consequences' has become a daily activity for him. And, in the midst of seeing a harmful, bleak future, he raises a pertinent question to the government.

I now imagine dire consequences daily. A future where my friends turn away & my family is harmed. How can a government function properly when even an iota of the masses they rule over feel threatened for their lives and see no hope?
CAB Protests
Source: ET (Represenational Image For CAB Protests)

Many people commented on his post, either sharing their own stories, or offering support.

But, what Aazar's story truly highlights is the ground reality of living in a world where hate has started to hold more sway than love and understanding.

You can read the complete post here:

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"Aazar yeh lo," my dadi, Ayya, said sliding me a 10-rupee note before I left for school. It was the month of Ramzan. I looked at her. Confused, having woken up with her a couple of hours back to start my fast. "Bhook lage toh kha lena," she finished, leaving me more confused. I come from a fairly open-minded background. My name, given to me by Ayya, is anti-islamic. It means idol maker. I've never looked at myself as a Muslim. I don't believe in god. I don't study namaaz. I don't keep rozas (anymore). I have 17 tattoos and one piercing. I eat everything and I drink everything. My family knows this and loves me all the same. Apart from the not-so-pretty picture I've just painted, I have always tried to be a good person. I have never seen myself as a Muslim. It's somehow always been the world's job to remind me. Be it my classmates who made me count down to Friday and then label it as my favourite day to the ones who would hug me ironically without it being Eid. Once I reached middle school, a boy wanted to beat me up because he was awoken by the morning azaan. Soon, a few started calling me a mullah. I felt anger in my first girlfriend's brother and father's voice who would listen in on our childish phone conversations and ask me where I am calling from. It was also there in seemingly harmless jibes when acquaintances wished me a Happy Independence Day on 14th of August and told me they're wearing green for me. I know that tone. It seems annoyed and friendly at the same time, like a reminder. And I can sum it up: 'You don't belong here'. As India becomes more and more right-wing where hate rules and murderers run free, gaining Lok Sabha seats and winning elections, I feel strangely exposed and not wanted, again. And all my childhood anxieties and traumas are coming to fore. I now imagine dire consequences daily. A future where my friends turn away & my family is harmed. I imagine horrible things happening between my girlfriend and me, who isn't a Muslim. How can a government function properly when even an iota of the masses they rule over feel threatened for their lives and see no hope? And how do we, the people of India, the newly disenfranchised, go on?

A post shared by Aazar Anis (@justanothermellowghost) on

India appears to be moving towards a future where the intangible wave of intolerance is becoming stronger than the written words of the constitution we, as a country, should abide by.