What happens when a bearded man asks for a seat that is reserved for a senior citizen on the Delhi Metro? He gets told that the seat is reserved for Hindustanis and not Pakistanis.
According to a Facebook post by womens' rights activist Kavitha Krishnan, a friend of hers was travelling on the violet line of the Delhi Metro last week when the incident took place.
Santosh Roy, who is the national secretary of the trade union body AICCTU, reportedly saw two young men sitting on the seats reserved for senior citizens.
"A senior citizen (who appeared to be Muslim because he had a beard and no moustache) came up to the young men and asked one of them to allow him to sit. The young men refused. When the senior citizen asked them again, the young men told him, 'This seat is for Hindustanis not for Pakistanis like you. If you want a seat go to Pakistan and get it there.'," Krishnan wrote in her post.
Krishnan said that Roy objected to the statement and told the men to apologise and give the man a seat.
Krishnan said at that point some other young men came to the defence of the abusive duo. One of them even reportedly caught Roy by the collar and told him to 'Go to Pakistan', she said.
"Comrade Roy stood his ground, and several other passengers in the metro came to his support. When the metro stopped at Khan Market station, a guard entered the compartment. As the guard, accompanied by Comrade Roy and the elderly Muslim gentleman, took the two young men to the police chowki at Pandara Road, the young men’s other ‘supporters’ promptly deserted them," she wrote.
She said that even after a police complaint was filed at the police station, the two men threatened that their supporters were coming. The next day Roy got calls saying that the men wanted to apologise but he told them to apologise to the man they had targeted.
"Some days later Comrade Roy visited the police chowki. There, the elderly gentleman had given a written statement that he accepted the apology from the two young men and that he had forgiven them keeping in mind their young age. The young men were contrite and made many apologies to Comrade Roy also, while their parents, who were also present, said that their sons had done a shameful and wrong thing," she wrote.
Krishnan pointed out that the victim might not have wanted to pursue the long legal process involved, but said what was important was that the two men were not allowed to escape unchallenged by fellow passengers.
The activist claimed that the men "had been emboldened by the prevailing communal climate to think they could get away with abusing a Muslim person."
"In times when a communal climate is being manufactured all around us, it is important for every Indian to show active support for minorities when they are subjected to abuse, indignities or violence," she wrote.
Krishnan said it was important for people to publicly stand with marginalised groups and minorities to ensure they weren't discriminated against.
Read her full Facebook post: