Supreme Court advocate Anas Tanwir was stuck in traffic in the NCR Delhi region when it was time to break his roza (fasting during Ramazan). He discretely asked his Uber cab driver, a Hindu, if he carried drinking water with him.
The equally discreet driver not only offered him water but also fruits that he had kept as his food for his fasting during Navratri.
Anas Tanwir shared his experience on Twitter and wrote:
"Was stuck in traffic around iftar time. I asked @Uber driving partner Yatin Kumar who was fasting for Navratra if he had water. He immediately understood that I was fasting and not only he gave me water he shared his box full of fruits which he had kept for his fast.
Was stuck in traffic around iftar time. I asked @Uber's driving partner Yatin Kumar who was fasting for Navratra if he had water. He immediately understood that I was fasting and not only he gave me water he shared his box full of fruits which he had kept for his fast.— Anas Tanwir (@Vakeel_Sb) March 28, 2023
The netizens reacted to his post with the “this is how we have always been” remarks and everyone praised a common Indian for his intrinsic respect for all religions. Many wondered if the advent of social media was making such normal incidents look unprecedented.
In the same thread, Anas wrote about his earlier similar experience in a hotel. He said during Ramazan when he was attending a meeting and needed to break his fast in the evening, he was served a curated platter suitable for a fasting Muslim even as the hotel had arranged a buffet.
“Once I went for team dinner around Iftar time, when the hotel staff got to know I'm fasting & will wait for sometime before I start eating, they brought special iftar plate curated just for me. And mind you it was a restrictive buffet dinner & these items were out of their list!"
Anas, further wrote:
This was once normal. 'Was' being the operative term. Today these stories need to be told. I was hesitant asking him for water. He said he's had iftar many times with his friends. There was no social or political commentary. Just two people sharing their fast in peace.— Anas Tanwir (@Vakeel_Sb) March 28, 2023
His post has been seen by 121.8K people in 12 hours and it has elicited interesting comments from netizens both Hindus and Muslims:
A fellow advocate Vishal Raj Sehijpal wrote:
This is normal. It’s just that thanks to media and social media, few negative stories reach us which we confuse as majority. India is still the land of love and coexistence. Ppl like that driver, you and me are in abundance. Happy Fasting— VISHAL RAJ SEHIJPAL (@vishalsehijpal) March 28, 2023
Mehnaj Amjad wrote:
“ay Allah SWT bring back these days, this mindset and this approach back in our India Ameen Prayers for all, including my beloved motherland. My India Our country is in dire need of safety and protection.”
“This was the normal. It’s sad that now we hv to share these stories. Tells of the sad times we live in. Women in chawls in Mumbai used to look after bachelors fasting of both the religions.”
Swapneel Bhartiya’s response was:
“True. Never before this would have been incident worth tweeting. Today indeed these need to be told , I see today’s 20-year-olds being more polarized instead of acknowledging difference of opinions.”
“Something that was normal earlier needs to be told and celebrated today. Holding on to one's humanity, empathy and hope seem harder today than yesterday, but we shall overcome.”
Abhisheek Dwivedi said:
“99.9999% “INDIAN” would love to do this for you. I am happy to see that you met a good guy. We will have differences & we will argue or say something that you won’t like but we are a “family” & we love you all.”
Sasikumar Kannan said:
“This is normal in many places. Social media now chooses to highlight the extremes which feeds into people’s perception of reality. If as vicious cycle, we should get out of our bubbles and live in real life rather than the online world.”
ALSO READ: Ramazan coincides with fasting traditions of Hindus and Christians in India
Anas Tanwir is the founder of the Indian Civil Liberties Union, an advocacy group, and is associated with Iftar4all, a global campaign to feed the needy and the neglected people during the month of Ramazan. He is also a poet and posts his works in his blog https://antaryaam.weebly.com/