ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Cities with Borders

Hindu and Muslim evacuees of a development project in Ahmedabad want to be resettled separately.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is often praised for the “efficient” administration of the state government. But the not-so-subtle message that thousands of Hindu and Muslim families, evacuees of the Sabarmati River Front Development project, have sent to the Modi administration gives the lie to this praise.

In a random computer-generated draw of lots, these families were allocated houses in the suburbs of Ahmedabad by the city municipal corporation. But each community has appealed to the state administration for re-allotment in areas where they feel secure – the Muslims want to live in “Muslim Ahmedabad” and the Hindus want to be in “Hindu Ahmedabad”. It is a matter of shame that the city’s areas are unofficially and casually referred to in these terms. But the appeal by the two communities shows the extent to which society in Ahmedabad has been communalised and members of each religious community prefer to live in their “own” areas. The Muslims feel safe only in the Muslim-dominated ghettos and the Hindus do not want any Muslims in their midst.

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