Editorial: Stop Deepening Social Fissures

Editorial: Stop Deepening Social Fissures

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Friday, June 14, 2024, 08:40 PM IST
article-image
Representative Image | Pixabay

How deep can the hatred of Muslims be that it trumps good sense, fear of the law, social norms and possible worldwide censure is seen in the disgusting case of a Vadodara housing society in which 33 residents of the 462-unit complex moved local authorities to cancel an allotment made to a Muslim woman. Citing possible “threat and nuisance” from her and her son if they occupied the flat, allotted to them in the low-income housing complex in 2017, the residents sent their “complaint letter” to the district collector, mayor, municipal commissioner and police commissioner of Vadodara. In this, they cited that theirs was a “Hindu-dominated peaceful area”. This is a reprehensible and deeply disturbing hardening of stances in a process that saw Muslims being denied rental homes and turned away from buying property in mixed neighbourhoods or Hindu-majority areas around the country.

Gujarat’s state laws prohibiting certain sale-purchase, such as the Disturbed Areas Act, have added fuel to the communal fire. Four years ago, Ahmedabad police had arrested a man for concealing his religion while selling his property to a Muslim. However, to single out Gujarat would be to train the lens on the loudest voice in a classroom full of bullies. Mumbai and Delhi have not been far behind; other states have seen such instances too. In 2021, the Uttarakhand government ordered the police to “track” land deals because there was a demographic change, couching hate in euphemistic words. Whether overtly as in Vadodara or covertly as elsewhere, the ghettoisation in living spaces is complete as Muslims are forced to live together even if they want accommodation in a mixed neighbourhood.

This should have been offensive to most Indians, violating as it does Constitutional guarantees and personal liberty. Instead, that the “Vadodara Model” is being deployed across the board should be a cause for grave concern. Segregation and the resulting ghettoisation deepen social fissures and mistrust, and puts minorities at a disadvantage in terms of education and standard of life. It also makes such areas easier targets during communal flashpoints as seen in Delhi riots. Not too long ago, this would have received widespread condemnation from a cross-section of Indians in and beyond Vadodara. The muted censure now, that too from select circles, shows how deep the communal poison and Islamophobia run in the ‘New India’. What would Mahatma Gandhi have done in Vadodara?

RECENT STORIES

Will The BJP Implode Due To Its Own Contradictions & Pressures?

Will The BJP Implode Due To Its Own Contradictions & Pressures?

Editorial: Avoid Standoff Over Educational Funds

Editorial: Avoid Standoff Over Educational Funds

Let’s Junk Planned Obsolescence For The Right To Repair

Let’s Junk Planned Obsolescence For The Right To Repair

India Needs To Stay Engaged With The New Government In Kathmandu

India Needs To Stay Engaged With The New Government In Kathmandu

Editorial: Puja Khedkar Casts A Shadow

Editorial: Puja Khedkar Casts A Shadow