Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Why are Muslims in India finding security in a ghetto called Juhapura?

from an article on the riot victims of Gujarat in OutlookIndia
"Our menfolk were lucky. They died. We die bit by bit everyday in the struggle to live, but we cannot afford the luxury of death. There are children to bring up." Soberly, Sahaliya Khatun sums up her life, and her sister-in-law Firoza Banu’s. Five years ago, police killed their husbands, and they joined the ranks of over 20,000 victims of the 2002 communal riots[...]
From retired judges and bureaucrats to the lowly handcart-wallah, Muslims find security here—but not much else. Five lakh people live here, twice the population of Gandhinagar, but squeezed into an area less than one-fourth the size of the state capital. Civic amenities are virtually non-existent, and even nationalised banks fight shy of giving loans here. Water comes largely through borewells, there is no drainage, and internal roads are virtually non-existent. Juhapura is a blot on the face of 60-year-old India.

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