What Gujarat Does Today — Subhash Gatade

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People queue up to greet Narendra Modi, the then Gujarat chief minister at a Sadbhavana Sabha (reconciliation meet)
People queue up to greet Narendra Modi, the then Gujarat chief minister at a Sadbhavana Sabha (reconciliation meet)

How the enterprising Muslim business community is being systemically shut out of the Vibrant Gujarat

SUBHASH GATADE

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]otelier Mustafa Patel from Gujarat- owner of Jyoti Hotel – is a very sad these days.

His famous hotel- which used to lie on Viramgam highway, merely ninety minute drive from Ahmedabad, is now closed. Anyone who has traveled on that road would vouch about its quality preparations, all the employees who worked with him are in search of another job. Undoubtedly, for Mr. Mustafa it was a very painful decision to close it, but there was no other option.

It is being alleged that he was receiving threats from anti-social elements — many of whom had covert links with the ruling dispensation in the state — and despite court orders police refused to provide him protection. The only option for him was to get ready to face bullets or concede to their demand. He preferred the latter option, perhaps with a view that it will at least help save few innocent’s blood.His petition to the National Commission on Minorities makes it clear how the issue unfolded and how the police reacted to the developments.

Muslim businesses like Jyoti Hotel, even if their name are safely secular, are being driven out of Gujarat.
Muslim businesses like Jyoti Hotel, even if their name are safely secular, are being driven out of Gujarat. Photo Muslim Mirror

Mustafa Patel’s case is not an exception.

It includes several others who were similarly forced to go out of business within last one month. It includes Kasim Ahmed (scrap dealer), Ahmed Airf (minerals), Farooq Bhai (power production unit), Yakub Mohammad (mineral production), Saifudin Ali (power production), Ahmed Khoka (power), Shabir Bhai (mineral production), Majid Khan (power) and Harun Abdul Malajher (mines). See http://www.maeeshat.in/2014/09/gujarati-muslims-are-not-allowed-in-vibrant-gujarat-program/)

One learns that recently the NCM wrote to the Gujarat government where business people/traders belonging to the minority community are intimidated/coerced to close their business. And the response by the state government was on expected lines. A senior minister in Ms Anandiben Patel’s cabinet completely refuted the allegations and charged the complainants themselves.

In fact, it is not for the first time that the Commission had received complaints from traders belonging to minority community in Gujarat. Earlier it had received complaints from nine traders of Chota Udepur, Gujarat, wherein the complainants had provided details about the unholy nexus between communal elements at the grass-root level and the administration. A classic case was of Irfan Abdul Ghani who owned and managed luxury transport business in the area.

His competitor — who also happened to be a Sarpanch of the village Baroj — Jayanti Rathwa, supposedly engineered a riot in the area to take away his business and was nearly successful. One also witnessed a communal clash in the region after a minor altercation between Adivasis and Muslims, minority industries were attacked in a concerted manner, police went there, FIRs were filed but nobody has been arrested till date.

One can say that any close watcher of the unfolding situation in Gujarat could have had a ‘premonition’ that ‘something of this nature’ would happen when the state government promised to look favorably towards the demands raised by Jain monks regarding Palitana. Palitana, near Bhavnagar, is considered a sacred place by the Jains, witnessed an agitation by them in July.

The monks launched a hunger strike — threatening to fast unto death — demanding that non-vegetarian food — in which they include eggs as well — should not be permitted for sale or storage anywhere in Palitana. They also called for a ban on the ritual slaughter of animals and closing of an estimated 260 butchers’ shops.

Commenting on this issue (http://muslimmirror.com/eng/muslim-traders-being-forced-to-close-down-their-business-in-vibarant-gujarat/) Abdul Hafiz Lakhani reports how “Muslims are not allowed to do meat business and egg business in Palitana about 100 KM. from Bhavnagar” when “western diplomats and investors are making a beeline to seek favours from Gujarat, ”

It is difficult to say what will happen next?

Whether Mustafa Patel would be able to reopen his hotel? Whether the people in power would look into the complaints by traders and would direct police officials to nab the culprits?

It was only last month that Mr Modi, talked of 10 year moratorium on communal and caste violence in his independence speech from Red Fort. Even if one limits oneself to Gujarat — his home state — one can gather the great hiatus between what he says and what the footsoldiers of the Hindutva brigade are doing on the ground. There are reports that Gujarat has of late witnessed many communal flareups with the change of power at the center.

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All opinions and views expressed in columns and blogs are those of individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Caravan

8 COMMENTS

  1. Good article. The real face of the BJP. Shudder to think how India would be if the likes of Adithyanath and others were allowed to run amok. A clear case of Jackal and Hyde Storey. Talk big about moratorium in public speeches and indulge just in the opposite at the ground level by giving a free hand to these communal jackals.

  2. There is a limit to every thing in the world and every body gets their turn to rebel people of Gujarat should wait for that time to arrive. May god show his mercy on them….

  3. quite a revelation! shocking, though not surprising. just exposed the evil minds that deliberately communalise issues for personal business gain. this trend will kill the very soul of india. this must stop. the govt. activists, NGOs and other social bodies and general public must be more aware and alert. good article indeed!

  4. After the Narendra modi led govt has assumed power incenter constant attack has started on congress and its leaders and also severe attack on propagators of socialism. Ido not know how muslims are really living in Gujarat but very often some muslims who claim themselves to be Gujarati speak high attainments of muslims in Gujarat and praise modi for this prosperity of muslims here in this article a different view of partiality and injustice towards muslims have been narrated.For the first time after independence a full fledged RSS govt has been elected to power. and admittedly RSS is a Hindu outfit along with its numerous Hindu organisations widely spread in the whole country and beyond.So naturally whatever Pm speaks about minorities should be viewed and understood iwith reference to RSS and its allies.

  5. I got admitted to DDU-Nadiad on a SEBC seat in ICSE board quota. I belong to the Julaha or Weaver community of Valsad.
    I studied Chem. Engg. for 3-4 weeks staying as a PG. I was called to the State Govt. Secretariat one fine rainy evening. Along me were 3 other boys with their parents. 1 Khoja from Amreli, 1 from Ahmedabad and third one was from my own neighborhood in Valsad.
    Our admissions were terminated by K.D. Vanzara as our supporting documents on Caste were “invalid” “incomplete” and “insufficient”.
    We sat in reshuffling and got into Tier-2 colleges in Surat, Ahmedabad and Charotar region.

    #untoldstory

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