Wednesday, December 19, 2012

'Juhapura could soon be a city within a city'

l Ahmedabad
The paradox of 2002 riots of Gujarat – the slum called as Juhapura has been converted into a ghetto with the rich migrating here. It has nonetheless brought in partial development in the region. However, on the flip side the area is battling loss of communal diversity and formation of a city within a city widening gap between two communities.

The above excerpts are from the book titled ‘Muslims in Indian City’, edited by French researcher Christophe Jaffrelot. Speaking at an event at St. Xavier’s Social Service Society on Tuesday, Jaffrelot gave a comprehensive picture on conversion of Juhapura from a slum to ghetto.

The book is based on the research conducted across 11 Indian cities with Muslim population. According to the book, after 2002, Ahmedabad leads the chart with maximum number of deaths due to communal riots.

The chapter on Ahmedabad –‘Facing Ghettoisation in riot city,’ implies on the new urbanisation pattern and point to danger of widening gap between the two communities as Juhapura continues to take the shape of another small city within a city in next few years.

“Slum is a place, where poor people reside, but after 2002, even the IAS, IFS and IPS officers started shifting to Juhapura, which had converted it into a ghetto,” he told DNA. Jaffrelot believes that ghettoisation is at peak in Ahmedabad.

His study says there are no public hospitals and only four government schools in the locality. “Around 6,000 kids from Juhapura have to be admitted to schools every year,” he said.

During his presentation, Jaffrelot, who is also the co-writer of the chapter on Ahmedabad, mentioned that Ahmedabad comprises three cities within one city – the old city, western city and the industrial city. Even in the old city, the social culture was like mosaic butter, but the situation slowly changed.

Narrating the history, he said that after the riots of 1985, poor Muslims from industrial area migrated to Juhapura, while after 2002 even the middle-class migrated to the same locality.