20 October, 2020

Forward Into The Past?

I’m scared of what will happen to our shared and syncretic culture.

Apoorva Salkade
Forward Into The Past?
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

I remember being a volunteer for Aman Ektaa Manch in Ahmedabad in June 2002 and staring at a building where only the second of three floors was burnt to black ash while the other two remained intact. I learnt that day that violence, even that of a ‘spontaneous’ mob, can be very precise.

I remember being a researcher in Ahmedabad in December 2005 and listening to a Muslim autowallah tell us that he had not crossed the three bridges over the Sabarmati to go into ‘New’ (and largely Hindu) Ahmedabad since 2000. I learnt that day that fear has an insidious and niggling way of remaining buried within us.

I’m wary of Narendra Modi’s predicted and much-publicised ascent to prime ministership of India because I’ve seen the poison of communalism that has spread during his rule in Gujarat and in the capital city of Ahmedabad. I’ve seen the silent division of that historic city into identifiably Hindu and Muslim areas. I’ve met students of top colleges in Ahmedabad who have never crossed the Sabarmati to go into old...

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