24 September, 2020

Poison Roots

Why is Ahmedabad always on communal tenterhooks? Blame it on industrial decline.

Poison Roots

It’s a city where embers of hatred never die. They glow ceaselessly, fanned by the winds of ‘change’ sweeping our newly freed markets. And once in a while they flare up, like a raging brush fire, destroying everything around. If you thought that unbridled laissez-faire spelt unbound prosperity, Ahmedabad could paint quite a shocking picture for you.

A survey - part of oxfam’s Violence Mitigation and Amelioration Project, meant to trace the roots of conflicts in South Asia - intends to unravel what ails Gujarat, particularly its communally sensitive second capital Ahmedabad. Sophia Khan, an independent researcher based in the city, headed the team that conducted this oxfam-supported study, tracing the demographic, historic and socio-economic roots of Ahmedabad’s communal sensitivity. It blames recent acts of communal violence on globalisation’s destructive impact on the industrial and social fabric of the city.

That Ahmedabad has been transformed into a communal battlefield can be gauged from the almost regular periodicity of riots there. The last one being in...



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