05 August, 2021

There's Dew On The Moss

Their issues are not just Muslim, there's a desire to be part of decision-making

Apoorva Guptay
There's Dew On The Moss
Champdani, in West Bengal's Serampore Lok Sabha constituency: young men, dressed in their sparkling white jumma best, are queuing up outside the local mosque. Two teenagers stand at its entrance, applying kajal in the eyes of the youth, before handing each of them a little matchstick capped with an attar-soaked cottonbud. For these men, it's a day not just for spiritual renewal, but also one in which to forget the grimness of their daily existence. They all work at the local jute mill, but times are hard—wages have dipped from Rs 200 a day to Rs 80; unemployment is high, with local factories gradually downing shutters. "We want a political party," says Rashid Umar, a mill hand, "which will get us education, jobs. The Sachar report held up a mirror and showed the world how badly off Muslims are." Last time, they all voted CPI(M), this time they are voting for change, like many others in the state....

A fortnight earlier, a scene at the Dr Salim Memorial School in Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh constituency. It's late at night, and a group of...

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