03 March, 2021

We Have To Expect The Worst

The time to begin formulating answers is now. Our conscience as a nation may well depend on it.

We Have To Expect The Worst

In 1969, during a bloody communal riot in Ahmedabad, Ehsan Jaffri and his family were attacked in their house by a marauding Hindu mob. His daughter, Nishrin, remembers losing their property to looters and languishing in refugee camps along with thousands of other displaced Muslims. She tells the story of her Abba returning to the same neighbourhood to resurrect their home, confident the bigotry that they had witnessed that day was an anomaly that would not be repeated. Other Muslim families followed, and in time the colony came to be known as Gulberg Society. In February ’02, Nish­rin got news that her father, now an MP, had been killed in the most horrifying manner by another Hindu mob. 

What are we to tell Nishrin and families like hers, who have been repeatedly denied help, and (as documented by the Human Rights Watch report of the ’02 riots), told by the police that they “have no orders to save you”? How can we look her in the eye now? Nishrin, like her father, continues to believe in our ability to rise above this bigotry and bring...

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