Skip to main content

French govt-funded report praises Gujarat's affluent Juhapura Muslims for "favouring" economic integration, Modi

Juhapura, Ahmedabad, as seen by French scholar 
Counterview Desk
A French government-sponsored report has said that one of India’s biggest Muslim ghettos, Juhapura in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, is witnessing a unique development: The absence of public infrastructure here has forced affluent Muslims to come up with private initiatives to develop the ghetto, thus privatizing “public action”.
Funded by the French Defense Ministry and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), and written by Charlotte Thomas following her study of the ghetto between 2009 and 2014 as part of doctorate in political science, the report gives full marks to affluent Muslims “of superior jamaats” who arrived in Juhapura after the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The scholar estimates, the ghetto had just 50,000 people, but now houses around five lakh Muslims, all of it following the 2002 Gujarat riots, adding, Even the Muslim upper-classes decided to shift to this ghetto, as for the first time, they “were also victims of violence, while they had been spared until then.”
“Notably through the zakat, they have financed two hospitals, dispensaries, schools, libraries, support/training courses for public service examinations, etc. Education has been at the core of preoccupations for the inhabitants of Juhapura, from all jamaats”, the researcher says.
Published by the French Institute of Political Sciences of the Centre for International Studies and Research, the report believes these affluent Muslims focus more on “economic integration” as an alternative to the community’s development, instead of the “political activist way”.
Insisting that their main channel for resistance is “business”, the scholar says, to these affluent sections, the “economic sphere is perceived as the integrating matrix to the majoritarian society for the Muslims of Juhapura, and appears to them as the best defence against violence.”
The scholar insists, “Economically integrated, participating to national enrichment, the Muslims see themselves as ‘useful’ to Indian society, and notably to their Hindu partners; as they have ties through an economic interdependency relationship.”
By basing their “salvation” thus, she thinks, these Muslims “have aligned themselves with one of the elements of the national narrative offered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for whom economic growth outshines every other societal stake.”
The result was, Thomas says, the “affluent entrepreneurs of Juhapura” were by “courted” by Modi as Gujarat chief minister, followed by his successor, Anandiben Patel, with some of them forming “the link between the minority and the authorities, facilitating the presence of Gulf businesses at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.”.
“The bridge with the Gulf must not be understood as a mimetic fascination leading, for example, to the Wahhabisation of local religious practices”, the scholar insists. Nurtured by Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism is considered a religious movement of Sunni Muslims, and is criticized for being "ultra-conservative".
At the same time, the report, titled “Domination and resistance of the Muslim minority of Ahmedabad (India): paradoxes of the ghettoization process in Juhapura”, says that these affluent sections believe, in case of renewed violence, “economic affluence would enable them to face” any attacks they may face, as it happened in 2002, “better.”
According to Thomas, “Education is seen as the means to access a stable or higher paying job, and from there, the stepping stone towards a good economic integration. The girls and women are at the centre of a specific schooling effort, which is, as recognised by the interviewees (men or women), unheard of.”
She further notes, “Beyond entrepreneurship and/or commerce, the more or less traditional occupations of Gujarati Muslims, more and more mention the importance of obtaining public jobs, more stable and higher paying, to which the Muslims have traditionally had less access.”
“In parallel with locality planning, the inhabitants have also managed to get branches of Indian banks to open locally, the multiplication of businesses, or even to equip their own society (residency) by asphalting the paths, bringing water, electricity, etc.”, she adds.

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”