Skip to main content

50,000 Gujarat riot victims still displaced, lack housing rights, 20% women face triple talaq: Janvikas book

A  Muslim resettlement colony in Ahmedabad
By Our Representative
A new book released on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Janvikas, one of the premier civil rights organizations of India, has estimated that around 50,000 Gujarat 2002 riot-affected Muslims should be qualified to be considered internally-displaced persons (IDPs) – a term coined by the United Nations to identify those ravaged by violent social conflicts.
Giving a graphic picture of their living conditions and empowerment, especially among women, the book, titled “Creating Spaces: Nurturing Leadership” -- which focuses, among other issues, on the impact of the 2002 communal carnage on Gujarat's IDPs -- believes, many of them live in an "extremely vulnerable" condition in several of the 86-odd colonies in seven districts.
The most pressing issue of these IDPs, insists the book, is housing ownership. The religious trusts which earlier gave lands for housing, are now reluctant to give them housing rights, the book regrets, adding, what is now being assured is residential rights and not ownership rights, which has brought them much current insecurity.
Calling the IDPs' life a “living testimony to the socio-political disaster”, the book – authored by sociologist Dr Uma Ramaswamy, and released in Ahmedabad on Saturday by P Sainath, a top journalist who focuses on socio-economic inequality in and the aftermath of globalization – notes how most of these colonies were “designed as relief centres”, and “built by Muslim religious trusts” with the help of civil society organizations.
Interventions by Janvikas by setting up Antarik Visthapit Hakk Rakshak Samitis (AVHRS) with a membership of 20,000 IDPs helped several of them to become aware of their rights, the book reports, noting how women folk among them began coming out of their homes, join protests, got capacitated and began taking leadership.
The book claims, what has changed is, the IDP women who earlier did not know their rights language now talk about them, participating in discussions, going to government offices to get their work done, and have begun learning to actively participate in school management committees.
Suggesting that this inevitably resulted in domestic conflicts, the book quotes one of the IDP women as saying, “In the beginning, men used to tell their women not to allow me into their homes. Men were insecure. But women looked at me as educated, empowered and started welcoming my visits and supporting me.”
Pointing towards how women got together to form Panchmahal Mahila Vikas Sanghthan (PMVS) in a Central Gujarat district to fight for women’s rights, the book says, “Several of these women, having gone through violence have sublimated their trauma to emerge as local leaders.”
Another organization formed was Mahila Samajik Nyay Manch (MSNM) in North Gujarat’s Aravalli and Sabarkantha districts. MSNM made a "social departure", with women resolving to “stay domestic violence, and most importantly address the complex issue of triple talaq”, the book reveals.
“Reportedly”, the book states, “20% women in these districts are made single because of ‘triple talaq’,” adding, “While violence against women has become an integral dimension of women’s lives across India, Muslim women are doubly burdened by the custom of ‘triple talaq’ that their personal law allows.”
The book says, “Although women have property rights, they now talk of how patriarchal culture does not favour women to enjoy even this. Women who are deserted, separated and leading single lives emerge as the poorest and most vulnerable.”

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

#StandWithStan: It's about Constitution, democracy and freedom of expression

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is more than three weeks now: On the night of October 8, 2020, the 83-year-old Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy was taken into custody by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) from his residence in Ranchi to an undisclosed destination. According to his colleagues, the NIA did not serve a warrant on Fr. Stan and that their behaviour was absolutely arrogant and rude.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

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".

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

Dalit, Adivasi protest in Jharkhand against 'illegal' transfer of land for development

By Rishit Neogi Displacement and eviction are not new terms. It is surprising that they are still continuing and have become a tool in the hands of state backed corporates to forcibly occupy lands in the name of development.