Skip to main content

Politics of 'hate, divisiveness' in posh Delhi sub-city, Dwarka, 'polarize' residents

Counterview Desk

In a suprise move, around 100 residents* of a huge posh Delhi locality, Dwarka, have objected to what they call "communal contents of the letter" written by a "small group", the All Dwarka Residents Federation (ADRF), to the lieutenant governor of Delhi protesting against a Haj House on government land. The land was allocated in 2008.
Claiming that "ADRF does not represent all residents Dwarka", in a statement, they said, the aim of the move tIt is to "foment trouble and incite hatred by provoking public disorder", insisting, Dwarka, being one of the most well planned sub-cities, will not see any congestion as a result of the Haj House, as not more than 2,000 people will be present at a time during the peak period.
The statement insisted, "The apprehension conveyed in the letter about brotherhood, harmony, peace, law and order being disturbed and possibility of riots, migration of Hindus clearly indicates the political agenda of the members of ADRF. The letter is highly objectionable and it denigrates Muslims."

Text:

We, the undersigned, residents of Dwarka, New Delhi strongly disagree with the letter written by All Dwarka Residents Federation (ADRF) to the Lieutenant Governor Delhi regarding Haj House land, which was allotted in 2008 in sector 22 for building a Haj House. We condemn the highly communal contents of the letter and assert that ADRF does not represent all residents Dwarka as claimed by them. It is a small group out to foment trouble and incite hatred by provoking public disorder.
The letter addressed to the Lieutenant Governor and protests organized by ADRF & Hindu Shakti Sangathan demand cancellation of DDA land allotment for Haj House in sector 22, Dwarka and raise the following issues:
a. Why such facilities are provided only to Muslims and there is no such facility for Hindu pilgrims?
b. During the protests organized by ADRF & Hindu Shakti Sangathan, slogans were raised: ‘ek hi nara ek hi naam , jai shriram, jai shriram’ & ‘yeh bhoomi hamari hai, iska faisla hum karenge’.
c. Our taxes cannot be used for Muslims.
d. The president of the Federation Ajit Swami told Indian express, “Around 15 lakh people live in Dwarka, if the Haj House is built, buses will come from Mewat, which will cause traffic jams."
e. There is strong apprehension that brotherhood, harmony and peace in society apart from law and order will be disturbed. There will be every possibility of riots, migration of Hindus and repetition of situations like Shaheen Bagh, Jaffrabad and Kashmir.
The actual facts are as under:
a. It is only Muslims who go for Haj, therefore there cannot be a Haj House for Hindus. However there are numerous festivals of Hindus and other religious groups on which both centre and state governments spend substantially large sums of money every year and dedicate public resources to.
b. Indian government spends huge amount of money on various Hindu religious festivals, pilgrimages and this is not done only once but every year or periodically. Chief among these are the four Kumbh Melas, held in Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik and Ujjain. Millions of people attend each fair. To ensure that they go off smoothly, Central funds are routed through state governments to pay for construction on the mela grounds, facilities for pilgrims and security. In 2014, for instance, the Centre spent about Rs 1,150 crore and the Uttar Pradesh government allocated Rs 11 crore on the Allahabad Kumbh. In 2015, the Union culture ministry also set aside Rs 100 crore to be granted to the Madhya Pradesh for the Simhastha Mahakumbh, which is held in once in 12 years in Ujjain. The state government had already spent Rs 3,400 crore on the event.
c. Other pilgrimages attracting Central funds include the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra. The yatra is organised by the government, which spends money on security and health facilities for the pilgrims.
d. Several states have explicit subsidies earmarked for various pilgrimages or religious events. The Madhya Pradesh government subsidizes a range of pilgrimages for senior citizens and their attendants under the Mukhyamantri Tirtha Darshan Yojana, including visits to Ayodhya, Mathura, the birthplace of Sant Kabir and St Thomas Church in Kerala. In Jammu and Kashmir, the Amarnath Shrine Board was set up by an act passed by the state assembly in 2000. Headed by the governor, who is aided by senior civil servants from the national and state administrative services, the board is responsible for “developmental activities” on the shrine and its environs, the “payment of suitable emoluments to the salaried staff”, constructing accommodation for pilgrims and other allied activities. Under Akhilesh Yadav, the Uttar Pradesh government began giving a grant of Rs 50,000 to pilgrims from the state to undertake the pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet, China. Under Yogi Adityanath, this has been raised to Rs 1 lakh. Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand provide subsidy to pilgrims going on the Manasarovar yatra to cover a part of the expenses, which amount to about Rs 1.5 lakh each. The Adityanath government also grants a Rs 10,000 subsidy to every pilgrim from the state going on the Sindhu Darshan in Ladakh, J&K.
e. Public funds raised by central and state governments through direct and indirect taxes are contributed by Muslims too. The money collected through taxes cannot be used only for one community. All communities including Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs, Christians & others have a right on the public money.
f. Pilgrimages in India involve mass movements of people, tremendous pressures on the site of the event and security concerns. Given the circumstances, several government agencies especially security agencies are involved in the whole process.
g. Dwarka is Asia’s largest sub-city. Situated in south west part of New Delhi. It is one of most populated sub-cities and has sprawling buildings with the whole city divided in well planned sectors, which are sub-divided into pockets. It is a very well connected with buses arriving from all over Delhi, Metro, Flyovers and well constructed roads, it is easily accessible to everyone. It has a large number of residential societies and Dwarka’s population is estimated to be 15 lakhs.
h. Dwarka is a true representative of the national multicultural, multilingual and multi-religious coexistence in almost all its forms. The inhabitants represent all regions of the country and various ethnic, religious, castes groups reside here. Over the years it has generously welcomed citizens from various economic layers, who live here in peace and harmony. Citizens from east, west, north, south and central India have made this part of the city their home. Retired government officers, teachers, students, poets, musicians, artists, officers of the armed forces, managers of the corporate sector, shop owners, technicians, farmers, hawkers, rickshaw pullers, etc., in short people, almost all sections of society live here and support each other. Modernity, which respects and celebrates diversity of thought and living style, is the mainstay of its cultural ethos.
i. The discovery of Dwarka Baoli (also known as Loharehri Baoli), a historical stepwell, a few years ago has established that part of Dwarka now stands where Loharehri village stood once and the rest was built where pappankalan was situated. The baoli was constructed for the residents of Loharehri village by the Sultans of the Lodi Dynasty in the early 16th century. Dwarka does not belong to only one community but to everyone irrespective of their religion, caste or gender.
j. Dwarka is approved to be the second Diplomatic Enclave for 39 countries on 34 hectares, and 89.72 hectares of land has reserved for an Exhibition-cum Convention centre. The Election Commission of India has established India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management campus in Dwarka. The National Highways Authority of India headquarters, an autonomous agency of the Government of India, set up in 1988 is located in Dwarka.
k. The government has planned to construct an exclusive Interstate Bus Terminus (ISBT). Dwarka ISBT will serve as a major transport hub for residents of Delhi and neighboring states. It will be well connected with the Sector 21 Metro Station for passengers to reach different parts of Delhi without any hassle. ISBT is expected to cater to over 2 lakh commuters daily and the plan is to have all inter-state buses from Haryana and Rajasthan to terminate here itself.
l. A Mini ISBT is also in the pipeline in sector 21, which will only cater to passengers travelling to IGI Airport. This mini ISBT will be situated right opposite the Dwarka Sector 21 Metro Station and will mostly cater to passengers coming in buses from Punjab, who might have international flights to catch. Also, tourists coming to Delhi tend to take a further bus journey to places like Agra and Jaipur. This newbie will accommodate 100 buses. Mini ISBT is expected to have a footfall of 15,000-20,000 passengers daily.
m. Average all India number of Haj pilgrims is 1,46,000, out of which 20,000-25,000 go for Haj from the International Airport, located in Delhi. These include residents from Delhi and nearby States. On an average the footfall of relatives who come to see off and the Haj pilgrims is not more than 2,000 per day for a period of 15-20. They are expected to stay at the Haj House, if built.
n. It is convoluted logic that ISBT with an expected footfall of 2 lakh per day round the year won’t hinder the traffic but 1500- 2000 Haj pilgrims per day for 15-20 days will create traffic problems.
o. Haj houses in various cities are used for community education and development work when pilgrims are not using them.
e. The apprehension conveyed in the letter about brotherhood, harmony, peace, law and order being disturbed and possibility of riots, migration of Hindus clearly indicates the political agenda of the members of ADRF. The letter is highly objectionable and it denigrates Muslims and is spreading hatred against them. We demand that the local police authorities take suo-moto cognizance of this and file a case on the signatories for spreading hatred with the intent to cause public disorder and disharmony, as well as create ill-will between different religious groups.
We appeal to the citizens of Dwarka to defeat the nefarious designs of ADRF to polarize the people in Dwarka and reject this politics of hate and divisiveness. We believe that people of all religions have a right to live in Dwarka and it is governments’ responsibility to ensure their security and safety as well as safeguard their constitutional rights.
---
*This statement, released on behalf of Dwarka residents, has been converted into an open letter to be sent to the Lieutenant Governor, Delhi, on Monday. Click here to endorse by August 15, 8 pm 

Comments

TRENDING

North Gujarat gram panchayat bars villagers from dealing with Muslim hawkers, traders

By Our Representative  A gram panchayat in North Gujarat has barred its residents not to buy anything from Muslim traders and hawkers. An order of the Waghasan group gram panchayat of Tharad taluka of Banaskantha district dated June 30 states that the decision has been taken in the wake of beheading of a Hindu tailor after he posted a derogatory writeup on Prophet Mohammad in Udaipur. The gram panchayat resolution says, anyone seen buying or selling any commodity from a Muslim hawker or trader would be fined Rs 5,100. Bringing this to light, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee, in a letter to Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel, says, the state government should take legal action against the panchayat chief who has signed the “unjust” order. The letter says, the act of the sarpanch and other signatories is a violation of rule of law of the state and threat to peace, pointing out, the move is in violation of Article 15 of the Constitution, which says that none

Unlike Soviet Union, Russia is no friend to India: Ukrainian scholar tells 'Indian friends'

Counterview Desk In an open letter to "dear Indian friends", Anastasia Piliavsky, born in Odessa, Ukraine, studied at Boston and Oxford Universities (on a Rhodes Scholarship), and now teaches at King’s College, London, has said that she faces "deep moral dilemma", personally and professionally, over the "astonishingly unified Indian response to the war in Ukraine." Based on her interaction with a "number of thoughtful and caring Indian friends", in this letter, she says, she is "reeling at the ubiquitous silence at, justifications of or outright support for Putin’s terror, which now prevails in India, at the ubiquitous #IStandWithPutin and #istandwithrussia hashtags." She insists, India must understand, "Unlike the Soviet Union, Russia is no friend to India. Soviet leaders, beginning with (the Ukrainian) Nikita Khrushchev – who declared hindi rusi bhai bhai – built up deep political and cultural exchange with India." Text : I

Technocratic globalism, tyranny? Health Ministry warned: bill to 'enslave' Indians

Sandeep Pandey, Tushar Gandhi By Rosamma Thomas*  Union of Concerned Citizens, a group comprising Magsaysay Award winner Prof Sandeep Pandey, human rights activist Tushar Gandhi, former judge of the Bombay High Court BG Kolse Patil, pediatrician Dr Jacob Puliyel and several renowned Indian citizens have written to the Union Health Minister cautioning him against tabling the draft Public Health Bill in the Monsoon Session of Parliament. “The Public Health (Prevention, Control And Management Of Epidemics, Bio-Terrorism And Disasters) Bill, 2017 and a Prospective Bill of 2022 as discussed in news articles, is straightforwardly violative of Fundamental Rights of the citizens of India and therefore, Ultra Vires of the Indian Constitution. It contravenes several International Treaties and Conventions including the Nuremberg Treaty of 1947 which was enacted to ensure that no country would repeat such inhuman medical atrocities on fellow human beings”, the 12-page letter reads. “Strangely, t

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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".

Chennai residents 'suffering': Faulty design, implementation of storm water project

By NS Venkataraman*  The Greater Chennai Corporation is now implementing storm water drainage project in 559 roads, covering a distance of 1033 kilometres, which cost around Rs 4,070 crore. For this massive project, which is targeted to be completed between April and September this year, huge loan has been availed from World Bank, Asian Development Bank and others. Several technocrats have pointed out that the project has been designed with outdated technology and quality of the implementation is so poor that the residents have been put to great hardships. As part of the project, digging of the road has been done to around 5 to 6 feet deep and width of around 4 to 5 feet. The drains are being constructed using steel reinforced cement concrete with two walls on either side with provisions for manhole, chute etc. This has been done in front of several houses leaving little space between the gate of the house and that of the drainage structure. As the work has been going on for mor

'Drop all falsed charges': 150 citizens demand early release of AltNews co-founder

Counterview Desk  About 150 concerned citizens have demanded the release of Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of the fact-checkng newsportal AltNews, arrested over a 2018 tweet which allegedly hurt religious sentiments, even as booking for criminal conspiracy and having received foreign funds in violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). Denied bail last weekend and sent to 14-day judicial custody, the concerned citizens, in a statement, regretted that while the Delhi High Court issued notice to the Delhi police on a petition filed on behalf of Zubair challenging the legality and propriety of his police remand and the seizure of his electronic devices, the “frivolous case” continues. Excerpts: The illegal arrest of Mr. Mohammed Zubair happened on June 27, 2022, by the Delhi Police for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity over a tweet from 2018. The IPC Sections included 153(a) (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race,

Prime Minister's 'affordable' housing policy fails to help Gujarat slum dwellers: Study

By Rajiv Shah  A new study on the implementation of one of the major policy initiatives for the urban poor by the Narendra Modi government after it came to power, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), has said that in Gujarat, which happens to be the Prime Minister’s home state, has quoted state officials as “confirming” that no progress towards tenure regularization, a key requirement for providing housing to the state’s slum dwellers. Stating that this particularly true of smaller town, the study, carried out by the non-profit Homes in the City (HIC), which is based in Bhuj, district headquarter of Kutch that saw a devastating earthquake in 2001, says, the failure to provide affordable housing is there despite the fact that there has been “significant demand” in all the 83 out of 153 Gujarat municipalities studied by experts involved in the study. According to the study, out f a total of 1.41 lakh demands for housing under the Beneficiary Led Construction (BLC) category, 94,232 (66.7%)

Electricity Bill: Centre's reform measures contain 'carrot and stick package' for states

Counterview Desk  The Peoples’ Commission on Public Sector and Public Services (PCPSPS), claiming to be a network of eminent academics, jurists, erstwhile administrators, trade unionists and social activists, seeking consultations with stakeholders with those who are against the government’s decision to monetise, disinvest and privatise public assets/enterprises, has said that the proposed Electricity (Amendment) Bill-2022 will have far-reaching impacts on the finances of states. Insisting that the proposed Bill would lead to “assault on India’s federal structure”, in a statement, it says, it would weaken the finances of states’ power distribution companies, have adverse impact on utility employees, cripple the states' finances, impose a heavy cost burden on the smaller subsidized consumers (especially farmers), and benefit only corporate business houses. “States cannot afford to ignore the far-reaching implications of the Bill on their economy, finances, agricultural and industria

'Highly abnormal': AltNews journo's arrest suggests 'deterioration in media freedom'

By Bharat Dogra*  Leading media organizations have come out in strong support of recently arrested journalist Mohammed Zubair. These organizations include, among others, the Editors Guild of India, the Press Club of India, the Delhi Union of Journalists and DIGIPUB, a platform for several important digital media organizations. All these organizations have condemned the recent arrest of the noted journalist and demanded his immediate release. While leading human rights organizations and political parties have also made somewhat similar statements, the strong support of media organizations is particularly important as the effort of the authorities has been to try to present the arrested journalist as someone who has been indulging in irresponsible journalism.  In such a situation the support of those media organizations who are familiar with his work and who are most capable of judging the quality of his work is very important. In this context it is important that some media organization

Majoritarian silence helping Hindutva forces 'handover' national resources to corporates

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The majority of Indian citizens are witnessing the persecution and everyday violence against their fellow citizens who are Muslims and religious minorities. The growing assaults on reason, science, secularism, Indian democracy and constitution are going to be landmarks in Indian history of diminishing democracy and citizenship rights. It is clear that Hindutva ideology is directly promoting sectarian politics of hate which is dangerous for the unity and integrity of India, peace and prosperity of Indians. The majoritarian silence helps in empowering Hindutva and their electoral dividends. From witnessing the persecution in the sidelines to the active participation and cheering loud or silence accelerates violence against our neighbours and our fellow citizens. How and why do majority of Indians stay silent and contribute to the persecution of their fellow citizens who are Muslims and religious minorities? The question baffles me as an Indian because I have gr