The exodus of Hindi-speaking labourers from Gujarat is symptomatic of the social perils of identity politics
SB Easwaran | October 16, 2018 | Delhi
For the past fortnight, Gujarat has witnessed an exodus of migrants from Hindi-speaking states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The migrants, mostly of the labouring classes, have been attacked by locals after a 14-month old girl was raped, allegedly by a Bihari whom the police have arrested. The rape survivor is from the Thakor community, an OBC group which has in recent decades gained a great deal of influence. Those boarding trains and buses to flee say the violence against them is from the Kshatriya Thakor Sena, of which the chief is Alpesh Thakor, the Congress MLA from Radhanpur. Thakor has also made an inflammatory speech indirectly urging his community to clear the state of migrants, though he now says he wants to promote peace and would even go to Bihar to reassure migrant workers that they could return without fear.
Across the world, these aren’t good times for migrants. But Gujarat has been a safe haven, where generations of south Indians, Maharashtrians, Sindhis, and Hindi-speakers have all lived, worked, and prospered. It was always so. The legend is that Sultan Ahmed Shah I, who founded Ahmedabad in 1411, led a frugal and pious life and so the city was blessed: anyone who came here seeking a livelihood would not return in vain. Indeed, many migrants have settled down in Ahmedabad and the rest of Gujarat, adapting local customs and learning to speak and read Gujarati. The state’s mercantile traditions, its centuries old seafaring connections with Persia, Arabia and Africa, the travels abroad of its own people have contributed to this openness.
History was created as prime minister Narendra Modi participated in the foundation-stone-laying ceremony for the new Ram Temple in Ayodhya on Wednesday, ending centuries of controversy. Modi performed Bhoomi Pujan at `Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir`, in the presence of a very limited number o
The most joyous moment of a woman’s life is to breastfeed her baby for the first time. Breast milk is the foundation to build a strong bonding between mother and child and must not be missed by any newborn in its nutrition uptake. The World Health Organization (WHO) is encouraging people to “su
As part of its 3T strategy of focusing on testing, tracing and treating to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, India crossed a landmark, testing 2,02,02,858 COVID-19 samples so far. This is pursuant to the key strategy followed by state/UT governments under the guidance of the centre for managem
The continuing spread of COVID-19 has emerged as the biggest roadblock to development in 2020. Citizens across the globe have been breathing an air of panic, fear, and confusion, not knowing what lies ahead. The pandemic has hit some communities and countries harder than the others, requiring everyone to u
Senior BJP leader Kirit Somaiya has blasted BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner IS Chahal for taking credit for reducing the number of coronavirus infections in the in the slum sprawl of Dharavi, and wondered how could the authorities make boasts when 10,000-plus people have died.&n
Firebrand BJP leader Kirit Somaiya has blasted BMC Commissioner, IS Chahal, for claiming credit for reducing numbers of coronavirus cases in Mumbai city and said that BMC’s own Sero Survey has revealed that 57% slum dwellers have developed immunity which is why the cases are coming down.