Paradoxes of Ghettoization: Juhapura ‘in’ Ahmedabad
India Exclusion Report 2019–2020
New Delhi : Centre for Equity Studies
103 - 135 p.
India, muslims, Juhapura, ghettoization, violence
[...] This chapter is organized into five sections. First, we provide a history of Juhapura, coeval with incidents of large-scale anti-Muslim violence in postcolonial Ahmedabad, which resulted in segregated living zones. We particularly examine the development of Juhapura in light of State-enforced discriminatory laws such as the Disturbed Areas Act 1991 and the post-2002 migration of middle-class and wealthy Muslims to the ghetto. In the second section, we show how elite migration to Juhapura has allowed its residents to negotiate with the state and bring limited improvements to the delivery of public services, despite the majoritarian character par excellence of the State in Gujarat. However, as we show in the third section, the arrival of rich, educated Muslims in Juhapura has not necessarily resulted in the emancipation of poor, lower-caste Muslims. Here, we focus on the creation of class and sect-specific ‘citadels’, representing fractured solidarities within Juhapura, to highlight the non-linear nature of citizenship in Juhapura. Lower-class Muslim women have crucially resisted elite and orthodox tendencies within Juhapura, signifying a merger, even if limited, of class, caste and gender in Juhapura. Then, we suggest a few recommendations to improve the state of religious fragmentation within the society of Ahmedabad as well as to enhance Juhapura’s public infrastructure and political representation. Finally, after summarizing our findings, we conclude that the current state of affairs in Juhapura is a result of the post-1990 transformation in the nature of the State in Gujarat from a de facto Hindu Rashtra (Hindu Nation) towards a de jure one, with legal mechanisms facilitating discrimination against Muslims. In the post-2014 environment of nation-wide hegemony of Hindutva politics, this legally sanctioned form of Hindu Rashtra—‘the Gujarat Model’—has been replicated across India, alongside deepening of the Hindutva ideology. [...]