After Bombings, Hindu-Muslim Relations Remain Cordial on Street Dividing Hindu and Muslim Neighborhoods

July 13, 2006

Source: DNA

On July 13, 2006 DNA reported, "We are standing at a sweet shop on Bapu Khote street, the so-called ‘line of control’ that separates Hindu Booleshwar from the Muslim Ghogari mohalla... Pydhonie, off Mohammad Ali road, is a bustling business hub, home to wholesale markets of metals, imitation jewellery, gold and ayurvedic products. It is completely a Muslim neighbourhood. But the majority of traders and shop owners are Hindu. 'Yet, during the 1992-93 riots, not a single shop was damaged. We protected these shops, and nobody took ‘protection money’ from the businessmen, because, at the end of the day, humanity is what counts, and business, not religion,' says [Syed Zaffar, 53, my guide for the evening], who has been a witness to many a conflagration in this area, with the earliest dating back to 1962. Obviously, he has learnt his lessons well. He is a founding member of the Muslim Council Trust (MCT), a body that is at the forefront of promoting inter-community amity. 'We are taking no chances this time around. When we heard about the blasts yesterday, we had volunteers ready at the JJ Hospital to help the injured coming in, for blood donation, and to ensure people don’t panic'... Patel Traders, Ramesh Embroidery, SK Angoothiwala Jewellers - these are the signboards you see on the shops in this lane off Mohammad Ali road. Zaffar seems to know every Hindu shop owner in the area. 'Our primary allegiance is to insaaniyat, not to a religion or to a community,' he says. 'That is something these blasts will not change. At least on Mohammad Ali road.'"