Tired of petitioning villages to take back their Muslims, Haji Dilshad decided last month that he would give up a part of his private land to build houses for the displaced. The plan was that the NGO he heads, Anjuman Ittihadul Muslimeen, would build homes on his land using charity funds.
But—it could happen only in Uttar Pradesh—last week, as inauguration day dawned, the administration stopped them dead in their tracks. “We have been getting threats since our inaugural event on 2nd June,” says Tahir Hassan on the phone from Kairana. The threats, he says, are from civilian district officials who’ll put him in jail if construction starts.
Tahir says that initially the Anjuman did ask refugees to pay what they could for their new homes. But no one came forward with cash—everybody was broke. “Finally, we selected 300 destitute families from the nearby Malakpura camp. But the administration says we’re trying to ‘cheat’ these people,” says Hassan.
The Kairana administration says in a letter to the NGO that it is suspected of “trying to grab government land” under the guise of helping riot victims. “You haven’t disclosed what agreements you are signing with the displaced. This makes us suspicious of your real intention,” says the SDM of Kairana S.K. Mishra in a letter to Dilshad. The administration has imposed nine conditions for construction, starting with: “You will not lay the foundation to build a mosque, a madrasa or any other religious structure on the land.”
“Most of the other conditions are fine, but how can we agree to not build a mosque or madrasa? We’re a Muslim body,” says Gulshad.
It’s an interesting turn of events in an area where the government didn’t resettle any of the 50,000 who fled their villages in the riots. It did provide compensation to around 1000 families, but when allegations of misappropriation arose, the state government, bizarrely, even asked for people to return the money. Ten thousand people are still in camps, but the state doesn’t acknowledge they exist.
The situation is so unreal the NGO heads have become a little philosophical. “Tell me can’t we help our brothers if the government doesn’t? Does secularism mean Muslims can’t help Muslims?”
Indeed, the administration left post-riot relief and rehabilitation to the “community”. It now appears concerned, rather belatedly, about exclusively-Muslim rural enclaves coming up in the area. “It’s not that the state didn’t do anything for riot-affected Muslims. What it didn’t do is try to rebuild community ties; as a result the whole area is polarised,” says Ish Pal Singh, a professor based in Muzaffarnagar. He, too, acknowledges that Muslim bodies, like the Anjuman, solely undertook rehabilitation with charity proceeds.
This piece does not appear in print
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT