Godhra Muslims move on, focus on future

Godhra Muslims move on, focus on future

Godhra Muslims move on, focus on future

This has been known as the epicentre of Gujarat riots in 2002, but 12 years later, the residents and especially the Muslims, no longer want to be associated with the infamous tag of being the Muslims from Godhra.

So, while many have decided to move on in life with their professions in Godhra itself, some members of the Muslim community, though not affected in the riots, have even contested local elections and now want to be part of the democratic process and ensure development in the area.

Independent councillor Sufia Bhaijamal, who has contested the elections in the municipality and has won from her ward said, “How long do you keep on holding to the past and not want to develop a future.” She said that there were many who were against the BJP and probably even its PM candidate but everyone wanted the basic necessities like good internal roads and electricity and clean drinking water.

“One cannot keep on complaining so when there are options one should explore, get elected and make the difference,’’ she told Deccan Herald.

Another independent councillor Ismail Tapella, who has also contested the election as an independent is also in the fray for the Lok Sabha elections from the constituency, points out, “If you do not be a part of the system, you have no right to complain against it.’’ He said that as a councillor he has ensured that the residents of his ward get a concrete by-lanes and even has got a underwater drainage pipeline sanctioned.

He admits that the administration too, has been cooperative and they do look into the demands put forward by the councillors. “The internal roads were a rarity but now, every second house has a two wheeler and those who had to park their four wheelers away from their houses can now, park it near their homes,’’ said Tapella.

These councillors also point out that the other noticeable development that has encouraged the Muslims to take interest in contesting was the reconstruction of the Urdu medium school which was otherwise in a poor condition. “The Urdu medium school was in a bad condition but it has improved now and the students also feel motivated to attend school regularly,’’ said Bhaijamal.