Down with housing apartheid

Published on May 29, 2015 00:48:48 AM

The discrimination against a particular community or religion is an offence that has to be dealt with seriously

The city that never sleeps, giving sleepless nights for a young woman, just for her fault of being a Muslim by denying her a flat on rent is deplorable. So is the case with the denial of a job for a male MBA graduate by a diamond export firm for similar reasons. Mumbai that takes pride in its cosmopolitan culture is still divided on caste, creed and religion.

The discrimination against a particular community or religion is an offence that has to be dealt with seriously. The two instances reported to be the latest addition to the increasing cases of bigotry that exposed the narrow mindedness of some individuals and firms have already been taken up with the forums concerned for action. But the treatment meted out to the duo, which speaks volumes of racial vilification, is unbecoming of a Mumbai culture.

There is no denying the fact that certain localities in the city have been observing for years together a sort of housing apartheid that is just not limited to the Muslims, but even the non-vegetarians. Unpleasant experiences on such counts are not uncommon in parts of the South Mumbai, but it is not prevalent all over the city. The Muslims constitute 18.56 per cent of the city population and the experiences are not same for all the Muslims in the city.

The Maharashtra State Minorities Commission as well as the BJP government has got the responsibility to act when the identity and dignity of an individual is at stake. Such stray instances shall not be blown out of proportion thus demonizing India.

By all means, India is not Mumbai alone. In Hyderabad, Muslims constitute 27 per cent of the total population and seldom there was an issue of discrimination affecting Muslims or other minorities. India is the only country, as Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama puts it, where all major world religions live together, not only in modern time, but also over 1,000 years.