Published: April 20, 2009
Muslim Bollywood director who is trying to promote religious harmony through his films and his Facebook site. “We shouldn’t be an India that ghettoises all Muslims to apartments near a mosque. This is a real test for modern India.”With national elections across India that began Thursday and last a month, correspondent Wax pointed out some Muslim activists and Bollywood film directors are raising the issue with political parties and trying to form a voting bloc.
“This election, we have to talk about housing discrimination against Muslims,” said Zulfi Sayed, a Muslim actor who is outspoken about the issue and is courting Hindus who agree with him. “In a shining India, this shouldn’t be still such a common practice.”In the days after November’s Mumbai attacks, Muslims, fearing attacks from Hindu mobs, held candlelight vigils with a message to protest terrorism and pledge loyalty to India, according to the dispatch.
Afroz Alam Sahil, 21, a student activist at Jamia Millia Islamia College in New Delhi, said that more than a dozen students from states such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar - which have large Muslim populations - have been unable to find housing since the Mumbai attacks.“Some Muslim friends have dropped out of college because they have nowhere to stay,” Sahil was quoted as saying. “There is intense suspicion. Sometimes I ask myself why I was born Muslim.”Rana Afroz, a Muslim editor with the newspaper the Hindu, is investigating the issue after spending three months unable to find a landlord willing to rent to her and her husband.“It is ridiculous that I have to prove to non-Muslims that I am not making bombs in my kitchen,” she said. “Is this really the modern India I live in?”
Correspondent Wax wrote, “In India, Muslims are often segregated, and they experience high poverty rates and low literacy. Although they make up nearly 14pc of India’s population, they hold fewer than 5pc of government posts and are just 4pc of the student body in India’s elite universities, according to a 2006 government report.“But there are few issues more emotional than housing, especially in Mumbai ...
India’s pulsating city of dreams where aspiring farmers and filmmakers come from across the country to seek fame and fortune”.