When I was doing my masters in the US, we read about discrimination through property rights. ‘Redlining’ to keep blacks out of white neighborhoods was practices in American cities and it continuous insidiously. This post highlights the same in the context of religion and Gujarat. Gheto-ization is not always a choice. And the right to move to better shelter is violated blatantly because of social injunctions of caste and religion. What then is the motivation for a person in the discriminated minority to move ahead in life?
Guest post byZAHIR JANMOHAMED
It was 2002. The week before I left for India, my father invited his Gujarati Hindu colleague Rupa Aunty for dinner at our house in California. When I was a kid, I tied the rakhi brotherhood bracelet on her son. When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, Rupa Aunty was the first to spend the night with us at the hospital.
“If you need anything at all,” she told me just before I left for India, “my family is from Ahmedabad and we will be there for you.”
I grew up in California mispronouncing names of Gujarati dishes like thepla and my trip to Ahmedabad in 2002 was the first time anyone in my family had returned since my grandparents left Gujarat for Tanzania in the 1920s. This – my father kept reminding me – was my trip “home”.
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