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Not The One You Know



Confidence overruling the Fear

November 19, 2008

By Aleem Faizee


Even as the week-long communal harmony program in Malegaon began from Wednesday, denizens exude confidence despite rampant fear.



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Maharashtra State Minority Commission Chairman delivering his inaugural speech in Malegaon

The returned figure of the references resulting after a keyword search about Malegaon at any search engine on the Internet is impressive enough to envy any place. However a glance at the list relating the town with the riots and the bomb blast is so embarrassing that people are becoming shy of associating themselves with Malegaon. “The other day I was returning from Jalgaon when a fellow passenger asked where I was going. Dhule, I replied quickly, though unintentionally”, recalled Hasan Jamil, a crockery wholesaler, “I just can’t understand why I couldn’t tell him, I was going to Malegaon.”

Hasan’s personal account is clear in its meaning to show how badly first the series of riots and now the two consequent terrorist attacks have affected people’s mind. Probably alarmed by such incidents and to allay the fears prevalent among the natives, Malegaon Corporation has launched a week-long program for Communal Harmony beginning from Wednesday, November 19. But is the initiative enough to reach its goal? People differ on the question when Nashik Times spoke with them.

“It is too late for the Corporation to organize such a program. Yet it is good that they are doing this. But the damage to the town is so immense that it needs such programs frequently”, said Shyam Sherma. Sherma’s Jayshree Handlooms is located in one of the few mixed populated areas in Malegaon. “We have lost more than 50% of our business since the blast took place in the town on September 29. People are just afraid to go to either sides of Malegaon”, he added.

Surekha Bendale residing exactly opposite to the Shivaji Town Hall from where the Corporation began the week-long drive was more vocal in expressing the problem. “The women folks in the villages don’t allow their relatives to go to Malegaon. They simply advise them to shop in the villages even if it is expensive.”

The situation for Ashwin Shah of Jayantilal Mansingh is no different. “Normally during Deewali we used to be very busy for 20-25 days. This year everything was over within four days”, he said as his wife Rupal Shah interrupted him and pointed to the empty roads, “Look at the road. Just count how many people you see there at this peak hour.”

However despite the odds the Malegaonians have not given up the hope. “Malegaon and problems are synonymous. Yet it knows how to come out of it”, said Ashwin. Ashwin’s words count as he has seen his neighbors shifting to other side of the town after 2001 riots but he doesn’t have such plan. “My family feels totally safe here and we don’t plan to shift anywhere else”, he said.













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Sare Jahan Se Accha

Hindustan Hamara

In 1905 more than 100 years from today, when Iqbal was a lecturer at the Government College, Lahore he was invited by his student Lala Hardayal to preside over a function. Instead of making a speech, Iqbal sang Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara in his style. Iqbal compiled this poem in praise of India and the poem preaches the communal harmony that had unfortunately started ceasing in India by that time. Each and every word in this poem depicts an Indian’s respect and love for the motherland and the values the Indian society inherited for long...Read Full





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