Trapped by stereotype ever since the Batla House encounter, residents of Jamia Nagar are still adamant on restoring the goodwill that was lost on September 19 this year.
Ridding itself of the stereotype, however, seems to be taking longer than people here had imagined.
On Friday evening they stepped out in hundreds in yet another attempt to reiterate their secularity. This time it was in shape of a peace march to express solidarity with the victims of the Mumbai terror attacks.
The candle light vigil, which started from New Friends Colony and concluded at Tikona Park, saw the participation of known faces including actor and social activist Nafisa Ali, journalist Deepak Chaurasia and DCP south-east Ajay Chaudhary.
Though not conspicuous, references to the encounter were hard to miss.
“People of Jamia Nagar are peace loving by nature. The acts of a few outsiders have unfortunately sidelined this fact. We now feel the need to remind everyone that we were and will never be for terrorism and that we condemn it in whichever form and where ever it happens,” said S.M. Matloob, a social worker and editor of an online new portal called aapkiawaz.com.
While criticism of the attack rolled seamlessly over to all speeches delivered by the personalities who participated in the vigil, it was Maulana Qalbe Roshaid’s message that resonated among the residents.
“Aaj aadmi Ram ko manta hai lekin Ram ki nahin manta. Woh Allah ko manta hai lekin Allah ki nahin manta. Yehi sabse badimushkil hai. (A Hindu believes in Ram but not his teachings. A Muslim today believes in Allah but not his teachings. This is the biggest problem,” said Roshaid.