Muslims in Gujarat hope for peace, prosperity
Gujarat's Muslims welcome, albeit mutedly, Modi's victory, hoping for continued peace and economic development over the next five years.india Updated: Dec 23, 2007 22:36 IST
Gujarat's Muslims on Sunday welcomed, albeit mutedly, Chief Minister Narendra Modi's victory in the assembly elections, hoping for continued peace and economic development over the next five years.
"The community is happy because there has been no large-scale violence during the last five years," said Amin Sayyed, a community leader from Panigate locality of Vadodara.
"Muslims believe in peace. We in fact say Modi should continue for next 10 years - we are benefiting from the economic boom. There were 78 shops run by Muslims in Raopura locality (of Vadodara), now there are 122 of them," Sayyed told IANS over phone.
He said during the election campaign this time, unlike in 2002, Modi had not targeted Muslims with vitriolic comments. "He did not talk about Godhra (the 2002 communal violence after a train burning tragedy in that town) or revenge," he said.
More than 1,100 people, mostly Muslims, had died in the 2002 communal violence amid allegations that the Modi administration was biased against the minority community.
Mohammed Kalim Mansoori of Ahmedabad added, "Muslims have no problems with Modi running the government if there are no problems created for the community.
"We just want peace. He can keep his political power. He wanted to win, he has won."
A few Muslims, in fact, joined the victory celebrations at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state office here in the morning.
Mohammed Bilal, one of them, said, "Unlike before, there has been no curfew in these parts (with mixed population of Hindus and Muslims in the last five years. There have been some developmental works too. Let us hope Modi continues to develop Gujarat."
However, many survivors of the sectarian strife were clearly hoping for his defeat.
"Now we do not know if we will ever get justice. His government has done nothing for us in five years, what do we expect from him in next five years?" asked Ayeshabibi, who lives in an ad hoc rehabilitation camp on the outskirts of the city.