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‘Fear and Exodus’ – Stories That Are Conveniently Missing from Media Discourse

muslim majority areas

Aligarh on Sunday woke up to a moment of bitterness, as Hindu residents in Muslim majority localities decided to put up their houses for sale.

Hindus residing in the Babri Mandi area of Aligarh told the Times of India that they want to sell off their property and move to safer localities, as they feel threatened whenever incidents of violence occurred in locality.

At a time when some are expressing concern that the Muslims after Delhi violence are contemplating exodus, such narratives are missing another side of the story, the one reported from Aligarh and beyond. For that matter, Hindus living in the riot affected areas of Delhi themselves have started to express doubts about continuing their lives there.

Of course, this is not the first instance where Hindus, trapped as minorities in different areas across the country, had put up their houses for sale.

Remember Kairana?

In 2016, troubling reports of Hindus fleeing Kairana in Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh had surfaced. The report had come out after local Member of Parliament Hukum Singh had pointed out the state of duress of Hindus.

Many in the media at that time argued that the case had been exaggerated. However, the National Human Rights Commission’s (NHRC’s) report on the situation in Kairana validated Hukum Singh’s claims.

Or Do You Remember Brahmpuri in Delhi?

Just two years back, Hindus living in Brahmpuri in North-east Delhi put up signs outside their house stating that their houses were on sale. This situation had been created due to communal tension surrounding the construction of a mosque in the middle of the locality plot, with incidents of provocation being taken up to create panic among Hindus deliberately.

Any Memories of a Temple for Sale in Ghazipur?

In 2017, a temple situated in Ghazipur in east Delhi put put up a sign on its door, saying ‘Yeh Mandir Bikau Hai’ (This temple is for sale). The woman priest who managed the temple was getting threats to close it down.

62-year-old Shakuntala had told the media that despite approaching the police multiple times, there was no change in her situation. The miscreants had even asked her to leave the area and run away.

How About Prahladnagar in Meerut?

In 2019, Hindu families in Prahladnagar locality in Meerut were forced to abandon homes due to harassment from Muslim goons in the Muslim majority area. The reason behind this move of the families was the continued harassment of their women by several young men from a particular community, who indulged in eve-teasing, bike stunts and fights to scare the girls, making it impossible for them to step out of their homes alone.

Or Remember Bareilly, the Special Constituency?

Again, in July 2019, Dalit Hindus were forced to consider abandoning of their homes, being subject to torture and intimidation by the Islamist elements within the Muslim majority area.

The reason for this whole controversy was a temple built. The Hindu villagers wanted to build a small temple at this place; however, they were not being allowed to do so by the others. Not only this, the Hindu women living in the village have alleged that when these people go to worship in this temple, people of the Muslim community molest them.

But this too never gained similar limelight.

Any exodus anywhere should be a matter of great pain for people. However, selectivity on this subject can only cause anger and horror.