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Civil Society in Conflict Cities

A vibrant civil society is one of the essential preconditions of democracy, but it can fulfil its mandate only when the preconditions for its existence have been met. This demands shared engagement in political struggle and social interaction in shared neighbourhoods. This paper seeks explanations for the failure of civil society in Ahmedabad, which has experienced many riots in the past, to raise a collective voice of protest against deliberate acts of violence by the State, and also in battling undemocratic groups within its own sphere. A historical exploration of the segmentation of residential spaces in the city and its subsequent intensification has led to a weakening of the scope of civil society engagement. However, the translation of prejudice, discrimination and communal sentiments into brutal acts of violence demanded a trigger - provided by the Sangh parivar, which came to command state politics since the mid-1990s, and has rendered the civil society helpless.


Civil Society in Conflict Cities

Neera Chandhoke

A vibrant civil society is one of the essential preconditions of democracy, but it can fulfil its mandate only when the preconditions for its existence have been met. This demands shared engagement in political struggle and social interaction in shared neighbourhoods. This paper seeks explanations for the failure of civil society in Ahmedabad, which has experienced many riots in the past, to raise a collective voice of protest against deliberate acts of violence by the State, and also in battling undemocratic groups within its own sphere. A historical exploration of the segmentation of residential spaces in the city and its subsequent intensification has led to a weakening of the scope of civil society engagement. However, the translation of prejudice, discrimination and communal sentiments into brutal acts of violence demanded a trigger – provided by the Sangh parivar, which came to command state politics since the mid-1990s, and has rendered the civil society helpless.

A longer version of this essay has been written for the Cities Component of the Crisis States Programme of the LSE. Thanks to James Putzel, Jo Beall, Praveen Priyadarshi, Silky Tyagi and Neha Khanna. Fieldwork was carried out in the city in 2006, 2007 and 2008. I express my gratitude to organisations and individuals in the city who helped us. Thanks to John Harriss for his insightful comments.

Neera Chandhoke ( is with the Department of Political Science, University of Delhi.

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ince the reinvention of civil society in the 1980s, it has generally been assumed that a vibrant civil society is one of the essential preconditions of democracy. It is, perhaps now time to ask what the preconditions of civil society are. If we accept that different domains of human action are mutually constitutive of each other, we will have to accept that practices in civil society are shaped, influenced, and constituted by practices in domains outside the (metaphorical) borders of the sphere. Therefore, if practices of the economy, the polity, and society, perchance, reiterate, re-enact, and reify religious divides in a p lural society, how much can civil society organisations contribute to the ironing out of entrenched divisions? Civil society o rganisations can build on and consolidate pre-existing webs of solidarity and sociability, but they cannot craft these sentiments if they have been systematically destroyed or subverted by other practices. The a rgument in this essay holds that the mandate of civil society can be realised only when at least three preconditions have been met. First, the consequences of exclusionary identity producing and reproducing processes should have been mediated through processes and transactions outside the borders of civil society. Second, the state should possess rigorous control over the means and d eployment of violence. Third, one ethnic identity should not become a state making project, or take over the state. Concentrating mainly on the first of these preconditions I seek to illustrate this argument with reference to the case of Ahmedabad.

A Brief Biography of Communal Violence in Ahmedabad

In 2002, mobs belonging to the cadres of the Sangh parivar and a motley collection of followers, administered what is best described as a “near pogrom” of the Muslim inhabitants of Ahmedabad. Though almost all the districts of Gujarat were affected by communal violence, aggression against Muslims took on particularly savage forms in Ahmedabad. Violence is, of course, not a stranger to Ahmedabad. The city is known for the frequency, the scale, and the intensity of communal riots between Hindus and Muslims, even when the rest of the country and the state of G ujarat have not witnessed such riots. Consider the biography of communal violence in the city. The first communal riot occurred in 1941, and another took place on the eve of the Partition of the country. In the first major communal riot of 1969, 1,500 people were killed, 90% of whom belonged to the Muslim community (Shah 1970: 187-200). Property worth Rs 4 crore was destroyed. The next major riot took place in 1985, but minor riots occurred in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1980, 1981 and 1982. After a major riot in 1985, minor riots erupted in 1986, 1987 and 1989. Major riots took place in 1990, 1993, 1999 and 2000.

The immediate provocation for riots can range from harassment of women, India-Pakistan cricket matches, kite flying incidents, religious festivals and processions, alleged desecration of holy books, to reservations for lower castes in the government and in educational institutions. Caste riots have been transformed into communal riots in a shockingly short span of time (Spodak 1989: 765-95). The timescale of the riot has varied from one week (1969) to one year (2000). Not only has the role of the police been ineffective; according to reports of government e nquiry commissions and citizen tribunals, the police have a ctively participated in the infliction of violence upon the minorities. The army has had to be called in repeatedly, but was often not allowed to function effectively.

The 2002 case of communal violence is distinctive from earlier occasions in at least three respects. First the employment of violence was completely one-sided. Rather than wait for the rule of law to take its course after the Godhra incident, mobs led by the Sangh parivar proceeded to administer brutal vigilante justice. The precisely designed pogrom had, it became obvious, been m eticulously planned and orchestrated by the Bajrang Dal, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Second, although the role of individual government ministers and bureaucrats is still under investigation, it is clear is that the state government refrained from either preventing Hindu mobs from implementing their macabre designs, or from protecting Muslim citizens. Third, whereas earlier riots had more or less taken place in old Ahmedabad, particularly the walled city and the industrial areas, this time the entire city was affected.

More disturbingly, for the most part civil society organisations in Ahmedabad either kept silent or participated in the violence. Breman suggests that but for “a few exceptions, the institutions that represent civil society took no action at all when this horrific violence broke out” (Breman 2004: 292). T K Oommen writing on reconciliation attempts in the aftermath of the 2002 pogrom in Gujarat arrives at the same conclusion. What is more troublesome, writes Oommen, is that a section of civil society organisations, mainly the militant Hindu outfits actively participated in the violence against the Muslims (Oommen 2008: 74-75). Though some civil society organisations began to mobilise legal, psychological and material aid to the victims in the relief camp, on the whole, the civil society did not protest against the violence, or against the failure of the government to protect its own citizens. Some radical groups in Ahmedabad told our research team that it was difficult to get civil society organisations onto the street to demonstrate against the pogrom, and against state failure to rehabilitate the victims and give them justice, even on the sixth and seventh anniversary of the Godhra and post-Godhra violence.1

The Centrality of Civil Society to Democracy

What accounts for the failure of civil society to raise a collective voice of protest against deliberate acts of violence, both by state officials and its own organisations in Ahmedabad?2 I raise this question because civil society in democratic societies (and there is formal democracy in the state of Gujarat), is expected to keep a watch on violations of democratic norms by the state, through citizen activism, the making and circulation of informed public opinion, a free media, and a multiplicity of social associations. However, the task of civil society does not end here. Given the plural nature of the sphere, it is almost certain that some organisations within civil society will carry within them the seeds of authoritarianism and a “will to power”. Democratic organisations in civil society, therefore, have to be Janus-faced, with one face turned towards the state, and the other inwards t owards its own members. There is a second dimension to the civil society project. It is here that people, who may well subscribe to different persuasions, and who may well be unknown to each other, can “come together” in a series of distinctive and overlapping projects. This is not to say that people do not “come together” in a competitive electoral and an equally competitive market s ystem. The logic of civil society, or so it is expected, runs in a d irection that is qualitatively different to that of the market and the state. Compared to the power-driven state and the profitdriven market, the ethos that imbues civil society is that of sociability and solidarity.

Two implications follow this brief depiction of what civil s ociety in democratic polities ought to look like. We cannot a ssume, for one, that all organisations of civil society will always be democratic. Undemocratic organisations, consequently, will have to be engaged with, countered, and even neutralised by groups committed to democracy. The realisation of the mandate of civil society demands intentional and determined political a ction, a fair degree of toleration here, some amount of intolerance there, a readiness to engage with others; and an extraordinary amount of political courage and will to battle both undemocratic states, and undemocratic groups within the sphere. In sum, although we cannot assume that civil society will always be democratic, we expect that democratic organisations are ready to do battle with undemocratic agents. Two, the second dimension of civil society, the willingness of people to engage with others in and through multiple projects, is an essential condition for the realisation of the mandate of the sphere; that of vigilance. Or that unless people come together across religious, caste, and other ethnic divides, civil society can hardly keep watch on all manners of transgressions by all sorts of agents. Conversely, if civil society is not constituted as a space of sociability and solidarity by associational life, then organisations can prove to be fairly indifferent to the plight of some of its own members. It is in light of this interpretation of civil society that I proceed to look at the failure of civil society in Ahmedabad.

Seeking Explanations

We cannot say that no civil society exists in Ahmedabad, because at the turn of the 20th century a number of voluntary organisations in the city had initiated programmes of social reform and welfare, and housing associations established residential communities. During the struggle against colonialism, against the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s authoritarian regime, and against the internal emergency imposed by her government ( between 1975 and 1977), the city witnessed frenetic political activity in defence of civil and political rights. Yet, civil society organisations in the city can also be held responsible for violent acts against the lower castes, and against the religious minority

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in particular, and for the creation of a segmented and divided city in general. That some civil society organisations have practised the politics of discrimination and hate is not surprising, b ecause, as suggested above, civil society as a plural space also contains collectives that possess a will for violence. What is s urprising is that democratic organisations in Ahmedabad have not battled such practices, and thus constituted civil society as a contested and democratic space. There are two ways in which we can begin to understand this phenomenon. One, it can be argued that the history of civil society organisations in the city is the h istory of philanthropy and voluntary sector involvement in s ocial work and reform. In the first few years of the 20th century, industrialists in the city had set up the Swadeshi Mitra Mandal, an organisation that had tried to raise awareness among the work force through adult education. Social reform, particularly in the field of hygiene, healthcare, adult education, and schooling for the children of the working class, was initiated by A nusuyaben Sarabhai, the sister of one of the biggest textile magnates in the city. She helped establish the “Friends of Labourers Society” in 1916, which set up credit facilities for the workers. Though these organisations have contributed to the amelioration of poverty and to development, they have tended to stay away from either politically mobilising the people, or confronting the government (Majumdar 1973: 76-77). Significantly, neither Ahmedabad nor indeed Gujarat have seen an anti-caste movement that could overturn caste hierarchies, challenge conservatism, and pave the way for the consoli dation of an egalitarian spirit in the city and in the state.3

Still there is no reason to suppose that the most conservative of societies are immune or insensitive to the spectacle of violence, bloodshed, and mayhem that has been ritually played out in Ahmedabad’s neighbourhoods and work places, or that they are ready to participate in them. Social and even cultural conservatism cannot be held to be synonymous with blood lust. Groups may not interact with each other in the social domain, but this does not mean that they set about systematically exterminating each other in the most brutal of ways possible. There is a qualitative difference between the consolidation of hard communal prejudices in a society, and outbursts of inhuman communal v iolence. Communal prejudice may be an essential precondition for violence, but it is not enough. The translation of communal sentiments into violence demands a trigger. And the construction of the trigger involves an entire host of distinct processes.

The second explanation is infinitely more disturbing – is it possi ble that civil society in Ahmedabad has failed to protest against major transgressions of basic human rights because it has become accustomed to violence? In Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story “Silver Blaze”, Inspector Gregory asks Sherlock Holmes, “Holmes is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention”? “To the curious incident of the dog in the night time”, replied Holmes. “The dog did nothing in the night time”, was G regory’s puzzled response. “That was the curious incident”, r eplied Holmes. It turns out that the dog did not bark because the

o ffender happened to be the owner of the dog, and, was therefore, familiar. If civil society does not erupt in protest against the deliberate infringement of every basic right that supervenes onto

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human beings, something must have gone wrong in the c onstitution of this sphere. Is perchance civil society familiar with violence? Is indifference to violence, or even participation in v iolent acts a constitutive aspect of civil society? Perhaps.

The irony is that Ahmedabad was the site of Gandhi’s experiments with truth and non-violence. But these lessons, it appears, were half-heartedly internalised in the collective psyche. In 1919, reports of Gandhiji’s detention by the colonial government swept the city, and mob violence led to the jail, the telegraph office, and the collector’s office being set on fire. The Gandhian lesson of non-violence, it seemed, was soon forgotten. But, at the same time Gandhians walked the streets to counsel patience and reassure the workers. Regrettably, no Gandhian has walked the streets during the frightening communal riots that have become a recurrent feature of the city. In 2002, when Muslims fleeing murderous mobs tried to seek refuge in the Sabarmati Ashram, which had been established by Gandhi as a project in inter-caste and inter-communal harmony, reportedly the Ashram closed its doors in order to protect its property. The substantial Jain community in the city is wedded to the doctrine of non-violence. But this tradition has not found root in civil society. The community has kept silent in the face of tremendous brutality wreaked against the Muslim community. Numerous holy men who head a number of religious orders, each of which preaches the imperative of coming to peace with the world and with oneself, also kept quiet. And if some civil society organisations kept mute in the face of massive transgression of basic civil rights of the people, and the complicity of state officials and the police in the violence unleashed on Muslims, Hindu right wing groups were actively involved in the violence. It follows that groups dedicated to d emocracy and to battling fascist groups were rendered helpless.

Civil society in Ahmedabad, it is painfully clear, has failed to r ealise its own project: of bringing people together in shared projects. Since this is a major precondition for the realisation of the mandate of civil society; that of vigilance against transgressions of basic rights, civil society could not realise its own m andate. Or has civil society failed to bring people together b ecause of circumstances and developments outside the sphere?

Preconditions of Civil Society

It is precisely at this point of the argument that we need to ask what might well be a vital question of civil society theories – what are the preconditions of the existence and the reproduction of civil society? Arguably the first precondition is that in plural and divided societies the offshoots of identity producing and reproducing, and identity confronting systems should have been largely, or even partially, offset, neutralised, or mediated through various transactions at the workplace, through shared engagement in political struggle, and through social interaction in shared neighbourhoods. Being born into an identity group does not imply that this identity cannot be mediated by shared practices. Arguably if these preconditions are not present, if people do not transact with other people on the basis of shared identities, then not only is the prospect of engagement in civil society neutralised, the very possibility that civil society can realise its own project is also neutralised.

The second precondition is that violence is strictly controlled and monitored by the state; and that the state regulates the employment of violence by its own auxiliaries according to the rule of law. The democratic state, in other words, has to justify the employment of violence. Max Weber had famously argued that in modern societies the state acquires a monopoly over violence, and thus replaces violence by order and authority. If we were to take this argument to its logical conclusion, at the very time the state comes to gather together and monopolise violence, civil s ociety is constituted as a civil or a non-violent domain. The only weapons that can be deployed in the discursive spaces of civil s ociety are those of rhetoric, perorations, declamation, and r easoned arguments in dialogue. Members of civil society can further engage in collective action; such as marches, demonstrations, protests, strikes, and other means of civil disobedience. V iolence, however, is simply not allowed. The third precondition is that religious identities should not become a constitutive aspect of a state making project. It is only then that the state does not turn against a section of citizens that do not belong to the “right” ethnic group. Focusing on the first precondition, I argue that in the case of Ahmedabad these preconditions for a democratic and vibrant civil society have been weakly articulated and inadequately institutionalised. For instance, Varshney identifies the Congress Party and the Textile Labour Association (TLA) as two civil society organisations that managed to integrate the two communities, till the point that these organisations began to d ecline and degenerate (Varshney 2002: 227-78). Our research has shown on the contrary that the reach of the Congress in Ahmedabad was limited, that a majority of the Muslims ceased to partner the Congress in political agitations after the 1920s, and that the TLA was itself organised on the basis of caste and religious units. It was, therefore, unable to transcend either segmented identities, or provide a radical working class identity that could subsume particularistic identities often poised against each other. Further, Hindus and Muslims lived in segmented spaces since the inception of the city, and violence between the two communities was not unknown either in the medieval times or in the middle of the 20th century. In short, the first precondition for engagement in the spaces of civil society was markedly absent.

Moreover, just because Hindus and Muslims cease to associate in and through processes of civic engagement, they do not set about exterminating each other through murderous assaults on life and property. Society may be rankly communal, and this might prohibit social transactions or even political engagement, but this constitutive aspect of society does not necessarily translate into violence against each other, especially the kind of brutal violence we have witnessed in Ahmedabad. Such translation requires a catalyst or an agent, which can tap both overt and covert prejudices, excavate memories of days when horrible things were done to one community by another, bring forth sometimes unacknowledged grievances, and construct another community as the foremost and the proximate enemy with whom there can be neither truck nor transaction, only mind-numbing violence and intent to destroy. Since the mid-1980s, the cadres of the Sangh parivar p rovided such an agent; armed as these organisations were with a mission to unite the Hindus, by focusing on an external enemy.

More importantly, when the parliamentary party of the religious right in India, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in the state, the communal agenda of the cadre of the right acquired both legitimacy and political power. The takeover of the state government by a political party that openly subscribes to Hindu chauvinism, has completely destroyed the potential of civil society for the realisation of its own mandate. In other words, though communal violence can only occur when background conditions lay the ground for such eruptions, the eruption of systematic and orchestrated violence requires a trigger. This trigger was provided by the cadre of the Sangh parivar, particularly the party that came to command state politics from the middle of the 1990s. In the face of this highly organised and t argeted onslaught, the members of the Muslim community were rendered helpless and civil society was immobilised even as many of its own organisations participated actively in the v iolence. Civil society has been rendered helpless because the necessary preconditions have not been established. And it is this aspect that we now turn to.

From Residential Segmentation to Ghettos

Ahmedabad was founded at the intersection of caravan routes to Rajasthan, Delhi, Malwa, Sind with its port of Tatta (Lahari Bandar) and to the ports of Cambay, Surat and Broach (Gillion 1969: 14). The proto-city thus controlled key trade routes with the north, the east, the west and the south of the country. The place was also situated profitably in a cotton growing belt. These two factors motivated Sultan Ahmad Shah of the Gujarat Sultanate to establish a city close to where an earlier trading centre, namely, Asaval or Karnavati stood (Ray Chaudhri 2001: 677-726; Yagnik and Sheth 2005: 9).4 In 1411 Ahmed Shah constructed a walled city, which was named Ahmedabad after its founder. The city, which was built on the banks of the Sabarmati river, 50 miles from the mouth of the river, replaced both Karnavati and Patan, the old capital, as an important city of the region of G ujarat. The old walled city covered an area of two square miles, and the walls were completed in 1487. The second wall which had 10 gates was constructed by the Mughals. After 1532, settlements began to proliferate within the walled area. Subsequently, the city expanded spatially to include puras ( suburbs) outside the walled city.5

During the period of Mughal rule, whereas the court officials and skilled weavers were Muslim, the financiers and traders were generally Hindu and Jain. The only exception to this rule was the Bohra Muslim community that traded in silk and other goods. The wealth of Ahmedabad was, therefore, controlled by the H indus and Jains, especially by the old, established family firms, from the very beginning. These families possessed hereditary monopoly over trading transactions, and were, therefore, in a p osition to finance the Mughal court. The well established and highly respected Sarafi families acted as bankers, dealt in each other’s hundis (cheques for payments over distances), changed coins, acted as the pay masters of the army, and as financiers to princes and merchants, provided insurance, served as trustees for religious and charitable purposes and sometimes engaged in commercial activities on their own account (Gillion 1969: 17).

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Whereas Muslims exercised power during the period of the G ujarat dynasty and Mughal rule as influential officials of the court, once the city fell into the hands of the Hindu Maratha kings, the community lost its power. Thereafter, a majority of the M uslims remained mainly weavers, and control over trade, commerce, finance, and later administration, was monopolised by the Hindus and Jains. The only section of the Muslim community that retained its wealth was the Bohra community. Clearly the fortunes of the Hindus and the Muslims waxed and waned according to the r eligious persuasion of the elite that controlled the city.

If the structure of manufacture, trade, commerce and labour reflected the unequal balance of power between the three main communities – the Hindus, the Jains and the Muslims, in the post-Mughal period, this unequal balance was spatially reflected in the residential patterns of the city. In 2002, Mahadevia wrote that the city “is segmented in terms of levels of living, quality of housing, and availability of basic services. The process of exclusion starts from the segmented city structure, which was earlier segmented on the basis of class but now on the basis of religion” (Mahadevia 2002: 4851). But segmented neighbourhood patterns on the basis of religion are not new to the city. For instance, the puras that once formed the seat of Mughal officers, declined after the fall of the Mughal empire. But the puras founded by the Hindu merchants extended the economic life of the main city into the suburbs. Within the walled city residential, commercial and religious spaces were closely juxtaposed to each other. However, the residential pattern of the city was characterised by two d istinct kinds of housing clusters for the Hindus and for the M uslims. The Hindus lived in clusters known as the pol6 and the Muslims in mohallas. The word pol is derived from the Sanskrit word pratoli, which means entrance to an enclosed area. This e ntrance or gate was generally known by the name of the c ommunity that inhabited the closed area. The pols and m ohallas marked the clustering of the city population predominantly on religious lines, but the pols themselves were

o rganised largely on the basis of caste. Till the late 19th century, owners of the pol would sell land within the area to people of their own caste. In 1872, there were 356 pols in Ahmedabad, and some of them exist till today (Gillion 1969: 25).7 Within the pols were situated a quadrangle, a temple, a well, and common t oilets. To some extent residential property in the pol was held in common. The residents of the pol maintained the area by c ollecting funds through fines, sale of house property and gifts (Doshi 1974: 74).

In 1714, violence between Hindus and Muslims accelerated the move towards separate living. Communal violence was precipitated by the festival of Holi, which earmarking the advent of spring involves the throwing of colour on each other. Najaf Haider has narrated the origins of what is possibly the first communal riot in Ahmedabad. Though the riot was contained by the Muslim administration in two days, it seems to have intensified not only the trend of separate living, but also the construction of barricades in distinct clusters for purposes of defence. The pol normally had one entrance, and this was cordoned off and locked. Therefore, while the pol and the mohalla bred intense interaction within the community within the walled city, these spatial forms

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pre-empted social interaction with the members of the other community, and thus generated distrust.

In the last decades of the 19th century, Ahmedabad became a hub of the textile industry. Though the first textile mills were e stablished within the walled city, subsequent mills were located in the east beyond the railway line. This part of the city subsequently became an industrial area. A booming textile industry attracted migrants. In the eastern part of the city, working people lived in chawls built by the mill owners in villages like Saraspur, Rakhial, and Gomtipur. Subsequently, the boundaries of Ahmedabad were expanded to cover these industrial villages. In these chawls, caste Hindus lived in clusters. Muslim chawls were l ocated close to the dalit chawls and both the communities were excluded from upper caste houses. The practice of living in pols in the old areas, however, continued, with the pol becoming even more exclusionary. Outsiders were prevented from entering the pols through the raising of rents, and stringent conditions of sale.

The number of textile mills rose from 60 in 1931 to 81 in 1941, and with the development of various other ancillary industries that gave a boost to trade and commerce, economic activity swelled.8 In the year 1941, the city recorded the highest percentage growth of population; i e, 90.43%. The population of Ahmedabad was 3,10,000 in 1931, in 10 years it almost doubled and rose to 5,91,267. By the middle of the 20th century, given the juxtaposition of textile mills, chawls, narrow streets, and marketplaces in the industrial belt, as well as congestion in the walled city, some of the wealthier inhabitants began to migrate across the river to the western part of the city. By the late 1960s, three Ahmedabads had been established. The first Ahmedabad was the old walled city in which the upper castes, dalits, and Muslims lived cheek by jowl, but in their own clusters. The second Ahmedabad grew around the textile mills in the eastern periphery of the old city in the early part of the 20th century. In these villages turned industrial townships, lived mainly dalit and M uslim textile workers who together formed two-thirds of the working population. Separated from the first two Ahmedabads was the third new city that grew across the river Sabarmati. But here too, residential segregation was reproduced in a new form. In the western part of the city, housing societies bought land, subdivided it, and developed residential accommodation for individuals and families. But since housing societies were formed by caste and religious groups, it was relatively easy for them to cater to their own community and exclude people from other communities, and even other castes. In short, the exclusions of housing clusters in the old city were spatially reproduced in the new city, with most housing societies determining who should, or should not live there. Unlike classical theories of capitalism according to which land becomes a mere commodity in capitalist societies, in Ahmedabad land was closely connected to religious and caste h ierarchy. The built form became the spatial signifier of the s tatus, or the lack thereof, of the community that lived in it.

Whereas these housing societies provided for both Muslim and Hindu communities, a majority of the Muslims continued to live in the old city, in residential areas which, under sustained civic neglect, rapidly degenerated into slums. Some of these areas are Dariapur, Kalupur, Gomtipur, Behrampur, Bapu Nagar, Jamalpur, and Shahipur. Our research has shown that it is precisely in these areas that the worst communal riots have taken place. Narrow streets, congestion, and clusters of Muslim families living t ogether, have enabled rioters to target closely packed houses, by for example throwing petrol bombs over the walls, and setting fire to one house. By the late 1960s increasing numbers of M uslim families were forced to leave their homes and places of work, even as the major riot of 1969 earmarked the onset of g hettoisation.

For instance, a former village on the periphery of Ahmedabad, Juhapura, came to be a refuge for the victims of violence. J uhapura is one of the largest settlements of the Muslim community, containing about 3,00,000 people or about 46% of the total Muslim community in the urban agglomeration. Juhapura borders Vejalpur area which is Hindu dominated. The inhabitants of Ahmedabad pejoratively type the road between the two areas as the “border”, and Juhapura is known as Pakistan. The implications of this stereotyping are clear; for the right wing Pakistan is the prime enemy. Originally Juhapura consisted of poor Muslim households, but after 2002, affluent Muslim families have moved into the area. The expansion of population in the area has not been matched by the provision of services. Juhapura is clearly a slum lacking infrastructure and services such as health facilities, power supply, roads, drainage, and street lighting. Whatever infrastructure has been created in the area, from microcredit networks, to roads, schools, shops, eating places, and mosques have been built with private funds given by Muslim philanthropic

o rganisations. The area is not well connected to the city by public transport since it is located on the highway. Therefore, its residents have been deprived of employment, access to good schools, and health facilities.

Diminishing Mixed Neighbourhoods

Though the ghettoisation process began in 1969, some Hindus and Muslims still continued to live in mixed neighbourhoods, though in discrete housing clusters separated by a fence or a street. By the 1980s the ghettoisation process intensified and by the 1990s only a few mixed neighbourhoods remained (Yagnik and Sheth 2005: 230). It was these mixed neighbourhoods that were systematically targeted in the violence of 2002. The victims of violence were herded into poorly funded and grossly inadequate relief camps mainly set up by Muslim religious organisations. In a short time, these camps were rapidly wound up, and the inhabitants, after being awarded pathetically inadequate funds, sometimes as low as Rs 1,200, as “compensation”, were now on their own, thrown onto the mercy of a society that had proved complicit in the carnage, either actively, or through s tudied silence. At this point a few civil society organisations, predominantly Islamic organisations such as the Tabligh Jamaat, the Jamaat-e-Islami, and the Jamiaat-el-Ulema-e-Hind stepped in to undertake amelioration of destroyed lives and livelihood. In particular, the Islamic Relief Committee, which is the relief wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, stepped in to help people relocate and r esettle. Some land was acquired on the outskirts of the city, and the victims were resettled in four pockets – Juhapura, Ramol, Vatva and Dani Limda (Chandhoke et al 2007: 10-14).

Today Ahmedabad has few residential colonies with mixed populations and is divided almost completely into Hindu and Muslim inhabited areas. The children of one community have a bsolutely no interaction with the children of the other community because there are no mixed schools, no playgrounds where children of both communities can learn about each other, no e xtra-curricula activities that can form the basis of a future s olidarity, and no personal friendships that involve visiting each other’s homes, and dining with each other. Starkly put, the spatial divide means that people of different communities are not easily able to access the domain of private transactions, i e, friendships, associational life, dining with others, inter-marrying or indeed membership of social clubs. At this point someone can raise an expected question: does the world of the private matter? I would suggest that it matters for two reasons. One, that no one should be barred from a world that enables the formation of e motional support systems and friendships, and that allow for participation in the social transactions of a given society, for r easons that are morally arbitrary such as religious affiliation. The second reason is instrumental. We know that political and economic transactions do not always fall entirely in either the public domain, or in that of the market. It is precisely access to the private domain of social transactions that guarantees the a cquisition of both social skills that are indispensable for acquiring and retaining jobs, and influential contacts, which are necessary for the same purpose. Where we spend our time and with whom, who our children go to school with, what neighbourhood we live in, what clubs we belong to, and what sort of persons our children marry, have a profound effect on jobs, promotions, and prestigious placements. More worryingly, residential segregation narrows the cultural and the political horizons of communities, closes off options, pre-empts creative mingling of perspectives, and prevents the forging of other sorts of identities. On the other hand, interaction with persons who are “not like us”, prepares the ground for coming together in civil society, and appreciation of social and cultural differences contributes to the development of reflective and critical judgment. None of this prevails in the civil society in Ahmedabad because social interaction is more or less pre-empted through separate as well as unequal neighbourhoods. Geographical distances may not measure up to much in crowded cities, but when these residential neighbourhoods are both spatially and symbolically isolated, the distance between the “us” and the “them” becomes much more unbridgeable. The first precondition for the realisation of solidarity in civil society – mixed neighbourhoods, was simply not set in place in the city.

Participation in Political Movements

The second precondition for the mediation and the modification of primary ethnic identities is shared participation in political struggles. Ahmedabad was active in the freedom struggle against colonialism, but the majority of the Muslim community seems to have participated in the freedom struggle led by the Indian N ational Congress only partially. This is regrettable because p olitical practices are constitutive of identities and mediate primary identities. In Ahmedabad, however, the project of building inter-community solidarity through the freedom movement seemed to run into

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problems since the early decades of the 20th century. Evidence shows that widespread participation by the Muslims in the apex struggles during the 1920s, 1930s, and the 1940s was not a constitutive feature of the national movement in the city. For instance, the 1931 Census reported that in 1921, G andhi had recommended that no hindrance be offered to census operations during the noncooperation movement, because census-taking was of great importance. The census operations were, however, boycotted by the Hindus and the Jains, but not by the Muslims. The census report stated that “[a]s a general pro position it may be safely stated that the Muhammadans nowhere joined the boycott, in fact throughout the Presidency, the leaders rendered freely any assistance that was asked of them.” The r eport reiterated that “the boycott movement was confined to the Hindu and Jain elements in the city. So far as the Muhammedan community was concerned, it was wholly ineffective.”9 In other words, significant sections of the Muslim community did not join hands with the Hindus and the Jains in the non-cooperation movement called for by Gandhi.

Before the late 1930s, the Muslim community had not been outright hostile to the Congress, but the divisions between the H indus and Muslims widened when Jinnah reinvented the M uslim League in Gujarat. This particular development was an outcome of regional politics. In the 1937 elections in the Bombay Presidency, the Muslim League won 20 out of the 30 seats r eserved for Muslims in the state assembly. Jinnah offered to form a coalition with the Congress ministry that had won 87 seats. But Sardar Patel refused this offer, and suggested instead that the Muslim League should merge with the Congress. This suggestion was rejected. Expectedly, tensions arose between the two parties, and this filtered down to the Ahmedabad munici pality. The members of the League refused to acquiesce in the decisions taken by the Congress, whether these decisions pertained to the renaming of bridges across the Sabarmati, wearing of hand spun and hand woven khadi, or the celebration of G andhi’s birthday. “Each action and counteraction reinforced bitter ness and hostility between leaders of the two communities”, note Yagnik and Sheth (2005). Matters worsened when, as a counter to the Congress mass contact movement in the Bombay Presidency, Jinnah launched his own mass contact movement in mid-1937. Subsequently, he established branches of the Muslim League in Gujarat. Soon the Muslims of Gujarat began to view the Congress ministry in Bombay, and Congress controlled local a uthorities with profound suspicion. In February 1938 the B ombay Presidency Muslim Association met in Ahmedabad and passed a number of resolutions that expressed a complete lack of confidence in the Congress ministry. The Muslim community b ecame aggressive, and between 1938 and 1940 some incidents of communal violence took place in Ahmedabad. In April 1941, some Muslim miscreants launched a massive attack on the Hindu localities of the city. After four days of furious rioting, 76 lay dead and more than 300 were injured; with the casualties b eing mainly Hindu (Hardiman 2006: 163-64). Inter-community t ensions were summed up in the district magistrate’s report on communal riots in the city thus:

Since 1937, relations between the two communities have deteriorated rapidly. The Mahommedan community felt that they could not get justice in the time of the Congress ministry. They considered that they

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must organise themselves strongly to protect their rights. The Muslim League became very powerful in the city and practically all Mahommedans of note, except a few Congressmen became members of it. The Muslim League formed a small but united and clamorous opposition in the Ahmedabad Municipality, nearly all the other members of which were Congressmen. The Municipality instead of confining itself to its proper activities, reflected the atmosphere of the time, and in consequence in the last four years there have been many ‘scenes’ between the Congress and the League members at Municipal meetings. The local Mahomedans were also getting more and more irritated with other Hindu organisations. Of recent months, the Pakistan scheme of Mr Jinnah has made a wide breach between the two communities. The local Hindu Mahasabha was particularly bitter against the scheme and constantly exhorted Hindus to adopt more vigorous actions.10

Nothing illustrated the gap between the two communities more than the Quit India movement of 1942. David Hardiman writes that Ahmedabad formed the centre of the 1942 Quit India Movement against the colonial government, and the city came to be known as the “Stalingrad of India”. Notably absent from these demonstrations were the Muslims who at that time made up 20% of the population of the city. In April 1942, the 12 Muslim members of the municipality refused to support a motion condemning the arrest of the Congress leaders (ibid). The 1941 communal riot, the lack of Muslim participation in the 1942 Quit India movement, and the Partition of India in 1947, have left a bitter legacy of suspicion and hate among communities. It is precisely this l egacy that is played up by the organisations of the extreme religious right. After independence, the Muslim community in G ujarat has participated in state and national politics, voted for national parties, and elected members to the state legislature and the local bodies. Yet, the Hindutva brigade refuses to let the past be another country. When Muslim localities are typed as mini-Pakistan, or when the road between two residential areas is l abelled “the border”, the effort is clearly meant to evoke memories of the time when the country was partitioned amidst furious communal killings. What is effectively sidelined in the process of constructing the Muslim community as the “other” is that an overwhelming majority of the Muslim community chose to stay back in India. This choice should have been honoured and the constitutional rights of the citizens of India respected. But in a post-partition India the religious right that came to dominate the city since the middle of the 1980s refuses to let go of the two n ation theory. The net result is that essential preconditions for a civil society that can battle undemocratic organisations and movements have not been set in place.

The Politics of the Workplace

The other way in which people subscribing to distinct persuasions can be brought together is through the politics of the workplace. By the late 1800s, Ahmedabad had become a centre of the textile industry in India, employing one of the largest industrial workforces in the country. The textile industry provided economic incentives and opportunities to all people living in the city, and beyond. Yet different communities in the city could only access these opportunities unequally. Whereas some castes in the Hindu hierarchy were able to take quick advantage of the openings provided by the new industry in terms of ownership of factories, employment in profitable jobs, involvement in the ancillary sector, distribution, and finance; Muslims, with the exception of the Bohra community, generally lost out. During the period of Mughal rule, Muslims had acquired positions in the court as s oldiers and as high officials, but only a few Muslims had consolidated a trading or a business inheritance. Therefore as the Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency reported in 1913, the Muslim community, largely non-literate, was simply not in a position to take advantage of proffered opportunities.11 Gillion (1969: 89) writes:

Muslims remained humble weavers or gentlemen pensioners living in pride and semi-poverty. It has often been noted that their failure to take advantage of the opportunities open to them under British rule – for any British discrimination against them was less important here than their own lack of initiative – was of great significance in the modern history of the subcontinent. They trailed behind the Hindus in government service (except the army), in the professions, in commerce, and in industry.

The establishment of the textile industry could not alter the situation, because like landownership, the structure of employment and profit was deeply embedded in a hierarchical caste, and an exclusionary religious social milieu. The majority of the Muslims began to work as labour in the industry

Within the industry, allocation of tasks was on the basis of caste and religion. The workers in the spinning department were mainly dalits belonging to the lower castes. The weaving department consisted, amongst others, of Muslims, because their traditional occupation had been handloom weaving. The division of labour on the basis of caste and religion was reflected in the

o rganisation of the trade union, the Majoor Mahajan Sangh or the Textile Labour Association. The trade union was organised on the Gandhian principle of compromise rather than that of confrontation; that of arbitration and conciliation rather than of strikes, and that of instilling a culture of social work among the poor. The irony is that though workers accepted arbitration instead of c onfrontation, and partnership with capital instead of class consciousness, they failed to internalise the philosophy of G andhi, that of non-violence. Though the members of the trade union played a significant role in quelling political passions during partition in 1947, matters were different after that period. In the 1969 communal riot, workers clashed in the industrial localities, but the TLA did not mediate. In 1981-82 and 1985-86, waves of riots broke out against the extension of protective discrimination for the lower castes to Other Backward Classes. Though the measures would have helped workers who belonged to these castes, the TLA again did not intervene to protect its own members (Shah 1970). Leaders of the TLA neither walked the streets to restore sanity, nor did they back their own backward caste workers.

The problem was that the TLA was an umbrella organisation that brought together eight separate craft and occupation based unions within the industry. Therefore, workers became members through their own occupation unions. And since occupational slots within the textile industry were based on caste and religion, it is as members of a specific identity group that workers joined the TLA. Identities were thus reinforced rather than mediated by their class identity as workers. The consequences of segmented workplace were rather serious. Since Muslim workers were largely based in departments that had few workers from other groups, the former set of workers set up a separate organisation on the ground that the Gandhian union was under the influence of the mill owners. “They felt more at home here than in the TLA, with its dominant Hindu style” (Breman 2004: 75).

More importantly, the union leadership simply failed to extend support to Muslim workers. When in 1937, mill owners cut the wages of weavers by 25%, the TLA, which was associated with the Congress, maintained a studied silence. The Lal Vavta Mill K amgar Union established by the communists assumed leadership, and about 50,000 (mainly Muslim) workers went on a strike that continued for three weeks. The Congress government imposed orders banning all meetings and processions, and arrested several communist and socialist leaders and workers. When the Congress and the mill owners failed to control the strike, G ulzarilal Nanda, the Majoor Mahajan leader who was in charge of the labour portfolio of the government, brokered a settlement. The wage cut was thereafter reduced by 7%. Dinkar Mehta, one of the leaders of the striking workers, and a pioneer of the Communist Party in the state wrote in his biography thus:

Almost all the workers of the weaving sections participated in this strike and a sizeable number among them were Muslim. We realised through experience that although Muslim workers had respect and sympathy for Lal Vatva, their political consciousness had not broken out of the confines of the Muslim League. This ambivalent attitude persisted among Muslim workers for a long time (Yagnik and Sheth 2005: 218).

After the strike, some textile mill owners discharged a large number of Muslim workers, and thousands lost their jobs. N either the ministry nor the Majoor Mahajan took steps to reinstate the workers. On the other hand, the Muslim League leadership c ondemned the action of the mill owners, and held the Congress ministry responsible. It is not, therefore, surprising that the M uslim workers turned to the Muslim League (ibid: 129). The League had a big presence in the city where it had established a volunteer corps. Members of the Khaksar movement, who were mainly Muslim artisans, underwent military training in uniform, and considered themselves the “Army of Islam”. The movement mobilised the Muslim community effectively, and when M uhammed Ali Jinnah visited Ahmedabad in 1940, a 35,000strong crowd consisting mostly of Muslim workers assembled to hear him speak.

Clearly the trade union could not bring together various communities in a shared project that defined the common interests of the workers. Nor did the structure of this trade union manage to transform the social context of hierarchy and exclusion in the city, even at the point when the textile industry attracted a major part of the workforce in the city. The TLA, concludes Masihi, “ remained a conservative union working on Gandhian lines…the whole approach tends to strengthen narrow loyalties of the w orkers at the cost of solidarity of the working class” (cited in Breman 2004: 133). “Although the Gandhian union pursued a policy of positive discrimination with respect to Harijans (children of God)”, concludes Breman, “it displayed a certain reticence t owards Muslims. This was fuelled…by a tendency among M uslims themselves…not to join the TLA. As a result, this religious minority was in a vulnerable position, which was expressed in a less active representation of their interests” (ibid 2004: 133-34).

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The final pronouncement on the nature and the consequences of trade union politics was made by the 1929 Royal Commission on Labour, which observed that “in Ahmedabad the [textile] workers, excluding the Musalman weavers, are organised in a group of craft unions” (cited in Holmstrom 1984: 65). A significant precondition for a democratic civil society – workplace and union politics, that might forge unity among people divided by religion – simply went missing.

The Trigger: Rise of the Sangh Parivar

To put the point across baldly, historically, Ahmedabad has been constituted as a divided city. The divide is articulated in the form of separate housing, fragmented politics, and segmented workplace and trade union politics. The absence of the three preconditions have prevented the consolidation of a civil society, which has the capacity to battle undemocratic organisations and practices. If people have been deliberately alienated outside the boundaries of civil society, how can the organisations of the sphere constitute shared projects based on common interests and mediation of primary identities?

Yet this is not the whole story. The fact that different communities in Ahmedabad reached out to each other only partially, at the most, explains the failure of civil society to realise its historical mandate. This constitutive dimension still does not explain the periodic bloodletting that has taken place in Ahmedabad. The translation of prejudice, discrimination, and hatred into acts of violence that target populations and seek destruction of property and livelihoods, requires a trigger. In Ahmedabad this trigger was provided by the cadres of the religious right. These cadres tapped social and cultural prejudices, excavated bigoted sentiments, made people remember historical wrongs, enunciated an ideology of Hindu supremacy, crafted a strategy to ensure the domination of Hindus, mobilised people, and identified appropriate moments for the inauguration of a riot, and the infliction of violence. Arguably people do not kill each other just because they have not connected in the spaces of civil society. People do not perform ritual acts of violence on the bodies of others just b ecause the others are, in their perception, the unknown and the feared. In large parts of India, social groups have been able to live with each other amidst a high degree of intolerance and even social discrimination, without this breaking out in violence. Violence requires agents and purveyors of bloodshed. This agent in Ahmedabad, as in much of Gujarat, was the Sangh parivar. Notably, without a background of segmentation this particular agent could not have found a fertile ground to plant its seeds of hate. But without this agent, different groups might not have engaged in the politics of extermination quite in the way that they have done so. The collapse of the Congress strategy of forging a coalition between the backward castes and Muslims (the “KHAM” coalition) in the mid-1980s provided an opportunity for the religious right to enter the scene. The mandate of these organisations was to forge inter-caste unity of the Hindus by presenting the other community as the enemy. The electoral fortunes of the party improved dramatically in the period following 1987, with the party winning seats in the Ahmedabad Municipality Elections, the Parliament, and the state assembly elec-

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tions. Since 1995 the BJP has been in power in G ujarat. The project of the religious group – to take over the state, has been accomplished remarkably. The second and third preconditions of a democratic civil society were thus neutralised. Confronted by a state government that was complicit in the violence against the minorities, civil society slid further into inactivity and abandoned its mandate.


Though civil society is central to our understanding of democracy, that the space will always be democratic cannot be taken for granted for two reasons. One, civil society is a contested space in which projects that intensify democracy will have to take on the state as well as organisations within the sphere. We cannot assume that democratic organisations will always succeed in r ealising the mandate of civil society, that of keeping a watch on transgressions of democracy and rights. What we can expect is that these organisations are prepared to wage battle for the realisation of their mandate. The outcome of the battle may be chancy and contingent, but more significant is the process of contesting undemocratic organisations, ideologies and norms.

The realisation of this mandate presupposes that people are willing to come together across all manners of persuasion in civil society, engage with each other, and address problems in common. However, people can only come together in civil society if they have already interacted and worked with each other in the neighbourhood, in political struggles, and in the workplace. We cannot presume that segmentation and divisions in these spaces will be overcome just because people enter civil society. Participation in various transactions in civil society possesses a distinct logic; that of solidarity, but civil society cannot impose this logic onto already divided societies. In other terms, transactions in civil society can only build on other transactions. Matters become even more difficult when communal organisations take over state power and thus give to their agenda legitimacy. Civil society needs as a precondition a state that maintains a balance between communities and classes. When the state adopts a partisan agenda, the potential of civil society to battle undemocratic forces is completely truncated. This is the sad story of Ahmedabad’s civil society.

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1 The names of these organisations have been withheld on request.

2 The concept of civil society can be employed in g eneric terms or in terms of a definite location. Civil society in the country responded to the onesided violence that was employed against the M uslims in Ahmedabad with outrage, a number of citizen organisations investigated, documented and circulated abuses of basic fundamental rights, and social activists played a significant role in compelling police stations to record or re-open First Hand Information Reports, brought culprits to the notice of the judiciary, and mobilised opinion through meetings, the media, and the written word. In this work I refer specifically to civil society in the urban space of Ahmedabad. Locating civil society in specific spaces might be advantageous because boundedness enables us to understand the different ways in which agents realise, or do not realise the nature of the civil society project.

3 I am indebted to Ghanshyam Shah for this insight into Ahmedabad.

4 With the disintegration of the Delhi Sultanate in 1394, in 1403 the Governor of Gujarat declared independence from the Delhi Sultans. Thus was the Gujarat Sultanate, which came to be known as the Ahmadshahi, founded by Ahmad Shah’s grandfather.

5 Ahmed Shah encouraged merchants, weavers and skilled craftsmen to settle in Ahmedabad, so that the city could develop as a flourishing weaving and trading centre. A 100 years of growth was followed by 60 years of decay as the Gujarat Sultanate declined, and trade passed into the hands of the Portugese. Ahmedabad recovered some of its reputation and prosperity in 1572 after it became a part of the Mughal empire, and more importantly the seat of the Mughal viceroy of Gujarat. However, the city declined once again because the Mughal empire began to disintegrate in the 18th century. Ahmedabad was ruled jointly by the Muslims and Marathas from 1738 to 1753. In 1757 it came completely in the hands of the Maratha kings. Till 1817, when it was annexed by the East India Company, the city was almost deserted. Under the control of the East India Company the city once again revived, and was transformed into a modern industrial city. See Kenneth L Gillion, Ahmedabad, pp 14-17.

6 Pol (pronounced “pole”) is a housing cluster that comprises families linked by caste or profession. 7 Today some pols remain such as Mhurat Pol,

M andvi-ni-Pol and Lakha Patel-ni-Po.

8 Government of India, 1962, Census of India 1961, Special Report on Ahmedabad by R K Trivedi, S uperintendent of Census Operations, Bombay, Central Press, Part E-section 2, p 43.

9 Census of India 1931, 1932, Volume VIII, Part I, Bombay Presidency, General Report by A H Dracup and H T Sorley, Central Bombay, Government Press, pp 483-94.

10 Report on Communal Riots in Ahmedabad in April 1941. File No 5/11/1941, and Report of the District Magistrate, Ahmedabad, on the Hindu-Muslim Disturbances in Ahmedabad City in April-May 1941, dated 12-12-1941, Government of India, Home Department Political (i) Nos 1-17, and H D Dy, No 5825/4 Poll (I)

11 Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, 1913, Vol 1 V-B, Ahmedabad, Bombay, p 25.


Breman, Jan (2004): The Making and the Unmaking of an Industrial Working Class (New Delhi: Oxford University Press).

Chandhoke, Neera, Pravin Priyadarshi, Silky Tyagi and Neha Khanna (2007): “The Displaced of Ahmedabad”, Economic & Political Weekly, 27 October, pp 10-14.

Doshi, Harish (1974): Traditional Neighbourhood in a Modern City (New Delhi: Abhinav Publications).

Gillion, Kenneth L (1969): Ahmedabad: A Study in I ndian Urban History (Canberra: Australian N ational University Press).

Government of India (1962): Census of India 1961, Special Report on Ahmedabad by R K Trivedi, Superintendent of Census Operations, Bombay, Central Press, Part E-section 2, p 43. Census of India 1931, 1932, Volume VIII, Part I, Bombay Presidency, General Report by A H Dracup and H T Sorley, Central Bombay, Government Press, pp 483-94.

Hardiman, David (2006): Histories for the Subordinated (New Delhi: Permanent Black).

Holmstorm, Mark (1984): Industry and Inequality: The Social Anthropology of Indian Labour (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

Mahadevia, Darshan (2002): “Communal Space over Life Space: Saga of Increasing Vulnerability in Ahmedabad”, Economic & Political Weekly, 30 November, pp 4850-858.

Majumdar, P (1973): An Anatomy of Peaceful Industrial Relations (Bombay: Tripathi Publishers).

Oommen, T K (2008): Reconciliation in Post-Godhra Gujarat (New Delhi: Pearson Longman).

Ray Chaudhri, Siddhartha (2001): “Colonialism, I ndigenous Elites and the Transformation of Cities in the Non-Western World: Ahmedabad (Western India) 1890-1947”, Modern Asian Studies, Vol 35, No 3.

Shah, Ghanshyam (1970): “Communal Riots in Gujarat: Reports of a Preliminary Investigation”, Economic & Political Weekly, Vol 5, Nos 3-5, pp 187-200.

Spodak, Howard (1989): “From Gandhi to Violence: Ahmedabad’s 1985 Riots in Historical Perspective”, Modern Asian Studies, Vols 23-34, pp 765-95.

Varshney, Ashutosh (2002): Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India (New Delhi: O xford University Press).

Yagnik, Achyut and Suchitra Sheth (2005): The Shaping of Modern Gujarat: Plurality, Hindutva and Beyond (New Delhi: Penguin).


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