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Activists, academicians and riot victims met at the St Xavier's College, Navrangpura at a seminar to discuss the 'Lessons learnt from Gujarat,’ referring to the Sabarmati carnage and the riots that followed. What came out during the discussion was how the ghettoisation of the state has become almost complete since the 2002 riots. Social activist Harsh Mander talked about the need to tell the positive stories that came out of the riots. "It is important to remember what happened in 2002. But equally important is to tell the world about those who went out of their way to save lives," said Mander. Several riot victims said that in many cases, the neighbours intervened because their own life or property was at stake and not to save the lives and properties of Muslims.
Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer of Centre for Study of Society and Secularism said that education can play a big role in removing several misconceptions. "But unfortunately several of the misconceptions are propagated by the textbooks themselves," said Engineer. Rajesh, a Muslim who came to attend the event told about the discrimination he faces for belonging to the minority community. "I have had several experiences during which my application for admission to colleges and other places went smoothly until they came to know of my religion. Then all of a sudden things would start moving at a snail's pace." Activists from a number of organisations had attended the seminar under the 'Insaf Ki Dagar Par' programmes held to commemorate 10 years of the Sabarmati carnage. The activists also admitted that before 2002, not all organisations and actively worked towards secularism. "Let us admit it we were just paying lip service to secularism," said, Rohit Prajapati of Paryavaran Mitra.
Courtesy: DNA India
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