Beyond Mumbai: Interfaith Cooperation

Wednesday's bombing in Mumbai highlights the unlikely nature of a peace pact struck there three years ago between two religious groups with a history of strained relations. In the aftermath of the November 2008 attacks that killed dozens, Muslim Ibrahim Tai led his community and a nearby Hindu community in agreeing that they would not respond to that tragedy with more violence. "In times like these people get really suspicious of each other," said Tai. "And fight with each other. But these fights can be avoided through mutual dialogues." No group has claimed responsibility for Wednesday's violence, but police have blamed similar attacks in the past on Muslim militants intent on destabilizing the integrity and sovereignty of India.

Update from Ibrahim Tai and Nitin Kadam following last week's bombings in Mumbai:

Ibrahim Tai: Tai's organization is based close to one of the blast sites (Zaveri Bazaar). The police cordoned off the area pretty quickly, so there was not much that could be done there. Tai and  his co-workers went to JJ Hospital for blood donations, in case they were required. The hospital had sufficient stocks that time but took down their contact details etc, in case any future requirement arose. Ibrahim Tai does not fear any backlash for his community and says that "no one has really raised a finger at them too."

Nitin Kadam: The Siddhivinayak Temple is also close to the other blast site (Kabootarkhana at Dadar) and itself is always under a terror threat at all times. As the news of the blasts spread that evening, the Temple heightened its security but did not at any point close itself off to visitors or ask them to vacate the premises. Any knee-jerk reactions that time could have further added to the panic and confusion all around. They have operated normally during those hours and since. Currently they do not have anything lined up viz-a-vis Inter-faith community work.

July 16th, 2011 21:22 pm

Share your thoughts...

Post new comment