peculiarities of inter-community violence, that have since the 1980s often
take the shape of anti-minority pogroms has been the strategy of
organisations behind the violence to target mixed localities especially
minorities living within. This is a calculated bid to disrupt co-existence
on a day to day basis between varied cultures and peoples. It is this
sustained every day inter-action that develops a secularised space and
lived tolerance between groups. With these threads torn it becomes easier
to spread stereotypes about groups and communities, spread rumours even.
1992-1993 saw brute expressions of this targeted violence as organisations
in their perverse attempt to “purge” areas of unwanted groups succeeded in
terrorising residents to remove or change name-plates that were
identifiably Muslim, men to shave off their beards. Where previous bouts
of communal frenzy had started the trend, 1992-1993 accelerated it – if
Borivli today is a large Gujarati ghetto, then Yari Road is a mini
ghettos is always problematic, especially for girls and women as
patriarchial norms, governed by cultural hegemonies, become the norm.
Minorities within the ghetto, be they driven by gender or thought, become
victim. The state in India has remained a mute spectator to this dangerous
trend that is dividing cities and neighbourhoods, even as archaic and
colonial British laws allow residential colonies to exclude persons on the
basis of community or caste.