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Hindu family feels safe amongst Muslims in ‘Secular Hyderabad’

Image Courtesy: DC

‘We did not move after the riots, as locals assured us that they would protect us’

Hyderabad: A Hindu family feels safe in staying among nearly 2,000 Muslim families in Jahanuma.

“We feel safe here. Our relationship with the Muslims is very strong and we don’t feel our bond will break easily”, says Mr T. Ugender Singh, who stays along with his mother, wife and daughter.

“My grandfather was a jamedar (police official) with the Nizam police,” said Ms Susheela Devi, Mr Ugender’s mother, whom locals call Baiamma.

A part of the house was razed some years back and the property was sold to locals who have constructed houses. The family stays in a double-storey building.

“We have faith in our Muslim neighbours. They have stood by us during the worst communal riots in the nineties,” said Ms Susheela Devi who is quite happy to continue living at Jahanuma.

A few Hindu families who had lived a little away from Ms Susheela Devi’s house moved away after the riots. “We did not move as locals assured us that they would protect us,” she said.

The Thakur household gets numerous invites for marriages and functions from their neighbours. “Even relatives of the Thakur family whom we are familiar with send us invitations,” said Mr Syed Sohail, a neighbour.

Mr Ugender says the location of their house shocks his friends. “The first question they ask is how we manage to live alone in a Muslim neighbourhood. They advise us to shift to a safer place”, he says with a laugh.

When asked whether they would move out, Ms Susheela Devi firmly replies “I have lived for almost six decades here. No question of moving out.”