News Top Stories

Hindu, Muslim, Parsi united by patriotism; divided by Housing Societies

Hindu, Muslim, Parsi united by patriotism; divided by Housing Societies

Hyderabad: Whilst Americans welcomed their new ‘Discriminative President’, “NestAway Technologies”, an Indian real estate company played its role in assuring that India remained away from prejudice.

‘NestAway Technologies’ played an advertisement with the slogan ‘Homes that don’t discriminate’, calling for an end to chauvinism in India’s housing market based on gender, religion or caste.

The ad shared the sentiments of millions of Indians who were denied rented homes just because they were either single, ate meat, or they were from a certain caste, religion or region.

In a multi-cultural country, increase in discrimination by landlords is dividing communities into ghettos, analysts say

“It’s 2017 – and we’re still encountering discrimination,” said Rishi Dogra of marketing head NestAway Technologies.In a multi-cultural country, increase in discrimination by landlords is dividing communities into ghettos, analysts say.

“People should be able to move freely and find a living space anywhere in the country,” said Dogra.

NestAway Technologies was founded by four young male graduates after they had trouble finding a home in Bengaluru.

Mumbai

The state traditionally had enclaves for Catholics, Parsis, Bohri Muslims and others. They set up housing societies, or co-operatives, to help other community members.

But as the city grew, powerful housing societies started denying homes on the basis of religion, caste, food preferences and even professions.

A Facebook group called ‘Indians Against Discrimination’ was set up in 2015 after a young Muslim woman was asked to leave her flat a week after she moved in, because of her religion.

“When it comes to living spaces, we have become very insular,” Soman said.

“The city is getting increasingly ghettoized as a result, weakening our social fabric and polarizing us further. That doesn’t bode well,” she said.

Local courts have ruled against discrimination by housing associations in several cases, but there have also been contradictory rulings.

Ahmedabad

In a 2005, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of a Parsi housing society in Ahmedabad, approving it could limit its membership to Parsis and not admit others.

“The constitution guarantees our right to equality, but housing societies can still frame their own guidelines which may be discriminatory,” said Vinod Sampat, a real estate lawyer.