Sneha Richhariya, Sejal Patel, Tej Prakash, Faizah Ayyub Mir
Close to 7 Lakh people live in Okhla, a Muslim-majority residential area in South Delhi. Densely populated residential apartments, decaying and crumbling infrastructure, lack of government schools, and lack of primary healthcare are some of the basic issues which the inhabitants face.
The authorities define major parts of the apartments as unauthorized, thus Okhla today finds itself in the midst of the politics of regularization.
Over the years, the Muslim-majority areas of Delhi – as those elsewhere in India – have not been able to shake off the stigma, suspicion and derision associated with them. Though the settlement in this area is not new, the process of ghettoization began with the rise of radicalism in India.
As societies began to polarize, minorities started moving into gentrified neighbourhoods. The overarching allegations of Muslims as irrational, backward, and anti-modern people have often been used to ‘explain’ their predicament.
The adverse effect of the process of segregation is that it has led to the reduction of social interactive spaces making Okhla an introverted society.
The story will include interviews with Gauhar Raza (renowned Historian, Urdu Poet and documentary filmmaker), Ramesh Bidhuri (Member of Parliament, South Delhi), Nehal Ahmed (Author and PhD scholar), Yameen Ansari (Senior journalist with Urdu Newspaper- Inqilab), and other interviews with local residents.