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This has reference to recent media reports on Shabana Azmi’s remark about Muslims finding it difficult to rent or buy apartments in Mumbai and the reactions this comment has generated.

It is common knowledge that many housing societies refuse to accept members who are from the Muslim community. The problem is not limited to Mumbai. A case of this nature in Pune recently made headlines.

NDTV has done several investigative features recording how Muslims find it difficult to buy or rent accommodation in Mumbai. Several newspapers over the years have documented this matter in detail.

Therefore, we are outraged by the news that some people have asked Ms. Azmi to apologize for speaking the truth. Instead there is urgent need for a widespread public debate on how we, as citizens, are going to stop various forms of discrimination and prejudice. The problems faced by Muslim flat-buyers are only one form of discrimination. We are equally disturbed by all other forms of discrimination and exclusion which undermine the strength of our cultural diversity.

We are a democratic country based on a constitution that guarantees equality of class, caste and religion. Our strength as a nation and society depends on communities and individuals defining their spaces in ways that are true to these fundamental values and rights.

The list of signatories below the fold.

Signed:

1. Titoo Ahluwalia
2. Sudhir Badami
3. Rajni Bakshi
4. Darryl D’monte
5. Dilip D’souza
6. Arvind Krishnaswamy
7. Gulan Kripalani
8. Anjum Rajaballi
9. Kalpana Sharma
10. Dolly Thakore
11. Pervin Varma
12. Jayant Kripalani
13. Anjali Monteiro
14. K.P. Jayasankar
15. Atul Tiwari
16. Rina Kamath
17. Govind Shahani
18. Dorab R. Sopariwala
19. S.G. Vasudev
20. Ammu Joseph
21. Vikram Sardesai
22. Jivi Sethi
23. Ritu Menon
24. Kirtana Kumar
25. Konarak Reddy
26. Kaeya Zui Millagra
27. Pushan Kripalani
28. Gautam Berry
29. Anuradha Rao
30. Dr. Vijaya Chandru
31. Uma V Chandru
32. Tariq Ansari
33. C.K. Meena
34. Nandana Reddy
35. Ajit Kumar
36. Ahalya Kumar
37. Laxmi Murthy
38. Dhun Karkaria
39. Vinay Kalburgi
40. Patrick Wilson
41. Gerson da Cunha
42. Anasuya Sengupta
43. Ashwin Jacob Mathew
44. Mukul Dube
45. Raju Rajagopal
46. Nupur Basu
47. Harsh Mander
48. SM Shahed
49. Dr Shahid Ali Khan
50. Rasheed Ahmed
51. Firoz Vohra
52. Navroze Contractor
53. Angana Chatterji
54. Aparna Sinha
55. Nandan Maluste
56. Deveika Bhojwani
57.Anubha Sood

 

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