An RSS man who rescued Muslims

Jeetubhai Trivedi, Social Worker, Ahmedabad

Jeetubhai Trivedi is an aged social worker who lives in Saraspur, Ahmedabad. An RSS worker, Jeetubhai readily confesses that as a young man, he participated in many communal riots as a member of the Jan Sangh. Now, however, he is older and says he knows better.

During the violence of 2002, Jeetubhai was constantly on the move, helping wherever he could. He regularly visited the civil hospital and checked on those who had been admitted there. Regardless of whether they were Hindus or Muslims, he arranged for their food and medicine. Wherever the victims were too poor, he asked his friend, Janibhai, who runs a trust, to provide meals for the victims, which he paid for himself. He also arranged for their medicines. In fact, Shafibhai Mulani, an organiser of the Shah Alam camp, contacted Jeetubhai every time they had to send someone from the camp to the hospital. Jeetubhai then arranged for their meals and medicines.

Near Jeetubhai’s house there are two chalis facing each other — one Hindu and the other Muslim. When the communal violence began, the residents of the Hindu chali joined a mob throwing stones at the Muslim chali. About 30-40 residents of the Muslim chali were stranded there. When informed about the rather volatile situation, Jeetubhai tried to get police help but the police pleaded shortage of manpower. Finally, Jeetubhai went there himself and managed to get the Muslim residents out in the nick of time. Within 10 minutes of the Muslims escaping, the chali was attacked, looted and ransacked. Jeetubhai made arrangements for the Muslims to either go and stay with relatives’ in safer areas or to a relief camp.

Jeetubhai says he knows most of the people in the area and is always available for help at any time of the day or night. This is why he can move around fearlessly even during disturbances and curfews. Whenever someone tries to stop him, he explains that all these riots are part of power play and that ordinary people are mere pawns in the game. He asks them to see how insignificant these issues really are and rise above them. "After all, Muslims are human beings too", he adds.

Archived from Communalism Combat, June 2004 Year 10   No. 98, Cover Story 4



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