Just ahead of the Gujarat elections the communal card hoardings are up in many areas asking for a Hindu Rashtra and declaring these as Hindu Zones. The authorities are not taking any action.

Is this a sign of things to come? Not far from Mahatma Gandhi's ashram in Sabarmati, visitors are greeted by the board put up by the Shiv Sena in Ahmedabad's Ranip area, promising to make Gujarat a Hindu Rashtra.
And just opposite that board is another one that declares the area to be a Hindu zone.

Local activists like Alpesh say such boards can be found everywhere.
''I went around the city photo graphing these boards. So I filed a Right To Information application about these boards but they haven't replied. I know that it is all over the state,'' said Alpesh, social worker.

Some boards have been removed in Ahmedabad after Alpesh filed his RTI application three weeks ago. But most are still intact.

The board installed by the VHP and the Bajrang Dal on the Naroda highway urges people to loudly proclaim they are Hindus.
Naroda was one of the worst hit areas during the 2002 riots and the boards are getting the message across to Muslim residents.
''It is surely to intimidate the minorities, there is no other reason,'' said Shabnam Hashmi, Activist.

When NDTV contacted Bhaskar Bhatt, the corporator from Saraspur in Ahmedabad said, ''There's nothing unusual about this. They are all over Gujarat and not just in my area.''

What's disturbing is that NDTV really didn't have to look too hard to find these. They are all over the state and yet the authorities refuse to do anything about them.

Sunetra Choudhury
Friday, November 16, 2007 (Ahmedabad)
NDTV.com: Guj: Hoardings demarcate Hindu zones