Sarkhej Roza

Gujarat's Chief minister Narendra Modi is expected to unleash a string of development activities around the Sarkhej Roza located on the fringes of Juhapura, often described as the largest Muslim ghetto in the country. The roza, once described by celebrated architect Le Corbusier as the ‘Acropolis’, is where the roots of Ahmedabad were sown. The roza is dedicated to Sufi saint Khattu Saheb alias Ganj Baksh, the person who directed Ahmed Shah to set up a city here in 1411 AD. It is visited by believers of all faiths. The chief minister’s visit is said to be significant, coming on the first day of the World Heritage Week, and is seen to be in tune with his recent overtures to the Muslim community. Although it is a nightmare for securitymen as Juhapura has always been a target for anti-terror raids, the chief minister will be the chief guest at a Sufi concert on Friday evening when everyone in the neighbourhood would like to be. The last Modi had visited the roza was with Abdul Kalam when he was President. Officials of the AMC and AUDA have been proactive in recent days drawing up final plans to turn the Sarkhej Roza into the jewel of Ahmedabad, which is bidding for World Heritage City status from Unesco. Details of the town planning schemes in the vicinity of the roza are eagerly awaited, but the most important one will be on how the central tank, which has been lying bone dry for the last three years, will be filled up again. The tank is the soul of the roza and unless Modi pumps water into it, it won’t quench the thirst of Ganj Baksh, a great-hearted saint who fed everyone, including birds, who came to him.

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