Multinational Company VP Alleges Caste Discrimination In Gujarat, Says He Has Not Been Allowed To Buy Flat Near GIFT

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Multinational Company VP Alleges Caste Discrimination In Gujarat, Says He Has Not Been Allowed To Buy Flat Near GIFT

| Updated: February 27, 2024 22:04

Society denies claims, owner retracts the sale offer suddenly

A robust business district with vast acres of commercial and residential spaces, the Gift City is rapidly consolidating its position as a powerhouse of financial and IT services. Its cutting-edge infrastructure continues to attract numerous startups. What furthers the Gift City’s allure is the job boom it promises.

This vision made a vice-president of JP Morgan, Anirudh Kejriwal, choose Gujarat over Singapore when he got an opportunity. Originally from Rajasthan, Anriudh has graduated from IIT Guwahati. He was born in Mumbai and this pan-national exposure makes him a true Indian exposed to different cultures.

Anirudh Kejriwal

Anirudh decided to buy a house near Koba in Gandhinagar which is close to GIFT city from where he has been functioning for about three months. “ I zeroed in on a house that I like at Sant Vihar I society. The house was going to cost me Rs 70 lacs. I gave Rs 35 lacs via a cheque to the house owner, Baldevbhai Patel from whom I was going to buy the house in a resale deed”, Anirudh told Vibes of India.

However, the house owner kept on delaying giving him the No Objection Certificate (NOC). According to Anirudh, the society which has a majority of Patels did not want a non Gujarati with the surname Kejriwal buying a house. “I am a Hindu; I am a vegetarian, I told him”, Anirudh added, saying that he was discriminated against by the housing society.

Anirudh took to X to express his anguish. He wrote, “After living in Mumbai for years, I decided to move to Gujarat, choosing it over an opportunity in Singapore. I was captivated by the promise of GIFT City and the grand vision our PM and government laid out for us. It inspired me so much that I took a big step and decided to buy my first house here, dreaming of a future filled with hope and growth.”

He added,“I’m facing unexpected challenges with my dream home, barred from moving in, not because of anything I have done, but because I wasn’t born Gujarati. Worse yet, I’m warned that even if I manage to get in, happiness will be out of reach, and troubles will follow. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. Choosing Gujarat, leaving behind my life in Mumbai, and the chance to move to Singapore, I never thought I’d face such discrimination. This experience has been nothing short of a nightmare.”

According to Anirudh, it is because of his caste and community that he is being discriminated against. Anriudh said he is seeking legal help.

Meanwhile, Vibes of India visited Sant Vihar Society and though the majority of residents are indeed Patels, there are few others also who have purchased houses. There are 92 flats in the complex. The society chairman, Laljibhai Patel claimed that this was not an issue of caste or community discrimination but some personal problem between the house owner and the buyer.

Laljibhai Patel
Laljibhai Patel, Society Secretary

Anirudh maintains that he has been barred from buying the flat because of “being a Kejriwal”. .His fault? He was a Mumbai-kar, not a born Gujarati. “The situation escalated quickly with nearly 30 people gathering, threatening me with dire consequences if I proceeded,” Kejriwal wrote.

However, Kejriwal is determined to reclaim his rights and even pursue legal options if necessary. “All my preparations, from financial investments to personal arrangements, are now in jeopardy due to this discrimination. The vision of an inclusive India feels tarnished in the very state leading India’s development narrative,” he added.

Sympathies poured in on social media, with one user saying, “I’m not surprised, despite all the claims of modernity the thinking of many people here is extremely backward. Caste-based discrimination is rampant in the real estate market”.

Another user wrote, “…This is one of the sad realities of staying in Gujarat! Hope you and your family are fine!”

Baldevbhai Patidar
Baldevbhai Patidar, Seller of the House

Vibes of India also contacted Baldevbhai Patel, the owner of the house. He admitted that Anirudh Kejriwal has given him a cheque of Rs 35 lacs. “I do not want to get into details. I will be returning his amount soon. I will not be selling the house”, he added.

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