Saturday, April 05, 2008

Dateline Jamia Nagar - No Pizzas for Muslims

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Saree Meets Hejab

Fast-food chains don't deliver in Delhi's Muslim ghetto.

[Text and picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Fast-food chains like Domino's and McDonald's usually refuse home delivery in Jamia Nagar even though this dominantly Muslim neighbourhood, famed for its Jamia Islamia University, is close to their New Friends Colony (NFC) outlets. By the way, Jamia Nagar is not just another unplanned stinky ghetto--it has wide roads, spacious houses, and proper addresses. (See the story: Jamia Nagar - Delhi's Rich Muslim Ghetto)

"We don't deliver there," was the reply when The Delhi Walla called up Domino's (011-26933951-56) at NFC. Different responses on different calls: "we are sorry", or "we haven't started our service there yet."

Ditto with McDonald's. "There are areas we don't deliver to and Jamia Nagar is one of them," says the lady manning the McDelivery desk. According to McDonald's India North & East, "McDelivery ascertain the delivery area on various internal assessments including the convenience and safe accessibility of the area within the permissible timeframe."

OK, fair enough.

It takes less then 10 minutes to drive to Jamia Nagar from McDoanld's. So is the place not safe enough? An unusually forthcoming employee at Domino's said, "It's not a good area. We deliver there only to special customers."

Who are these mysterious special customers?

At least author Ms. Rakshanda Jalil, a Jamia Nagar resident who recently had luminaries like Khushwant Singh and Sheila Dikshit (Delhi Chief Minister no less) attending her book launch, is not special enough. She couldn't coax Domino's to deliver Veggie Delight with extra olives for her two daughters.

"They go to faraway blocks of New Friends Colony and were delivering as far as Sarita Vihar but they won't come here which is closer", says Ms. Jalil.

Now listen to the outlets' unofficial excuses: "customers there don't pay", "addresses are usually given wrong", and--this takes the pizza—"The Jamia University students forcibly take pizza boxes from delivery boys."

Then why is Pizza Hut able to deliver, and deliver successfully, to Jamia Nagar?

A quick phone call put things in perspective. Yes, Pizza Hut does deliver in Jamia Nagar. Yes, they have never faced problems. But sorry, they don't deliver after 7 pm. Reason? Traffic jam! Really? That's laughable. Jamia is essentially an university campus with verdant grounds and quiet libraries. Hardly the stuff traffic jams are made of.

Ms. Jalil says, "Nobody uses the M word. But clearly, they don't go 'out there' because a different sort of species resides out there!"

Achha, those Mussalmaans!

You may also like to read: Delhi Diary - No City for a Muslim

Jamia Nagar - Delhi's Rich Muslim Ghetto


Deepa Krishnan said...

I don't know Jamia Nagar, but I'm puzzled. Businesses are more motivated by money than anything else, so what is it that makes a large international pizza chain refuse delivery to a conveniently located area afer dark? There must be more to it than just the "M word". I'm not saying Muslims aren't ghettoised in India. They are. But there's something else going on here, and I'd like to figure out what it is.

Mayank - I run a bazaar walk for tourists in Mumbai's Bhendi Bazaar. If you're in Mumbai, and haven't been there, I'd love to take you.

Rafay Kashmiri said...

@ make a thorough investi and
highlight the problem related to
religious racism and xenophobia,
encourrage those who want to establish in the area and start their own menu and serve anywhere !

Discourage with full energy, if there is discrimination ask the law
of confiscate the Franchise or license, make social boycott etc. there are 104 manners to take into
the notice those who run the Govt.

Yusuf Smith said...

As-Salaamu 'alaikum,

Perhaps you should complain "higher up" to the companies' American owners or franchisors, and make a fuss with groups like CAIR or other civil rights groups in the West. I don't think they'd like to become known for racist policies.

m a v e r | c k said...

In response to Yusuf Smith: I don't think Mayank was complaining about it or making a fuss like you stated. He was just trying to put reality in to perspective.
What goes behind these policies is racial bias and religious prejudice.
Thats sad; after all these years we are still fighting the same war. What was one a liberal society with far more tolerance is becoming more and more sectarian. I wish we could learn something from out ancestors, the great mughals, and create the same world of religious harmony that once inhabited this same land.

Anonymous said...

@ maverick
our ancestors, the great mughals, are you kidding :)

Sameer said...

LOL..Please read history from a unbiased and true text book . All the Mughals save Akbar, were religious bigots . Even the lover boy Shahjahan had issued orders for the destruction of 68 Temples in the Holy Hindu City of Benares .His son Aurangazeb reintroduced Jaziya tax on Hindus and destroyed the Krishna Janma Bhoomi Temple at Mathura and erected a Mosque there . The endless list of muslim atrocities which constitute Genocide of Hindus at the hands of "benovelent" Muslim rulers cant be written here. Thank you

Salahudin said...

The pizzas boxes were taken only very few times by Jamia students and the American outlets are just blowing he issue out of proportion . Majority of the students are law abiding . We must sue the companies which have adopted such a discriminatory stance.

Anonymous said...

they dont even deliver to outskirts of dwarka. and there arent any muslims here!

Anonymous said...

Muslims in India have got the habit of complaining about every thing and link it with religious discrimination. I live in very posh area of Gurgaon and pizza chains around our area also refuse to deliever though they are on 15 mins walking distance.All this discrimination thing is being blown out of proportion and by the people who don't know how to live in a country where all religions are respected and loved by 99% of people.

Shreyas said...

It's highly risky service. Remember it's service where they take order before you make the payment. They prepare the stuff, send the guy to deliver it. Now, if people snatch the boxes or refuses to pay. They incur double loss. Their whole purpose is to make money. If business proposition doesn't work out they won't be in it.

If you are so concerned start some western food langar there.