Five Reasons Why Vijayawada is a hub of India’s population
It is a general misconception that Vijayawada is monolithic city socially. But, large presence of various linguistic and cultural groups in Vijayawada for centuries contribute to its actual cosmopolitan and pluralistic character, which augments its socio-economic milieu.
Vijayawada – The Place of Many Cultures
Hoarding many cultures over a timeless period, Vijayawada flaunts several non-Andhra communities who have found a name and place for themselves in the land that welcomes every caste, creed and ethnicity.
- Homeland to Jain Community
“If native land is defined to be a secure place where we can stay and never be questioned, it is our native place” says Praveen Jain of Bombay Jewellery Shop, Vijayawada. According to him, Rajasthan may be their home town, but Vijayawada is their native place.
“My grandfather Shokal Chand established the Bombay Jewellery shop way back in 1936. And now, my sons Dilip Kumar and Susheel Kumar – the fourth generation, took the reins of the business,” he told KostaLife.
He further said that the business acumen and years of hard work of his grandfather paid off. Jain, a Rajasthani Hindu, now runs a prosperous jewelry business in Vijayawada and his sons help him.
Praveen’s Telugu is not patchy but impeccable, as if it were his mother tongue. Though there has been no diktat on learning the local language, his family speaks decent Telugu. Echoing his view, his younger son Susheel said Vijayawada is the city they know and nearly 1000 Jain families in the city are most comfortable.
- Sizeable Sikh Community in Bezawada
The number of Punjabi Sikhs in Vijayawada is also significant. A relatively prosperous community, Sikhs have made their mark in the automobile spare parts business. According to Harmohinder Singh Sahani, who contested in recent elections as AAP candidate, nearly 400 Sikh families have made Vijayawada their home. Sikh community, to which he has been president since 1994, is an umbrella outfit that seeks to cater to the general needs of the community. A Gurudwara at Guru Nanak Nagar in the city is an important place of worship that brings Sikhs together during special occasions and festivals.
“My services have never been confined to my community. I have been active since my student life and participated not only in political activities like protesting emergency, but also campaigned for Janata government and took part in local issues like helping the Diviseema Cyclone victims, taking active role in the construction of 100 houses at Bhavadevapalli village of Nagayalanka Taluk. I was recognized as the best president, the best Zonal Chairman and the best district chairman of Lions Club. Unless the city had not been succored well, I would have felt the alienation. But, it has never been the case with Vijayawada” he says.
- A Warm abode for Sindhis
The Sindhis of Vijayawada take great pride in their ability to have fun, and events such as weddings become occasions for all age groups to enjoy together. Singing, dancing, playing pranks, loads of good food are a few events in any function.
Mona Singh, the local main dealer of MRF Tyres also expressed similar feelings.
“Most of the Sindhis in Vijayawada are distinctly different from Shikarpuri Sindhis. Our surnames end in ‘ani’” Dayaldas Chandani, President Pujya Sindhi Panchayat (Sindhi Bhavan) told KostaLife.
“I’d put the total number of Sindhis in Vijayawada at around 2000,” says Prakash Tewani, secretary of Pujya Sindhi Panchayat.
According to him, Kishori L Ghanshani, Manoharlal Achpaliya and Purushotam Alidas Katara are a few important community names who keep the Sindhi culture alive in the city.
- Ever Welcoming Gesture from the Locals of Vijayawada
Most cultures express their gratitude and owe it to the locals of Vijayawada to have helped them feel at home.
“The important aspect is that the cultural endurance could not have happened without the harmonious support of the amiable locals. When our women -folk begin the Kalash Shobha Yatra, holding the traditional kalashams from the Jhule Lal temple housed in a part of the Sindhi Bhavan in Brindavan colony, women from local community join the ceremony with much fanfare and excitement” adds Prakash, who was born and brought up in Vijayawada.
- The Open Minded Attitude Prevailing Down The Ages
Most of the comfort experienced by the families from elsewhere is due to the ongoing open mindedness of the region to extend horizons.
Though numerically smaller in number, there is the presence of several language associations and outfits in Vijayawada. The city prospered owing to the multi-ethnicity, as it has been nourished by the people of many cultures and traditions, particularly in one town. The fate of the candidates in the fray, which falls under one town, is always in the hands of the people of various cultural identities. The accommodation of a recurrent stream of settlers affirms Vijayawada’s level of open-mindedness. And, of course, in return, it has become the key to the city’s evolution and opulence.
With Vijayawada, there is more to the city than meets the eyes of the beholders. The possibilities are limitless with such a positively receptive attitude from the land of legacy.
Here is to the ever majestic city that rises against all the odds.