Jama Masjid eateries: Broken by anti-CAA row, shattered by corona

New Delhi, March 18 (IANS)
Despite the overwhelming aroma of the mutton nahari, biryani, bheja fry in this old city area of the national capital, the traders particularly those who run eateries of Jama Masjid wear a dejected look.
Business is broken: And it’s a unanimous verdict — corona panic has only aggravated the situation which was already bleak due to the consistent anti-CAA protests.
Md Shan, who runs a small but popular sweet shop in the bylanes of the 17th century mosque area, has been finding it difficult to sell his entire stock of Rabri, that earlier used to vanish within hours.
Shan claimed: “Our confectionary came into existence in 1939. I haven’t seen such thin business in my entire career. This has been the bleakest Holi ever.”
While the streets seemed populated enough, Shan disagreed, “It may seem a lot of people for you. But here, people can’t move without getting brushed against one another. During festivities, its thick with people , beyond your imagination. This can hardly be dubbed as a crowd.”
While he blames it on the panic created by the corona outbreak, Shan claims the downfall started immediately after the anti-CAA protests originated in the area followed by the communal riot in Delhi’s northeast that stopped many from coming to this densely minority-dominated area.
Md Ayub is in his early fifties, who has opened a sheermal eatery in the area, barely a year and a half ago. While initially, business was brisk, he too claims the triple blow has left him seeking intervention.
“The panic due to corona has only complicated the adverse impact on the already struggling business due to protests and communal tension,” said he.
He added: “Corona se zyada Corona ka dar hai. Dukandari bas 10 per cent reh gaya hai. (The panic due to Corona is serious. Only 10 per cent business is left).”
The manager of a famous mughlai food joint told IANS, on conditions of anonymity that even a successful business as his has been hit as fear among people on eating non vegetarian food items has spiked.
“Mutton dishes are still being sold. But orders on chicken dishes has drastically plunged,” he insisted.
While doctors and researchers confirm there is no corelation between eating non vegetarian food items and catching coronavirus, the panic has clearly taken over Delhites.
The biggest casualty of that misconception has been the Jama entries who are known for dishing out unparalleled gastronomic delights.
But the fact remains, blow after blow has left little for them to be delighted about.

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