In a shocking revelation, several real estate portals have listed advertisements that sell and rent properties in Mumbai exclusively to Muslims, reported Square Feat India. These ads, put up by brokers and sellers, actively discriminate against non-Muslims while dealing with sale and lease of real estate properties.
Bigoted ads on housing platforms
One such advertisement popped up on the real estate website, No Broker. A 1-BHK property, measuring 320 sq.ft, up for rent in Western suburbs of Mumbai clearly states on the portal, “Only Muslims allowed.” The ad was later removed by No Broker.
When journalist Varun Singh contacted the housing portal, it stated, “NoBroker doesn’t allow any discrimination. The person has put this in the building name/address field. NoBroker is getting it removed. Also, they are developing an algorithm to start checking the address field also.”
A similar contentious advertisement was posted on another real estate website, Square Yards. In the said ad, a 2BHK flat measuring 900 sq.ft was up for rent exclusively for Muslim tenants for ₹75,000 per month. When Singh contacted the web portal, he did not receive any response. The ad is still available on the website as of September 23, 2020.
Sellers indirectly discourage non-Muslims from buying/leasing properties
Similar requests for ‘only Muslim tenants’ have been made by sellers and brokers in Mahim and Mira Road. The trend of active religious discrimination is not something new. As per a Times Now report in 2015, the housing portal, Property Wala, listed houses exclusively for Muslim buyers and tenants. Other sellers convey the same message that non-Muslims are unwelcome by reiterating that the housing property is in the vicinity of a masjid.
Even in a cosmopolitan city such as Mumbai, bigoted homeowners actively discriminate between tenants. One may argue that it is the choice of a property owner to choose tenants of his/her choice. Having said that, the religious profiling and exclusivity of access highlight deep-seated religious divide within the society.