Is it emptiness? | Cartoonist Drew Dernavich on Nov. 12, 2007 in New Yorker | Click for image.
A little over three years after Chabad House in Colaba was destroyed in an attack by Pakistani terrorists, the Jewish outreach center is struggling to find a new place to move in.
The Mumbai arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement is currently operating out of the Oberoi Hotel at Nariman Point after Ivanhoe building in Colaba, where it had rented an apartment for two years, refused to renew the lease citing security concerns.
Chabad House in Colaba was asked to move out of the five-storied Nariman House after the 2009 attack because the narrow lane in which the building is located was perceived to be a security risk. Six people were killed in the attack. Though Nariman House was rebuilt after the attack, the building remains unoccupied.
Chabad House’s two-year lease at Ivanhoe ran out on June 14, and ever since, its officials have been operating out of the Oberoi hotel.
“We tried our luck with five buildings, both residential and commercial, in Colaba, Nariman Point and Churchgate areas. However, our presence is now being perceived as a security risk and nobody is willing to rent space to us,” said a Chabad House official requesting anonymity.
The five-storied Chabad House, to which terrorists had laid a siege for three days, housed an educational center, a synagogue, a drug prevention unit, and a hostel.
While the outreach center in Oberoi is offering all these services, it can only be a temporary address because of the prohibitive costs.
via Shunned by housing societies Chabad House shifts to hotel – Mumbai Mirror.
Creative credits embedded | Click for image.
Did I sense a hint of disapproval in this report? Or was it my imagination? Or is it my keen olfactory sense? But that (imagined?) disapproval is the lesser part of the story.
Hidden in this report is a bigger story.
Why does Chabad House need a drug prevention unit.
Who were the target group of this drug prevention unit? Indians? Unlikely. After all Indians are not significant drugs and alcohol consumers. Remember this is Chabad House for support of Jewish travelers in trouble at foreign shores. So, is it Jews and Israelis?
So what drug trouble can Israelis have in India?
For all who have come in late …
Israel is a 70 lakh population country – roughly the population of Pune city. What is not mentioned is something that 2ndlook covered 4 years ago.
Why is India a popular destination for Israeli youth? Why do they wing their way to India?
Sex and drugs.
And where in the world, would Israelis get most ‘sympathy’ for their ’cause’?
India, again. In India’s anonymous crores.
India which is a known, large producer of opioid and narcotic compounds, for the last 2500 years at least, is a minor consumer of these substances.
Legal mind-altering chemicals like alcohol, prescription drugs and illegal drugs together affect people deeply across the world | Andy Marlette of the Pensacola News Journal in 2007 | Click for image.
In some other countries
Opium addiction brought China to its knees.
Current estimates of drug-consumers in the US stands at a 2 crore users – from a working population of 16 crores.
Is drugs usage a poor-only phenomenon?
Apparently, there is no divide. A recent report based on anecdotal evidence, traces significant usage of narcotics (especially cocaine) on Wall Street.
Intricately linked to crime statistics, politics and policing, the market for drugs across the world is a puzzle, worth quantifying. The price-decline of cocaine, an argument goes, is reducing crime in the USA.
Israeli Drug Resort – in India
With India’s thin police system, low crime rates, some 3000 Israelis have set up a drug resort at Kulu Manali.
For Israelis, by Israelis and to Israelis. When there is trouble, that local authorities won’t or cannot cover-up anymore, I presume, these drug-crazed Jews are brought to Chabad House.
All this would be fine by me.
My question is, would Indians get that courtesy in Israel?