Muslim artisans sell ‘Chopdas’ for Hindu businessmen in Ahmedabad

Saturday, October 23, 2010

AHMEDABAD - Ahead of Diwali, Muslim artisans in Ahmedabad are making and selling ‘Chopdas’ the traditional account books used by members of Gujarati and Rajasthani business community.

The Muslim craftsmen are making these books since ages. The books are red in colour and hand stitched with pictures of Goddess Lakshmi stuck inside.

For Hindu businessmen, these account books are of great importance that they revere as auspicious to open their New Year accounts on Diwali.

Ahmed Ali Barkat, a Muslim craftsman who has been making these ‘chopdas’ for the past 35 years, admitted the fact that he never felt odd after catering the needs of some other community.

“These accounting books are made for the occasion of ‘Diwali’. Gujaratis come to us with a lot of warmth and happiness to buy these books. They give us a lot of respect in the process and tell us that it is because of our efforts that their business is flourishing,” said Ahmed Ali Barkat.

“It’s their tradition and their belief. And we too wish that they progress in their wealth. I do it with the sentiments that the traders who buy these books I have made will earn more profit and their business enterprises thrive,” he added.

Naresh Shah, a trader in ‘Chopda’ books spoke about the craftsmanship of Muslim workers by saying that these books are best crafted by them.

“Ninety percent of the ‘Chopdas’ are made by Muslim workers. Go to any unit making these accounting books and you will find mostly Muslim craftsmen. And in spite of it being handmade by Muslims, the Hindus wholeheartedly rely on their craftsmanship with utmost trust that these books made by the Muslims usher in constant profits,” said Naresh Shah.

The making of ‘Chopdas’ begins three months prior to Diwali. By Krutika (ANI)

Filed under: India

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