Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Here, There, Nowhere...


A response to Salil Tripathi - I

1984 and 2002 are not comparable.


Rarely, if ever, have I commented on an article penned by a fellow writer. That’s not because I do not react to what they have to say or I hold views with which I disagree as not worthy of comment. It’s largely because writers must be allowed to have their say (and space) and partly on account of the fact that I try not to bruise feelings. I am known for not bothering with vacuous niceties; it makes sense not to compound that shortcoming by penning my opinion on the views of other writers.

Yet, I feel compelled to react, in writing, to Mr Salil Tripathi’s column, ‘Here, There, Everywhere’, which appears in Mint, a Delhi-based newspaper, that has been published under the headline “Incredible impunity” on February 29, 2012. The strap line reads: “Of all the potential and credible contenders to be the next Prime Minister, the one least deserving is Narendra Modi.” It’s a free world and this country is still a democracy where freedom of thought, expression and speech, though circumscribed by restrictive laws, is not entirely absent from the public domain.

Hence, Mr Tripathi has the right to not only believe that it is his burden to decide for more than a billion resident Indians who is the most and least deserving contender to be the next Prime Minister but also express that belief in suitable words, which he has done in his column. My response to his views is not an attempt to shout him down or point out why he is wrong in saying what he says, but to posit a set of counter-views. I have no intention to play evangelist to a heathen or convert a non-believer; such lofty tasks are best left to those who mistake their writing desk for a pulpit and their chair as a pedestal.

Mr Tripathi is outraged that those who cannot stop raging over the retaliatory violence which followed the arson attack on coach S-6 of Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002, at Godhra, in which 58 Hindu men, women and children were killed, should be reminded of the anti-Sikh pogrom (it was definitely not a ‘riot’) of 1984 by those who are not impressed by the ceaseless cant of the self-righteous and sanctimonious army of the good and the virtuous. He sees this as a “despicable” attempt to equate the two unfortunate events (my words, not his) of our recent history. I would agree with him.

The hideous blood-letting by Congress goons that we witnessed in Delhi and several cities even before Mrs Indira Gandhi’s mortal remains were consigned to the flames cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be equated with the ghastly violence that gripped parts of Gujarat after the torching of coach S-6 of Sabarmati Express by a Muslim mob. There are three reasons why any attempt at comparing the two tragic events would be immoral and wrong.

First, the scale of violence is incomparable, as is the loss of lives and property. With the help of documentary evidence and those who fought (and are still fighting, although with receding hope) for justice for the victims of the anti-Sikh pogrom, I had computed the death toll to be not less than 4,733. Most of the deaths occurred in Delhi. In the post-Godhra riots, 1,044 people (not “thousands” as Mr Tripathi says) were killed: 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus. Lest I be accused of being callous, let me hasten to add that I believe every life matters and even one death is one too many.

Second, the Government of India, which was then (and still remains) responsible for maintaining law and order in Delhi, refused to lift a finger in admonition, leave alone crack down on mobs of Congress hoodlums led by Congress cronies of the party’s first family, for 72 hours. The Congress, and the Government which was then headed by Rajiv Gandhi (whom Mr Tripathi is keen to exonerate) wanted to “teach the Sikhs a lesson” -- the crime of a few individuals was converted into a collective crime deserving of collective retribution. As Rajiv Gandhi was to later declare, without the slightest trace of contrition or remorse, “When a giant tree falls, the earth below shakes.”

In contrast, Mr Narendra Modi decided to call in the Army when it became clear that the State police were incapable of controlling the rioting mobs. Nearly all the 254 Hindus who died in the violence were killed in police or Army firing. Not a single tormentor of Sikhs suffered so much as a lathi-blow in 1984. But let that pass. Could Mr Narendra Modi have done better? Could he have stamped out the riots before they exacted a terrible toll? Could he have ensured absolute peace and calm despite the provocation of the arson attack at Godhra?

These are questions that can be debated till the cows come home (the reference to cows, Mr Tripathi, is idiomatic and not an attempt to push what you would derisively call the ‘Hindutva agenda’) without reaching a conclusion that is acceptable to all. I’d say he tried his best; others like Mr Tripathi would say he didn’t. I would stand by my truth just as others would stand by their perceived truth. A cock fight of truths does not excite me.

We could, however, look at how ‘successful’ other Chief Ministers have been in controlling riots. For instance, we could look at riots in Uttar Pradesh, in Bihar, in Andhra Pradesh, in Maharashtra, in West Bengal, in Assam, in Tamil Nadu, in Kerala, in Karnataka, in Rajasthan, in Madhya Pradesh, in Odisha -- virtually every State of the Union. Each one of these riots is well documented. Each one of them resulted in a terrible loss of lives and property -- well, not really because often the victims were too poor to own any property.

I don’t know if Mr Tripathi has ever found himself trapped in a riot; I have seen the Jamshedpur riot of 1979 from close quarters. When blood-lust grips people, when insanity takes over, even shoot-at-sight orders don’t have the desired result. In Jamshedpur I saw tribal Christians looting the homes of Hindus and Muslims while they battled in the streets: What does that tell us of a riot?

In Maliana, the PAC was accused of playing a partisan role. Shall we then hold Vir Bahadur Singh, the then Congress Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, personally responsible for that massacre? Nellie wouldn’t have happened had Mrs Indira Gandhi not insisted on holding a disputed election in Assam. Should we then blame her for the massacre of 2,191 people, a vast number of them suckling infants? We could go further back in history and blame Jawaharlal Nehru for the Great Calcutta Killing of August 1946, for it could be argued, and convincingly so, that had it not been for his cussedness Mohammed Ali Jinnah wouldn't have called for Direct Action.

Third, no two incidents of communal violence are comparable. The causative factors differ as do local political, social and cultural dynamics. How can we then compare 1984 to 2002? More so when 1984 was a state-sponsored pogrom endorsed by the then Prime Minister of India, an endorsement that reverberated in his infamous declaration that the earth is bound to shake when a giant tree falls?

It would, then, be asked, why is 1984 mentioned at all in the context of 2002? Here’s the reason why: Intolerant ‘secularists’, sanctimonious leftists and self-righteous liberals who are unsparing in their criticism of Mr Narendra Modi take extraordinary care in steering clear of even remotely accusing the Congress, let alone Rajiv Gandhi, of complicity in the mind-numbing brutalities of 1984.

I hold Mr Tripathi in high esteem. Had I not done so I’d have been appalled by his exertions to exonerate Rajiv Gandhi who knew what was happening in Delhi and made it a point to turn a deaf ear to pitiful cries for help and groveling appeals by noted Sikh personalities.

Did he do so because he was in mourning?

Rajiv Gandhi’s grief and anguish did not quite stand in the way of his decision to take oath as Prime Minister the same day his mother was assassinated. That swearing in ceremony could have waited till the last rites were performed. But he chose not to wait lest the crown be snatched from him. Mr Pranab Mukherjee still pays the price for an indiscrete comment made earlier that day. So let’s not say with disarming certitude that “presumably Rajiv Gandhi had other things on his mind (like grief) than planning a pogrom”.

(To be continued.)

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

You just nailed it Dada!!!!!!
Selective journalism is the worst offence, and the offenders have the audacity to defame a popular CM by their writing without any respect to values. They have sold their souls by trading souls of victims of Guj2002

Lalit said...

Simply PERFECT! When folks like Salil Tripathi are countered with FACTS, they have no place to run or hide. It has become an industry for such writers to keep churning the Anti-Modi garbage that has not and will not stick anywhere however hard they might try. Feel sorry for Salil. Kudos, Kanchan Dada!

Anonymous said...

Excellent article, as always.

Atanu Dey said...

An awesome response by Kanchan-da. The camp followers of the Nehru-Gandhi family and the Congress party are numerous, single-minded, articulate and prolific. Their rewards also are naturally commensurate with their exertions. The Nehru-Gandhi-Maino clan did not get to where they are by luck. They got there by making sure that their lackeys are rewarded handsomely.

The more Narendra Modi threatens the power of the Nehru-Gandhi-Maino clan, the more vicious the attacks will be from the camp followers. (Pardon me for repeating that but camp followers is so apt: 1. A civilian who follows a military unit from place to place, especially as a vendor of supplies or as a prostitute.
2. One who follows but does not belong to a main body or group.)

Reading them reminds me of Shakespeare's line from Macbeth: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

Anonymous said...

A simple and clear explanation on why 2002 and 1984 are compared thought they are different and why the self proclaimed seculars are in fact the very hypocrites of the society.

When the seculars say they condemn both 84 and 2002; they do not say blame 84 on Rajiv the way they do 2002 on Modi. Its so clear that there is no a debate with these hypocritical seculars.

freespirit9 said...

Well reasoned..brilliant...waiting for the continuation.Thanks

freespirit9 said...

Well reasoned answer.Brilliant.Wait for the next part.Thanks

Bose said...

Very well reasoned. Thank you.

Red_Devil said...

I dont know why Kanchan Sir holds this Salil Tripathi character in "high esteem". Who is this Salil Tripathi, exactly ? Visit the below link from the wonderful centre-right blog to get a clue.

http://centreright.in/2012/02/salil-tripathi-is-he-truly-a-libertarian/#.T07i_oePmbO


My response to Salil Tripathi's article on Modi on twitter was as follows :

@saliltripathi's latest anti-Modi article in Mint reads like a eunuch ranting against a man, saying that the man "does not deserve to be PM".

Anonymous said...

Sheer Brilliance this for Kanchan! Does any left lunatic have data to counter this? Not in their life time....

Bhatt, Alok said...

Dada, simply brilliant!
Even a small and tiny group of objective or right of the centre journalists/columnists from MSM is good enough to take on the might of a large yet a motley bunch of paidmedia
Infact this excellent blogpost makes me reproduce one of my comment left on CRI...here it is:
Many biased journalists in MSM & members of Gujarat Cottage Industry have been using various words to describe Guj 2002-Genocide and Pogrom, are two prominent words used….Without going into the merits and de-merits of their usage, let’s analyse these two words in simple terms-
1.Pogrom or погро́мis a contextual word from Russian language to describe an organized massacre of a particular ethnic group and has been used in the context of massacre of Jews in Russia. You will not find a SINGLE instance or example of this word being used to describe any other massacre but that of Jews in erstwhile Russian empire during 19th & 20th century....
2. Now let’s take up Genocide- 1st coined by Raphael Lemkin from “genos” (Greek for family, tribe, or race) and “cide” (Latin for killing) is defined by Oxford dictionary as the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group. The Legal definition of Genocide is found in the 1948 UN Convention on the CPPCG. Article 2 of this convention defines genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group children of the group to another group." Since it is a legal definition, unless one proves the intent, a crime cannot be identified as Genocide.
3. Riot simply defined by Oxford dictionaries is a violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd.
Now apply the above words to Gujarat 2002, where 59 Hindus were 1st burnt alive in a train compartment by Muslims- I can identify communities as it is an open & shut case- The act at Godhra station was quite unprovoked. However, what followed Godhra can only be termed as a provocative revenge- reprehensible indeed- by the majority community inflicted on minority community. Make no mistake that for every 3 Muslims, 1 Hindu also died, whether in police firing or clashes….. Both prove, beyond doubt that that 1. Muslims too were fighting, howsoever less incidents is immaterial. But they too retaliated.
2. And Police was also taking action, howsoever less in measure…proving that state had not fully abdicated its responsibility towards its citizens including minorities.
In view of above, Gujarat was nothing but just a case of mindless violence and counter-violence and Independent India’s history is replete with not one by thousands of Gujarat.
As against this, 1984 can surely be bracketed as Pogrom, should media-persons really want to use a contextual word……not even 1 person from killer teams died in violence that was engineered by Congress goons to take revenge on helpless Sikh community….as against that, 3500 Sikhs were killed in Delhi alone…..and Indian state shamefully abrogated its duty towards Sikhs whose patriotism towards Indian state is unparalleled.
Let’s take another case of 500,000 Kashmiri Pandits. Our friends in MSM can satisfy their fetish for word “Genocide” by terming -ethnic cleansing of Pandits from valley carried out by Islamists- as such. And, again Indian state shamefully abdicated its responsibility towards Hindu minority.
Last but not the least, ab baksh bhi do bhai, let Gujarat move on as it has not only nursed its wounds but is a shining example of what is possible; when a decisive leader at the helm take all communities forward through the route of development!

sundar said...

Good sir. I am sure you will also counter the over simplification of Gujarat's economic power as being historic and selective amnesia about interventions from Modi's governance especially on infrastructure (roads,power and water).

Anonymous said...

Absolutely, more MSM and congi mention 2002, let nation be reminded what anti-Sikh pogrom was. Anti-Sikh killings were done by a party akin to Nazi party and not by followers of a religion.

Anonymous said...

Tripathi had it coming.

Shiva Venkat said...

The article well-written and countered the views of Mr.Salil Tripathi comprehensively!! It has become religious practice of ‘sickulars’ like Salil Tripathi, who has taken upon the mantel of saving Indian democracy, to write drivel abt NaMo regularly to prove their dubious credentials!!

The amount of op-eds and blogs written abt Gujarat riots and holding NaMo responsible for the carnage, smacks of biased lopsided journalism at best. The attempt by 'sickulars' to whitewash all the mistakes and blunders of Congress party is itself a great pogrom at intellectual level-if we can make the mistake of calling people like Salil Tripathi as an ‘intellectual’??

A.K.B said...

This may not be directly relevant in a blogpost rebutting the original article, but I felt it may be worthwhile to put in a different perspective. Please read this article on attempted image makeovers - http://www.livemint.com/2012/02/29230059/Changing-media8217s-percept.html

I fail to understand why people need to apologetic (belligerent is more apt in the case of Modi) about Modi, or about 1984 or any similar instances.

Any person having a critical view on Modi need not autmotically be a Congress party "lackey". Such suggestions & comments are presumptive and do not reflect an understanding that you can criticize those whom you may otherwise support as well.

The lack of any tolerance for criticism concerns me, and makes me wary of such authors/critics.

Ashok Trivedi said...

What did Pranab Mukherjee say that day? Can Kanchan or someone mention that?

Kartik Mistry said...

Very nice article, sending this to all my fellow 'Gujarati writers' who still think Tripathi way :)

shirish patwa said...

I cannot agree more.The selective secularism is at its worst in our country.There is wanton effort on the part of some of the media houses to scratch the healed wound and to bleed once again.The people of Gujarat knows the truth very well and they have ,in no unequivocal way,displayed in the two successive elections.

shirish patwa said...

I cannot agree more.The selective secularism is at its worst in our country.There is wanton effort on the part of some of the media houses to scratch the healed wound and to bleed once again.The people of Gujarat knows the truth very well and they have ,in no unequivocal way,displayed in the two successive elections.

Anonymous said...

pleae publish this article in kannda prabha newspaper of karnataka..

Anonymous said...

Well written, the likes of Salil Tripathi seem to be worse off than fundamentalists when they continue to harp on 2002, believe this is true of the entire generation of seculars who have built their careers on this tragedy.

-Adi
(error logging in)

MP said...

That was man size, Kanchan da! Well done!! (BTW, it was Vir Bahadur Singh)

Stray Thots said...

A very good piece and counter rebuttal.Whatz disturbing and annoying is that Modi criticism is now a flourishing industry with a different set of yardstick altogether.

Shehla said...

1. I started reading this blog with an open mind: I was hoping for a different approach than just comparison of the two tragedies. But you managed to do just that- compare the two tragedies yet again.

2. Criticise the hell out of Congress, for all I care. But did you or any "nationalist" do so until 2002 happened? No!

3. The bitter truth is that we have collectively forgotten and neglected 1984 victims(and perpetrators). You are delusional if you think that nationalists haven't raised the 1984 issue; they ONLY REFER TO IT to justify 2002. And you have done the same.

4. If you really want to advocate 1984 riot victims' cause, do that. But I can't find a single reference to 1984 by self-proclaimed nationalists today where it has not been brought up to justify 2002.

5. If BJP does not have a better Prime Ministerial candidate (in case they manage to form government at the centre, that is) than Modi- someone they're scared to field in UP- it is their loss. God help them.

My three cents said...

This was brilliant. Attacking any BJP/RSS man is kosher for some people irrespective of anything else.

Vikash Kumar Roy said...

Wonderful response and well articulated . You made valid point comparing # of people killed in Sikh riot vs Ghodra. One thing which I want to bring is impact of this riot , Ghodra could not reach my small town Darbhanga where as Sikh riot did made a impact inside my small hometown. I have seen Sikh shops getting burned during riot.
Now we can talk about impact and intensity

Thanks,
Vikash Kumar Roy

Anonymous said...

Brilliant piece as always dada.

In the penultimate line, you mention a comment by Pranab Mukherjee on the day of Indira Gandhi's assassination.

Please share that comment &/ a link to it.

Thanks & keep up the brilliant work.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the excellent rebuttal Kanchan-da.

Regards

sunaath said...

Riot was engineered in Delhi; it was spontaneous in Gujarat.

Anirban Bhattacharya said...

Love Kanchan Gupta for his selective version of the truth! While I agree that Rajiv Gandhi cannot be absolved as the grieving orphan floundering about and unable to protect his inheritance, Kanchan conveniently ignores many of the points raised by Salil. Maybe because he knows that whatever he doles out wiLL receive the fawning support of fellow rabid saffronites, who wouldn't have bothered to read the original article Kanchan is attempting to rebut.

I love the way he ignores the point that riots in Gujarat lingered for 4-months, and the sense of insecurity lingers among minorities even now! The prompt action of calling the army was an eye-wash, and more Muslims died in later violence, after the army was withdrawn. This stance is the BJP's old trick, as is the attempt to match numbers of deaths to show one as dirtier than the other. Fools nobody, except those with blinkers...

There is no sense of justice, no convictions (except the Bilkis Bano case), blatant suppression of minority rights, and a sense of fear pervades even after a decade. So much so that the SC has to move cases out of Gujarat in the hope of fair trial!

It will serve the Modi fans to find out what the amicus curae's views are, or what retired judges and cops have to say about Modi's collusion. Or what Babu Bajrangi, caught on tape, said about leadership in the train-burning aftermath. Or, if they choose to, watch Rakesh Sharma's eye-opening "Final Solution". I expect none of these. So, Kanchan will obfuscate and talk selectively, and blind faithfulls will follow.

The fact is that 1984 WAS a pogrom. And here Salil is wrong. But in other points, he is bang on, pointing out the hypocrisy and the lies of Modi's government, be it in development figures to claims of secular governance. As someone who frequents Ahmedabad, I know how the minority Muslims feel, about their rights, security, future. Their chances of jobs, education, property values... Let's not go there...

So, Kanchan, well done. Another blatantly one-sided commentary, showing your colours. Seriously, drop this garb of journalism and wear khaki shorts and swing sticks at Muslim heads. I can assure you, many followers from here will come with you, "dada"!

Kanchan Gupta said...

MP: Thanks for pointing out the error; it has been corrected. Hazards of late night writing after a full day's work!

Red_Devil said...

Dear Mr.Anirban Bhattacharya ..do permit me to call you "dada" (honor is all mine)....

Thank you dada for kindly admiting 1984 was a pogrom. Which it was, since 5000 sikhs were butchered in Delhi and 10000 all over India. But dada, you forgot to say who was responsible for the killing of sikhs ? Surely they were not killed by aliens, dada. They were killed by Congress workers. Congress workers who answered directly to the then Congress president and India's prime minister Shri.Rajiv Gandhi, Bharat Ratna. Shri.Rajiv did nothing to prevent those deaths apart from suggesting that "when the great banyan tree falls, earth shakes"... and this Rajiv Gandhi is the epitome of secularism, in whose name his wife and kids ask for votes, and have named 1/2 the country after. (Other half, as you know dada, is named after his mummy and granpappy).

However dada, you say not a word on Rajiv Gandhi. You say a lot about Modi. Which says a lot about you dada.

But at least saying nothing is better than Salil Tripathi, who absolves Shri.Rajiv Gandhi of all crimes and culpability as he was "in mourning" and so the week long massacre of 10000 sikhs, including 5000 in Delhi, escaped his notice..(which is understandable.) Also he was a prime minister "only for a few days"...so any dereliction on his part, like not noticing when thousands of sikhs were killed by his henchmen in the city he lived in - was wholly justifiable.

Anyway, dada, thank you for hearing me out.

Sid said...

Dear Anirban Bhattacharya, other Modi-haters, here is an ultimate response: if you hate him so much then go and vote for those who are against him. If you can not do that (since your belief in law and democracy is so strong), then go and submit proof of Modi's collusion in the supreme court. We dont want to hear what ex judges said or cops said or journalists said. If these are acceptable and valid proof, court will admit them and punish him.

If you can not do either, then bark. That is what dogs can do. But don't expect others can

Anirban Bhattacharya said...

Dear Red Devil...in case you missed it, I started with Rajiv Gandhi, and disagreed with Salil Tripathi's point. And yes, calling the 1984 sikh killings a pogrom is, in a pretty direct way, an indictment. You probably come from the school of thinking where only direct, abusive name-calling is considered worthwhile, so I understand the inability to understand. The whole goal here is to throw abuse at the Nehru-Gandhi clan, under whatever pretext and irrespective of context. I am no fan of our so-called 'first family', so don't really care either way. Unfortunately, objectivity loses out in all this frothing-at-the-mouth expostulating. Carry on, makes for fun reading...

Anirban Bhattacharya said...

Dear Red-Devil - it helps to read before commenting. In case you missed it, I started with Rajiv Gandhi.

I realise that there is no objectivity here at all (starting from Kanchan's point that the number of dead has relative relevance in the heinousness of the crimes). So no point, in this frothing-at-the-mouth Nehru-Gandhi family bashing. Please go ahead, it makes for fun reading. Nothing, in Kanchan's post or your responses show why Modi should be considered a PM candidate, only why Rajiv is more to blame than Modi. That is really funny! :)

Parvez said...

No amount of reasoning can hide the fact that Narendra Modi not only supported the riots, he master minded and promoted it. Not only that, false shootouts were done to kill innocent and create an environment of insecurity for minorities. This can be only understood by a minority.

Dinipc said...

lol. The moron just babbled nonsense. And it had to take someone of the stature of Kanchan Gupta to call his bluff. Just loved the "tearing apart" of Salil Tripathi.

Anonymous said...

@parvez the same minority that is voting for him in Gujrat or the minority which was enticed to leave Gujrat but in the end in the end realized they are safer and more prosperous back home ?

sanjayleo said...

Dada you are brilliant.

Vishal said...

Well you got a new follower, and perhaps you made Salil more popular today. . These responses on the blogs makes a for a lovely reading and helps bringing objectivity for people to make choices..(secular or otherwise) :)

Seeing reactions on the blog, one would just wish that the next pogrom does not originate from twitter
All the best

M. Patil said...

For those who are glossing over Dynasty, where were you when 'Rajiv' became PM, got a Bharat Ratna, and has his name over hundreds of projects all over India?

B.t.w, no one is fooled by your faux liberal mask.

Santosh Pawar said...

Sir, please write in some simple english which a non-perfect english knowing like me can understand. But as far as I can understand very good article.

Arvind said...

Folks,

Salil Tripathi worked for Amnesty International during the riots in Gujarat and the period of a few years after that and it was Amnesty's agenda that the deaths of Hindus in the riots must be suppressed so that the riots could be described as a pogrom.

Salil Tripathi is just his master's voice and he does the bidding of his masters in the West. Why do you expect otherwise? After all, he had NO OPINION on free speech related matters until he started working for Index on Censorship, a London based far-left group.


Amnesty has also not explained how a brawl over the price of tea can result in firebombing. I have had many arguments in the markets over the price of vegetables and not once was the retaliation in the form of hurling petrol bombs at me.

Wonder if it is normal for people in Gujarat to carry cans of petrol with them.

To those who asked about the comment by Pranab Mukherji, he claimed that he was the next in line for being the PM.

Envy said...

Absolutly brilliant slap on face from you dada.
Modi haters are backed by Congress is no hidden fact for primary students too, now!
If Modi is killer, why voters dont throw him out believing Congress ?

Ronak said...

I am simply speechless.

Ronak

abhinavnbhat said...

Let me start by saying that i have no idea whom salil tripathi or you are,besides the fact that you are both journalists.

Salil Tripathi(hereafter ST) has undoubtedly used strong language in his article(which some
might feel is not becoming of a senior journalist),but you have validated his point that Modi
defenders always bring up 1984 as a response to 2002.The first half of your article has described how the 1984 pogrom was undoubtedly worse than the 2002 riots.Why does 1984 enter into the equation at all.Your entire article goes on about the congress and Rajiv Gandhi.Whereas ST mentions both only in his opening lines and goes on to other points.Remove 1984 from your memory and try to analyze 2002 as a stand alone event.
The reason people blame Modi,is that he gave cause to blame by his comments of a "Hindu reaction" and his refusal to apologise for the godhra carnage.For even if he was not directly responsible,he as the Chief Minister of the state,was responsible for maintaining Law and Order,at which he proved to be grossly incompetent,if not in collusion with the perpetrators.
And you ask us open minded people to dismiss all proof of his involvement in the riots such as the testimonies of ex judges and cops,as a Congress conspiracy.
And what about his transferring of cops who did their duty and protected the minorities??Why was no action taken against policemen who simply stood by??If he was the Superman a lot of people make him out to be,the riots would never have happened.And I,a citizen of Jammu and Kashmir, know how effectively the state can put down any attempt at rioting if it wishes to,so please spare us the line that people were drunk with bloodlust and that nothing could have stopped them.And should we as intelligent 'secularists' ignore the news coming out of gujarat regarding the treatment of minorities and rehabilitation of the riot victims??
Yes Modi,according to my gujarati friends, has done a lot for gujarat,but that does not mean we elevate him onto a pedestal and turn a blind eye to his past actions.

Anonymous said...

Am hugely surprised by the first point that Kanchan Gupta makes. Does the number of death toll is a significant measure to determine whether the is more or less ghastly? Am ashamed that somebody writes this and also seconded by others. It does not matter whether 10, 100 or 1000 thousands die. The fact that this is perpetrated by somebody who was in power and did not do anything to protect the property and livelihoods of people makes the integrity of such person questionable and those whose support it as well. Don't see a reason to read the rebuttal beyond this.

Ranjan Sreedharan said...

A lot of liberals oppose the idea that what happened in the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 have any relevance to the discussions about the Gujarat riots. I am not so sure. All issues need to be discussed within a relevant context. Nothing should be viewed in isolation. Now, why does context matter? An example. In India, when I spit on the roads, nobody notices. I do that in Singapore, I go to jail. What is the difference? Nothing but the context. In the same way, what is the context to communal riots in India. Was Gujarat the first, the worst? If not, what happened to the Chief Minisiters/ Prime Minister under whose watch the other riots ocurred? All these questions matter and liberals cannot shy away from it.

Anonymous said...

I have gone through all the comments and the articles. It appears that this blog writer is more polarized to some ideology and try to defend the people who would support them even if they are criminal.

Around 48 comments only one or two alone shows the disagreement(I do not know whether others have been moderated!!!!).

May be the author will also take note of the point that Mr.Chandrababu Naidu was credited with the development and modernization of Andhra but has been thrown out by the masses. Now Mr. Modi. He has already tasted one small defeat in a by-election!! If he is changed in the coming election what are you going to write? keep your article ready incase it happened.