The following report, was sent by All India Milli Council’s Gujarat convener Aziz Dangiwalla to the council secretary general late Maulana Qazi Mujahidul Islam Qasmi. It appeared six months before the anti-Muslim pogroms in Gujarat. It corroborates that Godhra and post-Godhra were all pre-planned crimes (ed).
Activities of communal forces are going on throughout the country, especially in those states where BJP government is in power. Gujarat is one such state where communal forces are having an upper hand because the BJP is in power here.
Everybody knows very well about BJP’s attitude towards Muslims throughout the country but since a BJP government is in power and is having a powerful majority, bias towards Muslims is stronger here than elsewhere. Though the Congress is the biggest opposition party in the assembly, it is proving unsuccessful in discharging its duties.
‘The interesting thing is that during BJP’s rule in Gujarat there were no riots but the mysterious silence and deceptive calm may be the harbinger of some storm. Apparently, the atmosphere appears to be peaceful but secretly conspiracies against Muslims are being hatched, which are much more deadly than riots. Ratio of Muslims in government and semi-government institutions is virtually nil. Those who are government employees are being harassed in one way or the other. Now it is almost impossible for Muslims to get employment in government offices.’
Milli Council Gujarat report six months before the Godhra incident
In this connection it is important to mention that Shankar Singh Vaghela, who at one time was aspiring to become the prime minister with the cooperation of Congress, had ordered various types of enquiries against Muslims including, among others, role of Muslims in riots, enquiries about Gujarati Muslims’ relatives in Pakistan etc.
The interesting thing is that during BJP’s rule in Gujarat there were no riots but the mysterious silence and deceptive calm may be the harbinger of some storm. Apparently, the atmosphere appears to be peaceful, but secretly conspiracies against Muslims are being hatched, which are much more deadly than riots. Ratio of Muslims in government and semi-government institutions is virtually nil. Those who are government employees are being harassed in one way or the other. Now it is almost impossible for Muslims to get employment in government offices.
A large part of Pakistan border is in Gujarat where substantial Muslim population lives in Kutch, Dasia etc, most of whom are jewellers and are facing great difficulties. Muslims are accused of preaching and propagating anti-nationalism in religious madrasas.
Previously, Muslims were employed in large numbers in state government services, particularly in state transport where conductors and drivers in large number were Muslims. But now a matriculation certificate has been made compulsory for these posts and hence, because of lack of education, Muslims have been deprived of employment of such type.
Saffronisation appears prominently in educational syllabi and books. In history books of the fifth standard, Mughal history has been replaced by events and stories of Vedic times which are full of praise for Hindu gods and goddesses. The purpose of such education is to imbue young minds with saffron colour and ideology. If any Muslim comes forward to warn or create awakening among them against such conspiracies and if the state administration thinks that he may succeed in uniting Muslims or creating awakening among Muslims against these things, he is arrested after levelling various misleading and baseless charges against him. This can very well be understood from the fact that the state convener of All India Milli Council, Aziz Dangiwalla and assistant convener, Munir Khairuwalla have been put behind bars.
The riots that broke out in Baroda in 1990 very well prove how the state police harasses Muslims by accusing them of various misleading and baseless charges. Muslims had greatly suffered in these riots. Seven shops of Muslims were looted. Aziz Dangiwalla and Munir Khairuwalla were incidentally out of town. Only Muslims were accused and arrested in connection with these riots. Two of the seven shops looted belonged to Dangiwalla family, yet Dangiwalla family was accused of looting its own shops!
The fierce earthquakes of 26 January last year in Gujarat shook the whole world. In these difficult circumstances also the BJP government did not give up its biased attitude towards Muslims with regard to relief and rehabilitation work and made them as well as Dalits targets of prejudice. Even in these circumtances, Muslim organisations like All India Milli Council and others provided assistance and relief to quake-affected people without any religious or other discrimination.
The way in which communal colour was given by the state administration to an ordinary protest against the film Gadar shows very well that the state government is in the forefront fanning communalism. The way in which Muslims were being harassed in this matter shows it to be a part of an organised conspiracy.
In view of these circumstances prevailing in the state, the Gujarat branch of All India Milli Council has requested the general secretary of the council, Qazi Mujahidul Islam, that he should get in touch with the media and other means of communication, Human Rights Commission, National Commission on Minorities etc. regarding the activities of communal organisations and harassment of Muslims by the state machinery on one pretext or the other so that the mischievous elements could be reigned in and action taken against them.
(The above is a translation of a report published in Delhi Urdu weekly Akhbar-e Nau, August 29, 2001.)