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Few Muslims believe Advaniís ďapologyĒ in London
|New Delhi: Muslims donít believe deputy prime minister LK Advaniís "apology" for the anti-Muslim carnage in Gujarat during his tour of Britain in the second half of August.
Talking about Gujarat carnage, Advani said he would not defend the "indefensible". However, in India he has been doing exactly that, defending the indefensible for the last six months. The dichotomous posture made the Times of India remark on August 24 that "he is a hawk at home and a dove abroad". The Times said it was the "general feeling among the riots victims".
The "general feeling" the Times was talking about was based on experience. The carnage victims have been hearing day in and day out Advani defending Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, who has been indicted by half a dozen independent enquiry commissions for masterminding the carnage. Even state institutions like the National Human Rights Commission and Election Commission have reprimanded Modi for his acts of omission and commission.
Despite prima facie evidence against fellow Hindu nationalists, he has been manfully defending people who should have been by now booked for their crimes against humanity.
Advaniís stunning aboutface in London last week has amazed many, including the Hindustan Times, which in its editorial called the "apology" a "double entendre". However, what it meant was not Advaniís double entendre, but double-tongued, hypocritical speech for which his ilk is famous.
The leader writer reminded readers how this man had mobilised fanatical lumpens with his rath yatra which left thousands of Muslims dead in its wake. When the yatra finally reached Ayodhya, with thousands of frenzied bigots, the mob demolished the over four century old Babri Masjid and killed Muslim men, women and children in Ayodhya as Advani watched gleefully.
The Hindustan Times editorial reminded its readers of Advaniís penchant for duplicity. This man who was the mastermind behind the destruction of the historic mosque (and 25 other mosques and other Muslim religious buildings, and hundreds of Muslims homes in Ayodhya) told the Justice Liberahan Commission probing the tragedy that he was "sorry" for what had happened. It was the "saddest day in my life," Advani told the commission.
This man stands accused for the destruction of Babri Masjid and for organising the entire episode, but he says he was trying to "save" the mosque. As no Muslim sufferer of Ayodhya believed his earlier profession of innocence, nobody believes his declaration in London on Gujarat now.
Even his daughter-in-law deposed against him in the Babri Masjid demolition enquiry. She told the Liberahan Commission that Advani had been conspiring with other Hindu bigots to demolish the mosque in her presence.
Muslim journalists in New Delhi said that apology was sham. AU Asif of Urdu Magazine (published form Jeddah) said Advaniís London declaration was meant for Western consumption. "At home he would remain the same anti-Muslim, anti-Christian bigot he ever was", Asif said.
Sardar Sajid Imam, executive producer of popular TV programme "India this week" said nobody should believe Advani because he made the declaration in the face of extensive demonstrations against him in London in which protesters shouted "Murderer, Murderer."
In London, Muslims boycotted Advaniís programmes and rights groups relentlessly pursued him. Replying to an insinuation by the BJP that demonstrators were only Muslims, the organisers said there were more Christians and Hindus in the protest than Muslims.
Back home the Times of India reported that the carnage victims had rejected Advaniís posture as false. "For 28-year-old Afzal Raoof, a Naroda Patia riot victim, Advaniís apology means nothing", it wrote.
"It was nothing, but lip sympathy by Advani, who himself gave a clean chit to Narendra Modi government on the riots and openly defended him in parliament", Times quoted a Muslim activist from Ahmedabad which witnessed some of the worst anti-Muslim violence in which many of Advaniís fellow Hindu nationalist leaders directly participated.
The Times reported carnage victims saying that even the prime minister had said in Ahmedabad that he was "ashamed" of the riots, but later changed tune at a party conference in Goa and said "wherever there are Muslims, there is trouble."
The general impression in India is that Advani, like other Hindu nationalists, is used to doublespeak and should not be taken seriously.
Md. Zeyaul Haque
Į Md. Zeyaul Haque