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Published in the 1-15 June 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Shadows of the Trident

This is with reference to Ram Puniyani’s article "Gujarat: lengthening shadows of trident." Inspite of the fact that two years have passed since India witnessed one of the most dreadful communal riots in its history , yet nothing seems to have changed much since then . What happened at Godhra in Gujarat was indeed beastly but what followed was it not more merciless? And the hate syndrome continues till this very day. Only a Hitler or a Chengiz could have it for a fancy. Germany was a literate nation and yet succumbed to the most irrational sort pf racial prejudice. We are largely an illiterate nation and it is much easier to sway our masses by rousing their basest instincts. Our Prime Minister in one of his speeches has said, "Let us resolve not to allow another Gujarat to happen anywhere else" But is it a mere political rhetoric? Or just another ideology to garner more votes from the Muslims. Whatever it might be but we do hope that he sticks to his words. The riots in Gujarat have also put a big question mark on our secular and democratic character. It will take light years for people to accept the fact India remains a stable, trustworthy, liberal Democracy where people do not always kill each other on the streets to settle perceived wrongs. It in fact is of no use to boast about being the world’s largest Democracy if we cannot protect and preserve the integrity and dignity of our citizens. The hate and retribution, which has been exhibited, indubitably exposes the lacunae in our system. There has been a gross violation of Human Rights and yet no voice was raised from any corner. The worst has been the indignant attitude of the doctors as Ram Puniyani puts up "even the deliverance of medical relief was communalized…" thus the million dollar question which stems out is- is a person’s religion far above his life? Do the doctors have the right to discriminate amongst the people on the basis of caste, creed or community? The answer is an unambiguous NO. Yet it happened in the streets, lanes of Gujarat, which saw the naked dance of death to the utmost extreme, with no relief reaching the poor, helpless victims. The monster’s ball, which Narendra Modi hosted, saw innocent, men, women and children dragged out their homes and being killed brutally. However, one cannot punish an entire community for the crimes of its radical fringe. Muslim Fundamentalism cannot be fought back by murdering, harassing the innocent people who live in India and swear by its constitution. Violence can never be the right solution to any problem. It only aggravates the wound rather than healing it. Thus allowing the law to take its own course and bringing the criminals irrespective of their caste or creed to justice is the first step towards national regeneration. If we fail to do so then the nation is doomed.
Shadaan Alam, AMU

While the election results were coming in, Ms. Sushma Swaraj told a TV channel that she was too great a democrat to put hurdles in Ms. Sonia Gandhi's way if the voters' verdict was in favour of Ms. Gandhi. In now announcing her proposed resignation from the Rajya Sabha, she shows a remarkable flexibility of approach where principles are concerned. Blessed to have a True Indian like her, need we submit to the eternal shame of having our country headed by one who is Indian only by nationality?
Mukul Dube, Delhi

Worst than the terrorists
In an Interview to PTI, just before retirement former chief justice of the supreme court, V.N. Khare said, "There was no prosecution in the Gujarat riot cases at all. Therefore, the supreme court should step in to break the collusion between the prosecution and the accused". 

While Godhra accused are booked under POTA, the murderers, rapists and arsonists of government-sponsored genocide are free to destroy evidence of their heinous crimes. Witnesses were intimidated not to identify the criminals. Modi govt. and Gujarat police is hand in glove in protecting the criminals and implicating innocents in false cases.

The entire Sangh Parivar is unrepentant on Gujarat carnage. VHP president Ashok Singhal had threatened in Vijayawada on March, 27 that the Hindutva experiment carried out in Gujarat would be extended to the whole country". This is down right terrorism in the words of learned Judges of supreme court. Are terrorists like Singhal and Togadia are above the law?
G. Hasnain Kaif

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