Issues

Maulana Vastanvi and the reaction in Gujarat

By J.S.Bandukwala

The opposition to Maulana Vastanvi in Gujarat, was primarily due to his insensitive remarks that there was no discrimination against Muslims in Narendra Modi’s Gujarat, and therefore Muslims must move away from the 2002 trauma and take part in the  economic development going on in the State. This comment coming right after his appointment as the Vice Chancellor of Deoband in January 2011 gave a huge boost to Modi and the BJP. But it demoralised all the victims and those fighting on their behalf. His comments were totally wrong in fact ,both on the issue of discrimination as well as on economic development. The gross injustice suffered by Muslims since 2002 genocide is horrifying. About one hundred Godhra Muslims were arrested under POTA, and were denied bail for nine years, until the judgement on Sabarmati train burning.Sadly 11 were sentenced to death, 20 to life and the remaining released as innocents. What about the nine years they suffered in jail? Note that the Bannerjee Commission gave a report in which the Godhra people were innocent.

On the other hand, Modi has done everything within his powers to see that no RSS / VHP/ Bajrang Dal activist/ or any police officer is caught for the approximately 2000 murders of Muslims in that period. The lower judiciary, the prosecution and the police are in league with saffron forces. The only justice we have received so far is due to the Supreme Court which shifted the Bilkis Banu and the Best Bakery cases out of Gujarat. The Maulana sees no injustice in Gujarat?

Consider the case of Babu Bajrangi, a RSS  activist who confessed in the Tehelka sting operation that he slit the stomach of the pregnant Kauserbau, killed her and then pulled out the unborn baby on his sword. The murderer says in the interview that he felt he was Maharana Pratap. This same Bajrangi has not spent a day in jail or police custody. His bail was granted by Justice Mehta, without even going through the details (this is as per Bajrangi’s comments to Tehelka). Imagine our shock when this same Justice Mehta of the Gujarat High Court, is appointed to the Nanavati Mehta Commission to investigate the 2002 riots.

Can we expect any justice from such a tainted Commission?

And what about the fake encounters of innocent Muslims carried out by Modi’s blue eyed police officer Vanzara?  Sohrabbuddin, Ishrat Jahan, Sadik Jamal, and so many other innocents were picked up, often from their  homes and  murdered in public, without any legal process, under the pretext that they wanted to kill Narendra Modi. Is it a crime to be a Muslim in Gujarat?

I am deeply pained that prominent and rich Muslims such as Maulana Vastanvi have gone out of their way to rehabilitate Narendra Modi, and make him acceptable to Muslims. This has resulted in the weakening of the Supreme Court monitored cases. This is the time to fight for justice. This is not the time for personal benefits from Modi. Allah will never pardon you, however high a Maulana you may be in the eyes of Modi. 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 August 2011 on page no. 2

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