Who is the terrorist?
On 27th February 2002, a coach of the Sabarmati Express caught fire and 59 persons were burnt alive. The truth behind the fire, the culprits and their motives are facts yet to be fully established but there is enough from the investigations, including the official FSLR report of the
Yet, on that day, and for the six and a half years since the minute a frothing Narendra Modi arrived at Godhra (around 2.30 p.m. that day) and blithely overruling the collector's categoric advice conspired to let the VHP and Bajrang Dal bloodletters, Dr (sic) Jaideep Patel and Babu Bajrangi carry the burnt corpses to Ahmedabad, reason, proof and legal evidence have done nothing to compel Modi or the BJP to accept the truth on Godhra. Godhra in fact was cynically used, and the burnt corpses publicly paraded to inflame tempers, legitimise trained militias to targeted violence.
But what of the rest of us, the non-BJP Indian? Television images, (remember this was our first televised ‘riot', sic) played and re-played the image of the burnt coach and corpses for a good five days but unfortunately did not capture the horrors of the post Godhra genocide with the same gleeful fascination (CNN International was the only eye that witnessed and captured the mass burial of 133 bits and pieces of bodies from Gulberg Society and Naroda that possibly included the dismembered remains of both the late parliamentarian Ahsan Jaffri and Kauser Bano who's stomach was slit open and her nine month old foetus waved atop a sword and flung into a nearby fire).
About 2,500 persons, innocent Muslims, were made to pay the price for Godhra, while the jury was still out on who set fire to the ill-fated coach. Two former supreme court judges headed a tribunal that indicted Narendra Modi, in his role as chief minister, of coldbloodedly orchestrating a state sponsored genocide that included not simply the killing of 2,500 persons with military precision in 19 of
Six and a half years down, the jury is still out on Godhra. Besides, Modi and 67 others face investigations of a kind that a chief minister and his entourage of cabinet colleagues and top IAS and IPS men have not faced in the sixty years of our independence. For the cynical violation of the Indian Constitution and provisions of the IPC, in both managing, and allowing the slaughter of innocents.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the apex court to inquire into the major massacres at Godhra, Gulberg, Naroda, Odh, and Sardapur is examining these allegations of mass criminal conspiracy behind the well-managed violence. The apex court has, separately, also issued notice to the state of
And though the jury is still out, and he is still to be proven guilty, Modi today faces serious charges of masterminding the single largest project of state terror that we have witnessed post independence. And while the jury is still out on this, meaning while investigations are formally on, but still being thwarted by the very Gujarat state and administration that has been accused of outright complicity in the massacre of 2,500 innocents, it is both logical and obvious and chilling that it is Modi who has, or should have, re-emerged as the face of the Indian politician who can fight terror.
Obvious because we do not find it strange or illogical that a man and his top cop, DGP PC Pandey, accused of serious criminal charges now emerge as the daring duo to crack the investigations into Ahmedabd's tragic tryst with bomb terror, July 26, 2008.
Obvious because it does not scream unfair to us anymore, does not seem inherently against the principles of natural justice, that a man and his top brass who are accused of blatantly partisan governance against Muslims today lead the country in investigating the Muslim terrorist.
Obvious also because as Indians and in our democracy, we appear to have adjusted to living quite comfortably with the self acclaimed terror bully, a coward at heart who is unwilling to face the law and the Constitution, wearing the garb of the protector of the Hindu majority, for some years now.
Obvious also because in the reams of editorial opinion, today outraged and lofty on our flagging ‘internal security' we have not spared a moment's thought on the political reasons that may have spawned the SIMI or IM brand of terrorism.
And, sinister because at the bottom of it all, it means that all of us Indians have bought Modi and the BJP's brand of propaganda and governance. The kind of governance that allows a professional hate monger like Dr (sic) Togadia to enter the Kandmahals -where over 50 innocent Christians have been slaughtered and 4,000 poor tribals rendered homeless --when the union minister of state for home , S. Jaiswal is prevented from entering the conflict zone, and meekly bows out!
Sinister also because we brand attacks on Christians and churches in Mangalore as Hindu-Christian clashes because we appear to have accepted, without challenge that the murderous Bajrangis speak for all of us.
It is no wonder then after the Ahmedabad blasts in particular, the hard talk on terror has meant going peculiarly soft on a man who is today charged with being a state terrorist.