Gujarat-A latent volcano of violence

It’s been four years since the “State sponsored Riots” in Gujarat following the Ghodara incident. This remains firmly etched in my memory as it was amidst all that violence that my sister accompanied by mom went for her final round of interview at National Institute of Design, Ahmadabad. I have listened to them narrate how the ring of the shots and sporadic screams would tear across the silence of the nights along the banks of Sabarmati.


The state-sponsored pogrom in Gujarat was a systematic effort to terrorize Muslims and reduce them to the status of second-class citizens by destroying their lives, livelihood, homes and self-respect. Beginning on 27 February 2002 the spate of violence continued for well over three months. The profound human tragedy resulted in more than 2000 Muslims dead, many more grievously injured, orphaned, sexually abused, rendered homeless and without any source of livelihood, and property worth billions burnt or looted. Reports from several independent sources /newspapers corroborate that the state was actively involved in the massacre of innocent Muslim citizens.

To those who would vehemently put forth that this violence was a retort for the Ghodra episode which led to the death by fire and asphyxiation of 58 passengers — many of whom were VHP members or supporters, shows their lack of foresight and incapability to see the bigger picture. At no point of time can state sponsored massacre be justified. The government should stand for all people of the state and not for a selected few alone. The tragic affair of Gujarat is a mirror of our democracy. It shows how if unguarded, the fascist tendencies can grow and engulf the democracy lock sock and barrel.

On Stage today

Unfortunately Mr.Modi continues as the Chief Minister and the latest news being
Narendra Modi begins 51 Hour fast, Financial express, 16th April 2006
Concern- In support of the increase in Height of the Dam & that the state has taken adequate Rehabilitation measures.

But I see this as a gimmick to further flame the differences in order to capitalize on the chaos that will ensue. The Rehabilitation measures are sorely lacking and Ms. Medha Patkar is justified in demanding immediate action. Read More here- Narmada: they have little to cheer about.

Why is the Gujarat Chief minister taking this unreasonable path when the issue can be resolved by level headed discussions with or without court interventions? This attitude stinks of a hurried cover up of some irrevocable decisions taken (read as Fraud) with respect to allotment of contracts to Builders of the dam. Statements like “ Narmada ka bandh nahin rukega aur Gujarat nahin jhukega”, cannot hide the grossly unfair allotment of land and the poor alternate arrangements made for all the tribal’s affected by this.Remarks like “The people of Gujarat are by and large peace-loving, but when teased they do not spare anybody. No force could stop them” veil an under laid threat. A threat which was almost put into action when the BJP activists disrupted and destroyed the NBA Office in Vadodhara.
The burning up of posters and creation of havoc at theaters where Rang De basnti was showing in response to Aamir Khan’s lending a Voice of Support is also a reflection of the same threat.

These are the political parties who are supposed to take care of us especially the poor who need assistance. I want the people to take note how the political parties are resorting to bullying tactics. If these political parties are not supporting poor farmers, what are they for” –Aamir Khan

Kudos to Mr.Khan for saying that. I wait with justified curiosity to see how all this will end and even as I say a silent prayer for the victims of the unfortunate blasts that rocked Jama Masjid and the Sankat Mochan temple I cannot but be thankful that these were nowhere near the state of Gujarat, because the Bloody war that would have followed would have taken us right back to the February of 2002. Imagine- a vision of Gujarat yet again terrorized, wounded and full of despair. I shudder at that thought and turn my mind to the more pressing issues at work.


Expressions said...

I agree with the feelings put forward.Being just an audience to all this is such an unnerving experience....I shudder to imagine the state of mind of the people who are actually going thru this dictatorship sort of treatment....

muse said...

It's strange to read this today.. just when i'm in the midst of reading an account of the Bombay riots in 1991 in the book Maximum City... Both accounts leave me with a vague sense of fear... fear that man can turn upon man so easily... i often think all sorts of people are susceptible to communal hatred.. that it is like a sleeping snake that could wake up any minute in people's hearts..

Caffeinism said...

@ Expressions-yup..its tough

@Muse-For am min I was wondering who this "muse" is before checking out your url.:-))Thanks for dropping by.Do tell me if you liked the book at the end of it.

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