Shades of ‘Justification’ of Violence: Modi v/s Setalvad


It is widely believed that the current Chief Minister of Gujarat (click)Narendra Modi (click) – had ‘justified’ the post-Godhra riots (click) by invoking the Newton’s third law of motion. In other words, the impression that is formed is that he said something to the effect that “as Muslims had killed Hindus travelling by Sabarmati Express, it was natural that Hindus also kill Muslims as a ‘reaction'”. That he said such a thing is taken to be such an unquestionable fact that prominent media houses publish news articles/editorials alluding to his alleged justification in the above kind of alleged words without feeling any need to quote him exactly or outlining the precise context in which he made such a statement.[1][2][3] The instant impression that is formed is that he ‘justified’ the killing of innocent Muslims (including innocent men and not just women and children) as the Hindus were angry after the train Sabarmati Express had (been) burned (click).

Now, for long I was under the belief that the statement that so many sources allude to must have been made by Modi at some public rally or in a well-publicized and well-documented interview, e.g., like the one with Karan Thapar, in which he had chickened out on being asked a few sharp questions based on an en passant equation by Justice V. N. Khare of Modi with Nero (click). Here is the video:

However, because of reasons that will become apparent later on in this post, I decided to search the Internet for the exact circumstance surrounding his above statement. Now, I am a person who is quite skeptical of the motivations and methods employed by the Indian media[4], yet somehow I never came to doubt the above allegation. But on my attempts to search for a similar video or even a well-documented news piece substantiating the allusion, all I could come up with was this: a PDF document (click to download) hosted by a web site (click) put up by the ‘Citizens for Justice and Peace’. The document was apparently produced by some Editor’s Guild and titled – “RIGHTS AND WRONGS: ‘Ordeal by Fire in the Killing Fields of Gujarat’ – Editors Guild Fact Finding Mission Report”, and authored by Aakar Patel, Dileep Padgaonkar and B.G. Verghese.

I pick from it the portions that seem to allude to Modi’s invocation of ‘action-reaction’ theory (which have been curiously added under an annexure – ‘4A’ on page 8 of the PDF document) [my comments are parenthesized and italicized]:

Zee TV Interview with Chief Minister Mr Narendra Modi in Gandhinagar on March 1 2002, by Sudhir Choudhury

The Correspondent begins by asking Mr Modi about the Chamanpura massacre in which the former Congress MP, Ehsan Jafri was killed along with at least others (sic; looks like, the FactTM©® Finding Mission was undecided on what number of dead to put along with Ehsan Jafri). The Chief Minister referred to reports that Jafri had first fired at the violent mob which infuriated the crowd further. It stormed the Housing Society and set it on fire. He refers to Jafri’s firing as “action” and the massacre that followed as “reaction”. His exact quote is: “Kriya pratikriya ki chain chal rahi hai. Hum chahate hain ki na kriya ho aur na pratikriya”. [My translation: “There is a chain of action-reaction going on. We wish that neither there be ‘action’ nor ‘reaction'”]

When asked about the widespread violence in Gujarat post-Godhra, he says quote; “Godhra main jo parson hua, jahan par chalees (40) mahilaon aur bacchon ko zinda jala diya, is main desh main aur videsh main sadma pahuchna swabhavik tha. Godhra ke is ilake ke logon ki crimnal (sic) tendencies rahi hain. In logon ne pahele mahila teachers ka khoon kiya. Aur ab yeh jaghanya apraadh kiya hai jiski pratikria ho rahi hai”. [My translation: “(Considering) What happened in Godhra the day before, wherein, 40 women and children were burnt alive, it was natural that (people) in this country as well as abroad were shocked. People of Godhra in that pocket have had criminal tendencies. These people had earlier killed lady teachers. And now, they committed this dastardly crime, and to that reactions are taking place”].

It is not my contention that Modi did not make such a statement, as there is no way I could reject or accept the above claim (I had searched a few times with different combination of search terms on both Google and Bing; it is possible, some other more substantive piece of evidence might exist that I might have missed). But even then what is important to know is what precisely was asked for him to have responded as above. I am afraid, “begins by asking…about” and “on being asked about” clarify nothing about what the exact question was. I mean, seriously do we expect a reporter/journalist to ask such an open-ended question as “please speak ‘something’ about Ehsaan Jafri’s murder” and “Please say ‘something’ about post-Godhra violence”?

From the first statement it seems, Modi’s observations (if indeed they were made the way he has been quoted to have made) were quite generalized, and were about some ongoing event (“chain chal rahi hai” and not “chain chali thi”). Also, he was seemingly telling that situation was difficult to control as violence against both the communities (Hindus and Muslims) was becoming a vicious cycle.

For the second quote, I feel, it is very essential to know what the words that followed were. It is possible that he followed it up with something to the effect, “…hence all Muslims should be killed” (an extreme but unlikely possibility) or that “…but despite this natural reaction, we are trying our best to control the situation so that no further innocent lives are lost” (a more politically correct thing to say?).

Now, whether pointing out how people react in face of gruesome sectarian violence in which people (of either communities) are killed amounts to ‘justification’ of such reaction is something I leave for the reader to decide. Personally, I do not see it as justification, nor as an endorsement.

So, despite what I would consider scanty evidence of Narendra Modi’s at best ambiguous ‘justification’ of the post-Godhra riots in which significantly more damage was incurred by Muslims than by Hindus, Teesta Setalvad (click), who perhaps is seen referring to the above purported justification by Modi more frequently than anybody else, had some interesting things to say about the people who must have burned the Sabarmati Express coach on 27th February, 2002, and along with it a few passengers. And mind you, what she said was even before the ensuing riots had begun:

Teesta Setalvad, head of Communalism Combat, a group that opposes religious extremism in India, said that “while I condemn today’s gruesome attack, you cannot pick up an incident in isolation. Let us not forget the provocation. These people were not going for a benign assembly. They were indulging in blatant and unlawful mobilization to build a temple and deliberately provoke the Muslims in India.”

Surprisingly (or perhaps not so much, given how I believe the Indian media functions), the above quote is next to impossible to find over the Internet. If you put the entire quote as search term, the only Indian media web site that hosts it is Rediff. It had these two articles – both by Rajeev Srinivasan (click)Apartheid in India (click) and Blaming the Hindu victim (click). However, it seems Rediff has very recently offloaded both the articles. While, I had myself visited the former just the day before, the latter was inaccessible even then. So the only option left is to rely upon cached versions.[5][6]. But the problem is Rediff is a small fish in the Indian media business, so will inherently be seen as unreliable by those who cannot believe that a courageous ‘social activist’ like Teesta Setalvad could ‘justify’ killings of young children because their parents had decided to indulge in unlawful activity like visiting Ayodhya to provoke Muslims. Moreover, because in both the articles the author was speaking of discrimination against the Hindus – the majority – so it is oh so very tempting to believe he is a Hindu fundamentalist and must have put these words in the mouth of Teesta Setalvad. So, I tried to search the Washington Post web site. In my early attempts I could not find anything. However through some moderately painful process, I zeroed down on an article that perhaps was the one referred to by Rajeev. I found it here – Mob Attacks Indian Train; 57 Killed; Victims Had Visited Disputed Temple Site by Rama Lakshmi (click) [somehow, the Washington Post web site takes very long to load]. Of course, as you would notice, it does not contain the above quote. The article is not available for free viewing, and what one sees is just an automatically generated synopsis of the original article. And as my (bad) luck would have it again, I do not have a credit card, so I could not buy the article! I was kindly assisted by a fellow tweeter and he emailed me a copy of the complete article that he had. I have uploaded it here (click). However, I noticed that it was possible to edit the copy, which was in .doc version. So, those who are still skeptical of what I say, can do one simple thing: copy any random line from the uploaded article and search (click) for it in Washington Post’s archives. Remember to do so in the left search field (and not the right one, which is for articles published till 1986). You will reach the same article where Rajeev claimed to have found Teesta’s quote (it is to be found in the last paragraph).

The reason I am laying out all the possible ways in which the reader can verify the claims in this post is simply because, what has been attributed to Teesta is quite uncharitable. And unlike some of the powerful media houses, to be taken even one-thousandth as seriously as them, I have to provide the best evidence I can.

Anyway, even if one is convinced that the Washington Post had indeed carried such an article, what does it signify? Of course, I am quite skeptical of the way in which the media functions, so I would never say that just because The Washington Post is firangi it can do no wrong. It is possible that Teesta never said such a thing.

But what are the implications if we assume that she did say all that? Some might argue that there is no significant implication because unlike Narendra Modi, she is not the chief minister of a large state in India, so her personal biases do not matter. Yes, that would be a very solid argument to support the Indian media’s almost total blackout of this ‘justification’ of Sabarmati Express train burning (and might I add yet again, with it of some odd 58 passengers). But it is significant to notice that implicit in Teesta’s statement is what she considered the fact that fire in coach S-6 of Sabarmati Express was human-caused. But when the Justice U. C. Bannerjee’s report was made public, which had come to the conclusion that the fire was accidental, Teesta was not the one to have opposed it despite her conviction that by “indulging in blatant and unlawful mobilization to build a temple and deliberately provoke the Muslims in India” the passengers had brought the fate upon themselves? In fact, if I remember it right, she had even suggested on NDTV that the train-burning was also pre-planned by the Sangh Parivaar as trishuls (tridents) had been distributed before 27th February!

To be fair to Teesta, just like how in case of Modi I pointed out that the next few sentences after his “action-reaction” statement is what would convey the complete meaning, perhaps even same concession should be afforded to Teesta? But I am truly at loss as to what other words could have radically changed the meaning of her statement and the mindset that seems to come through.

Of course, she is not the chief minister of any state, and Narendra Modi is, but while latter has been called from ‘mass murderer’ to ‘Hitler’ to ‘modern day Nero’ by people belonging to the Indian media and those subliminally endorsed by it, the former remains a ‘human rights activist’, a ‘social activist’, who has won the Padma Shri award[7] and heads the ‘Citizens for Justice and Peace‘. And that irony of secular India is a tad difficult to live with. But of course, all is not lost – that Teesta Setalvad had indeed ‘justified’ the Sabarmati Express train burning and the passengers in it in above words, is not yet established as fact. 🙂

Please note, that from this post onwards I might start including inline citations. However, I noticed that because of the WordPress navigation bar, on clicking any of the superscripted links, the linked target ends up one line above the visible portion of the screen. So, whenever you click on these citations, please scroll up a bit to reach the target. Thanks!

Addendum: A fellow tweeter @bharkadatta (click) had pointed out (click) that the Pakistani daily ‘Dawn’ had also referred to Teesta Setalvad’s above statement.[8]

Footnotes:

1. ^ “Ms. Setalvad also pointed out that the Editor’s Guild report on the media and press coverage at that time needed to be examined, especially in connection with the transcript of Mr. Modi’s comments on a television channel talking about the “action and reaction” theory.” (click).

2. ^ “It also confirms that Narendra Modi doesn’t have a monopoly on the Godhra-Gujarat action-reaction theory. Indeed, from Bhiwandi through Gujarat to Goa, there is a certain continuity to Vajpayee’s views on who lights the fire of communal hatred.” (click).

3. ^ “The Chief Minister had described the violence as an outburst of the Hindu community over the train burning and invoked the Newtonian law to say that every action had an equal and opposite reaction.” (click).

4. ^ See posts under the category – Mass media (click) on this blog.

5. ^ Cached versions of ‘Apartheid in India’: Google (click) and Bing (click). The article is indexed here (click).

6. ^ Cached versions of ‘Blaming the Hindu victim’: Google (click) and Bing (click). The article is indexed here (click).

7. ^ List of Padma Shri awardees in the year 2007 (click).

8. ^ “This week’s Muslim attack on Hindus has to be seen against that regional background and history as well as in the larger national context. The victims “were not going for a benign assembly”, Teesta Setalvad, the head of an anticommunalism group, told the Washington Post. “They were indulging in blatant and unlawful mobilization to build a temple and deliberately provoke the Muslims in India.”” (click)

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34 thoughts on “Shades of ‘Justification’ of Violence: Modi v/s Setalvad

  1. Pingback: Twitted by ketpan

  2. Dear Ketan,

    Simply outstanding. Nothing could have encapsulated the sentiments of millions of Indians more appropriately than this.

    A man has been vilified by the media for past 8years this is unparalleled in the annals of modern Indian History, severity of this smear campaign can be gauged from the fact that it influenced some countries from denying him the Visa to touch down on their shores. Galling that no one ever asked for hard evidence mere media report were accepted as gospel.

    Truth will come out in this and many are going to be shamed. Admire the man for his forbearance who has lived through all this with extreme dignity, stoic silence, which has been mistaken as a sign of guilt. Media has referred to 2002 riot by various terms which are repudiated by the English dictionary as the events do not match the words employed to describe this horrific event.

    No comment or debate can ever be complete without drawing a parallel to 1984 post Mrs. Gandhi’s assassination, the justification proffered for those 3 days of mayhem to which I was a witness since I was in Delhi during those days.

    I am not a Gujarat, not a resident of Gujarat state. No functionary of any political party and further more no first hand experience of the events of 2002. All my knowledge or lack of it is due to media coverage in India and overseas. I have often questioned myself why? I have not accepted on face value what the media has been feeding as a staple fare for 2002. I have not yet come across one report which has dealt with that issue dispassionately presenting both sides of the coin.

    In conclusion I will pose those question, these are not for you to answer, but you can ask them every time some one raises a finger towards Mr. Modi.

    What are the allegations against the Chief Minister of Gujarat?

    Did he actively participate in the riots?

    Did he instigate the riots?

    Did he plan the riots?

    Is dereliction of duty the allegation against him?

    Who has the evidence?

    Does the media, Congress and this section of the society; have the evidence? If yes then why is it not in public domain?

    Hope some day some one will give us the answers to these questions. Until then keep asking.

    Sincerely
    Anil Kohli

    • Anil,

      Sir, thanks for a yet another elaborate and well-thought out comment! Yes, majority of people do not have the patience to go through the data presented to them. The visual media is very strong. If somebody is shown on TV who had lost their relatives to communal violence, their words are taken as the Gospel truth, which in turn is basically an oxymoron, considering there were four Gospels, which were mutually inconsistent.

      Prime example that comes to mind is of Zaheera Sheikh. It cannot be determined at what point had she spoken the truth, but at least hardly anyone would rely upon her integrity.

      The other questions regarding Narendra Modi’s involvement are very pertinent. Very few people ask these questions. People do not realize that for the police to be openly partisan, no central command is required. The idea that police sided with Hindus becaues “Narendra Modi ordered them to” is patently stupid. Moreover, how would it have been ensured that the police would have efficiently been able to curb violence had Modi asked them to try their best to curb violence (assuming he did not do that in the first place). People living outside of Gujarat do not know that it has been a communally polarized state for quite long. Owing to continual Congress support, Muslim underworld was very active, and Hindus were being harassed to a great degree.

      What I find surprising about the whole ‘justification’ thing is where is the damn ‘justification’?! But there would always be people who would want to get all smug, indulge and indulge in some rhetoric.

  3. Very nicely written.

    I am not a writer like u and anil, so wont be able to put a lengthy comment.

    But frankly speaking, it is commendable that you have taken the pain to search the truth behind so called action-reaction comments ( i had myself tried but was not successful)

    Now this blog should be publisized so that media opens its eye (which i doubt)

    Great Work

    • Suresh,

      Thanks!

      Remember, it is possible that Narendra Modi might have talked in terms of action-reaction. But to exaggerate and call that as ‘justification’ of violence is entirely frivolous. I find nothing wrong with pointing out the chronology of events. It is indeed true that violence that lasts for weeks together is not a routine in Gujarat and that in 2002, what had triggered it was burning of the Sabarmati Express. But whereas, if someone claims that demolition of a Mosque ten years back at a place more than 1000 km away could trigger a planned train burning, to me is ridiculous and seems more like ‘justification’. After all, hundreds or thousands of people must be visiting Ayodhya, and many of them must be using trains to travel, but not every time such train burnings occur. It is this kind of political correctness that makes people angry, and creates a space for extremist groups like the Bajrang Dal and VHP. It makes people feel that Hindu deaths don’t matter – something that the Congress had been doing for long in Gujarat.

  4. thanx for sharing the true face of Media or simply the paid media. if media is one of the pilers of our constitution, i wish our constitution remained crippled without such kind of media

    • divya,

      Hehe! Yes, I don’t know how much the nation would feel crippled if these kind of 24 hours ‘breaking news’ channels go away. Most of the news nowadays is poorly disguised opinion. It is important to identify manipulative ploys, especially if it is through the visual medium.

      Thanks for commenting!

  5. There is a saying, “While truth looks for its running shoes lies crisscrosses across the globe”. When it comes to Narendra Modi a sustanied vituperative media camaping has provided the vehicle to the pack of lies. This article very throughly and most importantly impassionately has shredded one of the lies in that series also while doing so has exposed the real character of lie-peddlers like Teesta. She comes of as guilty of same crime that she is accusing Modi of.

    One similar lie still doing rounds is Modi called army after three days. Origin of this lie comes from the idiocy of a reporter in whose calender February month has 30 days.
    As far as awards like Padm Shri is concerned well forget Padma series even bharat ratan lost credibiity the day it was awarded to Rajeev gandhi.

    • Anil,

      I would consider Teesta’s ‘justification’ much worse than that of Modi’s. I can understand the insecurity & provocation people would feel if 58 people would be burned merely for visiting Ayodhya (and when this would be celebrated by many Muslims), and about which the administration can do nothing.

      Whereas, I cannot understand how much provoked can people feel if someone visits the site where an unused Mosque was demolished 10 years back. And that such provocation would lead them to burn the visitors? If indeed that’s the ‘logic’ used, then what should be done to those people who the visit the ‘karmabhoomi’ of the Prophet who has asked at various instances to kill kafirs? Would that provocation be sufficient?

      There are many lies surrounding the Gujarat riots, but I don’t know if truth will ever come out. Because there are indeed many versions of truths. Truth for one whose family lost many members would be different from someone whose family would have been rescued by the police. The problem is the latter kind of truth is not even coming out.

      With regard to awards, though I had no hope in Indian awards anyway, Obama’s winning the Nobel Peace was like an unbelievable joke. In fact, it still seems unbelievable, and more so, as the time is passing by and his stupidity and inefficiency are coming to the fore.

  6. Sir,
    For media a particular community is innocent and they were affected in post Godhra riots. Can the same media do a study of stabbings in walled city of Ahmedabad until BJP came to power and show who were the victims.Police, assembly and court records will be available now also. This will establish who is innocent and who is not .

    • S.Suriyanarayanan,

      Forget, stabbings before Modi came to power, even as part of Gujarat riots, more than 200 Hindus had died. So, it is not a case that the police had selectively favored Hindus. Either the police was entirely passive, or that they proved ineffective.

      Yes, the Congress had supported too many criminal elements in its reign in Gujarat, which is something people outside do not know. That is why the Congress is finding it so difficult to come back to power in Gujarat.

      Thanks for visiting!

  7. A man is not guilty as long as he is proved guilty, at least legally speaking. Having said that, we are at a point where it doesn’t matter who said what. Its more of a whodunnit story.

    • Shakit,

      Yes, what a person says is rarely a barometer of what the person would do, and especially that holds true in case of public figures. So, this entire idea of ‘he said so, hence he must have ordered the police to do so’ is extremely stupid. If I go on to say that just because Teesta had ‘justified’ the Sabarmati Express, each and every evidence ‘her’ witnesses provide is false would be something stupid to assume.

      But I am more worried about the fact that Teesta could win such awards and is introduced with so much respect in TV interviews despite her clearly anti-Hindu stance that is reflected in her statement. There was an attack on Ayodhya disputed site (perhaps by machine guns and bombs) and again she had said that “let us not call those who had attacked as ‘terrorists'”!

      As usual, I am disappointed by this lopsided coverage by the media.

  8. Thanks Ketan for sharing this post. I was among those fools who believed that Modi indeed said these lines. Thanks for the hard work you did and unearthing the truth. I liked the unbiased way you used to represent the facts. You didn’t say that Modi is innocent in case of riots. the whole focus was on the ‘Kriya-Pratikriya’ comment. Often the theme is lost by writing on too many connected topics in a single post. You did well to keep your focus where it should be.
    Keep up the good work. I hope we get to read more enlighting posts in the future. 🙂

    • Dibyasundar,

      As I told Suresh above, it is possible that Narendra Modi would have uttered the thing that the Fact Finding Mission claims, but I still fail to understand what is particularly wrong about stating a fact!

      Second thing is, why is that Teesta quote so difficult to find? Moreover, how could she retain her ‘secular’ credentials after making such a statement?

      Yes, it is important to separate rhetoric and statements made from ones actions. In case of public figures, there is no reason they would have any relation. Congress claims to be ‘secular’ but has no qualms erecting so many structures after Rajeev Gandhi or to award him Bharat Ratna, despite what he is accused of in context of the ’84 riots.

      Thanks for your visit!

  9. Very well researched and written. I was looking for the Teesta Setalvad quote but gave up when I understood that the Washington Post article was not available free. Even if “Rediff.com” had not removed the article from its website, our friends in the pseudo-secular media would have brushed it aside because for them there are two standards to be applied. Remember how Sagarika Ghose brushed aside someone who asked her an inconvenient question about the recent communal riots in which it was the Muslims who attacked Hindus in Bareilly, Hyderabad and Pune. She even resorted to personal abuse by calling him a moron!

    I have reproduced here some excerpts from my article A REQUIEM FOR GODHRA

    “The English language media would rather there was no reaction to the horrendous deaths of Godhra, in order to be able to praise the ‘resilience’, ‘composite culture’, ‘triumph of secularism’ et al.

    “Rajiv’s ‘Gandhian’ reaction to the Sikh killings following the assassination of his mother in 1984 – ‘the earth trembles when a big tree falls’ is too well known.

    “In reaction to the killing of a congress legislator in Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) in 1990, the secular party cadres went on a three-day rampage burning and looting and systematically targeting the residences and businesses of a dominant caste in the state. The slain legislator was not exactly known for his Gandhian virtues but lived by the sword and later graduated into politics. (Ctrl C)

    “In reaction to the conviction of their leader on corruption charges by a court in Tamil Nadu in 2000, the AIADMK cadres went on rampage burning buses in one of which three unfortunate girls were burnt alive.

    “It was the turn of another secular party – the Telugu Desam – to avenge the death of its legislator in Anantapur (Andhra Pradesh) in 2005. The party too went on a three-day rampage burning more than 600 government buses. The slain legislator was not exactly known for his Gandhian virtues but lived by the sword and later graduated into politics. (Ctrl V)

    “In reaction to the publication of a cartoon in a newspaper in far away Denmark there were not only protests but also burning and looting in Lucknow and Hyderabad in 2006.

    “In reaction to a news-report criticising one of the DMK scions published in the Tamil daily Dinakaran, owned by another branch of the ruling dynasty the ‘secular’ cadres of the DMK went on rampage burning the newspaper’s offices in which three unfortunate employees were burnt alive in 2007.

    “In relation to the police firing in Nandigram in 2007, the Marxian god, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya said, “they were paid in their own coin.” Just imagine how the ‘secular’ media would have screamed if only Narendra Modi had said this in relation to the aftermath of Godhra?

    “The foregoing was not an exhaustive list of ‘secular’ reactions to events nor does it justify any of them. Similarly it is just not just to vilify a single individual for the aftermath of Godhra.”

    • VOXINDICA,

      Thanks for your elaborate comment! But if you’re not careful, people will say that you’re ‘justifying’ the riots in Gujarat because of what bad other parties had done in the past!

      Of course, I understand what you say, how the image of ‘secular’ in India is a mere eyewash.

      I’ll read that post later.

  10. Well written.

    When partners fall out in business — whether the biz be a responsible corporate or a criminal mafia operation –the dispute is almost always over distribution of spoils. This happens most often when one party starts the business, and the second party joins in after the business has already made some progress. The first feels that it deserves the lion’s share because the business was its idea. The second feels entitled to an equal share, since it brought in the revenue. Fight erupts.

    To understand how lucrative the riots biz is, note that two of Setalvad’s erstwhile *Muslim* comrades turned against her. The first was Zaheera Sheikh, Tehelka was roped in to manage the Zaheera Situation. The second is Rais Khan, former field operative, who is now firing on all cylinders filing complaints against Setalvad. He is revealing juicy details such as that she paid witnesses ten times as much as she paid victims (out of CPIM funds of course, not her pocket). This feud ought to be a matter of interest to the media. “Opinion-makers” ought to be demanding an account and audit of all the riot-related funds that Setalvad generated and handled. Investigative journalism should have been on. But there’s this deafening silence. Surprised?

    • Oldtimer,

      Yes, riots are a business. For politicians, the media as well as the ‘social activists’. It must have not been difficult to notice how disappointment was palpable on faces of likes of Barkha Dutt to realize that no major incident of violence had broken out following Ayodhya verdict.

      And I must commend your astuteness in understand how the media and politicians ‘operate’ 😀

      Thanks for dropping by!

  11. vey well written and appreciate your hard work , i also had searched a lot to hear modi fire band speeches but i have failed many times. now i know the reason, that he was never communal with his words !! you should help us more to expose teestas and pse media, thank you for the post !!

    • ashokmkini,

      I don’t think Narendra Modi has made outright ‘communal’ speeches. Perhaps, he has been less politically correct than what people expect of ‘politicians’. And that is why common people like him, and media is able to construct their propaganda around it.

  12. Hi Ketan

    This is a very well researched & through analysis on your part. I used to believe a lot of things about the Godhra incident but nowadays upon reading and trying to find out on my own, I have come to see the veritable bias in the reports. Thanks for your insight.

    M.

  13. Hello Ketan,
    Wonderfully articulated, well researched article. Teesta’s comment on the people burnt alive in Godhra and her argument for not calling the Islamists who attached Ayodhya as terrorists, rank of voracious anti-Hindu, pro-Islamist predilections. Yet, as someone mentioned she is celebrated by the mediacrats and current govt. as a secularist and is even bestowed with a Padma award. Teesta Setalvaad epitomizes what is wrong with Indian secularism. I can only hope that with her perfidious rubric of concocting evidence and tutoring witnesses being exposed law of the land will finally catch up with her. There should be a concerted effort to investigate the funding sources of the NGO cottage industry sustained by the likes of Teesta. Of course, given the current disposition in power thats wishful thinking.

    • Manas,

      Welcome to the blog, and thanks for your inputs!

      As almost all my relatives live in Gujarat, I had some idea that the facts related to Gujarat riots have been leaked quite selectively to and by the media, and in addition to that, there have been baseless exaggerations at many places. A prime example of this is oft-repeated figure of “more than 2000 Muslims dead”. How did people arrive at that kind of figure?

      However, having said that, even what Rais Khan says about Teesta remain mere allegation. It might make intuitive sense that there is some truth to what he says, but hopefully, the Judiciary will take its due course, and further hopefully, Indian media will highlight even those occurrences that contradict the impressions created about Gujarat riots by them.

      However, the latter as you rightly said, is indeed wishful thinking, and with regard to former, it might not be entirely unwise to be hopeful. 🙂

      And one more very important thing her ‘explanation’ highlights is at the time of Sabarmati Express burning, even she herself was convinced that the train was burned deliberately. See how later when the Justice U C Bannerjee committee had been filed, she changed her stance. Why did she not challenge the theory that the train had burned accidentally when the event had actually occurred?

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  15. “Whereas, I cannot understand how much provoked can people feel if someone visits the site where an unused Mosque was demolished 10 years back. And that such provocation would lead them to burn the visitors?”

    __

    Those people who think that way betray what they think – and generalize – about all Muslims, that they are like this only (violent), cannot change their behavior and will go on a rampage. This same kind of justification was seen after the Babri masjid was demolished, and some Muslims rioted.

    • Kaffir,

      I guess this is your first comment on my blog, so welcome!

      You’re very right. I believe, in every community, *under normal circumstances* there is only a small fraction of people who would seriously think of indulging in violence – both because of reasons like conscience, the fact that most people fear it and also the fact that indulging in violence is against common sense, because there is always a risk of retaliation from one on whom violence would be used or of someone retaliating on the there behalf. And then, not to forget the State machinery could actually catch up with me if I indulge in violence and thus ruin my entire life.

      However, despite above kind of impediments, violence, and especially community-based violence is not a new thing. I guess, that is because every community, depending upon various factors, has a fraction of people who would want to indulge in violence. The rest are either passive supporters, or provide some assistance, or on the other end of the spectrum, would be actually opposed, but would not raise their voice – either out of fear, or of apathy. It is very, very few people who genuinely speak against violence perpetrated by those they consider to belong to ‘their own’ community members. How a community is ‘fractionated’ perhaps determines how violent it would turn.

      But yes, I have observed that in Indian media the “understandable” ‘bar’ for Muslims to get angry is set much lower than the one for Hindus to get angry.

      Anyway, those are just my views and observations. 🙂

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  16. Namaskaar Ketanji …

    My first reaction to this post was my respect for your Focus …. an inspiration for me coz I start writing about Ayodhya and hurriedly end up in Rome in my attempts to end it all up ….

    Now coming to the entire expression of yours …. I have a very limited vocabulary and it will take a lifetime (maybe more) to find a suitable word for my appreciation. But with whatever I have in that name I am compelled to say that this has been the most honest,in depth & intriguing account on the “KRIYA PRATIKRIYA” attributed to Modiji … Somehow we are on the same page when it comes to believing on ANYTHING reported by our media. Recently they took bits from Advaniji’s blog to BREAK NEWS like “Advani takes on Anna” …. This has become so disgusting that I have begun to RESPECT PROSTITUTES than “SOME” of the Media people who have really brought GROSS disrepute to this, otherwise, respected profession ….
    As I mentioned earlier … God was a bit economical about giving me patience & focus when he was making me …. here I am at the end of it 🙂 Hope u will understand and pardon me for this ABRUPT ending …

    P.S. even if I don’t comment … I do make it a point to read every post of yours … Not too busy but too lazy to comment 🙂
    (excuse the spelling mistakes & incoherence)

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