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Current Affairs
28 Apr 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com
The Taliban is already amidst us in India

by Jyotirmaya Sharma




THE Supreme Court has asked the SIT to probe Narendra Modi’s role in the post- Godhra riots in Gujarat in 2002. But that will not still the chorus for Modi as a future national leader of the BJP. As it is, the timing and context of the Modi- for- PM demand is curious.


In part, it is admission that the BJP- led NDA will have to wait a few more years before making a bid for power.


But it also implies that the prime- minister- in- eternal anticipation and perpetual desperation, Lal Krishna Advani, has failed to capture the imagination of even his own flock.


Other than the obvious reasons, there is an obvious tactic at play here: the BJP hopes that Modi’s name as a future leader would actually help win some votes in these elections. It is an appeal to the highly voluble, if not sizeable, number of the Indian middle class, which has not merely discovered the simple joys of voting, but has the temerity to now reclaim the public space they have for so long spurned with mighty disdain.


It has two things in common with Modi. The first is a certain brand of vulgar impatience and haste, a hallmark of the mob as well as the tyrant, born out of a sense of self- proclaimed purity and righteousness. The other is a misplaced sense of aspiring for such indeterminate goals such as ‘ progress’ and ‘ development’, a chimera that leaves everyone out of the equation other than the sort of worthies who stood on a stage and argued for Modi’s elevation as prime minister.




There is, then, little difference between the two Aruns, Shourie and Jaitley, and Ambani, Mittal and Tata: they feel emboldened enough to suggest who the next prime minister ought to be without a care in the world for the democratic process to decide on such weighty issues. The message from them is: we know what is good for you. We represent the country because we produce wealth or facilitate in its production.


Apart from the cheerleaders for Modi, it would be instructive to look at the man himself in terms of three statements made recently. In the absurd debate regarding whether Manmohan Singh is a weak prime minister, Modi came up with a priceless statement. He dared the prime minister to hang Afzal Guru in order to prove his strength and establish his machismo.


There was a time when Gandhi shook a mighty empire through nonviolence and yet never abandoned fundamental moral principles in order to take on the British. He broke laws that were unjust, but understood the importance of laws as a guiding framework for any civilised society. Killing someone just to prove an imaginary idea of strength had no place in his moral universe.


Modi represents an alternative ‘morality’, which seeks to justify, albeit covertly, encounter killings in the name of swiftness and expediency.


This haste, too, is born out of a disdain for constitutional and legal procedures as well as from the self-appointed role of judging who the ‘enemy’ is and finding effective ways of dealing with such real and mythical enemies. It is a mechanical world of action and, in this instance, unequal and opposite reaction, untouched by norms of ethics and morality.


Modi’s disdain for the old and for children also springs from a corpus of ideas that are far removed from any acceptable version of the Indian ethos. The polarities represented by the ‘ budhiya’ and the ‘ gudiya’ remark comes from a 19th century European set of ideas that celebrated the useful, able- bodied, young, masculine, virile individual who could work in factories, contribute to development and progress.


This view found the old and the very young to be a burden on society, a universe far removed from a world that venerated a Vyasa, a Vashistha and a Bhisma, and found merit in the lives of a Dhruva and Prahalad. In this sense, Modi is a worthy inheritor of Golwalkar’s mantle and the only hope for the RSS. It was after all Golwalkar who categorically suggested that once an RSS worker grew old and infirm and ceased to be useful to the organisation, the best course left for him was to sit by the wayside, beg to keep body alive, and die. It is another matter that an old and infirm Golwalkar was looked after by the same organisation and his health became a priority for the RSS in the last years of his life. This accent on youth and machismo also was the very stuff that Hitler’s version of a fascist movement found its sustenance from and thrived on, peddling this skewed idea.




Lastly, Modi’s recent statement that he is ready to be hanged in public if charges against him regarding his complicity in the post- Godhra riots were to be proved is enormously important and is to be taken seriously.


Mussolini, the Italian fascist, was summarily executed by communist partisans and hung upside down.


The bodies of Mussolini and his mistress were then hung on meathooks from the roof of a petrol station and stoned by civilians. In this country, till such time that civilised values are still in place, people are not hung in public.


There is a rule of law, however flawed, that takes care of crimes and doles out punishment that affords a degree of dignity to even criminals.


Medieval forms of justice are no more in vogue in this country and will not be so till such time that the Indian people actually commit the grave error of allowing an authoritarian individual like Modi to assume the office of the prime minister.




Let us recap the three statements Modi has made in the past few months. These were about hanging a man pronounced guilty as a sign of strength, about old women and little girls playing with dolls, and about himself being hanged in public.


There is an uncanny resemblance in all the three to what we have known all along as the Taliban’s preferred way of meting out justice. We frown on these kinds of barbaric acts and the Sangh Parivar often implies that there is a relation between these forms of barbarism and the religious affiliation of those who indulge in these acts.


In rightly expressing our moral indignation against the Taliban, we forget that the Taliban will not enter this country through our northern borders but is already present in an indigenous version in the form of Modi and his supporters.


The Taliban of today is only a mirror image of the irrational and mindless rage of Ashwatthama, the son of Drona in the epic Mahabharata. Modi is the inheritor of Ashwatthama’s rage. In the epic, Ashwatthama had to ultimately pay for his deeds. But before that he wrecked destruction and brought sorrow to countless people. Is Modi’s future and fate the same as that of Drona’s misguided son?


The author teaches politics at University of Hyderabad





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Shamshad Elahee Ansari

Keeping in view a sizeable support for Modi amongst so-called educated section of our society who will argue at a length on Gujarat’s landmark industrial development and Modi's gimmick for the cause of development etc.

Prof Jyotirmya Sharma's analysis is a befitting reply to the proponent of Modis in India. The recent support from TATA, Reliance and Jatley+Shourie alliance is actually a history in the making. We all know who the corporate giants were in 1920s to support Hitler in Germany.

Class character of our known industrialist is exposed along with Shourie/Jaitly clan who will become future Goebbels of Hindustani Hitler.

There is a very famous slogan, LIVE in the memory of Indians, even children enchant it during any political upheaval time ' Jo Hitler ki hcal chalega, who Hitler ki maut marega'.

Gallows are waiting for them; we have only to see how much damage they can cause to Indian democracy and system?

It is false belief that Mr. Modi has developed Gujarat or boosted development of Gujarat. Before Modi's govt., Gujarat had been developing very well. Today, the development of Gujarat is seen at the price of basic human rights of Gujaratis. Modi has diverted fund to development from other sections e.g. education etc. He kept most of the govt. servants on fixed pay basis while working same as full scale servants. Moreover, central govt. of India alloted much more fund and Modi diverted it also in the name of development. Basically, Modi is not HINDUVADI, but TAKVADI (taking gain from the chance). After getting power from Keshubhai Patel, he had no magic stick to come into power through election. He got chance from Godhara incidence. If he is HINDUVADI, more than 4500 Hindu rioters should not be in the prison right now. Modi used them for his personal gain. By the defination of SANSKAR (good character) in Hindu ideology, basically we cannot believe Modi as a Hindu. Same as Osama Bin Laden cannot be believed as a real Muslim. So, Modi should not be presented as Hindu or representative of Hindu fundamentalists. He is only a politician who has no caste, no good character, no good moral, or no religion.
Aamir Mughal

To refresh the memory:

“All of them have done it together in collusion. Vehicles full of people were coming from outside. If
the police and SRP had supported us, so many Muslims would not have died. They surrounded them, and got them killed.”

“It was pre-planned only in that area, just at that time, phones were cut down, electricity was cut. Who doesn’t hold one’s life dear? To save our lives, some ran that way. We didn’t know there was a mob of about 500 waiting with petrol and swords. Whoever went, they raped and killed them. When children cried for water, they poured petrol into their mouths. They raped, they burnt everything. When life did not go easily, they pierced people with iron rods and killed them. The police clearly said: “We have no orders to help you”. Tell me, what can we do?”

“They dragged people out of their houses. Young girls and women were raped by them, and then they burnt everyone together. I saw corpses in fron of houses, in very bad condition - burnt and naked.”

“There were 11 people in my sisters family. Only three are left - in the hospital. The other were finished, burnt. My sister had money. She said: “Take the money, spare my children”. They said: “No! You have to die!” They poured kerosene and petrol over her and burnt her. Even now if you go, you will find dead bodies in every house. My mother-in-law’ s sister and some others were burnt with their children. What could we do, tell me? There was no one to support us! What happened was terrible! My pregnant niece’s stomach was cut open, the foetus taken and thrown into the fire. Look at our situation! They ask us: Why did you burn our train?”"

“In front of my eyes, they burnt my grandmother and two cousins. They raped a woman and cut her arms. In front of me they took out a foetus from a mother’s belly, showed it around and put a sword through it. They told us to say “Shri Ram”. They took us to a temple nearby, put tikkas on our forehead and asked us to say “Shri Ram”. They killed whoever did not do so.”

Narendra Modi on Gujarat:

“With the entire population of Gujarat very angry at what happened in Godhra much worse was expected” (Times of India Feb 28 2002)

“Asked about the violence, Modi quoted Newton’s third law — ‘every action has an equal and opposite reaction’— to virtually justify what is happening.” (The Times of India 3 March 2003)

Referring to Congress Party’s so called policy of appeasement of Muslims with sarcasm Modi said:

“I told them [the Congress] I got Narmada water in the month of Sharavan, if they had it their way …. They would have got in Ramzan.” (Star TV played this speech repeatedly on September 15-16 2002)

“What should we do? Run relief camps for them [Muslims]? Do we want to open baby-producing centres?”


Guajarat 2006 Is Deadlier Than 2002 By Prashant Jha 19 October, 2006 Countercurrents. org

Last Refuge Of The Scoundrel By Praful Bidwai 30 March, 2005 Khaleej Times

The Hindu Rashtra Of Gujarat By V.B.Rawat 27 September, 2005 Countercurrents. org

What is in the name:


Crime and complicity

Was the Gujarat government being thick-skinned or was it just wishful thinking?

After the Supreme Court described the leaders of the Gujarat government as “modern day Neros who were looking elsewhere when innocent children and women were burning”, and ordered the re-trial of the Best Bakery case in Maharashtra, the Gujarat government filed an appeal recently against the transfer. While dismissing the petition, the Court came down even heavily on the Gujarat State government saying that its “sympathies were more for the accused than the victims”.

The Supreme Court’s remarks:

*When a large number of witnesses have turned hostile it should have raised a reasonable suspicion that the witnesses were being threatened or coerced.

The National Human Rights Commission indicts the Gujarat government for its failure to contain communal violence in the State. V.VENKATESAN

“We Have No Orders To Save You”

State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat Full Report - Printer-friendly PDF version (70 pages, 265 Kb)

Summary and Recommendations - Printer-friendly PDF version (12 pages, 45 Kb)

Thirty-eight- year-old Mehboob Mansoori lost eighteen family members in the massacre of Muslims in the neighborhood of Gulmarg Society, Ahmedabad. He was interviewed by Human Rights Watch three weeks after the attack. His story is representative of many testimonies contained in this report.

They burnt my whole family.

On February 28, we went to Ehsan Jaffrey’s home for safety. He is an ex-member of parliament.. .. At 10:30 a.m. the stone throwing started. First there were 200 people then 500 from all over, then more. We were 200-250 people. We threw stones in self-defense. They had swords, pipes, soda-lemon bottles, sharp weapons, petrol, kerosene, and gas cylinders. They began shouting, “Maro, kato,” ["Kill them, cut them"] and “Mian ko maro.” ["Kill the Muslims"]. I hid on the third floor.

Early in the day at 10:30 the police commissioner came over and said don’t worry. He spoke to Jaffrey and said something would work out, then left. The wall in front of the house was broken at 11:30 a.m. When they entered the hall we had lost our spirit, we had no weapons, we couldn’t fight back. Other people also came there for safety. When the gas cylinder exploded I jumped from the third floor. This was around 1:30 p.m.

At 3:30 p.m. they started cutting people up, and by 4:30 p.m. it was game over. Ehsan Jaffrey was also killed. He was holding the door closed. Then the door broke down. They pulled him out and hit him with a sword across the forehead, then across the stomach, then on his legs…. They then took him on the road, poured kerosene on him and burned him. There was no police at all. If they were there then this wouldn’t have happened.

Eighteen people from my family died. All the women died. My brother, my three sons, one girl, my wife’s mother, they all died. My boys were aged ten, eight, and six. My girl was twelve years old. The bodies were piled up. I recognized them from parts of their clothes used for identification. They first cut them and then burned them. Other girls were raped, cut, and burned. First they took their jewelry, I was watching from upstairs. I saw it with my own eyes. If I had come outside, I would also have been killed. Four or five girls were treated this way. Two married women also were raped and cut. Some on the hand, some on the neck.





The Ahmedabad Massacres: Naroda Patia and Gulmarg


Naroda Patia

Attacks on Women Gulmarg Society


Let’s Not Forget Godhra By Siddharth Varadarajan 22 August, 2004 The Hindu

Ghulam Muhammed

Date:     Sat, 2 May 2009 19:55:56 +0530 [07:55:56 PM IST]

From:   Ghulam Muhammed

To:       To:       Sultan Shahin


Subject: Shadows of Violence Cling to Indian Politician - By Somini Sengupta - The New York Times.




Shadows of Violence Cling to Indian Politician



Published: April 28, 2009

The New York Times


AHMEDABAD, India — Narendra Modi, India’s most incendiary politician, is trying to cast himself as the vanguard of India’s modern industrial future. The ghosts of this city’s savage past, though, are refusing to leave his side.


A young supporter of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party wore a mask with the likeness of Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat State.

Mr. Modi, 59, is the thrice-elected chief minister of the western state of Gujarat. On his watch, this city witnessed one of the worst episodes of Hindu-Muslim violence in the history of independent India: in the spring of 2002, mostly over three days, 1,180 people were killed across the state. Most were Muslims. Mr. Modi’s administration was accused of doing little to stop the fury and on occasion, abetting it.


On Monday, India’s Supreme Court, in its strongest move yet, ordered a special police team to investigate Mr. Modi’s role in the alleged conspiracy to attack Muslims.


With national elections under way, Mr. Modi is the biggest crowd-puller for India’s main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party. And while party hierarchy means he is not the B.J.P.’s candidate for prime minister this year, he is positioning himself for the top slot in the next race.


On the campaign trail, he is sardonic, often churlish, always theatrical. At one rally, he compared the ruling Indian National Congress, the nation’s oldest party, to an aging woman. At another, he assailed the incumbent prime minister, Manmohan Singh of Congress, as so “weak” that he ought to get a medical check-up; Mr. Singh had recently recovered from heart bypass surgery.


At a third, stabbing the air with his finger, he taunted Mr. Singh for turning to the United States for support in the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attacks in November, which India said were the work of a Pakistan-based militant group.


“O-baaaa-maaa,” he whined, referring to President Obama. “O-baaa-maaa. Our neighbor has come and attacked us. Do something!” The crowd lapped it up, hollering, clapping and imitating his cry of “O-baaa-maa.”


Mr. Modi’s success offers a window into the B.J.P.’s delicate balancing act: It has to hold on to its radical Hindu support base even as it pitches itself as a force of prosperity and security. His rise also suggests a turning point in Indian politics, in which voters weigh what matters more: identity issues, like faith and caste, or practical issues, like electricity, water and roads. Opinion polls show that Hindutva, or Hinduness, has diminishing appeal.


With a national profile clearly in mind, Mr. Modi has assiduously sought to reinvent himself from a scruffy mascot of Hindu nationalism to a decisive corporate-style administrator. His talking points these days are Gujarat’s double-digit economic growth, private seaports and round-the-clock electricity in Ahmedabad, a booming western city that Gandhi once called home. He wears business suits to business meetings, instead of homespun tunics. He still lampoons the urban, English-speaking elite, but he is also honing his English skills.


His biggest coup has involved the Tata Nano, the world’s least expensive car. Last fall, Mr. Modi persuaded Tata Motors to relocate its Nano factory to government-owned land not far from here. The company had been buffeted by protests over land acquisition in another state.


Soon afterward, several of India’s most prominent industrialists gathered in Gujarat for a meeting and declared Mr. Modi, a former tea shop manager, fit to be a future prime minister.


Swapan Dasgupta, a columnist who advises the B.J.P. on strategy, described him as India’s “aggressive modernizer.”


The B.J.P “promises growth, good governance, development and security.” But it also returns to the party’s original ideological pillars, from pledging to build a Hindu temple on the site of a razed 16th-century mosque to resurrecting a preventive detention law that Muslims said had been unfairly applied to them.


Rarely does Mr. Modi make overt appeals to faith. He does not have to.


“Modi has learned that you have to do development to get re-elected, you have to have a secular image if you want to be prime minister,” said Ajay Umat, editor of a Gujarati-language daily newspaper, Divya Bhaskar, who has known Mr. Modi for more than 20 years.


Mr. Modi has also learned, Mr. Umat said, that his core Hindu supporters will not easily forget his original incarnation as their “protector.”


That image was sealed in 2002, after a train ferrying Hindus was set on fire by Muslims in a town called Godhra, killing 59 people on board and prompting Hindu mob attacks on Muslims across the state. The mobs stabbed, raped and set their victims on fire; they burned homes and businesses. Mr. Modi has never apologized for what happened. (His office did not respond to numerous requests for an interview with The New York Times.)


His admirers say he has moved on. They credit him for removing red tape for business, improving the state’s road networks, and cracking down on lawlessness and petty corruption. His detractors call him an autocrat. (Sonia Gandhi, the president of Congress, once called him “a merchant of death.”)


If and when Mr. Modi becomes the standard-bearer for his party, Indian voters will have to decide whether they can overlook what is called the “2002 stigma” in favor of the “aggressive modernizer.” His critics hope they will not.


“This man can’t represent India, either as a civilization or as a nation,” said Shiv Visvanathan, a sociology professor and one of Mr. Modi’s critics. “He can represent a part. He can never represent the whole. That is the sanity of Indian democracy.”


Unfortunately for Mr. Modi, the past has been hard to cast off. A police team appointed by the Supreme Court has begun to pry open several cases from 2002, making fresh arrests.


Maya Kodnani, Mr. Modi’s former minister for women and child development, was arrested on charges of helping a Hindu mob attack two nearby Muslim enclaves. She is awaiting trial on accusations of arming the mob with kerosene cans, which were then used to set people on fire. All told, the mob killed 106 people on a single day, including seven members of Abdul Majid Mohammed Usman Sheikh’s family.


Mr. Sheikh, 56, who came to the courthouse on the morning of the arrest in late March, called it the beginning of justice for the dead. Among them were his pregnant wife, three sons and three daughters. He carried their pictures in a plastic shopping bag. He said he felt “a little satisfied.”

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