POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Feb 27, 2012 AT 03:10 IST ,  Edited At: Feb 27, 2012 03:10 IST

Predictably, the short 25 questions in Dear Narendrabhai, Could You Please... has resulted in howls and whines of protest. Mr Shashi Shekhar, who writes the blog Offstumped, alleged on Twitter that these questions are an " obsession of the media to establish a conspiracy" rather than "establish the truth". I responded that I disagreed but that any honest attempt to answer these questions was welcome. 

He has responded on his blog, with detailed, point by point "rejoinders". While these appear to be nothing more than an exercise in obfuscation, but because he has taken the trouble, instead of ignoring, shortening or paraphrasing, I provide below the original question, his rejoinder in full and then my quick response in red:

Question #1 – Mr Modi, in an interview on March 1, 2002, to Zee TV you said about the post-Godhra riots, “A chain of action and reaction is going on. We want that neither should there be action, nor reaction.” Don’t such statements echo the ‘earth-shaking’ rationalisations offered by Rajiv Gandhi after the 1984 riots?

Offstumped Rejoinder:  How is this rationalization, it was a statement of fact if one pays attention to the ground situation as of 1st March 2002.

Reporting on the events of 1st March 2002, The Hindu newspaper on its front page in the edition dated 2nd March 2002 had its own version of “Action-Reaction” (ironical since S. Varadarajan made such a big deal about it, perhaps failed to look at his own paper’s Newtonian reportage):

“Despite the imposition of indefinite curfew, sporadic incidents of violence, group clashes and stoning continued throughout the night and during the day today in the walled city and labour-dominated eastern parts of Ahmedabad. But unlike Thursday when one community was entirely at the receiving end, the minority backlash caused further worsening of the situation …. Police presence had little impact on the two communities pelting stones at each other in Bapunagar, Gomtipur, Dariapur, Shahpur, Naroda and other areas from where incidents of firing had been reported. But there were no reports of casualty. Pitched battle was continuing between the two communities late in the evening.”

SD response: The March 1 interview which is referred above provides the context of what Mr Modi was referring to. My original question had to be edited down for the print magazine because of reasons of space. Mr Modi is not referring to "stone pelting" etc in Ahmedabad but, as he himself spells out in that interview: 

‘people from the Godhra area have criminal tendencies and had earlier killed lady teachers also and now they have committed this heinous crime, for which the reaction is being felt.’

Is this a statement of fact when the charge is that his administration was complicit in the "ground situation" that followed - for which the "reaction is being felt"? 

Question #2 – A few days later, you told Outlook (Mar 18, ’02), “You have to remember that communalism runs high in Gujarat—even a small provocation can lead to violence and Godhra was a very big incident.” Did you not stoke that spark when it was decided that the bodies of Godhra victims would be taken to Ahmedabad?

Offstumped Rejoinder:

There is no factual basis to establish a cause-effect relationship between the transport of dead bodies to Ahmedabad and the violence of the 28th Feb.

The PTI on 28th Feb 2002 at 11:21 am carried this report from the Hospital where 54 out of the 58 bodies had been brought. The report carried a clear statement from then VHP Vice President Acharya Giriraj Kishore:

“hindus should maintain calm and keep patience. i appeal to muslim brethren to condemn the attack and ask them not to put hindus’ patience to test”

Hindsight is always 20/20 and correlation is not causation. As the PTI report clearly suggests there was no provocation but in fact an appeal to the opposite. We must also give reasonable benefit of doubt to the two reasons that are in the public domain for the transport of bodies. First the fact that curfew in Godhra would have prevented next of kin from seeing the dead. Second the technical reasons cited for accurate identification.

SD response:  I think you are being too ingenuous when you talk about a direct cause-effect relationship between the transport of dead bodies and the violence that followed when it is widely documented that Jaydeep Patel, the then VHP general secretary, was allowed to accompany the bodies as they were paraded in a procession through Ahmedabad and as the cavalcade headed for Ahmedabad, senior members of his party and organisations affiliated to it shouted slogans and incited mobs to retaliate.

And it was allowed by a CM who knows and himself points out that "if Sachin Tendulkar gets out on 90 against the Pakistani team, riots break out here. Even a small provocation can lead to violence and Godhra was a very big incident. In the 1969 riots, under the then Congress regime, curfew was imposed for 65 days in a row". And yet, it was the chief minister who decided that the charred, unidentifiable dead bodies be taken from Godhra to Ahmedabad in a motor cavalcade.  

It would actually be interesting to read the full PTI report that you quote from above (emphasis mine):

PTI Feb 28, 2002, 11.21am IST
ahmedabad: vhp on thursday appealed to the minority community to condemn wednesday's attack on a train at godhra and warned that "hindus do not have patience for eternity." vhp international vice-president acharya giriraj kishore told reporters here at sola civil hospital, where 54 out of the 58 bodies of the train attack victims were brought, that "hindus should maintain calm and keep patience. i appeal to muslim brethren to condemn the attack and ask them not to put hindus' patience to test. hindus are keeping a restraint but if such incidents do not stop, there can be a counter reaction which may be uncontrollable". the vhp leader alleged that the attack was pre-planned and took place with the connivance of the assistant station master of godhra and personnel of government railway police who despite being there chose to be silent spectators. he demanded an inquiry by the government into their role in the conspiracy behind wednesday's attack on sabarmati express train passengers.

Also, it would be instructive in this context to remember that Patel was in touch with, as the Indian Express reported "with senior police officials, his VHP colleagues in Delhi, state Home Minister, BJP chief and even the Chief Minister's office (emphasis mine):

• When asked to explain his cell records, Jaideep Patel said: ‘‘I don’t remember who all I spoke to, it’s been a long time since Godhra. But I brought the bodies to Ahmedabad, I might have spoken to cops as some Godhra victims could have been from Naroda. I might have spoken to people in the govt, I do not know. After all, I am a leader of the Hindus, several people speak to me everyday. It can’t be said that because I spoke to certain persons, something happened somewhere.’’ • Why was Minister Gordhan Zadaphia in touch with Jaideep Patel? Zadaphia: ‘‘When the inquiry commission will ask...I will reply. If I’m speaking to different persons who I think can help me restore normalcy, there is nothing wrong.’’ • Why did the Chief Minister’s Office contact Jaideep Patel? PS Tanmay Mehta, who made the call: ‘‘I do not know anything about this.’’ • Did the Crime Branch study the cellphone records before closing the case against Patel? Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) P P Pandey: ‘‘There are certain aspects about it yet to be looked into. As the Police Commissioner is on leave, I cannot comment.’’  

Question#3: You have denied the allegation that you instructed bureaucrats and senior police officers at a high-level meeting (Feb 27, ’02) that “in communal riots, police takes action against Hindus and Muslims on one-to-one basis. This will not do now; allow Hindus to give vent to their anger”—a statement attributed to you on record by then deputy commissioner, intelligence, Sanjiv Bhatt and slain minister Haren Pandya. Why do you think the charge persists?

Offstumped Rejoinder:

This is a bizarre question. The charge persists because it has been repeated a thousand times in a Goebbelesian manner. It is important to separate facts from hearsay.

First on Mr. Bhatt claims – We have no factual evidence to establish his presence at the said meeting. We only have Mr. Bhatt’s words. To give credibility to Mr. Bhatt’s word over the absence of evidence will need us to establish Mr. Bhatt’s credibility. Unfortunately Mr. Bhatt has no credibility given his long history of dubious conduct in office, the several cases pending against him and his silence for so many years. Mr. Bhatt has further damaged his credibility through the e-mail hacking and collaboration with leaders of the Congress Party all of which is in the public record. Thus to give weight to Mr. Bhatt’s word over the absence of any factual evidence is, to put it mildly, is to give in to a politically motivated conspiracy theory.

As for the remarks attributed to the late Mr. Pandya – Let us show some respect for the dead. Mr. Pandya was not present in the meeting. Any remarks by him about the meeting would be hearsay. Any remarks by a 3rd party repeating such claims would be double hearsay. It must also be asked why the said People’s Tribunal that allegedly heard these remarks in May of 2002 made no mention of them in its report of November 2002.

If we are going to engage in witch-hunts based on double hearsay we may as well give due process the go by here.

SD responds: The reason the charge persists, I would submit, is because it is not just Mr Bhatt saying it now, or Mr Pandya (saying it way back in 2002) who was killed in mysterious circumstances. For now, let me just cite Manu Joseph's story in Outlook, Aug 19, 2002 (emphasis mine):

Just when Modi was murmuring about how one man who tried to defy him had been suitably harassed, Outlook has information that not one but several key people from his government have told the tribunal about the late-night meeting. Another noted member of the tribunal, a former Supreme Court judge and former chairman of the Press Council of India, Justice P.B. Sawant, who heard a cross-section of people recount the causative factors of the riots, told Outlook: "Several politicians, police and administrative officials who currently hold high posts in the government told the tribunal about the late-night meeting on the 27th that Modi held. I would say we have good information from credible people that in that meeting Mr Modi asked his officials not to come in the way of what will occur in the next few days.

"In my opinion, there were two kinds of people who spoke to us—those who swam with the tide before and during the riots but felt repentant now, and those who supported the backlash but in hindsight felt the CM had gone too far. The implication of what he had said in the meeting is without any doubt a causative factor of what happened the next day. I do not want to be more specific about the kind of people who spoke to us because I can't risk even a small chance of letting their identities be known. But I can say that it was not just a single minister. There were other politicians, top police and administrative officials."

....Valuable details of what transpired in this late-night meeting came from a top public servant who spoke to retired police officer K.S. Subramanian, one of the nine members in the tribunal that comprised retired judges and prominent citizens.

The public servant told Subramanian that around seven in the morning of February 28, the day when the VHP called its fateful bandh, the public servant called up dgp K.Chakravarthy. Recalled the public servant: "He (Chakravarthy) told me he had got home very late after the meeting with the chief minister. I told him, 'Looks like there will be trouble today.' I was not very surprised when he said, 'Yes there will be trouble.' He said the CM had given a lecture on Hindutva the previous night and how there will be a response as a reaction to Godhra. The police was clearly asked not to come in the way. Chakravarthy didn't feel good about it but I got the feeling he felt he had no choice but to comply."

By February 28, many government officials came to know of the meeting. There was a party hosted by a local newspaper late in the evening, on the 27th. Some of the top police and government officials were briefly present at this do but hurried away to be present at the CM's meeting. Modi doesn't deny that there was a meeting on the night of the 27th. 

Question #4: Why did you single out Bhatt and say he wasn’t present at the Feb 27 meeting when you were only asked about those present?

Offstumped rejoinder:

It is clear from Mr. Bhatt’s affidavit which is in the public domain that he had been providing information to the SIT since November 2009. It is reasonable to assume that at the time of Mr. Modi’s SIT deposition in March 2010, the content of Mr. Bhatt’s claims was known to Mr. Modi. Far too much is being made of confidentiality here when leaks from SIT to the media had been occurring a full six months before Nov 2009. As an example on 28th June 2009 right after Teesta Setalvad’s testimony to the SIT the DNA in a story filed by Roxy Gagdekar reported a leak from SIT sources to the DNA on the contents of Teesta Setalvaad’s testimony.  Also on 7th December 2009 OutlookIndia carried a PTI story on specific claims by the activists against the SIT in the Supreme Court on the SIT ignoring an unnamed witness. The activists were reprimanded by the Supreme Court for those accusations. Clearly in the run up to March 2010 the SIT’s activities were hardly a state secret to the Activists. Hence there is nothing extraordinary about Mr. Modi singling out Mr. Bhatt. It is silly to make a mountain of leaks when the SIT’s reports continue to be treated with no respect for confidentiality by both the activists and the media.

SD responds: What you consider silly would be considered Freudian and defensive by others. 

Question #5Is it true that P.K. Mishra, your principal secretary, asked R.B. Sreekumar, then Addl DG (Intel), to confirm whether Haren Pandya was the minister who had deposed about the Feb 27 meeting to an independent citizen’s tribunal. Did he then, as the allegation goes, ask that Pandya’s mobile number, 9824030629, be tapped?

Offstumped Rejoinder – There are many problems with this question. First is its relevance to the violence of 2002 and Justice for victims. Whether Mr. Pandya’s Mobile was tapped or not tapped in June 2002 is irrelevant to the events of Feb 2002. A question of this sort is a fishing expedition and it is one reason why the line of questioning suggests conspiracy theory making more than a quest for Justice for the events of that day.

Mr. Pandya is dead, let us show some respect to his memory and leave him out of this conspiracy theory mongering. Let us do so noting that the said “independent citizen’s tribunal” made scathing accusations of Mr. Pandya itself accusing him having personally led mobs and provoking riots.

SD responds: Quest for justice has to examine the various, widely documented charges levelled that not only point to a conspiracy, but also to the concerted effort to keep it hidden by dismissing any investigation to even determine the veracity of charges as "conspiracy theory mongering". It is particularly rich when it comes from BJP supporters, given what Mr Pandya's own father has to say about Mr Modi and his government.

Question #6 – Given the suspicious circumstances of Haren Pandya’s assassination (Mar 26, ’03), and given that many point the needle of suspicion at your administration, what action has been taken to clear your name and find out who his real murderers are?

Offstumped Rejoinder – Any wild accusation can be made by anyoneMr. Pandya’s murder has been investigated by the CBI and prosecuted in the Courts. The acquittals in the case came after the Courts severely criticized the CBI’s botched case. Most recently the High Court has rejected a petition to reinvestigate the matter. The acquittals have since been challenged in the Supreme Court. Let us leave it at that. This question again has nothing to do with Justice for 2002 Riots. It smacks of conspiracy mongering when the matter has been the hands of Central Agencies and the Court system for years now.

SD responds: I am sorry, the above is as weak a defence as what the Congress party, for instance, puts out each time one questions 1984, Bofors or anything else where the system has been successfully subverted. 

Question #7 – You told the SIT that you came to know from newspaper reports that the BJP had ‘joined’ the call for a Gujarat bandh on Feb 28, ’02, and a Bharat bandh on Mar 1, ’02. For someone so clued into the party machinery, isn’t that a strange lapse?

Offstumped Rejoinder – The Times News Network in a late night release (past Midnight of 27th/early hours of 28th) reports the bandh call by the VHP. It makes no reference to the BJP joining the bandh. In fact it makes no reference to the BJP at all. There are also no other news reports from that day on the BJP joining the Bandh. Sheela Bhatt of Rediff reporting on the morning of 28th Feb 2002 describes incidents associated with the Bandh. Sheela Bhatt too describes it as a VHP bandh with no reference to the BJP. In fact that full report by Sheela Bhatt is a must read for it gives a very factual picture of how events unfolded that morning even as a Cabinet meeting was on and curfew had been imposed in one town. On March 1st 2002 the Times News Network has two stories one from Delhi and another Bangalore on the impact of the Bandh. Both stories describe it as a VHP Bandh with no formal reference to BJP joining it but for stray individual involvement. Hence it is perfectly reasonable if Mr. Modi subsequently learned of some stray BJP involvement from news reports in a Bandh that was all along described as a VHP bandh.

SD responds: Reasonable given how more than one person testified to Mr Modi saying that on the day of the bandh, the police should go easy on those who wanted to "vent"? Reasonable given what is documented? 

See the Citizen's Tribunal that points out how within hours of the VHP's bandh call, on the afternoon of February 27, the BJP's Gujarat general secretary extended to them his party's support. 

This for example is Times of India on March 2, 2002:

when the attack on the train took place on february 27 and the vhp called for a bandh, gujarat bjp president rajendrasinh rana was quick to announce the state bjp's support for the strike, giving clear signals to the administration that it need not take a hard line against those who enforce the bandh. by noon on thursday, shops owned by muslims were broken open in ahmedabad, rajkot and other cities even as the police looked the other way. at many places, the police mingled with the vandals and pleas for help went completely unheeded. while vadodara police imposed curfew early in the morning, the police commissioner of ahmedabad took time in following suit. it is easy to blame the police commissioner, but there are clear indications that his hands were tied by the minister of state for home, gordhan zadaphia, who has risen from the ranks of the vhp. zadaphia is a supporter of the international general secretary of the vhp, pravin togadia, at whose insistence the home portfolio was given to him when modi became chief minister. it was only when the situation had gone sufficiently out of hand that the police tried to intervene. but by that time, it was too late and the mobs had swelled to enormous proportions. the sparse police presence looked like a drop in this ocean of violence. and what did the chief minister have to say about what was happening? he said, "the five crore people of gujarat have shown remarkable restraint under grave provocation." he went on to blast the godhra killing of kar sevaks while brushing aside the equally brutal retaliation that was taking place against muslims. if the central government was speaking about not allowing vhp activists into ayodhya, modi said that police protection should be given to them en route. if the people of gujarat were expecting a reassuring face, what they got was a sangh pracharak on television who has perhaps forgotten he is now chief minister. incidentally, modi has yet to see mobs because he has not visited the worst-affected areas. if only he had the courage shown by george fernandes, who carried on his tour of the riot-hit areas despite being mobbed and stoned.

Question #8 – You claimed to the SIT that you had no personal knowledge of the presence of BJP ministers Ashok Bhatt and I.K. Jadeja in the police State Control Room and Ahmedabad City Control Room respectively (Feb 28, ‘02). Doesn’t this show some incompetence on your part?

Offstumped Rejoinder –It would make for a disturbingly paranoid Chief Minister to keep hourly record of the exact physical location of every one of his Ministers on a day with fast moving development and general chaos. As far as the matter of reasons for their presence, the duration of their presence and the impact of their presence in those control rooms is something the Nanavati Shah Commission will definitely delve into having already examined Mr. Jadeja. The final report is just one month away, we can suspend judgment on this until then.

SD responds: The intent actually is to question Mr Modi's coy denial to the SIT: The charge is not as ridiculous as you make it sound - about keeping hourly record of the physical location of every one of his ministers. The charge is that if he did not place them there, as has been alleged, or whether he knew it or not, but what action he took once their complicity was alleged. Did he ask them for explanations?  Regardless of what the Nanavati Shah Commission has to say about it, is it "conspiracy theory mongering" to ask the CM to account for the behaviour of his ministers? Particularly when he and his cheerleading fanboys go on and on about his competence and efficiency. The charge is that if he is not criminally complicit, he is at least incompetent.

Question #9 – You denied to the SIT that you knew ex-MP Ehsan Jafri—who died in the Gulberg Society massacre—or that he contacted you by phone and requested for help even as the rioters were at his door. Eyewitnesses, though, claim that he had spoken to you. Why do critics persist in arguing that this was a case of personal revenge and vendetta?

Offstumped Rejoinder – This once again is a bizarre question. Asking “Why critics persist in arguing …”  is something that needs to be posed to the critics for it is they who persist despite the lack of any concrete evidence on the same. As far as what has been leaked to the media of the SIT report goes there is no telephonic evidence of such a phone contact with Mr. Modi. Mr. Jaffri’s horrific death at the hands of a mob was unconscionable. The SIT is prosecuting the Trial effectively and a verdict should come anytime against those who were part of the mob. All this unsubstantiated talk of “personal revenge and vendetta” does little to the cause of Justice. 

SD responds. There is nothing bizarre about it. Eyewitness accounts are documented, and the charge is that Mr Jafri campaigned against Mr Modi  in Rajkot for the by-election that took place on February 23, 2002, just a few days before the gruesome carnage that devastated all of Gulberg society. Even the latest issue of the Caravan, says, inter alia (emphasis mine):

A witness who survived the carnage later told a court that Jafri even called Narendra Modi: “When I asked him what Modi said, [Jafri] said there was no question of help, instead he got abuses.” Word of Jafri’s frantic calls for help even reached Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani in Delhi: a BJP insider close to Modi, who was with Advani on 28 February, told me that the BJP leader had even called Modi’s office himself to ask about Jafri....

To this day, Modi maintains that he had no knowledge of the events at Gulburg Society until he was briefed by police officers later that evening. But Sanjiv Bhatt, who was then the state deputy commissioner (Intelligence), says that Modi is lying. (Modi and his administration have vigorously contested Bhatt’s account, as well as the testimony given by several other police and government officials.) Bhatt insists that Modi, who also served as home minister, was in regular contact with the senior police and intelligence leadership throughout the day, and well-informed of events on the ground. Bhatt told me that he spoke with Modi over the phone several times before 2 pm, and reported that a mob had circled Gulburg, and that he met Modi at his office in the afternoon to report that the situation demanded immediate intervention.

“His response was very strange,” Bhatt told me. “He listened and then said, ‘Sanjiv, try to find out if in the past Jafri has been in the habit of opening fire.’”

“Outside the chief minister’s office, in the corridor, I bumped into the former chief minister Amarsinh Choudhary and former home minister Naresh Rawal,” Bhatt continued, referring to two Congress leaders. “Naresh Rawal was my minister earlier, so we talked. They told me Gulburg Ehsanbhai has been giving frantic calls, and they came to meet Modi. I said I had briefed the CM, but you also go and tell him,” Bhatt told me.

“I then got a call on my cellphone from my informer on the site at Gulburg,” Bhatt continued, “telling me that Jafri had opened fire. I was surprised. And when I reached my office, a short report was laying on the table saying Jafri opened fire in self-defence. That was when I realised that this man [Modi] knows things even before I came to know of things.”

Amarsinh Choudhary has independently confirmed this account on more than one occasion. On telephone records -- which records were destroyed and why still remains a question for investigation.

Sanjiv Bhatt is quoted as saying the same again in the Hindu of Feb 25.

Question #10 -  Did your government slap the Official Secrets Act against whistleblower cop Rahul Sharma because he passed on explosive phone data records to the Nanavati Commission which showed that rioters were in touch with policemen and politicians?

Offstumped Rejoinder – Let us leave the slapping of OSA to the Commission Report to settle.

On the phone records – let us not forget that the said records have never been authenticated at source. CJPOnline’s website that carries PDF files of Individual Phone Records and Time-Location graphs clearly shows these are not original network records (GSM CDRs – Call Detail Records) but carefully constructed post-facto analyses by a 3rd party with no reference to the original data. In the absence of “source authentication” not much credibility can be attached to them. Even if we give 100% benefit of doubt to the authenticity of the records, we once again make the mistake of confusing correlation with causation. The fact that X called Y establishes nothing beyond X called Y. This smacks of classic conspiracy theory mongering.

SD responds. This is nice. First say no phone call records exist (because they have been, surprise surprise, destroyed). And then, as in above, even if there were a phone call showing a call record even showing a direct call from, say, Mr Jafri to Mr Modi, the answer would be that all we know is that the call took place, nothing more! Why even bother going through this charade of honestly addressing questions, when answer to video-taped "boasts" (confessions?) is that they are inadmissible as evidence?

#11 – The vindictiveness seems to have a pattern, considering the SC’s recent strictures against your government for initiating criminal proceedings against social activist Teesta Setalvad (allegedly for her role in the illegal exhumation of bodies of 2002 riot victims)?

Offstumped Rejoinder: Are you also accusing the honorable Supreme Court Justices of being complicit in what you call a “pattern of vindictiveness” when you reference the recent instance, for this is what media reports attributed to the bench:

“This case is hundred per cent spurious. In other cases against the petitioner, there may be something,” said a bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Desai”

SD responds: No. In fact, if you read carefully, I am not even giving any certificate to this petitioner or indeed even Mr Bhatt. My point is limited to the vindictiveness against them. You could of course go back to Mr Modi's invocation of the "chain of action and reaction" in vindictiveness.

Question #12 – Isn’t this also why a 21-year-old custodial death case allegedly involving Sanjiv Bhatt was resurrected and suspension orders issued against him?

Offstumped Rejoinder: One doesn’t need to see Mr. Bhatt’s from the 2002 prism. A simple google archive search of stories on Mr. Bhatt prior to 2002 will reveal his dubious record. As an example here is the case in Rajasthan High Court from April 2000 against Mr. Bhatt. Here is what the NHRC had to say of that case against Mr. Bhatt

The NHRC also, in its report in September 2010 considered it a case of “serious human rights violation” in view of the fact that the provisions under which Mr. Rajpurohit was falsely implicated could have fetched him 10 years of imprisonment”

SD responds: Not my intention to provide a character certificate to Mr Bhatt. But it does seem pertinent to me that the case against was reopened after 21 years. That's all. Sure, you could argue that it is not for Mr Modi to answer, that it is routine Police matter, blah, yada, blah.

Question #13 – It is alleged that compliant police officers during the 2002 riots were promoted and those who steadfastly did their duty were sidelined or persecuted. Many such cases have been widely documented and also brought to your attention. What action have you taken in this regard

Offstumped Rejoinder: This is a sweeping generalization. We can’t just go on and on with every disgruntled state employee and link their grouses back to 2002. There is no end or meaning to such an exercise.

SD responds: There is a pattern. You need not even go into extensive analysis of various such cases. Just go through the names that crop up in the 71 Questions that the SIT posed to Mr Modi. Of course it suits you to dismiss that pattern as a 'sweeping generalization', just as you conveniently want to dismiss any uncomfortable question as "conspiracy theory mongering" because the truth is inconvenient. For those interested, a short concise summary of the cases of Sanjiv Bhatt, R.B. Sreekumar, Kuldip Sharma, Rahul Sharma, Rajnish Rai can be read in the latest issue of the Frontline: Standing up to the state: Police officers who have stood up for the truth are made to pay for it. 

But then of course Mr Modi and his cheerleaders are convinced that all of the English media is in a giant conspiracy against poor, innocent, Sadbhavana-filled Mr Modi

#14 – You denied to the SIT that your ministers were involved in leading any of the violent mobs, but what action did you take when the alleged involvement of people like Bharat Barot, Mayaben Kodnani, Nitinbhai Patel and Narayan Lallu Patel was officially brought to your attention?

Offstumped Rejoinder: It is pertinent to point out  Mayaben Kodnani was not a Minister in 2002 but a local MLA. Between 2002 and 2007 there are several news reports that describe her as a rebel BJP MLA in the anti-Modi Keshubhai faction. Nevertheless Ms. Kodnani is on trial. Let the courts settle her fate.

There is no case against Nitinbhai Patel, no specific accusations beyond the odd story of Muslims voting en-bloc against him in 2002 due to his “alleged” role.

The Special Court on the Sardarpura Riot case had rejected witness statements on Narayan Lalu has being inconsistent while delivering 31 Life sentences. Strangely this story was carried by OutlookIndia on Nov 10th 2011

“While holding that there was no conspiracy behind the killings, the judgement said there are discrepancies in the versions of the witnesses on this point.

One of the witnesses claimed that former Godhra MLA Haresh Bhatt and BJP MLA Narayan Lalu had held a meeting in the village 20-25 days before the incident and distributed weapons, while another claimed that this meeting took place on February 27, 2002.

The court noted that even the investigating officer had rejected the contention that any such meeting had taken place.

The version of Basirabibi Shaikh, a witness, with regard to the alleged conspiracy did not corroborate complainant’s version, the judgement says.”

SD responds: It was not being suggested that Mayaben Kodnani was a minister, but it is possible that's the impression you got. Nor was it being suggested what the courts may have already ruled or rule in future on these people against whom serious allegations have been documented. What was being asked, and remains as a question, is what action, if any, Mr Modi took when allegations of having participated in riots and leading mobs were brought to his attention. 

Question #16 – What action, if any, did you take after Tehelka’s Operation Kalank in which the likes of Haresh Bhatt, Babu Bajrangi and Rajendra Vyas, while narrating their ‘exploits’, implicated you and your administration?

Offstumped Rejoinder: You cant be serious ! Even the SIT and courts have rejected the Sting’s admissibility as evidence in a Trial.

SD responds. I am very serious indeed and am appalled that only because something cannot be admissible as evidence in a court, the CM and his wide-eyed cheerleaders would want the world to just forget all about what the various protagonists themselves "boast" of having done. By the same reckoning, after going on bleating about how no direct evidence exists to implicate the CM in the riots, it would seem that even if Mr Modi was on videotape, his supporters would go on chanting that it is not admissible in a Trial.  It is not just about legalities.

Question #17 – Why was no action taken or inquiry held against officers of the executive magistracy, particularly the DMs who failed to initiate prompt action against the rioters, especially from Feb 27-Mar 4, ’02?

Offstumped Rejoinder: This is a sweeping generalization. A perusal of all the news reports from 28th Feb 2002 will show a mixed picture of action taken yet a scale of violence that clearly overwhelmed the system. The Srikrishna Commission Report on 1993 riots had come up with specific recommendations for action against negligent officers. Let us give the Nanavati Commission report the same opportunity and wait to see what it has to say of specific instances of delinquency, negligence or willful inaction.

SD responds: Lovely. I am touched by your strict adherence to the bureaucratic jargon that would do the dialogue-writers of Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister proud.

Question #18 – You denied recommending pro-BJP/VHP advocates for appointment as public prosecutors. Then why was no action taken or inquiry conducted against the DMs who made such biased selections?

Offstumped Rejoinder: Let us give the Nanavati Commission report the opportunity and wait to see what it has to say of specific instances of bias.

SD responds: Ten years later, the "super competent" chief minister who loves to boast of "efficiency" and having brought the riots to an end in 72 hours and having played fair in running his administration has not acted or even made any enquiries on his own, but his apologists say he would go by a Commission report that is awaited.

Question #19 – You often boast that you do not discriminate on grounds of religion. On Sept 9, ’02, as part of your gaurav yatra, you made a speech in which you equated the Muslim relief camps with child-producing centres and used crudities like “Hum paanch, hamaare pachees”. Are you proud of such remarks?

Offstumped Rejoinder: Remarks taken out of context can sound crude and despicable. Let us not forget what followed those remarks. The Independent People’s Tribunal of Justices Suresh, Krishna Iyer et. al in its Report (Part 1, Page 266) carried an english translation of the audio recording of that speech via NDTV/Indian Express. Here is what followed:

Who will benefit from this development? Is family planning not necessary in Gujarat? Where does religion come in its way? Where does community come in its way? .The population is rising in Gujarat, money isn.t reaching the poor? What.s the reason? They make a beeline, fix cycle punctures (Audience laughs). If Gujarat is to be developed, then an economic system has to be developed where every child born in Gujarat gets education, manners and employment.”

Where is the question of bias or discrimination when Mr. Modi speaks of an economic vision for Gujarat where every child gets education and opportunity?

This is not spin from 2008 this is his much maligned election speech of 2002 !

Sir, may I submit that the context is provided in his own words, as he was under fire for not doing his raj-dharma and for there not being proper relief camps for the victims of the carnage and there had been criticism of allocation of Rs 8 crores to Becharaji:

So what should we do? Do we go and run relief camps? Should we open child producing centres?

We want to firmly implement family planning. Hum paanch, humare pachees (We five, our 25) (laughs). Who will benefit from this development? Is family planning not necessary in Gujarat? Where does religion come in its way? Where does community come in its way?

Read it in any context, read the whole speech again and I leave it for readers to decide whether it is something to be proud of or "crude and despicable" 

Question #20 – It took the Gujarat HC to finally issue a contempt notice against your government for failing to compensate those whose shops were burnt down in the riots? Where was your ‘sadbhavana’ during the last 10 years?

Offstumped Rejoinder: It is pertinent to point out the contempt notice was issued to a District Collector and not to the Chief Minister’s Office, Cabinet or Cabinet Secretary. In an era where even the Prime Minister gets to distance himself from his own Office on Court strictures, to describe contempt notice against one District Collector as a “contempt notice against an entire State Government” is frankly bizarre.

SD response: Nice. So now the PM (who is otherwise rightly under attack for abdication of responsibility) is going to be the standard. It is this kind of petty defence using technicalities which shows the CM and his supporters to be what they are as against what they pompously pretend to be otherwise.

And while this is now, let's also remember what Atal Behari Vajpayee himself wrote to Narendra Modi in 2002 itself:

The letter, obtained through an RTI application, shows that a PM who seldom relied on detailed correspondence with CMs had thought it necessary to interfere in the affairs of Gujarat. Its tenor makes it clear that Vajpayee was concerned if enough was being done for relief and if a sense of assurance and security was being really conveyed to those who had fled and taken shelter in makeshift camps.

Question #21 – The Gujarat HC also had to order the various authorities under your administration to pay for the restoration of the hundreds of religious structures destroyed. Why did the situation come to this?

Offstumped Rejoinder: There is a legitimate Constitutional question on this on tax payer money being spent on religious structures. Let the Supreme Court appeal be settled. After all no compensation was paid for structures that were damaged or destroyed in the 2001 earthquake or during the terror attack on the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar in 2003.

SD responds: So now after the HC order, is the state government challenging it in the SC? I ask out of curiosity.

Question #22 – What is your take on the high court blaming the 2002 riots on the “negligence of the state”?

Offstumped Rejoinder: The Srikrishna Commission Report on 1993 riots brilliantly highlighted how underlying the autopsy of every riot is a story of decades of systemic reform not undertaken. The High Court’s comments must be seen in this light.

The Truth of 2002 that thousands died is undeniable. The Truth of 2002 also is that the scale of violence overwhelmed a rickety Law and Order infrastructure in a manner no different from every other major riot in India.

Often we make the mistake of judging Governments from the perspective of events. Our public memory is short and our attention span limited to narrow episodes. We take Institution Building for granted. We grossly understate the effort it takes to build an Institution. We routinely overstate the lack of systemic reforms. Most often than not, we are too lazy to appreciate the considerable span of time it takes for meaningful systemic reforms to take root.

The decade of peace in Gujarat is the outcome of a decade of investment in making sure the Law and Order Infrastructure works all the time, every time.

It is with this decade long time span as the yardstick that we must judge the Governance in Gujarat and its Chief Minister Narendra Modi and not through the narrow prism of a single episodic event barely six months in to his first ever political office and 10 days after he won his first ever election.

On May 4th 2006 the Indian Express carried an interesting story out of Vadodara titled “Gujarat of 2006 versus Gujarat 2002”. The thrust of the story was on the Congress’ political response to events of the day but the story grudgingly acknowledged what had changed between 2002 and 2006. To enumerate that change may be in order as we mark the 10th anniversary of the 2002 riots....

SD responds: So either we dismiss everything as a giant conspiracy against the poor CM or  hide behind technicalities or start quoting from a press report about something totally unrelated that happened in 2006. On his part, the CM goes around boasting that no court has ordered or said anything against him. A similar "defence" is employed as a whine by those who defend the 1984 riots or Bofors or anything else that one charges them with. Some 28 years after the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, the charge continues to be levelled against Mr Kamal Nath, a senior minister in the current central cabinet, and his defence also is that he has not been named in a court of law in India, leave alone those like Mr Jagdish Tytler who was finally denied a ticket because a journalist made bold to throw a shoe at him to lodge his protest at the Congress party. Ironically, much as I agree with the diagnosis of institutional collapse, it is rich to see it employed in the defence of Mr Modi's shenanigans. That the Gujarat (or even central) Congress or other parties are worse, or have been complicit, is beside the point. How the law and order infrastructure has been subverted in Gujarat under Mr Modi's watch is clear from the how his administration has treated the police officers who dared to do their duty.

POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Feb 27, 2012 AT 03:10 IST ,  Edited At: Feb 27, 2012 03:10 IST
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Daily Mail
Digression
79/D-110
Jul 11, 2013
06:00 PM

Modi360,

You are barking up the wrong tree. If Modi is to visit the US, he will do so at the US Govt's invitation or not at all.

Bonita
Chennai, India
78/D-109
Jul 11, 2013
05:46 PM

We have launched a petition to request President Obama to reconsider US Administration’s stand on Mr. Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of the State of Gujarat, India. Please visit MODI360.COM to review and sign this petition.

modi360
Mountain View, United States
77/D-117
Mar 04, 2012
09:18 PM

Whatever you say, the fact is if riots wouldn't have happened people would have forgotten godhra massacre like we forgot atrocities on hindus in Kashmir, terrorist attacks on temples and during hindu festivals. 

Abhianv
lucknow, India
76/D-125
Mar 03, 2012
08:20 PM
Comment removed for violation of Website Policy
The Irreverent Indian
Online, India
74/D-42
Mar 03, 2012
08:33 AM
Comment removed for violation of Website Policy
Anwaar
Dallas, United States
Order by
11/D-73
Feb 28, 2012
12:35 PM

A poem by late Harivansh Rai Bachchan dedicated to the best leader country has seen:

Vriksh hon bhale khade,
Ho bade, ho ghane,
Ek Patra chhah bhi,
Maang mat, Maang mat, Maang mat.
Agneepath! Agneepath! Agneepath!

Tu na jhukega kabhi,
Tu na mudega kabhi,
Tu na thamega kabhi,
Kar shapath, Kar shapath, Kar shapath.
Agneepath! Agneepath! Agneepath!

Ye Mahaan Drushya Hai,
Chal Raha Manushya Hai,
Ashru, Shwed, Rakta Se,
Lathpath, Lathpath, Lathpath.
Agneepath! Agneepath! Agneepath!

Brilliant Babloo
BablooLand, India
12/D-87
Feb 28, 2012
01:45 PM

How the law and order infrastructure has been subverted in Gujarat under Mr Modi's watch is clear from the how his administration has treated the police officers who dared to do their duty."S Duggal

Here is the example what is happening since ages when even Modi was not on the scene and varipous Govts specially the Congress who has been the Ruler since majority of the period did not embark on Police Reforms .Police Office has its own fixed thought process irrespective of whether Congress,BJP or any other Party are the Ruler.

I saw it in 1969 Riots in Ahmadabad,a few Riots in UP ,Mumbai Riots post Babri etc.

And there were and are no signs then and now that Police Forces in India have shown any sign of changing its anti-Muslim bias .Nor any Political Party has the courage or the Will to remove the per-conceived images and prejudices against Muslims specially Muslims.Police Forces of Delhi ,Punjab and other States operated with the same mindset during 1984 Sikh Massacre and Punjab Insurgency .

But still Modi Govt was able to get one Hindu rioter killed against Two Muslims killed where as no such action is ever known to have been taken eithe rby the Congress or other Secular Sarkars during riots and post riots against the culprits and the Police.The way the Govts have been taking action in Sri Kirshna Report is the example .BJP- Sena Govt did not take any action is understandable what the Congress Govt is doing for so many years on it ?

Have a Look upon Mr Rai's report about the mind set of the Indian Police Force which remains unchanged till this day nor effeorts are being made to change it .

Why the Congress which ruled India majority of the Period post Independence failed to move a single finger to change the mindset of Policemen in India ??

Modi may or may not be able to get clean chit from various Courts .But where is the assurance and hope that in future Riots the Indian Police Forces will operate impartially ??

The Report :

" Handling communal riots

VIBHUTI NARAIN RAI


I was stunned to discover that in most major communal riots in the country, Muslims were the worst sufferers, both in terms of loss of life and property. Often, the percentage of Muslim casualties was more than 60% of the total. Their losses in terms of property were in similar proportion. Given these facts, it is not unnatural to expect that the law enforcing agencies would react in a manner commensurate with this reality.

Unfortunately, the real picture is quite different. Even in riots where the number of Muslims killed was many times more than the Hindus, it was they who were mainly arrested, most searches were conducted in their houses, and curfew imposed in a harsher manner in their localities. This observation holds good for even those riots where almost all killed were Muslims, e.g., Ahmedabad (1969), Bhiwandi (1970) or Bhagalpur (1989). This phenomenon can be better understood through the accompanying table.'

www.india-seminar.com/1999/483/483%20rai.htm

OutLook or the Media can go on hammering Modi as much as they can but there is no salvation for the Muslims in future Riots too which will surely happen with the increasing Number of Terror incidents in India .Terrorism is bound to rise in India once Afganistan falls to Talibans post withdrwal of USA next year .Next stop will be India via Kashmir .

Meanwhile till India has a small -very small window left to retrain and re-educate its Police Forces so that we can meet the future challenges effectively The first step is to change mindset of Indian Police is to remove dust on the retired DG of  BSF Prakash Singh's Report on Police Reforms submitted many years back .

Till Police Forces are freed from the clutches of the Politiicans nothing will happen .

Now we are discussing Gujarat soon we will be discussing in future Riots in other States too .

a k ghai
mumbai, India
13/D-89
Feb 28, 2012
01:49 PM

So only Modi ? Why not others ? And what is the Action Plan for meeting Future Riots ??

a k ghai
mumbai, India
19/D-104
Feb 28, 2012
03:13 PM

" SEVEN STEPS TO POLICE REFORM


1. Introduction
The need for police reforms in India is long recognised. There has been almost three decades
of discussion by government created committees and commissions. Way back in 1979 the
National Police Commission (NPC) was set up to report on policing and give recommendations
for reform. The Commission produced eight reports, dozens of topic specific
recommendations and also a Model Police Act.
None of the major recommendations were adopted by any government. This persuaded two
former Director General’s of Police (DGPs) in 1996 to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in
the Supreme Court asking the Court to direct governments to implement the NPC
recommendations. In the course of the 10 year long case, in 1998 the Court set up the
Ribeiro Committee which handed in its reports in 1999. This was followed by the
Padmanabhaiah Committee report in 2000 and eventually the Police Act Drafting Committee
(PADC or Soli Sorabjee Committee) that drafted a new model police bill to replace the
colonial 1861 Police Act. Meanwhile very little was ever done on the ground to improve
policing or implement recommendations put forth by any of these committees or
commissions.
It was only a decade later in 2006 that the Court delivered its verdict. In what is popularly
referred to as the Prakash Singh case the Supreme Court ordered that reform must take
place. The states and union territories were directed to comply with seven binding directives
that would kick start reform. These directives pulled together the various strands of
improvement generated since 1979. The Court required immediate implementation of its
orders either through executive orders or new police legislation

www.humanrightsinitiative.org/programs/aj/police/india/initiatives/seven_steps_to_police_reform.pdf

2 States of Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand
& Meghalaya have passed new police legislations. Kerala and Gujarat have passed Amendment Acts.
3Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have tabled their drafts in the assembly. Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and
West Bengal have their drafts ready, though some are not in the public domain.
4 Orissa and Uttar Pradesh have set up committees for drafting new legislations but have not produced a draft.'

All said and done unless and until the Police Forces are freed from the grip of the Politicians no worth while change in the outlook of Police will be effected as their Transfers,Promotions and careers lie at the mercy of the Politicians.Unfortunately even the Prakash Singh Report is also silent on this vital aspect .Anna and his Team did try to free Polic efrom clutches of the Politicians in their Draft LokPal Bill but they too were hooted down by the Govt, all the Politicians ably supported by Secular Brigades at large.

a k ghai
mumbai, India
23/D-109
Feb 28, 2012
04:00 PM

>>SD response: Nice. So now the PM (who is otherwise rightly under attack for abdication of responsibility) is going to be the standard.

Really? We have editors (same ones who would be asking 25 questions to Modi) defending the PM saying even the SC has taken note of difficulties in running coalition governments and hence not directly named PM. Anyway, I will believe you only if after 10 years you ask the MMS 25 questions each on the 2G scam, CWG scam, Devas-Antrix deal, subversion of democratic institutions (CVC, EC, CBI, Governors) attack non-violent sleeping civilians, systematic attack on freedom of expression (censoring of Facebook and Google) systematic humiliation of other institutional heads (Army General and ISRO Scientists).
 

RSM
Delhi, India
26/D-146
Feb 28, 2012
10:21 PM

>> But it does seem pertinent to me that the case against was reopened after 21 years.

What is the confusion here? Of course he is being targeted. Is it really wrong?

If it is, then UPA targeting members of Team Anna and Baba Ramdev is also wrong. People who have the honesty to criticize both shall earn the respect of the readers. Those who can't, can be labeled, in the words of the resident jehadi here, "stuck pigs".

Moderator's Note: On the targetting of Team Anna and Baba Ramdev, please see here and here and also here - there is plenty more if you look on the site, on these two and also on Nandigram. But we cannot go around derailing each conversation about Gujarat with digressions.

Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
27/D-148
Feb 28, 2012
10:35 PM

>> I am very serious indeed and am appalled that only because something cannot be admissible as evidence in a court

Are you appalled? Are you also appalled that two of your colleagues have totally forgotten Nandigram? It doesn't even figure in a list of riots they have created, and despite multiple requests, they have failed to answer as to why it is missing from the list. If you are indeed appalled, can you please ask them as to why an area, which armed Commie cadres "liberated", leading to large scale deaths, torture and destruction, doesn't even deserve a place in the list?

And are you also appalled that goons who led the rioters in killing hundreds of innocents in 84, were rewarded with ministries, and have never paid any price for their actions? Are you also appalled, that the man who presided over the biggest and most violent genocide (apart from Kashmir) in independent India, has been awarded the Bharat Ratna, and has huge number of schemes, institutions and awards named after him?

Do these appall you as much? Or does your heart, overflowing with concerns for the poor victims, suddenly dry up when you talk of Delhi instead of Gujarat? Does your fiercely burning desire for justice, suddenly extinguish, when the villain is Doon school educated, fair, good looking Rajiv, instead of the rustic Modi?

Moderator's Note:

A discussion on 1984, Nandigram etc should be taken to the relevant areas.

Please use the search function or browse the topics from the alphabetical list at the bottom of each page.

For Delhi, you could scroll down to our coverage of the so-called Action Taken Report on Aug 8, 2005:

On Aug 8, 2005:

And on Aug 10:

Mr Rajiv Gandhi was already dead, and on Aug 11 PM Manmohan Singh apologised in Parliament:

However proforma or weak the apology might have been (but there is at least some expression of sincere remorse, however belated -- and since it came 21 years later, perhaps the BJP also would like to take 10 more years, with its own Muslim PM?), the quest for justice continues, as does as and when occasion demands:

Please click here for full coverage of 1984. 

Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
32/D-25
Feb 29, 2012
03:41 AM

>> A discussion on 1984, Nandigram etc should be taken to the relevant areas.

No. It was not a discussion on 84 or Nandigram, but on the overall tendency of the sickular class (not necessarily including SD, but most others Outlook columnists for sure), to feign indignant over Gujarat, but gloss over other similar genocides. I do agree though, that Digressions is a better place for these comments.

Back to the links you cited, you seem to set great store by MMS's "apology" 21 years after the incident (when he was forced to accept Tytler's resignation). Well, what about Vajpayee's repeated statements labeling them a shame? If his statements don't absolve Modi, why should MMS's statements absolve Rajiv?

And in the great traditions of the Congress durbar, most of your articles are focused on the minions, the Chamcha crowd of the Congress, the fall guys. My point was specifically about your thoughts and emotions about the chief architect and justifier of the 84 genocide, whom the Congress honored with Bharat Ratna. How many articles has Outlook published that blames him for orchestrating the genocide? Someone is claiming that Modi wanted 3 Muslims dead for every Hindu. What is Outlook's ration? How many articles against Rajiv to articles against Modi?

Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
49/D-33
Mar 01, 2012
05:51 AM

Whats Inaname, I accidentally found your comments yesterday and was most surprised. I wanted to take some time to think. I still think the same. So let me say it as I feel. On this I will have to be on the side of SD. You asked for 1984, they showed you 1984. You asked for Prashant Bhushan and Baba Ramdev, they showed you that. After that you seem to be desperately clutching at straws. Rajiv Gandhi, (as it had to be pointed out!!) is long dead. You could complain if he was the PM and was not asked questions. And while Congress is guilty as hell in 1984, at least it does not go around demonising the sikhs. Or saying that they should all go to Pakistan. Or claim that their ancestors are Hindu. Or that they breed in child-producing factories.

What sort of a man is Modi. Here people have been driven out of their homes, their women raped, their children roasted, and he is talking the sort of inhuman language that even barbaric medievalists would feel ashamed about. It is not just inhuman, it is demonic. No, even demons take pity on the helpless and suffering, victimised for no fault of their own.

You say Vajpayee apologised. No, he did not. And he did not even stand by his wish to sack Modi and talked utter nonsense in Goa about who started the fire. Does Modi even have an iota of humanity? How many victims has he visited? His ministers? BJP wallas?

Modi's recently launched sadbhavana is as cultivated. No compassion for victims, only looking for getting reelected on development. He will get re-elected but he will still have to answer questions of the kind that SD has raised. SD has been very polite to my mind. The likes of offstumped with their apologia for Modi only deserve contempt and I am surprised at SD's patience with him.

The basic difference between Gandhi and Modi is that Gandhi after the riots went around visiting the victims, praying at gurudwaras and did peace accords with the Sikhs, though the Sikhs did not forgive him easily. It took some time but now the Sikhs by and large do not seem to hold Sonia or others responsible for the killings.

The reason Modi gets asked all these questions is because he is remorseless and arrogant as are his partymen and other supporters who start questioning media about 1984 when asked about Gujarat. In fact it is the response from people like offfstumped which Modi's machinery is now spamming on email -I got FIVE copies of that pathetic response from offstumped in my mailbox - that makes me convinced about Modi's guilt.

You want to ask questions about Rajeev Gandhi? Ask away. About Nandigram. Ask away. But don't bring it up when a murderer is being asked to account for his pathetic little arrogant boasts. I agree that if they had punished the guilty in 1984, we would not have had 1992, or 2002, but then why just stop at '84? Why not go back all the way back to not just partition or invasions but also the very beginning of evolution.

Outlook, please stop morons such as Ghai and assorted hate mongerers from posting their filth day in and day out.

Ajit Tendulkar
Seattle, United States
50/D-49
Mar 01, 2012
08:38 AM

>> Whats Inaname, I accidentally found your comments yesterday

Which is the bad thing about the "Digressions" tab.

>> On this I will have to be on the side of SD. You asked for 1984, they showed you 1984. You asked for Prashant Bhushan and Baba Ramdev, they showed you that.

You probably missed the post where I acknowledged it, and said that people who can speak equally about targeting of both Bhat and Team Anna members have my respect.

I never suggested that Bhat was not being targeted. My only point was that lot of people who whine about Gujarat govt targeting Bhat, applaud when UPA does the same to its political opponents.

>> After that you seem to be desperately clutching at straws. Rajiv Gandhi, (as it had to be pointed out!!) is long dead. You could complain if he was the PM and was not asked questions.

Rajiv may be long dead, but his name and political legacy are very much alive. Even Godse is long dead. His name is habitually brought up by sickos to target BJP, even though he was not associated with it.

Going back to Rajiv, consider the following
1. The current Congress leadership is his family, claiming his political legacy and inheritance. In fact, since Sonia (and later her progeny) joined politics, it's all been about her being Rajiv's widow, etc.
2. The current govt removed his plaque from Cellular jail (overturning a decision of the previous govt, something which is almost never done). Sonia, if I recall correctly, also skipped the unveiling of his portrait in parliament. This, when he was duly cleared of the conspiracy charge.
3. The same govt has no compunction in naming schemes, institutions and awards after him, when he was the chief architect of the greatest massacre.

You might believe or pretend that his death has absolved the Congress and all "sickulars" of talking about that chapter, and his role in it. I don't.

>> And while Congress is guilty as hell in 1984, at least it does not go around demonising the sikhs. Or saying that they should all go to Pakistan. Or claim that their ancestors are Hindu. Or that they breed in child-producing factories.

Congress did some of those things, but yes, for a short period, and long back. BJP/RSS/VHP can certainly be given hell for this.

>> What sort of a man is Modi. Here people have been driven out of their homes, their women raped, their children roasted, and he is talking the sort of inhuman language that even barbaric medievalists would feel ashamed about. It is not just inhuman, it is demonic. No, even demons take pity on the helpless and suffering, victimised for no fault of their own.

Okay. Get off your soapbox. I agree with you on most of the points, except that even demons take pity. I've been fortunate that I haven't witnessed these experiences first hand much. My only little exposure was during 84, when I was quite young, and most of the info I heard was second or third hand (or more). However, there was no sense of remorse. Rather, a quiet kind of justification, and at times, even jubilation. I guess the situation in Gujarat was probably worse (based on interaction with few Gujjus I know. So very inexact, but, that's how one usually forms his/her opinion).

However, the point you are confused about it that you probably think I am defending Modi. Let me clarify. Talking about 84 is not a defense of Modi, but an attack on sickos.

>> You say Vajpayee apologised. No, he did not.

Actually, he said it multiple times that it was shameful, which is what I had written.

>> And he did not even stand by his wish to sack Modi and talked utter nonsense in Goa about who started the fire.

And even MMS lied about RSS being behind 84. But you choose to ignore that, and go only with his apology. For Vajpayee, you choose to ignore his other statements, and focus on his Goa statement, and failure to sack Modi (which BTW, would have been anti-democratic).

Has MMS withdrawn the Bharat Ratna conferred on Rajiv? Has he said that India can not have awards, schemes and institutions based on the modern day Dyer? Wouldn't that be more equivalent to Vajpayee sacking Modi?

>> Does Modi even have an iota of humanity? How many victims has he visited? His ministers? BJP wallas?

See above for my comments about attack on sickos instead of a defense of Modi.

>> Modi's recently launched sadbhavana is as cultivated. No compassion for victims, only looking for getting reelected on development. He will get re-elected but he will still have to answer questions of the kind that SD has raised.

If he has to answer questions that others never had to answer, it shows a weakness of our society.

>> The basic difference between Gandhi and Modi is that Gandhi after the riots went around visiting the victims, praying at gurudwaras and did peace accords with the Sikhs, though the Sikhs did not forgive him easily. It took some time but now the Sikhs by and large do not seem to hold Sonia or others responsible for the killings.

This is fair. But Rajiv was never vilified. Not even a tiny fraction of Modi. He too was a modern day Nero (or worse), but was never called so. I'm not sure he would have been able to do all that, if he was hounded the way Modi is, but that shall remain in the realms of conjecture.

>> The reason Modi gets asked all these questions is because he is remorseless and arrogant as are his partymen and other supporters who start questioning media about 1984 when asked about Gujarat.

See above.

>> You want to ask questions about Rajeev Gandhi? Ask away. About Nandigram. Ask away. But don't bring it up when a murderer is being asked to account for his pathetic little arrogant boasts. I agree that if they had punished the guilty in 1984, we would not have had 1992, or 2002,

I think I have repeated myself enough, but just to answer the above; one last time. The query about Nandigram was more of a query. As to why it was missing from the list. I didn't bring Deganga for this reason.

And personally, I have little interest in bringing up 84. Nor do I care about Modi. I wouldn't lose a minute of my sleep, if he was sacked/ convicted/hanged. I do have the following issues though

1. Criticize him all you want. But even he deserves to be considered innocent till proven guilty.
2. I have been asked as to why I don't extend the same principle to Rajiv, whom I frequently describe as mass murderer, etc. That's a fair point, and I don't consider him guilty, since he was never convicted. I do it more to needle the crowd that I despise.
3. Do remember though, that forget about SITs and trials, and court monitored investigations, he was never even charged and hardly criticized. Leaders who led the mobs were rewarded with ministerial portfolios, and saved from prosecution.
4. People who have built careers around demonizing Modi ritually roll around on the pavement outside 10 Janpath like dogs, treating the family that swears by his name as gods.

>> but then why just stop at '84? Why not go back all the way back to not just partition or invasions but also the very beginning of evolution.

Because in my memory at least, 84 was the first state sponsored pogrom, and the only one I witnessed first hand (though fortunately, on a very very minor scale). Plus, this is what Gujarat compares most closely to. A tense situation, a trigger, a state sponsored genocide followed by re-election of the incumbent leader. The differences are that Modi turned out to be an efficient administrator, while Rajiv was a lousy one. And of course, Modi is being demonized, while Rajiv was feted.

Been a really long post. Hope the moderators shall not just delete it.

Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
52/D-72
Mar 01, 2012
10:23 AM

 Ajit,

I did read Kafila's comment on Shashi Shekhar and found it entirely in keeping with its character - stupid. Shashi doesn't rely much on newsreports and allegation, a stock in trade for the Gujarat cottage industry. Besides he is quite an expert on electoral politics and his constituency level data is a treat to read. It's a pity that after a thorough examination by the SIT and numberless courts and cases, nothing yet has emerged to implicate Modi in any way.

In the meanwhile we have seen a very heartless slander industry that to this day hasn't uttered a peep about independent India's worst case of communal violence and the most successful case of ethnic cleansing of our time anywhere in the world. I am referring to the slaughter and removal of Kashmiri Pandits from their home and hearth in the Kashmir Valley 20 years ago. It was a hard expulsion where blood curdling calls for buthering the Pandit was issued from masjids. There are any number of cases of blood curdling violence. There is the nurse who was raped by four beasts and then cut up piece by piece at a saw mill. There was the man who was forced to watch hisdaughter raped and then his son chopped to pieces and then to be nailed with a chisel to his mantel as his women watched. Not one NGO has to date as much as acknowledged this horrendous act of violence by jihadi thugs against a minority. After 5 lakh Pandits were eased out through discrimination from the Valley over decades till 1991, the jihadi thugs ran amok finally to achieve their quest for Lebensraum driving out the remnant 4 lakh. Every time people even on this magazine write their pen writes 1984 and then magically jumps to 2002. This is denialism most vile and filthy. Modi called the Army within 24 hours. FYI Qutbuddin Ansari was saved by the Rapid Action Force, that's why he is alive today and settled in Ahmedabad. Whereas Kashmiri Pandit homes have been vandalised ot encroached uipon, temples destroyed, and their property looted. The Ethnic Cleansing of the Kashmiri Pandits is the only case in independent India when a community has been butchered and then driven out of its land and left to rot in filth. So stand up and shed your blinkers and stop speaking up for tendentious hacks.

d.anjaneyulu
chennai, India
56/D-84
Mar 01, 2012
11:29 AM

Anjaneulu,

>> The Ethnic Cleansing of the Kashmiri Pandits is the only case in independent India when a community has been butchered.

Since 1989, 219 Kashmiri Pandits and over 50,000 Kashmiri Muslims have been killed. In the Gujarat massacre, over 1000 Mulims and about 300 Hindus were killed.

Anwaar
Dallas, United States
57/D-88
Mar 01, 2012
11:36 AM

>> "Since 1989, 219 Kashmiri Pandits and over 50,000 Kashmiri Muslims have been killed." - Anwaar

:-)

The Irreverent Indian
Online, India
62/D-113
Mar 01, 2012
02:20 PM

>> Since 1989, 219 Kashmiri Pandits and over 50,000 Kashmiri Muslims have been killed. In the Gujarat massacre, over 1000 Mulims and about 300 Hindus were killed.

In fact, the ethnic cleansing of Pandits from Kashmir Valley, despite the fact that it did not amount to killing them en masse, would come closer to the definition of genocide than what happened in Gujarat. It involved targeting the entire Pandit population in the valley and hence was a crime against the whole community.

www.firstpost.com/india/gujarat-2002-shall-we-go-easy-on-the-g-word-please-227506.html

Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
65/D-157
Mar 01, 2012
10:19 PM

 Manish,

The only reason why Kolkata hasn't become Islampur or Ghazibad after the Great Massacre of Direct Action Day, 1942, is those mustachioed Petes from Nagpur and their friends the Hindu Mahasabha. As Muslim League thugs ran riot, inspired by two suited booted tyrants - Suhrawardy and jinnah - it was the Hindu Mahasabha that fought the mobs and saved Hindus. You may ignore Mamata's (another Shandilya like you) efforts to curry favor with Islamist brigands now. But for your sake I hope you wont have to go running to the Petes and Charlies if/when the mob takes over as they did at Deganga or Park Circus.

d.anjaneyulu
chennai, India
66/D-161
Mar 01, 2012
11:16 PM

Whats Inaname

>You probably missed the post where I acknowledged it, and said that
>people who can speakequally about targeting of both Bhat and Team
>Anna members have my respect.

Yes, you are right. One has to trawl through a lot of usual hate-comments before coming to one whose opinion here one has over a period learned to at least respect even if not fully agree with

>>I never suggested that Bhat was not being targeted.
>>My only point was that lot of people
>>who whine about Gujarat govt targeting Bhat,
>>applaud when UPA does the same to its >>political opponents.

You are right, but the way it was written, it was clearly aimed at the person you were quoting, but never mind.

>>Rajiv may be long dead, but his name and political legacy
>>are very much alive. Even Godse is long dead. His name
>>is habitually brought up by sickos to target BJP,
>>even though he >>was not associated with it.

You are right. Rajeev's legacy is difficult to live down for Congress. Most of our problems post-1980s are his gift (when not his mother's gifts). From Kashmir to Shah Bano to Satanic Versres to Ayodyha tpo Northeast

>>2. The current govt removed his plaque from Cellular jail (overturning a decision of the previous govt, something which is almost never done). Sonia, if I recall correctly, also skipped the unveiling of his portrait in parliament. This, when he was duly cleared of the conspiracy charge.

Oh, you mean Savarkar. I agree. I have always felt that Congress is fork-tongued on this. If Sonia believes in what is attributed to her, she should mobilise MPs and get the portrait removed or shut the f up.

>>You might believe or pretend that his death has absolved the Congress and all "sickulars" >>of talking about that chapter, and his role in it. I don't.

Oh no, I don't believe in any of this and am in full agreement with what you have said so far in this post about him, even the bits not quoted by me.

>>Congress did some of those things, but yes, for a short period, and long back. >>BJP/RSS/VHP can certainly be given hell for this.

My point is that whatever Congress does should be saved for when it is Congress's turn to get spanked. This was Modi's.

>>Okay. Get off your soapbox. I agree with you on most of the points, except that even demons

Hhaha. Yes, I was getting preachy but it gets me bugged to see so much hatred and so much noise about silly issues by people who do not bother to inform themselves (not talking about you at all) and spew venom all the time.

>>However, the point you are confused about it that you probably think I am defending Modi. >>Let me clarify. Talking about 84 is not a defense of Modi, but an attack on sickos.

By all means attack the sickos, but I see even legitimate questions being asked of Modi as being passed off as one massive conspiracy theory.

>>Actually, he said it multiple times that it was shameful, which is what I had written.

Yes, but he seemed most concerned about with what face hewould go abroad rahter than suffering of victims. But reading a letter SD linked here makes me realise again that he was essentially a decent guy but should have stuck to his convictions in 2002.

>>And even MMS lied about RSS being behind 84. But you choose to ignore that, and go only >>with his apology.

I don't. In fact I highlight it all the time. BUt when the discussion is about 84 not when it is about 2002.

>>For Vajpayee, you choose to ignore his other statements, and focus on his Goa statement, >>and failure to sack Modi (which BTW, would have been anti-democratic).

My point is that Modi is still CM of Gujarat. Under his watch this happened. Far from answering any questions, he behaves as if any one questioning him is a conspiracy hack from ongress as was stated by offstumped more than a few times. What sort of a democracy is that? And democracy means rule of law, not subverting it, as there is enough evidence of having been done by Modi.

What MMS has not done is not relevant about Rajeev anymore. Rajeev is dead. Modi is alive and CM of Gujarat. Till the time he lives, he would be hounded. Just as Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and others are. Those who are dead like H K L Bhagat etc are history. No body brings them up or questions their children.

>>See above for my comments about attack on sickos instead of a defense of Modi.

I think an attack on "sickos" when Modi is being questioned deflects attention from Modi ever having to be accountale.

>>If he has to answer questions that others never had to answer, it shows a weakness of our society.

Yes, but in his case whether truly or not there is far more evidence that is there on vidoes and audios and many more people witness to the arrogance and insensitivity not to mention crudity he has shown towards victims

>>This is fair. But Rajiv was never vilified. Not even a tiny fraction of Modi. He too was >>a modern day Nero (or worse), but was never called so. I'm not sure he would have been >>able to do all that, if he was hounded the way Modi is, but that shall remain in the >>realms of conjecture.

I have never spared him. But he was good looking. Spoke English. Had lost his mother. Made all the right noises about those who had suffered. Went and made right sounds to Sikhs. Did not demonize them. All I have said before.

>>followed by re-election of the incumbent leader. The differences are that Modi turned out >>to be an efficient administrator, while Rajiv was a lousy one. And of course, Modi is >>being demonized, while Rajiv was feted.

I agree. But see above. I think this was the first riot that was telvised, so it filled more people with revulsion. Modi's hate utterances have not endeared him to people other than the echo chamber he lives in and wants to not come out of. His and that of his followers' insensitivity to victims has not helped matters at all. And they have behaved like chori and seenajori. They answer no question other than bringing up the deewar dialog about us aadmi ka signature about 1984 or attributing "conspiracy therory mongering" or calling someone a Congress chmcha or why, even "sicko" or "sickular" etc. I think we need to rise above this. I think this ois what Ashis Nandy was saying

>>Been a really long post. Hope the moderators shall not just delete it.

Same here.

Ajit Tendulkar
Seattle, United States
67/D-5
Mar 03, 2012
01:01 AM

>> Oh, you mean Savarkar.

Yes. Reference was to Savarkar. Sorry about that.

As to the rest, let me summarize the differences, since that shall be easier. You believe

1. Rajiv's death has at least partially closed that chapter.

No. As long as the sickulars, Congress in particular, talks about Godse, Savarkar and Golwalkar wrt BJP (two of whom were not even its members), it is perfectly legitimate to bring Rajiv in discussion. Even Golwalkar doesn't hold the position in BJP that Rajiv has in Congress. So, as far as I am concerned, that argument is just plain wrong.

2. MMS's apology/Rajiv's visiting Gurudwaras etc., make them better than Modi

Not for me. I believe that MMS's "apology", Rajiv's actions, Vajpayee's shame and Modi's Sadbhavna fests are all equally meaningless. None of these were triggered by any genuine remorse, or desire for justice. They were and are political actions. If you are SD set faith (even limited one) in MMS's apology or Rajiv's actions, it is a reflection of your affinities.

3. Sikhs have moved on, and don't hold Sonia responsible

By some accounts, even large sections of Gujarati Muslims have moved on, but the seculars neither want to, nor want others to move on.

In any case, that's largely meaningless. If Sikhs have moved on and Muslims haven't, it's either a reflection on the communities, or just a function of time.

As for holding Sonia responsible, there is no reason to hold her responsible. She wasn't, and shouldn't be criticized for those riots. She can and should be criticized for keeping the likes of Tytler and Kamal Nath around, showing that she doesn't have any remorse or desire for justice for that time.

4. The two events should not be related

They are related for the reasons I cited earlier.

5. Discussion on Gujarat should not digress to one on 84

And why not? Why do discussions on encounter killings in Gujarat or even development there, digress to 2002? Gujarat has one of the least number of encounter deaths. Why is any encounter death there seen as an indictment of Modi, and brings the secular trolls out, to digress the discussion to his earlier "crimes". What does it say about our judiciary, and more importantly media, that a far greater number of encounter killings in UP or Maharashtra generate a fraction of news reports than a few in Gujarat? If those incidents can morph into a wider discussion on Gujarat, riots, Modi, etc., why should the two biggest, supposedly state sponsored riots not be coupled? Similarly, and talk about development in Gujarat is coupled with derisive references to 2002, and even comparison with Hitler's Germany by the sickos. They just want to use digressions that suit them, but whine when others use the same yardsticks.

Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
68/D-7
Mar 03, 2012
02:09 AM

Whats Inaname, actually there are other points of differences but let me go with your summary

1. Rajiv's death has at least partially closed that chapter.

I am saying it in a different context. Read me again. I am saying Rajeev was equally guilty but there would be protests against him if he were alive, just as there are against Tytler, Sajjan Kumar etc and that two wrong do not EVER make a right. We disagree on this clearly.

2. MMS's apology/Rajiv's visiting Gurudwaras etc., make them better than Modi

No, I do not think it makes them "better".  And now that I think about it those who meant at that time that a wrong had been done and apologoised or visited Gurudwaras etc. are actually better in my book but I was not saying it. What I was saying that even if all of this was only cosmetic, it makes one understand why there are more protests against Modi and not against Rajeev/MMS. Hardcore opponents still target MMS and Rajeev. It is expecting a minimum level of conformity to a civilizational pact. My point is that for hardcore Modi's supporters Muslims are despicable and belong to Pakistan. For Congress that is not the case with respect to Sikhs. You may disagree and are entitled to your baseless conclusions about imagined affinities.

3. Sikhs have moved on, and don't hold Sonia responsible

No, that is not what I say because I also point out that they continue to protest against Kamal Nath, Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and others who are alive. I agree with you regarding her treatment of these individuals.

4. The two events should not be related

You say, "they are related for the reasons I cited earlier". I say whether or not they are related has nothing to do with pointing out the humbug that Modi and his supporters are.

5. Discussion on Gujarat should not digress to one on 84

You can continue to be like "sickos" themselves or set the standards for them. If one continues to be like them, or becomes like them, there is no difference between those you accuse and you. But I realise that everybody makes their choices.

Moving away from you, since you say you are not a Narendra Modi fan, let me share for other "Modi toadies" that I read Mihir Sharma's article above and feel that it sums up a lot of what I feel about the Modi fanboys and the vileness of their arguments.

Ajit Tendulkar
Seattle, United States
71/D-30
Mar 03, 2012
05:37 AM

>> If one continues to be like them, or becomes like them, there is no difference between those you accuse and you.

Why do you think I want to be different? These "sickos" understand only one language; that of kicks solidly implanted on their rear, and I enjoy doing it.

One of them has become so scared that he refuses to engage with me completely. I like that.

Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
72/D-34
Mar 03, 2012
06:28 AM

Why do you think I want to be different?

Yes, I should not have presumed.

These "sickos" understand only one language; that of kicks solidly implanted on their rear, and I enjoy doing it.

One of them has become so scared that he refuses to engage with me completely. I like that.

I think this is more a statement on you than on anyone else, even those you term as 'sickos'.

Ajit Tendulkar
Seattle, United States
75/D-56
Mar 03, 2012
12:10 PM

>> I think this is more a statement on you than on anyone else

No. It's a statement on the guys who feel free to abuse others, but are scared when others give back in the same coin.

But now we are really digressing. I shall close my end of the posts on this issue here.

Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
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