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Letter to the President

'Why Is There Such Focus On Gujarat?'

'Group clashes occur at times and Gujarat is no exception,' says the Gujarat CM in his letter to President APJ Abdul Kalam, asking him to 'direct compilation of details of all major incidents of group clashes and communal riots in the country since I

'Why Is There Such Focus On Gujarat?'
'Why Is There Such Focus On Gujarat?'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Unedited Text

 

Dear Mr President,

As you are aware, Gujarat, which is a progressive State, makes a significant contribution to the national economy. The Planning Commission has for the current five-year-plan fixed an average growth rate of 8 per cent for the country, whereas for Gujarat it has envisaged a growth rate of 10.2 per cent. 

This fact is a clear indication of the nation’s confidence in Gujarat and its leading role in the country’s progress. Initiatives taken by Gujarat in sectors such as water and girls’ education are pathbreaking. 

Unfortunately, vested interests are trying to obstruct the path of progress. They are identifying stray incidents and exaggerating them with the sole objective of slowing the pace of development. Not only this, such self-appointed and so-called champions of human rights groups do not even hesitate to point fingers, with the help of a section of media, at institutions like the judiciary in the State. Such activities raise serious doubts about the intentions of such groups which cannot even accept a constitutionally elected democratic government. 

It is unfortunate that these vested interests cannot even await the report of the judicial commission. It is more disturbing that some national-level institutions are also carried away by propaganda. This needs serious attention because Gujarat being a border State has a strategic importance for the nation’s security. 

We would like to inform that a judicial commission headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court has been appointed to inquire into all aspects of the communal riots. Efforts are unfortunately being made to cast aspersions on the Commission and its work through propaganda. 

Despite such concerted attack against the State, it has not deviated from the principles enshrined in the Constitution and has maintained utmost composure in the face of constant provocation. It has not allowed Constitutional and democratic bodies to be destabilised and has ensured that there is no obstruction on the path of the progress. However, a time has come now to bring to your kind notice the situation facing those who cherish democratic values. 

Our country has a federal structure and this federal polity has to ensure that the Centre and the States, judiciary and the legislature work in harmonious environment. Nothing can be more harmful to democracy that the efforts of some groups to weaken the collective strength of the democratic institutions. 

Group clashes occur at times and Gujarat is no exception. When group clashes and communal riots occur in many parts of the country, why is there such focus on Gujarat? When group clashes have attained alarming proportion in other States, why have the above champions not been so active ? 

As the Head of the State, the nation has total faith in you. I would humbly request you to direct compilation of details of all major incidents of group clashes and communal riots in the country since Independence. They may include the following aspects: 

  • Number of registered cases of terrorist or extremist attacks, group clashes and communal violence 

  • In how many of the above cases, chargesheets were filed in courts? 

  • In how many cases, the government of the day withdrew the cases even after filing charge-sheets? 

  • What has been the acquittal rate out of cases chargesheeted and tried by the courts? 

If the above data are compiled State-wise and year-wise and placed in the public domain, people themselves will be able to judge who is right. Facts on record will unveil the truth, thereby exposing the vested interests that have targeted not only Gujarat, but have tried to weaken the democratic fabric and reputed institutions of the country. 

In this context, it is pertinent to mention that some external forces and non-governmental organisations have been trying to raise issues, with the pretext of expressing their concern about some stray incidents in Gujarat, at international forums thereby tarnishing the image of the country and questioning its democratic strength. You will agree with me that the citizens of the country should stand up and uphold the truth. 

I am sure you will appreciate the feelings I have expressed, and sought your help and guidance in addressing certain critical issues facing not only Gujarat, but also the entire country. Gujarat has been and will continue to play an important role in the country’s progress and ushering in an era of security, justice and prosperity. 

It is the duty of all of us to make all-out efforts to remove all obstacles and ensure accelerated development of the nation. I am confident you will with your knowledge, wisdom and perspective, guide us in this endeavour.

Yours sincerely,
(Narendra Modi)
5-8-2003

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