A lot of water has already flown under the bridge. Let it be the 84 Sikh massacre or the 2002 Gujarat riots; it always was a bone of contention for conflicts among political parties to gain some brownie points at the time of need. Be it Congress who blame it on Modi and Gujarat riot even for the failure of our Cryogenic engine research work; or on the other hand BJP who point fingers at 84 Sikh riots to run away from uncomfortable questions on their conduct as if a bigger thug makes one a lesser thug. All-in-all, these two could be issues where everyone seems to have an opinion or two to share.
From political parties to individuals like me have different opinion on what happened and who could be the instigator of such inhuman behavior and most important, whom to blame. Even our media have their say in both the cases with many times going overboard with their self-conviction. While who is right and who is wrong is farfetched and we can debate on this till the moment that alleged comet hits us; we must admit, that everyone whoever comments on these two riots possesses a biased view (including myself).
Gujarat riot just completed its tenth anniversary while most of the current Facebook generation might not be born when Sikh riots happened; but yet none seems too eager to put it behind and move on. Even if someone does try, our political class with the help of their paid media just doesn’t allow us to do so. The political mileage to be gained from both these riots are of astounding magnitude and perpetual gold mines for various political parties; and so as for the Media as well. Thousands of people who lost their lives in both these riots have no sympathy for them whatsoever with floundering of justice in the form of hypocrisy all the way. Be it our politicians; our media or to some extent even our intellectual seculars.
Rajdeep Sardesai personally visited the by lanes of Gujarat to cover a story on the tenth anniversary of the riot. Commendable, I must say but not enough. If those dead in Gujarat need to be dug out every now and then and questions be asked of their unfortunate killing then why not have same sympathy for the Sikhs who died during 1984? While the official estimated death numbers of Gujarat might not cross beyond 1200 (500 odd of them are Hindu), there are at least 4000 odd Sikhs who were butchered within 72 hours the first bullet hit Mrs. Gandhi. Why I don’t see a program ‘Ground Zero - Delhi’ or something from Rajdeep or for that matter any other media house? It bewilders me a little seeing; when one can be so sympathetic towards the dead of Gujarat; how they can be so oblivious about the three fold lives lost elsewhere? Why the Congress, whose stalwarts were always seen shouting from the roof top for Gujarat victims don’t just look at their own backyard Delhi and answer some real uncomfortable questions before questioning someone else? Before I go further, someone must not get me wrong here as for me even a single life lost is one life lost too many.
Post the assassination of Mrs. Gandhi, Congress thugs created mayhem on the streets of Delhi. Without any trace of police or any other paramilitary forces, the mobs led by Congress leaders (Sajjan Kumar & Jagdish Tytler) created ruckus and bloodbath on Delhi streets. If eyewitnesses are to be believed, then half of the killings could have been accomplished in first 24 hours alone. What was Rajeev Gandhi doing to stop this innocent killing? Why he never heed to the advice of the then home secretary to call in the army to control the mob? Was he mourning his mother’s demise? What was Delhi police doing that time? Mourning alongside as well? When Rajeev can have the strength to take oath within hours Mrs. Gandhi pronounced dead just because the fear of power going elsewhere took the better of the grief; shouldn’t he have shown the same strength to curb the mob which were led by his own lampoon ministers? While people were given freehand to kill innocents he kept on mourning till a point half of Delhi was up in flames. And what the world had to hear as a statement of remorse from our newly installed Prime-Minister? “When a big tree falls, the ground shakes”. Really? That is a clear admission of the fact that he always approved the killings since he found the response is just befitting for the death of his mother. Shouldn’t then he be made a party to the killings as we fondly do with Narendra Modi? If Modi is a culprit for not acting being a Chief Minister, shouldn’t Rajeev Gandhi be on the same boat? If yes then why we don’t see any media blaming Rajeev for innocent Sikh lives as they so blatantly do against Modi? Or is it that selective amnesia which always takes precedence whenever we talk about someone from the Gandhi family?
Let’s look at Gujarat riots. Before that we must look at the Godhra train burning first. Reasons best known to the Muslim community residing along the railway tracks of Godhra, decided to torch the S-6 bogie of Sawarmati express by pouring Kerosene and kick starting a chain of events which are still unfolding. I don’t see any reason why we should forget the killing of 50 odd Karsevaks. But surprisingly, for the media the Godhra train burning seems to be a non-issue. How the killing of a single lady is equivalent to a big tree falling but not the burning of fifty nine people alive is beyond me.
The news of the burning spread like a wild fire and we had large number of rioters on the streets sporting swords and other assault weapons within no time. When Modi realized the situation is getting out of control (within first 24 hours) the army was pressed into service to pacify the rioters. There were deaths of about 1200 people in four days with 500 of them being Hindu falling prey to police bullets. So where is the non-action on the part of Gujarat government and the allegation of colluding with the rioters? Where Modi took sides of the rioters and let them continue with their killing spree without being obstructed? The paid and biased media and few NGOs who are making a living out of the dead must clarify what extra they were expecting from Modi? Having a couple of our fighter jets carpet bombing on the rioters?
Look at how one handpicked killing is taking the limelight while rest 1200 odd is those nameless and faceless who nobody cares. My sympathy is with Zakia Jafri, but her story looks a little fabricated. The first suspicion that arises; if the mob was so irate and blood thirsty then how could she and other family members managed to survive? Why it is only her husband who had to die in the hands of the mob which according to her FIR were more violent than what Hitler was against the Jews. How such blood hungry wolfs let her and other members of her family to live while cherry picking her husband for killing? I know these questions might sound inhuman looking at the tragedy the lady had to go through; but at no point one can deny that they carry some water. If unconfirmed beliefs are scanned then it is Ehsan Jafri who was sheltering the scoundrels who burn the train, both pre and post Godhra carnage. The mob went precisely in search of him alone to teach him a lesson. If you feel I am trying to justify a killing then there is the theorem of ‘Big Tree … Earth Shakes’ nonsense in my defense.
Why blame Modi for the riots when the real reason for the situation to snowball into a volcano is something else and playing ostrich is not certainly what we all (including our media) are expected or should do. As it is a three round of investigation chaired by three different agencies under the watch of a neutral institution hasn’t found anything against Modi to justify the claims of the complainant. And someone please stop the same argument of that non existing phone conversation between Modi and Ehsan Jafri where Modi alleged to have abused him. If there was any truth on this then it would have been long unearthed looking at the interest of Congress in the whole case; since it just requires the call details which the service providers of both parties would be more than obliged to share on government or court order.
A one-to-one mapping of Sikh riots with Gujarat would tell you where the hypocrisy lies and how our media is biased towards their reportage. In one hand we saw the entire machinery along with the PM kept on mourning and conveniently slept over the innocent killings in our national capital while at the other hand we saw a CM who could be little biased (being a Hindu) but acted at the right time to call in the army for help. In one hand we see not a single rioter getting even a simple scratch while 500 of them got killed during Gujarat. In one hand we don’t see a single person getting punished for the Sikh riots till date while for Gujarat at least 50 persons are convicted till now. In one hand nobody tried to stop the rioting and it only stopped when there were no more Sikhs left in the city to kill while in the latter case it was curbed with force. And yet funny, our media does always see a Satan inside Modi but angels incarnate within those who were directly involved (with pictorial evidence) in Sikh riots.
By the way, is any one making a program titled "Ground Zero - Kashmir" on uprooted Kashmiri Pundits?