Monday, July 30, 2012
Revisiting The Godhra Carnage
Now here is the thing. Imagine you travelling with your family in a train. It is mid of the night and all in the bogie are deep in their sleep. The train makes a routine stop at a small town. A group of fanatics geared with all assault weapons lock the bogie from outside and pour enough petrol to bring about a petrol crisis in the city. Then they go ahead torching the petrol soaked compartment without caring for who are inside and what will happen to them. You only wake up when the fire has engulfed half of the bogie and find everyone shouting for their lives but can’t go out because of the lock. You try to save your kids by any means and even try to break open a window but fail. In desperation you look outside for help but only see a bunch of bastard merrymaking and dancing on their latest achievement. You pled for mercy but that encourages the scoundrels to dance more vulgarly. You can’t take it anymore. You feel the hot molten alumina pouring on your body. You see your kids suffocating to death in front of you. Finally the fire takes the better of your struggle and you die a bizarre and painful death as the rest of the bogie.
How would you feel? Hang on!! You can’t feel anything since you are dead. How would your loved ones, your near and dear ones would feel? How would your brethren feel seeing you and many like you been subjected to such inhuman torture and finally getting killed? How the government of the day would feel since it failed miserably in protecting you, which is its primary duty?
The scenario is really bad. Really, really bad. A scenario where you won’t even fancy your worst of enemies to be in. No? But horrifyingly enough, this is what precisely happened on the fateful day of 27th February 2002. At a small junction on the Ahemadabad – Gandhinagar rout called Godhra a bunch of Muslims, backed by nefarious entities both from political and otherwise sections, poured petrol on the S-6 bogie of the Savarmati Express and set it afire for reasons best known to them. 58 Kar Sevaks were charred alive, among which there was a large constituent of women and children. The repercussions of that horrifying act we are still witnessing. A lot many lives lost in the ethnic rioting that followed. Narendra Modi turned an avenger for many while a desperado for few others overnight. A peaceful state of businessmen and traders turned into a political hot potato forever. All-in-all an event which changed the perception of how one should deal with any kind of ethnic clashes; an event which brought about international scrutiny. From Time magazine to our own India today carried the story on their centerspread while a perpetual battleground is created for BJP and Congress to keep on fighting as and when they feel like to garner few brownie points.
Among all the dead and the chaos; among all the public display of moral superiority and pseudo secularism, one thing that is completely forgotten is the incident which started this chain reaction. The Godhra carnage itself. While many jokers who claim themselves to be so called seculars kept on shedding crocodile tears for the victims of the riot that followed, the convenience shown in brushing the Godhra train burning episode under the carpet, as if a non-issue is little annoying. By design the root cause of this massive inhuman act that followed the Godhra episode was forgotten quicker than even the time taken for the charred out bogie to cool down for the dead bodies to be taken out. All that we hear since then is how the riot that spread like a wild fire and eventually killed more than 1200 humans before it is over. All that we hear is how Narendra Modi turned his eye on the mayhem and allowed the mob to carry out some street justice. All that we hear is the weeping of the Congress party men for a farce as if the 1984 Sikh massacre never happened. All that we see is pseudo seculars and vulture NGOs baking their bread on the dead of the riot for last ten years. All that we see is the dirty votebank politics that is going on and on without any shred of evidence of it ending anytime soon.
Though the riot itself as an act is condemnable, for me the question always remained – how so easily the death of 58 Kar Sevaks was forgotten. How in earth in a country full with majority Hindus, the inhuman and unethical killing of Hindus is such a non-issue? Are the dead of that night doesn’t have any rights? Are their lives so worthless that we as a nation will forget it so easily? Is the human rights are never a concern for those 58 unfortunate humans who had to die so barbarically? Don’t we as a nation have the moral obligation to sought answer for such inhuman killings? Questions are literally many but ironically answers are few or rather nonexistent.
By design the citizenry of the nation were made to forget the horrific incident of Godhra. All that they were shown time and again are the dead of the riot and their plight while the cause that started was forgotten. Nasty votebank politics brought about a paradigm shift on sensible thinking and nation building. The Congress party and many of its pathetic allies in collaboration with their long list of paid media houses tried to feed the nation with false propaganda of neutral journalism. Time and again it is the media which went ballistic on the issue of Gujarat riot while no one spared a second to even mention the unknown dead of Godhra, let alone asking for justice for them. People like Rajdeep Sardesai, Barkha Dutt kept on shoving their nefarious pseudo secular avatar into the mainstream by airing fabricated documentary for hours together on the instruction of their pay masters in North block. People went all over the place on every anniversary to dig out the so called riot survivors so that yet another farce can be built up to malign Narendra Modi.
Where is the same concern for the dead Kar Sevaks? Aren’t they the citizens of this great nation with all their fundamental rights intact, which also includes the right to live? So why no media does a cover story to hear the plight of their side, which they very well do for even those who were barely injured during the riot. Why people like Teesta Setelvad were intentionally kept barking on the human rights of the riot victims as if Hindus doesn’t have any. Why I don’t see any NGO fighting for the justice for those who were charred alive. Why it is Ehshan Jafri that always takes the center stage when we talk about Gujarat riots while the dead Hindus still remain nameless and faceless?
Nobody should get me wrong here. As I have already said in another blog of mine, I am no advocate of violence. For me even one life lost is one life lost too many. But the manner in which the death of 58 innocents brushed aside hurts. It hurts because I feel justice is not done to them till yet. Forget about justice, no one is even thinking of taking a step or two to analyze their deaths for starters. All that we are hearing for last ten years is a crescendo of cry for justice to the riots victims but not a single one for the Kar Sevaks. It hurts that our government which should have been equal to all is all but busy playing the dirty votebank politics and full time engaged in appeasement as if the 58 of Savarmati Express carry no value. It hurts because we have turned into an indifferent society where we are setting different rules for different set of people as per our convenience. It hurts because our fourth estate rather being neutral and justice oriented has turned sycophants and sold themselves to dirty politics so that easy money can be earned. It hurts in the name of secularism we have misunderstood (intentionally) the word itself for appeasement and pampering. It hurts because it is always the justice for a certain section of the society is the agenda; not for all. It hurts because we as a nation are playing Ostrich and have become oblivious to the plight of the other section.And finally it hurts because I am a Hindu.