For The Victims Of
Mirza A. Beg
Mr. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and
The Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi.
At this important juncture, the
helm of the ship of state, the Republic of India is primarily in your
hands. The agenda of the executive and political power has been entrusted
to your judgment by the people of India, in the hope that you will leave
an ethical and proud legacy for the generations to come. Unfortunately
the nightmare of the BJP misrule persists in many parts of the Republic
and the constitutionally guaranteed rights of minorities are still being
violated with impunity.
the victims and the average Indians know that Narendra Modi's government
engineered the riots in Gujarat resulting in the death of 2000 innocent
people and injuring hundreds of thousands more in 2002. The justice
to the victims is being denied because the BJP controlled governments
in Gujarat and at the Center concealed the evidence, precluding a citizen’s
ability to seek redress in the courts of law. Therefore, it was not
a spontaneous riot, but a planned Pogrom.
of lack of legal evidence of Modi government's direct involvement is
believed only by the morally bankrupt. Even the American and European
governments, though well disposed towards India, know enough to repeatedly
deny the coveted diplomatic visa to Modi.
years sectarians within the Congress party stealthily looked the other
way while the Hindutva (Hindu sectarians) engineered cyclical riots,
too numerous to list, often supported by the police. It culminated in
the orchestrated destruction of the Babri Masjid in 1992 while the then
Congress Prime Minister Narsimha Rao, feigned helpless surprise for
six long hours. The loss of faith among the secular electorate, and
the minorities resulted in Congress's defeat in the successive general
in wilderness for eight years, the Congress led coalition under your
new and vigorous leadership was elected as a repudiation of the fascistic
and sectarian agenda of the BJP. Indian electorate gave the Congress
another chance in the hope that the party has learned a lesson and returned
to its founding secular and humane principles.
and the dispossessed are still waiting for justice after five long years.
Some may find them a political inconvenience, but they cannot be wished
that political disputes in a democracy are decided by elections; and
the division of power between the Central and the Provincial governments
are well established in the constitution. But the constitution clearly
provides mechanisms to punish provincial governments guilty of blatant
criminality. Many times in the past provincial governments have been
dismissed by the President for much less.
reporters and editors of the Tahelka News magazine took enormous risks
to record irrefutable evidence from the culprits, exposing the hand
of Modi and the Gujarat government. They did what the government should
I know the
elections in Gujarat are around the corner; some wedded to politics
of unprincipled power, afraid of political muscle of the Hindutva forces,
want to cajole them. This will be a grave mistake. Instead of more placebos
of toothless inquiry commissions, the Central government should protect
the Tahelka reporters and promptly bring charges against Modi and his
cohorts in the court of law. A five year delay is not too soon. Failure
to act will fortify the assessment that the Congress has forsaken the
ethos of the Indian Constitution to succumb to the destructive lure
of power. It will confirm the perception of Congress as enablers of
riots by stealth sectarianism.
Both of you
understand the economics of dispossession and personal loss. Steadfastly
you have overcome great impediments to reach your present coveted positions,
not in search of power, but in pursuit of ideals. Great leaders courageously
navigate the country to uphold the Constitution and establish principles
that the succeeding generations will be proud to follow. It is time
to use the irrefutable evidence provided by the Tahelka reporters to
bring the powerful nefarious sectarian forces to justice and set the
Indian Republic on the firm footing as a nation of laws.
A. Beg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or
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