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Maya Kodnani: Conceiving
And Aborting Career In Misdeeds

By Mustafa Khan

28 March, 2009

On February 21, 2009 the Gujarat Government submitted in the High court an affidavit in which it says “in spite of being an MLA, Kodnani was a leader of the mob instigating them to commit the crimes and in fact even fired from her pistol”. If the government of Narendra Modi said that to the High Court why did it not ask her to resign there and then? With her arrest on March 27 it is morally imperative that the Modi government should either resign or the Centre impose its rule in the state. Neither would happen because the atmosphere in Gujarat remains vitiated by saffron politics of what PUCL calls Godse’ legacy of hatred and violence. There is also the election round the corner which ironically makes democracy a dangerous proposition.

But not exactly if the courts of the land are allowed to function. As Justice DH Waghela who cancelled her anticipatory bail observed: “Religious fanatics do not belong to any religion, they are no better than terrorists who kill innocent people for no rhyme or reason. Communal harmony is the hallmark of democracy. If in the name of religion people are killed, that is absolutely a slur and a blot on a society governed by the rule of law.” The judge goes further and remarks that death sentence and not just life imprisonment should be passed when mass murder is committed by faceless crowds under the influence of such leaders as Kodnani. He also came down heavily on the lower session court which had given anticipatory bail on the basis of the gynecologist and her accomplice pathologist Jaydeep Patel not having tampered with records and unlikelihood of the accused committing any further crime!

The judgment also rubbishes what is often flaunted as specious argument that the present peace calls for not raking up past unpleasant disturbances. This mistakenly is called reconciliation! “The distance in time from the date of the alleged offences to the present stage of investigation is unfortunate and attributable to the failure of law enforcement agencies, but it cannot derogate from the requirements of bringing to book all the persons who might have had a role in rudely disrupting the lives of millions of citizens eking out their living in harmony in a progressive state of secular democratic Republic of India.”

The Sindhi background of Kodnani is quite significant. Her father like many of the migrants from Sindh was a refugee of the partition. He settled down at Deesa near a pilgrimage site and was RSS leader. He even founded a school. It is natural that antagonism against the Muslims was a streak in the family. Another migrant, LK Advani, played a pivotal role from behind the stage as she rose to become a minister despite murder charges leveled against her. Indeed she got the highest lead over her rival in Gujarat election of 2007:1, 80 000 votes. She first contested in 1995 and won with 75 000 votes, in December 2002 her margin jumped to 1,10 000. Her constituency includes Naroda Patiya where 98 Muslims were killed and Naroda gam where 11 more were done to death. It is also the place where Sindhis are in a sizable number many of whom have not come out of the hangover of partition and displacement and nurture the same kind of grudge against the minority Muslim as her refugee father. They also eye the Muslims as potential rivals in business given the freewheeling economy of the state unless it is checked by communal disturbances as is proved by the track record of BJP. The saffron party has rock bottom support of the migrants from Sindh and Punjab.

The government of Narendra Modi was and still is complicit in the crimes committed in 2002. In direct opposition to the advice of the collector of Godhra, the chief minister ordered that the dead bodies of the Sabarmati express train victims should be brought to Ahmedabad in public display and that the police should not check Hindu anger and retaliation. The high court has recently ruled that there was no conspiracy behind the Godhra mishap. If anything it was the machination of the chief minister. Modi shielded Kodnani till Friday March 27 when she was forced to resign as she was arrested by the police.


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