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Narendra Modi And Indian Democracy: They Two Cannot Coexist

By Daya Varma & Vinod Mubayi

01 November, 2007
INSAF Bulletin

The Tehelka exposure of the crimes of Hindutva
fascists led by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra
Modi only proves what was already well known. Yet
proof is important because legal action against
any one requires proof. The crimes committed by
the ruffians of Sangh Parivar in 2002 are
horrendous. They cannot happen unpunished in a
civilized society and the fact they happened in
India and the criminals remain scot-free simply
reveals not only the cultural degeneration of
Indian society but also the sham and incompetent
nature of Indian democracy.

There are lots of Asians, Arabs, Africans and
Latinos in Western countries. There is racism
here too. And yet any overt racial slur or
arbitrary harassment of visible minority people
does lead to consequences, which may be delayed,
unevenly applied, or insufficient, but which also
include retribution, enquiry and often enough
dismissal of the media person or police official.
In this sense, even the aftermath of 9/11,
horrible as it was for the hundreds of mainly
Muslim immigrants who were harassed, detained,
and deported, was not allowed to go out of
control a la Gujarat, nor was the bomb blast in
the London underground or riots in the Paris
suburbs. Bourgeois democracy just cannot afford
to violate certain norms.

However, the case in India is in stark contrast
to what is expected of a democracy. First the
Muslim community was brutalized under the
rationale articulated by Modi that the fire on
the railway train at Godhra station was an
"action" calling for a "reaction." Leaving aside
the question of whether there was any Muslim mob
that allegedly set fire to the train - all the
evidence gathered by agencies not directly
connected to the Gujarat government indicates
that the fire was an accident caused by kerosene
fuel cookers carried illegally in the train
carriage - no civilized society would allow a
general lawlessness to prevail against an entire
community, which ultimately resulted in a
horrendous pogrom. The laxity shown by the NDA
government towards the hordes of the Sangh
Parivar led by Narendra Modi was shameful but
understandable. It was a question of solidarity
within a mafia family.

But the hesitation of the UPA government, which
survives with the support of the left parties, on
the Gujarat genocide is beyond comprehension.
This marriage between parliamentary democracy and
feudal highhandedness must be broken if India is
to emerge as a modern democratic society. Herein
lays the challenge for the Left and Democratic
forces of India - to mount a massive protest to
force the UPA government to immediately dismiss
Narendra Modi's government, place all those
accused in their own words by the Tehelka
evidence in jail and try them all for crimes
against humanity. In the meantime, President's
rule should be declared and a central policing
authority should be placed in charge of Gujarat.



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