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Right To Free Speech "Butchered"By Team Modi: Republishing "9 Myth Busters Of Gujarat 2002 Riots"

By Shehzad Poonawalla

01 May, 2014
Unravelling The Muslim Mind

Yesterday, I wrote a piece ( read below) for the DNA (I regularly write for their online portal) called "Between Myths and Truths" that busted 9 myths being perpetrated by Mr Narendra Modi wrt 2002 riots. These 9 myth busters were not my opinions but statements of facts that were culled from institutional records like Supreme Court, NHRC report, etc. (see below) This article was posted at 1pm and within few hours it got over 1000 + shares on facebook, twitter and spread like wild fire, drawing reactions from Modi supporters and his opponents. Even the likes of Sidharth Vardarajan & Shashi Tharoor shared the piece and tweeted about it. DNA, as you can see, itself tweeted about the article three times since it was a Top Story!

This morning , without notice, the article was forced to be pulled down. Now if you visit the link http://www.dnaindia.com/node/1983270, it says "The requested page cannot be found".

I have been told that that Narenda Modi's team was so rattled that they instantly ordered the pulling down of the article. The article for the first time compiled the myth-busting answers to all of Mr.Modi's perpetrated falsehoods on Gujarat 2002- how he failed to stop the rioting in 2-3 days as is claimed, how he communalised the air with his speeches, how his police acted in a partisan manner, how he applied for a US visa and was rejected one, how his government scuttled the process of law...

All I can say, like I said in my piece, this is the defeat of Truth by Falsehoods and whenever Truth becomes a victim to falsehoods, there is just one, long sigh that reverberates in our collective conscience "Hey Ram"!

Shehzad Poonawalla

9 Myth Busters Of Gujarat 2002 Riots

By Shehzad Poonawalla

01 May, 2014
Unravelling The Muslim Mind

For those who have developed “selective and motivated” amnesia about the Truth of 2002 riots in Gujarat and are suddenly buying into the myths being perpetrated by the PR machinery of Mr. Narendra Modi, here are a few myth-busters to refresh your memory and perhaps your conscience.

I offer these with just one phrase, a phrase that has always accompanied the murder of Truth by Falsehoods… “Hey Ram!”

Myth No. 1: Post-Godhra Violence was brought under control within 2-3 days by Narendra Modi’s Government…

Truth: “The violence in the State, which was initially claimed to have been brought under control in seventy two hours, persisted in varying degree for over two months, the toll in death and destruction rising with the passage of time.”

Source: Final Order of the National human Rights Commission chaired by the very respected Justice J.S Verma available here http://nhrc.nic.in/guj_finalorder.htm

Myth No. 2: Gujarat Police acted fairly by taking action against rioters from every side…

Truth: “We women thought of going to police and telling the police as in the presence of police, the houses of Muslims were burnt, but the police told us 'to go inside, it is doom's day for Muslims” –

Source: PW219 testimony which was admitted as part of Naroda Patya judgment that led to conviction of Mayaben Kodnani, Narendra Modi’s cabinet minister who led murderous mobs during 2002 riots! Available here:http://www.cjponline.org/gujaratTrials/narodapatiya/NP%20Full%20Judgmnt/Naroda%20Patiya%20-%20Common%20Judgment.pdf

Myth No.3 No conspiracy by the Gujarat government, Post-Godhra violence was a spontaneous reaction…

Truth: “A key state minister is reported to have taken over a police control room in Ahmedabad on the first day of the carnage, issuing directions not to rescue Muslims in danger of being killed:”
“Voter lists were also reportedly used to identify and target Muslim community members” –

Source: Report of Human Rights Watch- April 2002, Vol. 14, No. 3(C) Available Here: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/india/India0402-03.htm#P446_77680

Myth no. 4 : Modi allowed a fair prosecution of those accused in rioting and hence even his cabinet colleague Mayaben Kodnani was convicted…

Truth : “The modern day 'Neros' were looking elsewhere when Best Bakery and innocent children and helpless women were burning, and were probably deliberating how the perpetrators of the crime can be saved or protected.”
“Law and justice become flies in the hands of these “wanton boys”. When fences start to swallow the crops, no scope will be left for survival of law and order or truth and justice. Public order as well as public interest become martyrs and monuments.”

“From the facts stated above, it appears that accused wants to frustrate the prosecution by unjustified means and it appears that by one way or the other the Addl. Sessions Judge as well as the APP (Shri Raghuvir Pandya, the public prosecutor in this case at the time was a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and contested elections from Ward 20, Vadodara in the 1996 Corporation Elections on a BJP ticket!) have not taken any interest in discharge of their duties.” -

Source: Supreme Court in Zahira Habibulla H Sheikh And Anr vs State Of Gujarat And Ors on 12 April, 2004 CASE NO.: Appeal (crl.) 446-449 of 2004 . Available Here:http://indiankanoon.org/doc/105430/

Myth No.5 : Narendra Modi never justified post-Godhra killings…

Truth: “Responding to queries regarding various statements attributed to him by the media, Mr Modi denied citing Newton’s law. Nor had he spoken of “action-reaction”; he had wanted neither the action (at Godhra) nor the subsequent reaction. When we cited footage in Zee to the contrary (Annexure 4A), there was no reaction from Mr Modi”

Source- Editors Guild Fact Finding Mission Report dated 2002, available here http://www.sabrang.com/gujarat/statement/report.htm#Meeting%20with%20Narendra%20Modi

Myth No.6 : Narendra Modi speaks only about development in his speeches. Even after 2002 riots, his speeches were never laced with communal poison..

Truth : Narendra Modi’s reported speech: “For several months, the opposition has been after me to resign. When I did, they did not know what to do and started running to Delhi to seek Madam's help. They realised that James Michael Lyngdoh, the Election Commissioner of India, is their only saviour.Some journalists asked me recently, ''Has James Michael Lyngdoh come from Italy?'' I said I don't have hisjanam patri, I will have to ask Rajiv Gandhi. Then the journalists said, ''Do they meet in church?''. I replied, ''Maybe they do.'' James Michael Lyngdoh came and visited Ahmedabad and Vadodara. And then he used asabhya basha (indecent language) with the officials. Gujaratis can never use such language because our rich cultural heritage does not permit it. Then he gave a fatwa ordering that the elections can't be held. I want to ask him: he has come to this conclusion after meeting only members of the minority community. Are only minority community members citizens of India? Are majority community members not citizens of this country? Is the constitutional body meant only for the minority community? Did he ever bother to meet the relatives of those killed in the Godhra carnage? Why didn't he meet them? Why didn't he ask them whether the situation was conducive for polls? Why? James Michael Lyngdoh ( says it slowly with emphasis on Michael), the people of Gujarat are posing a question to you.” –

Source: Reported speech of Narendra Modi, 30th September 2002, available here http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?217399

Myth No. 7: Narendra Modi never applied for a US Visa (when it came to light that he was denied one)..

Truth: “The Chief Minister of Gujarat state, Mr. Narendra Modi, applied for a diplomatic visa to visit the United States. On March 18, 2005, the United States Department of State denied Mr. Modi this visa under section 214 (b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act because he was not coming for a purpose that qualified for a diplomatic visa.

Mr. Modi's existing tourist/business visa was also revoked under section 212 (a) (2) (g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Section 212 (a) (2) (g) makes any foreign government official who "was responsible for or directly carried out, at any time, particularly severe violations of religious freedom" ineligible for a visa to the United States.

The Ministry of External Affairs requested that the Department of State review the decision to revoke his tourist/business visa. Upon review, the State Department re-affirmed the original decision.”

This decision applies to Mr. Narendra Modi only. It is based on the fact that, as head of the State government in Gujarat between February 2002 and May 2002, he was responsible for the performance of state institutions at that time. The State Department's detailed views on this matter are included in its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and the International Religious Freedom Report. Both reports document the violence in Gujarat from February 2002 to May 2002 and cite the Indian National Human Rights Commission report, which states there was "a comprehensive failure on the part of the state government to control the persistent violation of rights of life, liberty, equality, and dignity of the people of the state."

Source - Statement by David C. Mulford, U.S. Ambassador to India, March 21, 2005, Available Here

Myth no. 8: Vajpayee never asked Modi to observe “Rajdharma”, did not rap him for 2002 riots..

Truth: “In comments which appeared to back criticism of the state authorities, Mr Vajpayee said he would speak to political leaders about allegations that they had failed to do their job. "Government officials, political leaders, need to respond to the task. The constitution guarantees equal rights for all," he said.The state government is controlled by the BJP, and the Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, has come in for particular attack over the way the authorities reacted to the violence.

At the Shah Alam camp in Gujarat's commercial capital, Ahmedabad, Mr Vajpayee said that the Godhra attack was "condemnable" but what followed was "madness". "The answer to madness is not madness," he said in an emotional speech."The duty of our government is to protect the property, life and honour of everybody... there is no scope for discrimination," he said in an apparent reference to allegations that local officials had turned a blind eye to the killings.”

Source: Vajpayee says riots “shameful” – BBC News report April 4th 2002, available here http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1910008.stm

Myth no.9 : It's not sheer opportunism that well-known Modi-baiters like Smriti Irani, have today become his cheerleaders..

Truth: "Smriti Irani who unsuccessfully contested from Delhi's Muslim-dominated Chandni Chowk constituency in the April-May parliamentary elections, blamed Modi for BJP's recent electoral reverses. "Whenever people mention Gujarat they only talk about the riots and try to corner the Gujaratis on the issue. So, in order to maintain the respect that I have for Atalji and the BJP, I won't hesitate to take this step( of going on a fast to seek Modi's removal) ," she said."

Source: Times of India report dated 12th December 2004,

These myth-busters took me just one hour to compile. So it's quite surprising that none of the stalwarts who interviewed Modi, (some of whom saw the events of 2002 unfold in front of their very own eyes), never counter-questioned him further and exposed the glaring gaps in his "rebuffed" narrative. Much like Smriti Irani, I guess, each night they must be saying to themselves "Hey Ram"....

Shehzad Poonawalla is a 1st generation, self-made, 26 year old, lawyer-activist engaged in politics and civil rights movement. Muslim by faith, Indian by conviction, Secularist by ideology and a committed Constitutionalist. Youngest Additional Private Secretary to Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Govt of India. Always ready to fight a battle, on the streets or in theTV studios. Fear nothing and nobody.

Tweet @Shehzad_Ind
Email: shehzadpoonawalla@yahoo.com




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