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The Truth Of Gujarat Carnage

By Ram Puniyani

05 November, 2007

Tehelka sting operation, Kalank, brought forward the
truth of Godhra and Gujarat violence. This
investigation reinforced the findings known earlier.
Most of the reports by human rights activists had
unearthed the same facts, the complicity of state with
RSS combine to unleash a pogrom, to launch violence
against Muslims, burning their properties and
destroying their dargahas etc. What was new was that
we all could see in live the perpetrators of the crime
gloating over their shameful acts, from opening the
womb of Kausar bano to hacking to death of Ahsan

In any civilized society this would have been a reason
enough for the central govt to dismiss the Modi Govt
and to launch the cases against those who are
confessing in front of camera. But what do we see? The
top leadership of Congress kept mum as if some minor
incident is being reported by Tehelka. From the UPA
Govt only Lalu Yadav demanded the arrest of Modi, the
main person responsible for this mass murder. The
response of BJP was more revealing. While its top
leadership kept quiet, its spokespersons tried to
raise the fingers of doubt about the motives of
Tehelka sting, the timing, the powers behind the
expose and all that. The central point of the crime
being committed by their supporters was dodged,
bypassed and defended indirectly. What is all this a
symbol of? How low a section of society has stooped
while pursuing the games of power? Now, even the
gloating of the killers is being accepted and
defended, the rule of law seems have given way to the
communal fascism, the real label for the politics of
Hindutva, a blot to the values of saint tradition of
Hinduism, as represented by people like Kabir and

It has given the identity of its politics with Hindu
religion and that's the worst abuse for the humane
values of many a rich Hindu traditions. The RSS
combine has deliberately associated their social
agenda with the word Hindu so that they can get away
with their crimes under the cloak of faith, so that
they can polarize the society along religious lines,
intimidate the society as a whole and do away with the
concept of human rights, paving the way for
suppression of the rights of weaker sections of
society, dalits, adivasis, women and workers, while
demonizing and attacking the minorities, Muslims and

Why this silence of Congress leadership? The fear of
Hindu votes? Can we keep measuring the social
phenomena of such tragic proportions in the terms of
electoral gains? Does the human tragedy, violation of
law, trampling of human rights, the plight of
minorities not matter to us in the first place?
Communal forces have brought in religious divides in
the society. We do not have time to think that what
would the leaders of our national movement, have done
in a situation like this. Imagine Mahatma Gandhi
seeing the tapes and keeping quiet for the fear that
he may loose the position of power! Imagine Jawaharlal
Nehru looking the other way around when Babu Bajrangi
is proudly describing his crimes? Imagine him
exonerating Modi for giving three days to the RSS
goons to unleash mayhem of his magnitude which took
place in Gujarat?

As such the erosion of secular values has taken place
at various levels. The communalization of mind, the
institutionalization of biases against minorities,
relegation of minorities to second class citizenship
has gone on through various mechanisms. Pundit Nehru's
warning to Congress that the communal elements have
entered Congress and are a threat to the values which
Congress should uphold seems to have fallen on deaf
ears. That seems to be the reason as to why the
Congress coalition elected twice in Maharashtra, on
the promise that Shrikrishna Commission will be
implemented, has shamelessly kept the report in cold

The issue is not just of defense of minorities, the
issue is the overall system of democracy and its
accompanying values. The erosion of rule of law in the
state machinery overall, affecting all its wings is
what has to be addressed urgently. The misuse of
religious identity for political purpose by the RSS
and its affiliates has to be countered properly, if we
want to bring back the ethos of freedom movement. The
argument that minorities should forget the past and
get on with life is too simplistic. Can there be peace
without justice? When section of minorities start
saying that they no longer want to look back at the
past, it is not that they have over come the grief and
sense of injustice, it only means that they are
surrendering to the politics of the dominant sections,
they are realizing that they cannot live here as equal
citizens. The test of democracy is that even the
tiniest minority can live here with as much dignity
and honor as any one else. While the leadership in
Maharashtra is too 'shrewd' and has been avoiding the
implementation of the Shrikrishna report despite the
promises, the likes of Modi will try to distract the
whole issue and consolidate their vote bank by
instilling a sense of fear amongst majority community.

Time has come that we face the truth head on, punish
the guilty and protect the innocent irrespective of
religion and caste. In Gujarat if state Govt has
failed to prosecute the guilty, that's a breach of the
oath taken by political leadership and it has to be
dealt with like that, i.e. violation of constitutional
obligations by state Govt. The state officials who
were aiding, abetting and participating in the crime
must be dealt with as criminals. The judiciary and
central govt has to devise a mechanism so that rule of
law is brought back in Gujarat. If the Congress
coalition in Maharashtra just wants to buy time and
play with words, while sleeping over the
implementation of Shrkrishna commission, time that a
mass satyagrah is launched to get justice for the
victims of the carnage.



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