20 March, 2010

Fact and Fiction

Truth and Falsehood

Far from being ashamed of the recent carnage of Muslims, the Gujarat government is dishing out falsehoods, untruths and half-truths everyday. Here is a sample of their fiction and our facts to show how truth is systematically murdered in Gandhi’s Gujarat.

CLAIM: Normalcy restored in 72 hours

TRUTH: Nearly half of Ahmedabad is under curfew. Neither community members freely move in the areas dominated by the other. Shops that used to remain open till late evening are closed by afternoon. The traffic signal is switched off on several roads due to absence of traffic. Killings and burning are still taking place in interior Gujarat.

CLAIM: Police force was inadequate

TRUTH: No, eyewitnesses believe that the police was either instructed to remain a mute witness or was completely unmotivated, if not actively conniving with the rioters. Occasionally where due motivation was present, a handful policemen have dispersed huge mobs in this state. More than half the traffic police was withdrawn and kept resting. Several senior police officers were not called to active duty. Even the policemen serving at residences of police officers were not called in. Also consider ponder the fact that just a few month before Godhra virtually all police inspectors had been reshuffled.

CLAIM: Ehsan Jaffrey, former MP, was killed because he opened fire on rioters

TRUTH: First it is not established if Jaffrey opened fire at all, since nobody suffered a wound in his “firing”. And if he did, what was he supposed to do with a licensed gun at hand and a menacing, violent mob of several thousand stoning and burning his house? They did not come to garland him, surely. The septuagenarian Abdullah of Moti Mahal hotel, did not use his licensed arm, and is lying in coma. His house lies gutted, too. As is that of Justice Divecha.

CLAIM: Spontaneous reaction of 5 crore Gujaratis

TRUTH: No, Keka Shastri, Chairman of VHP, Gujarat unit, has admitted in his tape-recorded interview to rediff.com that they prepared comprehensive lists of Muslim establishments. Claiming that “our boys did it” he has justified the dastardly act in no uncertain terms. One wonders if VHP always keeps updated lists of Muslim establishments for destruction, or did they anticipate Godhra? Since most Muslims - and even very close neighbours - never knew about Muslim ownership of most such establishments, like Tulsi Restaurant, Muslims believe that such information could only have been taken from government records.

CLAIM: The army was called in immediately

TRUTH: No, Muslims kept asking for it. The army was seen moving in only on the third day, and that, too, ineffectively without adequate help from establishment

CLAIM: The English media is provoking violence

TRUTH: Sorry, the national English media was the sole saving grace for the society. But for its courageous role, amidst serious threat to their lives, they championed the cause of truth. On the other hand, the regional vernacular press, whose praises Narendra Modi sings, is still stoking fires. One such report alleges that Muslim Hajis returning from Mecca are planning to hijack a plane and attack Gujarat’s Hindu establishments.

CLAIM: The police has taken stern action against the rioters, arrested many and shot down several trouble-makers.

TRUTH: Sadly even here Muslims are victimized. Ask for a break-up, community-wise. Following the threats of a BJP minister some cases booked against its activists have been transferred to other, far-away police stations.

CLAIM: Curfew was imposed in trouble spots forthwith

TRUTH: On the contrary, Muslims were clamouring for the imposition of curfew in areas, such as Paldi, where they were targeted freely. Curfew was only imposed selectively to insulate and isolate Muslim majority areas like Juhapura.

CLAIM: Adequate fire-fighters were not available to extinguish major fires.

TRUTH: Yes. Strangely they were all blocked in fighting minor fires that were ignited first. Guess why? And major fires kept raging for hours before any fire-fighters arrived.

CLAIM: It was impossible to forestall such “spontaneous” reaction of the masses

TRUTH: Sharad Pawar controlled a far more serious situation arising from the Bombay blast. And much faster.

CLAIM: The Police acted impartially.

TRUTH: Nothing could be farther from truth. Left to themselves, perhaps they could have. Umpteen witnesses testify to police inaction and connivance. And no less than the Police Commissioner has alluded to this. In a few rare cases where officers did act diligently now they are being punished with innocuous postings.

CLAIM: The Government cannot be blamed for what happened, given the situation.

TRUTH: No one is more responsible for this carnage. The government deserves to be dismissed for failing to protect the lives of 56 passengers at Godhra in the first place. Then it failed to preempt the retaliation that by its own account it expected.

CLAIM: The Godhra carnage was more serious.

TRUTH: Murderers, including those of Sabarmati Express travelers, deserve severe punishment. But from a strictly legal point of view, and as per reports, they were a restive group shouting provocative slogans at several stations, returning after performing kar seva in violation of the spirit of Supreme Court directives. The victims of retaliation, on the other hand, had nothing to do with Godhra killing, were not involved in any crime and constituted ordinary citizens busy in their daily chore.

CLAIM: Those Sabarmati Express passengers were innocent Ram Bhakts

TRUTH: They looked anything but Ram Bhakts. Just look at any random jatha that VHP has been dispatching to Ayodhya. While some may be devout Hindus in quest of spiritual salvation, most certainly appear hired, unemployed irresponsible, tobacco-chewing, rowdily clad, dancing young men that failed to be Bollywood extras. They are untouched by any spirituality. For them there would be no place in Rama Rajya.

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