29 August, 2012


29 AUG 2012

A moment providing a sense of partial closure arises in the historic verdict handed down by a special court here in Ahmedabad today in the infamous Naroda Patia case It is a moment of victory for justice, for Indian state, for its constitution, for its Supreme Court [that oversaw this case, got SIT to investigate it, but for which Gujarat judiciary would have all but wound it up], for all those tireless heroes like @teesta setalvad who ceaselessly – and often thanklessly - worked for justice, for SIT which salvaged some pride for itself after having absolved Modi of all guilt.


It is a moment of pride for all conscience keepers, for human rights champions, for all good Hindus. It is a moment that may provide some, even if partial, sense of closure to the victims of the carnage. Of particular satisfaction to me personally is the conviction of the so-called Dr Maya Kodnani – MLA thrice, and a sitting minister in Modi’s cabinet – and of Babu Bajrangi who claimed on Tehelka tape to have sunk scores of Muslim bodies down the well personally and received the pat and protection of Modi later for months.


One hopes that when the courageous Additional Principal Judge Jyotsna Yagnik announces the punishment on August 31 it will be “hang till death” at least for these two “leaders”.

I happen to have two painful memorabilia from this ghostly place when it lay all darkened black, deserted and smelling the eerie silence of death: one a woman’s bangle who was reportedly gang-raped and killed at the very spot where I picked it from; and the other, a page from Quran, lying on the street floor, bearing marks of shoe-soles. These two unconnected items framed and hoisted, one each, at my office and home, served to remind me when I got tired and frustrated, exhausted and tempted to wind up the social work, that the agenda is unfinished, that there is work to be done.


In the end I wish Pakistani judiciary is watching. Many a Rinkal Kumaris is awaiting its pro-active intervention, with the same zeal that its Supreme Court is showing in chasing its Prime Minister.

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