Since 2002, when the Gujarat riots broke out, a lot of things have happened. Modi was a villain in my eyes as well at that time. But over the years, pragmatism and realism has taken over.
I have had this firm realization now that words like Secularism and Communalism have NO meaning. They are bastardized words which people simply use for their self interest.. nothing more.
Here is why:
In Gujarat riots the break up of the killed was: Muslims – 790; Hindus: 254. 2548 people were injured and 223 are missing. This is as per figures given by the Union Minister of State for Home Shriprakash Jaiswal (Congress Party) in Parliament on 11 May 2005. Some NGOs put the figure close to 2000 but I have as much faith in Indian activist NGOs as I have in the used car salesman in my city.
The figures in Delhi massacres in 1984 were: Sikhs: 2733 killed in Delhi alone. as per Ahuja Committee, which submitted the report in August 1987.
The barbarity that one saw in both the areas was the same in the ways people killed each other. So, I am taking a common factor to understand the scale and spread of the madness.
It is quite obvious, that the 1984 killings were the biggest in scale and intensity that one has seen in a long time. Mind you, the numbers given were ONLY from Delhi!
Dr. Manmohan Singh who found a new whipping boy in LK Advani in his last speech to Indian parliament, had installed JD Tytler, one of the masterminds of the Delhi massacre, as a Cabinet Minister. It finally took protests after Nanavati Commission had pointed fingers at him to ease him out of the Government.
Of course there is Nandigram, where Muslims and lower caste people were specifically targetted and killed in a genocide as well. There is no number of how many were killed but the killings continue in trickles EVEN today!
So, obviously one wants to ask a few questions – How do you define “Religious Fundamentalism” and Secularism?
Is religious genocide when any ONE section of the society is targetted? Or is it when ONLY minorities are targetted?
Or is it when ONLY one minority is targetted? Or is it when THAT ONE minority is targetted by ONLY one party??
When does violence enter the realm of a religious fundamentalism??
These are important questions. But they have been rendered useless. The very Congress which targets BJP was the culprit in the worst killings of any minority! The CPM which points fingers at any one they can find in the 20 mile radius have been even worse at Nandigram!! So, WHO should throw the stones? And WHY?
When Best Bakery case victims change their statements its a BIG deal. At the SAME time when the 1984 victims change their statements in Delhi, no one even cares for them!
When Rajiv Gandhi justifies the Sikh killings (Jab bada per girta hai.. ), that is a person laden with sorrow and a case of miscommunication. But when anyone who is remotely related to a particular party talks about the Godhra incident ALONG with the Gujarat killings, he is termed a saffronite and a fundamentalist!
Political Currency – Self Interest
So, I am sick and tired of this utter hypocrisy. I find anyone mouthing words like Secularism and Communalism a Hypocrite and a Scoundrel!
So, let’s get these useless terms like Secularism, Communalism, Fundamentalism, Tolerance OUT OF THE WAY! Politics only works on Self Interest and I want to treat that as the only major currency of political interaction. Those who want to pretend otherwise, I dont want to join them in their “wonderland”. They are more than welcome to dance away the rest of their lives with Alice and her friends!
NOW, knowing there is only self interest – what would be the best way to choose the bad among the worse?
Terrorism and Economy
I believe those who at the very least take care of their administrative duties in the best possible manner, should be pushed up.
Today, India’s biggest threat is Terrorism. Even bigger than the economy! And no, I am not a mere “Nationalist”. I am more interested in economic development than anything else. But if anyone has cared to look, the terrorists have made it their goal to target India’s economy and science & Technology strength!
If you remember the December 2005 attack in Indian Institute of Science – where in a failed attack, one died and 4 got injured. It was an attack callibrated against the scientific establishment of India.
In the current attacks, techies were used very effectively. These techies not only distributed the material and helped planned, but also used the computer of a US employee of a MNC to hack and then send emails through it to the Indian agencies!!
Hence, even if economy is one’s PRIMARY concern, it will be torn by terrorists. So, to preserve the economy, taking care of terrorism is the first task!
In the last two years many bomb blasts have occured in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Jaipur. None of the cases were solved. Why? because there was NO political will to do so. The Chief Ministers were either busy in horse trading or filling up their coffers. They were not concerned of their state.
The only case that was solved is that of Gujarat. Why? Because Modi and his establishment took it up as a major endeavor and a challenge. They made sure no riots occured, and even if they would have, the order to the 11 or so investigation teams was to ignore it and keep working. He gave to the investigating teams complete authority and full support – they had money, resources, people and also a chartered plane to pursue whatever they wanted.
For almost 3 weeks the team members did not sleep. They worked round the clock to get to the bottom of the case.
More than 11 teams were formed within the first few hours of the blasts. One team was asked to handle the investigations into the material used in the bombs. Another team was asked to investigate the use of bicycles. Another team was formed to thoroughly check all the phone calls made in Ahmedabad from certain areas just before and after the blasts. Another team was set up to reach out to all the police informers and gather their opinions on and information of the blasts. One team followed the cyber crime aspect of the case. The overall investigation of the case was assigned to the crime branch of Ahmedabad where more than 100 people started following whatever little leads that were available, from the midnight of July 26
What has happened and what was uncovered is nothing short of amazing given those three weeks.
Yes, the administration failed the residents in not preventing the attacks, but thankfully this administration did not wallow and start finger-pointing in its aftermath. It went into action from get go. Also, and importantly, it prevented any reactions and went about their work professionally.
In my view, this is what I expect from my country’s administration!
Leaving the hypocrisy of such lofty words and “principles” as secularism and communalism aside and not indulging in make-believe.. let me state what I would NOT have some years back. My candidate for the Prime Minister of India would be Narendra Singh Modi.
There are many people in India who say with an air of self constructed self-righteousness that “I am ashamed” of Modi.
Well, I am at a point where I am ashamed of the shamelessness of those have made a career in being ashamed!!
And its not that they are any better than these politicians – they THEMSELVES function ONLY on self interest!