In the Indian Express, Vinay Sitapati argues that the “get Modi at all costs” strategy has ended up obscuring those who actually murdered, raped and burned with impunity in Gujarat: Reading the clean chit
The point is not whether Modi gave an illegal order to orchestrate mass murder. The point is that his party, his government, his supporters acted as if on orders. The point is that his 56-inch chest proved incapable of halting the mobs, seems incapable of ensuring criminal justice to those who suffered. By reducing this complex narrative to a single illegal order, by making Narendra Modi the face of the Gujarat riots, his innocence has now led to the innocence of all. Who is to blame for this?
Modi has been cleared by the SIT and the courts — as he should have. And since Modi was made the heart of the Gujarat riots story, all those responsible for that tragedy share his “clean chit”. In their sloppily argued, partisan bid to pin a larger tragedy on one man, the Congress party and some NGOs have unwittingly made the Gujarat riots seem less horrific than they actually were..
Read the full piece at the Indian Express: Reading the clean chit
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Even if one did not expect honesty from Rahul Gandhi on 1984, one would have thought that his handlers would have at least prepared him better for his Times Now interview with Arnab Goswami.
Much as they wanted us to be told over and over again as to how he wants to empower women and open up the system, has personally "given" us the Lokpal, RTI, and six wonder bills that he wants Parliament to pass, perhaps they should also have told him to not try to justify the actions of the ruling Congress party in 1984:
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In his recent blotg post, BJP leader Arun Jaitley has said that the party's prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, should not apply for a US visa, even though a Gujarat court has ruled that he will not be prosecuted for alleged collusion in the 2002 riots. The US had revoked Modi's visa over the riots in 2005.
Full text of Arun Jaitley's blog:
Yesterday's verdict in the 2002 Riots case accepting the report of the SIT and dismissing the protest petition has an extremely important lesson for all. What is the extent to which false propaganda can subvert a debate when the facts are otherwise. A section of the media and some NGOs thrived on implicating Narendra Modi and making inaccurate accusations. The extent to which it led to subversion of the debate on this issue needs to be introspected. A Chief Justice of India without looking into all facts chose an inappropriate expression 'Nero'. Will he now retract? An editor used the extreme expression 'mass murderer'.
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Outside the country some nations otherwise friendly to India, held their own 'kangaroo court' and decided to proclaim Modi guilty. They chose to ignore the fact that no other Indian politician since Independence had gone through the kind of scrutiny that Modi went through in the 2002 riots case. The highest court of the land monitored the case against him. They chose the best officers who could investigate the case against him. The investigation team examined hundreds of witnesses. The SIT grilled the Chief Minister for over nine hours. When the SIT exonerated him still through a Supreme Court scrutiny, an Amicus Curiae opinion, a protest petition and eventually a judicial mind examined the case. After a due process of law, the court opined that there was not a shred of evidence against Modi.
Where does that leave the United States opinion on this issue ? Modi has not applied for US visa since 2005. My personal advice also has been that he should not apply for a US visa. The American stance on the issue has clearly been one determined by their 'kangaroo court'. To proclaim Modi guilty even when there was no evidence against him despite investigations and re-investigation amounts to immature diplomacy. It constitutes interference in India's internal affairs. This myopic American stance has the potential of recoiling back at them. It also sets a precedent for a reciprocal response. It is time the Americans reflect on how they have boxed themselves into this untenable situation.
BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi shared his views for the first time on 2002 riots in a blog post today.
Full text of Modi's Blog post:
My dear sisters and brothers,
The law of nature is that Truth alone triumphs – Satyameva Jayate. Our judiciary having spoken, I felt it important to share my inner thoughts and feelings with the nation at large.
The end brings back memories of the beginning. The devastating earthquake of 2001 had plunged Gujarat into the gloom of death, destruction and sheer helplessness. Hundreds of lives were lost. Lakhs were rendered homeless. Entire livelihoods were destroyed. In such traumatic times of unimaginable suffering, I was given the responsibility to soothe and rebuild. And we had whole heartedly plunged ourselves into the challenge at hand.
Within a mere five months however, the mindless violence of 2002 had dealt us another unexpected blow. Innocents were killed. Families rendered helpless. Property built through years of toil destroyed. Still struggling to get back on its feet from the natural devastation, this was a crippling blow to an already shattered and hurting Gujarat.
I was shaken to the core. ‘Grief’, ‘Sadness’, ‘Misery’, ‘Pain’, ‘Anguish’, ‘Agony’ – mere words could not capture the absolute emptiness one felt on witnessing such inhumanity.
On one side was the pain of the victims of the earthquake, and on the other the pain of the victims of the riots. In decisively confronting this great turmoil, I had to single-mindedly focus all the strength given to me by the almighty, on the task of peace, justice and rehabilitation; burying the pain and agony I was personally wracked with.
During those challenging times, I often recollected the wisdom in our scriptures; explaining how those seating in positions of power did not have the right to share their own pain and anguish. They had to suffer it in solitude. I lived through the same, experiencing this anguish in searingly sharp intensity. In fact, whenever I remember those agonizing days, I have only one earnest prayer to God. That never again should such cruelly unfortunate days come in the lives of any other person, society, state or nation.
This is the first time I am sharing the harrowing ordeal I had gone through in those days at a personal level.
However, it was from these very built up emotions that I had appealed to the people of Gujarat on the day of the Godhra train burning itself; fervently urging for peace and restraint to ensure lives of innocents were not put at risk. I had repeatedly reiterated the same principles in my daily interactions with the media in those fateful days of February-March 2002 as well; publically underlining the political will as well as moral responsibility of the government to ensure peace, deliver justice and punish all guilty of violence. You will also find these deep emotions in my recent words at my Sadbhavana fasts, where I had emphasized how such deplorable incidents did not behove a civilized society and had pained me deeply.
In fact, my emphasis has always been on developing and emphasizing a spirit of unity; with the now widely used concept of ‘my 5 crore Gujarati brothers and sisters’ having crystallised right at the beginning of my tenure as CM itself from this very space.
However, as if all the suffering was not enough, I was also accused of the death and misery of my own loved ones, my Gujarati brothers and sisters. Can you imagine the inner turmoil and shock of being blamed for the very events that have shattered you!
For so many years, they incessantly kept up their attack, leaving no stone unturned. What pained even more was that in their overzealousness to hit at me for their narrow personal and political ends, they ended up maligning my entire state and country. This heartlessly kept reopening the wounds that we were sincerely trying to heal. It ironically also delayed the very justice that these people claimed to be fighting for. Maybe they did not realize how much suffering they were adding to an already pained people.
Gujarat however had decided its own path. We chose peace over violence. We chose unity over divisiveness. We chose goodwill over hatred. This was not easy, but we were determined to commit for the long haul. From a life of daily uncertainty and fear; my Gujarat transformed into one of Shanti, Ekta and Sadbhavana. I stand a satisfied and reassured man today. And for this, I credit each and every Gujarati.
The Gujarat Government had responded to the violence more swiftly and decisively than ever done before in any previous riots in the country. Yesterday’s judgement culminated a process of unprecedented scrutiny closely monitored by the highest court of the land, the Honourable Supreme Court of India. Gujarat’s 12 years of trial by the fire have finally drawn to an end. I feel liberated and at peace.
I am truly grateful to all those who stood by me in these trying times; seeing through the facade of lies and deceit. With this cloud of misinformation firmly dispelled, I will now also hope that the many others out there trying to understand and connect with the real Narendra Modi would feel more empowered to do so.
Those who derive satisfaction by perpetuating pain in others will probably not stop their tirade against me. I do not expect them to. But, I pray in all humility, that they at least now stop irresponsibly maligning the 6 crore people of Gujarat.
Emerging from this journey of pain and agony; I pray to God that no bitterness seeps into my heart. I sincerely do not see this judgement as a personal victory or defeat, and urge all – my friends and especially my opponents – to not do so as well. I was driven by this same principle at the time of the Honourable Supreme Court’s 2011 judgement on this matter. I fasted 37 days for Sadbhavana, choosing to translate the positive judgement into constructive action, reinforcing Unity and Sadbhavana in society at large.
I am deeply convinced that the future of any society, state or country lies in harmony. This is the only foundation on which progress and prosperity can be built. Therefore, I urge one and all to join hands in working towards the same, ensuring smiles on each and every face.
Once again, Satyameva Jayate!
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