Modi's Date

You have got to be a bit off, and I am being polite here, to assume that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi would appear before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the post-Godhra riot cases. He did not appear on the appointed date because he does not follow rules. He has to send out that message clearly.

Anyhow, plenty of print and bandwidth and airtime got a high as they went to town about his ‘cowardice’. Please. By making him into some creature looking for a cranny to hide in, we forget that he has had his way after looking the other way as crimes were committed in his state. It is this rather jumping-the-gun attitude that has helped him further, to the extent that he has addressed “my beloved countrymen”:

Seeking to communicate to people his “deep pain” and “despair” over the attempts to tarnish the “good image of Gujarat, my government and me”, he rebutted the perception that he was scheduled to appear before SIT on March 21. “To say I was summoned on March 21 is false. I shall respond to the SIT fully respecting the law and keeping in view the dignity of a body appointed by the Supreme Court.” He added, “SIT had suggested that a suitable date can be fixed for my appearance based on mutual convenience. Such a date, when it is fixed, will be known to countrymen in due course.”

Note that mutual convenience is operating here. The SIT is putting him on the mat but he will show up when he wants to. He is using the trump card of Gujarat’s progress by involving the people in his incarceration.

It is surprising that Citizens for Peace and other NGOs want him to come clean. What are we suggesting here? There are cases of abuse of people, delay in justice, and one fine day they think he will stand there and say, yes, he is guilty? I don’t imagine there is any naiveté in this, for these are organisations that have been involved in the process of getting legal aid. They have seen injustice up close; they were around when police officers were transferred to protect them.

If it isn’t sound bytes and an attempt at getting some attention to the cause, then that is a different matter. But do not expect results or a confession.

We are dealing with the worst form of power play that co-opts the citizens and uses elitist progress as a yardstick to wipe away blood stains.

The Congress has no business to get moralistic about the situation. They have their Tytler and Sajjan Kumar. To Modi’s credit, he made no feeble excuses. Did he check into a hospital with a sudden tummy ache or to get urgent medical tests?

The courts took their time appointing the SIT. Earlier reports have been ignored or put on the backburner. Let us not forget those and obfuscate the issue by calling a man responsible for the carnage, a man who has been re-elected as CM, a coward. If he is, then so are the people of Gujarat and a large section of the nation that thinks he is a great administrator and a patriot.

We need to get our fundamentals right about who we permit to rule us. Hanging on to precarious consciences will only get us a good night’s sleep. A sleep we can ill-afford.


  1. Farzana,
    Other than Modi losing popularity in Gujarat due to economic reasons and getting weakened politically there is nothing that can really bring him to the books. Unfortunate, but true.
    BTW, NGOs and Citizens for Peace do appear to be fighting a lost battle. (Their) Public Statements urging Modi to come out clean may be betraying frustration and despair.
    P.S.: Welcome back. Aap ke apne Blog par aapka swaagat hai !!!

  2. FV, Unfortunately, I get the feeling that all this focus on Modi at this time is more about politicking than it is about getting justice for people like the grandson of MP Ahsan Jaffrey who has written a nice piecee in OutlookIndia. Politicizing such affairs only results in protecting the guilty, as the judicial system gets a black eye when political parties play politics with the Justice/Law&Order mechanism.

    Finally the culprits of the 84 riots are getting their just desserts, even after there was ample evidence to throw them in prison 20 years ago. In Modi's case, the more transparent it is in its dealings with Modi, the better chance they have of actually making him accept his part in the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

    The crazy part is that the Godhra train burning themselves were orchestrated by terrorist elements from Pakistan that managed to establish themselves in positions of influence with the muslim community in Godhra. Even crazier is the part where the "patriotic nationalists" in Gujarat went on a burning and killing spree to "get justice" for Godhra. All of this is so monumentally stupid that it defies any explanation to normal person.

  3. Mahesh:

    True,Modi as economic marvel will kill other accusations, and the rich Muslims too in Gujarat are with him. I understand NGOs expressing frustration when there is tardiness but I find it disingenuous when they think he'd come out clean. It really takes away from the credibility of their 'understanding'.


    It is always about politicking.

    I am intrigued by your knowledge about the Godhra train-burning prior to the riots. While Pakistani terrorists are active in India, we seem to ignore local groups as well as mischief-makers within our country. Besides, the burning issue itself is not simple. Please refer to the Nanavati Commission findings.

  4. PS@Mahesh: Shukriya...ab yeh blog hamara kahaan raha...kaarwaan hai ya phir kabhi patri se utra hua rail ki bogey :)

  5. "I am intrigued by your knowledge about the Godhra train-burning prior to the riots. While Pakistani terrorists are active in India, we seem to ignore local groups as well as mischief-makers within our country. Besides, the burning issue itself is not simple."

    FV, No doubt none of this could have happened with local support, and was not claiming that there was a "foreign hand" behind Godhra or the following riots.

    I was thinking specifically of one Razzak Kurkur, who was the ISI plant and was also identified as the one who purchased 140 litres of petrol before the day of the incident. This purchase of materials directly used in the train burning tell me that this was all pre-planned and deliberate. I can't seem to find the links I read a few years ago, but will post the links here when I find them.

  6. Actually, I read it from the Nanavati Commission Report -- there was also a UC Banerjee commitee report that was not an official one and instituted by the evil loser Lalu Prasad.

    Nanavati Commission was the only official investigation into this matter, and that indicted Kurkur and another associate of buying petrol. (I think a Nanavati Commission also looked into the Sikh riots in 1984).

    Realistically, you cannot just create a massive fire that burns a railway coach to that extent without using an accelerant like petrol. Stuff made of metal doesn't just spontaneously combust into a raging fire, which makes me highly suspicious by the UC Banerjee commission's claim that the coach just spontaneously combusted...uh huh, sure.

    But then, when you have two official-sounding committees and commissions coming to exactly opposite conclusions, there can be only confusion, as we have in this case. Not to mention the law&order and justice systems in most states themselves have been corrupted to a large extent by politicking by our thieving Netas. I'll stop ranting now and find a brick wall to demolish with my skull.

  7. Al:

    I meant the Banerjee Report. If you have time do read this post and the article linked to it...


    More responses later!

  8. Al:

    Either the ISI plant is a foreign hand or isn’t.

    Lalu Prasad Yadav was the Railway Minister, and the ministry was expected to shell out compensation.

    The U C Banerjee report does not mention any spontaneous combustion. The fact is that people were arrested and compensation disbursed whereas similar justice has not yet been shown towards the riot victims. And we had the govt actively involved.

    I'll stop ranting now and find a brick wall to demolish with my skull.

    Are you a kar sevak?!

  9. "Either the ISI plant is a foreign hand or isn’t."

    And so what? The ISI plants need local assistance to get stuff done.

    "Lalu Prasad Yadav was the Railway Minister, and the ministry was expected to shell out compensation."

    So what? Have you been following Lalu's brand of politics? You think Lalu's conscience will get all raw and bleeding if the railway ministry shells out money on his behalf?

    "The U C Banerjee report does not mention any spontaneous combustion."

    Well, perhaps we can focus on what the UC banerjee committee says on how the fire was started from inside the train -- so perhaps you can explain who was carrying all that combustible fuel inside the train. The only fuel on the train was in the engine.

    "The fact is that people were arrested and compensation disbursed whereas similar justice has not yet been shown towards the riot victims. And we had the govt actively involved."

    Yes, and did I say anywhere that such was not the case? If not, where is this coming from?

    I say:

    "I'll stop ranting now and find a brick wall to demolish with my skull."

    And you say:
    "Are you a kar sevak?!"

    Can you explain yourself here? Just some kneejerk response to push some buttons? You think I am some Kar Sevak tooling around in your blog?

    My remark was that the confusion created deliberately by politicians like Lalu are working. Anyway, I really don't give a damn.

    In fact, Everyone in Gujarat and elsewhere can go ahead set each other on fire for all I care. Have a nice life.

  10. People other than kar sevaks are not allowed to be frustrated about the state of affairs is it? Very interesting. Anyway, best of luck with you writing.

  11. The UC Banerjee report interviewed a different set of people than the nanavati commission, so it does not surprise me that they make conflicting claims. The ISI has sleeper cells all over India, so it is not surprising that they existed in Gujarat -- that is all I have to say.

  12. And no, I am not a kar sevak. I am agnostic and do not follow any religion.

  13. Geez, Al, the reference to kar sewak was a play on your terms 'brick wall' and 'demolish'. It wasn't literal at all.

    Are you going to leave this blog since you have wished me well and all?

    I am not logged in so cannot reply at length although we do not agree here. That's fine.

    PS: Some of my best friends are kar sewak sympathisers :) Really. They send me anti Mossie stuff and I have a good laugh. Tonight, the sherry's on me.

  14. Al (various):

    The ISI does have sleeper cells, but it is also a known fact that we point out across the border at any given occasion without looking within. It does not help solve our problems except to help political rhetoric.

    I happen to be aware of Lalu Prasad Yadav's politics, and like almost all politicians he is corrupt. My point was that he was the railway minister and he had some duties. His involvement was germane.

    The U C Banerjee Committee was instituted by the Union government; the Nanavati Commission by the state government. If their findings were different, then their motives were different too. Beyond the veracity of either is the more real fact that those people were compensated and 78 people were arrested almost immediately.

    Kar sewaks would hardly ever be frustrated about the state of affairs. And there is no question about who is allowed to feel what.

    I have already clarified what my reference meant when addressed to you. I wish you would realise that this is hardly the place to push buttons when I am trying to have a dialogue.

    Well, try and imagine how it must feel to be called a jihadi every other day - and I do not believe in any organised religion, too.

  15. Very Sorry for those angry words, FV. I am sick of people just assuming that I hate X, Y or Z because of who I am.

    Let me read both reports and post my views on this.


  16. I mean, who I am in terms of my views against pretty much everyone, including myself.

  17. Al:

    No one is on test here. I understand.



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