Vanzara as Decoy: Modi's Hidden Hand?

Vanzara knows his power Pic: Indian Express

I don’t trust him and find the revelry over his "slamming Modi" a bit rash. From villain to hero is just a few pages of hot air? How many have given a thought to the fact that the man now indicting Narendra Modi who he considered “god” might actually be a red-herring to bait the opposition? You do not have to read his full 10-page letter for that.

IPS officer D. G. Vanzara, who is in jail for the fake encounter cases and has now penned this accusatory ‘resignation’ letter, has absolutely no concern for justice or for those who were killed. He is playing good cop-bad cop. This is reminiscent of the RSS strategy that pulls up the BJP and tries to portray the differences to take attention away from any ‘hot’ topic.

On the face of it, some statements do appear to be charges:

“Gujarat CID/Union CBI had arrested me and my officers in different encounter cases, holding us responsible for carrying out alleged fake encounters. If that is true, then the CBI investigation officers of all the four encounter cases of Sohrabuddin (Sheikh), Tulasiram (Prajapati), Sadiq Jamal and Ishrat Jahan have to arrest the policy formulators also as we, being field officers, have simply implemented the conscious policy of this government, which was inspiring, guiding and monitoring our actions from very close quarters.”

There is an IF. He is not saying he or the government was responsible. As a serving officer he would have known about that. He has also conveniently omitted the fact that he, along with a few others, was transferred to protect them.

While the chief minister must take responsibility for the acts of his officers, especially as they were guided by him – and we do not need any letter to prove that, there is enough evidence around – it cannot exonerate the officers too. Hitmen and mastermind are both culpable.

Vanzara is portraying former home minister Amit Shah as a devil. This takes away most of the heat from Modi, who has anyway sent Shah off to Uttar Pradesh to handle the party’s election campaign. Vanzara was one of the protected species too.

“The logic is very simple, i.e., government and police officers are sailing in the same boat and have to swim or sink together…through the dirty tactics of Shri Amitbhai Shah, is unfortunately managing only for its own self so as to swim and continue to prosper in all directions, while ditching the police officers so as to sink and allow them to die an unnatural death by drowning.”

Vanzara is essentially talking about the necessity to keep both parties happy. In that, he is glorifying himself and paying a backhanded compliment to the Gujarat government.

“Gujarat Police, by my own experience as a police officer, used to be one of the finest and well-managed forces in the country until the coronation of this government in Gandhinagar. Today, the same proud police of Gujarat stand totally shattered and demoralised in the context of what happened to it in the light of the continuous betrayal of jailed police officers in the past six years”

This is a bit Shakespearean. Et tu, Brute? What about the betrayal of the public? In fact, he mentions the “zero tolerance towards terrorism of this government after Godhra riots”, implying that the Gujarat riots were merely to scotch terrorism and the victims could well have been militants.

Adding to this, he states:

“Gujarat, having very long coastal and land border with Pakistan, was virtually on the path of becoming another Kashmir…When Gujarat was burning under the inferno of jihadi terrorism, I used to get daily dozens of phone calls from the biggies of Gandhinagar who probably saw a saviour in me/my officers.”

Do you see what is happening here? This man has clearly learned the art of delusions from his master.

“This government has been reaping very rich political dividends, since last 12 years, by keeping the glow of encounter cases alive in the sky of Gujarat, while otherwise, remaining in the low profile and indifferent to the fate of jailed police officers.”

This is hilarious, even if there is an attempt at poetic expression. The Gujarat government has been in denial about encounter cases (and for all the herogiri in this letter, he has not let the cat out of the bag), so no glow or ember has been kept alive. I repeat: the officers were assisted for years. They did not try to expose the government ever. It was mutual benefit, which is shameful. Vanzara is no Sanjiv Bhatt.

“This immoral government, therefore, by all means, has forfeited its right to have a place in Gandhinagar, the city whose proud name is associated with Mahatma Gandhi, the tallest moral leader of the world.”

So, Mr Vanzara is all set to push his chief minister to New Delhi as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate! And what better way for anyone to get there than a sympathy wave? Modi may quote Gandhi, but does not want to have anything to do with him. Besides, being called names makes him into a martyr. His ardent bhakts, devotees – note Vanzara too refers to him as god – work hard to ward off “haters”, many created by them in their social media factory.

“I am of the firm opinion that the place of this government instead of being in Gandhinagar, should either be in Taloja central prison at Navi Mumbai or in Sabarmati Central Prison at Ahmedabad.”

Perfect. All great leaders have been to prison, when they do not give speeches.

To add to the literary oeuvre, the suffering police officer writes about how he and his officers “stood beside this government like a bulwark whenever it faced an existential crisis in the past”. Here walks Camus’ ‘outsider’, the lone man on his lonely journey to fight all those demons. This is the image that stays - of Narendra Modi in the midst of an existential crisis with the help of his loyal soldier D. G. Vanzara.

©Farzana Versey