Gujarat Carnage: Modi and SIT

After the Special Investigation Team appointed by Supreme Court submitted its report in December 2010, a front page headline in a leading daily announced that SIT gives a clean chit to Modi. This was picked up by a large section of the media to hail Modi being the man for progress of Gujarat. The industrialist’s chorus for Modi the potential Prime minster is on from last quit some time. This news of ‘clean chit’ to Modi gladdened the hearts of communal forces. The social activists could not believe what they read. Number of Citizens inquiry Committee reports has already worked overtime to bring forward the truth of Gujarat carnage. It has been called as a state sponsored carnage by social activists for no reason. The ground work of activists, interacting with the hapless victims already had given the precise picture of what took place in Gujarat. There are scores of Citizens committee reports, and also the report of Peoples tribunal, led by the leading legal luminary who had concluded that the carnage went on the way it did due to the pro active involvement of Modi Government which gave it the horrific character.

Despite all the reports a substantial section of the popular perception looked at Modi in a favorable light. The way truth is undermined when it pertains to the minorities and weaker sections of society was clear in the case of Gujarat carnage. Though ‘social consciousness’ had some doubts that the carnage was not handled well, the major focus was shifted to Godhra carnage and the alleged role of Muslims was highlighted. This projected role of Muslims seemed to be giving justification to Hindus retaliating. Despite the Bannerjee Commissions report, saying that Godhra tragedy was not preplanned act by Muslims, in popular perceptions it could not make a dent as already the media and other propaganda machinery led by Modi had created the image of aggressive Muslims burning the train.

Now with SIT coming to investigate some aspects of the carnage there was a hope amongst victims and social activists that the truth of Gujarat, the truth of the state sponsored carnage will finally come out and the guilty will be punished and victims will get justice. With this hope in the background when the perceptions were manufactured that SIT has given a clean chit to Modi, it was a fake and bitter pill for the victims and social activists doing their best to fight for the cause of justice. With so called news of SIT giving clean chit many further lost the faith in the system, with the feeling that probably this is end of the road for justice in this country.

Fortunately that is not the case. The Tehelka scoop (5th February 2011) clearly shows that the newspaper headline was a concoction. The scoop shows that the report has squarely put the blame of carnage on Modi. All the charges against him stand vindicated in the SIT investigation report. The report practically confirms all the findings of the people’s tribunal and other Citizens committees who painstakingly investigated the Gujarat violence and called it a pogrom. The SIT report submitted to the Supreme Court tells that Modi had tried to alter the situation in the Gulbarg society by saying, by now most infamous, ‘every action has equal and opposite reaction’. SIT report confirms that Gujarat Government had deputed ministers in the police control room, a move which gave the management of violence in the political hands making it more horrific and motivated act. It was a common knowledge that few honest police officers, who had stood by the call of their duty and prevented the aggravation of violence, were transferred to insignificant postings.

With this scoop now it stands confirmed that the Gujarat Government had destroyed the records of wireless communication of the period of the violence. Modi did display a discriminatory attitude towards the victim minorities and he did not visit the riot affected areas or minority camps till quiet late during the carnage. Government appointed RSS affiliated lawyers in the sensitive riot cases. Modi did not take any steps to stop the Bandh call given by VHP and supported by BJP on 28th February, this move of VHP gave a big start to the massacre and the attitude of state to the bandh gave a signal to the rioters for doing what they did. SIT confirms that the officials tried to mislead the election commission in the wake of forth coming elections by projecting that there is peace and atmosphere is conducive for elections while the truth was that the violence was simmering in the society. Police has carried out extremely shoddy innvetigagation of Naroda Patia and Gulbarg society cases.

There are diverse reactions to the report. The social activists are demanding that this is the sufficient ground for lodging FIR against Modi. The BJP on the contrary is more worried about investigating as to how the leak took place. Interestingly while today this party is demanding probe into the scoop, BJP and no one else raised the question when the news ‘SIT gives clean chit to Modi’ was highlighted! Nobody in their best wisdom asked a question as to when the report is confidential how come this headline in the newspapers? In a classic display of double standards BJP never questioned the first ‘leak’, as that suited its political purpose. Now when the boot is in the other foot the legality of scoop etc is being raised.

Meanwhile what is happening to the victim community? They have been browbeaten in to second class citizenship, ghettoization is going up by leaps and bounds, and the process of justice to victims of violence is prominent by its absence, the efforts of human rights activists succeeding in few cases, notwithstanding.

That raises the larger issue of how the popular perceptions are modulated, how the mass consciousness is manufactured in the society. Right since the Godhra train burning a particular view of events put across by the murderers is dominating the media world. Any doubts about the major erosion of the story have been treated with contempt by large sections of media. In the case of headline ‘SIT gives a clean chit to Modi’, the same perception was boosted that it is the minorities and social activists who are the cause of trouble. The social perceptions are very crucial in making the criminals of the of the ilk of Modi to rule with iron hand to and to keep getting re-elected despite having a huge stock of skeletons in the cupboard, despite there being blood on his hands.

In this battle for the minds of society the communal elements are having the major manipulating power at present. Goebbels is being outplayed in Gujarat. This whole episode should make us do the introspection as to how to ensure that ‘truth shall prevail’ in present circumstance. Also which are these forces, politics-media alliance which can manipulate the mass thinking at will by publishing that ‘SIT has given clean chit to Modi’? If we cannot wake up to this stark fact of our society, such popular perceptions will be laying the ground for the mass murderers to keep ruling with the great appreciation form the communal forces and captains of industry and they can also manipulate the opinion of masses in their favor.

No match to Narendra Modi’s Muslim obsession

By Soroor Ahmed,

The Muslim obsession of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi continues even eight-and-a-half years after the communal riots of February-April 2002. If in the past he used expressions like Mian and not General before President Musharraf of Pakistan, during the recent election for the six civic bodies in Gujarat, which the BJP won, he targeted the Congress by alleging that it wants to install the statue of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, while he himself is eager to build the statue of Iron Man of India, Vallabh Bhai Patel. According to him it would be double the height of the Statue of Liberty in the United States––it would be 182 metres tall––and would be known as the Statue of Unity. Ironically the latter as India’s first Home Minister after independence played an important role in getting the RSS banned for some time after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

Though Indian Muslims have nothing to do with Musharraf, who was the ruler of Pakistan, and Sohrabuddin, who was a gangster, expressions like Mian, which is used to address Muslims, were deliberately used to tease them and consolidate the Hindu votebank.

However, of late Modi has been trying to improve his image and during the recent election for six Municipal Corporations the BJP floated the name of Abdullah Ibrahim Saiyad, a retired IPS for the post of Mayor of Ahmedabad. But not surprisingly the said man, a former Additional Director General of Police, lost from his own seat of Sarkhej in Ahmedabad and thus Modi’s move received a big blow. This notwithstanding the fact that Narendra Modi personally supervised the election of Abdullah Ibrahim Saiyad.

This is not the first time that Narendra Modi made an attempt to woo Muslims. A year back he did put up some Muslim candidates for election of Municipal Corporation in Junagadh, which has a sizeable Muslim population. All of them lost and the Congress won.

In fact 11 out of 12 Muslim candidates of the BJP who contested in the six Corporations on October 10 election lost. The lone Muslim to win on BJP ticket was Bibben Sama, wife of Habib Sama, from Rajkot. Habib has been Rajkot BJP general secretary for the last 11 years. In contrast 34 out of 66 Muslim candidates put up by the Congress romped home. This in spite of the fact that the overall performance of the Congress was very bad. The BJP won two-thirds of the 555 corporation seats in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot, Surat, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar. The BJP won 444 against Congress 101––34 of them Muslims. Modi did succeed in branding the Congress as a Muslim party.

As a part of exercise to win over Muslims sometime back Modi appointed Shabbir Hussain Shekhadam Khandwawala, as the first Muslim DGP of Gujarat. He has recently been given a three-month extension. Similarly when the BJP won the by-election of Kathlal a few weeks back, Modi claimed that 65 per cent Muslims voted for his party.

Modi and his party desperately need some Muslim faces for image makeover in the state. Saiyad fits the bill. Like Modi he also comes from Mehsana district and actively campaigned for the party.

Saiyad was an IG, when he almost became a victim of mob violence on February 28, 2002. A mob surrounded him looking at the name on his uniform badge. After the riots he was not given important posting during most part of Modi regime till the last year of his retirement in 2008, when he was promoted to the post of additional DGP and put in charge of police administration.

Still after the retirement he chose to join the BJP and not Congress or any other party. Now he downplays the incident which took place with him during the infamous riots day in 2002.

The Mayor seat for Ahmedabad has become a sort of prestige issue for Modi too as a year after the Gujarat communal holocaust of 2002 Congress candidate, Aneesa Mirza, managed to become the first woman Muslim Mayor of the state. To be precise she became Mayor of Ahmedabad on April 16, 2003.

The greatest irony of all is that, it is Modi’s anti-Muslim image, which is being used by the BJP’s alliance partner in Bihar, the Janata Dal (United), to woo Muslim votes. Notwithstanding past friendship and handshakes Nitish Kumar has publicly dissociated himself from the Gujarat chief minister and tried to create an impression that he does not want him to campaign in Bihar. After the Ayodhya verdict of September 30 his party started avoiding Lal Krishan Advani and party spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad as well. Whether the move will click or not is an altogether a different matter.

When sometimes back Nitish did try to keep Modi away from the Bihar campaign the BJP was quick to explain its position. The party leaders argued that Modi is not coming to Bihar because he is busy in the civic poll in his own state. But now that the Corporation elections are over, yet he has not turned up for electioneering yet.

So eight and a half years later, Modi-Muslim relationship continues to bewilder the people.

Narendra Modi: Travails Of Travel Abroad

While law of the land is trying to catch up with the acts of commission and omission in the Gujarat carnage, another set of laws, the global ones have been very clear about permitting the entry of a person like Narendra Modi into their country.

Recently (April 8, 2010), a group of German MPs justified the denial of visa to Modi. They advocated a ban on his visiting Europe. This parliamentary delegation was on a two day visit to the city of Ahmedabad to study the state of minorities in Gujarat. It concluded that the European Union (EU) decision not to grant visa to him was justified. They went to the extent of banning his trip to Europe in near future. They pointed out that “the Chief Minister of Gujarat has a radical tone to his politics and is described as dictatorial. He has a wrong perception of religious freedom.” This four member team has been closely following developments in the Gujarat riot cases.

One member of delegation pointed out that he was shocked by parallels between Germany under Hitler and Gujarat under Modi. Incidentally in Gujarat school books Hitler has been glorified as a great nationalist. Modi, in response to this has written to Prime Minister to seek apology from the German delegation for tarnishing the image of democratically elected head of state. The Congress Government endorsed Modi’s view and clarified that the EU had put a ban on Modi’s visit in the aftermath of Gujarat carnage but that has been withdrawn. Also that it was not an official delegation. Whatever that be, the opinion of the members of the delegation does reflect a deeper truth of our political phenomenon.

That apart, this is not the first time that such a thing has happened. Modi was earlier denied visa to US. On March 18, 2005 in a severe rebuke to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the United States denied him entry to America. US Consular division had taken a strong stand against Modi, the Hindutva icon. They denied him diplomatic visa apparently holding him responsible for communal carnage of 2002. In addition, his tourist/business visa which was already granted was revoked under a section of US Immigration and Nationality Act since he was not coming for a purpose that qualifies for a diplomatic visa.

In response to the query that he was already holding a tourist-cum-business visa, the Consulate pointed out that the “existing tourist/business visa has been revoked under Section 212 (a) (2) (g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.” According this section any foreign government official who was responsible or “directly carried out, at any time, particularly severe violations of religions freedom” is denied the visa. The decision of US authorities was based on the observations of India’s National Human Rights Commission findings and other independent Indian sources.

The observation of German delegation raises one additional major point about the state of Gujarat being similar to that of Germany under Hitler. Who will know it better than Germans who have suffered the political tragedy of fascism for bad many years? Modi’s point that he is an elected person again matches so well with Hitler. One recalls, Hitler came to power through democratic means and then he gradually eroded liberal-democratic norms from inside to bring in worst type of fascist state. The parallels are unmistakable. There are some differences from German fascism here but all the same the basic phenomenon is the same. Fascism is a politics where the liberal democratic space is abolished in the name of targeting some section of society for the supposed cause of National interest. In case of Germany the process was accompanied by a cultural paradigm shift and political aggression against communists, then trade unionists and then the Jews. Millions of Jews were subjected to the gas chambers, one of the greatest tragedies of the human history of twentieth century.

The politics of Hitler, and his clone Mussolini was praised by M.S. Golwalkar the ideologue of RSS, the organization where Modi has been indoctrinated and trained. Golwalkar’s formulations of aggressive nationalism and relegating minorities to second-class citizenship are being actualized by Modi and company in different ways.

While the similarities with German case are so glaring, there are some differences as well. The German fascism began to take social roots after the economic crisis generated in the aftermath of First World War. The cultural offensive in the field of arts, music, literature and the ‘glorification of ancient past’ picked up rapidly. In one of the major assaults on democracy, the fire at Reichstag was attributed to having been done by Communists, and physical violence was unleashed against them. Analogies with Godhra train burning are unmistakable.

Here the ascendance of Modi comes on the background of the economic crisis of the decade of 1980s, the adverse effects of globalization picking up, the loss of jobs of the downtrodden due to closure of textile mills, the attacks on the dalits OBCs in the name of anti reservation riots. The cultural manipulation began with Ram Temple movement, and spreading of hate against minorities, Muslims first and then the Christians, who by now have been relegated to second class citizenship in Gujarat and some other states and the trend in other states is going in that direction.

While in Germany whole of the Nation came under the grip of fascism, the saving grace in India is that the electoral face of ‘Indian fascism’, BJP, has not been able to come to absolute majority in the center by itself. That’s not to say that fascism is not marching. In Germany the defeat of Germany in Second World War led to the collapse of the nation along with the edifice of fascism with the fascist-in-chief committing suicide. In India here it has gripped Gujarat in full, while in other states like Karnataka, Orissa, MP its presence is getting strengthened by and by. At national level though BJP might have faced two electoral debacles, the infiltration of fascist ideology through the pores of Indian democracy is going on in various ways. The phenomenon is creeping slowly though section of media, communalization of education, and infiltration of the followers of this ideology in different section of state. The gradual attempt to erode the liberal and plural values is a dangerous portent for democracy. Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit’s alleged involvement in Malegon blast may just be the tip of the iceberg. The judicial pronouncements that ‘Gita should be our national book’ are also reflective of the same phenomenon.

Indian fascism is a slow growing one, capturing different aspects of society one by one. It is not for nothing that Modi is the darling of big capitalists, who stand to gain maximum from the fascist type set ups. One can label Indian phenomenon as a chronic fascism, going in a step ladder pattern. Those of us relived because of electoral debacles of BJP at center need to wake up and realize that fascism is marching, irrespective of BJP’s electoral debacle in last two general elections.

The incidental observation from German delegates report is that since Germany went through such a painful period of history, many Germans realize and can sense the symptoms of fascism so easily. Same applies to many Japanese joining anti-Nuke protests and campaigns against Nuclear weapons. Who knows better than them as to what a nuclear weapon can do to the society?

So while here in India the justice to Modi ilk is elusive, globally there are norms which do recognize the nature of incidents happening here, the politics which abuses religious identity to come to power is in essence a variant of fascism whatever be its other characteristics.

Mr. Modi And The Ghosts Of Gujarat 2002

By Dr. Shah Alam Khan,

I don’t believe in ghosts. I think they are the folly of a fearful mind. But yet I find ghosts to be funny characters. They hound you at the most awkward of hours and at the most awkward of places. Having said this, some ghosts are not funny, they can make life miserable. Ask Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat. Mr. Modi is alleged to have mastermind or rather orchestrated the genocide of Muslims in Gujarat during the 2002 communal riots. It was this orchestration of communal massacre which earned him the title of modern day Nero by the Supreme Court of India. The ghosts of Gujarat 2002 keep returning to him. The more he tries to ostracize these nefarious characters, the more they return with new force and vigor. Ghosts of young men & women, small children, pregnant mothers and even the little Caspers, the fetuses who were torn out of the cozy comfort of their mothers’ bellies and thrown into soaring infernos. All are back. Some ghosts are obstinate, pigheaded to get justice for getting them into this indiscernible state by Mr. Modi and his riot manufacturing machine which runs on human blood.

I am sure these ghosts will accompany Mr. Modi on March 27th 2010, when we are made to believe,

that he presents himself to be questioned by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court of India to probe the Gujarat carnage. It is important to note that Mr. Modi will be testifying only in the case of Mr. Ehsan Jafri who was murdered, sorry, dismembered, in the Gulbarg society carnage in Feb 2002. I am amused to imagine that as Mr. Modi will sit in the big leather chair in front of a tight lipped committee of polished bureaucrats, there would be a thousand eyes popping over his shoulder, jostling to get space, pushing and elbowing each other to make their presence felt. The SIT interrogation room will be full of ghosts. Frail elderly ghosts, who will be pushed further back in the chaos, the naughty little ones who will dodge their mothers to go and pee on Modi’s white starched kurta and the pregnant ghosts, the most difficult to control; they start cursing and bellowing at the top of their voices whenever they see Mr. Modi. Probably they were too much in love with their babies-to-be the day they were raped and cut opened. Then there would be those who are unnamed, unidentified – the faceless ghosts. These are the ones who resided in bodies which were charred beyond recognition in the spring of 2002 across different locations of Gujarat. Bodies scorched so badly that even their spirits are now faceless.

It will be interesting to note how these ghosts will react as Mr. Modi is put through what I feel will be scratchy questions. Well surely uncomfortable for people with a heart and soul! I had always felt that Mr. Modi should be invited to an episode of Sach ka Samna, the popular Hindi version of a more suave Moment of Truth. Seeing him answer moral (and immoral) questions in a true or false pattern would be fun. In fact it might be much easier for him as well; at least he will not have to give bizarre and whacky explanations which make us judgmental on his intelligence and astuteness. So, if the host asks, “Mr. Modi you ordered the best bakery carnage – True or False?” he, with all the straightness of face (resembling the election face mask he distributed in 2007) will answer, “False”. The not so always accurate lie detector machine says: False. No more explanations, no more shame. Well, no more shame particularly for Mr. Modi and no more shame for us, Indians, in general.

History has a peculiar knack of catching up with its characters. On March 27th India’s history will catch up with its most pernicious of politicians. In the company of three thousand invisible yet tangible ghosts, Narendra Modi will undergo a scrutiny of his deeds. His acts of commission and importantly his impotence of omission, everything will go under the scanner. And all this in the presence of those to whom he owes an explanation. He owes an explanation to all of us. To me, to you, to those who love our freedom and our country. To those who bow before the god a bit differently and also to those who bow in the same way as he does. He owes an explanation to the nameless ghosts who wander through the land of Gandhi awaiting their moksha and to those who were left alive and mourn the dead.

I am sure Mr. Modi will perspire as the SIT questions get difficult and will sigh as the easier ones follow. Watching him quietly in the room with three thousand ghosts will be a smiling Ehsan Jafri in white kurta-pyjama; still soaked in blood. His body was dismembered, but his spirit is cohesive. He has identified his killers. He has recognized the perpetrators. His death has not gone waste. His wailing from that fateful day in Gulbarg society haven’t gone unanswered. The Day of Judgment is closing in. He does not want to blink. He wants to capture each and every second of this hearing into his fluid state. The pain of getting dismembered by a crowd of assassins must surely be not greater than the pleasure of seeing Narendra Modi in the spot light. The spot light of shame and ignominy.

Narendra bhai Modi, as he is popularly called, has a task cut out. Either he faces the SIT to answer questions he has been evading since February 2002 or he continues to live in the shadow of ghosts. His party feels that he is a popular chief minister who always respects law. It makes me laugh – law and Modi in the same voice? A sarcastic oxymoron for those who saw law raped in Gujarat in the 2002 carnage. An ironic antithesis for those who saw their children thrown in fire in the February of 2002. An iron-cold apathy for those who saw policemen betray their trust.

Mr. Modi, it’s not easy to live with ghosts. They create ruckus, they can be hysterical. They don’t let you sleep peacefully and above all they do not forget or forgive.


Associate Professor of Orthopaedics

All India Institute of Medical Sciences

New Delhi, India

Blog: http://www.indiaandbharat.blogspot.com

Amitabh Bachchan Cosying Up With Modi, Risking His Own Image

By Mohd. Ziyaullah Khan,

Amitabh Bachchan’s recent visit to Gujarat and his praise for the state Chief Minister Narendra Modi are both surprising and dismaying, especially, for the clan of people which he hails from. One can understand his interest in doing such act, since his movie ‘Paa’ is still on the board and he is putting his best to make it alive and fresh at the box office. And, in order to do this, he has to go to such an extent.

However, this sounds really disturbing for his huge fan that moons over him the world over. Perhaps, this could be a start of a real bad end for a man of his stature, who had ruled the film industry for some decades and still admired for his exemplary performances in countless of movies. Or may be, he is a perplexed person at the moment, especially to the fact that his ‘Bade Bhaiyya’ (Amar Singh) sounds lingering nowhere in the political domain. After breaking alliance with the Congress, the Samajwadi Party seemed to be cosying up with the BJP. Jaya Bachchan is also an MP from the SP. Does the Big B’s new found friendship with Modi mean that a political realignment is in the offing or does it mean that the Bachchans too may be moving away from the SP just as Amar Singh did on Wednesday.

So is it a confused move of his that he applauds a person like Modi, or is it a kind of ‘tasting the water’ theory, which he has adopted in order to see the mood of his fans and followers – to decide which road to eventually opt for. Probably, his mood at the moment sounds, trying to tread paths contrary to his conventional nature and zest for which he is known for. The ways or methods, which were never seen when he became the part of the movies like Khakhi or Dev, wherein the character he played showcased a man who stood for justice and peace, regardless to the kind of threat lurking in his life. The movies which mirrored incidences occurred at that time, he had played the character of a spokesperson of marginalized people denied the justice and dignity. Now when we see him becoming a brand ambassador of Gujarat & a marketing man for its tourist places and also shaking hands and sharing dinner with people like Modi (who is virtually a farce creator with a hoax called vibrant Gujarat), it seems nothing but a road towards disaster.

“What happened, Sir? Why this sudden change? Is it mere an effort to make more money from your movie Paa? And that too from a place which is a dry zone for Aamir Khan, since his 3 Idiots has got the unprecedented response. But hang on! his movie is doing good there too. Moreover, movies like ‘Paa’ is nothing but a good effort to unveil certain rarest of rare disease which does exist in our society, just like how we find salt in any dish, so I presume, rather going for U/A grade, it must have a different class, wherein people with background like Medicine and psychology should go and watch and understand this unique disease and its implications in the society. I am still a worried man, since, I see him denying the Honorary Doctorate awarded by the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, as Indians were attacked there in Australia, but the same Amitabh Bachchan, goes all the way to Gujarat, meets and appreciates people like Modi, whose hands are still deep in blood of more than 2000 Muslims killed in Gujarat Genocide, whose scares on millions of people still remain deep. I mean, what’s happening, I really fail to understand this dual nature of this person.

(The writer is a freelancer and media activist based in Nagpur, can be contacted at writeziya@gmail.com)

India Votes: Amplifying Advani Logic

LK AdvaniLaw and order have two enemies: the Full Truth and the Complete Lie. When people realize the truth, they start revolutions. When they are fed lies they begin meaningless riots.

– M.J. Akbar, 1979

A leader is one who leads by example and does not follow in the footsteps of his followers and disciples but Lal Krishna Advani, country’s eager Prime Minister-in-waiting, is an exceptional political entity. He used to lead by example in his infamous Rath Yatra days but the addictive taste of Delhi’s political power has changed his mindset. Continue reading India Votes: Amplifying Advani Logic

Capitalism In A Box

KISHORE BUDHA

“Narendra Modi becomes India Inc poster boy” [Economic Times]

Today’s cartoon is about leading corporate billionaires Anil Ambani and Bharti Mittal signalling their thumbs up for Narendra Modi as PM of India. Modi, as widely believed, is accused of having looked the other way when a systematic pogrom was unleashed against Muslims, consuming 2000 people in key cities of Gujarat. Critics have compared the situation with the capitalism’s role in the growth of Nazi Germany. Here the cartoon plays on the symbolism of capitalism (in a commodity box), Auschwitz, and Gujarat.

Capitalism In A Box
Capitalism In A Box

Delhi Blasts, Time To Go Beyond Condemnations

India GateA series of bomb blasts tore through the busy markets in Delhi on the 13th of September. They are reprehensible, but lamentably not surprising. There have been more than a dozen gory blasts in major cities, including Delhi in the last three years. Continue reading Delhi Blasts, Time To Go Beyond Condemnations

US State Department Confirms Modi Will Not Be Given Visa

Narendra ModiFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2008

Washington D.C.: The US State Department has confirmed in a letter to Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) that Modi will not be granted a US visa for the upcoming World Gujarati Conference in New Jersey being held on the weekend of August 29-31, 2008. Amidst lobbying efforts by his supporters to get his US visa reinstated, Modi was invited to attend the World Gujarati Conference by its organizers. Continue reading US State Department Confirms Modi Will Not Be Given Visa

Bilkis Bano: The Face of Courage

Recently the special court in Maharashtra gave the first significant verdict related with the Gujarat violence of 2002.  12 persons were given life sentence for the gang rape of Bilkis Bano by Judge U.D. Salvi. It was highly reassuring to see the institution of judiciary finally standing up and delivering its duty in a very significant way.

But no less important was the courage, grit and determination shown by the victim Bilkis Bano. Continue reading Bilkis Bano: The Face of Courage