Saturday, January 4, 2014


2002 RIOTS


1984 RIOTS

People forget; especially people who say bad things; people who do bad things; they forget very easily. They would not remember a word of what insensitive things they said to others. They would not remember the worst crimes they committed on others. But, the people who have suffered at their hands – it is difficult for them to forget what bad things they heard and what hard things they suffered at the hands of the former - that easily. That is how we are all made – except  the Buddhas, the Yogis and the Good Samaritans, who want to move on doing good, irrespective of what bad is told about them; and what bad is done to them.

It is in this context that we need to view the statements of our Political leaders of all hues. The latest example of this is the Press conference of our Prime Minister, Dr.Man Mohan Singh. I do hold Dr.Man Mohan Singh a Good Man and Most of the Media holds him as a bad leader. He never led the Government of which he was the anointed head. The latest press conference of his looks like a bad example of his failing leadership.

There were too many things in this press conference, which were “not good” enough - FOR ANY ONE to accept and approve. Most pressmen have disapproved large parts of the PM's replies.

But, I would like to analyze briefly - what he said about Narendra Modi, the Prime Ministerial Candidate of BJP. Here are the published portions of his  answers to the relevant Questions  on this aspect : 

Q: Do you think Rahul Gandhi vs Narendra Modi is an equal contest? Are you confident he will be able to form the Government?
PM: I have full confidence that the next Prime Minister will be from the UPA coalition, and that without discussing the merits of Mr. Narendra Modi, it will be disastrous for the country to have Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister. 

Q: The BJP and Mr. Modi’s charge against you is that you have been a weak PM. Does the party have a role?
PM: I do not believe that I have been a weak Prime Minister. That is for historians to judge. The BJP and its associates may say whatever they like. But if by “strong Prime Minister”, you mean that you preside over a mass massacre of innocent citizens on the streets of Ahmedabad, that is the measure of strength, I do not believe that sort of strength this country needs, least of all, in its Prime Minister. 

Q: What about succour to the victims of anti-Sikh riots?
PM: If you are talking about the Sikhs who suffered in 1984 riots, I think our Government has done quite a lot, and I used the opportunity of a discussion in Parliament, to publicly apologise to the Sikh community on behalf of the Government of our country, for what had happened in 1984. It should never have happened. As far as the compensation is concerned, one can never give adequate compensation to compensate for the loss of valuable lives. But wherever possible, we have provided succour to the suffering families of the Sikhs affected by the 1984 riots. 

Now, against the questions and answers, I quote below what the leader of Opposition says about what the PM says :

"Is he willing to use the same phraseology for the Prime Minister as on 1st November, 1984 during whose tenure the worst ever genocide in the country took place against the Sikh community and for which nobody till date has been held responsible," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley told reporters.
So, India had 2 Major riots, if we believe the Congress and the BJP. One happened in 1984 and another in 2002.
 The 1984 anti-sikh riots had taken place in the aftermath of the assassination of Indira Gandhi, when Rajiv Gandhi took over as Prime Minister.  I am quoting below what Wikipedia says about the riots in its first para  at :

“The 1984 anti-Sikhs riots or the 1984 Sikh Massacre were a series of pogroms directed against Sikhs in India, by anti-Sikh mobs, in response to the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. There were more than 8,000 deaths, including 3,000 in Delhi. The Central Bureau of Investigation, the main Indian investigating agency, is of the opinion that the acts of violence were organized with the support from the then Delhi police officials and the central government headed by Indira Gandhi's son, Rajiv Gandhi. Rajiv Gandhi was sworn in as Prime Minister after his mother's death and, when asked about the riots, said "when a big tree falls, the earth shakes". 

This is not what I say. This is what many respected web sites say. They may be wrong in some small details, but we all know that, by and large, the massacre did happen and many congress leaders and workers were the main culprits. Many other details of the 1984 riots are well documented in many news web sites. Many Congress leaders and thousands of congress workers were involved in this frenzied anti-sikh riots. 

Dr. Manmohan Singh may have publicly apologized for the riots  much later – because, huge discontentment was simmering among the sufferers. The Apology, coming so late in the day, was not bad, but was not sufficient. Many disturbing questions arise in this context.

1.     Why was there no strong and swift action to put down the massacre itself – by the then Congress Government? In fact, this is the first question that Congress has to ask itself  and answer to the public convincingly. It is more important because, the Congress is asking the BJP the same question in respect of 2002 riots.

2.     BJP”s Narendra Modi, had put down the riots in Ahmedabad within 24 hours time. But, the PM is not answering why the Congress and its top Brass allowed the Anti-sikh riots to continue for several days as a free for all!

3.     The question of compensation is ridiculous. How much compensation is good enough for mass murders? Yet, did the government do all it could to restore at least the economic status of the killed persons’ families? This should have been done in 1984 and in 2002 both.

4.   The apology by the next, next PM is next to nothing – but the PM and Congress are trotting it as ‘more than sufficient’ compensation for all the riot victims’ sufferings. Raja Dharma or the Duty of the head of the Government is totally different. You can apologize for every Murder, every Gang rape etc committed all over India at the start of every Day in Parliament and state assemblies. Is this of any use? Government is expected to ensure that no further crimes are committed at all by anyone after the first crime that comes to its Notice. And, by that standard, Narendra Modi’s record since 2002 is reasonably good, while the record of Congress is not.

5.     Head of Government must ensure that the perpetrators of the crimes are punished severely, so that the sufferer has some solace that the Government is fair to the victim’s families at least. Here again, Narendra Modi’s Government got the offenders punished in considerably short time (a decade); while the perpetrators of the anti-sikh mass murders are at large even now(3 decades). There doesn’t even  seem to be sufficient effort to identify the mass murderers in case of the 1984 riots even now. In the face of this, how is Dr.Man Mohan Singh’s apology of any value to the victims?

6.     Therefore, this anti-Modi campaign continuing from Congress & its allies’ side is meaningless. There are a few other facets of this campaign which are sickening. First, there was torching of the train compartments at Godhra – in which many people were torched in burning train compartments. No Congress man ever talks of this and condemns its perpetrators. Then came the Ahmedabad riots. Yes. Both should not have happened. But, they did and they were put down by the Gujarat Police within 24 Hours. The perpetrators were quickly identified and they have been sent to Jail and got punished by Modi. One congress MP was among the victims killed and his widow Zakia Jaffri has been fighting – not for punishment of the real culprits, but for punishing Narendra Modi. Her anguish at the murder of her husband is understandable and she deserves sympathy on that count. If she demands that the real perpetrators of the crime must be punished or even hanged, it makes sense. But, her demand has always been Political. It doesn’t in fact seem to be a widow’s Genuine demand at all. Whether Modi is guilty or not – Modi should be punished – and that is her demand. How would it look if the demand of Sikhs is that, Congress PM and Congress CMs of respective states are to be sentenced for Anti-sikh riots of 1984? Why doesn’t Dr.Singh at least, see and accept the meaninglessness of such demands. Jaffri’s demand is not a suffering widow’s demand but the demand of the Politicians in disguise behind her. Did she make a similar demand in respect of the Godhra victims, or, the anti-sikh riot victims? No. That is the tragedy. Her demand, the demand of the Congress and that of the PM looks purely Political.
7.     That said – Raja Dharma must dictate that victims’ families must be provided sufficient compensation and security so that they can live in dignity. This applies to 1984 first and 2002 next. And to any riots, murders, rapes and Gang rapes that happen anywhere else in the country.
8.     Apologies by heads of Government are of no Use. They must ACT FAST. They must feel the pain of each victim. They must prevent crimes from happening. They must get offenders quickly punished.
9.     After Nirbhaya’s case and strong public Protests on it - Even today Gang rapes are occurring in many states; would it be OK if the CMs there express APOLOGY and keep quiet without punishing the offenders? In some states, it looks as if neither apology nor remorse, nor action is there from heads of Government. And, worst, ruling party men in some states seem to be behind such acts, judging by some news reports!
10.  Narendra Modi’s record after 2002 has been reasonably GOOD. Now that, there is a competitor in Arvind Kejriwal in Good Governance, I am sure, both of them will try to excel each other in Good Governance. But, will Congress stop finger pointing (with an sullied finger) and start performing? Dr. Singh is Good and capable. Rahul is Sincere. That cannot be said of many others in Congress. Can both start Governing? Even the next five months could prove to be Good Governance for India under Dr.Singh! India will welcome any such Shift to Good Governance. 2014 Elections should be on Good Governance. Not on 2002.
11.  If it is on 2002, Modi should win hands down.
 *  *  *   E  N  D  *  *  *

No comments:

Post a Comment