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Updated: December 29, 2013 03:17 IST

Modi’s blog evokes anger among victims

Lyla Bavadam
Comment (22)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Rupa Mody, whose son went missing after the Gujarat riots, breaks down after a court rejected a petition seeking the prosecution of BJP leader Narendra Modi on Thursday. Photo: AP
Rupa Mody, whose son went missing after the Gujarat riots, breaks down after a court rejected a petition seeking the prosecution of BJP leader Narendra Modi on Thursday. Photo: AP

“He has expressed his pain after 12 years... and at no point has he asked for forgiveness”

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s blog in which he says he was “shaken to the core” by the 2002 riots in the state has evoked anger and scepticism among the victims of the riots.

In his letter which begins with “Dear sisters and brothers”, Mr. Modi says words such as “grief, sadness, misery, pain, anguish, agony” were inadequate to express “the absolute emptiness one felt on witnessing such inhumanity.”

Reacting to Mr. Modi's letter, Fr Cedric Prakash of Prashant, the Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace, an organisation that has worked for justice for the victims of 2002 said: “One thing is his personal feelings which have come 12 years later. Another thing is his duty as chief executive which was to ensure the protection of like and property of every single citizen and especially the victims of 2002. And this he did not do.”

Speaking from Ahmedabad, Rupa Mody, whose son went missing after the Gulbarg Society massacre — her story inspired the Hindi film Parzania — described the letter as “crocodile tears”.

Mr. Modi, she said, “has expressed his own pain in great detail but at no point has he asked for forgiveness. And what sort of pain is this that he claims to feel ? What sort of pain is it that for 12 years he has not expressed it and now on hearing of a court judgement he decides to express this great pain. The man has a heart of stone – he is not capable of pain. I am a mother who has no idea if her son is alive or not. I feel pain. Not him.”

Mr. Modi’s blog post came a day after a court in Ahmedabad rejected the petition of Zakia Jafri, the wife of Congress parliamentarian Ehasan Jafri who was killed in the Gulbarg Society attack.

Mr. Modi’s blog came a day after an Ahmedabad court rejected Ms. Jafri’s petition asking for an indictment of Mr. Modi in the Gulbarg Society attack, and for rejecting the clean chit given to the Gujarat chief minister by the Special Investigation Team.

Ms. Mody and her son had taken shelter in the Jafris’ house at the time of the attack. Her son has not been traced since that day.

Her anguish and anger were voiced by Khatun Apa, who lived in Naroda Patiya in 2002 and was a witness to the worst of the riots., barely escaping with her life at the time. The 40-year-old now lives in Citizen Nagar in Ahmedabad, a ghettoised neighbourhood of Muslims living in run down tenements with no municipal facilities.

“We called the most senior police officers, we pleaded before the SRP. All we heard was ‘It is your day to die. The order from above is to kill you all’, she recalled.

Khatun Apa, who said she would never return to Naroda Patiya, said she could still hear the crowds saying “Maro maro, jalao jalao [kill, burn]”.

“If Modi had said ‘Stop’ [the riots] would have stopped but he did not. And now he says he felt pain. He is a liar. He has written this letter to fool people but people are not idiots. More and more Hindus also see he is a liar now.”

Mrs. Mody said the letter was a “political game, a publicity stunt... he thinks saying he feels pain will get him the job of Prime Minister but it won’t.”

“We called the most senior police officers, we pleaded before the SRP.
All we heard was ‘It is your day to die. The order from above is to kill
you all’, she recalled.

This is a very serious statement by a witness. Was it taken cognizance of in the
legal procedure?

from:  Sriram
Posted on: Dec 31, 2013 at 14:20 IST

I think action speaks more than words.In my view he is the leader who bring Gujarat from those sorrow days to prosperous and peaceful state.

from:  Unnkrishnan
Posted on: Dec 31, 2013 at 12:18 IST

The news and subsequent opinions and statements by various leaders and
activists are misleading. Modi was not expressing grief after 12 years
but was reminiscing about his state of mind at the time of the riots, in
the wake of the court order which exonerated him.

from:  Vinod Kumar
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 20:07 IST

It is the fault of the Congress. They are so incapable. They had the
proof,the evidence to convict this criminal man for his ordering the
genocide of the Muslims of Gujarat. They could have easily pursued the
case and saw him hanged for this. Also other BJP leaders including
vajpayee,advani etc were all involved but pretended to no know
if it comes into power it will be a grave
danger for the dignity and sanctity of democrATIC India. Both Muslims
and wise Hindus must act now before it is too late and see that this
party never comes into power. As for this criminal minded communal
minded Modi he should never go unpunished for the sake of unfortunate
women like Zakia Jaffri

from:  Razdan
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 18:40 IST

Decent people express regret when its expression makes sense. To express 'grief' after 12 years is a senseless expression. How low can one stoop when it comes to garnering votes?

from:  Arun
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 15:50 IST

Modi only felt fake pain after 11 years. If he had really felt the victims' paid, he would have provided them full rehabilitation and homes and a good life. Rather, they are languishing in ghettos having been forced to abandon their homes and this despite claims of rapid development in Gujarat. Modi catapulted to power on the back of stirring anti-Muslim hatred before 2002 and in almost every election since then except in the most recent when his PM aspirations and the time elapsed since 2002 by when he has erased proof of his complicity made him project the development angle over anti-minority and Hindu-nationalist rhetoric.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 15:44 IST

Narendra Modi is a great leader and a very honest person. People here
doesn't like his PM role.
Nobody can stop him from becoming a PM.
from:  Raj
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 14:37 IST

Either he has any single good quality to become a Prime Minsiter of India ?

from:  Abdul Hameed
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 14:15 IST

I do support Modi but not blind to agony of anyone.
While agony of victims can be amplified and there loss can never be good by no means available on this world.

I neither believe anyone's words have so much power that can stop a crime which is motivated in revenge (godhra). So, debate over his capability is rested with a conclusion he could have done more. A moot question is whether he is culpable in let Godhra happen or godhra aftermath ..... this question was laid to SIT and Courts. I wish to believe their judgments.

While he is not asking forgiveness ... he has repeatedly said take his life if he is culpable. Even I would take nothing less than his life if he is culpable of the crime and not settle for forgiveness. Media houses have power to fix this if they have evidence .... otherwise let's appreciate no riots in last 12 years of rule .... development for all .... he is not corrupt.

from:  Jayesh
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 14:10 IST

What a choice the Indian public has in 2014. On one hand we have the
utter corrupt and hopeless Congress party and on the other side we
have the evil and communal BJP. Congress has nominated Rahul Gandhi
whose claim is that he belongs to the Gandhi family and Modi is like Hitler...who presided over the killings of thousands of
muslims and hindus to consolidate his CM seat. It saddens me that so
many Indians actually overlook this fact and support him.
Its better that a 3rd front rules India. Maybe someone like Nitish,
Naveen Patnaik or Jayalalitha.

from:  Calvin
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 10:34 IST

Modi's “grief, sadness, misery, pain, anguish, agony” took 12 years in
the making, especially before the general elections in 2014. He's no
different from other pseudo-secularists. He may be popular to have
been the CM of a state that is much developed. So do other states that
have seen development. Why arent those CM's popular? For his
popularity, it is ironic to note that Modi could not do anything while
the riots happened, except watch when his own state burned. How is he
then an effective leader? Modi's very own agenda for his path towards
PM included the communal riots of 2002.

from:  Taz
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 09:44 IST

Modi can never ever get out of his most tarnished image.No amount of shedding
crocodile tears,in the wake of the ensuing General Elections would fetch him any better.

from:  Seshagiri Row KARRY
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 06:38 IST

Modi's expression of regret defies his own logic. He termed the post-
Godhra reaction of Killing over 2000 Minorities as a "spontaneous
reaction" to the Godhra-train burning incident in which over 60
pilgrims lost their lives. Now taking both these events as "actions",
he took long 12 years to react! Previously, whenever he was asked about
this incident, he failed to show an iota of regret for this. However,
now we all understand that he knows that winning Lok Sabha Election
takes more than just Congress-bashing. So he is behaving as if he also
has a conscience! Come on, Mr Modi! Show your actual self which is an
over-ambitious Dictator cum RSS worker. I don't think you can fool
anyone with your belated crocodile-tears. It's too late...

from:  Taru N Shah
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 05:57 IST

He was -shaken to the core-; looks true, not because he was
feeling pain for the victims; ...not because he did any mistake he
thinks; ...but because he was scared, all along that he may be
exposed...., of being accused by such verdict that may well go
adverse, ...against him at this time of his ambitious plan of to-be-
PM in race; ....the show may get spoiled...... such intention is
getting proven ...when he said further.... that he is -feeling
liberated and at peace-. i.e. his fear for self did not come true, he is relieved of such anxiety. ...not because the victims got
any solace; but he escaped of his mischief. So his ever first
expression about this episode absolutely correct. That proved,
he was scared of his mischief -likely to be caught, but the verdict of
being aquitted gave him feeling relieved. Can an innocent person in-
charge feel at peace with 1000 of his people killed? It reflects his
insensitivity towards people killed under his administration.

from:  Surya N Mishra
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 01:45 IST

It is painful to see the judicial system failing to prosecute him. It is all a game of politics. Who care what he writes, nobody will forget what he did.

from:  Sonu
Posted on: Dec 29, 2013 at 22:20 IST

I believe this is more a story of a person being hounded. In this entire episode we have see how NGOs, some govt. officials who had an axe to grid against Mr Modi, political forces came together and sullied his reputation to extent it has become "damned he says, damned if he does not say". We have seen the SIT / Supreme Court throw out manufactured evidence from Teesta Setlvad, Sanjiv Bhatt, RB Sreekumar and host other NGOs. For what Mr Modi should ask for forgiveness. The court has proved that Army was deployed almost within hours. There was no parading of dead bodies as alleged...then for what should be ask for forgiveness? All these NGOs should be banned and people imprisoned as they lied under oath, manufactured evidence and wasted court time. They poisoned the minds of whole generation and vilified a innocent man. Ultimately the truth prevailed. Now, Mr Modi should file a defamation suit against all the political parties who pronounced him guilty without trial.

from:  Srinivas
Posted on: Dec 29, 2013 at 21:32 IST

Modiji may have given this statement with a view towards the election,
but then again, I don't think he deserves a reprimand for it, at least
not such a sharp one. He is not responsible in any way for those
riots, and this has been proven in court. Why don't people similarly
criticize politicians like Lalu Yadav who is presently a convict? Who
was in power during the Mumbai riots? Does anyone even remember the
names? Truth remains, straight trees are cut first and Modiji has made
phenomenal changes for Gujrat. The better a man does, more do people
criticize at every little opportunity.

from:  Saurabh Dabral
Posted on: Dec 29, 2013 at 21:28 IST

People are blinded to not see the truth-It's beyond me to think that the apex court can give a partisan judgement like this!!!!

from:  Upasana
Posted on: Dec 29, 2013 at 13:41 IST

Is Narendra Modi really pained or grieved or felt sad or anguish over
the godhra carnage if 2002?If so why he did not express it then?Why he
took 12 long years called pushkaram in hindu terminology to express
remorse?Does his statement whisper any where sorry or forgiveness as
chief executive of the state?Obviously NO.At this point expressing agony
will not cut the ice.It is patently a political gimmick with an eye on
the election as P.M.candidate presenting himself as changed or moderate

from:  y.jayaraju
Posted on: Dec 29, 2013 at 13:22 IST

More than Modi's regret or pardon, what surprises me is the
indifference of the courts. When a child fell through a hole in the
school van and died in Chennai, the court took up the case on its own
(rightly so) and gave a verdict. Whereas in the Gujarat riots the
appeal made by the widow of a slain MP and the appeal of a mother who
lost her son are thrown out saying that there is no case against Modi.
Where is justice for these people whose life is a hell on earth? In
the Sankararaman murder case the seers are not found guilty. Well,
then who is responsible for the day light murder of this poor man who
invited death only for speaking out some corrupt practices.

from:  D. Darwin Albert Raj
Posted on: Dec 29, 2013 at 07:39 IST

The main reason is the people, especially the middle class and the
poor, are very much frustrated with the corrupt, inactive UPA2 for
not containing the inflation and unemployment and are desperately
looking for an able and proved administrator to address their woes .
Towards that they see Modi as the best bet and only hope that the
country could have now and people see him only on that, whereas the
UPA and leftist, and media as well could not accept this fact and
doesn't want that to happen for their own reasons and survival and
hence they divert the issue with age old 'songs' of Communalism and
securalism. Majority of the people are least bothered to listen to
these cries as it is in no way going to help them to address their
woes for their survival. Modi is seen an able personality in this
regard whereas political opponents and media are refusing to look
into for their own reasons.

from:  Nandu
Posted on: Dec 29, 2013 at 04:15 IST

Why does Narendra Modi not meet with the victims and try to comfort
them? I agree he has kept peace in his state for the past decade
compared to other states, but one can never do enough for victims of

from:  ramu
Posted on: Dec 29, 2013 at 01:47 IST
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