Opinion » Columns » Siddharth Varadarajan

Updated: October 20, 2011 11:59 IST

Your riot was worse than mine

Siddharth Varadarajan
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Gujarat state Chief Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media after he appeared before the Supreme Court-appointed SIT in Gandhinagar, on March 27.
Gujarat state Chief Minister Narendra Modi addresses the media after he appeared before the Supreme Court-appointed SIT in Gandhinagar, on March 27.

When double standards take charge, it is the victims of communal violence who suffer, be they the Sikhs of Delhi, the Muslims of Gujarat or the Pandits of Kashmir.

India's polity has an unerring taste for the irrelevant. That is why the controversy over a sitting Chief Minister being summoned to answer questions about mass murder has made way for an unseemly debate about the morality of an ageing actor. After his embarrassing, nine-hour appearance before the Special Investigation Team, one would have thought Narendra Modi presented a large enough target. Instead, the Congress has chosen to launch a full-throated campaign against Amitabh Bachchan for choosing to become a brand ambassador for tourism in Mr. Modi's State. The party has accused the Bollywood superstar of being indifferent to allegations of State complicity in the massacre of Muslims which took place there in 2002. And it has started boycotting him in a manner that is as crude and mean-spirited as it is ineffective and pointless. Thanks to this, the mass media are today discussing Big B rather than the Little Men whose role the SIT is now investigating.

As can be expected, the Gujarat Chief Minister is thrilled. The spotlight which was earlier on him is now being trained elsewhere. Instead of being forced to rally others to his own defence, Mr. Modi has happily mounted the barricades on behalf of Mr. Bachchan. In keeping with his party's fondness for technology and Islamophobia, he has blogged that the actor's critics are ‘Talibans of untouchability'.

If Mr. Bachchan is guilty of overlooking mass violence today, it is because equally illustrious gentlemen, including some industrialists, did the same when they declared Mr. Modi prime ministerial material. For that matter, the actor himself has done this sort of thing before. In his movies, Mr. Bachchan was a crusader for the underdog. In real life, he is attracted to the kind of powerful men he once fought on the big screen. His fans have a right to feel cheated. Political parties, especially the Congress, do not have that right.

The party finds fault with him for representing Gujarat in the wake of 2002. But in 1984, barely weeks after the blood in the streets of Delhi had dried, the actor accepted a Congress ticket for Allahabad and got elected to Parliament. “As a brand ambassador does he endorse or condemn the mass murder in Gujarat?” Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari asked the other day, adding: “It is high time Amitabh Bachchan came out and said what his position on [the] Gujarat riots is.” Despite the party having ‘apologised' for its role in the massacre of Sikhs following Indira Gandhi's assassination, I doubt Mr. Tiwari or any other Congress spokesman will ever ask Mr. Bachchan what his position on the Delhi riots was or is.

But if the Congress prefers to forget the history of 1984, the BJP and its leaders act as if history ended that year. In their telling, 2002 either didn't happen or pales in comparison with what preceded it. And so begins the sordid exercise of weighing the suffering of victims and, worse, of playing the plight of one set against another. Mention the suffering of the Muslims of Gujarat and the BJP will start talking about the plight of the Pandits, driven by terrorism from their homes in the Kashmir Valley in 1989 and 1990. Try talking about the injustice done to the Sikhs of Delhi and the Congress will insist on speaking only of Gujarat. And the minute the microphones in the studio are switched off, the politicians are quite happy to forget about the shared travails of all victims.

The reality is that the Delhi and Gujarat massacres are part of the same excavated site, an integral part of the archaeology of the Indian state. Eighteen years separate 2002 from 1984. Eighteen is normally the age a human being is considered to have become an adult. Inhumanity also seems to take 18 years to fully mature. In an act of conception which lasted four bloody days, something inhuman was spawned on the streets of Delhi in 1984; by 2002, it had fully matured. Paternity for the ‘riot system' belongs to both the Congress and the BJP, even if the sangh parivar managed to improve upon the technologies of mass violence. Both knew how to mobilise mobs. Both knew how to get the police to turn the other way. Both knew how to fix criminal cases. Both knew what language to speak, even if one set of leaders spoke of a ‘big tree falling' and the other paraphrased Newton. Both had the luxury of not being asked difficult questions by criminal investigators. Until now.

There is one school of thought that Mr. Modi's summons and interrogation have come eight years too late. There is a lot of merit in that point of view. But the reality is that the call for a leader to render account for mass crimes committed on his watch comes 18 years too late. Veteran journalist Tavleen Singh said recently that if Rajiv Gandhi had been interrogated in 1984 about what happened to the Sikhs, Gujarat would not have happened. She is right. Had the courts and the entire edifice of the Indian state not failed the victims of 1984, many, many politicians, police officers and officials would have gone behind bars. Had that happened then, every leader would have been forced to think a hundred times about the legal consequences of instigating mass violence or allowing mobs to go on the rampage.

The debates on Mr. Modi over the past two weeks have been so incredibly divisive because neither the Congress nor the BJP is interested in a discussion on systemic remedies. Justice is about punishing individuals, rehabilitating victims and dismantling the infrastructure of communal terrorism. But our biggest parties want nothing to do with any of that. Gujarat 2002 should go unpunished because Delhi 1984 never saw justice, says the BJP. ‘No SIT ever interrogated Rajiv Gandhi so why is Mr. Modi now being interrogated?' is the party's self-serving refrain. On its part, the Congress is unwilling to incorporate in the draft Communal Violence Bill clear-cut legal provisions that could deter politicians and policemen from again abusing their power as they did in 1984 and 2002.

One of the questions the SIT was expected to ask Mr. Modi during his interrogation on March 27 was what exactly he said when Ehsan Jaffrey called him up on February 28, 2002, asking for help. The question is important because soon after the former MP put down the telephone, he was killed by a mob along with 58 other innocent people. I have no idea whether that question was put to Mr. Modi, let alone what his answer was. But when the same question was put to Jai Narayan Vyas, official spokesman of Mr. Modi's government, in a televised debate a few days ago, the answer was atrocious. Ehsan Jaffrey had been a Congress MP, said Mr. Vyas. “So I demand to know what the Congress party did to help him.”

There was, of course, nothing the Congress could have done to save the doomed member then. The BJP was in power in both Gujarat and the Centre. But the party has a chance to do something now: Pass a law with real teeth. It's been more than a quarter-of-a-century since a big tree came crashing down upon us. It is time for the earth to stop shaking.

In times of crisis, like Sept 11, Godhra, Indira's assasination, the leader in charge (Bush, Modi, Rajiv) can appeal to the baser instincts of his people and urge revenge, in doing so he becomes the Defender and Protector of his people and immediately enjoys immense popularity. It takes courage and the moral stature of a Gandhi to rise above revenge. I think neither the leader nor thier followers are of that standard. What we will see in India is intermittent communal violence every few years and life will go on in a wretched fashion.

from:  Sohail
Posted on: May 2, 2010 at 16:06 IST

Really great article.

from:  ms
Posted on: Apr 24, 2010 at 21:44 IST

Great article which elucidates the pionts and a way which is very near to precision.
kudos Sir.

from:  saugata giri
Posted on: Apr 14, 2010 at 16:16 IST

Does making allegations on who should be punished and not is pure reciprocation. What has happened, happened. No one can change that. Modi will not be prosecuted, neither would those from 1984. What should happen is to prevent these ugly things from happening.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Apr 13, 2010 at 13:11 IST

Thank you Siddharth for presenting balanced and two sided view of the problem.

from:  Jairaj Yadav
Posted on: Apr 5, 2010 at 19:12 IST

Way to go! The politicians need to wake up and really do something for the citizens!

from:  Bhavya
Posted on: Apr 4, 2010 at 23:59 IST

Journalism at its peak.

from:  Binoy K
Posted on: Apr 4, 2010 at 14:35 IST

Excellent points! Unfortunately, the politicians treat ordinary Indians as piece of trash with no intelligence. I am sure millions of Indians agree with you. We just need moral voices and people everywhere speaking up. Soon we will have a movement built that will ask for accountability and the end to impunity. Yes, We can!

from:  khan
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 20:04 IST

I came across your comment here. The whole world knows India suffers from problems related to Illiteracy, poverty, economic gap etc.

The first step in solving these problems and making the country a better place to live is to establish a credible justice system. The reason being that if politicians and the people have a mindset that they can get away with anything they want then I don't think it would help. Let's say a policy is adopted to help the people who are in the lowermost rung in the economic scale, our elected representatives would make sure that the benefits of the policy go in to their pockets knowing very well that if you can get away with something like this then you can surely can get away with corruption.

I am not trying to say that we have to make an example out of this. But certainly if justice is delivered in this case, then people at power would certainly know that they are not untouchable.

from:  kaipullai
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 07:22 IST

Unbiased article. The kind we rarely see today. Hope for fair and responsible journalism is still alive.

from:  rachita
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 22:00 IST

Good piece of write up, especially at present times where talk is only about 2002 Gujarat events and loss of muslim lives. It reminds readers many facts like - No one from congress, for '84 killings, was called, let alone question in front of Court. Also would add, killings of Sikhs in 84 took place radiatively in smaller area of in and around Delhi, to large areas of Gujarat, meaning it has more chances of getting control over the events.

Also would like to point out that 2002 was not first time, Hindu-Muslim communal in Gujarat took place, mainly in cities like Ahmedabad & Baroda. Though number of lives lost might be higher in 2002 compared to previous ones. There are couple of difference though, one, lives lost in previous riots might have more number of Hindus, compared to muslims or may be equal. And second, but more important- per my opinion- those past communal took place while Congress was in power at State and Central level.

Gujarat has been ruled mostly by Congress(I) for first 30 yrs, from '60 to '90, since its formation in 1960, separating it from Bombay State.

from:  Shailesh
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 20:47 IST

A really really great article sir. Hats off!!! After so long I have read some good analysis by an Indian journalist.

Adding to that I will say that it's not only the Govt but we common people as well as are culprit. In fact we all are so racist by nature. On the name region, religion, caste, creed we are divided so much. Whenever a person start searching a house for rent, you will get some common set of questions. Are you a Muslim?? Are you a Bihari?? Are you a low caste or so and so... This clearly shows our true color. We only blame our politicians, but the real fact is that the common man is worse than them. I hope one day we can see a new India...That's all I will say. Once again congratsss for your great work.

from:  Ajay Jha
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 19:25 IST

Great article!! I really wish if that the communal violence law is passed as soon as possible with strong provisions to punish those who incite mobs to do genocide. For me that would be the real foundation of a secular India.

from:  Naveen Kumar
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 18:58 IST

Good Analysis.

from:  Biju Mathew
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 17:29 IST

There are some comments that seem to suggest that the article is a witch hunt against the BJP. I don't get that sense, if at all, there is a witch hunt it is against communal violence. The fact is, that India needs a strong BJP but certain things have to be non-negotiable. The life of every Indian - hindu, muslim, sikh, parsi, christian, is precious. We all have a right to live whatever religion we follow. Communal violence takes that right of life away from me and puts it in the hands of mobs. Is this the kind of India we want to live in? Always fearful because of our name or religious persuasion? I don't think so. The article is timely and very well balanced. Xenophobia has no place in this day and age.

from:  P. Murali Gopal
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 16:17 IST

Very nice and unbiased article. The failure of Modi to stop the atrocities of the communal force is condemnable . It is as equal as rajeev's failure in delhi. After all politics is about saving their own skin for survival . No matter what party or politician. At the end they all same.

from:  antony swami
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 16:09 IST

Just fair opinion ! Hats off! My Wish,My dream We just get something new political front/party in India.

from:  Asit Vashistha
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 15:45 IST

I believe, both the Congress and BJP are culprits, hiding behind each other. Only victims and those who are fighting for them have right to blame these parties.

As far as Amitabh is concerned, it is sad that at this old age instead of doing good for society, he is still hungry for money and fame. He is nowhere to what roles he played in his early movies, as crusaders against injustice. And hence lost the respect among some of his fans.

It is time for the fourth pillar of democracy to awake and raise the relevant issues at the right timing, like the above article.

from:  Majid Khan
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 15:25 IST

Thats thinking like a human being.thank almighty ,such still exist in this inhuman world.

from:  maninder singh
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 13:41 IST

A good article with diplomatic analysis , but in our country 2 big parties are not allowing a law to be passed to stop communal violence because they have forseen leagal problems they may face in future, it is time for people to change or atlease change in their thinking , if modi lost in election after gujarath roits , he may not talk like this and this will be an example in future that if anybody support any voilence or nuetral at time of violence will get punished atlease they will loose in election , but nothing happend . first people should change by not electing tainted politicians

from:  Mallikarjun
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 11:42 IST

Beautiful article.
A prompt indication that its notthe individual but the system which is accountable...

from:  kanishk
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 05:16 IST

I though you forgot to mention the roles of Communists in Nandigram as well. I see blood in CPI(M) hands too. So much for being a pro poor party!! Shame on them too for becoming industry friendly in west bengal while missing no opportunity for going against the same in rest of the country.

from:  Ganesh Ram
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 00:30 IST

Excellent one.The allusion about the two riots with respect to human biological cycle is like icing on the cake.

from:  muthu
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 23:34 IST

I wonder why we do not read anything about how hindus are treated in Pakistan! At the time of partition of India, there were 8% muslims in India and 25%minority, mostly hindus, in Pakistan. Today, the muslim minority in india is 20% and the minority in Pakistan is reduced to 2%, mostly Christians. Why are we not talking about atrocities commited on hindus in Pakistan by muslims? I think unless we start asking right questions, instead of introspection, we will always blame ourselves and so, the world will do the same. Wake up India, stop blaming yourself and start questioning what is happening to hindus in muslim dominated countries and Kashmir.

from:  bipin
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 23:05 IST

Need a law to stop riots immidiatly. No body has a right to kill innocent people.

from:  Ravi Patil
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 22:49 IST

The author seems to be having more knowledge about Modi's role in instigating riots than SIT could have gathered.
That the theme of the article is so apparent and is to condemn Mod; 1984 riots mentioned only to balance the article. Why only 1984 be investigated. India has suffered even before that.
Media needs a lot of introspection. Spend some space and time for pressing issues of country like development. Am sure, developed societies will not have time for clashes.
Also the author must have patience and faith in Indian Judiciary.
Truth shall prevail. At least I hope so!

from:  Satish Kumar
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 21:51 IST

The commentary on the competitive communal politics would have been genuinely well-meaning if only it wasn’t loaded with singular focus on Gujarat & Narendra Modi. Sadly, there are even clear insinuations against Amitabh Bachchan.

Condescendingly recalling now, the ‘84 anti Sikh pogrom that saw massacre of thousands open in the streets of the national capital, doesn’t make the tragedy any less. ‘War cry’ against the politics of hate then would have averted future flare-ups.
It is inhuman to justify Godhra train carnage & the riots that followed. But it wasn’t the first time that Gujarat or the rest of the nation had witnessed riots. There were even worst. Those who invented the acronym ‘KHAM’ to practice divisive politics in Gujarat should know it better.
By the way between 1984 & 2002 India also witnessed the brutal ethnic cleansing of the aboriginal Kashmiri Hindu Pandits in Kashmir valley in 1989-90.Today, Kashmiri Hindu Pandits continue to suffer the ignominy of being refugees in their own country. And the civil society & media are generally silent about it. It has been left to the hapless victims to even count their own dead in the genocide that was carried out against the miniscule minority. Those who got trained in Pakistan & ferried weapons from there along with the other mercenaries to launch anti India Jihad in Kashmir deserve to be tried for crimes against humanity. But they are roaming free what with their political make over facilitated ironically by the media itself & the self appointed liberals.

from:  Lalit Ambardar
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 21:51 IST

Nice one. Both the parties are culprits and have no moral right to criticise each other. Best way is to leave it to the law to take its own course.

from:  Hariharan N
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 19:05 IST

Your words represent mine and every true Indian's feelings. Just that I would like to add that 1984 massacre was not was murder. There was no clash between two sects in 1984, but planned and organized killings of Sikhs for straight four days. In fact even Godhra cannot be called a riot technically...But kudos to you for writing this piece.

from:  Pankaj Thuain
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 17:42 IST

Why does the Congress always hark back to the Gujarat riots of 2002; they never mention the Kashmiri pandits, refugees in their own land. All terrorism issues are due to appeasement.

from:  Vipul Dave
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 17:21 IST

Great article. It is high time that we become more critically aware of the various manipulative discourses that all political parties articulate in some way or the other. It is both interesting and disheartening to see how all issues of religious violence are reduced to an ideological battle between the BJP and the Congress, or worse, between individuals.

from:  luhar sen
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 16:36 IST

Genocide of any form is unacceptable irrespective of the faith people practice. When we are a functioning democracy the religions sentiments of all should be upheld. The law should raise above the people and their incumbancy. Unfortunately, intermittently some form of communal violence is erupting and time and again the machinery of bringing the culprits into justice never comes. This is the truth and reality.

from:  Yasmin Banu
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 16:03 IST

Very interesting perspective and as the author rightly puts it, both parties (BJP and Congress) are engaged in addressing irrelevant issues of publicity rather than addressing systemic causes of mass mobilisation for violent acts and punishing the perpetrators. The issue of justice is more important than why Tatas, Ambanis and Amitabh are looking after their business interests.... politicians need power, celebrities need endorsements and people need justice... is there anyone to listen...

from:  onkar singh
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 15:24 IST

The first time the Congress buckled was when Jawaharlal Nehru allowed a RSS contingent to be part of the Republic Day parade. Then there were riots in Meerut, where the UP Chief Minister GB Pant allowed Golwalkar to escape (in his official car!). After that was the age of Indira (during which RSS grew or reached its maximum potential) and after that we have Narasimha Rao who formally laid the red carpet and ensured RSS to power in Delhi.

from:  Manik Prabhu
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 14:34 IST

Dear Siddharth Varadarajan, you spoke what is in my heart and hopefully in a million Indian hearts.

from:  Tarakanta Nayak
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 14:28 IST

For whom is the author batting? Using light words for one crime and strong words for another crime will show only true colours. Please remember that appeasement of one section will not yield the desired result.

from:  raghavan
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 13:47 IST

I am a fan of Amitabh Bachhan.He should have opted for Bihar, or Orissa rather than Gujarat.

Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 13:34 IST

Why is English media so biased against BJP in general?

from:  shailendram
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 13:32 IST

Congress has got a single point programme and that is to please Muslims by doing this or that. In this very chain Gujarat is being made the target. Otherwise don't we know that earlier also Gujarat had even worst riots, which even prolonged to months. Congress uses Muslims as its vote bank. Now this is my personel assessment. As the awareness increases among Muslim community, they would also come to know the reality and would stop allowing themselves to be played in the hands of Congress and such other parties. They are citizen of India and have every equal right like any other citizen.

from:  D. Agrawal
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 11:12 IST

Good balanced view on 1984 and 2002. The author is very correct in saying that people should not play number games when it comes to the travails of the victims, whoever they may be or whatever the religion they belong to -- after all everyone is Indian. In that spirit I wish he had touched upon the poor 59 people who were burned alive which seems to have been the spark for 2002, and the thousands of Pandits who were forced out of their homes over 20 years ago. I agree that we have become an apathetic nation, inure to the pains of our own people. Let us not forget that the pain that afflicts others today might consume all of us one day, if we choose to continue with this apathy and selective guilt and redemption! We as a nation truly seem to have lost our shame.

from:  P. Swaminathan
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 10:59 IST

What are your views on Kashmir? No views rather just a vague comparison!

from:  ksourabh
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 10:18 IST

Great stuff!

from:  V Ramnarayan
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 10:05 IST

Excellent analysis of the politics of Injustice. Lets hope a bill is passed with real teeth.

from:  Rabi
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 09:34 IST

I don't think BJP has ever shied away from the debate (I remember L K Advani thundering Mr. Manmohan Singh for a debate on national issues before the General Election 2009). The problem with the opposition is that the media always treats them as culprits even before any trial begins. All of us have seen a lot of such debates hosted by various renowned faces (Sagarika, Burkha, Sanghvi etc). BJP can debate provided there's a neutral anchor. Media has to re-invent itself before pointing fingers at others.

from:  Piyush
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 09:22 IST

Couldn't agree with you more Mr Varadarajan.

from:  anil kotwal
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 09:15 IST

Being in power to misuse the forces to eliminate any class of society, is a heinous crime. The time will come when each and every person has to pay for his misdeeds.

from:  Ajmer Singh Randhawa
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 09:07 IST

The article is very good. It talks about what needs to be done now to stop these kind of riots.

Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 09:02 IST

Let us put the anti-Modi campaign by the media in the right perspective. To do that, the following facts have to be recognised. A large percentage of our population goes to bed on empty stomach. An equally large section just manages to eke out a living. The prices of essential items of mass consumption are so high today that even the upper middle class is facing financial problems. The economic growth over the last two decades has not improved significantly, if at all, the standard and quality of life of most people. The land under foodgrains cultivation has not increased in the last four decades and the rice, wheat etc stored in government godowns are being eaten by rats when penury and hunger are haunting the country. There are many more such appalling conditions which the majority of Indians have to contend with. But do these bother the media? Apparently it doesn't seem so.
The communal carnage of 2002 and Chief Minister Modi are the only subjects which interest the media. Communal riots do kill innocent people. But road accidents which the government has always failed to prevent or reduce kill a lakh of Indians evry year and maim many more. No one knows how many die of hunger, malnutrition, diseases which they cannot get treated and a whole lot of other reasons. Yet the Indian media does not take the government up on these issues. Since communal divides create vote banks, the politicians and their supporters in the media play these up ignoring other equally alarming conditions and developments in the country. The fourth estate is clearly on the wrong track.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 09:02 IST

Excellent article...well articulated and well balanced....I think it's high time we started more SITs for communal riots preceding Godhra...Only then would there be complete justice.

from:  Amit Julka
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 08:30 IST

Very well written article. BJP or Congress, all the politicians are one and the same. Sadly it has become a game of one upmanship and the victime are the innocent lives, who know not where their fault is.

from:  Krishnan
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 08:22 IST

There were no communal riots when the TDP was ruling the state. Your contention that only Congress and BJP are experts in causing riots and getting away with it is absolutely correct. A very strict Law is required to put an end to this nonsense. The public should ensure that these parties are not elected to office in future. Such riots take us back to the 1940s. We do not want an Italian style mafioso regime in this country.

from:  S N IYER
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 08:08 IST

A well written article Mr.Siddharth. You have captured the emotions with the right words and have pointed fingers in the right directions. The law that you have suggested the Government pass, if at all it gets passed, should ensure that the person under investigation should resign temporarily until the investigation is complete. And on your concluding line "It is time for the earth to stop shaking"; I think it should be "It is time for the earth to start shaking (politically) one last time", before there is peace.

from:  R.C. Ramesh Chander
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 07:30 IST

I agree with Siddharth Varadarajan. It is time we addressed the larger and the real problem of applying suitable systemic correctives to the riots that often erupt. Instead we waste our time in accusations and counter-accusations stirring up a lot of heat and no light.

from:  G.Naryanaswamy
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 06:43 IST

Congress has no right to accuse Narendra Modi for 2002 riots considering the massacre of thousands of Sikhs to take revenge of Indira Gandhi's assassination.

from:  Mayank
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 06:19 IST

A very thought provoking piece of analysis. We indeed need a law with teeth that will deter politicians, police officers and other important members of government from letting murder and mayhem reign when it is their fiduciary responsibility to protect precious human life and dignity. I have great faith in the integrity and vision of people like Dr. Manmohan Singh, but really fail to understand as to how and why such people too fail to come up with a systemic response to address the scourge of communal violence abetted by the people in power.

from:  Syed Khan
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 05:31 IST

Awesome insight & analysis..agree with the writer 100%.Both Congress & BJP are equally responsible for the communal riots of 1984 & 2002 respectively. It's high time the long delayed police reforms were implemented & a Communal Violence Bill with real teeth was introduced in parliament & enacted into law.

from:  James J
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 04:08 IST

This article is outdated since Mr.Modi's speech to the people of Gujarat, the day after the Godhra carnage,i.e. Feb.28,2002, not to take vengeance, which was aired in Doodarshan, is now available on youtube.

from:  Dr. Vijaya Rajiva
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 01:46 IST

You forgot Kandhamal in Orissa.

from:  jer kush
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 01:43 IST

Very good article and you are absolutely right, if the culprits of 1984 riots should have been punished, we should have never seen riots in India. Congress has no moral right to point fingures at someone.

from:  hari
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 00:26 IST

Thanks for providing an unbiased report on this sensitive matter. I almost felt real journalism is dying in India, then I read your article.

from:  Subhasis Nayak
Posted on: Mar 30, 2010 at 23:55 IST
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