The article “Your riot was worse than mine” (March 31) was a painful reminder of the callous attitude of our lawmakers and the custodians of law who have done little to deal with communal violence effectively. As rightly pointed out, the sufferers are the innocent people. Had the perpetrators of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots been punished, we could have possibly averted 2002 or at least minimised the losses.
Siddharth Varadarajan's article was timely. The two largest political parties trade charges on trivial matters and use communal issues for their own progress. The Congress terming the BJP a communal party and the BJP calling the Congress pseudo-secular underscore that both use religion to capture political power. And, undoubtedly, it is the common man who suffers the consequences of communal riots.
Devendra L. Abbigeri,
It is unfortunate that the long arm of the law rarely extends to the political brains behind communal violence. It is indeed time the law was amended to facilitate the prosecution of leaders who preside over lawlessness. But it is unlikely to happen as the law-makers themselves are among the biggest law-breakers.
Justice delayed is indeed justice denied. This applies to the 1984 and the 2002 mass killings. A victim is never a Hindu, Muslim or Sikh but a human being. The Constitution promises equality and equal protection of law. But, unfortunately, when the law encounters powerful men it fails to do justice. The blame game by politicians sailing in the same boat is, therefore, ridiculous.
The Congress and the BJP are two sides of the same coin, which is why the perpetrators of the Babri Masjid demolition, the 1984 riots and the 2002 riots are still roaming free. The leaders of the two parties do not feel they are associated with the people whom they purportedly represent. What India needs today is a revolution.
Our discussions should be focussed on the system, which failed to perform its functions swiftly rather than on which political party fared the worst during communal riots at different times. The inordinate delay in bringing to justice the perpetrators of the two terrible genocides — in Gujarat and Delhi — bears out the condition of our criminal justice system. Arundhati Roy rightly said: “… democracy can perhaps no longer be relied upon to deliver the justice and stability we once dreamed it would.”
K.K. Abdul Raoof,
The vacillation of the Congress over dealing with the challenge of communalism cost the nation dear from 1984, when the anti-Sikh riots took place, to 1992, when the Babri Masjid was demolished leading to bloodshed across the country. The BJP has always made its leaders speak in different voices so that it can be made to own up nothing. Till date, the party has no regrets over its pro-active communal mobilisation and provocative campaign. It time those in the citadels of power were made answerable for their acts of omission and commission.
By turning slowly, the wheels of justice have ensured that the true perpetrators of ghastly crimes get away with them. My stand on the 2002, the 1993, the 1984, the 1983 and the 1978 riots is the same. But when I demand equal justice in all cases, why am I looked upon as someone with dubious political intentions?
Who is responsible for not putting a full stop to the devious methods used by our politicians to fan communal passions? Why can't we set in motion a process that will ensure that rioters think twice before embarking on mass killing and destruction?
S. Sudhir Kumar,
A riot victim has no religion. Every communal riot is equally condemnable. The Congress' act of targeting Amitabh Bachchan is unbecoming of a national party. Mr. Bachchan is Gujarat's brand ambassador. When will our national parties become mature enough to rise above petty politics?
Mr. Bachchan has agreed to be the brand ambassador of Gujarat tourism, not Narendra Modi. More generally, it depresses me to see how spiritedness by political spokespersons takes the form of vituperative barrage. Surely we deserve higher standards in public life, which we can feel inspired to emulate. The fact that Mr. Bachchan has not responded goes to his credit.
Mr. Varadarajan has blamed the Congress for looking the other way during the anti-Sikh riots and the BJP for showing a similar attitude during the Gujarat genocide. But he has found no culprit for the poor Pandits of Kashmir. The media see only what they want. The killing of innocent people for any reason by any group is objectionable.