Mr. Javadekar’s brazen defence of Mr. Modi’s role in the 2002 riots (Op-Ed, Nov.11) is in consonance with the party’s stand but carries little weight in the light of mounting evidence against the State police and the Gujarat Chief Minister as well. The argument that people want closure by letting bygones be bygones is a sinister thought as hapless victims of the riots are still waiting for long-pending justice.
The BJP’s leaders have also made it a habit to draw attention to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, but this hardly reduces the intensity of the crimes committed in 2002. All wanton killings are brutal and can hardly be justified. The very fact that many of Mr. Modi’s close associates have drawn stiff sentences for their complicity in the riots only proves that it is not that easy for the Chief Minister to wash his hands of the crime.
Mr. Javadekar has tried unsuccessfully to defend Mr. Modi and the Gujarat police for their complicity in the horrific state-managed pogrom. He also says that people want to move on. But moving on does not mean forgetting atrocities, humiliation, the pain of massacre and overall agony. Mr. Modi’s elevation as a top national leader will only spell disaster for democracy and secularism in India.
Mr. Javadekar has presented a true picture of Narendra Modi and Gujarat, reminding us that we should not bear any prejudice towards any national leader. So why are we so narrow minded and unable to look beyond 2002?