Twelve years since 2002, two representative faces of the Gujarat riots met each other at a function held at Taliparamba under the aegis of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Qutubuddin Ansari, whose frightened face in a famed news photo of the violence became emblematic of the Gujarat communal violence, and Ashok Mochi, a former Bajrang Dal activist, met each other, shook hands and exchanged pleasantries and flowers on the stage. Both of them, now in their forties, stood there in front of the crowds to trigger memories of the riots.
The picture of Mr. Ansari with his folded hands and agonised expression of helplessness is still afresh in the minds of the people who gathered there. Equally strong was the image of Mr. Mochi shouting slogans carrying an iron stick.
Both of them were the guests at a public seminar titled ‘12 years after the genocide,’ organised by CPI(M)-sponsored cultural organisations at Taliparamba. The seminar was inaugurated by CPI(M) leader and former Minister T.K. Hamza.
At the function, Ansari’s autobiography in Malayalam Njaan Qutubuddin Ansari , prepared by Saheed Rumi, was released by CPI(M) district secretary P. Jayarajan. James Mathew, MLA, Democratic Youth Federation of India leader A.N. Shamseer and local organiser C. Abdul Kareem were present.