Just about a month before the 10th anniversary of the Godhra train carnage and the subsequent communal pogrom in Gujarat, Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced his decision to observe a one-day “Sadbhavana Mission” fast in Godhra on January 20.
After the success of the three-day “Sadbhavana Mission” in Ahmedabad in September, Mr. Modi said he would observe a similar fast for a day at each of the 26 district and taluk headquarters and seven major urban centres in the State to spread the message of amity and harmony.
He has already observed fast at more than a dozen places.
Not only in Ahmedabad but also in district and taluks, the event managers and government authorities have arranged for a steady flow of religious heads and minority leaders at the venues of fast.
However, Saiyed Umarji, son of Moulana Umarji, who the police believed was the brain behind the train carnage but was acquitted by a special fast track court, does not believe that Mr. Modi's “Sadbhavana Mission” bears any friendly message for the minorities.
“The fast is a drama and mockery of the concept of amity,” he said on hearing about the Chief Minister's Godhra programme.
The Moulana was released on the court's order after he had spent nine years as a “condemned terrorist” in the Sabarmati central jail in Ahmedabad.
Saiyed Umarji said: “If the Chief Minister is really sincere about “Sadbhavana” he should apologise to the sons who lost their fathers, the fathers who lost their sons and the wives who lost their husbands in the pogrom.”