Sunday, November 28, 2004

Pogrom in Gujarat

Indian Express is running a series of investigative stories on who knew what and when about the pogrom in Gujarat. This is based on an analysis of telephone records. An absolute must-read.

Top cops knew ex-Cong MP Ehsan Jafri was burning, his friend had sent out SOS

To us the issue goes beyond the horrific crimes outlined above. This is fundamentally about the nature of Indian citizenship and that of Indian institutions. If a citizen -- an ex-Member of Parliament at that -- can be lynched so brazenly, apparently with the knowledge of the police, how does any other citizen know he/she is safe?

Some may take comfort in the fact that the victims were minorities, and that, mercifully, they aren't. This would be a cynical and profoundly incorrect interpretation of the issue. First, regardless of their minority status, India's Muslims were born here, their parents and grandparents were born here, and their ancestors lived, died and are buried in India's earth. This alone gives them an equal citizenship -- and a right to equal protections -- as any other Indian. Second, we are all minorities in one way or the other -- some based on caste, others on language, and the rest in countless other ways.

Can we be lynched tomorrow for being, say, Brahmins, or Oriya speakers, or NRIs? Would Indians not sharing our specific minority attribute be morally justified in looking away? Can our police ignore SOS calls from us because they speak Tamil and we Bengali? Or because we have lived in New York and they all their life in New Delhi? Where does this madness stop?

2 comments:

Askar said...

I really appreciate your honest views on this topic. That incident really is a worst thing that can happen to India and we should all be feeling bad about the incident and for re-electing the Modern Hitler (Modi) for his second term. Where is this country (India) heading to and where is the humanity heading to?

I think we should have to keep faith in Democracy and keep educating the people about these modern day Hitlers and their killer cousins.

Sick of it.

Care India said...

What makes me more sick is the journalistic standards of India newspapers. When was the last time Indian Express did the same kind of snooping to trace the phone calls of mullah terrorists in Kashmir with their bosses in Pakistan. Official figures show that more than 65000 civilians died in Kashmir compared to 1500 muslims in Gujarat. When was the last time IE conducted the snoop on ISI cells in India that was responsible for communal voilence and blasts in various parts of the country which resulted in the death of thousands of Hindus? That is what I call sick and disgusting, reacting differently if a muslim dies but not when a Hindu dies.

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