Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Missing Mirror

The Indian State should have been as relentless as Zakia Jaffri has been.

It should have heard every allegation, pursued every lead, tried the accused, and jailed the guilty.

That it hasn't will haunt this nation for a very long time.

After 9/11, even as America reeled, it didn't unleash a murderous frenzy on its own people. Even its incensed bigots knew that the American State would not tolerate such murder. 

Indian bigots, on the other hand, knew full well that the Indian State looks away during such pogroms. The consequence was 1984 and 2002.

In the law, the Indian State may not be the accused. On moral grounds, it is fully guilty.

I don't know what Mr Modi did or say during those fateful hours.

I do know that Indians were charred by the hundreds and nobody came to their aid. I also know that men in power have systematically hounded those who've accused them of vile acts of commission and omission.

I'm not a lawyer but, just on this, I can argue for a prima facie case of obstruction of justice.

It matters little if the obstructor is innocent or guilty of the original crime. That he takes overt actions to prevent the airing of all possible evidence is in itself an affront to justice. That he does so using the authority of the State makes him still more culpable.

Even so, I doubt if the Indian State will press obstruction charges. That's not what it does.

Instead, it smothers the uncomfortable silences of places like Gulbarg Society and Trilokpuri.

The process of so-called justice takes deliberate decades. In this time, the victims - traumatized widows mostly - fade away into death or shadows. Numbness and forgetting constitutes justice for them.

If justice forces society to confront its own reality in the mirror of truth, India doesn't even have a mirror.

History is kinder to victims.

Aurangzeb may have been the Emperor in his time, but his legacy is that of cold-blooded murder.

He wasn't present at Sis Ganj in the November of 1675. Yet, it is he - not the executioner - who we remember. We spit at Aurangzeb's name and revere the unflinching Guru Tegh Bahadur.

That's how history is. That's how history will be.

It will silently record the failures of the Indian State and the cowardice of her people who - repeatedly - have failed to use democracy to show their own moral spine.

It will record that India voted for a leader who rationalized mass murder in 1984. It will also record that Gujarat voted for a leader whose abominable political views, at a minimum, set stage for 2002.

And, history will never forget Zakia Jaffri for her unrelenting efforts to unearth the truth. It will walk in her shoes and see with her eyes.

In her shoes, we would all do exactly what she has done.

What about those who wield words to dismiss the wail of widows? For them, history reserves obscurity - its ultimate contempt.

Their politics is cynical pandering to the insecure impulses in human nature. Their justice is clever arguments, brazen intimidation, and a technical reading of the law. Their closure is a self-congratulatory game of blaming the victim for her own unfathomable sorrow.

History will not care for any of this. It will ask where they stood in the deliberate decades of injustice.

With the powerless widow helping her in every possible way to uncover the truth? Or, with the powerful State helping it at every step to delay, deny, and diminish the widow's wail?

And that is the bottom line.


Anonymous said...

Haven't seen such BS before. Feel like puking.

Sacha Soorma said...

Are you seriously comparing our 9th Guru Shri Teg Bahadur ji with an opportunist politician and a murderer like Ehsan Zafri?? Shame on you and your ilk.

Mehran said...

great read..:)

Anonymous said...

Now a new blogger has joined the Teetsa group to get some fame, u guys can go on preaching all your bull shit, but nobody really cares. After 10 years, all the efforts by pseudo secular media, NGOs and bloggers could not prove anything based on facts available.

shailesh sharma said...

Such a great article by you sir/ma'm/whatever, but sir i want to ask one thing,"who burnt that train?". Everyone in india is stressing on Gulbarga society mean the Aftermath of an incident... Have u ever thought of the real cause??? Why don't u blamed Modi for his incapable train admin??? Thats also his fault maybe u 'll someday find that modi himself burnt the train..... Stop crying over thorns plz find the root that is planted in this case... If not stop writing like tehleka reportaaz.

Anonymous said...

Dear writer there are millions widows in world because of jihadi terrorists. Most of them in India alone. Justice has been denied to all of them. Do you have guts to write for them ? Or 500 riot victims in gujarat end for you ? Seems there are only Gujarat victims in world for you.

Harsh said...

70% rant.

Anyways.. my point is.. Indians don't bother about NRIs.. you left us. Leave us alone now. WE DONT NEED YOUR LECTURES. come back and make an effort.. then it would be appreciated. Else.. all this commentary sounds like rant of one of mother in law.. who no one likes.

Tinku said...

Very well written! Those 'who wield words to dismiss the wail of widows' are much smaller in number but more vociforous.

Sujeet Pillai said...

History is kinder to victors not victims! If the complete Islamization of India had succeeded, Guru Tegh Bahadur would be a blip and not an inspiration!

Plus it is factual error that the guilty have gone unpunished! But I believe many have made it part of their psyche that unless Modi is hanged, justice has not happened. In that court Modi will never win, but then he doesn't need to!

Vidyut said...

I assumed this post happened out of our spat. I have written a response.

I am not able to see your tweets, so if you reply, comment there instead of tweeting.

Programed said...

so you are an NRI? explains the sob story. history doesn't care much for your ilk either. go watch Oprah and 'live for the moment like a free bird'.

history is made by people who stay back and fight, not bloggers and tweeters who 'care' ...

sai said...

Nice sounding words but ultimately meaningless. How is Rajiv Gandhi remembered today - despite being responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent sikhs and hundreds of ealam tamils? Winston Churchill - responsible for millions of starvation deaths in Bengal during WW II? Both of them in a very positive light, you would agree. Bottomline: history is as the winners want it to be. If Modi becomes the PM in, say 2019, I am sure he would be the most successful PM India ever had and all this would be forgotten.

Lifeisbetter said...

Preposterous, conceited and convoluted. You can't write history. Our system surely is not efficient, but if we understand team dynamics, organisational behaviour, a system or a process cannot be compared to an individual's behaviour.
Only fools can attribute a riot to a particular individual, or one of the rioter parties. I have witnessed hindus unzipping pants and getting slapped. Similarly Muslims were slapped.

I cant believe what you wrote

aphysio said...

very well written piece, with some larger questions facing the nation today. At the end, the values we stand for, will decide the kind of nation we want. Good to have your views on the issue, there will always be distractions (like the one see on the comments down below) but we have a section. In the end which one prevails is what matters. Hope sanity prevails.

adnanbinashraf said...

Well,there has to be appreciation for the indian secular society who feel the pain for what happened in gujrat which has defamed the whole indian face.history repeats itself but this dents nations image.we pray to Allah,nothing like such thing happens in future, which only kills innocent people!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget 500 hindus and 700 muslims were killed in 2002 post godhra riots. What about widows of those who roasted in godhra train ? What about widows of 500 hindus ?? Your post is biased, one sided. Anyway I believe an eye for an eye is not solution. Dare to post this reply ? I don't think so.

Shehla said...

Dear bigots, how much intellect does it take to understand that Godhra incident was a shameful act of terrorism and that so was the terrorism unleashed upon Muslims and supported by the state. How much intellect and humanity does it take to understand that violence BEGETS violence, but violence does not JUSTIFY violence. Ufff! So much hypocrisy.

Nilim Dutta said...

That rather than the pangs of conscience of its citizenry, we still see a mass of vocal, near obscene defense of Modi, as if the massacre of 'Muslims' didn't matter, that insidious subversion of law & order to facilitate such carnage didn't matter, that repeated attempts at obstruction of justice didn't matter, is the reason why Modi still gets voted to power, that he had not emerged in a vacuum, that the massacre didn't happen spontaneously. The saving grace, however, is that the consciences which have been disturbed by relentless effort by Modi to deny justice to the victims far outnumber those who shamelessly defend him. I would like to believe that we shall not leave it for history to decide Modi's fate. I am among those who believe that we shall find ourselves equal to the task of deciding Modi's fate. Justice shall yet be had.

Nuisance Reporter said...

The trauma Zakia Jafri has undergone for such a long time is unimaginable.After watching Rakesh Sharma's documentary on Gujarat Riots I was shocked to see the massive scale of Genocide in the state.Modi maybe a great entrepreneur or development guru but he still hasn't shown any remorse for this horrible polarizing the people of the state, he has shredded the fabric of Secularism of India.

Nilim Dutta said...

For those who readily come up with the argument that the massacre of Muslims in the Gujarat 2002 riots was a reaction of the Godhra incident where Kar Sevaks got burnt to death, I have three things to say:
First, regardless of who were the victims and who were the perpetrators of the Godhra incident, no citizen had the right to take law into their own hands, and certainly not carry out mass murder of innocent members of any community in retaliation. If the state government had failed to up hold law & order, it should have been sacked outright. Modi cannot boast of vibrant Gujarat, nor of good governance when he has failed to deliver the most basic ingredients of 'good' governance, security to its citizens and justice.
Second, perpetrators of the Godhra incident had been promptly arrested, prosecuted and convicted. Why not so the perpetrators of those who indulged in a bloodbath of Muslims? Or is it because Muslims are fair game in Modi's Gujarat? He would do well to remember, Gujarat is not a sovereign nation and the Indian Constitution and India laws reign supreme. If the Indian state had found the 'steel' to deal with allegedly wayward states like Kashmir or the region of North East, one day soon enough you shall see a change in political dispensation that shall have the will and find the 'steel' to reign in Gujarat too. Those who jubilantly defend Modi would do well to find wisdom to bow before 'justice' or else one day soon enough justice shall be done in spite of them.
Third, just because many atrocities like Nellie 1983, Delhi 1984 have gone unpunished doesn't mean that this should go unpunished as well. Rather, all the more reason to make sure that justice is done, this aura of impunity to perpetrators of ghastly crimes is forever shattered and a new narrative of justice is begun.
I am confident, history will vindicate me.

Khoty Mathur said...

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Please check it out at

Anonymous said...

ok, what do you eat to come with crap time and again. It is no body's contention that mrs jaffri should get justice. But why should you pre-judged modi's culpability. Show me one chief minister who had subjected himself to be interrogated by an investigative agency for 9 long hours .Not that riots never happened in India and not that 2002 are the biggest riots in India.

if not for the anti-modi cottage industry delay tactics, the final verdict on 2002 riots would have come by now. it is guys like you who are not helping mrs jaffri get justice.

Rajvansh said...

Excellently put. Simple logic will tell you that no minority community will take on the might of a majority community by burning trains with people of majority community in it. It is suicidal. As investigators have pointed out many times ( with no result) the train was burnt by obvious people and the reason was to incite riots. The train burning was part of the plan of the pogrom. But it is no use going on about it. History I hope will one day reveal the actual truth...

Anonymous said...

"secular right" is an oxymoron. These people either learn to respect the culture of India, or or prepare to be treated as near islamists. Every article such as the one posted here only enhances Dr. Swamy's credibility.

R. Saroja said...

"Second, perpetrators of the Godhra incident had been promptly arrested, prosecuted and convicted" Really!