Monday, February 27, 2006

Gujarat burning ...

The following is a quote from Zakia Jafri's foreword to Dionne Bunsha's recent book Scarred: Experiments with Violence in Gujarat. (Zakia Jafri is the widow of the late Ahsan Jafri, an ex MP, who was lynched by a mob during the Gujarat riots in 2002.)

    28 February 2002 -- a day which I will never forget. I pray for all those who were killed -- children, young girls; so many who lost their lives even before they could figure out what had happened to them. Young boys and girls who left their homes to play in the neighbourhood would never see their parents and relatives again. Mothers searched for their children in the commotion, and many still don't know whether their children are alive or dead. They are still waiting. There was not enough time to react. Indifferent government statistics can never account for those lakhs of people who died silent deaths, and are still suffering today.
    When I go back in my mind to that awful day, my thoughts circle the same path and always come back to where they started. What happened, and why? I, and indeed many others like me, are still unable to come to terms with what happened.
    ... ...
    No amount of patience can bring what we have lost back to us. The very least we expect by way of consolation is justice, however delayed.
Four years later, Gujarat is still burning. The criminals who led the pogrom continue to be in power. To quote Dionne Bunsha from the book:
    ... the minorities in Gujarat still feel under siege. There is still a lot of insecurity. People hesitate to stand up for their rights. Segregation exists right from homes to classrooms to hospitals.
    The Sangh Parivar is still the dominant political force in Gujarat. Its extremist fringes are adamant on ushering in a Hindu Rashtra. The VHP has a list of monuments all over the country that it wants to demolish and capture. More youth are initiated into the fold every year at the VHP and Bajrang Dal camps. Not only in Gujarat, but also in Rajasthan, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and other states, the VHP has sparked trouble between adivasis and Muslims.
    To counter them, egalitarian political forces have to be as organised. The schooling of stereotypes must be curbed so that children are not fed false prejudices. Reactionary forces within the minorities also have to be countered. They too keep people trapped in closed mindsets. Many liberal Muslims have been attacked or excommunicated for speaking out against the orthodoxy.
    Could such a tragedy happen again? No one knows.
Perhaps the poet got it right:
    When these things come to an end,
    people find
    other subjects to talk about
    than just
    the latest episode of the Mahabharata
    and the daily statistics of death;
    rediscover simple pleasures --
    fly kites,
    collect wild flowers, make love.
    Life seems
    to return to normal.
    But do not be deceived.
    Though, sooner or later,
    these celebrations of hatred too
    come to an end
    like everything else,
    the fire -- the fire lit for the purpose --
    can never be put out.     [Sarpa Satra, Arun Kolatkar]


At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Did you muslims going out and voting for Modi's party in last Municipal elections?

Or how about that FOIL poster guy who was relocated to Kolkotta but chose to get back to Gujarat within days?

Guess where ignorance is bliss, seculars blogs will rule

At 6:30 PM, Blogger Sunil said...

I'm coming here after a few days.....and see this new template! Why, why? The older one was so origina. (sorry for an off-topic comment).

At 3:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear sound more like a warrmonger..u all know that thgis is the best medium and an effective way to gather sentiments..

phew..i pitu you

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Niket said...

"Could such a tragedy happen again?"
The way to avoid such a tragedy from happening again is to bring those who committed the crime to justice. 1992-3 happened becoz the culprits of 1984 went scot-free; 2002 happened because those of 92-93 went scot-free. Keeping fingers crossed, hoping that 2012 doesn't happen.

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Qalandar said...

I must say I agree with niket. Though the problem isn't just a law-and-order one: the threat of criminal prosecutions rarely deter would-be ethnic cleansers, for the simple reason that in situations of mass, organized violence, the sheer numbers of the culpable actually provoke a crisis in the legal system (and in the assumptions-- of individual guilt, choice, and agency-- on which the system is founded). By all means the guilty need to be published; but in order to decide who "the guilty" are, it is important that the right kind of politics be developed as well. And it is on this latter front that Gujarat seems to be in a bleak situation, since the predicates of Sangh Parivar ideology are not only widely accepted, but even indirectly propagated by political formations (like the Congress) ostensibly opposed to them...

At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. My self Mustak… m also from Gujarat… I read ur msg…. I think ur thinking is for few point right but for few points its wrong..

Coz … Muslim never wants to understand…. Y they fight with Indian instead of Terrorist…

Coz we never feel India is our country… we feel India is Hindus country… but that is not true… India is country of Hindus and Muslim… so we must give support to Hindus… against fight of Terrorist and Pakistan…

So Pls all my brother give support to India or Hindu … if u do like that u get Best result… instead of dad body of our family.

Reason of this type msg is I love my family and my Country… (and my country is India) we are Indian… and we proud to be an Indian….

When Pakistani blast on Open Place they never inform to our cast … they kill all person (Muslim or Hindu)

So my request to my all brother… we are all educated person we must give support to Indian…

If any one have problem with above msg… pls give me the ans of this ( y Pakistan give support to “Dahud Ibrahim” …… Y America give support to Pakistan … because the all never want to see “Bright India” )

So pls try to understand…. And say “We are Indian and we give our support to India”

From Ur Brother : Mustak

At 6:29 AM, Blogger hindu-unity said...

there is no doubt about the loss of lives but you have to remember who started it.
under the BJP and the sangh parivar, gujrat has done very well economically. if the likes of you-you would convert whole of our beloved Bharat into bihar.

At 6:32 AM, Blogger hindu-unity said...
hindu unity is the only option for India to survive. Hindus are a world minority religion but who cares as Hindus are cowards The only thing good about hindus is that they have lovely sisters and daughters whome people of violennt religions can sleep with and all that in the name of secularism.

At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Nicole said...

Very interesting blog with good pictures. Thank you for this blog. Greetings. Nicole

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous sakthi said...

We all know very well that Narendra Modi and his Government have big part in this killings,But we can't able do anything even the court.They are still enjoying sophistication..We need some strong laws...
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At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Err..anyone covering genocide at Nandigram? Bhatinda?

At 3:41 AM, Anonymous Tim said...

Good Job! :)

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