Its been sometime since I posted an entry here so I was thinking of writing on India's unwillingness to take a tough posture against the military junta's crackdown on protesting Buddhist monks in Myanmar (may be about the turmoil in Pakistan too). But, the Tehelka expose was more like a slap on my face! If I wasn't red-faced enough the Nandigram episode left me thoroughly ashamed. What right do we have to criticize the wicked Burmese oligarchy or a despotic Pakistani general when not one but two of our own states are ruled by people who would put the most despicable fascist to shame!
The history of communism is full of paradoxes and ironies but Nandigram was too blatant from even a skeptic's point of view. I do concede that the entire episode is not as black and white as it is presented, there are grey areas too. But there just cannot be any justification of a state waging a war against its own subject even if we were to accept the Left's allegation that the movement is a "conspiracy hatched by the BJP/ Trinamul/ Maoists/ Jamaat nexus" to weaken CPI(M) base in Nandigram. This is what the CPI(M) leaders have been harping from the beginning but none of the leaders have explained how the state machinery of coercion could be employed to ruthlessly subdue those who dare to go against the party's diktat. Communist ideologies of all hues seek to represent the working class,peasants and other weaker sections of society but in this episode it was communist cadres themselves massacring villagers to assert their supremacy in the region, an act that could help bring in foreign and private investors which the leftists oppose tooth and nail in the rest of the country. Communist violence is often justified on grounds of social equality but this time around the comrades did not even bother to keep up with the pretension. Of course it would be stupid to talk of social justice when you are acting as mercenaries and marauders but lately Indian politics has not exactly been sane. The ongoing Karnataka fiasco is one such example of madness that goes on in the name of politics in India in recent times. CM Buddhadev's statement on the 'recapture' of Nandigram reflects the fact that more than anything, the CPM was simply unwilling to settle with anything but absolute control over the region. It has been observed that even in successful democracies those in power consider their constituencies as their own fiefdoms and are unwilling to tolerate any strain of dissent. In democracies that vote these totalitarians back to power such an arrangement can also be called "tyranny of the majority." The state sponsored massacre in Nandigram is a travesty of the principles our nation is founded on as well as a mockery of the basic tenets of socialism but it would be sheer hypocrisy to ignore the genocide committed by the Rightists six year back.
I do not intend to say that Nandigram episode is in any way a lesser crime than the Gujrat violence. True, the fight here was not on communal lines which could spread to other parts of the state, the number of victims affected by the violence was lesser too but the attitude of the government, its proactive role in the violence and its deployment of official state machinery to ruthlessly surpress all dissenting voices is in no way different from what the Modi government did during the post-Godhra riots of 2002. However, the people of W.Bengal have already raised their voices against the state sponsored violence and I am pretty confident that next election the CPM will have to pay the price for its insolence and crimes. Afterall, it is Bengal, the breeding ground of intellectuals and luminaries and Buddhadev has already apologized. But the West Bengal elections is not round the corner, the Gujrat election is. I hope that the Nandigram massacre does not eclipse the Tehelka expose which proves beyond all doubts the role Narendra Modi and other Sangh leaders played in the genocide of 2002.
To be honest, the expose itself did not disclose much information that I already did not know about. Most of us Indians know that Modi government of Gujrat engineered the riots and orchestrated the massacre of thousands of innocent Muslim men,women and children. What was shocking in this expose is that even after 5-6 years, these murderers are not only free but are also as powerful and as dangerous, if not more . However, the worst and the most painful part was the manner in which these killers were narrating their horrific tales. Sangh leaders and activists narrating proudly their gruesome acts belies all our pretensions of civility. That a man can actually boast of having ripped open a pregnant woman's womb without showing a hint of regret is itself a horrifying thought. A conscientious civil society would condemn such a man to confines of an asylum but as the expose revealed such psychopaths are patronized in Modi's reign.
And it is not that this genocide was the act of a few psychopaths, from the chief minister to the police constables and even public prosecuters, the entire official machinery of the state of Gujrat was not only protecting the murderers, rapists and arsonists but was also proactively taking part in the mayhem. An act of beastality in a fit of rage is understandable even if not condonable but it really shakes your belief in the system when you find that even after 5 years those who committed these gruesome acts are not only unrepentent but are actually proud of their deeds. Their sense of pride is not completely misplaced since they have been rewarded well for those very misdeeds. The role of police and public prosecuters confessing to having connived with the conspirators to exonerate murderers and arsonists instead of bringing them to justice makes one feel ashamed of being a part of this system. For once this sting operation has laid the ground realities in Gujrat even today. 5 years have passed yet this murderous brigade shows no signs of remorse and has in fact grown so insolent and arrogant that the state government dares to blackout certain news channels that were telecasting this expose. Even after such damning revelations the state BJP as well as the party's national level functionaries have refused to express any regret. In fact just a few days before the expose Modi walked out of an interview being conducted by Karan Thapar when the latter insisted that Modi express remorse for the rape and slaughter of thousands of innocent women and children. Even after the expose was aired and there was widespread protests in different parts of the country Modi didn't even think of clarifying his stand, he just ridiculed the media. The party functionaries too when questioned on massacres in Ahmedabad, Vadodra and other parts of Gujrat responded by reminding of the Godhra killings. Even if we forget Gujrat's own Gandhi's saying that "an eye for an eye would make the whole world blind", there is a great need to wake the politicians from their stupor and remind them that not only have the mob extracted their revenge by crippling the Gujrati Muslim community those accused of committing that dastard act of burning alive Hindu devotees are either in prison or have already been killed in fake encounters. In fact some officers of the Gujrat police became contract killers on the pretext of fighting terrorism. Modi's relection to chief ministership was the next big disaster to hit Indian society. Emboldened by this gesture of the electorate, Modi and his band of murderers seem to believe that those heinous crimes against innocents were justified and an apology was out of question. However, according to Vajpayee the Gujrat genocide was a major factor for the defeat of the BJP in general election, which also implies that the people of India punished the party for its role. The central leadership of the BJP continues to stand by him despite rebellions in its state units. Much of the credit for the development of the state is attributed to him which is also the basis of his popularity but is this the price of development? Interestingly what both Buddhadev Bhattacharya and Narendra Modi have in common is not just their abuse of official machinery to wage war on a section of citizens, both of them are also considered development gurus. This combination of psychopathy and efficient administration is not unparalleled in history. One of the greatest mass murderers of this century who also happens to be an idol for Modi was also credited for resuscitating his country's economy. Adolf Hitler who is glorified in school text books in Gujrat had actually single-handedly restructured the devastated German economy before plunging the country into abyss of the World War II. Indeed it is not difficult to understand why Modi idolizes Hitler, both of them have too many traits in common. Despotism, megalomania and psychopathy are a few of them.
Now as the assembly election draws closer in the state it remains to be seen if the people of Gujrat want their state to be known as the land of Gandhi and Sardar or a stronghold of despots and psychopaths.
( This a copy of my last entry in my blog http://o3.indiatimes.com/pensieve So if I sound not quite on top of things just remember I had drafted it sometime back )