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Geek by profession, thinker/writer/artist by passion. Part-time blogger,social media enthusiast and a tramp by nature :) A Man Of Mud


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Wicked Wizard of Guj

Posted by: danish Ahmed 4:10 AM

Activist Mallika Sarabhai arrested
Detention of Gujarati celebrity activist Mallika Sarabhai and other victims of the 2002 riots marching towards Gujarat University Convention Hall where the Chief Minister Narendra Modi is on fast as part of his Sadbhavna Mission reflects the irony of the situation. By situation I don't mean the three-day fast festival but the the nature of peace that Modi claims to have imposed in Gujarat last 10 years. Centuries back Roman legionaries annihilated entire nations to impose a state of relative calm called Pax Romana although Modi's approach bears more semblance with someone he already adores- Adolf Hitler. 

Public fasts are undertaken as a means of protest and with a very clear objective (Anshans), fasting for self-purification or with religious intent (Upvas) are always personal and undertaken in the sanctity of one's home. Since Modi isn't fasting for either reason, it is clear that in the name of peace a lavish coronation ceremony is being held right under our noses, to catapult the regional satrap to the national political arena. Despite all my spite for him I must confess that I am hugely impressed by his leadership traits. Modi doesn't exactly have a clean image and it is not only the 2002 riots that sully his image,on the contrary,the enormity of the misdeed is such that it eclipses other issues from the media and the public's vision. There are so many of them that it is difficult to include them in a single sentence, so let's see, we are talking about BJP's future Prime Ministerial candidate :
Gujarat 2002 Riot Victim Pleading
 Can a person facing so many charges (excluding 2002 pogrom) qualify for the post of a Chief Minister even ?   The answer would  be a resounding no but not when the person in question is Narendra Modi. He is a political wizard of sorts who can convert adversity to opportunity and not miss a single opportunity to score more rhetorical points where an average politician would actually be on the defensive. This brings back to the question, what really was the objective of "Sadbhavna Mission".  Was Modi just trying to get nationwide television coverage and showcase his popularity to justify his claim to national leadership ?  Or was he also trying to put his past behind and reinventing himself as a moderate,almost secular leader ? I hope it was not the latter because it was a terrible idea. He may be a political wizard but he doesn't understand something very simple, the cultural fabric that holds Indian society together.

Muslim leaders with Modi  - Sept2011
The presence of a sizeable group of Muslims in the hall during Modi's fast was meant to reflect his new image but it actually reflected the opposite. Since he has been accused of being hostile to Muslims, proactive support of some Muslim clerics should wash away the stain. The problem with this mindset is that it continues to reflect Jinnah's two-nation theory which has miserably failed. According to this mindset, there are two monolithic communities in India, the Hindus and the Muslims. Fanatics on both side may believe that the two communities are perpetually at war,but it is equally dangerous when fundamentalists notion of goodwill is sending friendly gestures to leaders and clerics of the "other" community. It is like a truce that two warring  nation-states sign for a period of peace.  In such a scenario the biggest victim is Indian nationalism because then it is replaced by Hindu nationalism and Muslim nationalism. But that is not what India is about, there have been clashes,massacres,bloodshed but the essence of the Indian culture continues to be its inclusiveness.

Till Death Do Us Part! Not Really!
Modi  fails to comprehend that most of his fiercest critics are Hindus and the Sangh always had Muslim elements in their ranks. This lack of understanding led him to preside over one of the worst genocide to take place in India. When the coaches of the Sabarmati Express were set on fire,he held the entire Muslim community responsible  and as a leader of the Hindus, he considered  it justified that the Muslims should be taught a lesson,forgetting the fact that he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat and not of a particular group. Over the last few years many Muslims including Ex-VC Darul Uloom have spoken in favor of Modi, more than that Gujarati Muslims themselves have been praising Modi's administration but then why would a NDA ally party member criticize him ? There are no two nations at war, nearly all critics and activists are Hindus themselves,the protests and demand for justice for the victims are not being led by mullahs and moulvis (most of them were with Modi during the fast) but by members of the Indian Civil Society and intelligentsia.  .

It is an ideological fight now, if Modi really wishes to go national, or try undoing some of the misdeeds  he needs to question his own sense of nationalism. He needs to de-link 2002 pogrom from Godhra carnage,in both instances it was his job to provide security to people of his state regardless of religion,caste etc. He needs to apologize and rehabilitate the riot victims and separately apologize to the kins of those who perished in the fire that later engulfed Gujarat. And he must apologize to the people of India for tarnishing the image of our nation in the global arena.