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Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Curious Case Of Modi Acolytes

Why won't you support Modi ???
That's a question my friend actually posed! The answer lies embedded in the question. In a democracy, anyone who believes support needn't be won over and can simply be demanded, doesn't understand the essence of democracy. This mindset has previously be seen in Bajrang Dal, VHP, Shiv Sena cadres (feel free to add Musim, Christians radical groups  to do the balancing act :P) but now it seems to be spilling over to the educated middle class who may have been rightists from the beginning but refrained from making these kinds the of demands publicly.

Now, coming back to the question of supporting Modi, lets go through his accomplishments apart from his failure in fulfilling moral responsibility during the 2002 riots (since in legal process, the SIT has found no evidence of him being party to the massacre of Muslims after Godhra train carnage ).
As the Chief Minister, he cannot claim to be absolutely clean after his minister, Maya Kodnani was held guilty of slaughtering innocent people, by the court and has been sentences for life. In Tehelka tapes based on which both Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi were sentenced to life, there is not a single BJP/VHP/Bajrang Dal activist involved in riot who has not stated involvement of Modi. The SIT may have found evidence insufficient but there is little doubt in even his biggest followers mind that he is really uninvolved.  As a matter of fact, it is his claim to fame.


Just ask yourself,  when did you first hear about Narendra Modi and in what context ?
However, given the fact that large scale sectarian killings have taken place in India under the watch of almost every government, I may be willing to forget 2002 but the successive fake encounters of alleged terrorists is something that a conscientious citizen would not ignore. Subverting the law of the land by the government itself is again something not peculiar to Gujarat government,  what is peculiar is the fact that people dumped off without trial (giving us the obligation to presume their innocence)  were accused of planning to kill the Chief Minister, thereby completing his self-projected image of being powerful enough to be seen as a threat by enemies of India. It is in these cases that the then State Home Minister is facing three murder charges,  a number of top level IPS officers are in prison since years.

The Sohrabuddin-Kauser Bi is quite publicised and even politicized. CM Narendra Modi actually raised the issue himself in a political rally justifying Sohrabuddin killing as getting rid of a terrorist. Sohrabuddin was a know criminal who was said to be harassing marble lobby of Gujarat and Rajasthan.  According to key witness statement, Rs 10 crore was paid by marble mafia to politicians including ministers of Rajasthan government having close ties with the then Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah to kill Sohrabuddin .  Even if Sohrabuddin's extra-judicial killing were to condoned, what on earth could justify the killing and secretly burning the body of his wife, Kauser Bi ?

 However a far more serious allegation is that Sohrabuddin and his accomplice Tulsiram Prajapati had been hired to kill Haren Pandya, the high profile BJP leader. The  newspaper DNA first came out with this allegation and it was followed by corroboration by ex-IPS Sanjiv Bhatt and more importantly by ex-IPS DG Vanjara who is in prison on charges of coordinating Sohrabuddin and Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounters. DG Vanjara also faces charges on the fake encounter of 19 year old Mumbai student Ishrat Jahan and four others. Perhaps two of Ishrat's companions could be terrorists since their residence was traced to Pakistan and their bodies were not claimed. So if at all Gujarat police had nabbed at least two Pakistani terrorists alive, why the hell should it kill them in fake encounter ? Capturing a terrorist alive gives law enforcement agencies a treasure trove of information that can be used to bust other cells, foil plans, give insight into the organizational network of the terror groups. From Ajmal Kasab to Yasin Bhatkal, information gathered from them can definitely help prevent future attacks. So why does Gujarat police insist on killing them ?

Yet another encounter killing, that of Sadiq Jamal Mehtar in January 2003  reveal an entirely different facet of fake encounter killings. According Mumbai-based crime reporter Ketan Tirodkar's affidavit, Sadiq Jamal was a small time crook from Bhavnagar who ran away to Mumbai and then got a job in Dubai as household help of a relative of the chief lieutenant of Dawood Ibrahim. Unhappy with pay, Sadiq escaped to Bhavnagar, was involved in petty crime and constant harassment by police, eventually he contacted Tirodkar whom he had met in Dubai, asking him to help him start with a clean slate. According to Tirodkar "Daya Nayak and Tirodkar were asked to supply a Muslim boy with some criminal background to the Gujarat Police."
 
“Sadiq Jamal had come to me for help. Taking advantage of his helplessness, I asked him to come to the traffic police post on the Andheri flyover on 11 January 2003. I met him there and took him to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Daya Nayak had kept two police officers from the Gujarat Police waiting there. In recent times, I have seen the photographs of Vanzara and as far as I can recall, one of the persons waiting that day was him.”  [source]
In the FIR Sadiq Jamil was accused of being a LeT terrorist on a mission to assassinate Narendra Modi, LK Advani and Praveen Tagodia.. It seems the only reason for  the Gujarat Police gunning down this 22 year old was to boost Modi's credibility as a strong and popular leader, who was being repeatedly targeted by terrorist groups..

If the CM was indeed aware/complicit in all of these killings, he should facing criminal charges, if he wasn't aware, can such a person be entrusted to lead a nuclear power such as India ?



Then, comes the infamous #stalkgate #snoopgate when it was found that the the same Home Minister, Amit Shah was conducting a massive surveillance campaign on a young lady architect on instructions of his boss referred to in the publicly released audio tapes as Saheb. The operation involved keeping a round-the-clock surveillance of the lady, tapping telephone conversations of not only the victim but also her family members and everyone else she spoke to. An IAS officer, who had differences with the CM was also targeted. It is appalling to see that every law enforcement agency but especially the anti-terrorism squad was deployed to track the lady.
After the taped telephone conversations were released into public domain,the BJP released an undated letter of the father of the victim saying he had sought safety measures for his daughter from the Chief Minister !


It behoves one to think leaders of a major national political party should even offer such an explanation!
Is autocracy and nepotism so high in Modi government that the Home Minister himself and top brass of police and intelligence agencies can be used as errand boys ?

Can an individual's' private life be invaded to this extent ?



In this age of women empowerment, can the government take such steps based on a letter of the lady's father ? Especially a Bangalore-based lady architect who appears to be  taking  steps to prevent eavesdropping. By offering the safety excuse, the BJP has unabashedly declared that it has reverted to the hardcore patriarchal view of the Sangh Parivar.

Aren't these enough reasons to not vote for Modi ? I guess not!  These information have been in public domain all along, if they haven't deterred people yet, it is unlikely to do now. These can be seen as occasional eccentricities of a benevolent dictator to many of his acolytes but taking into account the high pitched electoral campaign, the damage that the current dispensation within the BJP threatens to inflict on the cultural and political landscape of India is much more threatening. 

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