Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Can we hold the peace? - K P S Gill

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Feb. 28, 2007

Five years after the horrific riots in Gujarat, we are still unprepared to anticipate and deal with the danger of communal violence
Five years after the horrific Godhra attack that triggered the riots in Gujarat, an ominous reminder of that event came in the shape of another incendiary attack on hapless rail users: The terrorist attack on the Delhi-Attari special train, packed with passengers to Pakistan. Evidently, efforts to polarise communities and to provoke communal violence have not ended. The recent attack, however, failed in its objective to incite wider carnage, despite attempts by elements in Pakistan, and some extraordinarily shrill voices from the ‘secular’ lobby in India, to give the incident a communal twist and link it to Gujarat riots.

Despite the general sobriety of the Indian response to the attack on the Delhi-Attari train, it is evident that the dangers that manifested themselves in Godhra and the riots in Gujarat are far from a thing of the past. Worse, we appear, today, to be no better prepared for such incidents than we were five years ago. During and after my brief tenure as advisor in Gujarat — where I was called to quell the riots — I had emphasised that the state’s communal conflagration was far from unique, and that the then latest orgy of violence lay along a continuum of comparable incidents, commencing with the bloodbath of 1969 which left at least 660 dead. A question I raised then, and that remains as relevant now, is, what do we do in the interregnums of peace to ensure that such episodes do not recur? The short answer is: Precious little.
I don’t think that anything substantial has been done either at the level of the states or at the Centre, to create instruments and mechanisms in communally sensitive areas that would prevent the recurrence of these disgraceful events. A great deal of political heat and dust is generated immediately after the event — and on various ‘anniversaries’ and politically sensitive times, such as elections — but little is done to improve the nation’s structural defences against the dangers of recurrence.

The failure is not restricted to the organs of the state. During and after the Gujarat riots, the role of political actors, non-governmental organisations and ‘activists’, was nothing short of shameful. There was a lot of posturing, a great deal of tamasha, but little was done to bring relief to the victims. Group after group flew into Ahmedabad, went through the motions of ‘investigation’, held press conferences and brought out ill-informed reports, but nobody stayed long enough to deliver concrete services and succour to those whose lives had been shattered and dislocated. In certain political quarters, there was almost an implicit hope that the violence would continue, so that it could be exploited electorally.

Since then, a veritable ‘Gujarat riots industry’ has come into being, whipping up flagging passions at every opportunity, and manufacturing a range of ‘products’ that are marketed principally to foreign ‘buyers’. The role of most such ‘activists’ has not been to bring people together, but to create and widen cleavages. The most important thing in a post-riot situation is to apply the healing touch. But most political parties, NGOs and professional intellectual agitators appear principally to be interested in keeping the wounds of Gujarat open and festering.

One of the manifestations or ‘products’ of this ‘Gujarat riots industry’ has been the constant, ill-informed and often hysterical attempt to blame a great deal of subsequent terrorist activity in India on the Gujarat riots. Every time there is a major terrorist attack by Pakistan-backed Islamist extremists anywhere in India, we are told by a particular lobby that this is ‘because of’ the Gujarat riots. This is the most arrant and malicious nonsense. The Gujarat riots were a blot on India’s democracy. They must be condemned without qualification, and efforts to secure justice and to reconstruct thse lives of their victims must continue. But a falsification of history is unforgivable. Worse, it feeds into the terrorists’ mobilisation machinery, justifying the murder of innocents, and inciting Muslims to ‘avenge’ the atrocities of Gujarat.

Pakistan-backed Islamist terrorism in India did not begin after Gujarat 2002. The dynamics of this terrorism are rooted in Pakistan’s strategic ambitions and the Islamist extremist ideology that has been harnessed to mobilise cadres and recruits for this terrorist enterprise. It is significant that despite the prominence the Gujarat riots receive in the propaganda of terrorist recruiters and their fellow travellers, including armies of ‘useful idiots’ among India’s chattering classes who give currency to their fictions, not a single survivor or family member of a victim has yet been found to be involved in any act of terrorism in India.


Eventually, impartial policing will be needed to create a bulwark against communal riots. To the extent that the structure, authority and legitimacy of the police are being continuously undermined, the nation’s vulnerabilities to communal violence persist. Our attention should focus on creating the apparatus of law and order management that is our best insurance against communal violence. The tragedy and stain of Gujarat cannot be wiped out; but the power to ensure that such a thing never happens again is within our grasp. Even five years after the nightmare in Gujarat, it is not too late to begin to exercise that power.


The writer is a former DGP, Punjab. He served as advisor to the Gujarat chief minister in 2002

8 comments:

rvx said...

Clearly, the "interested" quarters try hard to establish a cause & effect syndrome to all incidents of terrorism, street violence & the like, argument being to "contextualize" such incidents in the backdrop of Gujrat, Ayodhya etc. Justice Srikrishna commission presumably has done likewise; linking the Mumbai blasts with the preceding riots; at least that's what Teesta claims & that gives her another opportunity for breast beating in the name of "poor" muslims who had no recourse but to plant bombs ??

S SHANKAR said...

Chat up 5 minutes with Teesta or scan 5 minutes on her work and you discover this woman is prejudiced towards Muslims and takes up only their causes 99.9% .
Questions to this ‘fair-minded’ one-track thinking woman:-
1) Riots in Gujarat came later; first it was live burning of people in Godhra.
Has this woman as a protector of rights of human kind done anything for protecting the rights of those who were burnt ? Has this woman done anything for their families ?
2) Hindu Pandits were threatened and driven out from Kashmir. Has this woman done anything for their families ?
3) Ram was not born in Mumbai, Bangalore, Noida or in London. Ram was born in Ayodhya. That’s a religious belief several 1000s of years ago and has remained so.
Babar invaded into India and that date is recorded in history.
Who was first ?
The Christians in Rome or in the whole of Europe did not have to struggle to locate their Gods whose date of birth and date of death is known at their chosen places of birth or work. Jerusalem or Mecca / Madina ?
If to make a Temple for Ram in Ayodhya is such a struggle, then where are my rights ? This bloody woman has to answer this.
Historical evidence exists that Hindus are tolerant and peaceful. Which is why, there are converts in India --- thanks to the invaders, the Portuguese, the British and the Moghals.
4) How terrorism’s another side of the coin is intolerance and terrorism is always associated with Islam as a religion ? Not me but the connectivity is acknowledged all over the world and known to all world leaders, including this woman.
Do I consider that this bloody woman is not in this world opinion !
5) That any Muslim, in religious beliefs are rigid in the simplest day-to-day mundane matters forcing others to be tolerant to the extent that even Laws are bent in India. The beard, the burqa, praying on streets which is a public space, loud speakers all the time in the day, causing heavy stress to Law enforcement.
This is known worldwide and only in India the Muslims have more rights for maintenance of their religious beliefs even compared to Islamic States where the dynamics of society demand dilution of certain religious beliefs. Eg. family planning methods.
How come this woman does not seem to know this ?
6) This woman defends human rights ---- only for one chosen section in the society. God knows she was a fundamental Imam in previous birth and relative of Aurangazeb, the fanatic Muslim Emperor.
I would like you, Anjali to send this email to this ‘fair-minded’ human rights protector, the bloody woman.


S SHANKAR

Jameel said...

The title of this article aptly sums the message for Teesta - Right or wrong If you are not with us you are against us. Why not file a case against her in court for sedition?

Keep it up Teesta. The impoverished and hapless citizens of this country need more champions like you.

Regarding her motives and prejudices - People should learn not to mix issues and also not get knocked off their feet (mind) by hate mongering orators. Follow the court judgments for getting to the bottom of things.

In the vein of your article, we can soon look to the Supreme Court of India also being labelled "Anti-India Activist" for its actions by tranferring cases outside Gujarat etc etc in the interest of justice.

Ishan said...

go to helllllllll jameel...........

Maliney said...

We of course can hold the peace if the Islam's are get lost. The disaster of this world is Islam. They are crazy of their race and humilate others they should die.

shekhar said...

TEESTA SETALVAD IS NOTHING BUT A WHORE OF THE HIGHEST CLASS.I HAVE HEARD THAT SHE PARTICIPATES IN SEX ORGIES AND LOVES TO HAVE SEX WITH SEVERAL MEN AT THE SAME TIME.I AM SURPRISED TO KNOW THAT SHE LOVES HALF CUT MUSLIM COCKS.IN FACT SHE LOVES SUCKING COCKS.IN FACT I HAVE HEARD THAT SHE CHARGES BIG AMOUNT TO HAVE SEX WITH DIFFERENT MEN.SO IF ANYONE FEELS HORNY THEN HE KNOWS WHOM TO APPROACH.

Unknown said...

Teesta Setalvad, Jyoti Punwani, Praful Bidwai, C.L.Chumber, John Dayal, Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, Prof.Kanchi Ilaiah, - a priceless collection of "secular" people

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