The forgotten fifty-nine

via Tarun Vijay published on March 28, 2010

I stood alone. In that crowd at the railway station. Sabarmati Express, the Indian train connecting Ayodhya, a Hindu pilgrimage centre in UP, with the cosmopolitan urban centre Ahmedabad, passes through it. It had passed that year also and became a horrifying reminder of intolerance, butchery and politics over the dead.

I am least interested in the cases, the lies, the scandalous twists, the influencing of the case makers, the politics and the horrendous behaviour of those who become members of India’s central law-making body, Parliament, by virtue of an adult franchise.

My eyes were searching for an indicator, some information to know what happened to those families whose bread earners, parents, sole supporters and dearest relatives were suddenly brought dead in body bags.

There were little kids like Gayatri Panchal, who lost her two sisters, mother and father in that inferno. Sudha Rawal, an 82-year-old granny, Neelima, Lakhu Bhai, Bhimji Bhai……
Why they have to die a torturous death? And why the stalwarts, the leaders, the conscious keepers of the land never ever tried to approach them to know, how February 27 changed their world view and lives?

The next carnage, equally condemnable and horrifying, never included the dead of February 27. Both were Indians. I thought dead bodies do not have any religious prejudices. But here we saw, dead too can be made victims of the coloured attitudes.

Is there any answer to the question why Godhra is always, necessarily excluded from Gujarat? Why ‘Gujarat’ is simply and essentially a Muslim tragedy? Though one third of the killed were Hindus?

Why can’t we wail and lament for the Indian, whatever the religion, who dies whether in Godhra or ‘Gujarat’? The mental subjugation, the coercive secularism, the aggressive NGO-funded shrill voices, none of them takes into account the human side of the tragedies. Flags, headbands, the famous picture of the tailor with folded hands, half truths and pure lies in the courtyards of justice, nothing could demystify why Godhra occurred. Rather it has been pushed into the blind well of a secular Talibanistic edit that prohibits even an analytical, objective discussion on the February 27 carnage.  Which occurred just eight years ago?

When the perpetrators of 1984 still roam free and the protectors are decorated, an Indian analysis and an Indian inference of Godhra may take decades. But it also throws up the same issue of a self-denial, our leaders in media and politics are delving into. Deny that it ever happened. Deny that the hurt was universal.

Indians are targeted today for various reasons — in Kashmir, Jammu, Bastar, Dantewada, Kohima, Pune, Mumbai. The list is growing by the day. Still the missing identity is Indian.

Recently I was in a discussion in Bangalore and the participants, all noble elitist drum beaters of freedom of expression and objectivity, simply focused on communally oriented themes of persecution, backwardness and atrocities. None of them even once spoke of the Indian pain — they would have been forced to talk of inconvenient truths like Kashmiri Hindus’ exile. And of course Godhra.

The exclusion is as painful as was the massacre. An activist, who works among tribals, showed the gathering pictures of dead bodies of people who he claimed were killed by the security forces . He din’t show a single picture of the policemen killed by Naxalites or of those more than 10,000 common citizens brutally murdered by the red marauders.

Aren’t the policemen Indians? And those who were targeted by the Naxalites? Why romanticize the brutal murderers and exclude the agony of others? This dishonesty on part of the “secular, peace-loving” tribe is killing and shows off Stalinist traits.

The burning alive of Graham Staines was horrendous. But so was the killing of the octogenarian Swami Lakshmananand. Why exclude Lakshmananand and refuse to look dispassionately at the other side?

Nothing will be discussed and allowed to be printed till the Shahs of the secular Mecca deem it fit to be approved. Why?
Accept Valentine’s day, as if the day is the new constitutional order of the republic, a new national anthem. Otherwise be prepared to be lampooned and declared an uncivilized moron.

Why?

The end of dissent and inclusion is also the end of civility.

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