The Glamour Industry : Attacking Narendra Modi

published on May 12, 2012

Since the 2002 Hindu Muslim riots in Gujarat, a legacy of the Partition riots, there has sprung up an industry specifically designed to target Narendra Modi. The fact that Gujarat under Congress rule had witnessed several communal riots and that in the last ten years Gujarat under the governance of Shri Modi has not experienced any since 2002,is ignored by the industry. The chief sponsors and participants of this industry are the now discredited Teesta Setalwad and the many NGOs or activists as they are referred to. The danseuse Sarabahi and others have quietly gone back to the wood work , though even as late as last year the present writer saw her and the ubiquitous spokesperson of the Congress Party, Renuka Chowdary, giggling and bursting into unseemly laughter during a program on the riots on Times Now. These, presumably, are the beautiful people, the secular avante garde of Indian society who claims to uphold communal harmony. Their credentials are seriously in doubt.

The industry, ofcourse, has its international supporters, and it is reported that they are also financed from these dubious sources.

One of the first things that strikes any impartial viewer of mainstream programs on national television is that each participant begins with a virtuous disclaimer. Ofcourse, they regret the Godhra ‘incident’. That is exactly the word used by them. The 59 plus people, men, women and children, who were roasted to death
in the horrific train carnage are routinely referred to as ‘kar sevaks’. Indeed, these were Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya. Dushyant Dave the lawyer turned spokesperson against Narendra Modi even referred to them as the ‘unfortunate’ victims, and then hypocritically added : it is to be condemned. But he, as well many such people, then turn with indecent haste, to the riots that followed. He was sure, by some god given insight, that the Narendra Modi government deliberately instigated the riots. He was offended by the fact that the bodies of the Ayodhya pilgrims were taken in procession to their families. All this to fan the communal flames. He was certain about this. There was an unseemly air of certainty about his many obiter dicta.

Increasingly, it has become clear that they are not seriously interested either in communal harmony or the tragedy of the Muslims who died in the Gujarat riot of 2002. The most recent program to date on national television was Left, Right and Centre, anchored by Nidhi Razdan (‘Illegal orders withing a room no offence’ May 10,2012). Its topic for discussion was the SIT Report, recently released and which is presented in the program as making controversial statements. Since no one in the show had read the entire report it would seem to have been precipitous to engage in a discussion. Neverthless, for reasons of publicity Razdan decided to go ahead with it.

Lawyer Dushyant Dave led the pack. After the obligatory reference to the ‘unfortunate’ victims of the Godhra train burning by the Muslim miscreants(murderers, is the proper appellation) he launched into a tirade, accusing the authors of the SIT report which saw no prosecutable evidence against Shri Modi, for lying and worse. Siddharth Varadarajan, after a cautious opening statement stating that he stands corrected since he had not read the entire report, damned it as a shoddy piece of work. Interestingly, he too like lawyer Dave, was offended that the Gujarat prosecutors of those who were responsible for the killing of the Muslims, were RSS and members of the VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) ! The implication was that they could not be impartial in their enquiry.

Such accusations are astonishing since both the RSS and VHP are respected law abiding citizens of the country and have every right to hold public office. But this incident speaks to the bias of the so called secularists. If reports are to be believed, Mr. Varadarajan is sympathetic to the Left in India. Neverthless, he holds the post of Editor of the newspaper The Hindu. There is no prima facie evidence to show that he is in some way superior to the hoi polloi of the desi organisations such as the Rashtriya Swamayam Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The fact that they are Hindus cannot be held against them. The entire Gujarat judiciary would then be tarnished by such statements !

Mr. Vyas, lawyer for the Gujarat government held his ground and had no difficulty in showing that the SIT Report had to be accepted as the work of an investigative agency appointed by the Supreme Court. Much as the ‘beautiful’ people would like to indict and convict Shri Narendra Modi, to date there has been no evidence of his guilt in the Gujarat massacre. The moral arguments advanced by Mr. Varadarajan remain somewhat tenuous since the legal aspects are to be respected in a democracy. And any moral argument per se cannot be held in a vaccuum. It has to be grounded in history. One would have to bring in the Godhra massacre and the history of Hindu Muslim riots. In the absence of such a context his statements are just that, statements in a vaccum. And difficult as it may be for the likes of Dushyant Dave et al, there is simply no actionable evidence against Shri Modi.

Every now and then, someone might jump up and bring another case against him and ask for the continuation of the witch hunt against Shri Modi. The dubious industry might continue to flourish. Their political agenda will continue. But the people of Gujarat have moved forward under the prosperous governance of Shri Modi and the people of India will wait for their legal system to pronounce on guilt or innocence.

(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university)

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