The’SECULAR BLINDFOLD’ on Godhra

via H.Balakrishnan published on March 4, 2007

Justice D.S. Tewatia, former Chief Justice, Calcutta High Court and Punjab and Haryana High Court.Under his aegis, the Council For International Affairs And Human Rights, based in New Delhi published a report based on a six-day field study on Godhra carnage.The other members of the team were Dr J.C. Batra, senior advocate, Supreme Court, Dr Krishan Singh, academician, Jawahar Lal Kaul, veteran journalist, and Prof. B. K. Kuthiala, Dean, Faculty of Media Studies, G.J. University, Hisar.


 


Based on the considerable oral, audio and visual evidence obtained from the above interactions, the Justice Tewatia team’s conclusions most relevant to the blindfold on Godhra were that the burning of 58 Hindu pilgrims on February 27, 2002 was an act carried out at the behest of then government of Pakistan which had planned to burn the entire Sabarmati Express carrying some 2000 passengers. The primary objective was to create Hindu-Muslim communal conflagration in India.


 


The report further states that actual perpetrators were jehadi elements in the predominantly Muslim town of Godhra where:


 


(A)-a very high traffic of telephone calls was recorded between Godhra and Pakistan, especially Karachi, before the date of the carnage


 


(B)-an abnormally large number of passports were issued


 


(C)there was a large number of persons without ration cards


 


(D)-a large number of unemployed Muslims had mobile phones,


 


(E)-though there is no tradition of being a Muslim pilgrim center and the local Muslims are not affluent, three istema (religious gatherings)have been held and attended by large numbers of foreigners, and


 


,(F)-an Assistant Collector (a young Muslim from eastern UP) went on leave two days before the gory incident and did not return till the middle of March though the district of his posting was aflame with communal riots much earlier.


 


The report further goes on to state that the media selected, distorted and added fiction to prove their respective points of view. The code of ethics prescribed by the Press Council of India was violated by the media with impunity. It so enraged the citizens that several concerned citizens in the disturbed areas suggested that peace could return to the state only if some of the TV channels were closed for some weeks.


 


As the well known columnistand author,Mr.Arvind Lavakare,wrote in the media-


 


“The Myth and Truth of Godhra”:’Conclusions 1 to 4 above are indicators as to why our national media, ever afraid to criticise the Muslim and ever ready to indulge in BJP/Hindu bashing, bypassed the Justice Tewatia Report, despite its high credentials and the fact that it was publicly released at a press conference in New Delhi. After all, our ‘secular’ national media simply could not have tolerated giving even a line to report’s conclusion 5 above. Hence, they simply buried the whole report itself, put a blindfold on the country vision of it. After all,they had found their Hindu-bashing agenda in the post-Godhra riots and they were hell-bent in pushing it full steam, right up to the Supreme Court and beyond to the United Nations.Will the criminal conviction of 16 Muslims, by two separate sessions judges in Ahmedabad remove the blindfold on Godhra that the ‘monster media’ put on the people of this country?

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