Was Gujarat an aberration? If it was that, then certainly it was one into which a great deal of planning and organising had gone, one for which the path had been well paved. Sentiment against Muslims had been whipped up, not piece-meal but in a systematic and sustained manner, until it had reached the pitch of hysteria.
In New York on 12 September 2002, Shri Atal B. Vajpayee, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, declared that Gujarat was "an aberration". The gentleman was perfectly correct: never before in this land had anything so monstrous occurred. It was a new page written in our history, in the blood of hundreds of our fellows.
Gujarat was a shame, Vajpayee tells expats
Avirook Sen, The Hindustan Times, September 14, 2002
New York: Protest Against Vajpaee September 14, 2002
Violence in Gujarat an aberration: PM
Press Trust of India, New York, September 13
Advani's apology wins over UK NRIs
Rashmee Z Ahmed, Times News Network, August 25, 2002
Recent Articles by Mukul Dube
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Vajpayee´s statement was a typically oblique one, designed only to take the heat off him. Since he is not reported as amplifying, we cannot know what he meant or, indeed, if his words meant anything at all. He was, in effect, shrugging off the world´s charges. His words could be translated thus: "Because we do not rape and burn our citizens daily, therefore we are fine people." Wriggling out, the wriggling of a worm.
Visiting London in August, Vajpayee´s deputy Shri Lal K. Advani had been compelled to describe what had happened in Gujarat as "outrageous and indefensible". This was seen as remarkable, because the strong, silent man had never produced anything remotely like an apology or admission back at home: in fact, he had had the gall to say throughout that his lackey Modi had done well and had things under control.
But was it so remarkable after all? Even in London, Advani had first attempted to wooden-face his way out by speaking of Modi´s "stern" action, indicated by the fact that two hundred people had been killed in police firing in Ahmedabad. Neither in London nor when he had sprung this staggering figure earlier did Advani see any need to say that of the 40 killed in the first two days´ police firing, 36 were Muslims. This is elementally straightforward: by shooting your victims well in time you can say that they were not victimised. Who lies here? Not the figures.
Was Gujarat an aberration? If it was that, then certainly it was one into which a great deal of planning and organising had gone, one for which the path had been well paved. Sentiment against Muslims had been whipped up, not piece-meal but in a systematic and sustained manner, until it had reached the pitch of hysteria. But the execution was not hysterical or wild: when the hordes of goons were let loose, they were guided by cool individuals armed with print-outs listing targets, they were vectored towards targets through cellular phones by their "democratically" elected leaders stationed in the police control room.
Shri Ashok Singhal, elevated functionary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, is reported to have told an audience of physiotherapy buffs in Amritsar on 3 September that Gujarat was a "successful experiment", one which would be repeated "all over the country". He said that Gujarat´s Hindus had had their "consciousness raised" such that the day after Godhra, 50 lakh of them were on the streets. "Singhal also spoke glowingly of how whole villages had been emptied of Islam´, and how whole communities of Muslims had been dispatched to refugee camps. This was a victory for Hindu society, he added, a first for the religion" (Indian Express, 4 September 2002).
Criticism of Singhal came from many sides, some strange ones too. But the Prime Minister and his Home Minister (yes, the very same deputy) said not a word about a speech for which, under the law which both are pledged to uphold, Singhal should have been thrown into prison. The conclusion is inescapable: if Sangh Hindutva is not stopped, what was an aberration when it happened in Gujarat will become the norm across this land. Millions remain to be butchered or driven into slaughter camps. Hindu consciousness is risen.
Option One: an aberration. Option Two: Hinduism´s first victory. Why can I not agree with the eminent Shri Vajpayee?
Because Vajpayee did not spout this aberration clap-trap earlier than on his consciousness-raising visit to New York. Because he remained silent while his deputy Advani defended Modi in Parliament. And because the deputy aforesaid did not feel outraged except when in London.
The General Assembly of the United Nations Organisation is, like London, a difficult place in which to get away with lies. Can this be the reason why Vajpayee said nothing about Gujarat in his speech there?
Lies and silence.
A soldier named Abdul Hamid once died fighting for his country. Correction: my country, our country. His valour and sacrifice are celebrated by his military unit each year at his grave near Amritsar, not so far from where Singhal spewed what he is made of. I feel it as a personal insult that this skinhead dares to call himself an Indian and dares to rail and scheme and plot against my remaining brothers and sisters. Some of them too are named Abdul Hamid.