Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

Parrikar scripts dark chapter in Goa's history by endorsing Modi

June 17-23, 2013

Samir Kelekar

At the recent BJP National executive that was held at Panjim, Narendra Modi was anointed head of its campaign committee for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Among the senior leaders, it was Parrikar who came out loud and clear in supporting Modi, despite objections by some other senior leaders notably L. K. Advani.

Narendra Modi is the brand name for the infamous 2002 Gujarat riots in which almost a thousand Muslims were killed. It is well known that the omissions on Modi's part were responsible for the riots. And further, though not yet proven in court, there is a strong case for proving a possible orchestration of the riots by Modi himself.

Right from passing the bodies of the Godhra carnage - given as a justification for the riots - to VHP functionaries in complete violation of the police guidelines, to carrying the bodies in procession with hate-filled slogan-shouting against Muslims, to a crucial meeting in the late evening in which Modi is alleged to have told his law and order machinery to go slow on the rioters, there is enough data to indicate that Modi himself was responsible in encouraging the rioters. Not just that, but one of the leaders of the rioters who was later convicted, namely Maya Kodnani, was made a minister by Modi immediately after the riots. Bajrangi, another person convicted, is on record on a video tape, mentioning Modi having encouraged him and says Modi later changed judges a number of times to set him free. No FIRs were registered by Gujarat police, and no investigation was done. It took a supreme court appointed SIT and lots of efforts by activists such as Teesta Setalvad to get the few convictions that have been gotten. A number of victims are still waiting for justice. In one of the prominent cases in which Ehsan Jafri, an ex-MP was butchered and burnt alive, Modi himself is accused number 1. The kind of cruelty that was seen in the riots will put animals to shame. Young girls were raped, and then burnt alive; a pregnant
woman's womb was pierced with a weapon. No civilized person can not only not just endorse these riots but think of letting the perpetrators go scot free.

Gujarat’s bloody 2002 history

It is not just the 2002 riots but Modi's subsequent reign in Gujarat is full of such macabre incidents. A prominent political opponent of Modi, Haren Pandya, when he was suspected of trying to spill the beans regarding the planning of riots, was murdered. No convictions have yet taken place. A number of fake encounters took place in Gujarat including that of teenagers. Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year-old college girl, was murdered in cold blood. Amit Shah was then Modi's home minister.  Incidentally, he is currently on bail after being named as one of the accused in the kidnapping and alleged encounter killing by the State Police of Sohrabuddin Shaikh, his wife Kauserbi and their friend Tulsiram Prajapati.
Modi has scant respect for law and order and is such a vindictive person that he will do anything to get his ends. Today, Gujarat has the highest number of phone tappings in the country - about one lakh - most of them illegal and done to nail political opponents and others. Hitler is the only one that comes to mind when one looks at Modi. The man would go to any lengths including targetting his close colleagues in his own party if he doubted them. In a recent incident, a man close to Modi was found looking at files in Sushma Swaraj's office in New Delhi in her absence. He was particularly looking for files relating to Nitin Gadkari, BJP's ex President. When he found one such file, he tore some pages out of it, and took them away. Luckily a CCTV camera at the office nailed him.

Goa defiled by anointing Modi 

Modi's notion of a minority-hating Hindu rashtra is anathema to our notion of India. His alleged criminal activities go against the grain of any civilized human being. Under the circumstances, there is nothing more disgusting than our Goa CM Manohar Parrikar endorsing him. It is further reprehensible that this was done in our land of Goa, known for its communal amity.
Two points are made in support of Modi by his cheerleaders who are present in plenty. One is that he has done a lot of development in Gujarat. The second is that there have been riots before, namely the 1984 riots and others. I would like to deal with them briefly.
There are questions on Gujarat’s development model but I don’t want to get into that right now, as it will require a different article.  However, the more important point is that development cannot come at the expense of justice. If one's mother were raped and killed, and then one given a cosy job and told that this is great development for you, would one be able to keep quiet?
The 1984 riots are reprehensible and it is important that the guilty be brought to book there. However, just because the guilty there haven't been brought to book yet, does not justify the 2002 riots. Two wrongs do not make a right. Secondly, none among the 1984 accused is trying for the Prime Minister’s chair right now. On the other hand, here is an accused, Narendra Modi, who unabashedly goes about the anti-minority line, and is now seeking more power. The danger to the country due to this person is great and immediate, and needs to be tackled on a priority basis.
It is time this BJP led under communal Modi be shown the door in the coming Lok Sabha elections. There is no bigger issue in the country today than keeping our secular fabric alive. I have no doubt that Goa, which represents India's unique secular, multi-community culture will come up to this challenge, and ensure that both BJP's candidates will be comprehensively defeated in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

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