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Its soon going to be six years since the Gujarat carnage took place in our ‘Democracy’. The actions we have seen so far have not been surprising. The Chief Minister gets re-elected, none of the people who arranged the attack on the muslims have been prosecuted yet and off late, the Court yells at one person who has been instrumental in getting justice to the victims of the carnage.

Let me begin by re-counting some of the incidents to most of my readers. The Tehelka issue on the Gujarat riots have been quite helpful in helping most of us re-visit the events. For people like Babu Bajrangi, the magazine is his worst nightmare. Surely it should be so when he is caught in the sting operation which giving an account of the Naroda Patiya massacre.

“Kauser Bano, was nine months pregnant that day. Her belly was torn apart and her foetus wrenched out, held aloft on the tip of a sword, then dashed to the ground and flung into the fire. Bajrangi recounts how he ripped apart “ek who pregnant b******d sala”; how he showed the Muslims the meaning of wrath – ‘if you harm us, we can respond- we’re no khichadi kadhi lot”

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Then there’s also 22 year old Sufiya Bano who was raped and burnt in front of her father and when the father and three sons went to save her, the sons were killed and the father beard was cut off.

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Naroda is an open area with a large pit that is actually a cul de sac – a slope leads into it from one side but the other side is a sheer rise that cannot be scaled. Several muslims had sheltered there; the mob surrounded the pit, poured fuel into it and set it afire. Around 200 people have said to have died in it.

Without going further in recounting these horrid tales, it must be stated that the action taken against those who were involved(hindus) in these crimes is as good as nil. On the other hand, the Supreme Court has denied bail to each of the 84 accused (muslims) of the burning of the Sabarmati express and all of them have been in jail for the past six years.

This is the irony of the Indian governance system. We are told that we are a democracy where everyone’s rights would be protected and there shall be no arbitrariness involved but on the other hand, communalism has penetrated so deep within us, that it is evident in the everyday actions of our Government. Most of the muslims in Ahmedabad still live in ghettos with inadequate facilities of water and electricity while Modi and his compatriots manage to come to power on the pedestal of “Gujarat Shining”.

Now when most of these issues are highlighted by Teesta Setalvad in an article, she gets a highly critical reaction from the Court. Well the article highlighted the fact that the Supreme Court had not done enough to deliver justice to the victims of the Gujarat riots and in fact was delaying the hearing time and again and not giving it much importance. This in a country where the Court has held that “Justice delayed is at par with Justice denied”. She also raised the following questions;

  • · Can no questions be asked about the systems in operation in the Supreme Court of India?
  • · Which matters get automatic priority and which do not?
  • · Which matters suffer because of the delays and interim orders of the Supreme Court?
  • · Is there no prioritization of cases where issues of personal liberty, denial of basic fundamental rights, mass crimes and impunity to the rich and powerful is concerned?
    If we can ask no questions, we will receive no answers.
  • · The time has come to question the basic accountability procedures of the highest court in the land.
    Has the Supreme Court of India lost its soul and is it turning a blind eye to cases related to fundamental rights violations?
  • · If so, where then do we turn?

In reply, when the Court was to hear the case on the 16th of this month, the Court was apparently fuming over the article and went to the extent of asking the lawyers whether they had any association with Teesta and if so, that they wouldn’t be hearing the petition. Well, quite juvenile I must say in a land where free speech is a highly cherished ideal.

So while the we enter the Sixth year since the riots took place, a lot of questions are raised about the efficiency of the administration in maintaining order and securing justice to the victims. In addition to this, it is disheartening to point out that even still we don’t have a law dealing with mass crimes in India and the Communal Violence Bill has not yet been passed. Like I said earlier, the irony of Indian democracy.

(See articles in the hyperlinks provided in the text)

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A lazy sunday for me. While I was whiling away my time reading the paper I started wondering if there would ever be a time when the Government would apologise for the great wrongs committed against the poor agrarian people that has led to the naxal problem. Or perhaps the dalits.

The incident in Australia marks an important revelation in the progress of a welfare state. To understand that the state program must secure the rights of all is one of the most important facets of the democracy. But while this historic apology has taken place, the aborigines have already started planning their law suits asking to be compensated for it. An apology and further measures for protection was what they deserved but law suits are way too much. The irony of the law I presume.

Coming back to India, the Courts have made it clear that the idea of affirmative action under Articles 15(4) and 16(4) of the Constitution will be only to those communities that are ‘historically wronged‘. This is an interesting classification I must say and to add that the only form of benefit that comes to these communities is in the form of reservations. The greater issue at hand is the mistakes that the government is committing in furthering the interests of the minor rich and sacrificing the lives and means of livelihood of the majority poor. If there is an apology involved, it is in this area. With the series of property amendments to the Constitution, legislations regarding meager monetary compensation and not to forget the thousands of farmers who have killed themselves for the Government doesn’t give a damn about them; surely there is an apology to be given here.

Killing 80 (or more) people in Nandigram was no joke but a serious consequence of this mistake. The naxalite problem is also a related consequence. Perhaps we need a reformed government to re-consider the claims of such groups; because their penury was caused by government action itself and not by any extraneous circumstances. I always believe that society reforms and proceeds towards rationality with time but I think the time of us Indians is way far to come.

Ambadas Haribhau Dharrao died yesterday. He died in no ordinary manner but as a victim of the hate crimes in the state of Maharashtra. For Raj Thackeray this was the result of him venting out his feelings against the North-Indians while for Ambadas’s family this meant the future denial of their only source of income and a loved one.

It is not amusing to hear and read the way death and hate is politicised in this Nation of ours. For those in the seats of power and what we call ‘rajnaitik shadyantra’ (playing political games), this is just another issue to rake up at a desired fora. A reason to be read in the paper, come in the eyes of the public and yes, get some votes. But the loss of lives doesn’t seem to bother those inciting the violence. When they are to be arrested, further violence by them mars the arrest. Not strange in the Country like India where even the law and order machinery is in political hands.

Raj Thackeray seems to place himself as a buffoon of sorts. What should have been done is that he should’ve been arrested the moment he made his speeches that incited violence.

I think this is the plight of the Indian Democratic system. The price we have to pay for being ruled by the people.

This photograph by Kevin Carter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for feature photograph. The vulture seems to be waiting for the child to starve to death. Taken during the Sudan Famine, it is stated that Kevin could’nt take it anymore and committed suicide 3 months later.

Arun Gandhi’s post on “Jewish Domination” seems to have drawn quite of lot of flak lately. Why he even had to resign for the very institute in the name of his Grandfather that he had founded. On resigning from the MK Gandhi institute of non-violence at the University of Rochester NY, he wrote,

“My intention was to generate a healthy discussion on the proliferation of violence. Clearly, I did not achieve my goal. Instead, unintentionally, my words have resulted in pain, anger, confusion and embarrassment,”

An yes, the Comments have’nt been too appreciative of the post too. David Sternlight writes,

I am older than Mr. Gandhi and still remember the time when Indians ran around the world with their holier-than-thou attitude sanctimoniously preaching against nuclear weapons. Then they got their own bomb.

I see that nothing has changed.

Another commentator writes,

Your grandfather would be ashamed of you.

 Now i think that was uncalled for. In my own personal take on this, the only mistake that Mr. Gandhi has done is that he has used his words in a very poor manner that has driven him to become a victim of high handed, powerful jewish forces. There is nothing wrong in that article and the idea that he seems to bring out is really justified. What happened to a race 60 years ago is being repeated by them upon others at present. I don’t think mass crimes can be justified in the name of security. I’m pretty sure the Grandfather would’nt have approved of the present Jewish power struggle and the blood line seems to have its connection here.

The post that he wrote is displayed below.

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Jewish Identity Can’t Depend on Violence

Jewish identity in the past has been locked into the holocaust experience — a German burden that the Jews have not been able to shed. It is a very good example of a community can overplay a historic experience to the point that it begins to repulse friends. The holocaust was the result of the warped mind of an individual who was able to influence his followers into doing something dreadful. But, it seems to me the Jews today not only want the Germans to feel guilty but the whole world must regret what happened to the Jews. The world did feel sorry for the episode but when an individual or a nation refuses to forgive and move on the regret turns into anger.

The Jewish identity in the future appears bleak. Any nation that remains anchored to the past is unable to move ahead and, especially a nation that believes its survival can only be ensured by weapons and bombs. In Tel Aviv in 2004 I had the opportunity to speak to some Members of Parliament and Peace activists all of whom argued that the wall and the military build-up was necessary to protect the nation and the people. In other words, I asked, you believe that you can create a snake pit — with many deadly snakes in it — and expect to live in the pit secure and alive? What do you mean? they countered. Well, with your superior weapons and armaments and your attitude towards your neighbors would it not be right to say that you are creating a snake pit? How can anyone live peacefully in such an atmosphere? Would it not be better to befriend those who hate you? Can you not reach out and share your technological advancement with your neighbors and build a relationship?

Apparently, in the modern world, so determined to live by the bomb, this is an alien concept. You don’t befriend anyone, you dominate them. We have created a culture of violence (Israel and the Jews are the biggest players) and that Culture of Violence is eventually going to destroy humanity.