In the interest of development, we hope that the stay granted by the Supreme Court to further demolition of illegal structures in Vadodara and other parts of Gujarat will be revoked at an early date. The Supreme Court had acceded to the Central Government'surgent plea for the stay in the wake of the violence in Vadodara, as a sequel to the demolition of an illegal mosque. The Central government'sargument in the Supreme Court based on the report submitted by the Minister of State S P Jaiswal, that the State Government had not duly discussed the sensitivities involved, is not correct.
In fact, at 9.30 a.m. on Monday, the May 1, 2006, a delegation of Muslims was invited to a meeting with the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) to evolve a consensus to remove the dargah. The VMC had also shown its readiness to offer an alternative place to build the dargah, there, but the Muslims were very obstinate. The VMC had earlier tried to serve a notice to Muslims in the dargah about the demolition, but they refused to take the notice. As a result the notice was pasted on the walls of the dargah on April 26. Muslim leaders had resisted this move with official petitions on April 29, 2006. In the meeting on 1 May, 2006, mayor Sunil Solanki, city BJP president Shabadsharan Brahmabhatt and municipal commissioner Rohit Pathak tried to convince the Muslim leaders about removing the structure. The dargah, which finds mention in the Baroda State'scity survey of 1911, was not a protected monument and neither did it have ownership papers.
As a result, the dargah was considered by the VMC as an unauthorised structure and demolished. Along with the dargah, at least half a dozen temples were also demolished, but Hindus did not resist. Muslims attacked not only the police, but also attacked vehicles and men in the courts of the district Magistrate and the Sessions, since they did not give stay for the demolition of the dargah. They burnt many vehicles in the premises of the courts. It must be noted that the VMC had to remove unauthorised structures to comply with the order of the Gujarat High Court. The Supreme Court should have asked for these facts before giving the stay as all this information was not given to it by the Central government which wanted the stay at any cost to serve its vote bank politics.
Minister of State for Home Affairs, S.P. Jaiswal visited Vadodara immediately after the demolition and instead of persuading the Muslims to refrain from violence, played politics and blamed the administration. He said in his report to the Home Ministry: Vadodara administration should have avoided the demolition of the dargah in view of the people'ssentiments associated with the old shrine.
Home Ministry issued a notice to the Gujarat government asking for a report on the burning of a Muslim in a car. He did not bother about the stabbing and killing of two Hindus by Muslim goons. The Indian Express, dated May 3 has reported the relevant story in detail. Two Hindus were waylaid and stabbed by a Muslim mob. One was Subedar Ramchandra Meena (35), belonging to the Patiala unit of the EME Corps, and another named Biren Shah (23). The partisan media, however, gave wide publicity only to the burning of the Muslim and this infuriated the Muslims further, who transformed the secular act of demolition into communal riots, which was most unfortunate.
A large section of the anti-Hindu media used the opportunity to blame Hindus, the BJP and the Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The Hindustan Times wrote in its editorial, ?Climate of distrust? (May 3, 2006): The violence and distrust are an indictment of Shri Narendra Modi and the BJP?. The HT, in its issue dated May 8, 2006, has given a photo of a car in flames with the footnote, ?File picture of the vehicle which was burnt down on May 2, killing Rafiq Vora?. HT has not given the photo of Hindus stabbed earlier in the riots. In fact, reminding the riots of 2002 again and again by anti-Hindu forces creates distrust among Muslims for Hindus. In The Indian Express, Ayesha Khan has blamed the demolition of illegal mosques in her article, ?Sacred space uncommon ground? (May 3, 2006) and indirectly encouraged Muslim goons to transform a secular act into communal riots. She has written: ?The municipal authorities stick to the latest mantra – of development of the larger good – which is a convenient mask.? Sitaram Yechury wrote in his column ?Returning to Gujarat 2002? in The Hindustan Times (May 4, 2006) and tried to divide the nation further on religious ground. Otherwise, there was no reason, why he should remind the past unhappy history of communal riots in the state. He has mentioned only the burning of a Muslim in Vadodara, where Hindus were also stabbed to death. The NDTV tried its best to highlight the incident of burning of the Muslim in a car to infuriate Muslims while suppressing the incidents of stabbing to death of the two waylaid Hindus. It is possible that the burning of a Muslim was in retaliation of the stabbing of Hindus. On May 3, NDTV asked a question on its channel about the burning of a person (read Muslim) and gave three alternative answers. One of them was whether it was a victory of religion (read Hinduism). Clearly the message was an attempt by the channel to malign Hindus. It must also be noted that there were many communal riots between the time of the Gujarat riots of 2002 and the recent few incidents in Vadodara. For example: riots in Marad, Kerala; Mahu and Aligarh in UP: Bhiwandi, Kalyan and many other parts of Maharashtra. But the media did not cover them at all or as they did in the case of Gujarat. This was right. But why should they have another approach only for Gujarat? Javed Anand (Ansari), co-editor of Communalism Combat and husband of Teesta Setalvad has written the article, ?There is a Taliban in Gujarat?. The motive is to dilute the threat of Talibans to humanity and condemn Gujarat, Shri Modi and the BJP. Javed says: The conduct of the state administration in Vadodara was far from even handed. So why is everyone only talking about Taliban? It must be noted that all the so called secular (read anti-Hindu writers and media) have not considered news of the following type: 1) Malaysian authorities have demolished a century-old Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur on April 21. While bulldozing the temple, devotees, numbering about 300, begged authorities to stop the demolition, until, at least, they finished their prayers. The prayers went unheeded. Authorities said: The demolition is sought to make way for a building project 2) In Pakistan and many Muslim countries also old mosques are demolished in the development process. For example, the mosque of Bilal, the direct disciple of Paigambar was removed in Saudi Arabia for extension of the palace. Clearly the motive of the anti-Hindu brigade consisting of the Communists and the Sonia Congress is to infuriate Muslims, encourage fundamentalist Muslims, destroy liberal Muslims and strengthen the Muslim vote bank.