Why has the Supreme Court ruling on Narendra Modi got his detractors’ goat? Be it the Congress, the Gujarat-based human rights NGOs or the secular brigade, all the parties are demonstratively sulking. One, because the industry that was built around the campaign against Narendra Modi is slowly but surely coming crumbling down. On September 12 when the Supreme Court passed an unambiguous ruling on Narendra Modi that the trial court in Gujarat will decide whether he will be probed in a riot case in 2002 the game plan of the human rights organisations which have a single point programme of framing the Chief Minister in the Gujarat riots, was exposed. The BJP in an understatement called the Supreme Court ruling a victory for Modi. To start with, there is not a shred of evidence against the Chief Minister of Gujarat to make such grave charges credible. The secular brigade, which included some of the powerful media houses, set out to frame the Gujarat Chief Minister only because he does not wallow in secular balderdash.
If one examines the arguments put out by the Congress who are hand-in-glove with the NGOs in this frame-up operation for a long time it becomes evident that whenever the court rulings go in favour of Modi there is a clamour of “courts being managed”. It is time the judges held these Congress cronies for contempt of court for such malicious innuendoes.
First, the Supreme Court has not even commented on the charges made against Gujarat Chief Minister and has simply passed it on to the trial court to decide. If there was a single stricture or a comment on inclusion of Narendra Modi in the case the NGOs would have for the first time succeeded in sticking their allegations on the Chief Minister.
Earlier when the NGOs led by Teesta Setalvad used to make allegations people used to take them seriously as she was representing the affected party in the communal riots in 2002. But as time passed the human rights organisations in Gujarat were repeatedly found to be making wild allegations and subverting the process of justice, and consequently the courts became wary of them. In all, there are nine cases relating to the communal violence in 2002 in Gujarat and charge-sheets were filed. All the trials were stayed by the Supreme Court in 2006 when a petition was filed by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Even today Narendra Modi has not been named in any of the charge-sheets.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) has not once, but thrice investigated the riots cases. The courts have in an unprecedented show of inclusiveness, taken all allegations on board made by all kinds of people. But evidence against Narendra Modi is simply not stacking up. The hate-Modi camp has been trying hard to get the Chief Minister embroiled in the riot cases, but that has not been possible for lack of evidence for the last nine years. It’s a scandal that Modi detractors comment on judiciary’s corruption, specifically in case of Gujarat riots, whenever the court rulings don’t go in favour of them. If they wanted to accuse the judges of corruption why don’t they produce evidence if it is so rampant. For good measure, there are powerful media houses which have the expertise to do sting operations on corruption and have themselves been active on making Narendra Modi a perfect scapegoat in the riots.
Mallika Sarabhai, who contested elections against Narendra Modi and lost miserably, claims that BJP tries to make it as a case of Modi versus the rest. In reality, as in any other communal violence case, the Chief Minister should not be involved at all. Even after the 1984 riots in which Congress party was involved in the killings of thousands of Sikhs all over the country, the charge-sheet does not involve the name of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. There are scores of high-profile riot cases being heard in courts all over India but there has not been even one case where the NGOs and human rights organisations have tried to involve someone in a concerted effort without any evidence for nearly ten years. The hate-Modi campaign members have waylaid riot victims and their only target is the Chief Minister of Gujarat today. More stunning than all statements is that of Mallika Sarabhai when asked if she is happy with the Supreme Court ruling said, “the judges of the Supreme Court are left, right and centre corrupt!”
The attempts at misleading the country and its people do not stop at these ham-handed attempts at hate campaign. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, spokesman for Congress Party, actually spoke on national television that the magistrate in the trial court will file a charge-sheet against Narendra Modi now that Supreme Court has left it to the trial court! How on earth can the magistrate add names in the charge-sheet or amend the charge-sheet is a part of the Alice-in-Wonderland policy of Congress to get even with Narendra Modi.
Independent observers in Gujarat say, at worst Narendra Modi can be held for bad judgements being made in his decision-making process during the riots. But to convert television debate and opinions into evidence for court hearings is too far-fetched. It is not surprising that the Supreme Court in its wisdom gained in the last nine years did not want to join the issue by making any untoward statements that could become incriminating for anyone in the trial court hearings.
Zakia Jaffri, wife of slain Congress MP Ahsaan Jaffri, had approached the Supreme Court in 2006 to include the name of the Chief Minister of Gujarat in the charge-sheet. The Supreme Court had then asked the SIT to look into the allegations. In 2011 SIT in its final report did not find any basis for the allegations against Narendra Modi. The Supreme Court then directed an amicus curie to file a separate report. Congress spokesmen are given to presuming that the amicus curie report is different from the SIT report as if they are privy to it. But September 12, order of the Supreme Court is based on all the reports placed before it. If by any measure the apex court had found any links between the Chief Minister and the riots then we could have expected at least some comments from the court.
Yet on the other hand, there are state players like IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt who are being used by the Congress party in its ploy to counter and destabilise a popular leader like Narendra Modi. Sanjiv Bhatt has admitted to have taken ‘packages’ from Congress Party leaders in his fight against the Chief Minister, his emails have been intercepted which show that he was asking for more, and he now has even written to the Chief Minister saying that Narendra Modi should not feel vindicated by the Supreme Court’s latest ruling.
It is surprising that the news media still refuses to take cognizance of a corrupt police officer asking for money from Congress Party leaders in compensation for his fight against Narendra Modi. When Sanjiv Bhatt appears on TV channels he is quite brazen about the gifts that he has received from the Congress, and the news media treating him with kid-gloves raises the question of how much the media is playing into the hands of Modi detractors, all because he is a BJP Chief Minister.
In 2006 when mobs belonging to Dalit groups burned down seven bogies of the Deccan Queen near Mumbai and went on a massive riot during the day, the political leaders of Maharashtra gave a clear message to the police that they should not counter the rioters. But even today there is no charge-sheet against any Chief Minister of Maharashtra for their express inaction nor does the media talk about the issue.
Quiet appropriately, after all the brouhaha over his involvement in the riots, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi announced he will sit on a three-day fast starting September 17—his 61st birthday—in the name of “peace, unity and social harmony”. Hope the message of truth, harmony and prosperity, more than anything else, will become the cornerstone of Gujarat’s stupendous growth story, Congress party and human rights organisations notwithstanding.
(More on page 3)