SOMETIMES I wonder what my mindset would have been if, among the fifty odd women and children in the Sabarmati Express coach which was set on fire by a rampaging Muslim mob was either my mother, sister, wife, daughter or grand daughter. I imagine myself standing outside the coach listening to the screams of my dearest as the flames first roasted, then devoured one, with me unable to offer any help. To know that the one I loved dearly was being scorched with heat and strangled with smoke until she collapsed, has given me the creeps. I wonder whether any of our distinguished editorial writers and the judges who delivered the Naroda Patiya verdict have put themselves in my theoretical position.
Some ninety Muslims, many of them women and children were killed by mobs in Naroda. Those guilty of the killings have now been given their just deserts. But may one dare to put everything in perspective? There would have been no Naroda Patiya if there was no Godhra. There would have been no Godhra if there was no Ayodhya and the Babri Masjid. There would have been no Babri Masjid demolition if only the Muslim community had graciously conceded that the masjid has been built ever the ruins of a demolished temple dedicated to Sri Ram. There was plenty of evidence to prove that. Had the Muslim community in an act of grace turned over the masjid long out of use in response to the prayerful request of Hindus, Hindu-Muslim unity would have reached undreamt of heights. But that was not to be. Egged on by secularists, the Muslim community declined to be cooperative.
Masjids in Saudi Arabia, we understand are routinely demolished to make way for roads or for some other reason. Saudis don’t see anything sacrosanct in masjids. The Babri Masjid was a standing insult to Hindu sentiments. No Hindu king had demolished a masjid to build a temple over its site. That is not in Hindu culture. But hundreds of temples had been demolished by Islamic rulers in India down the centuries and a cowardly and defeatist Hindu community had always remained quiescent. It is a known fact that there existed over 400 temples in what is now Pakistani territory prior to 1947. Presently, according to media, only 23 remain. There is not a word of sorrow registered in secular India. There is applause that justice has been done in the Naroda-Patiya case. And, as usual, Narendra Modi has been viciously targeted by our media. But let that go.
According to The Times of India (August 31) “coming ahead of Assembly elections in December, the Naroda Patiya judgement could impact Modi’s political ambitions”. More important, said the paper, is that “while it is open to appeal, the Naroda Patiya judgement comes as a re-assurance to victims of the 2002 riots” and “challenges the BJP’s explanations that the 2002 violence was a backlash against the Godhra incident”. Incident? Is the live roasting of fifty odd women and children just an incident?
According to Deccan Herald (August 30) “The convictions in the Naroda Patiya case are, more than those in others, a set-back for Chief Minister Narendra Modi and for the BJP. The paper noted that the Gujarat High Court had decided the Naroda Patiya killings as “unparalleled in modern history”. Is there anything parallel in the roasting of fifty odd women and children in the Sabarmati Express, courtesy of a Muslim mob? Why are we blind to that?
According to The Hindu (August 30) the conviction of Maya Kodnani and 31 others in the Naroda Patiya massacre is “the strongest judicial affirmation yet that large-scale communal violence is almost always a product of pre-meditated political planning and calculation”. What, pray, was the roasting of fifty odd women and children in the Sabarmati Express coach? An accident? Says The Hindu targeting Modi: “Needless to say the conviction is a huge setback to the Gujarat Chief Minister personally.” The Asian Age (August 30) in its editorial hinted that the judgement in the Naroda Patiya case has opened the possibility of “bringing up the prospect of senior figures in the ruling Establishment in Gujarat being similarly exposed”. Do we need to guess who could be the “senior figures”? The editorial also said that “the crime brand in Ahmedabad moved in a lackadaisical manner that was typical of the State government to violent crimes against Muslims.” One wishes The Asian Age tried to find out how many crimes against Sikhs perpetrated by Congress supporters in 1984 still remain unsettled and how many cases – of all kinds – are pending in courts in all states. And may one know how many people who set on fire the Sabarmati Express coach have been exposed to life imprisonment? The Telegraph (August 30) writing on Parliament wondered how often the Congress Party leaders have met BJP leaders across the table to talk things over. As it saw the situation “the Congress leadership treats the BJP not as the leading Opposition Party but as an outsider in the polity.” And why? Adds the paper: “It believes, perhaps, that if it is seen parleying with the BJP, it will lose its Muslim support base”. And it warned: “If the distance between the Government and the Opposition widens and the stand-off between the two intensifies, proceedings in Parliament could well become impossible.”
Our secular media takes great delight in attacking Narendra Modi, it is the fashion to run down Hindus. It needs to be reminded of what happened at Azad Maidan Mumbai only recently under the direction of the Raza Academy. The media is rousing Hindu anger. Writes Tavleen Singh in The Sentinal (August 27): “Anyone who thinks that this anger does not exist needs to think again. So when the police allow Muslim mobs to go berserk in a city like Mumbai, they end up pandering to a new kind of fanaticism that should never be pandered to.”
According to Tavleen Singh in her travels throughout India she is seeing “signs of this new fanaticism and religiosity everywhere, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari….” And one wonders how much of this is due to the secularism and anti-Hindu sentiment expressed by our mindless secularists. What can be more shocking than to learn that more than eleven young Muslims have been arrested early in June on grounds of planning to kill politicians and journalists?