Friday, October 26, 2007

See. And Be Afraid

The Tehekla guys have done it again. One of their reporters went undercover as a researcher on hindu resurgance, and got to talk to the a lot of people involved in the Godhra riots. In true Tehelka style, he was wearing button cameras, and got stunning confessions on tape.

Editor-in-chief Taun Tejpan writes in his editorial:
Of the many things that are uniquely appalling about Gujarat 2002, three are particularly disturbing. The first that the genocidal killings took place in the heart of urban India in an era of saturation media coverage — television, print, web — and not under the cloak of secrecy in an unreachable place. The second that the men who presided over the carnage were soon after elected to power not despite their crimes but seemingly precisely because of them (making a mockery of the idea of the inevitable morality of the collective). And finally — as TEHELKA’s investigation shows — the fact that there continues to be no trace of remorse, no sign of penitence for the blood-on-the-hands that — if Shakespeare and Dostoyevsky are to be believed — is supposed to haunt men to their very graves.

Like Germany and Italy once, Gujarat begs many questions. How do a non-militant people suddenly acquire a bloodthirsty instinct? Does affluence not diminish the impulse to savagery? Does education not diminish the impulse to bigotry? Do the much-vaunted tenets of classical Hinduism not diminish the impulse to cruelty? If tolerance and wisdom will not flourish in a garden of well-being and learning, in the very land of Mahatma Gandhi, then is there any hope for these things at all?

The following videos made me sick to the stomach, but hey, the truth _is_ bitter.

Babu Bajrangi: A local Bajrang Dal leader and one of the main conspirators.

Ramesh Dave: VHP's point man who planned attacks on Muslims in Kalupur and Dariyapur

Arvind Pandya: State Counsel appointed by the Narendra Modi government to defend it before the Nanavati-Shah Commission

The sceptics will ask - "Why now? Isn't this a Congress ploy just before the elections?". I say it very well can be, but does that change the gruesome nature of these crimes? [Also, Tarun slams the central govt for its spinelessness too, and I don't like the congress for what they did in the Delhi riots either.] And please do not give me the "muslims killed so many hindus in the medieval times, so what if we killed some now" line -- last time I checked this was not the middle ages, and we had something called due process.

Or perhaps, I am wrong, and as Tarun says in his editorial:
Is it possible that contrary to all the hoopla we may have already lived out the high tide of our democracy? Many Indians may get richer and richer but as a people — a deep civilisation — we will now only get poorer and poorer? Is it possible that a country sprung from the vision of giants can now only sustain small men with small concerns? Once a few good men shaped a modern egalitarian nation out of a devastated colony; are there none now to staunch the rot?

Too shocked to write more...


  1. i saw those videos on TV last nite.. horrible people they easily they were talking abt murders

  2. Anonymous7:26 PM

    I think people of India and Indian diaspora can do something beyond just discussing this in egroups and blogs.

    The Tehelka tapes confirm the crimes of the Gujarat RSS/BJP/VHP leadership. They should not get away with this.

    The RSS/BJP/VHP leadership is not directly tainted by this. Nor are the other parties of the NDA coalition, some of which still support them.

    So consider the possibility of thousands or millions of people sending letters, faxes (and in the worst case emails as they are often ignored)
    saying to Advani/Vajpayee/Jaitley/etc. (the BJP national leadership) that you better denounce the tainted leaders of your party in Gujarat or be ready to show your real face to rest of India.

    Yes, Mr. Modi led his party to victory in Gujarat after the 2002 incident. But one should not forget that the NDA lost after that.

    So if the rest of the country and the good Gujuratis tell Mr. Advani/Vajpayee/Jaitley/etc. in no uncertain terms that this is a second chance to them. In 2002 they wiggled out but now the Tehelka tapes show the truth and if they (Mr. Advani/Vajpayee/Jaitley/) do not want to be clubbed together with Mr. mass murderer Modi then they should immediately suspend all the tainted leaders of Gujarat from their party.

    Here are some links:

    For lazy people here are some emails of bjp and nda bigwigs:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Some Addresses:

    Address A-302, Laplaz, Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) Tel. (0522) 220909
    Present Address 6-A, Krishna Menon Marg, New Delhi-110011

    Address : 30 Prithvi Raj Road, New Delhi - 110 003 INDIA
    Phone No. : 011-23794124, 011-23794125
    Fax No. : 011-23017419
    E-mail :

    Rajnath Singh:

    BJP members of Lok Sabha:

    BJP Members of Rajya Sabha:


    Let us spread the word in Internet sphere (blogs, emails, yahoo groups etc. etc.). Let millions of people write and fax to Vajpayee and Advani and lets see if they come to their senses and throw these killers out of their party and coalition.


    If one sends an email, for more impact, one may cc to the news paper editors. Here is a list. That way the news paper editors can maintain a count of how many people are writing to Vajpayee and Advani and the reaction of Mr. Vajpayee and Mr. Advani will tell all of India whether they are party to the killing (by condoning it) or they are real statesman which they project themselves to be.

    Emails of editors of some Indian media:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  3. Anonymous7:23 PM

    Why there is no Tehelka types investigation into what happened on Godhra railway station? May be becuase in that case, Tarun Tejpal may get a fatwa against him?

    Why is that no one criticises brutal buring of kids and children in that bogey?

    Why this size 1 stack for memory ;)

  4. @abhishek: indeed, very horrifying, and very sad :-(.

    @anon1: Good, action oriented idea. Please let me know if there is a web-form where this task can be made easy - much like what the AID people did for the Bhopal Gas Victims petition.

    @anon2: Excellent question. In fact, I was having this very discussion with my aunt yesterday. And I completely agree, that the main Godhra train-burning incident should also be investigated. However, I take exception to your one-memory-location-for-stack argument though. As I mentioned in the post itself, I am also sad about the 1984 riots, so at least the stack size is 2 :-).

    One reason why I am more concerned about [if one _can_ be more concerned about one set of deaths as opposed to the others] the riots that happened after the godhra train burning than the train incident itself is that, much like the 1984 riots, the govt. itself played a role in communal violence. And that to me is supreme dereliction of duty -- something that should be urgently investigated so we do not repeat the mistake again.

    Hope that clears it up.