Daya Varma and Vinod Mubayi


With big fanfare and a bit of drama by L.K. Advani, Narendra Modi has been crowned as the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate. The person who decided all this is the Chief of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Bhagwat, who supervises the entire herd of the Hindutva family including the BJP.


Modi might or might not become the next Prime Minister of India, but the very fact that a major political party has nominated him for this post is a unique tragedy for India, and indeed a unique event in the world.


There are all kinds of governments in the world, headed by all kinds of leaders. But in no major country, since the end of the Hitler-Mussolini era, has a leader aspired to rule a country riding on the crest of mass murder.  Even in the USA, aggression on other countries gets temporary approval as in the case of Iraq but the perpetrator is thrown in the dustbin of history.


There is unequivocal evidence for the culpability of Narendra Modi in the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat. He was the Chief Minister; that is all that matters. Besides, Modi encouraged the massacre. Subsequently Modi ordered fake encounter killings verified in writing by the Indian Police Service officer Vanzara. While Vanzara has been jailed for the fake encounters, he was merely carrying out the orders of the government headed by Modi. The ghastly pogrom of Sikhs in New Delhi in 1984, following the assassination of Indira Gandhi, was no doubt actively encouraged by local Congress leaders but none of them had any ambition to become Prime Minister of India.


What then is wrong with India that the brutal murder of thousands of Muslims and dislocation of many more remains just an event, ready to be not only forgotten and forgiven in just a decade, but whose chief architect is now ripe for new ventures.


Gujarat of 2002 did not stir India. There were no mass protests. Many left parties sent their team to investigate what was already known. Only a handful of activists took upon themselves the national task of exposing the truth, which should have been the priority of national parties and most certainly of communist parties. A group of activists in the US, like the Coalition Against Genocide, and various Muslim organizations have so far succeeded in stopping Modi’s visit to the US and UK.


Even as Modi has been nominated to lead BJP in the 2014 elections, critics are more concerned with his preference for corporations than his hatred of India’s Muslims and secular institutions.


When the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi visited Muzzafarnagar, a middle-aged Muslim came forward with tears in his eyes; we chose India in 1947 and now we have become strangers, he said.  Did he not speak for a community, as Indian as any one else? Can a secular culture be created in India which not only prevents criminals like Modi aspiring to become its prime minister but earns the contempt of all Indians?

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