Daya Varma and Vinod Mubayi   The Tehelka exposure of the crimes of Hindutva fascists led by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi only proves what was already well known. Yet proof is important because legal action against any one requires proof. The crimes committed by the ruffians of Sangh Parivar in 2002 are horrendous. They cannot happen unpunished in a civilized society and the fact they happened in India and the criminals remain scot-free simply reveals not only the cultural degeneration of Indian society but also the sham and incompetent nature of Indian democracy. There are lots of Asians, Arabs, Africans and Latinos in Western countries. There is racism here too. And yet any overt racial slur or arbitrary harassment of visible minority people does lead to consequences, which may be delayed, unevenly applied, or insufficient, but which also include retribution, enquiry and often enough dismissal of the media person or police official. In this sense, even the aftermath of 9/11, horrible as it was for the hundreds of mainly Muslim immigrants who were harassed, detained, and deported, was not allowed to go out of control a la Gujarat, nor was the bomb blast in the London underground or riots in the Paris suburbs. Bourgeois democracy just cannot afford to violate certain norms. However, the case in India is in stark contrast to what is expected of a democracy. First the Muslim community was brutalized under the rationale articulated by Modi that the fire on the railway train at Godhra station was an “action” calling for a “reaction.” Leaving aside the question of whether there was any Muslim mob that allegedly set fire to the train – all the evidence gathered by agencies not directly connected to the Gujarat government indicates that the fire was an accident caused by kerosene fuel cookers carried illegally in the train carriage – no civilized society would allow a general lawlessness to prevail against an entire community, which ultimately resulted in a horrendous pogrom. The laxity shown by the NDA government towards the hordes of the Sangh Parivar led by Narendra Modi was shameful but understandable. It was a question of solidarity within a mafia family. 

But the hesitation of the UPA government, which survives with the support of the left parties, on the Gujarat genocide is beyond comprehension. This marriage between parliamentary democracy and feudal highhandedness must be broken if India is to emerge as a modern democratic society. Herein lays the challenge for the Left and Democratic forces of India – to mount a massive protest to force the UPA government to immediately dismiss Narendra Modi’s government, place all those accused in their own words by the Tehelka evidence in jail and try them all for crimes against humanity. In the meantime, President’s rule should be declared and a central policing authority should be placed in charge of Gujarat.

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