Modi’s murderous minister

Published: August 29, 2012
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The writer is a columnist. He is also a former editor of the Mumbai-based English newspaper Mid Day and the Gujarati paper Divya Bhaskar 
aakar.patel@tribune.com.pk

The writer is a columnist. He is also a former editor of the Mumbai-based English newspaper Mid Day and the Gujarati paper Divya Bhaskar [email protected]

What can be said of civil society in Gujarat when its minister for women development and child welfare is convicted of rioting against women and children?

On August 29, for the first time in India, a sitting MLA (what is called MPA in Pakistan) was found to have instigated violence in the worst of the 2002 incidents.

Twelve people testified to minister Maya Kodnani assisting and egging on the rioters in the Ahmedabad suburb of Naroda Patiya. A total of 96 Muslims were killed that night, 34 children including a newborn, 32 women and 30 men. Kodnani supplied the killers with kerosene and swords, according to testimony. Judge Jyotsna Yagnik found 32 people guilty of the massacre. The fearsome Babu ‘Bajrangi’, the man accused of forcibly undoing marriages of Hindu girls to Muslim boys, has also been convicted in the case.

Kodnani, a Sindhi, whose family migrated at Partition, was an MLA when she participated in the violence and, despite the grave allegations against her, was made minister by Narendra Modi later. When she was charge-sheeted by an independent agency, she was dropped as minister but retained her seat as MLA. She is a qualified doctor, a gynaecologist, showing that higher education is no barrier to bigotry.

Though she denied being present at Naroda Patiya when the killings happened, Kodnani was proved to be there by her cell phone records. These had been gathered and submitted by an exceptional officer in the Gujarat police force. Shamefully, that officer, Rahul Sharma, from the elite Indian Police Service, is being tried by Modi’s government for misconduct. His crime was to have taken the initiative to get these phone records from the various cell phone companies and hand them over to independent investigators instead of the state. I think he did the right thing because under Modi (who was and remains the state’s home minister) investigations were so sloppy that the Supreme Court brought in an outside agency to take over. Kodnani’s conviction is because of that outside investigation team and not through the work of Modi’s government.

The phone records Sharma collected showed both Kodnani and Bajrangi in areas where they claimed not to be. They also show that the then deputy home minister, Gordhan Zadhafiya, was in the police control room. He has been accused of directing the violence and ordering the police to go easy on the rioters, though he also denied being there. Zadhafiya, who like Bajrangi is from the peasant Patel community, is today a rebel against Modi’s government.

The cell phone records indicate that Modi’s office was in touch with the rioters. Officers in the CMO — as the office is called — who phoned those now convicted of rioting, include Tanmay Mehta, Sanjay Bhavsar and Anil Mukim. When I visited Modi’s office a couple of years ago, I remember Bhavsar and Mukim being there. The records also indicate that phone conversations happened from the chief minister’s residence.

Modi speaks often about the inability of the Congress to protect India’s citizens from terrorist violence. He will not be able to deflect the truth that his own minister was responsible for the killing of Gujaratis easily. Modi’s record at protecting his citizens has been poor. Another of his deputy home ministers, Amit Shah, is barred from entering Gujarat today because of the charges he faces. Modi’s anti-terrorism force chief, DG Vanzara, is in jail for murder, also the result of an independent investigation.

It is astonishing, given the failures, that Modi continues to keep the portfolio of the home ministry. He has publicly attacked Teesta Setalvad, the Gujarati activist whose persistence has been crucial in bringing about all these convictions. But it is true that Gujaratis like me, who are still ashamed for our conduct of 10 years ago, are today proud of her and what she has achieved.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2012. 

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Reader Comments (53)

  • C. Nandkishore
    Aug 29, 2012 - 10:09PM

    Fantastic. Modi’s turn is fast coming. And the BJP wants to make him the PM.

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  • ali
    Aug 29, 2012 - 10:21PM

    Aakar Patel….Not a single charge has been proved against Modi not a single FIR inspite of witch hunt by people like u………..

    Teesat the so called social activist the court has ruled that she threatened witness to give certain testimonies…….

    I would like Mr Patel to write about an article on godhra,hindu migrations from pakistan,illegal bangladeshi………..Write an article about how Badrudin Ajmal incited voilence against tribal bodos in Assam……..About Azad Maidan…u will not because u r busy in praising the Great Aurangzeb..Modi is our Aurangzeb…..

    ET donot moderate my comments…………..Recommend

  • Aug 29, 2012 - 10:26PM

    Well said – thoroughly happy with this verdict. And yes, we are all personally culpable with all our prejudices – just listening to the tehelka tapes of the bajrang dal guy is bone chilling.

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  • sid
    Aug 29, 2012 - 10:56PM

    @C. Nandkishore:
    What about Gandhis??????????was Congress not involved in Sikh killings…….

    10 yrs nothing proved…………..Lets see whose turn comes

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  • suraj
    Aug 29, 2012 - 11:04PM

    “On August 29, for the first time in India, a sitting MLA (what is called MPA in Pakistan) was found to have instigated violence in the worst of the 2002 incidents”
    — This absolutely wrong, it is not first time.. there are several politicos exclusively from INC, SP and BSP serving their term in prison for their ruthless acts..

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  • 1984
    Aug 29, 2012 - 11:22PM

    @sid:
    Atleast Modi deployed army within 2 yrs and his govt arrested around around 7,000 muslims and 20,000 hindus to prevent the violence from escalating

    and what did Rajiv Gandhi do during the anti-sikh riots???

    He was playing golf in the Gymkhana club and when reporters asked he said “When a big tree falls,earth will shake for sometime”

    Despite that,half of institutes in India are named after him

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  • Indian
    Aug 29, 2012 - 11:25PM

    I feel proud of my Law & Constitution of India which convicted these people today.,but Modi has not been charged in any of this.
    & Mr Patel..Why are you silent on Godhra incident that instigated the riot?
    After what happened in Assam/Kokrajhar violence and the August 11 rally at Azad Maidan in Mumbai..i am convinced where to look for.
    The problem now with the pseudo-secular in India is the mess they are in with the plethora of scams & now they have a hiding point.
    Indians now understand whom to vote for in 2014.Let’s just vote for progress and self respect.
    I remember the dialog from movie Deewar at this time.
    Narendra Modi–Mere paas surplus electricity hai,smooth roads hai,world class ports
    hai, Administration hai.
    Rahul Gandhi-Mere paas Maa hai.

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  • BlackJack
    Aug 29, 2012 - 11:30PM

    Those who are proven guilty must be punished. By the same logic,hose who are not proven guilty must be exonerated; the fact is that everyone who takes an anti-Modi stance somehow acquires the halo of a saint – Teesta Setelvad (who refused to comment on the recent Azad Maidan violence) and present writer included. Our hypocrisy truly knows no bounds. The Gujarat violence (though horrific) lasted for all of two days – Assam has been burning for nearly a month now. However, there are no activists like Ms Setelvad or honorable journalists like Mr. Patel to give a fair hearing to the Bodos, or to ascertain whether there has been illegal migration at all. We must learn to face the truth as it is instead of creating an image of India that suits certain political formations which learnt to divide and rule from the original exponents themselves.

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  • Aug 29, 2012 - 11:42PM

    Thank you Mr Patel for informing Pakistan how some form of justice has been done in India against sectarian killing of innocent Muslims in Gujrat. But Also I am sorry to say that many Sindhi Hindus are leaving Pakistan due to mistreatment. I hope one day India and Pakistan will become two enlightened nations to treat all their citizens with respect.

    Thank you again.

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  • sid
    Aug 29, 2012 - 11:42PM

    @1984:
    I m completely with u……….sikh riots are protrayed as Hindus vs Sikhs…….I know from personal testimony that RSS,BJP(VAJPAYEE)himself did everthing to protect Sikhs………it was Congress supporters both Hindus and Muslims killing Sikhs………….Irony is that still no one is punished………mr Patel never mentions these facts………

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  • unbeliever
    Aug 29, 2012 - 11:44PM

    @BlackJack:
    no use teaching them. they have rented rhino skin from JHOLAWALLAHS…..so prejudiced are they, that when after constant predictions english media elites that modi is going to bite dust, he got landslide victory, they termed entire gujaratis communal.

    best way is to teach them lesson in elections….

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  • Abbas from the US
    Aug 30, 2012 - 1:22AM

    @ali:

    Mr Aaker Patel is a fair writer who does not hesitate to remind us Pakistanis of our shortcomings in tolerance towards minorities including Hindu, Chrisitian, Ahmedi and Shia Pakistanis.
    It is always a pleasure to read his writing, he always has something fresh to offer.

    As for Mr Modi, he is innocent until proven guilty,that is the primacy of Indian law but if guilt by association were sanctioned as admissable evidence against him, than the convictiion of Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi would ensure the conviction of Mr Modi too.

    Mr Modi can be trumpeted as a future Prime Minister of India by the bigoted and also the less knowledgable Gujrati State voter who could possibly return him to power as Chief Minister of Gujrat for the third time around. However in the court of world opinion his being denied a visa by the US will leave a permanently indelible mark against him, which bigoted supporters like you cannot erase by no matter whatever means..

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  • Logic Europe
    Aug 30, 2012 - 1:23AM

    the difference between 1984 and Assam and many thousand riots in India and in GUJRAT is simple, here the state plotted and instigated and supported marauding mobs That is the real crime ,a crime by a state against its own people

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  • Asok
    Aug 30, 2012 - 1:27AM

    Great piece, as usual, Aakar.

    I have always held Modi responsible. He has wiggled his way out of many investigations, using state power, but glad to see that many of his minions are finally being subjected to the full force of justice.

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  • Prabhat Pal
    Aug 30, 2012 - 1:44AM

    @ali
    @BlackJack
    Now my fellow Indian “nationalists” (actually national embarrassments) will come and defend Modi tooth and nail using passive-aggressive arguments and deflection techniques. Modi is a mass murderer – it’s that simple. Proving it in a court of law is as difficult as proving Osama’s involvement in 9/11. (That’s why they have Guantanamo bay, because the Law is sometimes just not enough)

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  • Bala
    Aug 30, 2012 - 1:49AM

    @Patel

    Great Article ! I hope justice finally catches up with all the convicts eventually.

    To those pro-modi Indians …your excuses are disgusting..almost 1500 indians got murdered (including 100+ honest policemen i hear) and you say its fine since it happened only for 2 days! If you are sooo concerned about Bodo, Assam, 1894, etc etc please go and raise awareness, become another Teesta Setelvad! Any activist can tackle only one issue at a time , of the activist’s choice. I hope fellow Indians will raise above politics and condemn these murderers … There must be consequences for anyone who indulges in mass-murder..period!

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  • Midhat
    Aug 30, 2012 - 3:50AM

    We often hear about hate crimes committed by those uneducated illiterate frustarted Mobs(though still not excusable) but When people as educated and highprofile like Maya Kodnani; a gynacologist, who took an oath to protect her citizens, directs violance in a manner to brutally kill innocent women and children with Swords and Kerosene, one cant imagibe how extremely low a human can stoop. Our Societies are so rotten with hate!

    The Godhra innicident was as regretful and inhumane, though its a request to indian brothers to please stop making it as an excuse! Yes the Mob would have been highly agitated but involvement of police and Authorities proves that bigotry and hate in our socities exist to a shameful extent.
    We need to Evolve!

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  • MAHAKAALCHAKRA
    Aug 30, 2012 - 5:10AM

    Without going who did what, I can tell you one thing conclusively. There has NOT been any riots in Gujarat since 1992 and Gujarat has become one of the most developed state of the Indian union under the leadership of Modi since 1992. Muslims has not migrated from Gujarat.

    Bottom line is, no one, repeat no one, can control the furious mob in India or Pakistan if matter is religious in nature. I myself have seen November 1984 killings (one sided in which no non-Sikh was killed) personally and so many others repeat riots under the tutelage of Congress government. Most recent one is in Assam where the state government run by Congress is unable to stop the violence started since July 2012.

    Aakar Ahmed Patel would not comment or analyse those riots for reasons best known to many readers.

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  • Ashvinn
    Aug 30, 2012 - 6:07AM

    I happy about the conviction of maya Konkani, hopefully other hate related crimes practiced against majority community are also reported with same enthusiasm, the desecration of amar joyth was indeed shamefull, the molesting of women police officer was criminal, showing restraint to such acts is as good as inciting crime, should we condone such acts because the people responsible belonged to particular community wouldn’t it radicalise the majority. How about reporting Assam incident, has anybody investigated what went wrong or only certain type of acts shall be investigated committed by cretain groups, do not radicalise majority or minority community

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  • Harkol
    Aug 30, 2012 - 7:13AM

    What this verdict showsis that if investigation agencies are independent of political control they can get criminals convicted. Can Akbar Patel also write about how Gandhi family has made CBI a poodle and no riot case or corruption case is ever proven against congressmen?

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  • Aug 30, 2012 - 7:57AM

    Vienna,August 30,2012
    Interesting article.The trial records are useful to trace the roots of
    conspiracy and management of it from the police control room.
    Pakistan indeed perfected and replicated the plan only when it
    launched attack on Bombay civilians having learned and refined
    polished N.Modi methodology under a five year plan on November
    26,2008.The Indian judiciary and legal experts are awaiting conviction
    details today,then they collect the documents for analysis and action.
    It is a matter of time.Crime indeed does not pay.Keep a watch.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna

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  • mr. righty rightist
    Aug 30, 2012 - 8:03AM

    I firmly believe that the charges of murdering 2000 people of which several hundred were Hindus, should be FIRMLY PLACED ON MUSLIMS.

    The muslims who burned down the train containing innocent Hindus.

    The reaction, riots that followed was only natural. On the contrary this rioting is commendable, because if the arrogance and bigotry and violence of Muslims is not retaliated, they will turn the entire world into a Pakistan.

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  • Raw is War
    Aug 30, 2012 - 8:05AM

    congress is buying Judiciary with money. Nothing more or nothing less.

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  • google
    Aug 30, 2012 - 8:17AM

    @Mr patel.. ur article is away from truth….. u did’nt mention how the riot was started.

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  • Rsingh
    Aug 30, 2012 - 9:02AM

    Pakistan should learn from India, atleast life of people involved in killing are been convicted. Unlike Pakistan where minority are at receiving end and barring the media hardly anyone is bothered. Modi like any politican abused the post Godhra situation to best of his advantage.

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  • Faraz
    Aug 30, 2012 - 9:35AM

    @Prabhat

    You hit that nail on the head

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  • from India
    Aug 30, 2012 - 10:33AM

    When she was involved in instigating the riot, she was not a Minister at that point of time. Anyways, since she has been proved guilty, she should be punished. And regarding Modi’s supporters for PM, there are many like me who support him (provided he is acquitted by Court).

    By the way, why don’t you write an article oh how 1984 riot and the ministers involved in such riots are still roaming free ? You won’t because you don’t have the balls to write as you’re on Congress’s payroll.

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  • mahakaalchakra
    Aug 30, 2012 - 11:06AM

    @MAHAKAALCHAKRA:

    ooops

    CORRECTION

    I meant no riots since 2002, instead of 1992 in my above comments Error regretted.

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  • Komal S
    Aug 30, 2012 - 2:02PM

    @BlackJack:
    That is the point, it happened for 2 days and approx. 2000 people killed(majority Muslims). The point is such a mass scale action cannot take place without some support from the state machinery. In this case many examples of police turning a blind eye on the rioters is known. As a free/democratic country we need to ask these difficult questions and investigate threadbare and make sure victims get their justice. The good news is courts are investigating and providing judgements. Unfortunately it did not happen in the Sikh riots case. They could get away in 1984 but not in 2002. Also Rights activist focus on a particular issue or community. So what if they focus on Gujarat and not focus on Azad Maidan or Assam. It is their choice. You should be happy that there are folks in your country who fight for the victims.

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  • Komal S
    Aug 30, 2012 - 2:10PM

    @Abbas from the US:
    Let us not use US visa issue as a validation on Modi’s morality. Recently few American leaders were in Gujarat meeting Modi. Modi will get Visa to US in his own terms. He has visited China and Japan recently. The fact is Gujarat riots investigation should be thorough and impartial for the sake of the people in Gujarat. All guilty should be punished if that includes Modi.

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  • James
    Aug 30, 2012 - 3:24PM

    @sid:
    Like Modi’s case ,there is no evidence

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  • Human
    Aug 30, 2012 - 3:26PM

    @Akar……no one listens to you in India, so you have got a good platform…..I, like many millions of indians, have never even heard your name before i started to read ET…….I have a feeling that you might even migrate to Pakistan to prove Hindu migration from India to Pakistan….:)

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  • sudhir
    Aug 30, 2012 - 3:26PM

    (what is called MPA in Pakistan) was there any need MR patel in havining a special mentione about what is this post call in pakistan or does this imply that u r working as paki agent & have inculcated their working & adminstrative system.

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  • Human
    Aug 30, 2012 - 3:34PM

    Next from Akar Patel:

    How Narendra Modi will cause World War III
    &
    Sonia Gandhi should get a Nobel prize in Medicine ( as she went to Sloan Kettering for treatment) , in Economics ( for looting India with UPA II) and Physics (for whatever reason)

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  • Prakash
    Aug 30, 2012 - 4:20PM

    @mr. righty rightist:
    I am sure many in those mobs had the same thought as you – they did it to us, so we will do it to them.
    If, indeed, the burning down of the train carrying Hindu karsevaks was the cause of the Gujarat riots, just think back and ask yourself – what was the thought in mind of the arsonists? Babri Masjid perhaps? Since they did it to us, let us do it to them.
    Go on and keep thinking back. Why was the Babri Masjid demolished? Same thought – they broke our temples, let us break theirs.
    Tit for tat. Eye for an eye.
    Trouble is, it never ends. So don’t complain if you get hit back.
    My advice – stop trying to correct the wrongs of the past. Too many things happened in the past that shouldn’t have happened. You weren’t responsible, neither are you obliged to correct them.

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  • Syed
    Aug 30, 2012 - 4:36PM

    We need more people like Aakar Patel. Tell the truth like it is even if it hurts. Muslims in Pakistan make a big deal about the poor muslims in gujurat. I too feel bad for them but how come the muslims in Pakistan don’t feel for the poor shia victims in Pakistan? India has more muslims but pakistan is where most muslims die. its not the militant hindus killing them but unfortunately their own so called brothers

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  • BlackJack
    Aug 30, 2012 - 5:00PM

    @Komal S:
    Your comments are very reasonable – let me respond. The official estimate of the Gujarat death toll is 1044 – unofficially it varies based on the source. I am all for punishing those who were guilty and Modi should pay if he has innocent blood on his hands; In the last couple of years, many people have been put behind bars, and some of them like Amit Shah and Maya Kodnani are not small-fry – so I think we should discard the argument that the foot soldiers are being sacrificed while the bigwigs stay scot-free. It is also fatuous to argue that the same justice system that you praise for indicting Ms Kodnani is somehow partial only to Modi while the Central govt bays for his blood. Irrespective of his guilt, I believe that Modi’s portrayal by the media as a cross between Pol Pot and Genghis Khan is motivated at least in part by increasingly insecure political forces. He has been a good administrator and they are wary of his growing political profile – else why would a Kalyan Singh who should be eternally held to blame for the Babri Masjid demolition and ensuing riots be kosher or a Yeddyurappa who embezzled millions relegated to yesterday’s news? It is because they are non-entities and no one feels threatened by them. Activism for the right reasons must be praised, but I refuse to believe that everyone who speaks against Modi has only the nation’s best interests (or those of the riot victims) at heart. Again, let armchair jurists permit the Indian justice system to take its course instead of announcing summary judgements not just on Modi, but on everyone who refuses to agree with them.

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  • Aug 30, 2012 - 5:13PM

    Mr Patel You have deliberately omitted the reasons of Gujarat riot . Gujarat has been free of communal riots by decades , In Godhra (having sizable stake of Muslim populace) Muslim Mob forcibly entered the train having karsevaks and by pouring petrol/ kerosene burnt alive more than seventy Gujarati Hindus.. This barbaric incident instigated the anger against the Muslims( when the charred bodies arrived at the places of relatives . Naturally the anger was so ontensive that no government could control it. Also the MLAs( people’s representative in Assembly) too also belong to the same society and has the same sentiments. As Hindus were in majority the whole anger busted . However the riot was controlled within two days. The congress Party wanted to gain mileage from this riot to attract Muslim vote( which had since shifted their loyalties to Socialist Party).

    Godhra incident is dwarfed and not highlighted. i am sure if Muslims which may include extreme thinking people and the silent Muslim supporters to take revenge / or create another incident anywhere even in Congress ruled states they will be responsible for another riot there like Gujarat and the government won’t be able to control it immediately and by then substantial damages will occur,. . All Pakistanis will agree to this bitter but true realities.

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  • Komal S
    Aug 30, 2012 - 5:31PM

    @mr. righty rightist:
    if you are going to be part of country which has law and order and legal systems you better respect it, otherwise you will have to face the consequence. if these muslim mobs torched the train let them be tried through the justice system. You don’t settle it on the streets in a civilized country. Governments should come down hard on rioters(Hindu or Muslim or Christian). Raking up paronia by spreading false information or hatred does not help any country. We have 170+ million muslims in the country and it is their country as it is yours.

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  • Abbas from the US
    Aug 30, 2012 - 6:21PM

    @Komal S:
    The fact is the US track record on human rights is usually based on the higher issues of morality though it can play the innocent bystander as in the case of current democracy related movements in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia.

    China’s record on human rights for the ethnic Chan is less than sterling, leaving aside minority ethnic groups such as Tibetans, Uyghurs, Huis etc who can be made to suffer deprivation of basic human righrts for gorups not in sync with the focus of the Chinese Communist Party. The current Chinese policies that treat trade as the most important while belittling all other issues including crimes against humanity can ensure an invitation to someone like Modi.

    But in the end even if Modi makes it to the post of Prime Minister of the Indian Republic and gets invited to the US under a new and changed US policy of coming to terms with Realpolitik. Human rights groups, representing the collective conscience of the Amecican people like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch will not hesitate to remind the American people of the higher moral issues involved, in that Administration’s looking the other way, for not convicted but under the shadow of crimes against humanity Indian Prime Minister then visiting the US.

    And that may be an embarrassment that Indian Nationalist of all shades of opinion will find it hard to bear.

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  • Human
    Aug 30, 2012 - 7:33PM

    @ Abbas from the US….”The fact is the US track record on human rights is usually based on the higher issues of morality though it can play the innocent bystander as in the case of current democracy related movements in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia.”..

    First, US should not talk about Human Rights for very obvious reasons…

    Second, Americans never rose against their own US anti-human policies so they also have no right to talk about Human rights and welfare….We have seen Americans dancing and jumping in joy to welcome Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao to US…so for them all that matters in MONEY…

    Third, Head of states like US and UK also face severe opposition and critic from different sections of society of the countries they are visiting…that doesnt disqualify them from being President or Prime Minister…..

    All you need is some common sense and a bit of Unbiased view…..:)

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  • Bala
    Aug 30, 2012 - 8:07PM

    @p r sharma:

    “when the charred bodies arrived at the places of relatives” — wrong, Gujarat Govt. chose to display the charred bodies for public in Gujarat’s capital city, against sane common-sense!

    You say anger, emotions turned common-people into murderers…I agree …that can probably be true but once the emotions and common-sense comes back ..such people must be willing to accept the consequences of their action.

    How is it that Gujarat govt. was not able to prosecute and convict anyone but Supreme Court directed commission was able to prosecute and convict 200 people so far?
    Even if Mr. Modi was not complicit , was he not responsible and incompetent as Home minster?
    I did not see Mr.Modi offering any solace to the minority community. Why?
    People who tried in Train-burning got more double the compensation as those killed in the riots ..Why?
    Mr. Butt has requested the Gujarat Govt. to share a set of documents and records that can prove his allegations ..but the Govt never shared such data..Why?
    Mr. Rahul Sharma is getting targeted by Gujarat Govt. for helping the investigation…Why?

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  • Dee Cee
    Aug 30, 2012 - 9:23PM

    @BlackJack: Your response has been rational. Let me respond. The legal spade with which you want to carve some wiggle room out for Modi is owned by Mr. Rehman. He uses it from time to time when we present Pakistan dossiers on LeT and JuD. There is always a gap of deniability between the chief exec and his minions, and Modi has been saving his skin based on that. It is also in bad faith to counter all accusations on Modi by bringing in Congress’s skulduggery, thievery, and studied malice in past and present. How can one exonerate Modi by listing the sins of other people? Modi’s crimes, if at all, need to be judged on their own merit, and no amount of Cong-Media-Left-“Sickular” bashing will whitewash them. Modi, metaphorically, stands against the idea of a secular India and for the “Two Nation Theory”. His being a person of any importance, let alone the putative prime minister, is a challenge to India’s secularism. I guess that’s why ordinary people like me respond so vehemently at Modi. And, just so you know, I won’t mind replacing the Congress government with BJP as long as somebody sane like Arun Jaitley is at the helm. No amount of media management by Modi’s PR firms (yes there are a couple) will be able to wash away the blood from his hands for ordinary citizens like me. However, if the majority of India prefers to live on Modi’s super-great-fantastic highways, I’ll say that democracy will have prevailed at the cost of the idea of India, and we will be in a position like our western neighbour where people regularly wonder about what happened to the father of the nation’s vision. The fellow Gujarati, and the greatest Indian, would have died again were he alive during this current apotheosis of NaMO. Peace!

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  • FU
    Aug 30, 2012 - 9:28PM

    Mr.Mohamad Aakar Patel, stop abusing Modi. Secular like you are the main problem we face today in India. Congress has committed more heinous crime against minorities and currently responsible for what is happening in Assam that is far worse than Gujarat riots.Recommend

  • BlackJack
    Aug 30, 2012 - 10:34PM

    @Dee Cee:
    To each his own, my friend. As Voltaire said, “I may disagree with what you say, but I would defend to the death your right to say it.”

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  • Logic Europe
    Aug 30, 2012 - 10:44PM

    mr MODI is an artical beyond repair, he is finished The majority of indians are secular and that is why he will never be voted PM ,,he may remain CM like hitler but not for long You should try to find another hero maybe RAM DEV BABA
    @FU:

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  • Abbas from the US
    Aug 30, 2012 - 10:46PM

    @Human:

    You are entitled to an opinion even if there appears to be digression from the point being emphazied.
    However Human Rights do matter in societies like the US and the practice of law for the equality of its citizens can be observed on a daily basis in political as well as economic life of these societies..
    Moreover American values and American led efforts formed the basis of the original declaration of Human Rights now enshrined in the UN charter.

    The practice of equality of its citizens, whether in beliefs or in economic opportunities for them in South Asia, whether in India or Pakistan is still a few decades away,

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  • sid
    Aug 30, 2012 - 10:50PM

    @Bala:
    Why your logic become an activist……………Recommend

  • kaalchakra
    Aug 30, 2012 - 11:22PM

    Dee Cee

    Good to see that rational people like you still exist in India. As a Hindu communalist Modi must be found guilty. Anyone who sees the absence of evidence against Modi as found by Indian legal system any differently than he or she sees the absence of evidence against Dr Sir Hafiz Saeed as found by the Pakistani legal system is simply being dishonest. These dishonest people are the bane of India.

    Please continue your valiant fight. It is people like you, nandita, and antanu g who will together create a rational and safe society.

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  • gp65
    Aug 31, 2012 - 11:06AM

    @Dee Cee:
    Comparing Modi with HAfiz Saeed is not the right comparison. Hafiz is considered guilty of leading LeT who planned and executed 26/11. The only charge on Modi is that he was not effective in controlling the riots. Also that some of his senior ministers were involved in conflagration (and 2 of them have been convicted).

    Incidentally, did anyone question Rajiv Gandhi’s becoming PM after 1984? Surely you have not forgotten the statement. “When a big tree falls the earth will shake”. At that time, there were just one group of people that died. In Gujarat riots 794 Muslims and 250 Hindus died. Please also know that 100 policemen died in trying to restore law and order. Modi also asked the army to come on the 3rd day. In the last 10 years there have been no riots in Gujarat (as Gujarati I can confirm that prior to 2002 every 1-2 years there used to be riots in Gujarat). This despite grave provocations like 59 Hindus being gunned down by Muslims in Akshardham in 2002 October, bomb blasts in Ahmedabad. I am not suggesting there should have been riots – just that he has been successful in avoiding riots after the first one.

    I would surely restate what blackjack said that if we trust in the court systems to believe this decision is accurate, we must also believe courts when they acquit Modi in one case after another. With UPA government in center there has been no unwillingness to go after investigations that could nail Mod – which is a very different situation from Pakistani government’s unwillingness to do any investigations in the 26/11 case.

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  • kaalchakra
    Aug 31, 2012 - 12:50PM

    gp65

    It doesn’t make any sense to say that if we trust the courts when they convict, we must also trust them when they acquit. A better option seems to be to pass those judgements on a case by case basis, so we can be just about them. There can’t be one size fits all approach in delivering justice.

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Aug 31, 2012 - 5:37PM

    @ali:

    I would like Mr Patel to write about
    an article on godhra,hindu migrations
    from pakistan,illegal
    bangladeshi………..Write an article about
    how Badrudin Ajmal incited voilence
    against tribal bodos in Assam

    C’mon. He writes for a Pakistani audience. You can’t expect a balanced stance from him.

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  • Kalpana Bala
    Sep 4, 2012 - 3:27PM

    @sid:
    Tytler’s turn will come soon too. But why are you defending the indefensible, ie Modi?

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