Modi and the 2002 massacre

Published: February 25, 2013
The writer, a judge of the Supreme Court of India from 2006 to 2011, is chairman of the Press Council of India

The writer, a judge of the Supreme Court of India from 2006 to 2011, is chairman of the Press Council of India

Narendra Modi is being projected by a large section of Indians as the modern Moses, the messiah who will lead the beleaguered and despondent Indian people into a land of milk and honey, the man who is best suited to be the next Indian prime minister. And it is not just the BJP and the RSS which are saying this in the Kumbh Mela. A large section of the so-called educated class, including a section of our ‘educated’ youth, who have been carried away by Modi’s propaganda, are saying this.

I was flying from Delhi to Bhopal recently. Sitting beside me was a Gujarati businessman. I asked him his opinion of Modi. He was all praise for him. I interjected and asked him about the killings of over 2,000 Muslims in 2002 in Gujarat. He replied that Muslims were always creating problems in Gujarat, but after 2002, they have been put in their place and there has been peace. I told him it was the peace of the graveyard, and peace can never last long unless it was coupled with justice. At this remark, he took offence and changed his seat on the plane.

The truth is that Muslims in Gujarat fear that if they speak out against the horrors of 2002, they may be attacked andvictimised. In the whole of India Muslims (who are over 200 million of the people of India) are solidly against Modi (though there are a handful of Muslims who for some reason disagree).

It is claimed by Modi’s supporters that what happened in Gujarat was only a ‘spontaneous’ reaction of Hindus to the killings of 59 Hindus in a train in Godhra. I do not buy this story. Firstly, there is still mystery attached to what exactly happened in Godhra, and who was responsible for the killings. Secondly, the persons who were responsible for the Godhra killings should certainly be identified and given harsh punishment, but how does this justify the attack on the entire Muslim community in Gujarat? Muslims are only nine per cent of the total population of Gujarat, the rest being mostly Hindus. In 2002, Muslims were massacred, their homes burnt and other horrible crimes committed against them.

To call the killings of Muslims as a spontaneous reaction reminds one of Kristallnacht in Germany in November 1938, when the entire Jewish community there was attacked, many killed, their synagogues burnt, shops vandalised, etc. after a German diplomat in Paris was shot by a Jewish youngster whose family had been persecuted by the Nazis. The Nazis claimed that this was a ‘spontaneous’ reaction, but, in fact, it was planned and executed by the authorities using fanatic mobs.

I have written in my article, “What is India?” (my blog, as well as on the video on the website that India is broadly a country of immigrants (like North America) and consequently, is a land of tremendous diversity. Hence, the only policy, which can hold it together and take it on the path of progress, is secularism and equal respect and treatment to all communities and sects. This was the policy of Emperor Akbar, which was followed by our founding fathers (Jawaharlal Nehru and his colleagues), who gave us a secular Constitution. Unless we follow this policy, India will not be able to survive because it has so much diversity, so many religions, castes, languages, ethnic groups, etc.

India, therefore, does not belong to Hindus alone; it belongs equally to Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, Jains, etc. Also, it is not that only Hindus can live in India as first rate citizens while others have to live as second or third rate citizens. All are first rate citizens here. The killings of thousands of Muslims and other atrocities committed against them in Gujarat in 2002 can never be forgotten or forgiven. All the perfumes in Arabia cannot wash away the stain on Modi in this connection.

Modi’s supporters say that he had no hand in the killings of Muslims in 2002, and it is also said that he has not been found guilty by any court of law. I do not want to comment on our judiciary, but I certainly do not buy the story that Modi had no hand in the 2002 events. He was the chief minister of Gujarat at that time, and the horrible events happened on a large scale in Gujarat. Can it be believed that he had no hand in the events of 2002? At least I find it impossible to believe it.

Let me give just one example. Ehsan Jafri was a respected, elderly former member of parliament living in the Chamanpura locality of Ahmedabad. His house was in the Gulbarga Housing Society, where mostly Muslims lived. According to the recorded version of his elderly wife Zakia, on February 28, 2002, a mob of fanatics blew up the security wall of the housing society using gas cylinders, dragged Jafri out of his house, stripped him, chopped off his limbs with swords, etc. and burnt him alive. Many other Muslims were also killed and their houses burnt. Chamanpura is barely a kilometre from the nearby police station and less than two kilometres from the Ahmedabad Police Commissioner’s office. Is it conceivable that the chief minister did not know what was going on? Since then, Zakia has been running from pillar to post to get justice for her husband who was so brutally murdered. Her criminal case against Modi was thrown out by the district court (since the Special Investigation Team appointed by the Supreme Court found no evidence against Modi), and it is only now after a gap of over 10 years since the incident that the Supreme Court set aside the order of the trial court and directed that her protest petition be considered. I am not going into this matter any further since it is still sub judice.

Modi has claimed that he has developed Gujarat. It is, therefore, necessary to consider the meaning of ‘development’. Development can have only one meaning, and that is, raising the standard of living of the masses. Giving concessions to big industrial houses and offering them cheap land and electricity can hardly be called development if it does not raise the standard of living of the masses.

Today, 48 per cent of Gujarati children are malnourished, which is a higher rate of malnourishment than the national average. There is a high infant mortality rate, high women’s maternity death rate and a poverty rate 57 per cent in tribal areas and among the scheduled/backward castes. As stated by Ramchandra Guha in his article in The Hindu (February 8), environmental degradation in Gujarat is rising, educational standards are falling and malnutrition among children is abnormally high. Over a third of adult men have a body mass index of less than 18.5 — the seventh worst in India. A 2010 UNDP report has placed Gujarat after eight other Indian states in multiple dimensions of development e.g. health, education, income levels, etc. (see Hindustan Times, December 16, 2012).

Mr Guha further states in his article: “As a sociologist who treats the aggregate data of economists with scepticism, I myself do not believe that Gujarat is the best developed state in the country. Shortly after Modi was sworn in for his third term, I travelled through Saurashtra, whose polluted and arid lands spoke of a hard grind for survival. In the towns, water, sewage, road and transport facilities were in a pathetic state; in the countryside, the scarcity of natural resources was apparent, as pastoralists walked miles and miles in search of stubble for their goats. In terms of social and economic development, Gujarat is better than average, but not among the best. Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are the three states, which provide a dignified life to a decent percentage of their population.”

Business leaders no doubt claim that Modi has created a business-friendly environment in Gujarat, but are businessmen the only people in India?

To those who talk of the development of Gujarat under Modi, I ask this question: should the malnourished children of Gujarat eat the roads, electricity and factories, which Modi has created? I appeal to Indians to consider all this if they are really concerned about the nation’s future; otherwise, they may make the same mistake that the Germans made in 1933.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (60)

  • Nitish
    Feb 25, 2013 - 2:23AM

    Lunacy has a limit…Anyway i m migrating to gujrat coz future of india is very bleak.Just wait for 10 to 20 more yrs and you will see the real game like what is happening in afganistan, katju.I will not want my kids to blame myself for bringing them in a society or country which is full of blasts and chaos.

  • Shameema
    Feb 25, 2013 - 2:24AM

    You are very brave to write this piece Sir and I salute you for this. Narendar Modi is a dangerous fascist and he should be stopped in his tracks. It is shameful that a lot of large business houses and celebrities are supporting him blindly. It will be a sad for India if this man becomes Prime Minister.


  • Feb 25, 2013 - 3:38AM

    Soon we’ll see Justice Katju at a governor in a congress ruled state.


  • secularsheet
    Feb 25, 2013 - 3:46AM

    this bogus article came to ET but sooooooooooooo late ?? katjus love for congress and bias is clearly visible , what type of ex-judge is he who believes in his believes of modi ? why don’t he go by the law?

    why partially for modi ?

    On the basis that ‘head’ is responsible for all killings
    why not for chidambaram(FM) ? responsible for killings of muslims in up
    why not nehru for partition killings ?
    why not Rajeev gandhi for 1984 killings (which he claimed as a reaction)?
    why not narsimha rao for 93 ?


    targeting one man for political purposes is shame !


  • Nadir
    Feb 25, 2013 - 4:22AM

    We are sadly passing a phase of national evolution where the affluent elite are easily impressed by shiny PR, consumerism and efficient corruption that benefits their interests. The growing middle class then imitates the affluent elite and champions the same attitudes and policies. In Pakistan, just look at all the excitement regarding Malik Riaz and the “tallest building in Karachi”. People got excited because that is what they think progress and development is. This is the kind of progress that intensifies attitudes “poor people are lazy”, “politicians are useless”, ” the market knows best”, while turning a blind eye to tax evasion, land grabs, pollution and gross inequality.


  • mahakaalchakra
    Feb 25, 2013 - 4:23AM

    Justice (retd) Katju comes from an illustrous family of UP who had been very close to the Gandhi/Nehru family and ruling Congress party. His father enjoyed CMship and governorships during congress rules. He is just paying the favors back to Gandhi family by criticising Modi so that Congress wins the 2014 elections against Modi and Rahul Gandhi becomes the PM of India.

    Katju has selective and twisted memories. He has raised questions about 2002 communal riots in Gujarat state in which less than 1400 (according to the SCI and the Congress figures, not 2000 as misquoted by Katju) persons got killed, out of which almost 350 were Hindus.

    He keeps mum about the genocide of Sikhs in Delhi and other cities in October 1984 by CONgressi goondas in which more than 3500 sikhs were killed in Delhi alone while not even one non-Sikh got killed anywhere. Rajiv Gandhi was the PM during the genocide days and no one has ever been convicted thus far. What did Katju do to bring the culprits of 1984 genocide to the justice? Nothing as he was always a closet Congressi who was responsible of the gencocide of Sikhs in 1984. If he thinks Modi is responsible for 2002 riots, so was Rajiv Gandhi for 1984 genocide which was more horrific than a communal riots which happens every now and then in all states ruled by any party. However after 2002 no riots has happened in Gujarat while other states still deal with riots every month.

    Justice Katju is the same person who only recently declared that 90% of Indian public is completely FOOL and Pakistan is a FAKE country created by bogus two-nation theory and it will be back in Indian union in next 15-20 years. He had commented on the decisions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan as well.

    He needs to confine his comments to his quasi-judicial post as the chairman of Press Council of India and refrain from interfering in local politics.Recommend

  • sabi
    Feb 25, 2013 - 4:56AM

    Sir that is the reason I believe India has far biger and complex problems than Pakistan and India has to struggle a long way to become a developed country.Indian governments should follow the spirits of their constitution and show zero tollerance to any religious,racial,cast discrimination.There should be no compromises on principles.Yes I also believe India and America or countries of immigrants the only difference is American cullture is few hundred years old while Indian-some thousands years.


  • Arijit Sharma
    Feb 25, 2013 - 5:51AM

    ” … I appeal to Indians to consider all this if they are really concerned about the nation’s future; otherwise, they may make the same mistake that the Germans made in 1933. … “

    Germany became a economic and industrial powerhouse during Herr Hitler’s time. Heil Modi.


  • Cm
    Feb 25, 2013 - 6:05AM

    The fact is Muslims are not allowed to speak freely in favor of Modi!

    The fact is there has not been any evidence to support your feelings or convictions: you do not separate them despite being a judge.

    The fact is if SIT and Commission of Inquiry after spending 11 years can not know the truth about the riots, how was a Modi who head barely take oak of MLA and been in office a few month to manage a crisis of leadership in Gujarat, to both judge the facts and manage religious riots better than anybody else before him in Gujarat or anywhere else?

    The fact is people who have done mighty little for true secularity of the government are trying to cover up their hypocrisy by accusing the easy scapegoat.

    The truth is the media, now led by the head of press council of India, has sold it’s soul, resigned on reporting facts, even propagated falsehood, ignorance and division of society.

  • Feb 25, 2013 - 7:18AM

    Modi will not become the PM, if you ask me.

    But, lets go over what is what.

    1) Facts: People were burnt alive in Godhra, a majority Muslim town, with train full of Hindu Pilgrims.
    2) Facts: Reactionary violence takes place. Most Muslims are murdered.
    3) Speculation: Govt is involved. Many ministers were convicted. No evidence of involvement of the guy at the top, which is entirely plausible.

    Now, in this article, point #1 is the crucial point, the trigger which set of the rest. If you contest that, you will have weight in your argument.

    So, Mr.Katju says,”there is still mystery attached to what exactly happened in Godhra”

    There is no mystery, Sir. People were burnt alive, those who lived were clear, a Muslim mob attacked the train, which was headed to Ayodhya, locked the doors, burnt them alive.

    What other plausible explanation could there be?

    Accusing others of making mistakes, you make one, intentional I am sure, yourself.

    Be biased, have your own opinion, but don’t distort facts. Thats quite unlike a senior member of Judiciary.Recommend

  • sabi
    Feb 25, 2013 - 7:32AM

    @Arijit Sharma:
    “Germany became a economic and industrial powerhouse during Herr Hitler’s time. Heil Modi”
    And then in seven years this Germany of Hitler turned into debris and grave yard for his idealogy.


  • Lala Gee
    Feb 25, 2013 - 7:32AM

    I would be a shameful day for India if a person who is banned to enter in USA, and many European countries for planning genocides of his own citizens is elected to the Prime Minister’s office.


  • gp65
    Feb 25, 2013 - 8:14AM

    For someone whose career ws as a judge, it is interesting that he has no trust in the court system which has sentenced over 3 dozen Hindus including a minister but acquitted Modi. The fact that there have been zero riots under Modi’s rule in the last 11 years is also not a fact that the good judge wants to take into consideration. The fact that no Chief Minister before Feb 2002 or after 2002 has been personally held accountable for riots that happened on his watch especially if they were absolutely one off (comparison with Hitler is strange because unlike Gujarat riots where 750 Muslims and 254 Hindus died 11 years back 6 million jews and zero christitians died under Hitler and it wasn’t one off). IT was COngress government’s report in 2007 which indicated that the lowest poverty levels for Muslims in India were under Modi at 13%. This was lower than even the overall poverty rate for Guharat at 20%. This was at time that Modi was in charge for 6 years. Finally in the most recent municipal elections, BJP has been elected even in areas where over 70% of the population is Muslim. So it is interesting that the good judge expresses his opinion without actually considering the facts. I certainly hope this is not how he operated when he was actually a judge.

    As far as the Pakistanis are concerned – do you blame Qaim Ali Shah for killing the 7000 Muslims that have died in target killing in the last 5 years? Why then would you hold Modi responsible for a one time riot that happened 11 years back triggered by a 58 Hindu pilgrims being burnt alive by Muslims at Godhara? I do not justify the tit for tat violence that happened at Godhara but the people who rioted should be held responsible not the man who called the army in on the 3rd day to stop the riots and under whose rule in the past 11 years there has been no riots.


  • yamiji ramiji
    Feb 25, 2013 - 8:30AM

    What happened in Gujarat in 2002 is shameful. Those memories will never be forgotten or can be forgiven. Modi is the PM elect for corporate India who do not want to see the ugly side of India and hence want him to be the PM as he would give concessions in land and power to these big corporations, as rightly pointed out by Katju.

    Also, many readers point out that Katju wants to be become a governor in a cong ruled state. But in this article he has mentioned Tamil Nadu as being a better state compared to Gujarat and TN is not a cong-allied state. So their opinions are not right.


  • manish
    Feb 25, 2013 - 8:34AM
  • ikmundapunjabi
    Feb 25, 2013 - 9:01AM

    @Arijit Sharma: germany also became the reason 70 million,yes 70 million, people lost their lives during world war 2,all due to your hero”hitler”. you may agree or disagree with modi but hitler is a diffrent animal all together,read about him before comenting u dummy.


  • Dee Cee
    Feb 25, 2013 - 9:15AM

    I really like the fact that all Modi-followers are studiously avoiding the questions of human development that Justice Katju has raised. The much-vaunted PR machinery has not done its homework after all! Also, adulation of Modi by Hitler-worshipers is also very revealing. Modi can win year after year in polarized Gujarat. Outside Gujarat, he has only fear to offer, and fear doesn’t pay attention to vibrant summits. I’ll praise his industrialization drives, but what good that industrialization is doing to those malnourished children and low BMI individuals? Let him be the trade and industry minister; home and foreign ministries should be kept out of his hands because he still can’t see Muslims as equal citizens of India (no Muslim was given a ticket by his party in Gujarat). Despite the corruption and incompetence of other political parties, nobody evokes mortal fear of death like Modi. People can live with corruption and slow growth, but they cannot live with civil war, a likely outcome of Modi’s premiership. He encourages Muslim haters and Hitler worshipers; these people will lead India to another partition with their hate. That must be stopped at any cost!


  • Arun Madhav
    Feb 25, 2013 - 9:28AM

    Can you believe this! A retired judge questioning the current Indian justice system and establishing “kangaroo courts” by way of these op-eds in self-serving Indian media and issuing “justice”!

    Give the state’s entire Indian media to goons and they can easily turn Mahatma Gandhiji or a Mother Teresa or Kamaraj into “criminals” if they wanted, so no surprises on Modi. Obviously muslims all over India – who have access to Narendra Modi or Gujarat only through these colored, hatemongering glasses will continue to be “solidly against Modi”.

    Slowly but surely the voices of Asifa Khan, Sareshwala, Madani etc should come out and reveal the truth – showcase the equanimity of the Gujarat Government towards all communities in India [as against, other states, where muslims are paid lip service but treated as secondary citizens], and how they are participatory in the Gujarat’s growth. Only this participation is significant and can be compared to the pluralism in the USA and not the notion of merely diverse but dysfunctional culture in states other than Gujarat – perpetuated in over 6 decades of misrule by Nehru’s descendants.Recommend

  • V.V.M.Rao
    Feb 25, 2013 - 9:31AM

    I see this article most illogically written:Whole article is based on three premises
    1.Whatever I believe is true.
    2.Compare two examples and one is true and therefore the other is true.Ex: I keep similar buckets one hot water and other with cold water .As per katju both should have hot water.Even universally applicable principles have range.
    3.Compare one stage of measures and with other stage .concept of lead time and percolation of benefits he does not understand.Ex: When you swtich on Geyser ,first you get cold water does it mean geyser is not switched on.
    Overall former supreme court judge does not understand basics of reasoning.


  • Another North Indian
    Feb 25, 2013 - 9:34AM

    I found this article deeply disappointing, sad, actually.

    I read it very carefully. Hoping for something that a man of the stature of Mr Katju would tell us that that would be beyond just partisan rhetoric.

    Here is what Mr Katju tells us:

    (1) That a majority of Muslims are solidly against Modi. That is unfortunate. But nobody in India is going to give to Muslims or to anybody else a veto on any one issue. If katju wishes to do so, he needs to convince the rest of Indians with some real reasons than merely ‘brahmins’ or ‘Muslims’ or ‘yadavas’ are upset.

    (2) That the attack of Muslims could NOT have been spontaneous. It seems reasonable to believe that some state officials were involved. We know very well that Congress leaders were involved in the massacre of Sikhs. Such leaders should be punished. They are being punished. Again, there is no reason to tailor the justice system to the personal preference of Mr Katju. This is simply a fascist mindset that says ‘satisfy me. Else you are a nazi.’

    (3) The reason we must reject such accusations is that tomorrow any one else in India could be so accused and we will be called upon to hold people to guilt or not depending entirely the personal wishes of different Mr Katjus.

    We must never do that. We should support Mr Modi if only to send a singal that we will not be held hostage by a bunch of people who would like to set themseves up above our legal system.


  • James
    Feb 25, 2013 - 9:40AM

    @Arijit Sharma:
    At the end of world war German women sold themselves for a pack of cigarettes.Germany rose again because they were prohibited from having an army.


  • Lala Gee
    Feb 25, 2013 - 10:06AM

    It would be a shameful day for India if a person who is banned to enter in USA, and many European countries for planning genocides of his own citizens is elected to the Prime Minister’s office.


  • Manish
    Feb 25, 2013 - 10:26AM

    you have repeated the same thing that was said in your The Hindu article.
    A lot of discussion has taken place after that. Some more things have been pointed out.
    People are seeing through your duplicity. They want you to behave like a Civil Servant, or else step down.
    Why don’t you do us a favour by refuting some strong objections made against you in this article.


  • Falcon
    Feb 25, 2013 - 10:52AM

    What Mr. Katju has done is a tall order. It takes courage to criticize what is unjust and rise above natural human biases. That is certainly respectful.

    On a side note, I am surprised at the comments of folks from India…it is very interesting to note that most of these regular commenters find it convenient to criticize us Pakistanis but find it difficult to accept political mistakes within their own country.


  • Komal S
    Feb 25, 2013 - 10:52AM

    Mr. Katju speaks as though in India minorities have no voice. Every law in this country is fair and is NOT prejudiced against any one community. If he likes comparing to the American system, he needs to know American system does not allow for Muslim personal law. Is he advocating one common law for all Indians, then he sounds more like BJP than Congress. Everyone knows in India after 66 years of Independence more Hindus have converted to Islam and Christianity. Tell me how this can be achieved if the majority community/ruling Governments is practicing any form of cultural hegemony. Yes thanks to Gandhi, Nehru and others we have a secular country. Also asking for accountability on Gujarat riots in 2002 is fair. Ruling government should be ashamed that such a riot was allowed to take place. But people like Mr. Katju are actually more responsible for moving people from the middle to the right by playing politics from a supposedly apolitical role.


  • Shan
    Feb 25, 2013 - 12:19PM

    @Lala Gee:

    How stupid you are. Is getting a visa to USA is the benchmark to become our PM. Btw UK and EU have invited Modi. Very soon USA will also follow suit. The whole world has come to know that Cong and Cong sponsored NGOs and media have been peddling lies. Now the lies have been exposed and Modi is emerging stronger than ever before. This Katju is a new card in the game played by Cong. Very soon he will wane and disappear in thin air like others.


  • Gulam Rasool "Kuldeep sharma"
    Feb 25, 2013 - 12:32PM

    All Muslims
    If he is guilty then only Almighty ALLAH (SWT) or modi himself knows.
    but both Devils in Muslims & Devils in Hindus are responsible for Godhra Train Burning & Riots, Not any religion.
    Mr. Katzu If we are talking about development, MODI is no doubt winner. As i have seen Massive Development in Kutch dist. (during a project commissioning) myself.
    May Allah give power & strength for all Humans whose loved one lost their life.

    Gulam Rasool “Kuldeep sharma”
    New Delhi


  • gp65
    Feb 25, 2013 - 1:07PM

    @Dee Cee: “I really like the fact that all Modi-followers are studiously avoiding the questions of human development that Justice Katju has raised. The much-vaunted PR machinery has not done its homework after all!”

    Actually the questions have been answered fairly eloquently by Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Pangariya – eminent economists both.

    Since I have answered your question, do answer one of mine : what exactly are the criteria to support Rahul Gandhi as a PM candidate? Has he shown legislative skills by shepherding through landmark legislation? Has he shown executive skills by successfully running a state as a CM or running an important federal ministry as a cabinet minister?


  • gp65
    Feb 25, 2013 - 1:21PM

    @Lala Gee: “It would be a shameful day for India if a person who is banned to enter in USA, and many European countries for planning genocides of his own citizens is elected to the Prime Minister’s office.”

    India is a little different from Pakistan. We do not need approval from US to select our leaders. Check out wikileaks, none of India’s politicians are seeking US support to become Prime Minister.

    Having said that, the reason he was barred from US is due to the lies spread by Congress. UK and EU have already realized that and reversed their stand. They can observe that there have been no riots in the last 11 years under Modi and also that the poverty rate of Muslims under Modi is less than state average indicating that there is no discrimination either. In the most recent municipality elections in Gujarat BJP has been elected even in constituencies that have 70% Muslims. Facts are stubborn things. You can fool some people all the time, you can fool all the people some of the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

    Even recently, our Congress home minister made a fool of himself when he said that he was aware of terror camps being run by BJP and RSS. He was challenged in court because if terror camps exist, it is his job to shut them down rather than simply talk about them. He finally had to apologize and issue a statement that was actually ‘approved’ by BJP.


  • James
    Feb 25, 2013 - 1:38PM

    @Kaju: Not in congress ruled. In BJP ruled state to derail the government there — just like KA.


  • Pakistani Ostrich
    Feb 25, 2013 - 1:42PM

    “…Gujarat in 2002 can never be forgotten or forgiven…”
    Agreed. But why ‘selective’ amnesia for sikh massacre by the congress wallah? the ‘sonia mai ki jai’ crowd can never cease to amaze!!


  • Manish
    Feb 25, 2013 - 2:05PM


    So is the case with Fidel Castro.
    He has not been to US since atleast Cuban Revolution. Does that make him any less dearer to the people he represents? Hardly.

    Plus, since when you have started considering US as the standard agency issuing a certification to others of their love for humanity.


  • Parvez
    Feb 25, 2013 - 2:54PM

    From reading Justice Katju’s opinion piece I gather that what he is trying to say is that India is a religious country with a secular constitution and this has stood the test of time. Playing with religious sentiments for political gain can only lead to distress ( one doesn’t have to look far to realise this )………… I may be wrong in my inference but if not, I don’t see much wrong in what Mr.Katju has said.


  • Genesis
    Feb 25, 2013 - 4:45PM

    Well 2014 is not far away and we will see who will lead the nation.Nehru sickular dynasty or Modi.this talk Gujarat massacre misses the basic point.Why did it occur.The cause is the burning of the train at Godhra railway station and who had heard of Godhra prior to this.If Modi is such an evil figure why do ambassadors of UK,Germany,France and other nations call on him.Because they see a future in him and hope to cultivate him,they are not ill informed like .Katju and he will be wise to look for himself


  • Genesis
    Feb 25, 2013 - 4:56PM

    India, therefore, does not belong to Hindus alone; it belongs equally to Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, Jains, etc. Also, it is not that only Hindus can live in India as first rate citizens while others have to live as second or third rate citizens. This is his personal view.Many were refugees or invaders.India has been in existence long before the likes of this author could come with his unique views.


  • Santosh
    Feb 25, 2013 - 4:59PM

    Would you blame your parents for upbringing you like the way you are in whichever state you live. If not, then don’t think that Gujarat has the best future in Indian states. You are free to live where you want to but read the fact before you actually migrate. Gujarat has the highest malnutrition rate in India. I hope you kids doesn’t go undernourished or any kid. Be practical, don’t exaggerate.


  • masharaj
    Feb 25, 2013 - 5:30PM

    Mr Katju is talking of Discovery of India . If Kashmere Pandit’s plight has failed to move your Heart and Mind , Mr Katju you can not understand the Plight of India. Even Kashmere Pandits have now sought shelters all over the Country but they will never be blamed for cultural and demographic changes as they are neither violent nor have courage to harm Indians to gain money or Kingdom. There is yet another race in extinction , Parasi community. They lived and mixed with indian culture but no violence and no dictating terms.Some of great religions which originated from India are Sanatan Dharma , Jain , Buddha , Arya samaj etc. Buddha also spread out of India but all these religions have Truth, non violence , love and peace as their core. Religions as above are time tested.
    Mr. Katju should remember that if peace is the moto then Powerful and popular leaders , accepted by masses are the tools and they should be pursuaded not criticised.


  • gp55
    Feb 25, 2013 - 8:30PM

    @Falcon- one may agree or disagree with what justice Katju said – I personally disagree. However it takes no courage whatsoever to speak out against the key political opponent of a party that has given you a post retirement sinecure and who you hope will reward you with governorship elsewhere if you repeat the party line.

    @Parvez: If the good justice had said what you have indicated, no one could have disagreed. The reason people have a problem with what he says is :

    HE blames Modi for 2002 riots though he is well aware that the courts have sentenced 33 Hindus including a minister for the riot but acquitted Modi. As a former Supreme court judge, it does not do him credit to undermine the decisions of Indian judiciary.
    HE is selective about riots. Under BJP rule there has been one riot – 11 years back. Under COngress rule there have been many. HE uses double standards when he focusses on one and has selective amnesia about others.
    He also says that it is mysterious as to what happened in the train bogey which was burnt where 58 Hindu pilgrims were killed – which trigered the riots. But Justice Nanavati commission has issued a clear report on that. They were burnt by a Muslim mob who first shut the compatment from outside so no one could escape and then burnt the train.
    The comparison to Hitler is laughable. In Nazi Germany, 6 million jews were brought to gas chambers and killed vs. 0 Christians. In Gujarat riots 750 Muslims and 254 Hindus died in 2 days of communal riots riggered by Godhara train burning after which Modi called in the army and the riots stopped. There have been no riots in the last 11 years in Gujarat.
    If you go to Modi’s election speeches in either 2007 or 2012, you will not find one religious/communal mention in the campaign. IT is Congress that continues to insert religion in the debate by constantly bringing up Gujarat riots. Nor is that the only time COngress tried to insert religion. In the most recent UP elections, Salman Khurshid who is our current foreign minister promised that if COngress came to power, he would give job reservations to Muslims. The Election Commission rapped his knuckles for bringing religion into election campaign and he had to apologize. Recently the COngress home minister accused BJP of running Hindu terror camps. HE was taken to court for making an unsubstantiated statement and had to apologize.

    So frankly, if one examines the record of past decade or so, it is COngress and not BJP that seeks Muslim vote and is trying to insert religion in the discussion not BJP. Prior to that both parties used religion and that did no credit to either. People in India are losing their patience for religion based fear mongering and demanding firm action against hate speeches whether they are given by Praveen Togadia, Raj Thackeray or Akbaruddin Owaisi. Fortunately their voice is being heard loud and clear and hate mongerers are all being prosecuted for their hate speeches..


  • Sam
    Feb 25, 2013 - 9:51PM

    Mr. Katju, the fact is there is no evidence linking Modi to the 2002 riots. None other than the SIT appointed by Supreme Court of India has said so. The congress government in the center with all its powers has not been able to implicate Modi in any manner. What you are giving in your artilce are conjectures, supported by unrelated information. In simple words these are called as allegations and not facts. More over it is simple to understand why Post Godhra riots happened. It happened because of statements like ” Firstly, there is still mystery attached to what exactly happened in Godhra, and who was responsible for the killings.”, that too after the supreme court verdict on convicting muslims who belonged to Godhra.

    When the oficial machinery refuses to acknowledge truth of an incident and the feelings of the community simply because it is not a vote bank, naturally vigilante action follows. So it is congress government’s insensitivity to be blamed and not Modi for the riots. Learn to acknowledge the community’s feelings you will see a marked difference in attitude towards muslims in India.


  • kamal sapra
    Feb 25, 2013 - 10:21PM

    Riot took place in Gujrat! Still Hindus & muslims of Gujrat, both voted & supported for Modi, Then What is the problem with stooges of CONgrs or Katzu ?? Do muslims of Gujrat understand Modi better or this stooge of CONgrs !! Strange…..Hahahaha…


  • Lala Gee
    Feb 25, 2013 - 11:02PM


    “HE blames Modi for 2002 riots though he is well aware that the courts have sentenced 33 Hindus including a minister for the riot but acquitted Modi.”

    Even a layman knows that courts give decisions on the evidence presented before them, not the facts or reality. And whatever the evidence Police and the Prosecutors presented, the courts were bound to make decision based on the presented evidence. Nothing else. Even a slightly informed person knows who is the highest boss of the both, the Gujarat Police and the Prosecutors. None other than Mr. Narendra Modi, as Home Minister as well as Chief Minister of Gujarat. Check these two links, “Legal Subversion” and “Godhra: A Diabolic Lie”, for the meticulous details of massive cover-ups and efforts to cheat the judiciary. Strangely, all the members of the ‘Special Investigation Team’ (SIT) were also active duty police officers from Gujarat Police. No wonder Modi was declared “innocent” then.


  • Parvez
    Feb 25, 2013 - 11:09PM

    @gp55: Firstly why have you down sized yourself from GP65 to GP55 ? :)

    As always you have provided a meticulous reply going into detail and yes the devil is in the detail…… thank you for that. Now having said that and being, I think, open minded on this topic I fell the Justice was trying to reach the conclusion that I summed up in my first comment but possibly his justifications just did not ‘ cut it ‘ with most of the Indians who have commented.


  • robinhood pandey
    Feb 26, 2013 - 12:05AM

    i salute u katju sir for stating what is truth…i salute u for standing up for humanity..please keep it up..i mean there are very few people who has such a courage to take on this indian hitler..2002 godhra riot was death of humanity…..people who claim that modi was aquitted by indian justice system therefore he is saint..hahaha.i request such people to stop fooling around themselves as we all know how pathetic indian justice system is.and how hard it is to punish a powerful cm in his POLARIZED state..people who criticize the gujrat genocide are termed as pro congress….SO MR ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE MUST BE A CÖNGRESMAN when he advised modi to FOLLOW ‘RAAJDHARM’….people who support modi are those who support communalism and genocide….its as simple as that:-)


  • Lala Gee
    Feb 26, 2013 - 12:18AM


    “Justice Nanavati commission has issued a clear report on that. They were burnt by a Muslim mob who first shut the compatment from outside so no one could escape and then burnt the train.”

    As I know, there is no locking mechanism of any kind present on the outside of either doors or windows of the coaches of Indian trains. However, latches are installed on the inside of doors and window panes. Also read the Indian Supreme Court judge, Justice Banerjee Commission Report which unequivocally states that the fire was caused by accident.

    “Asked what exactly were his findings, the retired SC judge Banerjee said: “The final report also contains the same finding which I have stated in my interim report that the fire in S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express was accidental and not deliberate.””


  • robinhood pandey
    Feb 26, 2013 - 1:08AM


    you say that u have searched last 10 years and you have found that its congress and not bjp who is mixing politics with religion.
    Are u sure??? Brother if only u could have searched last one months period u could have found that bjp president rajnath singh said that ram mandir is on top in bjp’s agenda… other previous bjp presidents, he is also exploiting hindus emotion…it will be joke to call bjp a secular party which stands for equal rights of hindu and muslim……bjp,rss,vhp all are two sides of a coin..beleive it or not…
    u say that law has taken strict action agains raj thakre,pravin togadia…..but according to me law has become a toy for these guys..can you enlighten me what strict action has been taken against these two hate mongers raj thakre and pravin togadia? May be we live in two diffrent india.


  • gp65
    Feb 26, 2013 - 2:50AM

    @Lala Gee: Justice Bannerjee report was something put together by the railway minister. The one that was sanctioned by Indian SC is in fact the Nanavati commission report. That apart, if people thought the train bogey had been set ablaze by Muslims then that would trigger riots. I have not in the past supported tit for tat violence nor do I support it now. Often the people who die in the tat had nothing to do with the tit. This information was provided to give a context to what triggered the riots. It wasn’t an ordr from Modi (unlike Hitler to whom he is being compared) to go to Naroda Patiya and kill people.

    @Parvez : Clearly a typo with my monicker. Thanks for pointing it out. Appreciate your open mindedness.


  • Darshan
    Feb 26, 2013 - 3:02AM

    PPL of Good yuva of pak must see after 24 minute in vedio, [and why mr,katju do against modi -Retired Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju is an ambitious man. He is lobbying hard for the post of Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.


  • Arindom
    Feb 26, 2013 - 5:02AM

    Mr Katju, I respect your activities in protecting freedom of speech and freedom of press. But please donot dabble into politics. Being a Congress-walla – you have no business in using your goodwill in other areas to try to politically influence others. 2000 muslims were killed in retaliation for 60 Hindus burnt alive. Now what about 3 million Muslims from Bangladesh being given illegal shelter in Assam and turning Hindu-Majority Assam ( in 1971) to a Muslim Majority Assam in 2013, by displacing all local Bodos and other Assamese groups? You dare not speak against this stream of illegal Bangladeshi Muslims invading Assam as these are all solid Congress Votebanks now!!


  • Komal S
    Feb 26, 2013 - 11:49AM

    @robinhood pandey:
    You are entitled to your opinion and they are many in india agree with you. If the judicial system in India can be manipulated, Congress has been in power for last 9 years and they could have manipulated to get at Modi. Supreme court is outside the jurisdiction of the state. The point is Modi has won three elections in a row in a democratic setup. Last two elections, Congress did not even bring up the 2002 riot issue in the election campaign. Congress seem to be more interested in raising malnourishment issue and others, because they know their one dimensional agenda has even hurt their chances with the muslims in Gujarat. The problem today is the so called secularist outside Gujarat do not want to move on. The fact is BJP will talk about the fact that there has been no riots in Gujarat since 2002. If the leader, party cadres and the people are so anti-muslim you would have expected many riots to setlle score. It has not happened for 11 years. The fundamental difference between Congress and BJP is as follows, both believe in secularism, Congress wants to achieve it, by de-emphasising the Hindu influence on Indianess while BJP wants to emphasis the secular credentials of the Hindu culture that the Indianess derives from.


  • Feb 26, 2013 - 12:32PM

    Katju saying that should children eat Roads and factories ? This is very simplistic short sighted approach.
    At least he accepted that Roads, Factories and Electricity situation is MUCH good in Gujrat. ask Anyone in world he will say these are signs for development and prosperity. To kids you can give food today. But real longterm progress comes from work and job.


  • Feb 26, 2013 - 12:38PM

    mr Katju shown bias by saying Godhra is still mystery, while Indian courts and investigation teams sufficiently collected facts and evidences and concluded that it was not only burning by Muslims but was Planned conspiracy.
    This lead to Death penalties, which is rarest of rare in India. This cant happen if only superficial or non conclusive evidences are found.

    mr Katju you know this, but still you want to say Godhra as mystery? Whatever had facts and proved, that is mystery to you. And the allegation that opposition, SIT and courts couldnt find a single supportive Fact, that you speak with so Confidence !
    mr Katju, you yourself are NOT a mystery.


  • Ahmed Mansuri
    Feb 26, 2013 - 12:48PM

    Truth is always truth.I am a Gujarati Muslim. I am agreed with Mr. Katju.


  • secular khan
    Feb 26, 2013 - 2:39PM

    MODI will never become the PM of INDIA until there are MUSLIM’s voter!!!!!, so relax everyone :D


  • M Shankar
    Feb 26, 2013 - 3:29PM

    I hold no brief for Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat and now the BJP’s choice for Prime Minister should the party win the 2014 elections. I hold no brief either for Katju, a respected and now retired SC judge. However, some of the things that Katju has said are weird and out of this world. He has declared on national TV that Pakistan is a ‘fake country’ created by the British to divide India. He then added that in 15-20 years Pakistan would unite with India to become a ‘secular’ country. Wow! Pakistan was created on the demand of the Muslims of pre-partition India for a separate homeland for themselves. To forget this and degrade the struggle and hardship that the demand entailed, indeed cheapen it by saying that it was part of the divide and rule policy of the Brits, would surely hurt every Pakistani. To add insult he says that the unification of Pakistan with India would take place as a ‘secular’ country, forgetting that Pakistan has chosen to call itself the ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’ – an irreversible reality.

    It therefore seems to me that what Katju writes must be taken with a pinch of salt. I rest my case.


  • krishna pachegonker
    Feb 26, 2013 - 4:48PM

    your article is really very insightful and interesting as it unmasks the real design of RSS and it’s agenda to take India again tomedieval ages.
    Narendra Modi ,though he achieved spectacular industrial growth in Gujrat, wll be very dangerous not only to India but the entire south asia as forces like Muslim Brothehood, Talibani, will go beserk and it will destabalize this part of the world.
    Crony capitalist like Ambani are almost the campaign to project Modi as next PM !


  • Queen
    Feb 26, 2013 - 4:55PM

    It takes courage to criticize what is unjust and Mr Katju has done just that. However, it is interesting to see that Indians who find it convenient to criticize Pakistan are finding it difficult to accept the issue of their own country.


  • indian
    Feb 26, 2013 - 8:43PM

    u people are too mush concerned about wat is happening in india….??


  • kamal sapra
    Feb 26, 2013 - 10:20PM

    @Lala Gee: If denial of visa by USA means that person is culprit, then by your absurd logic millions of pakis denied visa by USA embassy should be considered as a culprit of some crime, Strange views by lala g..


  • Jai
    Feb 27, 2013 - 5:23AM

    As it turns out katju is himself part of the intellectually challenged majority he was referring to in another article.


  • anonymous indian
    Mar 7, 2013 - 1:45AM

    This is the same man who called Pakistan a fake country which does not deserve to exist. Good Luck to you if you believe his idiosynchrasy.


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