[I wrote the following report in July 2002 when a group of us -including some present-day Kafila writers – worked in a riot relief camp in Vatwa, Ahmedabad. Before Gujarat, and this report, I was an unhappy student of Chemistry in Delhi University, un-sure of what i wanted to do post-graduation. I’m not saying that I chose to become a journalist specifically after the Gujarat riots; but this was the first long report I had ever written, and revealed to me the possibilities of journalism – not as a tool of communication and dissemination, but as a means to make the world intelligible to one’s self. Gujarat in 2002 did something to you that could not pin-point, but having left you knew that something profound had changed. Re-reading it (before posting), I found myself ( as a journalist) a little embarrassed by some of the conclusions I drew, some of the sentences I constructed, and some of the grammar I bridged. But I have resisted the urge to correct it beyond a spell-check.]
6th July 2002
When I arrive in Ahmendabad, 3 months have passed since the grisly horror of Febuary, but the scars are still there for all to see. All except for the State Government i.e., which continues to turn a blind eye to the plight of the victims. The people of Gujarat are a study in numbness, a numbness which hangs heavy in the air, and affects all who touch it, including myself. After a point, the sight of burnt buildings and broken localities no longer produce a feeling of outrage and horror, and instead I lapse into a mood of hollow despair. Continue reading Apko Goli Kisne Mari?
…says the Asian Age.
The interim report submitted to the Supreme Court, a copy of which is with this newspaper, states that top ATS (anti-terrorist squad) officers, including senior IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian, had gone to Hyderabad and spent a couple of days interacting with the local police there. Two fake numberplates starting with the series AP-11 were made in Hyderabad by the Gujarat police. The Gujarat and Andhra police personnel then travelled in private cars with fake numberplates. Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bibi were travelling in a M.J. Travels bus (# KA05 AF5051) from Hyderabad to Sangli on November 23, 2005 The bus was intercepted at Tandola village at around 1.30 am. At least six bus passengers as well as the driver have testified, on the basis of pictures shown to them, that Sohrabuddin and Kausar Bibi were co-travellers and had been picked up by the policemen. All the passengers, however, said that three people were picked up from the bus.
One down, dozens more to go. Every now and then, India’s otherwise inefficient police arrest or ‘encounter’ terrorists of the Lashkar. Who will uncover all their stories, who will remove the curtain from this stage of lies?
One person was killed on the spot and another severely injured when a powerful explosion took place in the house of Shivram Manganarikar at Shastri Nagar, Nanded. The explosion is suspected to be caused by the accidental blast of a bomb that was either stored or was being manufactured.According to reports, the explosion took place at around 12:30 on Friday night. Shivram Mangnarikar is a retired school teacher whose house was severely damaged due to the explosion. One youth called Pandurang Bhagwan Anilkandwar, aged 30 years, was killed on the spot. Another youth, Gyaneshwar Manikwar, was severely injured with 70 percent burns. The explosion was so powerful that the shutter of the front-side shop was thrown off to a distance of 40 feet. The windows were burnt and glass cracked. The household belongings were scattered everywhere with blood and flesh. Walls were cracked and the site is in total disarray.
Continue reading Powerful Bomb Explosion in Nanded : Milli Gazette
He was known as ‘guruji’ (revered teacher). I find that at least in some vernacular papers he is being referred to as ‘shreeguruji’. The addition of shree to his title guruji makes him nearly sacred, an avatar of sorts. Within the Maharashtrian context this has an additional meaning or signification. Mystic gurus are often referred to as ‘shreeguruji’. You can see thus that there has been rather subtle glorification of Golwalkar, the new appellation making him stand a little above the human level.
GPD (March 25, 2006, EPW GPD, An Occasion for RSS)
It is said that masses have very short memories. For them it is easy to send today’s icon into oblivion without much hair splitting or it is still easier for them to hail yesterday’s monster as today’s development man.
But do classes or their intellectuals also suffer from similar amnesia? Looking at the important role played by them in the running of the society/state it is expected that they appear different. A recent writeup by one of the think-tanks of the right (Sudhindra Kulkarni, who also happened to be a ‘ghost writer’ for the ex deputy PM and was supposedly responsible for the ‘iron leaders’ speech at Jinnah Mausoleum) in the Sunday Express (11 th Feb 20007) belies this expectation. One could also decipher that it is a deliberate ploy by the writer to obfuscate things. It is equally possible that he is trying to present his wishful thinking as in-depth analysis before the masses.
Continue reading Golwalkar Guruji : Super Human Or Less Than Human
Textbooks are back in news. This time it is the turn of the Social Sciences book for Class x students prepared by the Rajasthan Madhyamik Shiksha Board, Ajmer. One needs to remember that this book results from the decision of the Rajasthan government to reject the new National Curriculum Framework for School Education 2005 evolved by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). All BJP-ruled states had declared that they would prepare their own textbooks as the books prepared by the NCERT were biased according to them. It would be interesting to see, therefore as to how they fight out the bias of the NCERT books in the books prepared by their own objective teams.
This is how the Rajasthan social sciences experts do it. The first chapter of the book seeks to introduce the students to the basics of the Indian Culture: Our culture is known as Arya sanskriti, Bharatiya sanskriti and Hindu sanskriti. Lest there be any confusion in the minds of the readers, the book explains it further: in fact these three nomenclatures are synonyms.
Continue reading Textbook Fascism of the Hindu Kind?
What was common between the itinerary of Ashok Singhal, International President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad; Major General Bharat Keshar Singh, President of Vishwa Hindu Mahasangh; the Shankaracharya of Puri Nishalananda, Jagadguru Madhwacharya Shri Vishesh Teerth ( Udupi), Jagadguru Ramananandacharya Vasudevacharya and Subramaniam Swamy during the last week of December. Interestingly all of them were part of a three day Virat Hindu Mahasammelan (22-24 th Dec 2006) held at Gorakhpur, UP which was formally organised to deliberate on the ‘Challenges Before Hinduism’.
Of course the way the deliberations unfolded it was clear to even a layperson that it had nothing to do with challenges before Hinduism – neither of the spiritual or the temporal kind – rather it was a gathering to chalk out a political programme couched in religious parlance to further the agenda of Hindutva – the strategy of the political Hinduism.
An important feature of this Mahasammelan was that it was organised parallel to the National Executive Meeting of the BJP at Lucknow.Interestingly while the media was more focussed on the deliberations of the National Executive meeting or was busy reporting about intraparty squabbles , not many people even deemed it necessary to report or comment on this massive gathering of people in the heart of Eastern UP which was rather queering the pitch for the new battles lying ahead before Hindutva.And the moving force behind this jamboree of non-descript Sadhus or Hindutva politicos was a young BJP MP Yogi Adityanath from Gorakhpur who also happens to be the anointed successor to the Goraksha Peeth based in Gorakhpur itself.
Continue reading How Adityanath Wants To Do A Modi ?
According to the report, Panse’s motive was to avenge the deaths of Hindus killed in terror attacks. Panse was convinced that the mastermind behind these attacks were underworld dons Abu Salem and Dawood Ibrahim.
The report says that Panse was “pained” by the terrorist attacks in Delhi and Varanasi. He felt that Hindus would be “treated as hijras” if they failed to take any action.
Feeling that retaliation was necessary to uphold Hindu honour, Panse decided after the Varanasi blasts to engineer explosions in Muslim-dominated areas in central Maharashtra with the target of killing at least 300-400 Muslims in each incident.
A closer look at all the recent blasts that have occurred in central Maharashtra reveal a pattern which seems to fit with Panse’s plan. All blasts (including the ones in Malegaon on September 8 ) occurred between 1.45pm and 2.00pm at the most prominent mosque in these towns, just after the Friday prayers, when attendance is maximum. [Tehelka]
And as far as hijras are concerned, weren’t they supposed to rule in Kaliyug anyway?