MONOBINA GUPTA reviews The Fiction of The Fact-finding: Modi and Godhra by Manoj Mitta, Harper Collins India, 2014
My most embarrassing moment during my recent Eastern UP trip was hearing RSS and BJP men sing praises of the media. “Aap log Modiji ka bahut madat kar rahen hain” (You all in media are really helping Modiji), they said warmly, throwing cheerful smiles all around. “Sometime ago, you were giving Arvind Kejriwal too much of coverage. Now you have brought the focus back on Modiji,” was the discomfiting refrain in these upbeat quarters.
I squirmed beneath my fake smile and grumbled to myself: this was a stiff penalty to pay for covering these fraught general elections. I would rather these men complain about why we in the media were still so troubled about Narendra Modi’s role in the 2002 Gujarat riots; why were we still persisting with our questioning the process of investigation, particularly the role of the Special Investigation Team (SIT), that led to Modi’s exoneration in the charge of complicity in the 2002 pogrom.
But that’s not how political discourse in the run up to the 2014 elections is shaping up. Skeptics holding the judiciary to be fallible are blasted for daring to express doubts about the ‘hallowed’ courts; those not rushing in to embrace Modi’s acquittal as manifestation of the truth and nothing but the truth are regularly shouted down on television talk shows. Dissidence is drowned out in the noisy din raised by Modi drum-beaters. Continue reading Modi and Godhra – Review of Manoj Mitta’s ‘The Fiction of Fact-finding’: Monobina Gupta