When Narendra Modi got fed up

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi

The Gujarat Riots in 2002

There is a good chance that a lie campaign against President Narendra Modi will soon erupt again worldwide. Very soon his 73nd birthday will be celebrated on a large scale and next year there will be elections for the Lok Sabha: the House of Commons of India.

Most likely the slander will focus on these ‘Gujarat Riots’ and related subjects. 

As an antidote -or maybe I should write ‘as a vaccine’ because I hope it contributes to prevention- I review the amazing book ‘Gujarat Riots: the True Story‘ by M.D. Deshpande. 

These riots lasted three days: from 28th February until March 2. They followed after a gruesome action by approximately 2000 Muslims the day before. They attacked a train. Deshpande describes this act as more evil than terrorism. 59 Hindus, mostly women and children, were burnt to death in that train.

But that was not the moment then prime minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, got fed up yet.

The government under his leadership went to great lengths not to inflame the understandable anger among the Hindu population further. So the charred bodies of adults and children were not taken to a morgue with much fanfare. On the contrary: it happened at midnight inside trucks (p 69). 

February 28, in Gujarat’s capital Ahmedabad and a small but significant number of other cities and villages tens of thousands enraged Hindus took to the streets and started violence against muslims, often alluded to as ‘the’ minority in India. That violence was absolutely horrific too. The police were totally outnumbered.

Literally the very day these riots started Modi ordered to use lethal violence against the perpetrators. Many Hindus were killed by police bullets. 

Most of the Indian Army was at the border with Pakistan but Modi managed to get already on March 1 serious contingents to Gujarat.

Very soon after that terrible attack on the train it became clear that the atrocities had been pre-planned and also from which circle: Islamic extremists of the worst kind (Tableeghi Jamaat). That planning even involved the transport of petrol to the train. 

But that was not the moment then prime minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, got fed up yet.

An old man got his beard pulled and his granddaughter got kidnapped

A week after the terrible attack on the train, lies appeared in some media to the effect that the travelers on the train had provoked the horrific violence – also against women and small children! The most important name in those lies stories is ‘Soni’. 

The travelers would have been drunk. They did not pay for cups of tea at a previous station, pulled the beard of an old muslim man and kidnapped his granddaughter. 

The exposure of the lying story attributed to that Mr. Soni came from one Prem Shenkar Jha and was published through Outlook India. But take note: Deshpande indicates in his book this is “an extremely anti-BJP, anti-Narendra Modi man. But his article revealed the reality of the e-mail” [The e-mail that was supposed to come from Mr. Soni].

Shenkar Jha wrote:

I am writing this column primarily to keep my promise to a young boy. About a week after the burning of the train at Godhra, a mysterious e-mail began to circulate in places as far apart as Delhi, Mumbai and Ann Arbor, Michigan. It gave what was purportedly the true story of the events that led to the burning of the train at Godhra.

The falsity of the claims was so far over the top that I will not go into further detail here. 

But this still was not the moment then prime minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, got fed up yet.

Babri Masjid

A large part of the travelers on that Sabarmati Express were returning from a sort of Hindu pilgrimage day in Ayodhya, 1,000 km to the northwest, in Uttar Pradesh. There in Ayodhya stood a mosque, the Babri Masjid, which was built on the remains of a destroyed Hindu temple. And not just any: a temple that was once built on the place where the god Rama is said to have been born. In 1992, that mosque was destroyed, not a single Muslim was attacked, but a number of Hindu activists (they are called Karsevaks) died.

It may sound very ugly this action of those Hindu activists, but there is a context; an age-old context.

Not only during and after the extremely violent subjugation of India by Mohammed’s conquerors, but also long afterwards, an enormous number of temples were destroyed. Even after the partition of India: when, in addition to the secular, multi-religious India, a West and an East Pakistan were formed as explicitly ‘muslim countries’. Many millions of people sought safety and many hundreds of thousands died in the process of that separation. Even in Kashmir and even after 1992, many temples were destroyed… (p 269)

In 2007 the New York Times published a disgusting, anti-BJP and anti-Modi article about Ayodhya. It included this blatant lie:

That frenzied act of destruction, and the political movements that flowed from it, presented the biggest challenge to India’s identity as a secular, multi-ethnic democracy since the country was created by the bloody partition of British India in 1947.

The hit-piece even pervertedly refers to the horrible, horrible anti-Sikh violence of 1984!

1984 pogrom on Sikhs after assassination of Indira Gandhi

Most certainly not coincidentally ‘Gujarat Riots’ contains a complete chapter titled ‘Contrasts between 1984 and Gujarat 2002 riots’. 

Sikh leaders are called Guru. The most famous of them was the ninth: Tegh Bahadur. This moral giant has a very special nickname in India: “Hind di Chadar“. It means ‘saviour of Hindus and their faith’.

Tegh Bahadur literally gave his life for the Hindus. He protected Hindus against a Mohammedan tyrant avant la lettre: Aurangzeb. The tyrant gave him the choice between doing some miracle,  submit to islam or execution. Tegh Bahādur refused to choose. Accepting the death sentence, he recited the Japjī (the most important Sikh scripture) and was decapitated in one blow by the executioner. (see for example the lemma of Brittanica.com about the “Hind di Chadar”) [1]

Indira Gandhi, Indian prime minister for the Congress Party, was murdered by two Sikh terrorists. Deshpande:

On the contrary, Godhra was not really terrorism, even [though] many claim so. It was sadistic barbarism, unparalleled in the history of independent India. (…) The culprits going scot-free in Godhra (most of the 2000 attackers) was the main reason for the explosion [of violence] on 28th February. (…) After Indira Gandhi’s murder, no one rubbed salt into the people’s wounds by blaming her or the Congress Party for her murder. (…) In 1984, no action was taken against the rioters. (…) Sikhs had not terrorised Congress leaders in the past. After independence, Hindu-Sikhs conflicts were not even seen once. (…) Not many arrests were made, despite the fact that officially close to 3000 people were killed. (…) The Army, even though available locally, was not called for three full days. (…) [In Gujarat] As of October 2005 over 25 thousand were arrested.

Yes, if you only have time to read one chapter of the book, you should choose this one.

When Narendra Modi got fed up and started writing world history

On page 63 of the true story about Gujarat Riots, Deshpande quotes an India Today piece from 10 days before the attack on the train:

It is strange that the country’s only full-fledged BJP-goverment in Gujarat headed by Narendra Modi is doing precious little to cleanse the madarsas of jehadi elements.

So that surely was before Modi was completely fed up.

It is of course not possible to indicate exactly when it happened, but it must have been sometime between April and November 2002. The columnist Kuldip Nayar wrote in the Deccan Herald in July:

Narendra Modi would have created a Godhra train incident [sic] if it had not happened. The tragedy is that some [sic] Muslims played into his hands. (p 41)A person called Onkar Singh in the October 2002 issue of Tehelka trumped it by  claiming that the Gujarat Riots was not a spontaneous swell of anger but a genocide (…) with the sanction of the chief minister Narendra Modi.

The book has a complete chapter  (11) about this, titled ‘Tehelka lies’!

Persona non grata

Could the contrast be greater? In the beginning of this century Modi was even formally declared persona non grata in both the USA and the UK! In the United States media and politicians simply ‘forgot’ this. But things really changed when Donald Trump became president.
Not only Hungarian prime minister Victor Orban hopes Trump will be reelected in 2024 (he said so in an interview with Tucker Carlson). I am quite sure Narendra Modi hopes so too.

Please keep in mind the pivotal position within BRICS of the most popular prime minister of the world also prime minister of the fastest growing economy and biggest democracy in the world!

Note 1:

It reminds me that I should translate this article in Dutch, I wrote 10 years ago about the many Hindus in the Netherlands voting for mister Geert Wilders.

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