September 25, 2002
Statement Condemning Akshardham Attack
The dastardly attack on innocent worshippers at the Akshardham temple at Gandhinagar, in Gujarat yesterday, during which innocent children and women were not spared, is a ghastly manifestation of the politics of hatred combined with the ideology of the gun and needs to be outrightly condemned. The guilty masterminds need to be brought to book and punished. This instance as many ghastly others that have played themselves out in the state of Gujarat over the past six months are clear evidence of the fragile peace that has been harboured in that state.
Under the circumstances, sobriety and maturity alone can create the climate to face up to the challenges thrown up by this tragedy. The mature responses that have so far been made public, from across the political spectrum instil some hope that no crude and cheap political mileage will be drawn from this tragedy. As citizens of this country wedded to peace, secularism, justice and communal harmony we hope that this maturity and sobriety holds and that in the days to come, outfits that have used Gujarat and itís industrious people for games that only hate politics can play, will be restrained.
For the families of the innocent victims, we offer our deepest condolences and strength in this hour of need.
Javed Akhtar Shabana Azmi
Teesta Setalvad Javed Anand
Farookh Sheikh Alyque Padamsee
Nikhil Wagle Sajjid Rashid