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“I am ashamed”.

-- R.K. Narayanan, President of India, on the genocide in Gujarat.


“Dharma was killed in Gujarat. The rulers who failed to protect the innocent citizens are guilty of adharma and if Ram had been alive he would have used his ‘Gandiva’ against the ‘asura’ rulers of Gujarat… These anti-Hindus call themselves Hindus but they belong to 
the dogmas of the dark ages”.

-- K Subrahmanyam, in his article, ‘Dharma was killed in Gujarat, in The Times of India, April 4, 2002.


What is happening there and the way the situation is being handled is definitely not right. These kinds of things are bound to have a negative impact on investment climate in Gujarat and the country as a whole.

-- Sanjiv Goenka, president, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), quoted in a report, ‘Industry hurt, but does not moan’, in The Asian Age, April 4, 2002.


“Calling the situation in Gujarat communal violence or disturbance would be to trivialise the fact. It was a conflagration leading to genocide”.

-- Lt. Gen. AM Sethna (retd), Member of the National Commission for Minorities, after the NCM team’s visit to Ahmedabad on March 13-14. Quoted in The Statesman, April 3, 2002


The unconscionable failures and active connivance of the state police and administrative machinery is also now widely acknowledged. As one who has served in the Indian Administrative Service for over two decades, I feel great shame at the abdication of duty of my peers in the civil and police administration.

The law instead required them to act independently, fearlessly, impartially, decisively, with courage and compassion. If even one official had so acted in Ahmedabad, she or he could have deployed the police forces and called in the army to halt the violence.

I have heard senior officials blame also the communalism of the police constabulary for their connivance in the violence. This too is a thin and disgraceful alibi. The same forces have been known to act with impartiality and courage when led by officers of integrity.

-- Harsh Mander, a serving IAS officer on deputation to Action Aid, India)


“We talk of terrorism as the basis of religious fundamentalism. How can we face the world when we are practising terrorism in Gujarat?”

-- VP Singh, former Prime Minister, warning that the country is heading towards a Bosnia-type situation and demanding a joint session of Parliament to discuss the divisive agenda set by the sangh parivar, in The Hindu, March 13, 2002.



“‘It is for all of you to study the pattern of crime graph. The condition these minority boys (Muslim youth in Gujarat) are in today are ideal for igniting fire of terrorism. He says with frustration setting in, the boys would soon lose faith in the system and ‘look for alternative means to ventilate their grievances’”.

-- A senior police officer, not identified by name, quoted in a PTI (India’s top news agency) news report, in The Free Press Journal, March 15, 2002.

“It will take me two more days to overcome what I have seen and heard in various violence-hit areas in Gujarat… I cannot even narrate what I have been told by the women victims. It is horrible and inhuman… I do not think the people who perpetrated violence have anything to do with religion, whether it was in Godhra or the carnage after that. They all should be treated as criminals and punished uniformly”.
-- J.S. Varma, chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, on his return from a field visit to Ahmedabad, Godhra and Vadodra, in The Hindu, March 24, 2002.


“The government banned SIMI on the grounds that it is anti-national. But what has it done in the case of VHP and Bajrang Dal? They are not only anti-national but also anti-social and anti-human. Gujarat is just an example”.

-- Jagat Guru Shankaracharya of Goverdhan Math Swami Sri Adhokanand Dev Teerthji Maharaj, quoted in The Asian Age, March 3, 2002.


If I was in charge, I would lock up all the people, especially those linked with the ruling party, instigating the riots. This is the only way of sending down the message down the line that the perpetuators of this violence are anti-national and will be booked.

-- Julio Ribeiro, former director general of police, Gujarat, in The Times of India, March 26, 2002.


“The Gujarat government has demonstrated its inability to control the violence.  The Centre has to step in. This cult of divisiveness has to be stopped. It has the potential to incite violence in the rest of the country”.

-- B. G. Deshmukh, former cabinet secretary in the Union government, in The Times of India, March 26, 2002.


Internationally, we have lost our name as a secular country. I am ashamed to have seen this in our century. The chief minister must take responsibility and resign. If the powers in Delhi are supporting him, it is unacceptable. If politicians have prevented the police from doing their duties, it cannot be tolerated. Some heads have to roll.

 -- Deepak Parekh, chairman, HDFC and an industry leader, in The Times of India, March 26, 2002.



“Anarchy reigns in Gujarat, Narendra Modi’s ghoulish boast three weeks ago notwithstanding. Most major cities are under curfew, the remaining areas tense and ready to down shutters at the hint of a rumour. Politicians and administrators have abdicated… So, wake up India, and look at Gujarat, not to condemn it, but to see your possible future face”.

-- Shreekant Sambrani, a Baroda-based management consultant, in his article, ‘This mob was different: Want to see tomorrow’s India, please have a look at Gujarat’, in The Indian Express, March 27, 2002.


“Gujarat is the only Indian state ruled by (Hindutva) ideology. As such, it offers the starkest image of what Hindu nationalism, should it ever gain unrestrained control of the Indian state, will mean for India and its future”.

-- Sunil Khilnani, author of The Idea of India, currently a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, in his article, ‘A totalitarian vision defiles Indian civilisation, India is not for Hindus alone, The Telegraph, March 24, 2002. 


No human can celebrate children being roasted alive. Only barbarians can. This is because they believe neither in religion nor in humanity. That is why, each day, Modi reminds us of Idi Amin and Pinochet. And Goebbels.

-- Amit Sengupta, in his article ‘A poem for Asif’, in The Hindustan Times, March 23, 2002.



“Can ‘revenge’ become as Mr Narendra Modi cites Newton’s law to justify looking the other way? In the capital, we had the extraordinary and pathetic situation of a Prime Minister unable to control a chief minister (clearly functioning as an RSS pracharak) from his own party. Mr. L.K. Advani, as usual, has been able to find a construction of words which he believes will keep both sides happy… Is India Rwanda? Is our country an emerging world power? Or is it a barbaric banana republic?”

-- Vinod Mehta, editor-in-chief, in his editorial in the Outlook, March 18, 2002.


His (Narendra Modi’s) insensitive utterances have epitomised Gujarat’s disgraceful response to an attack on its own citizens.

--  Aroon Purie, ‘From the editor-in-chief’, India Today, March 18, 2002



In 1984, when Indira Gandhi’s assassination inspired violence in Delhi on a larger scale than it was in Gujarat, it was checked as soon as police officers were ordered to shoot at mobs. Mobs are made up not of valiant warriors but of the worst most contemptible cowards and a gun needs only to be pointed in the right direction for the mob to melt away as if it never was. If this did not happen in Gujarat, it can only mean that either the chief minister, or his patrons in Delhi, did not want the mobs to be reined in too quickly. It must also mean that they wanted revenge and blood-letting instead of justice… We need for a start to ask the prime minister why he finds it so hard to control the Hindutva fanatics his own party has bred and nurtured.

-- Tavleen Singh, in her column, ‘Pogrom Politics’, in India Today, March 18, 2002.

“None of the symbols of the state – the secretariat, the high court and the police commissioner’s office – had any sanctity for the mob and the law and the law enforcing authorities looked the other way… Within the precinct of the secratariat, the offices of the Waqf Board and Minority Development Board were burnt… At the main gate of Gujarat High Court, on NH 8, a number of trucks with their drivers were set on fire. Later the judges were evacuated under armed escort… Shops directly opposite the gates of the Police Commissioner’s office in Ahmedabad were set on fire, the dargah of Shah Wali Gujrati, one of the pioneers of Urdu language and literature, was razed to the ground and a temporary Hanuman temple hastily installed”.

-- Achyut Yagnik, Suchitra Sheth, in the Economic and Political Weekly, March 16, 2002.  




Narendra Modi has made himself an accomplice in the carnage that followed Godhra through his unsympathetic statements in the press… By defending him in Parliament, L.K. Advani has also made the Centre an accomplice in the Gujarat killings. Only a shade less callous is the lack of even token sympathy for the families of those who have suffered in Gujarat. For every one person who has been killed there are ten whose property has been destroyed, breadwinner taken and the family rendered destitute. Not the Centre, not the state, not a single political party, not a single industry association has even thought of setting up a relief fund to which concerned citizens can contribute to facilitate their rehabilitation. With such callousness at home, we will soon not need Pakistan or Kashmir to breed our terrorists for us.

-- Prem Shankar Jha, columnist, in The Hindustan Times, March 15, 2002



What is dangerous is that the Gujarat government did not mind a backlash… Instead of public declarations that the government will take firm action against the instigators of communal disturbances regardless of their ethnic and religious identities, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee appealed for peace and harmony… Home minister LK Advani accepts the tragedy and says corrective action will be taken. Godhra and its aftermath clearly indicate that the integrity of the ideological and constitutional foundations of the Indian republic have been dangerously eroded, and this process will continue if we do not wake up in time. It also shows that there is no link between our claims of being a secular, pluralistic and domestic tolerant democracy and the political realities emerging in India.

-- J.N. Dixit, former foreign secretary, in an article titled ‘A nation shamed’ in The Hindustan Times, March 13, 2002. 


The BJP found itself a prisoner of its own rhetoric and beliefs in Gujarat because the state has been useed as a laboratory for Hindutva. Having weaned th epeopl;e on a diet of hate, chief minister Narendra Modi – himself a former important functionary of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) – felt helpless in controlling the situation, even assuming that he tried to.

-- S Nihal Singh, columnist and former editor of The Indian Express, in an article titled,

 ‘India beyond the saffron pale’, in The Asian Age, March 14, 2002.


Narendra Modi is a mass murderer”.

-- Shabana Azmi, film actress, social activist and Rajya Sabha MP, at a press conference in New Delhi on her return from Ahmedabad.



As the Gujarat pogrom continues under the supervision of the Modi Massacre Machine, and with the Centre’s complicity, the Vajpayee government is appeasing in Ayodhya the very groups of communalists responsible for one of the goriest episodes of mass murder and mayhem in our history. The two developments are closely, organically, related. Gujarat’s religious minorities survive — and barely that — but only in mortal fear, under constant intimidation by Modi’s policemen and Hindutva hooligans, and virtually like prisoners in concentration camps.

-- Praful Bidwai, syndicated columnist, in his article, ‘Stop the Ayodhya Blackmail’, in The Hindustan Times, March 7, 2002.

“We are of the view that without the criminal negligence, if not connivance of the state government, such dastardly events could not have taken place.”

-- Joint statement by the Opposition, quoted in The Telegraph, March 5, 2002.


“Is there a cynical connection between the rioting and the abject defeat of the BJP in the latest round of elections? Did the horrible burning of a train carrying Ram Sevaks at Godhra come as a convenient excuse to once again whip up a frenzy that is part of some diabolical plot?”

-- Siddharth Bhatia in an article in The Pioneer, March 5, 2002.



“CM Modi should have submitted his resignation for the failure to control the situation. He should do it now. If not, the Centre should dismiss him. For lesser reasons, the state governments have been asked to quit. Why not the Modi government?”

-- Kuldip Nayar, columnist and Rajya Sabha MP, in his article, ‘Burnt Beyond Recognition’, in The Indian Express, March 4, 2002.


“Is a gathering of 2,000 people armed with rods and carrying petrol cans and torches such a normal occurrence in Godhra that the police didn’t notice? If action had been taken then as it should have by any competent administration, our nation would have been saved from the present trauma and so many tragedies would have been avoided. But the incompetence doesn’t stop there…You and I and other people like us, who have no hand in running any government, anticipated the consequences and did so in minutes. So what was the government of Narendra Modi doing in Gujarat? So what was the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee doing in Delhi? I will tell you what they were doing: nothing. That’s wrong: they were doing worse than nothing. Modi was saying, “The people of Gujarat have observed restraint in the wake of grave provocation,” thus hinting that they shouldn’t be observing this restraint”.

Anil Dharkar, in his column, ‘Dharkar’s Dilemma’, in The Bombay Times, March 4, 2002.


“(T)he cold acts of the criminal crowds, maddened by fanatic passion and robbed of reason, was a blasphemy to all great religions. All those who have defied holy faiths and made Gujarat a graveyard are enemies of civilised values… The Supreme Court should act suo motu in its plenary jurisdiction to avert the breakdown of the Constitution”.

-- Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, former SC judge and the chief patron of People’s Council for Social Justice, in The Hindu, March 4, 2002.


The carnage was made possible by the city’s Hindu police force, which merely watched yesterday as gangs rampaged through Muslim areas.

-- The Guardian, London, quoted in The Statesman, March 3, 2002.



“There was failure and complicity on the part of the government and the administration and, unfortunately, we find the police force equally inactive and communal too”.

-- Nirmala Deshpande, veteran Gandhian, in The Indian Express, March 3, 2002.

Editorials in the National Press :


“If Mr. Vajpayee really wants to know how he can face the world – or Indians, for that matter – here’s the answer: begin by sacking Mr. Modi. Meanwhile, let’s not have those crocodile tears”.

-- The Economic Times, on the PM’s anguish sans action expressed during his visit ot Ahmedabad on April 4, in editorial headlined ‘Crocodile tears’, April 6, 2002.



“It is ironical that the leader who had always seemed larger than his party should look so overwhelmed by it. It is sad that he should have been immobilised by the same organisation he helped empower. Most of all, it is tragic that at a time when the people of Gujarat look up to a leader who can show them the way back to a sane world, they must reach out to one who is himself under siege”.

-- The Indian Express, in an editorial titled, Missing in action: Never has 
Vajpayee appeared more besieged, more weak’; April 6, 2002. 



“Short of rhetoric what Atalji said amounted to a pathetic admission that while the Gujarat government was to blame for the situation, taking action against Mr Modi was beyond his authority. Clearly, the party and the parivar to which he belongs had laid down a Laxman Rekha which Atalji, as so often in the past felt powerless to cross”.

-- The Times of India, on the PM’s pathetic plight evident during his visit to Ahmedabad on

April 4, in editorial headlined ‘No Balm in Gujarat’, April 6, 2002.


"It is time the Opposition had the patience to learn a thing or two about democracy and its dangers from Mr. Modi. For a start, they could probbably think in terms of shutting down Parliament for a while. After all, they have it on the assurance of the all-knowing Mr. Modi that the violence in Gujarat will abate the day Opposition MPs disperse from Delhi and return to their constituencies. Clearly, no price is too high to pay if it can save the lives of innocents in 
Mr. Modi’s righteous realm".

-- Editorial, The Times of India, March 27, 2002.


“Let’s suspend Parliament… If this brings peace to Modi’s dark Gujarat, it’s worth it”.

-- Editorial, The Indian Express, March 26, 2002, (On Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s statement that violence in Gujarat will only end when the Lok Sabha session ends).


"(I)t is not merely that the governmental authority has miserably failed but that the administration as also the political establishment in office have turned into instruments of terror and persecution, so to say, vis-a-vis the minority community. It is, therefore, not without reason that Mr. Modi is blamed for grave dereliction of Constitutional duties and he deserves to go; after all, there are cases of Governments having to quit for less serious lapses. As long as Mr. Modi is allowed to stay on, Mr. Advani's — and the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee's — description of the Gujarat riots as a "black mark" on the nation's face will ring hollow".

-- The Hindu, Editorial, March 13, 2002  http://www.hinduonnet.com/stories/2002031300131000.htm



“If Mr. Modi is not motivated then he is simply incompetent. If he had not been a CM from the ruling party, any central government would have dismissed him and the President would have promptly signed the order”.

-- Editorial, The Hindustan Times, March 6, 2002.


For a CM, there can be only one price for this kind of failure: resignation. Mr. Modi has lost the moral right to rule. He should go. If the Bharatiya Janata Party has an iota of self-respect, it should remove Mr. Modi from power.

-- Editorial, The Telegraph, March 5, 2002.


“There is something deeply distasteful about the manner in which Narendra Modi, the discredited CM of Gujarat, is behaving. The failure of his government to control the rioting and to quickly restore peace to his troubled state is not surprising: the police fail each time there is a riot in Ahmedabad and over the last four years, the Gujarat administration’s already dismal record has been further blighted by the extremist antics of the BJP government”.

-- Editorial, The Hindustan Times, March 4, 2002.



“Gujarat’s descent into chaos is a direct result of the kind of provocative politics which the Sangh Parivar has pursued in the state for several years. Starting with the attacks on the Christians soon after the BJP assumed power, Gujarat has been a tinder box ever since because of the aggressive tactics which the saffron brigade were allowed to follow by an indulgent administration”.

-- Editorial, The Hindustan Times, March 4, 2002.


“Vishwa Hindu Parishad vice president Acharya Giriraj Kishore’s description of the communal violence that is bloodying Gujarat as “a little violent reaction” must surely rank as one of the understatements of the century”.

-- Editorial, The Pioneer, March 4, 2002.


“The horrors in Gujarat are not limited to the actual nature of the killings, predominantly by burning alive. The horror lies in the dramatic change of mentality of neighbour towards neighbour, of households towards households. Sectarian violence involves and implicates everyone”.

-- Editorial, The Telegraph, March 3, 2002. 


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