R.K. Narayanan, President of India, on the genocide in Gujarat.
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
-- K Subrahmanyam, in his article, ‘Dharma was killed in Gujarat, in The Times of India, April 4, 2002.
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.
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
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.
“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.
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
“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.
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.
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
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.
‘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.
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.
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,
“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.
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,