Following reports in the media of Narendra Modiís inflammatory
speeches against the minorities, the National Commission for Minorities (NCM)
sent a message to the Gujarat home department on September 10, 2002, requesting
a copy of the speech made by the chief minister at Becharaji, a temple town in
Mehsana district, a day earlier. Modiís hate speech formed part of the overall
message of his gaurav yatra.
Attempting to block such information, the Gujarat government
claimed that it had been unable to trace a copy of the speech and could not send
it to the NCM. The state home department even got the then DGP, K. Chakravarti,
to endorse that the state intelligence department, headed by the then ADGP, RB
Sreekumar, was not required to provide such a report. But Sreekumar felt duty
bound to comply with the request. He obtained a copy of the speech and forwarded
it to the commission. This proved to be a costly move. Viewed for months as a
thorn in the flesh of the Gujarat government, Sreekumar was immediately
transferred out of the intelligence department to a relatively insignificant
In his speech of September 9, 2002, an impenitent Modi makes
several derogatory remarks about the minorities, offers indirect justification
for the anti-Muslim pogrom earlier that year and even ridicules the plight of
the thousands of refugees, victims of the violence who still lived in relief
camps. Despite efforts by CJP, no action has so far been taken against
Modi for this blatant attempt to engender hatred and ill will towards Muslims
and create a communal divide. Excerpts from the speech:
The gaurav yatra has now reached the holy land of
BecharajiÖ blowing the bugle of Gujaratís self-respect. This is the holy place
of power (Shakti), the power to exterminate the asuras. We have resolved to
destroy and stamp out all evil forces that are a threat to the self-respect of
We are accused of being Hinduwadis. Oh, brothers! Our government
has allotted eight crore rupees for the development of Becharaji Devi temple.
Have we committed a crime? Have we become communal by allotting eight crore
rupees for the development of Becharaji?
Our Congress friends say Narendrabhai has brought Narmada water
to the Sabarmati river and this man is so clever that he brought it in the month
of Shravan. Let me ask my Congress friends a question: if water is brought
during the month of Shravan, those mothers/ladies residing on the banks of the
Sabarmati river can bathe in Narmada water and feel holy and blessed. So how
does it hurt them? Since we (BJP) are here, we brought water to the Sabarmati
during the month of Shravan, when you (Congress) are there, you can bring it in
the month of Ramzan!
When we bring water in the month of Shravan, you feel bad. When
we spend money for the development of Becharaji, you feel bad. What, brother,
should we run relief camps? (At the time, tens of thousands of Muslims, rendered
homeless during the carnage, were still living in relief camps.) Should I
start baby producing centres there? If we want to develop GujaratÖ we need to
teach those people (Muslims) who are expanding their population a lesson.
In Gujarat, madrassas are coming up in large numbers. Children
have the right to primary education. But a madrassa-going child is deprived of
primary education. What will such a child do when he grows up? What if normal
education was not available and only religious education was available; would
this not be a burden on Gujarat?
We cannot permit merchants of death to operate freely in
Gujarat. I may lose the chair but I will not allow those plotting to destroy
Gujarat and harm the innocent to carry out their plans. The days of somebody
like Dawood Ibrahim sitting in Karachi and playing games of murder and
destruction are over.