September 13, 2011

Oh no they didn't!

So I read a news story in the L.A. Times a few weeks ago that really pissed me off. Basically it said that Muslims were the new untouchables of India. It detailed the bigotry an average Muslim citizen of India encounters within the confines of his ‘motherland’. It detailed how while the investigation of the Mumbai bomb blasts was concluded in less than four years, the events preceding it, the Hindu riots against the Muslim community in Mumbai are still undergoing investigation; while most of the top political figures and their right hand men, men who are responsible for hundreds of killings continue to rule the roost in Mumbai. 
The article made my blood boil: As an Indian, I’ve never been so angry before. All I could think was, this could not be true because I’m an Indian and this is not what I've been raised to believe, not what I've been taught in school.

Remember school? Where they told us about Nehru and Sardar Patel and the Indian dream? Where we were told that our country’s greatest claim to honor was that we decided to look above the petty confines that religion puts on a man. That in doing so we declared ourselves to be the world’s largest secular democracy and that this feeling of unanimity is deeply embedded in the Indian spirit. 
Seriously, I got really mad! I was poised and ready to write a scathing comment under the article to let this reporter know what I thought of him and his horrible lies about my country; and then I remembered- it was the school that had lied! 

Nothing that the reporter pointed out was untrue. Not a thing. In fact, he was almost being nice by not drawing attention to a million other examples that go much further in embarrassing any Indian who dares to proclaim that our country is in fact a secular nation. Lets just face it- It is not. 
It is a country where great artists who are also Muslim are forced to die in exile because their paintings happen to upset the religious sentiments of self proclaimed Hindutva zealots like the Shiv Sena. 
It is a country where the then ruling BJP party encouraged and endorsed a re-write of historical textbooks to suit their pro-Hindu core philosophy, making Muslims invaders and promoting Hindus as indigenous people of the Indian subcontinent. 
It is a country that provides around the clock protection for Bal Thackerey, a man who holds no official office in the nation’s government and whose famous words 'Islamic terrorism is growing and Hindu terrorism is the only way to counter it.' are quoted in Wikipedia for all the world to see.
and today it has the distinction of being a country whose highest court of law staged a cop out of such wginormous proportions, I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it since Clinton’s drama of ‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman... define sexual relations to me please’ 
The Supreme court order in the Gujarat riots case against Narendra Modi can’t be called anything more than what it is- a giant, giant exercise in wanking off. 

To take years to charge the man. To allow the man to run for office while he's being investigated for communal agitation. To order an Special Investigation Team. And then after years of passing the buck back and forth with the SIT that you appointed, to refuse to pass an order? say it with me- WANKING OFF!

and where is this case to go in the absence of any orders from the Supreme court- back to the local magistrate. In Ahmedabad. 

Ahmedabad, the capital of the State where Modi is the Chief Minister. A state where he is for all accounts and purposes, the most powerful man and pretty much reigns supreme. Where the Muslims are so scared that they're basically voting for him just to stay under his radar. (Sadly this wouldn't be the first time, think back to the post-riot elections in Mumbai where Shiv Sena actually got more Muslim votes than ever before)

It's such an obvious cop out that I’m just going to go all out and assume that the much spoken about sealed SIT report told the Supreme Court judges something that the last (almost) decade did not make clear to the rest of us. 
Perhaps it tells them that the testimony of senior IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who filed an affidavit detailing how Modi asked the local police to let ‘the Hindus vent’ and be indifferent to calls for help from victims during the riots, is actually false.
Perhaps it explains the mysterious murder of  BJP MLA Haren Pandya only a few months after he disclosed that Modi asked police not to come in the way of a Hindu backlash after Godra. 
Perhaps it explains also what Modi meant when he said ‘every action has an equal and opposite reaction,’ no more than two days after the Godra incident and only a few weeks before the outbreak of riots in Gujarat.
Perhaps they’ve decided that since the rest of us are convinced the man is guilty, the only place that Mr. Modi can get a fair trial is in the heart of a land which he not only rules with an iron fist but where he is actually known as the ‘Iron Man’. (thereby forever sullying the term which was once synonymous with one of the founding fathers of what was meant to be a secular India - Sardar Patel)
Perhaps reports of the Gujarat government’s active attempts to suppress evidence in the Riots case have not reached the ears of our highest of high courts.
Perhaps they do not care to ask why after officer Bhat basically blew the whistle on the Gujarat CM in this highly controversial case and despite their instructions to keep him under a security coverage of 11 men, the Gujarat government - more specifically the State’s Director General of Police- unceremoniously downsized the security assigned to officer Bhatt to only one man.
Perhaps the Supreme court did not see anything gained by attaching importance to this much publicised by Tehelka extract from the SIT reports: ‘The Modi government appointed Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated advocates as public prosecutors in the riots cases. The government did not stop the illegal bandh called by the VHP on February 28, 2002. Police officers who took a neutral stand during the riots and prevented massacres were transferred
So this is the state that the SC thinks is the ideal place for the fair and adequate trial of Narendra Modi? A state that he effectively has by the throat and where he controls virtually all spheres of life and branches of governance- including the judiciary and officers of the law. 

I'm also going to go ahead and assume that it's not the love he gets from Big Business that's making the Courts read into the evidence more (or less?) than the rest of us seem to have read- because I know that the judiciary of ALL people remember their history. Big Business love tyrants; investment in Germany shot through the roof during Hitler's reign as well. 

And also going to go ahead and assume that this has nothing to do with the fact that the Congress isn't looking good for the 2014 election which means chances are that the BJP might be in power once again (with their poster boy for progress: Narendra Modi as the strongest candidate)

So in another nine years, when the details of the SIT report are eventually 'considered' in the magistrates' court, we're all going to see that the Supreme court of India did not just refuse to exercise their Apex powers in favour of passing the buck on, in a case that could not demonstrate more EXACTLY why they were conferred with extraordinary jurisdiction in the first place; just to keep their own asses in comfortable leather seats for a few more years. 

Hopefully that's what's going to happen later. 

It's only been a few hours since the (non) order but the BJP is already calling it a complete vindication (they're probably right!) and Modi is tweeting about the greatness of God. 

And me? I'm Indian, a Hindu and deeply, deeply ashamed of both right now. 

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