Rohit Kumar's Views

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court

India: Gujarat riots records ‘destroyed’

leave a comment »

Official records relating to the 2002 riots in India’s Gujarat state were destroyed in line with regulations, the government tells a panel probing the riots.


The riots left more than 1,000 dead

Documents with records of telephone calls and the movements of officials during the riots were destroyed in 2007, five years after their origin

Officials say this is standard practice and in line with civil service rules.

More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, died in the riots.

The violence erupted after 60 Hindus died in a train fire. The cause of the blaze was never clearly established.

Hindu groups allege the fire was started by Muslim protesters, but an earlier inquiry said the blaze was an accident.

The Supreme Court set up a panel to investigate the riots in 2008, after allegations that the Gujarat government was doing little to bring those responsible to justice.

Government lawyer SB Vakil told the Nanavati panel probing the riots that some records relating to the riots had been destroyed according to the rules.

“As per general government rules, the telephone call records, vehicle logbook and the officers’ movement diary are destroyed after a certain period,” Mr Vakil was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India news agency.

In April a senior police officer alleged in a sworn statement to India’s Supreme Court that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi deliberately allowed anti-Muslim riots in the state.

Mr Modi has always denied any wrongdoing.

The Gujarat government has responded to the allegations by saying they have already testified before a special panel investigating the riots and will wait for the court’s verdict.

Where did it all go wrong? India wonders…

leave a comment »

By Amit Baruah

Not very long ago, India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh could do no wrong – or so it seemed.


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reshuffled his cabinet on Wednesday, hoping it would restore confidence in his beleaguered government

Long considered a man of unimpeachable integrity, Mr Singh coasted to a second term as the prime minister of the world’s second most populous nation in May last year.

From 145 seats in the lower house of parliament, Lok Sabha, in 2004, his Congress party increased its share of seats to 206 in the May 2009 polls.

By current Indian electoral standards, it was an impressive performance.

With the opposition in disarray, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government appeared to be on a roll.

An unshakeable understanding between Mr Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi ensured political stability in the country. Frequent meetings between the two suggested a neat division of responsibility between party and government.

‘Mind-boggling’

In the past few months, the personal equation may have continued, but things have begun going horribly wrong for the Congress-led coalition.


Regular protests by Telangana activists are just one of the government’s worries at the moment

Inflation, corruption scandals, a massive and ongoing agitation for a separate state of Telangana in southern India, apparent favours in the allocation of land, the abuse of discretionary powers by state leaders: everything seemed to go wrong at the same time for Mr Singh and his government.

A spate of court cases has given the government a headache.

The Supreme Court made some sharp observations of official decisions in what has come to be known as the 2G scandal – where the government is said to have incurred losses of billions of dollars in the sale of mobile phone spectrum.

And on Wednesday, hearing a case of unaccounted money being held by Indians in foreign banks, the court criticised the coalition for its reluctance to provide more information.

“It is a pure and simple theft of national money,” said Justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar. “We are talking about mind-boggling crime. We are not on the niceties of treaties.”

Such comments have become a near-daily affair for the government in one case or the other.

And so far it has not been able to come up with convincing answers.

Government ‘rudderless’

In what the Indian media has dismissed as a lame effort to energise his government, Mr Singh changed the portfolios of as many as 36 ministers on Wednesday, terming it a “minor reshuffle” and promising a more “expansive exercise” in the next few months.

But analysts believe that this may not help the image of the government as a performing entity.

Neena Vyas, associate editor of The Hindu newspaper, told the BBC: “More important is whether the government is able to break the logjam with the opposition, which prevented parliament from conducting any business in the recent session of parliament.”

Ms Vyas was referring to the impasse in parliament, in which all sections of an often-divided opposition came together to demand a parliamentary inquiry into the 2G scandal.

Several officials who chose to remain anonymous told this writer that a sense of paralysis had gripped the government.

“No-one wants to take decisions in such an environment where everything is suddenly under question. The government appears rudderless,” one of them said.

“It’s sad, but this is true,” confirmed a junior minister in Mr Singh’s government, who told me he believed the prime minister had been extremely hurt by the personal allegations levelled against him by some opposition leaders.

Challenges ahead

It is an open question whether the reshuffle carried out by Mr Singh will mean anything in real terms.

There also appear to be divergences on key issues like a new Food Security Bill between the government and the National Advisory Council, a powerful lobby group within the establishment headed by Mrs Gandhi.

Mrs Gandhi has said publicly there should be “no tolerance” for corruption or misconduct.

At a Congress party conference in December, she suggested fast-tracking corruption cases against public servants, providing full transparency in public procurements and contracts, and reviewing the discretionary powers of state chief ministers.

She also called for an open and competitive system of exploiting natural resources.

Analysts are comparing Mr Singh’s second tenure to the political crisis, linked to a corruption scandal, that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi faced back in the mid-1980s, despite having a huge majority in parliament.

Eventually, Mr Gandhi lost the 1989 elections and a motley coalition of parties took power.

While there are similarities between then and now, Mr Singh and Mrs Gandhi still have the opportunity to retrieve lost ground.

A lot will depend on whether or not the government can check spiralling food inflation. Also, whether the Congress and its allies are able to blunt the opposition attack during next month’s budget session of parliament will be critical.

Mr Singh and his government still have a little over three years to go before the May 2014 elections.

But the prime minister, Mrs Gandhi and the government have a tough job ahead if they fancy a return to power in Delhi.

No death for Dara Singh in Staines case; SC upholds life term

leave a comment »

New Delhi, (PTI) In a setback to CBI, the SupremeCourt today dismissed its plea for death penalty to DaraSingh, convicted for burning alive Australian missionaryGraham Staines and his two minor sons in January 1999 whileupholding life sentence given to him by the Orissa High Court.

A bench comprising justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan,while dismissing the agency”s plea for death penalty, said thepunishment can be imposed only in the “rarest of rare” casesdepending upon the facts and situation of each case.

In the present case, the apex court said, the offencecommitted by the convicts, though highly condemnable, does notfall in the category of rarest of rare to warrant deathsentence. (More) PTI RB RKS SDG SC

Dara Singh and Mahendra Hembrom were found guilty of burning to death Staines and his sons, who were sleepinginside a van outside a church, at Manoharpur village inKoenjhar district of Orissa on January 22, 1999.

The bench had on December 15 last year reserved itsjudgement after hearing at length the arguments of CBI”scounsel and Additional Solicitor General Vivek Tankha andcounsel for the convicts.

Senior counsel K T S Tulsi and Ratnakar Dash, besidescounsel

Sibo Shankara Mishra, appeared for the 12 convicts.

Appearing for CBI, Tankha had told the bench that DaraSingh deserves death sentence as the murders were committed ina most “diabolic and dastardly manner” which warrantedexemplary punishment.

Dara had filed an appeal challenging his convictionand the life sentence awarded to him. The appeals wereadmitted by the apex court in October 2005.

On May 19, 2005, the Orissa High Court had commuted tolife imprisonment the death penalty imposed by the sessionscourt on Dara Singh for the murder of Staines and his twominor sons — Philip, 10, and Timothy, 6. Along with Dara,another person Mahendra Hembram was convicted in the case.

However, the High Court had acquitted 11 others whowere awarded life terms by the trial court in the case.

The trial court in Khurda had in September 2003convicted all the 13 accused. While Dara Singh was awardeddeath sentence, others were given life imprisonment.

India police raid minister’s homes in telecoms probe

leave a comment »

NEW DELHI – Indian police on Wednesday raided two homes of a former telecoms minister who is alleged to have sold off mobile phone licences at knock-down prices in a scam that cost the government billions of dollars.

A spokesman for the Central Bureau of Investigation said A. Raja’s residences in the capital New Delhi and in his constituency in the southern state of Tamil Nadu were searched by police.

Raja, who resigned last month, is accused of changing bidding rules to favour selected companies who were often ineligible to compete for the lucrative second-generation (2G) mobile phone licences.

The licences were sold in 2008 at cut-price rates that denied the treasury up to 40 billion dollars in lost revenue, according to the national auditor.

The scandal, which could prove to be the biggest corruption case in India’s history, has engulfed the Congress-led ruling coalition and is seen as one of the government’s most serious setbacks since it came to power six years ago.

In a campaign for a cross-party investigation, the main opposition parties have stalled parliament for weeks.

The government has refused to agree, saying that the police and state anti-corruption bodies are both investigating the sales.

Raja belongs to a regional party that is key to the Congress alliance holding onto power, prompting accusations that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was slow to act against him after the 2G sell-off.

Raja’s lawyer, T.R. Andhyarujina, told the Supreme Court last week that his client had only been following procedures established by previous ministers.

Black day for us, says survivor

leave a comment »

NEW DELHI: Activists and survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy have slammed Monday’s verdict in the case against eight former Union Carbide India executives as “meaningless” at best, and a deadly “insult” at worst. Many warned that it signals an indifference to justice when corporate bigwigs are involved.


ENDURING THE PAINSurvivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy staging a demonstration outside the court in Bhopal on Monday.

“This is a black day for us,” said Abdul Jabbar, a survivor who now heads the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan. He vowed that the verdict would be appealed in the High Court. But with the system taking quarter of a century to deliver its first verdict in the criminal case, both the survivors and the guilty could be dead by the time justice is served, he said.

“They have reduced the world’s worst industrial disaster into a traffic accident,” said Satinath Sarangi, an activist with the Bhopal Group for Information and Action, commenting on the lightness of the sentence. Since the Supreme Court had diluted the charges from “culpable homicide” to “death by negligence” in 1996, this was the maximum sentence possible.

Activist Nityanand Jayaraman said the CBI’s “mishandling of the case” would be “tantamount to dereliction of duty,” and that even if the CBI did not appeal the verdict, the people would do so.

“There is a strong sense of betrayal, but also of foreboding. The government is sending a signal to investors that they can come here, run their companies however they please with a minimum of regulation, and if something goes wrong, at worst, they will get a rap on their knuckles.”

Noting that the government kept Bhopal citizens out of the courtroom as a preventive measure, activist Rachna Dhingra said: “It was the people who were treated like criminals. The real criminals were escorted in by police, they were treated like VIPs and now they have walked free. The government considers the lives of some people more expendable than others.”

“The government is saying there will be no punishment for big foreign companies,” said Mr. Jabbar, who warned that the Nuclear Liability Bill was an indication of the same attitude.

Rethink Nuclear Liability Bill: BJP

Opposition political parties took up his refrain. “There is a lesson in this,” said BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad, who said the government should appeal the verdict.

“After this bitter experience, the government should rethink its plans for the Nuclear Liability Bill.”

CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat agreed. “If the justice system is so weak, as proven by this verdict, then it is horrifying to think what will happen if there is a nuclear accident,” she said.

Probe infirmities in CBI, says Brinda

The government should look into the infirmities in the CBI which led to such a diluted verdict, and appeal in the higher court, she added.

Kasab to challenge death sentence

with one comment

The only surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Ajmal Kasab, has requested a new lawyer in order to appeal his death sentence, an official said on Friday. Early last month, a special court gave Mohammed Ajmal Kasab multiple death sentences after he was convicted on charges including murder, waging war against India, conspiracy and terrorism. Kasab was purportedly provided with free legal aid – initially advocate Abbas Kazmi was his lawyer and then advocate KP Pawar – during his trial. He has the option of choosing senior lawyers from the HC panel to defend him in the high court, said an HC advocate. But Kasab is expected to receive the same kind of judicial treatment and “due process” that he has experienced at the hands of Judge M L Tahiliyani. Within a month of the verdict, Kasab has approached the Bombay High Court to challenge the death sentence awarded to him by a special court on May 6. But it is obvious that Kasab expects no justice, since it is the same judicial system.

Arthur Road jail authorities confirmed an appeal letter by Kasab along with a copy of the judgment running into over 1,500 pages was forwarded to the high court. The jail petition sent by Kasab has also requested that a lawyer from the legal aid panel be appointed to represent him in the high court. The government prosecutor in the trial Ujjwal Nikam said that Kasab had sent a letter to the Bombay High Court’s Legal Aid Cell on Wednesday asking to be given a new lawyer in order to help him prepare an appeal against his death sentence. It was not immediately clear when the court would reach a decision on the matter.

A photograph of Kasab, 22, striding through Mumbai’s main train station, an assault rifle in hand, became the iconic image of the three-day siege in November 2008 that claimed the lives of 166 people. Kasab was one of 10 young Pakistanis who attacked two luxury hotels, a Jewish center and a busy train station in Mumbai. Kasab’s sentence must be reviewed by the High Court. He can also appeal the decision and apply for clemency to the state and central governments. Death sentences — reserved in India for only the “rarest of rare” cases — by law have to be confirmed by the local high court after reviewing the evidence. Defendants have a right of appeal and can challenge the ruling all the way to the Supreme Court. A final plea for clemency can be made to the country’s president.

Senior state government officials in Maharashtra have said they want the verdict and sentence ratified swiftly, amid public calls for Kasab to be executed as soon as possible. But questions have been raised about how long Kasab will be kept on death row, as India has not carried out an execution since 2004 and only two since 1998, while dozens of final clemency appeals are still pending.

Chidambaram admits policing India ‘formidable’ task

with one comment

Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday said policing a country of over 1.1 billion people in a troubled neighbourhood is difficult, especially if the nation has an ill-equipped police force. “Policing a country of over 1.1 billion people is not an easy task. Policing a country in a troubled neighbourhood makes the task more difficult. And policing a country with insufficient police stations and inadequate and ill-equipped police force makes the task almost formidable,” Chidambaram said in his inaugural speech at the 40th All India Police Science Congress in Raipur.

Throwing light over the inadequate number of police personnel in the country, the home minister said there were 335,000 posts vacant in all ranks of the police. “According to figures given to the central government, the total number of sanctioned posts as on March 31, 2010, in all ranks, is about 21 lakh. Of these, about 335,000 posts are vacant. Chidambaram also said that 12 states had not responded to the central government’s suggestion for a transparent recruitment process (TRP) related to police reforms.

Addressing the inaugural session of the 40th All India Police Science Congress here, the minister said: “In the case of police reforms, the central government had recommended that state governments adopt the TRP. Of the 30 states, only Uttar Pradesh has actually implemented TRP.” He said: “Four states have reported that they have their own TRP. Thirteen states have acknowledged the recommendations and no response has been received from 12 states. “The central government urged the states to adopt the salient recommendations of the National Police Commission. Some recommendations … are mandatory by an order of the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, the progress is halting,” he said in the presence of over 80 Indian Police Service officers from various states.

He said: “Let me take three recommendations — enactment of a new police act based on the Model Police Act; constitution of a state police establishment board and setting up a police complaints board. Only 12 states have enacted a new police act, only 14 have constituted a police establishment board and only 10 states have set up a police complaints board.” “Thus, the police population ratio for the whole country is about 160 per 100,000 people. This ratio is much lower than the international norm… conceals more than it reveals,” he said. In Bihar, he said, the number is as low as 75, in Uttar Pradesh it is about 115, in Andhra Pradesh it is about 125, in Orissa about 135 and in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand — the two states most affected by leftwing extremism — the figure is 205.

Gilani, Sharif to work out strategy to strengthen democracy

leave a comment »

ISLAMABAD, May 18 (APP): Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and PML-N chief Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif agreed to hold a meeting as soon as the latter returns from London. Both the leaders would work out a strategy for strengthening democracy and democratic institutions in the country. The PML (N) Quaid also gave a number of proposals to strengthen democracy in the country.

The views were exchanged during a telephonic conversation between the two leaders on Tuesday afternoon. The Prime Minster enquired about the health of Begum Kalsoom Nawaz who is currently under treatment in London.
During discussion both the leaders had commonality of views to protect democracy at all costs for which both the parties have given great sacrifices.
They agreed that democracy would not be allowed to be derailed since it was the only way forward to ensure prosperity and welfare of common man.
In connection with the Prime Minister’s statement regarding court appearance of former President General ® Pervez Musharraf, both the leaders called for his appearance before the Supreme Court.

Inevitable clash between SC and government

leave a comment »

By: Babar Ayaz

Verily, coups that come through the barrel of the gun cannot be stopped by judgements and constitutional clauses. But those who stand against such takeovers should be counted for their courage and for not hiding behind a doctrine of necessity

Fade the lights on the president and move the spotlight onto the prime minister; this is how the director of a Pakistan political show would shout into his mike. Not only has the Constitution (18th Amendment) Bill 2010 transferred those powers to Prime Minister Gilani that were enjoyed by the PPP founding leader Mr Bhutto, the ongoing pressure of the Supreme Court has also been moved towards him.

The law ministry says that writing to the Swiss Court for the opening of the money laundering case would now have to be approved by the prime minister. Now this is putting him in a tight spot. What is Prime Minister Gilani’s predicament: if he allows writing to the Swiss government that his leader shaheed Benazir Bhutto, her mother, who is bedridden for many years and has lost her memory and president of his country were corrupt, he would lose his party’s support; and if he does not he would come in conflict with the Supreme Court. He has a Hamlet’s choice – to be or not to be. And no spirit, even from the house of pirs he belongs to, is going to come to advise him from the heavens.

A most probable option for the government is to stop shilly-shallying and, as they say, catch the bull by the horns. In the first place, it can write to the court that the government has no case against the accused because they were not convicted for stealing the money in Pakistan. The Lahore High Court verdict on Cotecna & SGS case was struck down by the honourable Supreme Court. Unless the case, which was sent back as a mistrial, is reopened and the accused are declared guilty, how can Pakistan write to the Swiss government to disgrace itself? The second probable plea could be that one of the accused, who had the courage of challenging Talibanisation while others were kind towards the perpetrators of terrorism, has been assassinated. The other accused is so sick that she cannot be expected to rise from her sickbed to defend her case. And then the government would have to bite the bait and say the third accused happens to be the president of the country, who enjoys immunity under the constitution. It can also raise the issue that writing against its own president to a foreign government amounts to defaming the country internationally.

What happens in the probable scenario: legal experts bet that the Supreme Court is likely to rule that the president cannot invoke immunity in this case as it was filed when he had no such protection. Seemingly, this argument is based on the fact that when the Supreme Court is insisting on the reopening of the case in which President Zardari is an accused implicitly, it has shown its mind that he does not enjoy immunity for his past sins.

So, eventually, a legal battle would first be fought in the Supreme Court on the immunity issue no matter how much the government wants to avoid this ‘clash of institutions’. This is not unprecedented in the legal history of the country or the world. There are umpteen such cases where the sitting governments have challenged the Supreme Court’s decisions. But there are fewer examples where the Supreme Court has gone against its previous decisions. In this case it would be more difficult because no judge was left out of the existing bench to give an impartial hearing to the case that challenges a portion of the earlier judgement of his brother judges.

Once the protection of immunity would be lifted, the president would once again have to contest the charges of taking kickbacks and then laundering them to the no-longer-so-safe Swiss banks. The honourable option for the president would be to step down and contest the case. The obstinate course would be to let his lawyers contest while he gets an exemption from appearing in the court. President Clinton adopted this course in the Monika Lewinsky case and Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi is following this strategy every other day. The president’s friends say he would go for this option if push comes to shove.

It is this clash of institutions that was mentioned by President Zardari in his speech to parliament’s joint session. To rub in his point, he praised Law Minister Babar Awan. The outgoing Attorney-General, Anwar Mansoor Khan, has alleged that Awan was not cooperating for writing the most contentious letter in the political history of Pakistan. But in the forefront of this tussle would now be Prime Minister Gilani, who has so far played the role of a reconciliation ambassador.

The moral argument is that the case should be followed, as the Supreme Court wants to set an example that even the head of state cannot hide behind the immunity fortress if he/she has done wrong. Nobody can dispute this assertion. But there is another narrative also. At the risk of reiterating what I have written in a previous column, let me say once again that in the same spirit of high moral grounds, the Supreme Court should also take up the case of the ISI pumping money against an elected government to the erstwhile leaders. This case was filed by octogenarian leader Asghar Khan. Would it not be a favour to this upright leader seeking justice in his lifetime? It would also be a favour to the nation that has suffered a lot more than financial corruption cases by the intrigues of those who have brought down elected governments; who have validated trampling of democracy by heavy boots; and those who joined every usurper only to rise when they were discarded. Verily, coups that come through the barrel of the gun cannot be stopped by judgements and constitutional clauses. But those who stand against such takeovers should be counted for their courage and for not hiding behind a doctrine of necessity.

The writer can be reached at ayazbabar@gmail.com

Mr. Modi And The Ghosts Of Gujarat 2002

leave a comment »

By Dr. Shah Alam Khan,

I don’t believe in ghosts. I think they are the folly of a fearful mind. But yet I find ghosts to be funny characters. They hound you at the most awkward of hours and at the most awkward of places. Having said this, some ghosts are not funny, they can make life miserable. Ask Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat. Mr. Modi is alleged to have mastermind or rather orchestrated the genocide of Muslims in Gujarat during the 2002 communal riots. It was this orchestration of communal massacre which earned him the title of modern day Nero by the Supreme Court of India. The ghosts of Gujarat 2002 keep returning to him. The more he tries to ostracize these nefarious characters, the more they return with new force and vigor. Ghosts of young men & women, small children, pregnant mothers and even the little Caspers, the fetuses who were torn out of the cozy comfort of their mothers’ bellies and thrown into soaring infernos. All are back. Some ghosts are obstinate, pigheaded to get justice for getting them into this indiscernible state by Mr. Modi and his riot manufacturing machine which runs on human blood.

I am sure these ghosts will accompany Mr. Modi on March 27th 2010, when we are made to believe,

that he presents himself to be questioned by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court of India to probe the Gujarat carnage. It is important to note that Mr. Modi will be testifying only in the case of Mr. Ehsan Jafri who was murdered, sorry, dismembered, in the Gulbarg society carnage in Feb 2002. I am amused to imagine that as Mr. Modi will sit in the big leather chair in front of a tight lipped committee of polished bureaucrats, there would be a thousand eyes popping over his shoulder, jostling to get space, pushing and elbowing each other to make their presence felt. The SIT interrogation room will be full of ghosts. Frail elderly ghosts, who will be pushed further back in the chaos, the naughty little ones who will dodge their mothers to go and pee on Modi’s white starched kurta and the pregnant ghosts, the most difficult to control; they start cursing and bellowing at the top of their voices whenever they see Mr. Modi. Probably they were too much in love with their babies-to-be the day they were raped and cut opened. Then there would be those who are unnamed, unidentified – the faceless ghosts. These are the ones who resided in bodies which were charred beyond recognition in the spring of 2002 across different locations of Gujarat. Bodies scorched so badly that even their spirits are now faceless.

It will be interesting to note how these ghosts will react as Mr. Modi is put through what I feel will be scratchy questions. Well surely uncomfortable for people with a heart and soul! I had always felt that Mr. Modi should be invited to an episode of Sach ka Samna, the popular Hindi version of a more suave Moment of Truth. Seeing him answer moral (and immoral) questions in a true or false pattern would be fun. In fact it might be much easier for him as well; at least he will not have to give bizarre and whacky explanations which make us judgmental on his intelligence and astuteness. So, if the host asks, “Mr. Modi you ordered the best bakery carnage – True or False?” he, with all the straightness of face (resembling the election face mask he distributed in 2007) will answer, “False”. The not so always accurate lie detector machine says: False. No more explanations, no more shame. Well, no more shame particularly for Mr. Modi and no more shame for us, Indians, in general.

History has a peculiar knack of catching up with its characters. On March 27th India’s history will catch up with its most pernicious of politicians. In the company of three thousand invisible yet tangible ghosts, Narendra Modi will undergo a scrutiny of his deeds. His acts of commission and importantly his impotence of omission, everything will go under the scanner. And all this in the presence of those to whom he owes an explanation. He owes an explanation to all of us. To me, to you, to those who love our freedom and our country. To those who bow before the god a bit differently and also to those who bow in the same way as he does. He owes an explanation to the nameless ghosts who wander through the land of Gandhi awaiting their moksha and to those who were left alive and mourn the dead.

I am sure Mr. Modi will perspire as the SIT questions get difficult and will sigh as the easier ones follow. Watching him quietly in the room with three thousand ghosts will be a smiling Ehsan Jafri in white kurta-pyjama; still soaked in blood. His body was dismembered, but his spirit is cohesive. He has identified his killers. He has recognized the perpetrators. His death has not gone waste. His wailing from that fateful day in Gulbarg society haven’t gone unanswered. The Day of Judgment is closing in. He does not want to blink. He wants to capture each and every second of this hearing into his fluid state. The pain of getting dismembered by a crowd of assassins must surely be not greater than the pleasure of seeing Narendra Modi in the spot light. The spot light of shame and ignominy.

Narendra bhai Modi, as he is popularly called, has a task cut out. Either he faces the SIT to answer questions he has been evading since February 2002 or he continues to live in the shadow of ghosts. His party feels that he is a popular chief minister who always respects law. It makes me laugh – law and Modi in the same voice? A sarcastic oxymoron for those who saw law raped in Gujarat in the 2002 carnage. An ironic antithesis for those who saw their children thrown in fire in the February of 2002. An iron-cold apathy for those who saw policemen betray their trust.

Mr. Modi, it’s not easy to live with ghosts. They create ruckus, they can be hysterical. They don’t let you sleep peacefully and above all they do not forget or forgive.

Written by rohitkumarsviews

March 29, 2010 at 9:15 am