2002 Gujarat Riots

This is in response to a tweet that started off with this:

Siva’s response :

Couldn’t fit my reply to Siva in 140 chars:

Every battle, war, riot is preceded by an event that triggers it. People do not go on killing spree without a reason. There is no denying that Godhra train burning was what initiated the riots of 2002. In Zahir’s review of Kai Po Che nowhere did I see him deny the occurrence of Godhra incident. If there are other places where Zahir and Co. has implied that Muslims did not burn that train in Godhra, please point it out.

The pilgrims on the train were innocent and in no way were they deserving of such a torturous end. Killing is forbidden in Islam and is considered an unforgivable sin. Only time it is allowed is for self defence and during wars. Those people who burned Sabarmati express may have been Muslims, however they weren’t following the teachings of Islam. This goes for any Muslim around the world who kills innocent people in the name of Jihad !

The riots killed almost 2000 people and displaced around 100 000 people, majority of which were Muslims. Houses, businesses, and religious places were burnt down in the name of retaliation and revenge. Tell me, did the killing of 2000 innocent lives even out the loss of ~60 people that died in Godhra? What’s more shameful is that is riot happened in the home state of Gandhi, he’s probably turning in his grave at the moment. ‘An eye for an eye makes the world blind!’ Not only is this happening in India , but all over the world.

The most recent shelling of the Gaza Strip in November 2012 started when Israel dropped a bomb killing a teenage boy that was playing football (Israel and its supporting media will conveniently forget to point out this incident) Gaza retaliated and in response they were showered by artillery that killed around 1400 (unsure of exact figure) by the end. Comparatively, around 100 Israelis were killed. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a question of whose lives are worth more. But just look at the numbers and that itself will highlight the injustice of such war fare. In the end, it is innocent voiceless people that are affected by the ego battle between few senseless men in power.

In a fair and just world the riots would not have happened. The only response to the Godhra incident should have been the prosecution of the culprits that were responsible for it. Wiki page shows people were convicted, but who is now going to be held responsible for the lives affected in the riots ?

I have no faith in any reports conducted by the Indian government. You show me the SIT report and I’ll show you the report by Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org/news/2002/04/29/india-gujarat-officials-took-part-anti-muslim-violence , which by the way was written by a Hindu, Smita Narula. Please read this report: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/india/gujarat.pdf (‘We have no orders to save you’). This report was written in April 2002, which I’m sure is more accurate of the events than the SIT, which was written 4 years after the riots.

Here is another reason why I have no faith in investigations done by the Indian government: http://kafila.org/2013/02/23/22-years-after-kunan-and-poshpora-rethinking-kashmir-abhijit-dutta/

I maybe a Muslim, but my heart goes out to all innocent lives that have been lost in these futile riots/ethnic cleansing/wars irrespective of race/religion/colour. Only God truly knows if the Gujarat riots were premeditated ethnic cleansing of the Muslims. It’s a sad reality that Hindu Muslim riots have become a daily occurrence in India since the partition. The only way that could be removed from the future of India is if people from our generation like you and me stopped dwelling on past events in an attempt to determine who was right and who was wrong.

People need to start identifying each other as Humans, not differentiating each other based on race/religion/colour/language.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Siva Bhaskaran (@sibhaskaran)
    Mar 03, 2013 @ 17:02:33

    Thanks for taking the time to reply to my posts.

    I condemn any and all killings of innocent people even retaliatory ones. Let me be very clear about this at the outset. Having expressed my condemnation for any and all killings, I will proceed to reply.

    I never said that Zahir denies the involvement of Muslims in the Godhra carnage. Zahir and most of the other people who rightly support for the justice for the victims of the riots, knowingly or unknowingly downplay the role of the Godhra burnings on the subsequent riots. In fact we had a commission in India, which said that the Godhra train carnage was an accident. So nothing new about this.

    I am not a Muslim. I am a Hindu atheist. What Islam says is completely irrelevant to this debate. Islam or any religion should be judged by the actions of what the followers do and not what the holy books say. I belong to a religion which has multiple holy books, many Gods and no Gods. Some contradict each other. So it is better to judge a religion by the actions of followers.

    Retaliation is wrong but inevitable. As a Hindu, I felt really bad that my fellow coreligionists were slaughtered in my own homeland by their fellow country men. If a group of 58 Muslims were killed by a mob of people belonging to any other religion, there would have been riots and murders all over the world. Recent protests by Muslims who cannot read English or Dutch against the cartoons is a testimony to the same. There were protests in India against the ill-treatment of Muslims in Burma. They also protested the movie released on youtube. They protested against a Tamil Movie and had scenes modified. I don’t see the same group fighting for Polio vaccination and Women’s education and equal rights. The sad part is I don’t see them protesting the murder of shias, ahmadis and other minorities in Pakistan. In a Utopian world, revenge and retaliation will not happen. In utopia, Muslims won’t be killing train loads of Hindus too. Unfortunately we are not in utopia. Most people act irrationally under duress and riots happen. That the other person thrashed me disproportionately is not a valid defense.

    The number of dead in the riots is less than 1200. The number of Muslims dead is 790. The number of Hindus dead is around 250. It is not a one sided genocide as many people like Zahir J would like to believe. Even One dead is one too many. Killing any innocent person is stupidity and illegal. What happened to Jews in Nazi Germany is Genocide. Forgive me for being callous, a ratio of 66:34 is not Genocide or pogrom by any stretch of imagination. You can call it injustice but this is what will happen. So for riots not to happen, both the sides have to behave rationally. By the way, Muslims are still in Gujarat. No ethnic cleansing happened. 300000-500000 Kashmiri pandits were driven out of Kashmir and were killed by rabid Islamist is an example of ethnic cleansing

    You are entitled not to believe any article or any report which contradicts your claim. I cannot force you to believe.It is due to the SIT’s investigation, for the first time in India, people as high as ministers were convicted for communal riots. More than 60 people have been convicted for the riots by the same Indian system which you distrust. The problem with the links you have provided in the article is that they are trying to connect issues which are irrelevant to riots. What has Economic boycott got anything to do with riots? Economic boycott (from where you chose to buy or buyers choice) is a perfectly legal way to express your displeasure. I find that act immoral but I cannot force everybody to toe my moral lines. Do I believe that the Indian Army 100% perfect? No. I also deny that the army is as bad as it is made out to be. The truth lies somewhere in between and we have to try to find that out.


  2. Kartikay
    May 14, 2013 @ 01:56:24

    There’s absolutely no justification for a riot, and it’s disappointing that it happens in India this often.

    Love your ending – we need to forget the past, amalgamate our cultures into one thriving entity!


    • khansword
      May 14, 2013 @ 10:13:42

      ‘We need to forget the past, amalgamate our cultures into one thriving entity..’ – well put, can only hope that this will become a reality one day.


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