Half-truths don't help Muslims
A Kashmiri Hindu grieves over his children slaughtered by Islamic terroristsRecently Tehelka released what it claimed to be sensational, never-before details of the post-Godhra violence in Gujarat. These were based on sting operations aimed at trapping those accused of participating in the riots. Little purpose is served by the 'startling revelations' because they do not add to the bulk of what has been alleged for long; the individuals are already facing trial. Three points come to mind after watching television's theatrical presentation of Tehelka's latest 'expose' and reading Friday morning's newspapers.
First, the timing of the 'revelation', which has curiously come within days of the Prime Minister describing the violence as Gujarat's "Holocaust", raises an uncomfortable question: Why did Tehelka wait till a month before Assembly election in Gujarat since it has had the 'information' for some months? Second, the wisdom of resuscitating the ghosts of a communal violence people would rather forget and move on with their lives, more so in Gujarat, defies logic. Third, the ease with which our 'secularists' gloss over other more horrendous killings -- I am not referring to the slaughter of Pandits and the subsequent ethnic cleansing of Kashmir Valley -- while insisting that the 2002 violence in Gujarat is the worst India has seen in its 'modern history' is truly astonishing.
Once again we hear the cacophony of 'secularist' clamour insisting that "thousands of Muslims" were killed in Gujarat. Specific details inevitably fall victim to such sweeping statements. So, let me recall for you what Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Sri Prakash Jaiswal, whose credentials as a Congress loyalist are impeccable, told Parliament while replying to a Rajya Sabha MP's question on the 2002 violence in Gujarat. The details provided by Mr Jaiswal in his reply are in total variance to the outrageous claims of the 'secularists' to which we continue to be subjected ever so often, courtesy news channels and newspapers that can no longer distinguish between information and disinformation. Since the Minister's reply provides some interesting facts that deserve to be placed in the public domain, it would be in order to reproduce the salient portions. Lest I be accused of tampering with the Minister's reply, I have decided to quote the excerpts verbatim from a PTI report. You can't get more kosher than that.
The Central Government informed the Rajya Sabha that 254 Hindus and 790 Muslims were killed in the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Sri Prakash Jaiswal said a total of 223 people were reported missing and 2,548 sustained injuries during the riots in 2002.
He said the Government paid Rs 1.5 lakh to the next of kin of each person killed and Rs 5,000, Rs 15,000, Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 for the injured. The amount for the injured was based on the extent of injury, the Minister added.
According to this reply in Parliament, the Minister of State for Home Affairs in the Congress-led UPA Government has pegged the death toll of the 2002 riots at 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus. Yet, these figures are not reflected in the propagandist pronouncements of those who claim to champion the cause of India's Muslims. More often than not we come across claims of 'thousands of Muslims butchered by Hindu fanatics in Narendra Modi's Gujarat.' This is a lie that has been repeated ad nauseam since that terrible day when Hindus travelling by Sabarmati Express were roasted alive after their coach was set ablaze by Muslim fanatics.
It has been repeated the most by India's Marxists who subscribe to the Goebbelsian tactic of repeating a lie till in the popular perception it comes to be identified as the truth. And, it is on the strength of such contrived truth that the Marxists make preposterous claims. For instance, the claim that the communal violence in Gujarat was 'the worst in modern Indian history.' In one grand sweep, our 'secularists' brush aside the far more horrendous riots that have resulted in far more gruesome blood-letting. We do not have to go too far back in 'modern Indian history' to locate some of these riots.
The massacre in Malliana has been conveniently forgotten; brutal memories of the riots in Meerut have been obliterated. The nightlong massacre of Muslims at Nellie in Assam, which witnessed suckling infants being snatched from their mothers' arms and being speared to death, has been erased from the secularists' record of 'modern Indian history.' Stomach-churning details of the Bhagalpur riots -- Muslims were killed, buried in fields and cauliflower and other winter vegetables planted over the rotting cadavers -- no longer feature in the secularists' collective conscience. The anti-Sikh pogrom that followed Mrs Indira Gandhi's assassination is not even talked about any more: More than 4,000 Sikhs were murdered, many of them by placing burning tyres around their necks. Each of these massacres of innocent men, women and children took place when the Congress was in power and did nothing more than twiddle its thumbs as marauders went about their pillaging secure in the belief that they would not be punished.
Yet, the Congress and its 'secular' allies, more so the Marxists, have the gumption to claim that the riots in Gujarat were 'the worst in modern Indian history.' Perhaps they are referring to history after it has been purged of uncomfortable facts by the detox army led by Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh. Crass minorityism comes easily to the Congress and its cheer leaders. That is the reason why propaganda disguised as campaign to promote 'secularism' is deployed with such ease, regardless of the truth. And appeasement of the worst variety is projected as 'secular' policy.
Whose interest is served by such Goebbelsian propaganda? Clearly, neither that of India 's Muslims nor that of our nation. It serves the purpose of vote-bank politics, which has become the bane of our democracy. Worse, it perpetuates hate, polarises communities and divides society. There is more: It provides fodder to those who gain the most from gaping, festering wounds -- bigots, zealots and extremists for whom religion is a convenient cover and imagined grievances justification enough to wreak vengeance by killing innocent men, women and children.
It's a pity and a shame that media has now become an instrument of political manipulation. Instead of empowering people, it has elected to disempower them by peddling half-truths and outright lies.