The imbalance named Naroda Patiya4 min read
Arrey hamari FIR me likha gaya hai… ek woh pregnant thi, usko to humne chir diya thha b*******d sala… Unko dikhaya ki kya hota hai… ki hum log ko tumne maara to hum tumko kya pratikaar de sakte hain… hum khichdi kadhi wale nahin hai [It has been written in my FIR… there was this pregnant woman, I slit her open, sisterf****r… Showed them what’s what… what kind of revenge we can take if our people are killed… I am no feeble rice-eater]
These were the exact words spoken by Babu Bajrangi, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader in a sting operation done by Tehelka in 2007. Bajrangi who was recently convicted for his role in the 2002 Gujarat riots has been sentenced to life-time imprisonment till death. In the above lines, he is boasting how he had slit open the stomach of the pregnant woman Kauser Bano with a sword and held her foetus aloft on the sword. The court even though rubbished his claims saying something like that could only be done by a gynaecologist or an experienced person, however agreed that Bajrangi had successfully attacked her and then ultimately burnt her there at the site and thus her homicidal death was committed along with her foetus in her body.
The Naroda-Patiya riots court verdict that came out after ten and a half years, even though strengthens our hope in the judiciary and our constitution; there are points to look at from a different lens altogether.
Talking about Bajrangi; here is a man who proudly confesses his misdoings, is not ashamed or filled with remorse and guilt for his ruthless acts but rather feels like a warrior who is going to sacrifice his life for the cause of Hindutva. The state of mind in which Bajrangi was, is focussed. He was on a killing spree. While the theme is common; his acts purely are not religious. He has been prey to this political idolisation where the scope of an idealistic state of mind is demolished in portions to craft and manufacture a product that Bajrangi is today.
Maya Kodnani, one of the 31 convicted, on the other hand was the BJP MLA of Naroda when the riot took place. She has been sentenced to life imprisonment for 28 years. This three times elected Member of the Legislative Assembly conspired and provoked Hindus to kill Muslims of that area and the riots peaked after her arrival taking the toll to 97. Her political vehicle has had a smooth drive ever since the riots. She was rightfully made the Minister for Women and Child Development of Gujarat in the Narendra Modi government, after winning the elections in 2007. She however had to resign in 2009 after her arrest by the Special Investigation Team (SIT). Kodnani, who is a gynaecologist by profession, is a pawn who righteously sowed seeds of abhorrence among each one of them. She decided to justify the wrong-doing of Godhra with another one substituting it at Naroda. But two wrongs never make a right. Both at their own levels remain the act of transgression.
While the media will deeply debate the verdict and use every opportunity to give this a Modi angle; the media in its true sense will neither discuss nor debate this psychological state of mind one is developing and the manner in which people are supporting this irrational hatred for Muslims. What needs to be debated is the societal mechanism we as citizens of this country are slowly adapting to and the diversified imbalance cases like these are creating.
We quickly link 2002 to 1984 (Delhi Sikh Riots) and vice versa. Both the national parties BJP and the Congress tactfully replace the debate with statistics of riots that took place in these years. But the vomit of hatred and the stink of this vomit are same each and every time from both sides. This bitter crop of communal disharmony only grows more and more. What exists from each side is creating and making this goliath stronger for their own gains. In simplified terms, it is like shitting in the same place you are eating.
While politicians belonging to this wing are born and nurtured inhabitants of this shit; we as citizens still try to process the logic on which side of the shit we belong to.
Sabari Saran is Editor-in-Chief, The Manipal Journal and a student of Manipal Institute of Communication.
The views expressed in the blog are personal.