I was shaken to the core. ‘Grief’, ‘Sadness’, ‘Misery’, ‘Pain’, ‘Anguish’, ‘Agony’ – mere words could not capture the absolute emptiness one felt on witnessing such inhumanity.
I had to single-mindedly focus all the strength given to me by the almighty, on the task of peace, justice and rehabilitation; burying the pain and agony I was personally wracked with.
During those challenging times, I often recollected the wisdom in our scriptures; explaining how those seating in positions of power did not have the right to share their own pain and anguish. They had to suffer it in solitude. I lived through the same.
This is the first time I am sharing the harrowing ordeal I had gone through in those days at a personal level.
However, as if all the suffering was not enough, I was also accused of the death and misery of my own loved ones, my Gujarati brothers and sisters.
Can you imagine the inner turmoil and shock of being blamed for the very events that have shattered you!
The Gujarat Government had responded to the violence more swiftly and decisively than ever done before in any previous riots in the country.
Yesterday’s judgement culminated a process of unprecedented scrutiny closely monitored by the highest court of the land, the Honourable Supreme Court of India. Gujarat’s 12 years of trial by the fire have finally drawn to an end. I feel liberated and at peace.
Emerging from this journey of pain and agony; I pray to God that no bitterness seeps into my heart.
JAIRUS BANAJI REPLIES TO MODIS ANGUISH ON A NOTE ON FACEBOOK
Unimaginable suffering’, ‘absolute emptiness’, ‘agonizing days’, ‘shaken to the core’…Nope, this isn’t some existentialist potboiler, it’s Mr I-can’t-wait-to-be-Prime-Minister blogging with contrived passion about how devastated he was by the horrific violence that exploded under his watchful gaze back in 2002. ‘Grief’, ‘sadness’, ‘misery’, ‘pain’, ‘anguish’ – these are ‘mere words’, he says, compared to the state of utter depletion he was suffering at the time. Okay, this isn’t Booker prize stuff but in a culture where no politician ever bares his/her soul quite this way, what is this politician up to? From the Art of Secrecy (the bestseller commonly known as Snoopgate) to Theatre of Hypocrisy (Sadbhavana), we’ve had a series of stunning oeuvres in the last few years, is this the latest instalment?
When a Washington lobbyist firm helped with his massive image makeover, the PR rush that surged through his veins had to be telling him, one can remake images like plasticine. From rabid communalism to super-efficient capitalism to Mr Compassionate, the angst-ridden leader who saw his ‘loved ones’ slaughtering his ‘loved ones’ and found himself in a hopeless labyrinth of solitude. No one knew what he was feeling, no one understood him…
Well, thank God for reality. Thank God for the aged Vithal Pandya and what he told the Nanavati-Shah Commission on Thursday 3 February 2005. He was 76 at the time and father of the slain ex-minister of Gujarat Haren Pandya:
“Pandya said his son had told him that a meeting of BJPworkers took place in Lunawada in the Panchmahals on February 27, 2002 — the day when the Godhra carnage took place — where Modi instructed workers to fan out in the state. “Haren told me about the incident. He also told me that the authorities had instructed the police that revenge for the Godhra deaths shouldbe allowed and that they should go soft on kar sevaks,” Pandya told thecommission.
Pandya said, “He (Haren) had observed that this was for the first time that the state government had supported a bandh call given by an outfit (on February 28) and no previouschief minister of Gujarat had supported such a call during past communal riots.””
This was reported in The Times of India the very next day (4 February 2005) and has the full ring of authenticity, testimony proffered to a Commission whose head (Retd. Justice G. T. Nanavati) washostile to this witness. But the aged Pandya was clearly beyond caring what happened to him personally when powerful forces could have his son assassinated in broad daylight with such shameless temerity.
And the notorious meeting on the night of 27 February at the CM’s bungalow? Haren Pandya was almost certainly killed not for a private conversation with his dad that told the latter about the instructions conveyed to the activists gathered at Lunawada but for his fatal disclosure of the details of the night meeting in Gandhinagar. Here’s a report dated 3 June 2002:
“The minister spoke to the tribunal on the condition that it would not name him in its finalreport. Another member of the panel has also confirmed the minister’sdeposition.
The minister told Outlook that in his deposition, he revealed that onthe night of February 27, Modi summoned DGP K. Chakravarthy, commissioner ofpolice, Ahmedabad, P.C. Pande, chief secretary G. Subarao, home secretary AshokNarayan, secretary to the home department K. Nityanand (a serving police officer of IG rank on deputation) and DGP (IB) G.S. Raigar. Also present wereofficers from the CM’s office: P.K. Mishra, Anil Mukhim and A.K. Sharma. The minister also told Outlook that the meeting was held at the CM’sbungalow.
The minister told the tribunal that in the two-hour meeting, Modi made it clearthere would be justice for Godhra the next day, during the VHP-called bandh. He ordered that the police should not come in the way of “the Hindu backlash”. At one point in this briefing, according to the minister’s statement to the tribunal, DGP Chakravarthy vehemently protested. But he was harshly told by Modi to shut up and obey. Commissioner Pande, says the minister, would later show remorse in private but at that meeting didn’t have the guts to object.
According to the deposition, it was a typical Modi meeting: more orders than discussion. By the end of it, the CM ensured that his top officials—especially the police—would stay out of the way of Sangh parivar men. The word was passed on to the mobs.”
The word was passed on to the mobs. So, what about the ‘anguish’? ‘Pain’? ‘Agony’? ‘Absolute emptiness’? More like eternal sunshine of a spotless mind.
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