Home > Uncategorized > The conversation on Gujarat riots should not be about Narendra Modi

The conversation on Gujarat riots should not be about Narendra Modi

The conversation on Gujarat riots should not be about Narendra Modi.  It should be about the victims of those riots, rendering justice to them, and their proper rehabilitation back into society.


More than anything else, Gujarat should be about ensuring that the riots never happen again. This is best accomplished through a process of acknowledging the truth and constructing a reconciliatory narrative that transcends the past by looking to establish a better future. Do we really have any other choice?


Instead Gujarat has got bogged down by a narrative centered on Narendra Modi, one of the most polarizing politicians on the Indian political scene today. The conversation has veered to his prospects as BJP’s candidate for the Prime Minister’s job.  His detractors have concentrated on tripping him over Gujarat while his devotees ignore the riots victims, & indeed the damage that the riots did to our secular republic, in order to defend his future political utility.  Both are unfair to riots victims.


Gujarat riots must be delinked from the political future of Modi as politician, whether in Gujarat or elsewhere.  The conversation on Gujarat that we need to have must remain focused on justice and our future as a secular republic.  For Modi was no more than a catalyst. The underlying fissures that challenge the future of India as a secular republican democracy go much deeper & wider than his person.


Narendra Modi himself can lead the dialogue by taking responsibility for the riots that took place on his watch.  He can affirm his determination to quickly rehabilitate the riot victims still awaiting return of their properties or compensation.  Much of the unnecessary bitterness and venom can be drawn out of the discourse by Modi himself if he so wishes.  But in doing so he would be placing reconciliation at a higher plane than mere retribution.


Modi devotees need to realize that Modi has little chance of emerging as a pan-Indian leader if they continue to hold him as a prisoner of their vicious discourse on minorities.   By being portrayed as the leader of a narrow and regressive ideology that they espouse, how can Modi win wider support outside Gujarat?  Do they expect him to win the Prime Minister’s job in 2014 merely on the strength of negative votes against the Congress? It is time for them to wake up from blind devotion and smell the coffee.  Voters across India are no longer hostage to narrow divisions of the past.


The legal process to determine Modi’s culpability for the riots is already underway.  It may well fail to reach any conclusions in time for 2014. That being so, the larger question of his responsibility for the riots should be left to normal electoral politics however unsatisfactory that may be.


But the conversation on Gujarat must return to basics.  We cannot take our democracy for granted.  Justice to victims, their urgent rehabilitation, should take precedence over all else.  Let us put the future at the center of our conversation.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. May 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    O Yeah I to said same but after spending 10 years of ur great struggle & reading 22000 page SIT report & Raju telling Bhatt is fake u woke up… Infact u r weeping for the affected ppl for first time!! Otherwise Modi’s Pseudo-Development & “Modi is responsible” was all u did.. Look back to ur own Blogs!!

  2. May 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    It’s good that finally someone is talking about shifting focus off from NaMo.
    You are talking about rehabiliating the affected people but do you have concrete information on those displaced people? People have moved on and most of the victims have settled in their own way. Scars of riots still there but normal life has been established for them. People outside Gujarat should visit Gujarat in person to know ground reality before tossing up this matter every now n then.
    You talk about ensuring riots doesn’t take place in future. If you have infomration on any serious riots in Gujarat in last 10 years then pls share it with readers. If you know the history of Gujarat during Congress Raj, communal riots were pretty common every now n then. In 10 years rule of NaMo, he has ensured that no riots took place and people can earn their livlihood in peaceful environment.
    Investigation of the Gujarat Riots has been the most extensive investigation in the history of country. Many have even been convicted by court. No. of committies and SITs have investigated and submitted their report still if politicos n some pseudo seculars remain adamant that justice is not served until NaMo is prosecuted then it’s wrong to believe.
    People of Gujarat have moved on but people outside Gujarat still having fun at raking up this issue time n again for their own interests. One should visit the Gujarat and see the ground reality rather than writing the posts from the comfort of home based on the reports of biased media.

    Hope sense previals.

  3. manoj
    May 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    We always fail to understand the difference between state and society. As a state, Gujrat has not performed very badly in handling the riot or after effects (just see the SIT report or no. of people already convicted).
    The problem is the way our society is.. the bias against other religions is too wide (if not very deep).. unfortunately the recent world events have not helped in getting over those feelings. Also, the society does not change as quickly as we wish. They have their own speed and intelligence.
    ppl who oppose Modi also somehow don’t want to work on the bigger problem. They concentrated more on state than society. They failed to sympathize with the family of innocent people killed in the train burning due to which Modi is/was able to get their trust.

  4. May 10, 2012 at 3:17 am

    Why is it Sonali, that the media and people always refer to Muslim lives lost during the post Godhra riots when one 59 lives Hindus were burnt alive in Godhra, 250 Hindus were killed during these riots and Hindus were attacked by Muslims their property damaged. There are some newsreports on Hindu sufferring but far and few.

  5. May 10, 2012 at 5:15 am

    The focus should have been on justice to victims, rehabilitation RIGHT FROM THE START. Instead some vested interests (paidmedia,bots,congress party)shifted the focus only on MODI and prejudged him to be guilty of leading the riots from front which has been proved by SIT report to be completely false. It was precisely this mistaken focus on an individual who happens to be Modi, his supporters where trying to tell the world, not to protect him from law.His supporters NEVER claim he should be let off in courts without due process of law, but the vested interests , modi bashing cottage industry pronounced him guilty and continues to do so even after the SIT report without giving benefit of doubt. SIT report has shown with details how competently he handled the situation.

  6. May 10, 2012 at 10:36 am

    True , but very unlikely to happen – as both sides will continue to hype and polarize…

  7. Aneet
    May 12, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    wow finally… its good to see your narrative change. Its shame that it comes at a very heavy price that we in society pay for the likes of your ilk, who wish to take such a moral high ground. Wish you and you ilk had raised the right noises first about the bringing succor to the victims…

    On the bright side.. hope this is a new dawn and the discourse changes to benefit of thsose who need it the most

    I look forward to an article on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits living in Camps in jammu… wonder when the heart of this self righteous brigade will bleed for them.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: