Mike Ghouse, October 22, 2007
On February 27, 2002, in the State of Gujarat, India, a compartment of the train was set afire when the train stopped in the town of Godhra leaving 59 men and women burnt beyond recognition. It was alleged that the Muslims set the fire and poured the gasoline in the bogey carrying the 59 karsevaks (volunteers) returning from a pilgrimage to Ayodhya where a 15th century Mosque was razed to ground by the extremists claiming that it was built on a former temple.
Immediately following the Godhra incident, the State of Gujarat witnessed the ugliest of all genocides in human history butchering and burning pregnant women and children by the extremists killing nearly 1500 people and leaving thousands homeless. One of the instigators was a Medical doctor by the name of Dr. Parveen Togadia.
According to the Human rights activists and reports, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mr. Narendra Modi was tacitly involved in the carnage. The Federal government run by the right wingers at that time, did not condemn this mayhem, instead the home minister gave a clean chit to the Chief Minister.
Justice is the driving machine of the world peace, whenever there is adharma, dharma (righteousness) counters back to bring an equilibrium to the society. Truth had to emerge one time or the other; you cannot commit a crime and remain quite forever. Justice has to be met. Hope has to be restored to the victims. When there is justice, people feel secure, knowing that no one is going to take advantage of them or vice-versa, it is one of the safest feelings one can have in a civilized nation and that assures sustainable peace and prosperity to one and all. The other choice is to live in fear, if you do the wrong to a people, your own psyche won’t let you live in peace, unless you do your pra-es-chit (repentance) or restore justice.
The collective conscience of India and the peace loving Hindu community was repulsed and outraged at this act of violence. Thanks to the Indian media for playing a fair role in reporting. Except the right wing newspapers, almost all the media was outraged.
Documentaries have been made and ample proof is available now.
On October 22nd, 2007, Tehelka, India’s leading investigative Magazine has captured the criminals on Camera, admitting their involvement in the genocide, and deliberate annihilation of Muslims. All the while police did nothing to stop the carnage. The Chief Minister apparently gave three days to the extremists to clean out the Muslims.
Parallels can be drawn between Hitler and Modi. Both of them had an Iron clad grip on some of their people, both of them brought economic prosperity while one was annihilating Jews, the other was tacitly letting Muslims be butchered. The ones who were/are reaping the benefits of the unprecedented economic prosperity considered both the men as their God given leaders; their word was the final word to them. However deep down, any soul should feel the intense pain and suffering of the victims, after all without such feeling, one cannot be called a human. Adharma is a bigger killer of a civil society than any weapons of mass destruction.
As a thinker, I have consistently maintained that the blame should be placed squarely on the individuals, not on their family, not on their religion and not on their ethnicity or culture. Blaming a religion is an useless act, as you cannot punish an intangible, and the criminal goes Scot free.
Blaming Hindus or Muslims will arouse the sentiments of a whole lot of people and nothing will get done. Just blame the criminals by their name, and punish them, very few will squeak. If a Mohamed Ali is punished, it is Mohamed Ali who is to be punished and not a Muslim that is punished. If a Parveen Modi is punished, it is Parveen Modi the individual and not a Hindu, the religion, and no Hindu should take an offense to that, nor a Muslim should be offended if Mohamed Ali is meted out the punishment allowable by the law. If we can get to this point and understand this principle, we can fight terrorism bravely and clean out the terrorists’ one at a time.
It is the duty of all Citizens, and it is in the interest of keeping peace and harmony to punish the criminals who set the fire to the train, and those who were responsible for the massacre. The Central Government should ruthlessly pursue and punish all criminals, it will build an atmosphere of justice and every Indian can feel that justice will be met for all the injustices.
• Tehelka investigation – open each item in the link to read:
• Chronology of events : http://www.onlinevolunteers.org/gujarat/reports/pucl/vv_annexure2.pdf
Justice is the most critical aspect of human life, when it is not met in this life, we are assured, through our faith traditions, that it will be served, that is how the spiritual equilibrium is achieved. One set of faiths believe in life after death, where one is accountable for the deeds in the world and receives grace and blessings or punishment depending on how he or she lived the life. The other set of faiths believe that life is cyclical; one is born continuously through re-incarnation and birthing in lower forms of life as a payment for living the wrong life or will complete the life cycle and get the salvation for living the life of goodness. Either belief set has the same essence - behavior modification in this life and sure justice at the end.
It is in the interest of our nation and the psyche of Indians to bring justice, as it brings to rest all the un-rest, so peace and prosperity can take root. Every individual should feel a sense of comfort that no one will take undue advantage of them, justice will prevail. It is the most secure feeling the Government of India can offer her Citizens.
Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the www.FoundationforPluralism.com and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of the www.WorldMuslimCongress.com with a simple theme: "Good for Muslims and good for the world." His personal Website is www.MikeGhouse.net and his articles can be found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs: http://MikeGhouseforAmerica.Blogspot.com and http://MikeGhouse.Sulekha.com Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at MikeGhouse@gmail.com For a full bio: http://www.mikeghouse.net/ProfileMikeGhouse.asp
TV channels blacked out in Gujarat as riot sting played
Friday October 26, 10:23 PM
Ahmedabad: For the Patel family based in Ahmedabad, it
turned out to be a futile attempt on Thursday evening.
They couldn't see their favourite news channels while
the rest of the country sat glued to their TV sets,
watching the Tehelka expose on the horrors of 2002
riots. For many Gujaratis, the anxiety actually turned
out to be killing.
"We wanted to watch the programme, but TV is off since
Thursday," said an Ahmedabad resident.
The Gujarat Government blacked out several TV channels
on Thursday night after the channels started beaming a
sting operation done by Tehelka that accused Chief
Minister Narendra Modi of inciting the 2002 Gujarat
Moments after the channels started beaming the expose,
the state government got into action mode. The
District Magistrate of Ahmedabad, Dhananjay Dwivedi ï¿½
who is also the district election officer ï¿½ directed
all cable networks not to show channels like CNN-IBN,
IBN-7 and Aaj Tak ï¿½ the channels that were showing the
An order issued by the Ahmedabad District Magistrate
and District Election Officer Dhananjay Dwivedi said:
"From 19:30 hours (IST), onwards, dated 25.10.07,
there are programmes like Tehelka-Aaj Tak Khulasa,
Operation Kalank and Gujarat ka Sach being telecast on
Aaj Tak and IBN7 depicting visuals and statements of
people pertaining to the 2002 communal riots. As per
Clause 5 of the Cable TV Network Regulation, 1995, no
entity can broadcast or re-broadcast any programme,
which is not as per programming code."
Subsequently, all these channels went off air in most
parts of Gujarat from 1930 hours (IST) on Thursday.
The administration claimed it's a violation of Clause
5 of Cable TV Network Regulation, which deals with
broadcasting programmes which could create communal
The state authorities accused the TV channels of
spreading ï¿½more communal discordï¿½ in the state than
the people who actually featured on the Tehelka tapes.
For instance, the language used by leaders like Babu
Bajrangi, Haresh Bhatt, Dhabal Patel and Madan Dhanraj
in the tapes could easily turn the situation far more
dangerous than what was being shown, they say.
The Central Election Commission, however, washed its
hands off the controversy. It said it didn't issue any
such orders. The clarification came in the wake of
large-scale complaints from viewers all over Gujarat
that they were not able to watch the programme.
The three channels have remained off-air when reports
last came in as the ban order has no time-frame as to
when the ban will be lifted.
OUTRAGED INDIAN AMERICANS DEMAND THE DISMISSAL OF
GUJARAT STATE GOVERNMENT IN INDIA
For Immediate Release:
Friday, October 26, 2007: Several prominent
Indian organizations and individuals based in US
& Canada are calling for the immediate dismissal
of the state government in Gujarat, India
following an exposé by the Tehelka news magazine
in which many top Hindu nationalist figures
linked to the administration admitted to their
active role in orchestrating and perpetrating the
massacre and ethnic cleansing of Muslims in 2002
in Gujarat. The exposé reveals active
participation of key state institutions including
police forces and judiciary in the anti-minority
Several national and international human rights
organizations including Amnesty International and
Human Rights Watch have maintained since 2002
that the Gujarat government led by the BJP Chief
Minister Narendra Modi orchestrated these
pogroms. Following widespread protests by many
Indian American organizations, Modi was denied
visa by the United States administration in 2005
on account of his human rights record.
The Tehelka tapes present incontestable evidence
of the involvement of state machinery in the
massacre. It captures several confessions
including that of
- The state prosecutor Arvind Pandya who
stated that the "mass killings of Muslims in
Gujarat should be celebrated every year as a
victory day" and that "Every judge was calling me
in his chamber and showing full sympathy for me -
giving full cooperation to me, but keeping some
distance- the judges were also guiding me as and
when required - how to put up a case and on which
date- because basically they are Hindus"
- Another confession came from Babu Bajrangi
who stated that "to get me out of jail, [Chief
Minister] Narendra Modi changed judges thrice".
- Yet another MLA acknowledged that Modi gave
him "three days to do whatever violence they
In a further disturbing incident that reflects
upon the dictatorial nature of the presiding
administration in Gujarat, reports are pouring in
from the ground that state government is forcing
the TV operators to block/censor the telecast of
The following organizations and individuals
endorsing the above statement are calling upon
the government of India for:
1. The immediate dismissal of the Narendra
Modi administration and imposition of President's
rule in Gujarat.
2. The immediate arrest of the all criminals
who have confessed their crimes in the Tehelka
3. The transfer of all legal cases pertaining
to the Gujarat pogroms of 2002 to a court outside
1. AFMI: American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin
2. AIM: Association of Indian Muslims
3. Dharma Megha
4. FIACONA: Federation of Indian American
Christian Organizations of North America
5. FOSA: Friends of South Asia
6. GMAA: Gujarati Muslim Association of America
7. India Foundation
8. IACP: Indian American Coalition for Pluralism
9. IMC-USA: Indian Muslim Council – USA.
10. IMRC: Indian Muslim Relief & Charities
11. International Service Society
12. NRI-SAHI: Non Resident Indians for a Secular and Harmonious India.
13. SANSAD: South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy
14. Seva International
15. SHRI: Supporters of Human Rights in India
16. Vedanta Society of East Lansing
17. Washington Watch
1. Abraham Mammen (President, FIACONA)
2. Dr. Angana Chatterji (California Institute of Integral Studies)
3. Biju Matthew (Associate Professor, Rider University)
4. Firoz Vohra (President GMAA)
5. George Abraham (National Coordinator, NRI-SAHI)
6. Ghazi Akailvi (Chairman, SHRI)
7. Prof. Hari Sharma (SANSAD)
8. K S Sripada Raju (Director, Washington Watch)
9. Kaleem Kawaja (AIM)
10. Khalid Azam (IMC-USA)
11. Manzoor Ghaori (IMRC)
12. Ms. Mayuri Poddar (Director, Vaishnava Center)
13. Najma Sultana (NRI-SAHI)
14. Nasir Chhipa (Washington DC)
15. Nilesh Modhwadia (New Jersey)
16. Raju Rajagopal
17. Rasheed Ahmed (President, IMC-USA)
18. Saeed Patel (IACP)
19. Dr. Shaik Ubaid (Founder President ImanNet)
20. Dr. Shakir Mukhi (AFMI)
21. Shrikumar Poddar (Director, International Service Society)
1. Dr. Hyder Khan, Supporters of Human Rights in India: Tel: 612-889-7334
2. George Abraham, NRI-SAHI, Tel: 917-544-4137
3. Rasheed Ahmed, Indian Muslim Council-USA: Tel: 630-670-8875
4. Dr. Shaik Ubaid, Indian American Coalition for Pluralism: Tel: 516-567-0783
Washington Post: Hindus Detail Involvement in Deadly '02 Riots in India
Sify: News Channels Blacked Out After Tehelka exposé
Gujarat 2002 - The Truth: In the words of men who did it
'To Get Me Out On Bail, Narendrabhai Changed Judges Thrice'
'All The Cops Helped, Even Gave Us Cartridges'
'It Should Be Something History Has Never Seen'
'They Hacked Him Bit By Bit, Then Burnt Him Alive'
'Explosives Experts Helped Make The Bombs'
'KG Shah Is Our Man. Nanavati Is Only After Money'
'Muslims, They Don't Deserve To Live'
Open Case: Gaping Loopholes; Shut Case: Proof Of Subversion
Read my blog at http://antihistory.blogspot.com
Oct 26, 2007, 14:06 GMT
New Delhi, Oct 26 (IANS) The Tehelka expose into the Gujarat 2002 communal violence Friday saw strong demands for the ouster of Gujarat chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s poster boy Narendra Modi as well as for his arrest and a fresh Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the carnage.
The Congress party, which was cautious in its initial reaction fearing a Hindu polarisation in the election-bound Gujarat, Friday demanded Modi's resignation for his alleged role in 'sanctioning' the communal violence in the state.
'If the constitution of India is to be upheld, if we still call ourselves a civilised society, if the right to life has any meaning at all, if human rights are to be upheld, Narendra Modi should immediately step down from public office,' Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan said.
An undercover operation conducted by Tehelka weekly caught Hindu activists, accused in the sectarian violence, as alleging that Modi 'sanctioned' the 2002 riots, in which more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed.
'The BJP needs to come clean on this issue and explain its position to the nation,' the Congress party said.
The BJP put up a brave face to the charges, and declared that the expose would in no way affect its prospects in the state assembly elections due in December.
BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters in the national capital that the BJP has asked the Election Commission to check the attempts at aggravating communal polarisation in the state through the expose.
Among others who attacked Modi was Congress ally and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad. He demanded immediate arrest of Narendra Modi and BJP leader L.K. Advani for 'orchestrating the mass murder' in the state after the Godhra train inferno.
'The sting operation by Tehelka aptly christened 'Operation Kalank' (disgrace) has exposed Modi's deep involvement in the post-Godhra Gujarat riots. People now know the real faces involved in the crime against humanity,' Lalu Prasad told reporters in Patna.
He added: 'Since Modi enjoys the patronage Advani, the opposition leader in the Lok Sabha, the latter cannot escape culpability for the mass murder.'
However, the railway minister echoed the apprehensions of the Congress leaders, who said Modi might use the sting operation and its fallout to polarise the voters. He said the BJP could utilise the sting operation to once again whip up passions in the state with an eye to the elections.
Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary A.B. Bardhan wanted the Election Commission to stop Modi from contesting the state elections. 'The Election Commission should ensure that all those involved in the incidents should not be allowed to contest the elections,' he said.
The state goes to elections on Dec 11 and 16.
Both the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Congress pleaded to the Supreme Court to expedite the cases pending against the culprits in the Gujarat genocide.
'The Tehelka tapes should be taken as prime facie evidence and the Supreme Court and the central government should move expeditiously to see that all those guilty are brought to justice.
'The central government and the law enforcement agencies have a special responsibility in this regard,' the CPI-M politburo stressed.
In a statement, Congress leader and Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said: 'We hope and pray that the Supreme Court will decide on the long pending requests before it expeditiously, to meet the ends of justice and to uphold the majesty and supremacy of law.'
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, asking him to order a fresh Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the Gujarat violence.
'The manner in which the direct involvement of the Gujarat government and some close allies of the ruling BJP has been brought to light in the sting operation ... clearly shows how the massacre of members of a particular minority was undertaken with evident state patronage,' the chief minister noted.
BJP spokesperson Prasad questioned the timing of the operation, saying: 'Has Tehelka done any sting operation against any Congress government, whether at the state or central levels?'
He charged Tehelka with acquiring benefits during the Congress regime and said one of Tehelka's investors, Shankar Sharma, had got heavy tax relief.
He said a judicial process was already underway in Gujarat to punish those guilty of violence. 'Court trials are on and a commission of inquiry is trying to come out with the truth about what happened there.'
In Ahmedabad, the BJP maintained a cool facade with state party chief Purushottam Rupala saying the expose would not impact on the party during the elections.
'These issues were the same as those raised during the 2002 elections. The outcome of that poll showed that they did not cut any ice with the electorate. If they did not have any impact then, it can hardly have any effect five years later,' Rupala told IANS.
He said the sting had no 'evidentiary value' under the Indian laws. 'The various matters raised were already before different courts. The allegations now will certainly have no impact,' he said.
Collector acted on his own, no order from Gujarat poll panel’
Cable operators refuse to say whether there was any instruction
AHMEDABAD: No instruction has been issued by the State Election Commission to black out telecast of the Tehelka expose on the 2002 communal riots. It seemed that Ahmedabad Collector Dhananjay Dwivedi issued an official order, on his own, to cable television operators in his jurisdiction to black out the telecast, sources in the Chief Electoral Officer’s office said.
The Commission is reported to be enquiring from the Collectorate the reason for issuing the order, copies of which were also sent to the Principal Secretary, the Home Department, the Chief Electoral Officer, the Ahmedabad Police Commissioner and the Office of the Entertainment Tax Commissioner.
Consequently, almost all news channels, barring a few, which had picked up the Tehelka expose and had been running discussions and reactions on the programme telecast since Thursday evening, were blacked out by cable operators in Ahmedabad, while showing the entertainment, sports and other channels normally. A large majority of the viewers in the State, particularly in urban areas served by the cable television network, could not view the expose. For, most networks had gone off the air since Thursday evening, just as Aaj Tak and Headlines Today started showing the Tehelka expose.
When contacted, cable operators declined to confirm whether there was any instruction from the government to switch off the channels. They claimed that they could not telecast the channels due to some “technical problems,” but could not explain how the problems occurred simultaneously in different parts of the State.
Voluntary organisations working for protection of human rights, condemned the Ahmedabad Collector’s order. The Delhi-based non-governmental organisation, Act Now for Harmony and Democracy, criticised the “undemocratic decision of the Gujarat government” to stop telecast by the news channels showing the Tehelka expose.
There was no official reaction from the State government on the Tehelka expose and Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who was accused of direct involvement in the post-Godhra riots, remained incommunicado. The BJP and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders who were shown in the sting operation went underground. Some of them were reported to have gone out of the State.
While Congress leaders are worried that the timing of the expose could again polarise Hindu votes in favour of Mr. Modi, State BJP spokesman Vijay Rupani said it would have no impact on the December Assembly elections. Blaming the Congress for “manipulating” the sting operation, he said, “Let any Muslim say he had been harassed in Gujarat in the last five years.”
State Congress president Bharat Solanki, refusing to comment on the expose, said, “Let people decide.” However, some senior Congress leaders, on condition of anonymity, said the expose had come at a very inopportune time for the party and Mr. Modi would try to present it as a concerted effort by his critics to “defame Gujarat” all over the world.
The then Minister of State for Home, Gordhan Jhadafiya, named in the expose as having supported the rioters, has turned a dissident and is hobnobbing with the Congress.
Most of the leaders named belonged to the VHP, but the Congress would not be able to take advantage of their dissatisfaction with Mr. Modi, these leaders point out.