Terrorists and rioters have no religion?
First thing President Obama did on return to US was to publicly criticize India for her religious intolerance.
Terrorists deliberately plant bombs or more lethal explosives at public places calculated to kill and maim maximum number of innocent men , women and children. They knowingly shed the blood of people who have not hurt them or or their cause. Such people have no religion or conscience because no religion teaches or approves of shedding innocent blood. They have no conscience because no society teaches its members to kill those who are innocent and have done them or anyone else no harm. The same is true of the rioters who kill and maim those who have not hurt them. They do it invoking their religious faith forgetting that their religion strictly forbids such barbaric acts. Thus the terrorists and rioters perpetrating heinous crimes repudiate their religions and all human values. They are enemies of humanity ,and their abhorrent act is a ‘crime against humanity ‘ itself. They are a completely dehumanised counterpart of normal human beings who have human feelings, emotions, a sense of justice and conscience. Terrorists and rioters are anti-thesis of all normal human beings whatever be their religion. They are a class by themselves and must be clearly recognised as enemies of humanity .
The Indian State is committed to deal with them firmly according to the law without any discrimination. This commitment is clearly enshrined in our Constitution. However, the will of the State has to be expressed through the acts of the government , and the governments sometimes have been found to thwart the will of the Indian State to deal firmly with these enemies of humanity. Several thousand Sikhs were mercilessly slaughtered in Delhi in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984 with the tacit support of the government. The Union Government of the day headed by P.M Rajeev Gandhi betrayed the constitution and let the State down. However, it was not done in pursuance of an ideology but was an act done in a fit of anger to wreak vengeance on the entire Sikh community because a few members of the community had assassinated his mother. Rajeev Gandhi’s betrayal of the ideals of the Indian State is unpardonable , and history would not hold him innocent because he successfully subverted the rule of law by misusing his power and was not held guilty by a court of law.
The anti-Muslim riots of Gujarat in 2002 in which hundreds were killed and most other heinous crimes were perpetrated had the tacit patronage of the State government headed by Narendra Modi. The immediate cause again was wreaking vengeance against the entire Muslim community for the alleged burning of railway coaches by some Muslims at Godhra in which a large number of ‘Kar Sevaks’ returning from Ayodhya were burnt alive However, it was fundamentally different from the anti-Sikh riots of Delhi because, unlike the Delhi riots, it was also in pursuance of the ideology of the RSS , which was formed not to fight for India’s independence but to oppose ‘the yavan snakes ( Muslims) , who, reared on the milk of non -cooperation , were provoking riots in the nation with their poisonous hissing ‘( Hedgewar , the founfer of the RSS ). Thus the anti-Muslim feeling is in the DNA of the Sangh, which reared Narendra Modi and whose ideology he breathed and preached for more than two decades till he became the Chief Minister of Gujarat .
It was to his subotaging the ideals of the the Indian State with a view to pursue the ideology of the Sangh that the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Bajpai referred when he advised him to follow the “Raj Dharma” in the wake of the Gujarat riots. Narendra Modi has not been able to observe the Raj Dharma though he has been trying to make cosmetic changes in himself and the Parivar to which he belongs , as observing the Raj Dharma requires genetic change in their ideas and ideals . A cosmetic change can at best be a short term deception. His role as the Chief Minister and Prime Minister reveals this fact at every stage.
The Gujarat government made an all out effort to protect the Ministers , legislators and police officers who played direct and indirect role in perpetrating the crime against humanity. It was due to the relentless fight of Teesta Setalvad that more than hundred guilty men have been punished. But for the intervention of the Supreme Court ,all the culprits would have gone scot free. But as soon as Modiji became Prime Minister the ‘good days of the rioters associated with the Parivar returned. One of them Amit Shah is not only out of jail , but is the National President of the BJP. A former Minister Maya Kodnani , who was awarded a sentence for life is also out of jail and so is Bhai Bajarangi , another notorious character in the macabre drama of death. Good days of policemen languishing in jail have also come. Policemen who killed people in fake encounters are celebrating because Modi government is refusing to grant permission for their prosecution.
The Special Public Prosecutor in the Malegaon terror attack has gone public in revealing that the National Investigating Agency (NIA) responsible for pursuing the cases against terrorists is trying to influence her to help the accused. The accused in Malegaon terror attack on the Muslims belong to the extended Parivar. Aseemanand , the accused in the Samjhauta Express Terror attack in which 68 Pakistanis were killed, has just been released on bail. The Government is not going to challenge or oppose the bail. He , too, belongs to the Parivar. Now can Modiji expect to be trusted if he says all terrorists are the same and they have no religion? Or can he expect history to judge him innocent because he has subverted the rule of law and escaped a genuine trial ?
Besides, how is the Government of India under Narendra Modi different from the Governments in Pakistan , which have been protecting the terrorists attacking India if he himself protects terrorists and rioters attacking the Muslims in India? He may succeed in winning public support by creating anti-Muslim feelings here just as the Pakistan government does by exploiting anti-India feeling there ,but the whole world cannot be fooled. This policy would not only divide Indians but would also lower her hard earned prestige in the international community. To realise this , he just has to remember that he continues to be unwelcome in the US in his personal capacity as he continues to be ineligible for a VISA there. He should also remember that despite addressing President Obama as Barack and claiming his friendship, the first thing President Obama did on return to US was to publicly criticise India for her religious intolerance .
Modiji must overcome his ingrained prejudices and change genuinely to be able to serve India in the true sense; but that is a feat not to be accomplished by cosmetic changes.
Prof. Prabhakar Sinha
National President, People’s Union for Civil Liberties