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Who killed 254 Hindus in Gujarat?

Who killed 254 Hindus in Gujarat?

Author: Arvind Lavakare
Publication: Sify.com
Date: November 16, 2007
URL: http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=14562098&vsv=SHGTpicslot

Introduction: Arvind Lavakare may be 71, but the fire in his belly burns stronger than in many people half his age. The economics post-graduate worked with the Reserve Bank of India and several private and public sector companies before retiring in 1997. His first love, however, remains sports. An accredited cricket umpire in Mumbai, he has reported and commented on cricket matches for newspapers, Doordarshan and AIR. Lavakare has also been regularly writing on politics since 1997, and published a monograph, The Truth About Article 370, in 2005.

Even as a prominent TV channel, Aaj Tak, repeatedly aired its sponsored Tehelka tapes "exposing" Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his Gujarat government as Neros and mass murderers in the post-Godhra tragedy of 2002, B.P. Singhal, former IPS and ex-Rajya Sabha member, sent out to a newspaper his signed article that contained a nugget deserving entry in the cartoon panels of Robert Ripley's Believe It Or Not!

Below is that item in Singhal's own words:

"Aaj Tak harped on the same old refrain that 'Modi did not call the Army until three days had passed'. When the TV channel contacted me on phone to get my response, I told the anchor that the Godhra carnage took place on February 27, 2002, that the Hindu backlash commenced on February 28 and the Army was doing flag march on the forenoon of March 1… He cut me short by saying that 'This is exactly what we had said, no action was taken by Modi on 29th, 30th and 31st thus giving three clear days to the murderers…' I had to cut him short by reminding him that the date 28th was 28th of February 2002 and there were no 29th, 30th or 31st in that month. The phone was of course disconnected."

Singhal writes that he was "outraged" at the TV channel's above attitude. But as an old BJP man, he should have known better. After all, our "secular" media is known to hate the BJP's --or anybody else's-- Hindutva, and has scant regard for the truth when it comes to Narendra Modi or any other politician upholding the Hindus' point of view.

Just see the latest "spins" of Tehelka. "Since the police were in control all over Gujarat, Modi instructed them to side with the Hindus, giving the rioters a free hand for three days until pressure from higher quarters necessitated the calling in of the army," (emphasis mine) it avers. The fact is that "Shoot at sight" orders to all officers of the rank of sub-inspectors and above were given by 2.30 pm on 28 February. In fact, the state government had also requested armed police reinforcements from neighbouring states, besides calling for the Army. On that very day, 10 Hindus had been shot dead and 16 Hindus had been wounded --- all by police bullets.

In their over-anxiety to nail Modi and his alleged "pogrom", these "secularists" have totally forgotten what some of their own, but rare, conscientious colleagues had reported.

Thus, in its issue of April 28, 2002, The Times of India reporter, Sanjay Pandey, told us that of the 726 people who had been killed by then in the post-Godhra riots, 168 were Hindus. In its issue of June 24, 2002, The India Today magazine carried an article saying that the official figure of all people killed in Gujarat was 800 in the three months following the massacre at Godhra station of 58 Sri Ram's kar sevaks in the Sabarmati Express; of these 800, a quarter were Hindus, wrote the weekly.

And there's that ultimate statistic: in 2005, the Minister of State for Home of the UPA coalition (comprising the 'secular' friends of Muslims) made a written statement in Parliament that 254 Hindus and 790 Muslims were killed in those riots. Yes, groups of Hindus in revengeful lunacy caused by the 58 charred kar sevaks did kill and rape Muslims, but who killed the 254 Hindus? Was it Narendra Modi and his government or was it the lunatic Hindus themselves or was it the…?

Tehelka's latest "sting" shown on TV provides at least two more instances of this refusal by "secularists" to look at the truth.

They said that Modi congratulated one Babu Bajrangi at Naroda Patiya for his deeds against the Muslims. Again, Modi is said to have gone to the site of the Naroda Patiya massacre and acknowledged the efforts of the Chhara tribe who were key participants in the carnage there. The fact is Narendra Modi did not visit Naroda Patiya at that time!
In order to play up the horror of some of the ghastly deeds of those post-Godhra riots, Aaj Tak mixed the Tehelka tapes with clips from the movie Parzania that told a story around those riots.

Sadly, there is such fear in our institutions of these "secular exposes" that they will promptly jump into them, lies and all. Thus, the Nanavati Commission probing the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat quickly announced that it would examine the footage of Tehelka's latest "sting". Not to be outdone, the National Human Rights Commission announced that the CBI should investigate the tapes and, if needed thereafter, take necessary action.

All this because, unlike in the US and Europe where there are codes and regulations governing "sting" operations, our country has no statute or rule of any kind to control them. With our Supreme Court giving the widest possible latitude to "freedom of expression" under Article 19(1)(a), the state cannot impose any prior restraint on the freedom of the press on the grounds that the publication concerned would offend the privacy of any individual. No remedy will lie before publication.

That is why, in the Operation West End alleging corruption in defence procurements, while leading lawyers and journalists criticised the portal for using prostitutes to trap defence officials in a videotape, the support for Tehelka came from the Press Council of India. Its then Chairman, Justice P.B. Sawant, gave a clean chit to Tehelka saying the undercover operation was done in public interest. Hence, fabricating rascals and prevaricating rogues like Tehelka have a free run in our land with their scriptwriters and secret cameras. They are the ones who provide all the sadistic excitement to the Hindu-hating "secularists" of Hindu majority India.

This situation suits our media perfectly. They can pillory those perceived as evil without restraint. Thus, for five years now, our "secular" media has gone hammer and tongs after Narendra Modi and his government for the Godhra tragedy without even once alluding to the report of April 26, 2002 prepared by eminent private citizens headed by Justice Tewaria --- a report that indicted the role of the minority community in Godhra and the media for what had happened in Gujarat. (Readers who wish to obtain that report by e-mail should contact neelu@hathway.com)

Our media has, in fact, become so arrogant that it revolted against the draft Bill prepared earlier this year by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The draft of the content regulation, prepared by a sub-panel of a thirty-member committee overseen by I&B Secretary, hinted at stringent content regulation, particularly for news channels. However, when it came to regulating sting operations, it did not step beyond existing law. But our cocky media called it "draconian" among other epithets.

This time around, however, at least one individual has shown courage in taking on Tehelka's latest "tamasha".

Arvind Pandya, the state government's counsel in the Nanavati-Shah Commission, was shown in the Tehelka-Aaj Tak tapes casting aspersions on its two judges. According to what he says on the Tehelka tapes, Nanavati is after money and Shah is sympathetic to the government.

By the same author: Uncle Sam's nuclear hardsell

On October 27, he announced at a press conference that he had resigned as government counsel, and had filed criminal cases against Dhimant Purohit, correspondent of Aaj Tak, charging them with cheating, criminal conspiracy, breach of trust, fraud, trespass and breach of communal harmony. He contended that Purohit had offered him a role in a serial which the TV channel was purportedly producing and that he was captured on a hidden camera when he was reading from what had been given to him as a script for an audition test. The immediate result of Pandya's legal action was that Purohit sought anticipatory bail!

What ultimately happens to Pandya's cases should, it's suggested, be closely covered and followed up by all the media that cares for truth and decency in investigative journalism.

Such media, if they exist at all, should also ascertain why the usual bunch of social and human rights activists are not going to the highest judiciary and generally raising hell --- if not a "sting"---over the recent tragedy at Nandigram in Communist Bengal.

Our government's Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, called the Nandigram killings as a "state-sponsored terrorism". Then why is Teesta Setalvad mum? Why are she and the rest of the usual suspects so tongue-tied now, when for the minutest reason, they rant and rave against the RSS, the VHP, the BJP, the Bajrang Dal and the sadhus and saints of Hinduism? Are they counterfeits or communists? Or both? Or are they the real communalists who are plain anti-Hindus?

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