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archive: Other myths to "internalise"

Other myths to "internalise"

Varsha Bhosle
Rediff on Net
August 9, 1999


    Title: Other myths to "internalise"
    Author: Varsha Bhosle
    Publication: Rediff on Net
    Date: August 9, 1999
    
    "Only those whose heart beats for the Sangh Parivar will
    take the Wadhwa Commission's findings on the murder of
    Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons in
    Orissa earlier this year at their face value. Any such
    bestiality may have a single individual pressing the
    trigger; but that does by no stretch means [sic] that
    the still-at-large assassin was not governed by
    religious fanaticism." ~ The Asian Age editorial of 8
    August, 1999.
    
    Let's play a game. Of substitution: Only those whose
    heart beats for the minorities will take the Srikrishna
    Commission's findings on the murder of the six Hindu
    victims of the Radhabai Chawl massacre early in 1993 at
    their face value. Any such bestiality may have
    individuals lighting the matchsticks; but that does by
    no stretch mean that the still-at-large assassins were
    not governed by religious fanaticism...
    
    Not 3 victims, but 6. Locked in and burnt alive. The
    number would have been 9, but two minors and one girl
    survived after sustaining disfiguring burns.
    
    During the Staines hearing, three persons deposed before
    Justice DP Wadhwa that the attackers raised the slogans
    'Bajrang Bali ki jai' and 'Dara Singh ki jai.' (In his
    testimony, Pratap Chandra Sarangi, state coordinator of
    the Bajrang Dal, denied that 'Bajrang Bali ki jai' was
    his organisation's rallying cry. The Dal's chants are
    'Vande Mataram' and 'Bharat Mata ki jai'.) During the
    Radhabai Chawl hearing, six witnesses deposed before
    Justice Srikrishna that the assailants stood around
    shouting 'Allah-o-Akbar' and fled only when they heard
    the police sirens.
    
    The Srikrishna report stated: "There is no material on
    record suggesting that known Muslim individuals or
    organisations were responsible for the riots though a
    number of individual Muslims and Muslim criminal
    elements appear to have indulged in violence... That
    they were criminals was underplayed by Hindus; that they
    were Muslims was all that mattered."
    
    The Wadhwa report states: "There is no evidence that any
    authority or Organisation was behind these gruesome
    killings... There were criminal cases pending against
    him [Dara] and yet he was not declared as absconder..."
    That he was a criminal is disregarded by "secularists";
    that he is a Hindu is all that matters...
    
    The three Christians were murdered in January 1999.
    Seven months later, their assassin is "still-at-large."
    The six Hindus were murdered in 1993. Six years later,
    their assassins are...?
    
    Three days after the Radhabai Chawl arson, the police
    arrested 17 Muslims. In October 1996, 11 of them were
    convicted by the additional sessions judge of the TADA
    court and sentenced to life imprisonment. Immediately, a
    committee to defend them was formed by Samajwadi Abu
    Asim Azmi and representatives of the Jamiat-e-Ulema and
    the Muslim Council. Next, the Supreme Court ruled that
    the police had framed the 11 Muslims and "somehow tried
    to get them identified through witnesses who belonged to
    the community from which the people were burnt alive."
    You see, two of the women who died had not identified
    the accused in their dying statements...
    
    The Wadhwa Commission concludes that 51 people were
    initially arrested by the Orissa police -- without any
    reasonable basis. And that the police -- under a
    "secular" Congress government -- registered a dubious
    FIR: "The FIR registered in the case does not represent
    the true state of affairs. It is certainly a doctored
    document." The arrested were detained for over two
    months in custody without prima facie evidence. All of
    them were subsequently found innocent by the CBI.
    
    In its deposition before Justice Wadhwa, the Orissa
    police had claimed that the FIR lodged by one Ralia
    Soren -- supposedly an eyewitness -- mentioned five
    names. But, Soren testified that he had named only three
    persons, and that he had never been a witness to the
    crime. The FIR was based on hearsay.
    
    A former superintendent of police of Keonjhar admitted
    that his information about Dara's links with the Bajrang
    Dal was based on "press clippings and common sense." On
    being asked why he didn't probe the Congress's
    allegations of Dara's ties with the BJP, the SP told a
    stunned court that "it was so well known locally that no
    probe was required." Talk about "internalising"...
    
    Information based on reports in the Press... an
    institution infested by pinkos. You doubt it? Here's an
    account from The Tribune of April 27, about a briefing
    by Amar Singh and Mohd Azam Khan when they announced the
    Samajwadi Party's decision to block Sonia's bid for
    power: "The angry lot of journalists surrounding the two
    party general secretaries, literally took them to task
    with their barrage of angry questions, some of them even
    hinting that the Samajwadi Party would be responsible
    for a snap poll in the country. Some of the journalists
    from this lot of self-proclaimed 'third force'
    sympathisers even went to the extent of alleging to Mr
    Amar Singh that he had taken money from the BJP and that
    he was a 'gaddar'." Unbiased journalism, indeed...
    
    The Left has declared that the findings of the Wadhwa
    Commission on the Staines killing is "an effort to
    whitewash the seriousness of the crime and the
    culpability of the RSS outfits." The CPI-M -- and all
    its stoolies in the Press -- hold that the Wadhwa
    Commission's finding Dara solely responsible for the
    gruesome murders, its assertion of his not belonging to
    any organisation, and its ruling out the involvement of
    any organisation (read, BJP) are an eyewash.
    
    The Politburo remarks, "Even the instances cited by the
    Wadhwa Commission of Dara Singh's criminal attacks on
    Muslim cattle traders, by itself reveals that this
    campaign was initiated by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and
    the Bajrang Dal."
    
    On the other hand, the Wadhwa report states, "A murderer
    is a murderer to whichever faith he may belong. A
    criminal is a criminal. Religion need not be bought in
    such matters. Allow the police to make independent
    investigation of the crime uninfluenced by politics,
    religion or caste."
    
    Which of these two statements betrays "Great Indian
    Internalised Myths"?
    
    Actually, Justice Wadhwa calls Dara Singh a fanatic who
    regularly terrorised Muslims and organised tribals
    against Christian missionaries. But, he found no
    evidence linking Dara to the Parivar. Instead, he
    criticises the visits of VIPs to Manoharpur since they
    hampered investigations... Who was one of the first to
    visit? Madhav Scindia. His arrant quote to The Hindustan
    Times of August 7: "We have never talked of
    organisations, but had maintained that Dara Singh was an
    activist of Bajrang Dal. This has proved correct. This
    point has not been refuted by the commission." Huh?!
    
    The Asian Age editorial declares, "The action taken by
    the government is as abject as the recommendations of
    the Wadhwa Commission report with not even a mention
    about why Dara Singh has still not been apprehended."
    
    "Abject." Synonyms: despicable, contemptible. My
    question: What makes Justice Srikrishna a figure of
    "unimpeachable even-handedness" -- and Justice Wadhwa a
    person whose objectivity is debatable?
    
    On January 28, the Politburo asserted that "the decision
    of the Union Cabinet to appoint a Judicial Commission of
    Inquiry, into the circumstances relating to the killing
    of an Australian missionary and his two sons in Orissa,
    is a blatant attempt to cover up the role of the various
    outfits of the RSS-headed saffron brigade."
    
    On August 7, the CPI's D Raja declared, "The report was
    politically motivated and tutored [sic]. Its only
    objective was to certify that alleged criminal Dara
    Singh was not associated with the Bajrang Dal or any
    other outfit of the Sangh Parivar. The report was
    published to benefit the BJP in the assembly and Lok
    Sabha elections."
    
    Let's play the substitution game again: See? When you
    claim to protect minorities, you can perpetuate
    innumerable scams that make Muslims and everyone else a
    loss. You can adroitly evade any questions, too. That's
    what all this "protection" really amounts to. If you
    think about it, that is the true price we pay for
    "internalising" the myths, for this supposed
    "protection." That is the true price we pay for allowing
    the Wadhwa report to be so summarily besmirched. For
    allowing justice so little chance...
    
    The Politburo has alleged that it was "strange" that a
    decision to institute a judicial commission has been
    taken when both the National Human Rights Commission and
    the National Commission for Minorities had sent their
    teams for inquiry. That seven months after the Staines
    murders, Dara Singh is "still at large" (a phrase echoed
    by The Asian Age edit) and the politics of hate against
    religious minorities gets "official protection."
    
    Considering that the NCM is on record saying that there
    has been a "significant difference in atrocities against
    minorities after the BJP-led government took charge in
    March 1998," and that the Centre and the state
    government were answerable for their failure to control
    the situation in Gujarat -- why wouldn't the Beej
    appoint a non-prejudiced authority...? The august body,
    when it investigated the Gujarat upheaval, found no
    evidence of conversion through the use of force or
    allurement by Christian missionaries -- when there are
    ample instances indicating otherwise.
    
    Did Tahir Mahmood utter a word against the Congress
    governments of Orissa after the Staines murders and the
    Ranali arson...? What did he say after the egg-in-face
    case of the "raped" nun of Baripada? What were his
    declarations after the Jhabua nun rape, which
    perpetrators were subsequently found to be associated
    with the Congress and some to be Christians?
    
    What does Tahir Mahmood have to say about the kidnapping
    of four RSS pracharaks of the Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram --
    Shymal Sengupta, Dinen Day, Subhamby Datta, Subhankar
    Chakrabarty -- by the National Liberation Front of
    Tripura, a separatist, terrorist organisation known for
    its proximity to the Christian cause?
    
    There's nothing like "anti-Hindu"...? Then how do you
    explain the secularists' screeching denunciations
    against the appointment of Sundar Singh Bhandari as the
    governor of Bihar -- on the grounds that he was a member
    of the RSS? The Italophiles throw the Constitution at us
    when we oppose the Shroud becoming prime minister of
    India. Then, is there ANY provision in the Indian
    Constitution that bars a member of the RSS from holding
    an appointed or elected position? Can't a member of a
    legal entity, which the RSS is, be appointed by a
    democratically elected government to a public position?
    This isn't discrimination? Why the eff do we allow these
    double standards?
    
    Today's ToI editorial states oh-so-fairly, "Without
    doubt, the media must examine the wisdom of premature
    judgment, especially where heightened sectarian passions
    have created an inflammable situation, as in this case.
    This, however, is not to suggest that the [Wadhwa]
    report must be unreservedly welcomed. Some Christian
    organisations, for instance, have pointed to what
    certainly seem like discrepancies."
    
    Can you recall the ToI ever saying that the Srikrishna
    report should be re-assessed because some Hindu
    organisations indicated inconsistencies?? The VHP had
    put out a book delineating them! Without doubt, the
    media must do some soul searching. As Justice Wadhwa
    says: "reporting of communal strife should not be done
    without proper verification or an ordinary crime given a
    communal twist". But catch these bozos catching on.
    
    But wait, I've saved the rankest bit of bigotry -- from
    TAA, of course: "It has given a handle to the communal
    forces to gloat over the fact that while a criminal was
    responsible for the murder of the Australian missionary,
    the forces wedded to Hindutva and a divisive policy of
    hate were not responsible... now that Justice Wadhwa has
    ignored the evidence and arguments of his own counsel,
    it is left to the concerned sections of society to
    reject the report on grounds of poor and biased
    investigation."
    
    Need I say more?
    



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