Communalism and Terrorism, Two Faces of the same Coin

Published on ZNet, by Badri Raina, December 06, 2007.

I write this on the fifteenth anniversary of the demolition of the Babri mosque by fascist hordes of the Sangh Parivar, consequent upon the pogrom set in motion by Advani’s infamous rath yatra.

Few events in the post-independence history of India have outfaced the founding principles of both the Freedom Movement and the Republic as decisively as that wanton and blood-thirsty challenge to the secular state. That was the day on which Mahatma Gandhi was buried ten fathoms deep, and when majoritarian terrorism came to be installed as the new operative version of nationalism.

It was also the day when the party that led the Freedom Movement lost its raison d etre. Not to be forgotten that the then Congress prime minister twiddled his pout while fascist pickaxe took the mosque apart brick by brick in full glare of television crews in a day-long operation …

… So, will there be consequences?

Now that the concerned District Collector has handed in his report on the Modi rally alongwith a CD to the Election Commission, will the latter do the right and proper under the People’s Representation Act that forbids inciting sectarian passions during election time, and debar Modi from the elections, not for now but the next many years, as the late Indira Gandhi was once debarred?

Will the so honourable Supreme Court of India take suo motu notice of the occurrence and proceed under the law to charge-sheet Modi as an accomplice in the murder of Sohrabuddin and his wife?

Will the Human Rights Commission of India take cognizance of the matter and issue showcause to Modi?

Will the Ambanis, the Tatas, and other industrial tycoons that underwrite Modi withdraw their favours, let go their greed, and exercise their clout on behalf of secularism and the rule of law?

And most importantly, will the people of Gujarat stand up and deny Modi his self-proclaimed right to liquidate all and sundry (all muslims) whom he designates terrorists? Will they rethink Gujarat and vote to reclaim the region for the Constituion and the Republic?

Alas, such is the state of the nation that nothing may be said with confidence.

It is nonetheless certain that until such time as the state picks up the will and the courage to bear down on communalism with the same resolve as it does on terrorism, there will be no end to either. Although there may well be an end to the Republic in consequence of that failure.

The Justice Liberhan Commission has been enquiring into the culpability of the BJP/Sangh stalwarts in the Babri crime for some twelve years or more. Would you believe that it is after fifteen years of the demolition, that the first witness against Advani and others has finally testified in a court!

Does the state now piloted by the UPA government mean to bring these procedures to conclusion? Or is it intended that the cases remain in pendency till some of the chief culprits live out their natural lives?

… (full text).

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