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India

Gujarat Mass Murder – Demand justice on the 8th anniversary

நெற்றிக்கண் திறப்பினும் குற்றம் குற்றமே “Even if you show your third eye, a mistake is always a mistake” says Nakkirar, a medieval Tamil poet,  against Lord Shiva,  to emphasize that the truth is to be told with utmost courage even if the contender is Almighty with full of anger!

Most of the best men the world has ever produced were religious philosophers and most of the worst men that the world has ever produced were religious fanatics. Jesus Christ preached non violence and the crusaders had nothing to do with the teachings of jesus. Advaitha philosophy is all about love and compassion not only towards the fellow human beings but also towards every form of living beings. However the saivites in tamilnadu killed the jains and vaishnavites. The Vaishnava philosopher Shri Ramanujar was targeted by the saivite king and his disciple Periya Nambi was tortured to death in the name of saivism. Its very easy to say that those crusaders, saivite kings were just religious fanatics and the murders carried out in the name of religion were contradictory to the teachings of religious philosophy.

Why is it difficult to call the perpetrators of mass murder in Gujarath as religious fanatics? Nearly 2000 innocent civilians were brutally killed and thousands were displaced purely because they happen to follow a different faith system.  State functionaries of Gujarat were abetting and facilitating atrocities on the minority in the wake of Godhara violence in february 2002.

How different are these murders from those carried out by the religious fanatic kings? Is it not time to introspect and come to a conclusion that the organizations that carry out these “holy killings” are producing the worst men in the world and are against the religious philosophy? Should Sangh Parivar be allowed to hijack the Hinduism and spread the venom of hatred against other religions  rather than preaching the rich  philosophies that talk about love and compassion towards the world and the fellow human beings?

It is appalling to see the common masses being carried away by the hate speech. It is the poor who will be exploited by these parivar outfits to carry out attacks on minorities. Kambar in his literature on Ramayan, condemns Ram for killing Vaali against the Code of Conduct in war and calls that as an unacceptable act of cowardice. On the final day of the war, when Ravan lost his weapons Ram says இன்று போய் நாளை வா  “Go and come back the next day with the weapon”  as it is against the code of conduct of war to kill an unarmed person. Mahabharath, an epic based on war for justice puts severe restriction on how to carry out a war. It is not allowed to kill women, children and any unarmed person during the war. The Geneva convetion also tells the same.

However, the brutal hindutva organizations with the help of state machinery killed more than 2000 innocent civilians and gang raped the women, at the end of february 2002.  Even the pregnant women were not spared. All these barbaric atrocities were carried out by shouting the slogan “Jai Shree Ram”. Is this what Lord Ram stands for? Are these Ram Bhaktha’s preaching Hinduism? Is there any correlation between what they do and what is said in hindu literatures? Why should the hindus put up with these barbarians?

The AIADMK cadres attacked the Coimbatore Agricultural university bus in Dharmapuri and burnt three girls alive, would any of us be willing to support those murders just because they are hindus? When the Dinakaran office was attacked and the journalists there were burnt alive, would any of us be willing to support those murderers? Isnt the entire country happy to see Ruchika’s case being digged out after 18 years and Rathore being questioned/punished? Why are the murderers being applauded in Gujarath and all over the country by hindu fundamentalists? Don’t we see a moral failure here?

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality – Dante Alighieri

Let us be bold enough to reject the religious fanatics and bring justice to the victims of state sponsored terrorism. Those who were accused of carrying out the Godhra train attack, which killed 58 lives, have been detained and are in jail without bail for 8 years. However, even after 8 years the perpetrators of mass murder are not brought to book. In the Best Bakery case all those who were accused of killing 14 people were acquitted by the fast track court. The supreme court then transferred the case to Maharashtra. The rest of the cases are all being handled in Gujarath. The Human Rights Watch has said the following.

The Supreme Court order affirms what victims and their lawyers have been saying all along. Gujarat’s police and justice system are protecting the guilty and are undermining activists, lawyers and even the National Human Rights Commission. For justice to be done for victims of the Gujarat riots, impartial investigations have to be conducted and witnesses have to be protected so they can testify without fear. – Brad Adams executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division

The issue is not only about the religion being hijacked by fanatics and innocent people being killed but also about upholding the constitution. Irrespective of ones faith system, it is the duty of a responsible citizen to demand that the criminals be punished according to the law.

Video recording of the confessions of some persons who implicated themselves and also many state functionaries of Gujarat in the unleashing of violence on the muslims were telecasted by the TV Channel Aaj Tak. In april 2009, Supreme court ordered probe in to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s role in Gujarat riots. Citizens for justice and peace (CJP), an NGO, that works towards the communal harmony and for development of Peace, Justice and reconciliation have pointed out the grave failures of the Special Investigation Team’s (SIT) investigation set up by the Supreme Court. The application made by Teesta Setalvad, CJP will be heard on 15th march 2010. The major issue highlighted in her application is that the special investigations team has not re-investigated significant issues including the state complicity and involvement revealed by Tehelka. It also accuses the SIT members  of trying to shield the higher ranking officials among the Gujarat police, administration and state executive. Let us show our solidarity to the victim survivors in their struggle for dignity, justice, reparation and against the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of mass crimes in India.

Here, i quote part of the Upanishads that says “Sathyameva jayathe”, not hoping that God will solve this problem but to alert the believers that they should stand with justice and NOT with the sangh parivar outfits which has vowed to carry out this Gujarath experiment all over the country.

Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood.
Through truth the divine path is spread out by which
the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled,
reach where that supreme treasure of Truth resides.

Let us not tolerate the criminals, liars and murderers anymore and Let the Justice prevail.

– Ram Prasad is a  researcher by profession, a citizen journalist and a human rights activist working towards peace and to create global awareness on gender based violence.

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