Difference between Fascist and Non-Fascist Criminals

The tragedy with the Indian journalism is that the television anchors supposed to ask questions in studios are now writing columns in premier newspapers and magazines of the country. And even bigger tragedy is that they do not know that they often end up contradicting their own selves.

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The tragedy with the Indian journalism is that the television anchors supposed to ask questions in studios are now writing columns in premier newspapers and magazines of the country. And even bigger tragedy is that they do not know that they often end up contradicting their own selves.
Rajdeep Sardesai, who shot into fame after the reporting of Gujarat riots of 2002 – he was then with the Star News – in November 8 issue of his column in the Hindustan Times wrote something quite contrary to what was expected of him. He may be pushy, dashing, and good at English; has a right lineage – he is the son of famous cricketer late Dilip Sardesai – yet as an expert anchor his job is to put up questions. Therefore, as a columnist he – like many others – often fail to provide answers to the burning issues.
The very opening line of his piece reflects the contradiction. It says that “On the very day that Lalu Yadav marched to the Prime Minister’s residence demanding Narendra Modi’s arrest in the wake of the Tehelka sting exposé, a small group of Sikh widows were protesting at the capital’s Jantar Mantar on the 23rd anniversary of the anti-Sikh riots. One eye on the TV cameras, the other firmly on the Muslim vote, Lalu was making the headlines. The widows were yesterday’s story. While the 2002 Gujarat riots have become a cause celebre for the secular establishment, 1984 has never quite acquired the same profile.”
One fails to understand as to what is wrong if Lalu Prasad seeks action against Modi after the Tehelka expose. It is very much timely. Rajdeep and all of us must criticise the other politicians for not demanding punishment for Modi and company even when the entire episode has been shown quite vividly on the television channels recently. Besides, Bihar is the one state, which is not going for any sort of election in the next couple of years. So, where does the question of Muslim votes arise? By the way it needs to be mentioned that Lalu is the only politician in the last 17 years who has been consistent in his opposition to the BJP. In fact, he lost many of his supporters simply because he stood against communal forces.
But what is more important is Rajdeep’s nonsensical comparison between 1984 and 2002 riots. Why make comparison between the two? Why not go further back and compare 1984 with 1946-47 in which as high as seven to eight lakh people lost their lives? Why no comparison between 1984 and 1992? While 1984 took place after the assassination of Indira Gandhi – though there was no justification for massacring Sikhs – in 1992 ethnic cleansing all over the country many times more Muslims were killed in comparison to Sikhs for no crime whatsoever. Thousands of mosques, and mazars were razed to the ground all over the country in the Ayodhya movement between 1988 and 1992 yet Rajdeep is silent.
Sikh terrorists had been indulging in extremist violence between 1980 till the assassination of Indira Gandhi – and even later – but what crime Muslims of Moradabad did in 1980 when the police opened fire killing a large number of Eid namazis. They were not even armed with a blade. There are innumerable anti-Muslim riots which need to be compared with 1984.
How can Rajdeep say that “senior Congress politicians, including ministers, were actually present on the streets, allegedly leading mobs in 1984; in Gujarat the direct evidence against Modi’s cabinet member is still based principally on police phone records.” In 1984 Rajdeep may be too small a child to follow the event. He must know that in Gujarat in 2002 there was absolutely nobody left to record the evidence against the ministers. Not only that whatever happened at the outer signal of Godhra railway station could not be inquired. How were the traces removed and the bodies transported to Ahmedabad to spark off violence? Even the then railway minister, Nitish Kumar, could speak nothing. This is fascism. Herein lies the difference between fascism and other types of violence.
In case with Sikhs hundreds of human rights and social activists and senior journalists swung into action immediately to come to the rescue of the victims. True, the violence took place in the high security area of Delhi but then there was no dearth of saner elements left in the national capital. In 2002 of Gujarat nobody could dare to go against Modi. The entire vernacular Press was spewing out venom against the Muslims.
True Gujarat was the first televised riots. But isn’t it the fact that even the secularists started speaking here much later. What is even more tragic is that in Gujarat hardly anyone was left to remove tears from the eyes of Muslims. Those who went there for relief and rescue work later were mostly from other states. In Delhi that was not the case, Mr Rajdeep.
Rajdeep says that most of those accused in the anti-Sikh riots went unpunished. But may one ask as to how many have been convicted in thousands of anti-Muslim riots in the country. Barring Bhagalpur where over 300 rioters – that too is not enough – have so far been convicted nowhere in the country the killers of Muslims got punished. The irony is that Rajdeep and friends repeatedly ask Lalu why only 300 were convicted in Bhagalpur, when they should have asked as to why nobody has been punished for the repeated massacres of Muslims all over the country in the last six decades. True, in Gujarat some of the rioters have been convicted but almost all of them are Muslims.
Mr Rajdeep, you need to differentiate between fascist criminals and non-fascist criminals. The fascists would operate in such a way that even you would lose your sense. Its impact is so overpowering. The anti-Sikh riots was an act of non-fascist criminals while 2002, and many such acts, were the handiwork of fascists.