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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Ascendancy of tyrant

One is given to believe that the outcome of the upcoming Indian elections is already a forgone conclusion and ascendancy of Narendra Modi to power a fait accompli. At least that is the perception being spread by corporate controlled Indian media that revels in mediocrity. Curiously, that would constitute a remarkable turn of events. Given his direct and indirect culpability in the crimes committed in 2002, Modi should have long before disappeared from political scenario. For long last he should have been doing his time in a shared cell with his former protégé Maya Kodnani for his crimes of omission and commission against humanity. Instead he is crisscrossing the country spreading untruths and regularly mauling history; back in Gujarat his henchmen in the meanwhile continue to indulge in thuggish skullduggery.

The exoneration by Indian courts of Modi for his role in mayhem of 2002, that left thousands dead and irretrievably scarred minorities in Gujarat, does not in any way prove his innocent. Rather in a curious way represents falling in line of judiciary with ominous trend of the time heralding triumph of unreason and bigotry. Given the spread of viciousness it is does not come as surprise that people fighting for or demanding justice for the victims of Modi regime of terror during those riots should now find themselves charged as criminals. Albert Camus couldn’t have been more apt when he wrote, “On the day when crime dons the apparel of innocence-through a curious transposition peculiar to our times-it is innocence that is called upon to justify itself”. In this case the happenings are not abstract concepts but factual happenings.

Teesta Setalvad while seeking justice for Zakia Jafry is being hounded by the state machinery of Gujarat headed by none other than Narendra Modi. Zakaia Jafri’s husband Ehsan Jafri a former member of Indian parliament was hacked to death by a mob of thugs guided by official voter lists during those riots. Modi never uttered a single word of remorse for any of those heinous crimes committed under his watch and instead a systematic harassment and victimization of his opponents and those seeking justice has ensued to this day.

What has become one of the tragic in a series of ironies is the fact it is not the so-called progress model but it is rather his role and unambiguously criminal stance during and following riots in 2002 that has captured the imagination of increasingly communal and bigoted Indian middle class. Modi’s arrival on the national scene is not the beginning rather it signals the culmination of the process of thorough infiltration of every strata of society by the forces that are intolerant and visualize India in a light compatible with the vision of communal figures from days of Hindu Mahasabha. Tactics of intimidation used by the supporters of Modi in dealing with opponents represent a leaf out of a fascist book.

One might remember the worst tyrants in the history came to power through elections and massive popular support of their people. Modi seems to be displaying all the symptoms of making of a worst tyrant. When an outspoken critic of Modi, a former editor of The Hindu newspaper Siddharth Varadarajan was indirectly threatened, not much was left to imagine. Modi will not come to power because people who will vote for him are tired of corruption. No because they are the ones who are corrupt; they are the ones who go to any lengths to avoid taxes; they are the ones who benefit from corrupt India. For them Modi brings them a vision of Hindu India. Alas they forget when everybody has been dealt with, the forces of tyrant will turn on them. Recently Pranay Gupte quoted poem “First they came” by the pastor Martin Niemoller on Jewish holocaust:

First they came for the Communists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists

And I did not speak out
I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me

And there was no one left
To speak out for me

-Rajiv Kumar

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