Bi­ased views

Southasia - - EDITOR’S MAIL -

The ar­ti­cle ‘Saf­fron Suc­cess’ was yet an­other stereo­typ­i­cal ac­count of the Gu­jarat pogrom and pre­sented Naren­dra Modi in a bi­ased light on the ba­sis of pre-con­ceived no­tions. No one, not even the most ar­dent fan of Naren­dra Modi, can deny that the 2002 Gu­jarat pogrom is a shame­ful blot on In­dia’s name. It will take us ages to wash the stain off. It was the first time since the ad­vent of pri­vate TV chan­nels in In­dia that the people of this coun­try watched in hor­ror the atroc­i­ties of com­mu­nal vi­o­lence. It did not af­fect the Mus­lims only. It equally af­fected and hurt the Hin­dus. It is also wrong to give the im­pres­sion that noth­ing was done to bring the cul­prits to book. A num­ber of of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing min­is­ters who were found guilty of in­cit­ing or com­mit­ting vi­o­lence, were sen­tenced.

Of course, none of this can bring the dead back. These mea­sures can’t mit­i­gate the losses suf­fered by the Mus­lim com­mu­nity of Gu­jarat. But it has been 12 years and much has changed dur­ing all these years. In ad­di­tion to en­sur­ing that com­mu­nal ri­ots do not oc­cur in Gu­jarat again, Modi led the state to­wards the path of de­vel­op­ment that ben­e­fit­ted both Hin­dus and Mus­lims. Ac­cord­ing to Tu­fail Ahmed, di­rec­tor of the South Asia Stud­ies Project at the Mid­dle East Me­dia Re­search In­sti­tute, “In Gu­jarat, Mus­lims have a bet­ter recog­ni­tion of Modi's pro-de­vel­op­ment gov­er­nance, which has brought eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties for all Gu­jaratis, whether Mus­lims, Hin­dus or oth­ers.” If Modi comes to power in the cen­tre, there will be tremen­dous pres­sure on him to honor his prom­ises of equal­ity and jus­tice. It is bet­ter to give him a chance and crit­i­cize him if he fails or fal­ters.

Ar­jun Singh

Jhansi, In­dia

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