For many years now, I’ve been pondering on why the intellectuals in the Indian ‘Secular’ circle & the Indian Left have so much hatred towards Narendra Modi. He, of course was the Chief Minister when the Godhra riots happened in 2002, but there have been so many other riots before and after, some bigger and bloodier than Godhra and none of the chief ministers have had to face this much venom and heat which still continues. Here is the results of my pondering. They may not be the entirely the reason for their hate for Mr.Narendra Modi. But I do believe that they are at least a part of their conscious or sub conscious frame of mind that has made them to demonize him. Of course, I could be entirely wrong.
December 6th, 1992 has become such an important day in our Nation’s history. And it is where I want to start. Or perhaps some might prefer an earlier time like when Babar destroyed the Ram temple to build the mosque and some might even wish to start way earlier when Lord Ram himself was born in Ayodhya. But to keep things in perspective I would like to start on Dec 6th 1992 when the Babri Masjid was demolished by the Karsevaks. It is a totally another debate if this action by the Hindus was justified or not, unfortunate or not. But the most significant message that came out of this incident is that the Hindu wasn’t asleep as was thought before. He had woken up. The passivity & inaction that was forced upon him/her was finally thrown out. He had become active again and wasn’t going to sit quiet nodding his head in agreement to his secular masters. It is also a completely another debate to discuss if this was just a political conspiracy by the BJP and its allies or not.
Fast forward 9 years and a couple of months later Godhra happened. A train carriage carrying pilgrims who were coming back from Ayodhya was set on fire by some Muslims and 59 people including women & children were burnt to death. The retaliation by Hindus was inevitable after this horrific act leading to the riots which saw more than a thousand people getting killed which included Hindus too (and hence contrary to some claims, not a genocide). I’m going to set aside the relationship between Hindus & Muslims for now, as though it may seem to be important superficially, I believe it is not. After all Hindu – Muslim riots have been happening for such a long time. They are happening even now, in every state. There have been riots where a lot more people have been killed. Riots have taken place for less mundane reasons than burning 59 people to death. Riots have taken place in Gujarat before. Riots have taken place in BJP ruled states. But never was so much animosity towards the Chief Minister expressed. And especially on someone who had been in power for just 4 months when the incident happened. In other words, Hindu Muslim riots have been unfortunately a part of Indian life after Independence. In a sense the outrage & the sociopolitical discourse that followed the violence was not about the confrontation and friction between 2 religious communities namely Hindus & Muslims, though it was given that color and made to look like one, but in actuality was between what the Left would call, the ‘Communal’ Hindus & the ‘Secular’ Indians.
So what is the difference between this riot and the others?
The only difference is that in the Godhra incident, the Hindus were on a pilgrimage to Ram Janma Bhoomi. That is the spark. This differentiates it with every other communal riots. So what is wrong with this pilgrimage, one might ask? It is everything wrong, a leftist intellectual from, say JNU, would argue. Why? Because that single event (the destruction of the Masjid) made Hindus of the country come together. It woke them up and made them fight for something as an united community after so many years. So is the pilgrimage wrong? Absolutely. Because, by visiting it you are supporting the demolition of a defunct Mosque. You are reenforcing your commitment to the Ram Mandir, a symbol of Hindu resurgence and strength. And that is the gravest sin for the Leftist intellectuals. The weak, foolish, uncultured bourgeois Hindu majority, who they thought could be slowly converted or exorcized of their ‘Hinduness‘ by constant indoctrination in educational and social institutions along with the help of the much ‘civilized‘ Abrahamic religions had finally risen and was ready to take them on.
So they deserved to be burnt? Yes of course. Because the less of these ‘communals‘ the better for the Left. And hence when the Hindus retaliated, the whole of the Left pounced upon the opportunity. Because in their minds the retaliation was for nothing. What is there to be angry about? They would’ve even approved of it, if a Hindu girl had been raped by some Muslims. Thats a worthy case to be angry about. But what right do these people have to be enraged, when all that has happened is just the killing of uncultured brutes (who very much deserved it) who were visiting the kaifr’s symbol of strength. Their lives absolutely holds no value. Hence the leftists were unable to come to terms with it and see any justification for the attacks. And since it happened under a nationalist CM who also had been in the RSS, they went for his blood. Narendra Modi was the wrong person at the wrong time or the right person at the right time, depending upon how one looks at it, especially considering his recent Political fortunes. But the point is, anybody who would’ve been the CM at the time would have faced this wrath from the Leftists. Mind you, I’m not speaking about how Modi or any other person would have dealt with this.
There are hints to their attitude everywhere if one were to look for it carefully. None of the Leftists, not even one, who regularly boast about their Human Rights concerns has ever questioned Mr. Modi on why he let the Godhra train massacre to happen. Why he couldn’t save those people? Why he couldn’t get sufficient people/resources on time to contain the fire? As a CM under whom this incident happened, is he not responsible for it? Should he not ask sorry to the Hindus? Not one of them has ever asked him about it. Though they have been spewing venom on him for the past 12 years for the riots that followed, asking exactly the same questions. This shows how much concern they have had for the Communal pilgrims and how this was a non event from their perspective.
Furthermore, one can get a much better insight into their psyche from the their speeches, lectures, talks etc. For e.g. during a lecture to the Northwestern University, Arundati Roy, the torchbearer of the Leftists raises the question that whether the fire was even started by the Muslims in the first place. This when the investigations and courts have actually confirmed it to be so and have even passed judgements, sentencing the perpetrators . Also all the doors for the carriage was shut locked so that no one can escape when the carriage was in fire. But what is much more interesting is her description of the slain pilgrims. She says “a train full of pilgrims coming back from the destruction of the Ayodhya Mosque which was disputed, got fire and nobody knows why…” ( the video is available in youtube). She couldn’t even remember that the destruction happened more than 9 years ago. For her and her creed that incident left them in shell shock that they can’t forget it, even when the Muslims have forgotten. It runs like a loop in their minds. So bad is the crime of the destruction of Babri Masjid that they wouldn’t forgive any ‘Communal Hindu’ for another thousand years. They would fully justify any injustice/ bias toward the Hindus because they deserve it and they are doomed forever by the incident on, Dec 6, 1992.
Of course any debate on the hundreds of Mosques demolished in Saudi Arabia, including the one in which the Prophet himself prayed, cannot even be discussed. Nor is there any reason to rake up the issue of thousands of Hindu temples that have been looted and destroyed by the Muslim rulers and Christian preachers. Similarly the demolition of Hindu and Buddhist temples that takes place even to this day in Pakistan & Bangladesh is also off limits. Such is their commitment to Secularism.