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Modi is a fascist and there is a substantial Indian mainstream that is delighted at Modi’s embarassment

March 24, 2005
The Indian Express

Does it really insult India and our great democracy, when the US—going by the it revoking Modi’s visa—pointed to the fact that Narendra Modi had violated religious freedom in his state?

I was elated and felt that finally, human voices were speaking out and not remaining silent against the perpetrators of crime. We Five Star activists—as Narendra Modi calls us—have finally been heard. Now we pray that the new Government takes the necessary action in accordance with the rights of the Indian people, so that we are not shamed internationally.

How can we forget what happened in Gujarat, yet find many in the administration in support of a Modi who has been denied a visa by the US? What happened in the 1984 Sikh riots—being married to a Sikh—has haunted me since, and what happened in Gujarat sent me on a direct collision course with Modi and his government. Advani, the then Home Minister, and Modi, both protectors and abettors of crime, are now crying out that ‘Indian Pride’ has been hurt. What about the pain and reign of terror that Modi unleashed on his own state of Gujarat, the heart of economic progress in India, and the state that gave birth to Gandhi.

Let us reflect what Modi’s action plan was. It was simply to polarise and divide a state along religious lines and ignite the fascist passions of the Hindutva cult that the BJP, RSS and VHP represent. These pseudo-Hindutvas have hurt our magnanimous Indian culture, rich in diversity. They now rally again for an unjust cause, instead of acting in sincerity according to the Indian Constitution.

I have visited the homes and shelters of thousands of members of the riot-ravaged minority in Gujarat, that was left to fend for itself ever since Modi was sent to replace the then CM Keshubhai Patel. There have been so many national and international reports on the systematic attack on the minority population for political gain. Some even pointing out that it was along the lines of genocide. Why has our legal system not acted? Why are the inquiries and commissions not giving us the true picture? Democracy is a great system of governance but when the state and the centre are working together, it is not necessarily morally governed, as Gujarat has shown us. It is a blot on the face of Indian democracy!

It is not that the new UPA Government, under its constitutional obligations, is complacent about the accountability of the Modi administration; rather due to respect for the position. The defensive attitude of the UPA Government in strongly criticising USA is understandable and appreciated as the MEA was not consulted on this issue. This is purely a matter of protocol but by going against this US decision, I strongly feel that the UPA Government is not at all shielding Modi’s patronage of the Gujarat riots. Therefore, the National Human Right Commission Report should not be ignored and appropriate action, if the report is found to be true, should be taken instantaneously.

Modi is aggressively questioning the US Government and proudly stating that no court of law in India has indicted him. Even when taped conversations of what transpired leading up to the riots, three years ago, have won Ahmedabad-based Indian Express journalist Stavan Desai an award, the proof that exists on the tapes and also with the Nanavati Commission, still lies there unable to nail Modi’s Plan.

Politicians in India now need to recognise that the electronic media, with its global reach, makes them answerable not only to their own electoral constituents but to Indians globally and international pressure groups also. I must give full marks to the NRI pressure groups that were instrumental in revoking Modi’s visa. This is a positive development and perhaps, will lead to an urgent shift of prioritisation in domestic policies, and result in our Chief Ministers genuinely fulfilling the needs of their states rather than creating religious discord and divisions along caste lines. India is poised for a quantum leap forward and it is time our political system marches in step with human rights and the great democracy that we represent. For some of us who have been traumatised by the earlier tragic happenings in Gujarat and the pathetic opportunism shown by the political leaders of the state, the rejection of a visa for Modi is just one appropriate consequence of an unjust action.

Let us also agree that there is a substantial Indian mainstream that is delighted at Modi’s embarrassment. I am one of them and hope that more follows. Even as my mind says that the visa should be granted, my intellect and my heart rejoice.

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