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Secular riots in Congress-ruled Rajasthan!

October 10, 2011 15:50 IST

To fight communalism, you cannot have two standards, one for the so-called secularists and the other, and far more stringent and unreasonable one, for the alleged communalists, says Virendra Kapoor.

Imagine, for the sake of argument, what happened in Gopalgarh in mid-September had happened in Narendra Modi's Gujarat.

By now, the combined might of the government of India, the well-fed secularist entrepreneurs and sections of the so-called liberal media would have been up in arms, baying for the head of Modi. And a very grateful United Progressive Alliance government would have misused Article 356 yet again to dismiss the popularly-elected Modi government.

Triumphantly, the secularists would have gloated that they had made Gujarat safe for secularism -- as if they had a vested interest in shedding Muslim blood for arranging Modi's dismissal.

By all accounts, what happened in Gopalgarh was most shameful. If you believe the victims and their friends and relations, on September 14, the local police openly joined hands with the Gujjars to kill, maim and torture the Meo Muslims. Nine Meos were killed, some inside a mosque. There was tell-tale evidence of police bullets on the inner walls of the mosque. At least two Meos were burnt alive.

There was a long-pending dispute between the Meos and the Gujjars over a piece of land. And you did not have to set up a judicial commission to find out on whose side the local police and the administration were.

Without going any further into details, suffice it to say that Gopalgarh is not in Gujarat. It is in Rajasthan and is ruled by the Congress government of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Neither Gehlot nor his Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal have come to any harm. The Meos are running from pillar to post for justice but to no avail. Yes, the top district police officials have been moved, a small and totally superficial salve on the bleeding wounds of the Muslims. That is all.

We do not have to detail here what all steps, administrative, political, and even judicial, would have followed had the same dance of death been conducted in Modi's Gujarat. The only point we seek to make is that somehow for the secularists, lives of Muslims become far more precious only in the non-Congress-ruled states, especially in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled ones. Muslims in the Congress-ruled states can be treated like 'gajjar and mulli', easily dispensable.

To put it bluntly, Muslim blood is blood only the in non-Congress states; in Congress states it can be spilled freely like water. After all, being secularists, they have the license to kill, whereas the BJP forfeited that right because it is a communal party.

But because they have failed to oust Modi from power through constitutional means, the Congress-led Centre has let loose a variety of secularist entrepreneurs and well-provided NGOs to target day in and day out the Gujarat government. What cannot be achieved through democratic means must be attained through undemocratic conspiracies.

It speaks volumes for Modi's strength of character and his perseverance that despite constant threats and obstacles he has most valiantly continued to lead Gujarat to new levels of development and prosperity.

Witness how in their single-minded zeal to oust Modi, a veritable criminal in uniform, Sanjiv Bhatt, is being put on a pedestal. Bhatt is facing criminal charges for having killed an innocent man in police custody.

He has been indicted by the Gujarat high court for planting a kilogram of narcotics in a hotel room and then wrongly showing that a Rajasthan lawyer was occupying that room. In the same case, he was indicted by the National Human Rights Commission and fined Rs 1 lakh.

His driver was dismissed from service for having relied upon forged documents to secure government employment. There are a number of other charges of gross misconduct against him. It shows the desperation of the oust-Modi brigade that it has had to rely on the rogue police officer to operationalise its latest dirty plan.

Again, not wanting to dilate much on the falsehood and lies Bhatt has uttered to target Modi, it should be noted that he did not say what he is saying now for well over nine years. He did not inform his superiors that the chief minister had instructed them to allow Hindus to 'teach Muslims a lesson'. He did not report to his superiors that he had attended a meeting called by the CM, even though under the rules he was enjoined upon to do so, especially when he was too junior to be invited to such a meeting. That the rogue police officer is lying is easily proved.

But the UPA government is not interested in truth. It is interested in destabilising the Modi government. So brazen has the Centre become that in a complete contravention of the accepted norms, the Union home minister provides succour to a junior police officer who is openly defying his superiors in Gujarat. A home minister who has no time for the victims of the Delhi blasts responds with supersonic speed to the contrived shrillness of the Bhatt cronies, exposing his partisanship and disregard for established norms of ministerial conduct.

Meanwhile, it is remarkable that P Chidambaram did not visit either Gopalgarh or even Jaipur after the communal killings in Gopalgarh. But had a similar incident occurred in Modi's Gujarat, you can bet that led by the prime minister and the home minister, every Tom Dick and Harry in the UPA would have made a beeline for Gujarat and demanded the head of Modi on a platter.

So, what is the point? Simple. To fight communalism, you cannot have two standards, one for the so-called secularists and the other, and far more stringent and unreasonable one, for the alleged communalists.

Virendra Kapoor