by Mirza A. Beg
(Wednesday, October 28, 2009)
"International human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the National Human Rights Commission of India held Mr. Modi directly responsible for orchestrating that gory mob violence in which innocent Muslims were butchered, burnt alive and women gang raped."
Sometimes good guys also win. It happens only once in a while, but when it does, it gives hope to many who struggle against the evil perpetrated by the powerful, the rich and the connected.
Such is the case when some decent ordinary people with the support of many other decent people were able convince the Government of Oman to deny Mr. Modi a visa. It thwarted, Gujarat’s Chief Minister Mr. Modi from falsely projecting himself as a world trotting statesman and camouflaging his evil deeds.
Mr. Modi was elected the Chief Minister of Gujarat State in the western part of India, on the platform of a fascistic leaning Indian Peoples Party (Hindi initials BJP). It came to power in late 1990s. It got that chance because the Congress party that had governed India since independence from Britain in 1947, with only one break of four years, had become stale and the populace was tired. In that vacuum stepped in the right-wing BJP. It cashed in on its years of devious hard work, promoting sectarian riots and fear mongering in the well trodden footsteps of demagogues, albeit with an Indian patina. For years the BJP had engineered riots against the Muslim minorities, Christian evangelism and lower cast Indians. Finally it was able cash in on the fear it had planted among decent ordinary Hindus.
Mr. Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat in February 2002, when a train carriage in which the BJP goons were traveling and harassing people on the railway station, was burnt at Godhra in Gujarat. To this day it has not been conclusively proven as to who did it. Instead of arresting those responsible for the event and bringing them to justice, he blamed Muslims, whom his party has been killing for years in contrived riots. The next day in the manner of Nazi “Krstallnacht” he unleashed a reign of terror and mayhem, by the goons of his party under the protection of his chosen police force, in the manner of Nazi SS.
As Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mr. Modi presided over and orchestrated widespread riots in which about 2000 hapless Muslims were massacred and more than 200,000 were rendered homeless. It was internationally reported as a pogrom against the Muslim minority in Gujarat.
International human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the National Human Rights Commission of India held Mr. Modi directly responsible for orchestrating that gory mob violence in which innocent Muslims were butchered, burnt alive and women gang raped.
Mr. Modi has also succeeded in corrupting and intimidating most of the judiciary in Gujarat. The criminals are protected by Mr. Modi’s police, while thousands of displaced Muslims are unable to return to their homes. The same gangsters also harass Christians and have burned their Churches.
The Supreme Court of India felt compelled to step in. It compared Mr. Modi with the infamous Roman Emperor Nero and ordered an especially constituted team from the Federal (Central) Government to investigate Mr. Modi’s crimes.
Though, his party has lost national power in two successive national elections of 2004 and 2009; unfortunately in the federal structure of India, states have power over law and order, just as the federal US government was hampered in the American South of1960s. Mr. Modi has succeeded in polarizing the normally decent people of Gujarat and has won elections to remain the Chief Minister in Gujarat. And because as often happens, fascistic demagogues are efficient, Mr. Modi is indeed efficient and has brought businesses to Gujarat supported by some among the rich diaspora of Guajaratis from the US.
Now that his party is in decline in the rest of India, he has been trying mightily to project himself as a world class leader with an eye on gaining national leadership. With a well-deserved harvest of global condemnation haunting him, Mr. Modi is desperately courting foreign collaboration to mend his image to achieve political restitution in India.
Fortunately, because of the efforts of those who value the Gandhian tradition of India, Indians from all religions and ethnic groups came together, petitioned and convinced the US State department to deny Mr. Modi the coveted visa, not only once but twice in three years.
Spurned by the US and some Western countries, he aimed at developing contacts with the rich Gulf Emirates. Mr. Modi nefariously planted stories of being invited by the Sultanate of Oman. Again some concerned people took it upon themselves to circulate a petition on line. Again many human rights organizations all over the world, but most importantly from India extended their full support. Many wrote personal letters to the Ambassador and the government of Oman.
In response, not only the Ambassador of Oman in India refused the visa, but took out an advertisement in a well respected national newspaper, Indian Express, stating that the Sultanate of Oman had not invited Mr. Modi to Oman.
To Mr. Modi’s discomfort, the news is reverberating though the Indian press and has even been picked up by the international web based media. (It can easily be searched on Google, “Modi denied Visa to Oman”). It puts his efforts towards gaining coveted visas from Indonesia that he has been working on, and visa from many other countries in jeopardy.
Though, it is only a small victory for decency, and not much help to those who perished in the Mayhem engineered by Mr. Modi in Gujarat, but it does give incentive to average people. They can make a difference. All they have to do is, try.
by courtesy & © 2009 Mirza A. Beg