Godhra Revisited

Those of you who read my posts earlier this year on communalism in India – and in the US – know where I stand on the advocates of Hindutva and their scummy ilk. They never cease to amaze. Or to disgust.

The latest examples of NAZIesque propoganda come in the wake of newly release findings by the offical judical inquiry into the “Godhra massacre,” the deadly train fire that served as pretext for the horrific Gujarat riots of 2002, a bloodbath of anti-Muslim violence. Hindu fascists, from the slimy RSS all the way up to the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narindra Modi, have long justified the genocidal spree by alleging that it was provoked by Muslims, who started the train fire to immolate a carload of karsevak Hindu pilgrims.

The report issued yesterday by the Comittee of High Court Justice U C Banerjee, which has been investigating the Godhra incident since Autumn of 2002, confirmed what investigators and witnesses have been saying ever since the event: it was caused by accidental spread of fire as a result of the karsevaks cooking aboard the train. There was no evidence of any accelerant used and no evidence that would support a conclusion of arson. The report is only in preliminary draft, but it is well reasoned, well supported by physical and testimonial evidence, and shows no signs of partiality.

The RSS, who know better that the investigators, have published a barely articulate response, accusing the committee of arriving at its conclusion for political reasons. There is more than a bit of self-projection in this pronouncement. The former ruling party, which uses a saffron-based divide-and-conquer electoral strategy, also weighed in. “Our worst fears have come true. This report is a disgraceful and unfortunate attempt to trivialise one of the worst offences and crimes which began a series of unfortunate incidents in February 2002,” said BJP leader Arun Jaitley.

The accidental deaths of 59 people – less than half of whom were karsevak pilgrims, incidentally – was, for these bigots, “the worst crime” and the deliberate, systematic genocial killing of more than a thousand which followed was “a series of unfortunate incidents.”

These shameful, hatemongering idiots disgrace this nation.


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