Many Faces of Falsehood

Part I

Undoubtedly, the grim defining quality of Indian ‘secularism’ in the last decade is the self-righteous loud chest-thumping by India’s left-leaning human rights activists in the name of safeguarding Muslim rights in Gujarat. Perhaps no exercise since Independence has been more laughably self-defeating than this. And all this, despite the incessant chanting of its two high priests - Digvijay Singh and Kapil Sibal.

Ever since being thrown out of Madhya Pradesh, Digvijay Singh deems himself as the modern-day incarnation of Don Quixote who mustn’t go to bed without charging at some imaginary BJP communal windmill. Kapil Sibal mustn’t call it a day without proving to his patron saint and his Chandani Chowk constituents how unalloyed are his secular credentials.

Let me start with a stark fact. The much-lamented 2002 Gujarat communal riots claimed 1044 lives. However, in the years thereafter, grotesquely disproportionate amount of media attention whipped up by self-styled NGO propaganda has endeavored to convince us that the post-Godhra riots were the ‘worst ever communal riots’ in India. This is a blatant lie which is, in W. H. Auden’s famous phrase, “infected with an incurable dishonesty.”

It was, you’ll recall, Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s notorious Propaganda Minister in Nazi Germany who famously —or notoriously? - said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” He didn’t tell — how could he? — that a lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and military consequences of the lie. In our case, it can – and will — be repeated till the blinding spell of National Advisory Council and its High Priestess lasts. This mercifully is likely to end after the 2014 election. And should that hope not materialize, our polity is doomed.

Meanwhile, it is absolutely imperative to nail this lie to maintain some standards of probity in public debate over issues that profoundly affect us. May I narrate in this essay some facts and figures in their chronological sequence which I challenge Modi-baiters to disprove, and they’re aplenty.

Gruesome Chapter

What they don’t tell their listeners about is the Nellie massacre of 1983 which claimed the lives of more than twice the number of people who died during the Godhra train killing and its inevitable sequel, the 2002 Gujarat riots. The Nellie massacre happened under a Congress Prime Minister when the State was under President’s rule and the findings of the probe that was ordered into the massacre were never made public.

Here’s a table that sums up the most gruesome chapter of our recent history.

Communal Carnages and their Victims since Gandhi Centenary Year

Year State Government
in Power
Total # of Causalities Targeted Community
1969 Gujarat Congress 660 430 Muslims
1983 Nellie,
President’s Rule 2191 All Muslims
1984 Delhi Congress 4000+ All killed were Sikhs
1989 Bhagalpur,
Congress 1070 876 Muslims Killed
1992 Mumbai Congress 900 575 Muslims Killed
2002 Godhra,
BJP 58 58 Hindu Pilgrims Burnt Alive
2002 Gujarat BJP 1169 781 Muslims Killed in Retaliation

Before you draw a few distressing conclusions from the above Table, allow me to mention that the figures cited from the official Government reports are, as always happens in such cases, mere approximations erring on the side of under-estimation, and that too done purposely to play down the gravity of the grim happening. Invariably, the number mentioned as missing is an official euphemism for the dead. (The most recent instance of this, for instance, is Uttarakhand where the very substantial number of missing in the floods —you’ve guessed it — is just to bring down the number of dead for official records.)

Most poignantly, statistics of the dead can’t convey in any way the dimensions of human tragedy camouflaged in numbers. Bureaucrats compiling the data don’t suffer the deep pain of children for ever separated from their parents. Statistics cannot measure human suffering nor tabulate the cries and sobs of the survivors. The anguish suffered by Muslims is no different from the anguish of the Hindus or Sikhs killed in riots. Suffering unites human beings in an indefinable bond.

M A Jinnah’s Direct Action had set the ball rolling. Aided and abetted by the connivance of the Government of the day, it led to the Great Calcutta Killing in August 1946. Within 72 hours, more than 4,000 people lost their lives and 100,000 residents of the city of Calcutta were left homeless. That triggered the partition of the subcontinent in which over a crore perished and another estimated one and a half crore were displaced from their hearths and homes. And all that incited by religious fanaticism which left behind a still-unhealed, festering wound of distrust among those who for centuries had lived amicably as caring neighbors.

Communal riots occurred every now and then even after 1947. When we celebrated Gandhi Centenary in 1969, we thought we’ll give this cult of fanaticism a permanent burial. But no! The State in which the apostle of non-violence was born witnessed serious rioting in which over two-third of those killed were Muslims. And this happened when the Indian National Congress, and not the Hindu nationalist BJP, ruled in Gujarat.

The maximum number of Muslims killed in a single day rioting was not in 2002 which is talked of day in day out, but in Nellie, Assam in 1983 where 2191 Muslims were butchered in a single day. And it was when the State was under the President’s rule and that great symbol of secularism, Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister. Have Muslims suffered a memory blank and forgotten that?

Which Was Gruesome?

The following is a point-by-point comparison I discovered on the net (whose authorship I don’t know but can vouch the facts) of the two tragedies to put them in perspective:

Nellie Massacare
in 1983
Gujarat Riots
in 2002
When? 18 February 1983:
9 AM till 3 PM
- Just 6 hours
27 February 2002 till
Mid June 2002
- 3.5 months
Why? Not clear. Possibly, anti-Bangladeshi sentimens. 58 Hindu pilgrims, including 25 women and 15 children, were burned alive in a train, by Muslim mobs at Godhra station.
Affected Districts:
1 District. 14 villages near the river Kopili. No one knows what triggered this horrible planned massacre. 151 towns and 993 villages in 16 districts out of the 25 districts of the State. All as reaction to the train-burning at Godhra.

Number of Dead:
2,191 people. ALL Muslims. A case of suspected planned genocide. (Unofficial figures run at more than 5,000) 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus. 223 more people were reported missing. (Unofficial counts well over 1500)
Places of Worship damaged: Not Known. 298 dargahs, 205 mosques, 17 temples, and 3 churches.
Ruling Party Congress: President's Rule BJP at State level and NDA at the Centre.
in Charge
Indira Gandhi (PM) and Gyani Zail Singh (President). Assam was under President’s rule on the day of the riot. Atal Bihari Vajpayee (PM) and Narendra Modi (CM).
Convictions of Rioters: Not ONE rioter or killer convicted till date.
Police filed 688 criminal cases, of which 378 cases were closed due to ‘lack of evidence’. 310 cases were charge sheeted, but Rajiv Gandhi dropped cases against ALL in 1985.
249 convictions till now in 19 cases. 184 Hindus. 65 Muslims. 31 for Godhra and 34 for post-Godhra.
Commissions and Probes: 600-page official Tiwari Commission report – Only 3 copies exist today. Assam’s Congress CM Hiteswar Saikia decided not to make it public. Shah-Nanavati Commission, National Human Rights Commission, Banerjee Committee, Concerned Citizens Tribunal and finally Supreme Court monitored SIT. And of course 11 years of print and electronic media trials, including TV studios kangaroo court sessions.
Administration Probed: Indira Gandhi and Gyani Zail Singh never probed. No SITs, no questioning by Supreme Court and no media trials at all. Indira got a Bharat Ratna too! Remember, not ONE person involved in the riot was convicted in 30 years. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi being blamed for 11 years. Even a state minister Maya Kodnani sent to jail after being convicted. 249 people facing sentences, including many on death row. Still Modi termed “Merchant of Death” by Sonia Gandhi. No court - not even ONE court -found Narendra Modi guilty on any charge in 11 years.

Very Worst Communal Riot

That’s not all. The very worst communal rioting in post-1947 India occurred in Delhi, the Capital of India in November 1984. Over 4000 innocent Sikh men, women and children were done to death. And in cold blood. Their fault: “when a big tree falls the earth shakes”. The man who mouthed this scandalous inanity was Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister and the tree was Indira Gandhi.

“President Zail Singh wanted the army to act, but it didn’t. The then prime minister and home minister did not take his calls,” recalls Tarlochan Singh, who was Zail Singh’s press secretary. The Party-sponsored massacre was led by the Congress goons like H K L Bhagat, Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar.

Are the Congress Party spokesmen — our friends Digvijay Singh and Kapil Sibal – ready to face facts? Let’s remind them of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s priceless advice in The Brothers Karamazov:

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others.”

If the Congress Party spokesmen continue repeating ad nauseam the 2002 Gujarat riots, its opponents will have no choice but to dig up the mass graves of the Muslims killed in 1969 Gujarat and 1983 Nellie riots. The sight will be most unedifying. Shall we also remind the Sikhs all over again what horrendous price they paid for Mrs. Gandhi’s assassin professing their religion? Ripping open all half-healed wounds will harm the polity immeasurably. Probably the worst sufferers will the perpetrators of this stupidity.

Continued to “Damn the Facts: Just Beat the Drum”


More by :  H.N. Bali

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Views: 3419      Comments: 5

Comment very good info.

I wish i get more to read.

27-Aug-2013 13:36 PM

Comment Wonderful writeup with facts and figures! It is a pity that many of the Indian elites and educated also subscribe to the canards spread my media which owe their loyalty to the highly corrupt Congress Party!

G Swaminathan
27-Jul-2013 06:18 AM

Comment Truth persists for ever. But false persists when falsehood rules. In India UPA rules for many years..Congress ruled for many years. Let us look into the past.
Duryodhan ruled Hastinapur. And look, what happened. Even shameful event was witnessed by all maharathis. Sarees were pulled away/ of the body of Draupadi.
Only Krishna could save her. We are sons and daughters of same country. Manmohan Singh is ruling now, Digvijay Singh and his kith are darbaris Some
sansands recommends Obama not to give visa to Narendra Modi,that is being
published/told to media. Media gives little importance to the vast majority.
WHY Manmohan Singh (Conress) does nor raise India's voice against such recommendation. Is it his (mute) preference? Riots have occurred in the past many years. WHY Manmohan Singh does remember them? Is it his preference?
Manmohan Singh (Congress) makes propoganda (false it may be) to protect
scams. Let people of India save their country, save from falsehood WE SHOULD WORK AND FIGHT TO SAVE US SUCH FALSEHOOD, SUCH FALSE FACES..It is night now but the sun is certain to rise.

pranlal sheth
24-Jul-2013 05:47 AM

Comment Once again - another article from Dr. Bali that provides detailed facts and historical perspectives to make points. Political spins (particularly by the people currently in power) are cold calculated distortions of facts to gain end objectives without any feelings of shame and guilt. It is only appropriate that we see all sides of the story supported by facts and not drowned by loud opinions (from people like Digvijay Singh and Kapil Sibal). Of course the news media eats up any garbage they vomit.
I wish there was a way to make this article more visible to masses.

23-Jul-2013 19:29 PM

Comment Sadly this is one truth that the Congress-enslaved media would not lap up.
One may recall that in the live TV coverage of his Sadbhavana, Narendra Modi had asked Rahul Kanwar of "Headlines Today" to compile India's riot profile in toto and then see where Gujarat disturbances stand.
Modi's emergence, hopefully, would not only alter the way India is governed but help the media-sycophancy.
Keep it up sir and I know what it takes to give what you have been giving to Bilojians.
BS Murthy

BS Murthy
21-Jul-2013 13:48 PM

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