The Concerned Citizens’ Tribunal Report on Gujarat, 2002
The Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s government has returned with an increased majority precisely because it championed Gujarati chauvinism and xenophobia, campaigning on a one-sided interpretation of the events of February-March 2002, which remembers the victims of Godhra but not the much larger number of victims of revenge killings. For both Advani and Modi, the Godhra incident was a case of ‘genocide’; but the subsequent events were played down as ‘disturbances’ or ‘incidents’. The Prime Minister even argued in Parliament that the term ‘massacre’ was too strong to describe what had happened. Arundhati Roy commented: ‘what’s the point of us all going on about “deepening democracy”, when it’s being bent and twisted into something unrecognizable?’ Or, as A. G. Noorani, a renowned specialist on the workings of the Indian Constitution, put it rather more bluntly: Modi ‘is a practicing Nazi who has carved his name indelibly in the annals of infamy’
Why is it that after one year of investigations, some of the major players who caused this genocide are still free? Why is that the people of Gujarat voted the ruling BJP again to power? Why is that the central government failed to prosecute the chief minister who is responsible for this genocide? Why is it that the Muslim world preferred to remain silent on the issue? Why is it the United States did not take stronger steps to denounce these ‘terrorists’? What is the guarantee that Gujarat w[ill] not be repeated in other parts of India? These questions are relevant and appropriate and voice the concerns of the one of the world’s largest Muslim populations. No answer, or as yet only a muted answer, is forthcoming. This book looks into the Concerned Citizen’s Tribunal Report that looks into many of these issues.