Gujarat: Healing Old Wounds


“Religious fanatics are worse than terrorists.”

These words were used in the Supreme Court while announcing its decision to set up a five member special investigation team to re-investigate 10 major cases of the post-Godhra carnage. ( Gujarat 2002).
Fundamentalists have no religion. They are plain campaigners of sadism. But, the question that arises is; who are the real fundamentalists? Not those crusading for faith, but, the power seekers holed up in our political system. Of course, the former type are used as hay to make fire but our vanity hungry, shoddy politicians are the real force behind communal disharmony. At any front, one can clearly see that at the base of political propaganda lies religious fundamentalism. It’s an instrument of the political process in our big states.
Nearly 4 years after human rights activists came forward and filed petitions in the Supreme Court to have the 2002 cases probed by CBI, and, tried outside the State, a bench comprising Justice Arijit Passayat, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam took the decision of constituting a SIT which will be headed by former CBI chief, R.K.Raghavan. This will include a former IPS officer of the UP cadre among 3 IPS officers from the State to probe 10 crucial cases of violence.
On constant urge of the National Human Rights Commision, (NHRC) for fresh trials, a re –investigation team, bounded by a certain time frame has been constituted, but, once again cases will be tried within the jurisdiction of the Gujarat government. That perhaps brings the situation on unfavourable terms again, because, the Gujarat government is already facing allegations of major cover-ups and disrupting fair and transparent enquiry. Also, it has been constantly recommended that it would be in the victims’ interest to have the cases tried outside of Gujarat, keeping in mind the various threats and inducements to them. So, here’s a chance all over again for the Gujarat government and its political rivals at the Centre to do the best they can in grinding their own political axe.

In a sacrilege where thousands of people lost their lives, were brutally killed, rendered homeless or separated from their families for no fault of theirs the efforts of our judicial system come as lacking and unproductive. We remain a country where powerless millions pay the price for the ambitious pursuits of a few men of political clout.

However it’s never too late. I firmly stand for justice even though it may become inconsequential following a putrid postponement.

The only way to counter aggression triggered by communal conflicts is downsizing babudom, overcoming delay and corruption and bringing about accountability in the government sector departments.

Before washing any stigma related to religious fanaticism we’ve to ensure that our political system is cleaned up. Hope to be there soon.

Vasundhara Sud

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