Dear Offstumped

87 assembly seats in Gujarat go to polls today. I am writing this letter to you to convey to my fellow residents of Gujarat these thoughts that crossed my mind as I exercised my Constitutional Rights this morning.

First I am deeply disappointed with the attitude of the so called liberal media of a troubling discovery in Nandigram. The media and the national conscience keepers like the NHRC that never tire of reminding me of their secular credentials stand exposed over their hypocrisy. As you had rightly pointed out in your post on 23rd Oct 2007 on the media manufactured outrage over the discovery of few unclaimed bodies as “Mass Graves”, it is puzzling that there is neither outrage nor CBI intervention from the NHRC on the many graves uncovered in Nandigram. While my state Gujarat is forever tainted in NCERT Textbooks with references to a mass grave that never was, I am disappointed that the media has looked the other way on Nandigram.

Secondly I am outraged by the attitude of the Congress Party and its President Sonia Gandhi for giving a communal color to an extra judicial killing of a known criminal Sohrabuddin. This perversity of taking offense to a fake encounter on the basis of religion sickens me. More than the attitude of the Congress it is the attitude of the media that has me troubled at mind. As you had righty pointed out in your post from 30th April 2007 the National Capital where law enforcement is the responsibility of the UPA Government saw 18 fake encounters during 2004-2005 and not even one of these incidents evoked a murmur of outrage not even on the basis of the religion of the victims, as despicable as it may have been.

Thirdly it is stunning that a Constitutional body like the Election Commission should have acted in a patently partisan manner by looking the other way as the Administration of my state is said to be “Merchandising Death” when in fact during 2004-2005 Congress ruled Andhra Pradesh had 21 fake encounters and Congress ruled Maharashtra had 29 fake encounters.

When I see all of this and your post illustrating the unrelenting one-sided tirade by the mainstream media against Mr. Modi by making out his remarks on Sohrabuddin to be about Communal hatred and playing the Hindu Card, I cant help but wonder if I am unwittingly subsidizing the media’s agenda here. I have hence decided to no longer allow the media to pursue its disingenuous secularism on my dime and penny. I will henceforth not subscribe to any media outlet like The Hindu with a stated agenda that puts psuedo-secularism above fact and truth in Gujarat. I will also henceforth send a loud and clear message to all those Consumer Goods Companies that advertise on channels like NDTV and CNN-IBN that they should no longer subsidize the media’s agenda with their advertisement fees else they wil have to deal with a boycott of their products and services in Gujarat.

If after reading this you have assumed I voted for Mr. Modi you are mistaken. I have deep differences with him on policy and governance.

Where I strongly believe in a culture of entitlement Mr. Modi believes in a culture of enterprise. Where his government has been working to attract investments and reduced the role of the state I see a need for more spending on social programs and an expanded role for the state. Where his government has introduced schemes to promote healthcare via private entities I strongly believe in the public health care system and want it to be preserved, strengthened and expanded even if it means limiting the freedom of choice for a few to deliver a larger public good.

Mr. Modi’s fate will be decided by me and my fellow Gujaratis on the basis of his record and not on the basis of the media’s discomfiture with his utter lack of regard for their brand of political correctness. The 2002 riots were a blot and have left a bitter wound in my psyche and those of my fellow Gujaratis both Hindus and Muslims who died in large numbers. I have faith in the judiciary that ultimately justice will be served to both the Muslim and Hindu victims.

While I bitterly disagree with Mr. Modi on his economic agenda and approach to governance I will not allow radical left wing activists and the psuedo secular media to take me and my fellow Muslims for a ride by raising false fears and manufacturing outrage. Their activism offends me for it stereotypes me with a dictator like Musharraf who has no respect for democracy and a known criminal like Sohrabuddin with terrorist links. However if Mr. Modi is re-elected which I am guessing he might I would expect him to fully prosecute all the accused irrespective of their religion to prove me right on my opposition of the radical left wing and the psuedo-secular media.

With these thoughts I appeal to my fellow Gujaratis to exercise their franchise.

My vote against Mr. Modi was least because we do not pray to the same God. I am a Gujarati first and a Muslim last.

Yours truly

An Aam Aadmi who also happens to be a Musalmaan

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