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Teesta Setalvad Petition bares Communal Agenda

The HT reported the below today

The call for implementing the report of the commission of inquiry — ignored by successive state governments for nine years — into the 1992-’93 Mumbai communal riots just got louder. About 900 people from New Delhi to New Zealand and Bihar to Bangladesh have joined an online signature campaign led by activist Teesta Setalvad to press for action on the report submitted in 1998 by former Bombay High Court justice B.N. Srikrishna. Signatories include theatre personality Alyque Padamsee, playwright Vijay Tendulkar, Magsaysay awardee Admiral L. Ramdas and danseuse Mallika Sarabhai.

Offstumped has analyzed the petition to expose the underlying communal agenda that started with the CNN-IBN campaign of projecting convictions in the 1993 blasts as justice for Hindus and punishment for Muslims and by applying the same perverse logic the clamor for action on the 1992-1993 riots as punishment for Hindus to provide justice for Muslims.

Before we get into the petition let me explain the “Taliban like Fanaticism” with an anecdote from circa 1993, the Powai Campus of IIT Mumbai (then IIT Bombay) where yours truly was an undergrad student while the events of 1992-1993 unfolded.

a student group on campus named after Swami Vivekananda had organized a seminar in the aftermath of the Babri Demolition and the subsequent riots. Arun Shourie, Sudheendra Kulkarni, MV Kamath and Muzaffar Hussain were invited speakers. These were the days when left of center secular political correctness was at its zenith and anything remotely saffron was not kosher. The IIT Administration was expectedly very nervous to have folks like Shourie and Kulkarni on campus lest they become targets of the left wing political correctness. So in an unprecedented and shameful move the Administration allowed the event but with one condition. They did not want any saffron on display. Now the event was organized by a group that identified Vivekananda as its mascot. Now Vivekananda for time immemorial has always been portrayed in saffron robes. But in order to satisfy the political correctness of the Left wing, the Administration demanded that Swami Vivekananda be disrobed of his traditional saffron and be forced to be displayed in a politically neutral blue robe.

It is this same left wing political correctness that has once again raised its head with a Taliban like fanaticism ignoring facts and manufacturing fiction to pursue its political agenda unapologetically.

The petition begins with a contradiction. While it is titled “Justice for All” the sub-text is very clear and unambiguous on who “all” are when it says

Punish the Guilty of the Anti Muslim Pogrom of 1992-1993

The petition is mischievous in its application of the word “Pogrom”. The dictionary describes Pogrom to be of Yiddish origin and has very specific connotation to the Jewish Holocaust and is meant to describe a organized massacre of innocent people.

By no stretch of the definition of the word Pogrom can the events of 1992-1993 be described as Anti-Muslim Pogrom.

As Offstumped had pointed out previously the Sree Krishna Commission Report is very clear about the events of December 1992 and does not characterize them as Anti-Muslim massacres. The Report is clear about Organized Muslim Mobs armed with the intention to kill on December 7th 1992. The report is also clear that there was “foolish provocation” from Hindu groups and “Police Mismanagement”. So the petition is deliberately mischievous and deliberately misrepresenting facts when it describes the events of 1992 as organized massacre of innocent muslims.

The petition is not even honest about its stated goal of Justice of All when it opens with the convictions in the 1993 blasts case and makes a shameless argument that the convictions were

is clear evidence of the operation of a double standard of justice, one for the majority community and the other for the minorities.

This is not just an insult to the Justice System but to all Indians who care about responding to Terrorism without any religious considerations. The suggestion that the Justice System is Communal is dangerous and is not even borne out by facts. The suggestion that the Mumbai Blasts exclusively targeted Hindus is also mischievous.Be that may where is the question of double standards of justice.

The facts are the 1992-1993 riots saw about 600 muslims and 300 Hindu deaths. So how can Justice for the riots be made out to be about Minorities versus Majorities when both communities suffered just as both communities suffered in the blasts.

Given the near total public support for the 1993 convictions, the left wing Taliban had to really stretch its imagination on how to frame this debate so that it can manipulate public opinion in its favor. So you have this next charge this charge which is laughable to say the least

The bomb terror of March 12, 1993 must be recalled with the same horror as the mob terror of December 6, 1992, in Ayodhya

To the unsuspecting mind this almost sounds reasonable and logical but here is the catch. The bomb blasts were a terrorist attack on Indians of all hues, Hindus and Muslims were killed when those bombs went off. The demolition of Babri Masjid was an utter breakdown of law and order when the Government of the day failed to enforce the law submitting itself to the wrath of mobs. To draw a moral equivalence between the two is asinine to say the least.

The petition then goes on to manufacture fiction.

among the individuals named in the report are several of their leaders and cadres, including Bal Thackeray, Manohar Joshi, Gopinath Munde and Madhukar Sarpotdar

As Offstumped had earlier pointed out no BJP leader was named by the Commission in its Conclusions. Gopinath Munde is not even formally accused of anything, it is his P.A. who is accused of carrying Munde’s pistol without a license.

The petition then goes to blame the Congress and NCP while making the demand that the 31 policemen named in the report be dealt with appropriately.

But it is in the closing paragraph that the petition bares its Communal Agenda with this threat.

If a genuine peace is to return to Mumbai, there must be justice

It then goes on to make the claim that

Justice can only be truly served by implementing the recommendations of the Srikrishna Commission report

Now what exactly has the Srikrishna Commission recommended. In his Conclusions the Justice has not recommended any action against political leaders. On the other hand he had recommended specific actions to be taken against the 31 policemen. The Justice went to labor at length on how law enforcement must be reformed, how riots must be controlled etc…, the Justice had no accusations or recommendations to make in his conclusions against those who mobilized the Muslim Mobs on December 7th 1992 or those who engineered the stabbing during the 1st week of Jan so the question to Teesta and the others is

how can Justice only be served by implementing the recommendations ?

Then petition then goes on to demand that the State Government

must devote as much energy and resources to obtaining justice for the victims of the Mumbai riots as it mustered up for the victims of the Mumbai bomb blasts

Offstumped poser to Teesta Setalvad and her fellow petitioners

The 1992-1993 riots and the 1993 blasts affected Indians of all hues in comparable terms.

By making out the convictions in the 1993 blasts as justice for Hindus and punishment muslims you and your leftist cohorts are setting a dangerous precedent.

By making the 1992-1993 riots as an Anti-Muslim pogrom you have insulted the Hindu riot victims and their kin.

If this was about justice for all your petition would have been more honest about demanding action against all those perpetrated riots including the mobs of 7th December 1992 and the stabbing of first week of January 1993.

If this was about healing the wounds your petition would have been specific about reforming law enforcement.

Unfortunately your petition is about neither.

Your petition is motivated by a perverse political correctness that views justice in communal terms.

The Taliban like Fanaticism with which you have been pursuing your agenda is what is widening the schism and festering the wounds in Mumbai by encouraging Muslim Vote Bank politics which in turn encourages Hindu Vote Bank politics.

If you want to truly heal Mumbai you should focus your energies on credible reforms of Law Enforcement and de-gehttoisation of Mumbai.


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