October 19, 2006

Just as Orwell predicted

(Note: Please don't miss the "Please read" addendum at the end of this post).

***

I called it "Just as Orwell predicted", the Hindustan Times called it something else and edited it slightly ... this essay is on the oped page of the paper today (October 19). (Can't find web link just now).

***

    "According to the [Srikrishna Commission] report, the [1993 Bombay
    bomb] blasts were the fallout of the riots that happened after
    demolition of the Babri Masjid. Why have only we been found guilty?
    What about the culprits who have been named in the Srikrishna
    Commission report?"
-- Abdul Ghani Turk, found guilty on September 19 2006 in the bomb blasts trial. Turk parked a RDX-laden jeep at Century Bazaar; when it exploded, it killed 88 people.

The questions Turk asks deserve answers, even if they come from him. But note that he's not the first man in this trial to mention the riots in Bombay. Now it may not be to everyone's liking to hear it. But several of the accused have spoken of how they were persuaded to play their parts in the bomb blasts as revenge for what they suffered during the riots.

For example, there's Pervez Nazir Ahmed Shaikh, pronounced guilty on September 21 for the bomb in Katha Bazar that killed four people. Shaikh used to sell clothes at Andheri station. He lost that business because of the riots, and was consumed by bitterness. When someone introduced him to Tiger Memon, and Memon spoke of "avenging" what had happened to people like him during the riots, Shaikh was only too ready to do his murderous bit.

You can argue about the perversity of such vengeance, but that's not my point here. Nor am I saying the riots justified the blasts: they did not. My point is simpler, and you don't really need to hear it from these men. My point is just the dates for these events: December 1992 and January 1993 is when the riots happened; March 12 1993, two months later, is when the blasts went off.

Why point out something as obvious as the sequence of dates, you ask? Well, it isn't quite as obvious as you think.

Take a well known Indian blogger, one even described by his fans as "accomplished". After the train blasts this past July, he dismissed chances of any "retaliation" with this: "[T]his is the third time in last 15 years [that] large scale bombing have [sic] taken place in Mumbai itself. Except for 1993, when Shiv Sena attacked Muslims in large number [sic], there has never been any retaliation."

Take the bureaucrat and thoughtful author Pavan Varma. In an article on the "New Middle Class" for Outlook (October 16), he makes a point about "the difference in the way the middle class reacted in Bombay to the bomb blasts in 1993 and 2003." If your brow is furrowed, wondering what reactions Varma is talking about, consider that on page 188 of his last book, Being Indian, he writes: "The 1993 bomb blasts triggered religious violence."

Take the writer Ashok Banker, now several well-received books into his massive project of writing the Ramayana for popular consumption. Given his subject, Banker must know the value of research and historical accuracy. Yet in Tehelka's issue of July 29, Banker refers to "the cycle of action-reaction that led to the 1993 bomb blasts being followed by riots."

A decade-and-a-half after those weeks of Bombay misery, it seems that an ever-increasing number of people have come to believe that the riots followed the blasts. That the riots were actually set off by the blasts. These well-known writers actually believe and pronounce as much, and they are by no means the only ones.

So let's get this straight. Actually, dear Mr Blogger, in 1993 the Shiv Sena attacked Muslims before the blasts; not in "retaliation" for the blasts. Actually, dear Messrs Banker and Varma, the 1993 bomb blasts happened after the religious riots.

How can each of you write the opposite? Why did your editors (well, not you Mr Blogger) not catch such mistakes? How is it that not even the ongoing bomb blast judgements, with their daily mention of men who confess to bitterness over the riots, has got you to correct your impression?

But more important, how did this inversion of history -- one truly worthy of Orwell and 1984 -- come to be? And why?

The "why" is simple. If people believe that the blasts set off the riots, they will say to themselves: yes, the riots were horrible, but they were, after all, a reaction. An unpleasant one, but understandable. Seeing them that way immediately lessens the horror of the riots; makes it possible to view them -- as so many do view them -- as a heroic stand against marauding bomb-setting mobs.

All of which helps explain why we have judgements being delivered in the blasts trial, but not one riot criminal has been punished.

So my theory is that ever since the blasts, there has been a systematic and subtle campaign to propagate this inversion. For just one example, take a beautifully printed book I have on my shelf. Called Sir Manohar Joshi, it is a biography of the Shiv Sena leader who was once Chief Minister of Maharashtra, written by a Dr Vijay Dhavale of Canada while Joshi was CM.

I searched through Sir Manohar Joshi for references to the riots of 1992-93. I found one such reference on page 99. Here it is:
    The bomb blast at the Mumbai Stock Exchange and some other prominent buildings in early 1993 not only took several lives, it turned the politics of the state upside down. The news that the prime suspects were Ibrahim Dawood [sic] and his gang ... touched off communal riots in several parts of the metropolis. Chief Minister Sudhakarrao Naik was judged to have failed to control them and Prime Minister Rao asked Sharad Pawar to take over the reins of power from Naik ... Pawar became Chief Minister of Maharashtra in March 1993.
Not only do we learn that the bombs "touched off" the riots, we also learn that Pawar became CM as a consequence of the blasts. No matter that when the blasts happened, Pawar was already CM.

(Aside: This is not the only turnaround of history that Dhavale's literary masterpiece propagates. On page 206, he painstakingly explains that the March 1993 blasts led to the October 1991 digging up of the Wankhede cricket pitch by the Shiv Sena).

And this book was published in February 1997, less than four years after the blasts. The good Dr Dhavale got going on his revision project very quickly indeed.

With efforts like these, it is no wonder that Banker and Varma and the blogger believe what they do.

It is also no wonder that while we've had a long trial that's now pronouncing verdicts for the terrorism of the blasts, we've had no justice for the terrorism of the riots.

No wonder at all. No justice at all. No end to terror.

***

Update: As someone reminded me by email, I've written on this theme before, in this space and elsewhere. When I have, I've had responses like "The jury's still out on the dates", and "OK, we can argue till the cows come home about which happened first, but so what?" and the like.

Well, let's say someone wrote a history of the Second World War. Let's say he had a paragraph in it that said the atom bomb attacks on Nagasaki and Hiroshima "touched off" the attack on Pearl Harbour. Given that the atom bombs were dropped in August 1945, and Pearl Harbour happened in December 1941, would it be OK to say "The jury's still out on the dates"?

Those dates too far apart for you, or too remote in history for you? Take another example.

Suppose a columnist wrote an article about the attacks on the World Trade Center. Suppose he claimed in it that the US invasion of Afghanistan (October 2001) "was followed by" the WTC atrocities (September 2001). Would it be fine to say "We can argue till the cows come home about which happened first"?

***

Over at Mumbai Matters, Bombay Addict has a short timeline.

***

Please read: After receiving the fourth comment to this piece (Anonymous at 825pm), I sent this note to the Hindustan Times:
    After my article appeared in HT yesterday, someone emailed me to say that the blogger I mention corrected his lines about the Shiv Sena retaliating after the 1993 bomb blasts. (i.e. this quote that is in my article: "[T]his is the third time in last 15 years [that] large scale bombing have [sic] taken place in Mumbai itself. Except for 1993, when Shiv Sena attacked Muslims in large number [sic], there has never been any retaliation.")

    On his blog, those lines now appear with a line through them.

    I'd be grateful if you would publish this correction.

51 comments:

wise donkey said...

amazingly ridiculous

Anonymous said...

1. Absolutely no quarrel with any attempt to fight "inversion of history" if that is happening there.

2. The cycle of violence stuff has been done to death even just on dcubed so wont repeat myself.

3. Have never lived in Mumbai, no experience of 92 riots or other events but believe the 92 riots were initiated by community M. (something abt Radhabai chawl? etc).

4. If so the perverse vengeance exacted by SS goons immediately afterwards would fall into the same category as Turk's actions after a span of a decade or so.

5. Justice for riot victims, I presume, would naturally include any H. victims as well. Just as justice in Guj 2002 riots should be given to victims of M. violence there as well (there was quite a bit of that too, some have justified it as "counter-violence"). Being so, nobody can really oppose this?

6. Maybe the delays are due to SS/BJP having been in power in Maha. until recently (and trying to cover up). The blasts cases took ~13yrs. We may have justice for riots soon...

7. At least some of the arguments - loss of livelihood? -being advanced look watery weak.

regards,
Jai

Dilip D'Souza said...

Jai: there were riots in Bombay through the first three weeks of December 1992 (usually called "the first phase" of the riots).

After a lull, there was a second phase, starting with killings and violence from 1 January 1993 onwards, including early on January 8, when the Radhabai Chawl atrocity happened. This went on till early February.

It is another odd inversion of history that has been put out -- that you seem to believe -- that the January 8 Radhabai crime "initiated" the riots that stretched from several weeks before Radhabai Chawl.

If "nobody can really oppose" justice for riot victims, can you explain why it has not happened yet, and shows no sign of ever happening? Take a worse example: I presume "nobody can really oppose" justice for the victims of the 1984 massacre -- so why has it not happened yet?

The SS/BJP regime was in power 1995-2000.

"Loss of livelihood" is just one of the things we have heard from the bomb blasts convicts. In any case, in what sense is it "weak"?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the title of this post should contain Orwell. I googled the words to find out which blogger you were talking about, and came across this post. The blogger has scratched out the sentence, and the footnote mentions - Correction: Gaurav Sabnis points out that there were no riots post 1993 Bombay blasts. True. I stand corrected. Thanks, Gaurav.

To be fair to the blogger, you should have noted that he did correct himself.

HP said...

There is no point in going and saying who started the riots and who didnt. Some point to the mathadi workers being killed, some to the demolitions and some will point to something that will give them an higher moral ground.

The point is that they have not been given justice. Neither the ones affected by 84 riots, the ones who were thrown from their homes in Kashmir, the ones affected in 92-93 and the more recent ones in Gujarat.

Till the time justice is done to all the riot victims, we will continue to be an incomplete society.

HP

Anonymous said...

my dear bitspilanian, riots are difficult to investigate because of their fundamental messy nature. in a civil society, the culprits would be punished. we're not a civil society. bomb blasts are easier to investigate because there is a clear organization at work. there is no political interference to the policing.

i think what you're trying to insinuate is that muslims were responsible for the blasts and hindus were responsible for the riots. and the riots were the cause for the blasts. this is a classic perspective of the classic wacko leftist.

the truth is that hindu-muslim violence is an old old cycle, with equal culpability on both sides. it hardly matters which riot came first. bomb blasts is a relatively new phenomenon with culpability that lies squarely with a combination of islamic fundamentalism, the indian underworld and pakistan. the victim is the common man, hindu, muslim and christian.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Anonymous 825, right you are! I had no idea about the scratching out. Two things in quick succession last July made me decide I didn't want to read that blogger again. This quote was the first; when I saw it, I noted it down as I noted down Banker's quote, for future reference. I haven't been back to that blog till just now when I followed your link.

In any case, this article is not about asking people to correct themselves, but about the impression that so many people seem to have in the first place, that this blogger clearly had: that the blasts set off the riots. How did this impression get out?

Anonymous 922: I am not trying to insinuate anything. In this article, I am simply trying to understand how and why there is this widespread impression that the blasts set off the riots. Whether that is the "classic perspective of the classic wacko leftist" is for you to pronounce, I'm not concerned with that.

Sure, there may be equal culpability on both sides. But the riots of 1992-93 happened before the blasts of 1993. That's all.

You may want to believe that riots are difficult to investigate, but these riots (and every other riot) had a substantial official effort to investigate them. It's called the Srikrishna Commission of Inquiry and it produced a comprehensive report.

Thank you HP. That's the issue: can we find the will to give riot victims justice?

Anonymous said...

dear bourgeois anti-meritist,

let me put it this way. name three muslims that have been persecuted for murder in riots. that the shiv sena is involved in it is stating the obvious. and in a just world thackre would have been hanged, but thackre and his equivalents among muslims get away with murder on a regular basis. nobody would be happier than i if thackre were to be hanged tomorrow.

but what you're trying to do here is to create an impression that the scales of justice are tilted in favour of hindus who are calling the shots (no, don't deny it). the truth in fact is that the scales of justice are tilted in favour of influential and murderous assholes. the victim or the underdog is the common man and he is hindu and he is muslim.

-your friendly proletariat

Anonymous said...

i know you will deny it mr dsouza, but tell me, how is it that so many people read you as a 'leftist'?

-your friendly hard-working meritorious iitian

Dilip D'Souza said...

what you're trying to do here is to create an impression that the scales of justice are tilted in favour of hindus... [etc]

Nope, what I'm trying to do here is write about a peculiar impression about the sequence of 14-year-old events.

the truth in fact is that the scales of justice are tilted in favour of influential and murderous assholes.

I couldn't agree more.

the victim or the underdog is the common man and he is hindu and he is muslim.

I couldn't agree more.

tell me, how is it that so many people read you as a 'leftist'?

I have no idea. Nor am I particularly interested in finding out.

But it would be interesting, I will admit, to know what this has to do with the theme of this article. i.e. what being "leftist" has to do with this inversion of history.

not that I expect an answer.

Selma Mirza said...

Its all unfair. I was 10 years old when all this happened. It all made no sense, maybe it was even fun then because we were allowed to go home from school after the recess.

but later that night, reality struck hard when my dad was stuck in a taxi in Mahim with fire and mobs all around.

I want to do the 10 year old some justice, who was worried sick about her father's safety.

Twisting facts around makes no difference, does not justify anything. Anonymous comments don't help either. grr.

Anonymous said...

Dilip, the bombay incidents of the past decade and half are surely interesting - given the crude-cosmo spirit of bombay. Whatever you've said does makes sense - but do i suspect you being a bit 'chomskyish' at times.
there is surely another side of the story where both the riots and blasts freed up a lot of real estate - for both hindus and muslims who had money to buy into it. so riots make business sense too.

Dilip D'Souza said...

A couple of points I wanted to make but forgot ...

1) In response to Anon 825 again, this is not the first blogger who has said something like this. I can think off the top of my head of at least 4-5, besides any number more of email correspondents. One such blogger prompted a similar post from July '05 on this issue (note I mention Pavan Varma there too).

2) In response to Anon 922 again, actually I think it is perverse to call those responsible for these atrocities -- riots or blasts -- Hindus or Muslims. They are just sick criminals who must be punished, that's all.

Shivam said...

To the vast number of anons wasting time in calling Dilip leftist / Marxist and trying their best to blame Hindus and Muslims "equally" for communal violence, tell me, is there a single Indian Muslim who can compare with Bal Thackeray or Narendra Modi insofar as killing the thousands they did get killed? The terorrists are widely believed to be coming from Pakistan, but what about these two Indian politicians held or are holding Constitutional seats?

That's the sort of question that makes you invert history to show how the Muslim is always the agent provocateur and the Hindu a victim merely provoked into regrettable violence. Riots don't just happen like that; they are calculated, well thought out, meticulously planned. Just like bombings.

No Dilip, terrorists are not just cheap criminals, they are also Hindus/Muslims. Religion does kill.

Bombay Addict said...

Dilip - thanks for the link. I used to think that getting facts right mattered in a debate.

Selma - Must have been a horrid incident.

Shivam - Amen to that.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Shivam, one important correction: Thackeray has never held a constitutional post.

I do believe religion kills, and inspires hatred. But I also believe that when we succumb to saying "The Hindus did this" and "The Muslims did that", we completely take away any chance of ordinary justice. So I think it is important to start seeing terrorist attacks like riots and blasts as just that: terrible atrocities against usall by criminals who have to be punished, that's it.

BAddict, you're welcome. Thanks for the timeline.

sudeep said...

After seeing the anonymous asking dileep "why do people call you a leftist" (knowing Dileep will deny it), and Shivam's comment addressing a vast number of people "calling Dileep a leftist" and also seeing Dileep being so adamant on claiming "i'm *not* a leftist", i wonder if that word has some meaning that i did not know.. is that some kind of an abuse? I know it is used as an abuse by many, (and I don't go around calling myself a leftist) but what should I do if some of my views happen to be leftist? Deny having any connection with "those silly leftists"? Reminds me of Martin Niemoller's the famous poem "When they came for.."

Dilip D'Souza said...

Of course. Write an article wondering why there is an impression out there that the blasts touched off the riots, and you rouse the guys who do their best to turn the debate into a "who is a leftist" argument.

Naturally.

Let's try it again: Riots, December 1992-January 1993. Bomb blasts, March 12 1993. That's it.

Anonymous said...

To the rightwing, facts don't matter. This is as true in India as in the US.

We desperately need a Stephen Colbert. As he said: "Reality has a well-known liberal bias."

Ashok K. said...

Dilip, I have never doubted that the '92 riots motivated the bomb blasts (which then motivated the riots all over again). That's why I used the phrases 'cycle' and 'led to'--which implies the '92 blasts. But you are quite right: I should have been more clear in my phrasing, and named the '92 riots in so man words as being the direct motivator of the bomb blasts. I stand corrected for that lapse, and will ensure it doesn't happen in future. If anything, I totally endorse your viewpoint--or rather, the truth of the matter, not just your viewpoint--and will be more careful in future not to give this misimpression. You're not alone in feeling the pain and anger of this kind of historical 'retro-cleanup' nor in blogging or writing about it. Write on!

Dilip D'Souza said...

Thank you Ashok, it's a pleasure to hear from you. Just one correction though: there were no riots after the 1993 blasts.

I'm really not making a point about the riots motivating the blasts, I'm just saying, let's all at least keep the facts right: the riots happened before the blasts.

kuffir said...

dilip,

i remember the sequence of events..you are right in asking why the sri krishna commission findings have not been acted upon.

but that doesn't mean you and the rss aren't made for each other.

Anonymous said...

the nature of hindu fundamentalism in india is different from islamic fundamentalism, christian fundamentalism and sikh fundamentalism. true, there is no absolute muslim equivalent to thackre, but then there is no hindu equivalent to muslims who blow up high grade explosives in public places.

what came first, islamic fundamentalism or hindu fundamentalism? shivam says 'hindu'. dsouza means 'hindu' but he is too coy to say it outright. i say the source is ancient history. i say they are both to blame 'equally'. that is the only intelligent view to take. perhaps becuase i am iitian and dsouza is bitsian, it is easy for me to see the intelligent view.

i have no problems with whatever chronology anybody wants. like i said, it hardly matters. perhaps we should think what created a thackre as much as what created an afzal guru.

Anonymous said...

hi selma, i hope your father was alright. like your father, i also was stuck away from home in the middle of madness, and i was terrified for my life too. it is not just muslims that are in danger.

Dilip D'Souza said...

what came first, islamic fundamentalism or hindu fundamentalism? ... dsouza means 'hindu' but he is too coy to say it outright.

Gotta love the guys who think they can read my mind, and supposed coyness.

Let's see: I have almost never used the word "fundamentalism" (except like I do here) because I think it is -- well, fundamentally meaningless.

The roots of the current hatreds I see around me go back so far into history that I really think it is irrelevant trying to decide when.

So instead I focus on what I see around me today. One of the things I see around me today is a perception that the blasts set off the riots. That is false, because the riots happened before the blasts.

This is not a question of "whatever chronology anybody wants". The chronology is not what anybody wants, it is what it is. And this is what it is: the riots happened in December 1992 and January 1993; the blasts in March 1993.

What this chronology -- which is what this article is about -- has to do with whether islamic fundamentalism came before hindu fundamentalism or vice versa; or whether there is a muslim equivalent of Thackeray; or even IIT vs BITS -- is beyond me.

Unless this is one more attempt to obfuscate.

Selma, I forgot to react to your note. My sympathies to you. This was a city gone mad in those weeks, and the price was paid by its own citizens, like you. I hope we can one day find the will to find justice.

Shivam said...

i have no problems with whatever chronology anybody wants.

ROTFL!

sudeep said...

Of the content I did not feel the need for a debate. And I have linked to it from my diary. But I found it interesting how someone was calling you "hey, leftist", Shivam's comment on it and your subheader that suggested you have a problem if someone calls you a leftist. Ok, before you accuse me of "straying" again, let me say, good work, Dilip! (sorry I got the spelling of your name wrong in the earlier comment).

Dilip D'Souza said...

your subheader that suggested you have a problem if someone calls you a leftist.

I have no problem if anyone calls me a leftist.

What I do have a problem understanding is, what does that have to do with the subject discussed in this essay, namely the notion that the bomb blasts touched off the riots?

Bombay Addict said...

Anon3:53 - hang on. Have I got you right when you say

1. what chronology we, or anyone, talks of is not of any relevance to you

2. Ancient history provides us the source of Hindu and Muslim fundamentalism, both of which are are to blame in equal propportions

3. The above view is intelligent, indeed the only intelligent view

4. You're in a better position to appreciate the intelligence in the above because you're from IIT and not from BITS like "dsouza"

Have I got that right ?

Anonymous said...

Dilip, that "please read" addendum is gracious. In it you say:

"Please read: After receiving the fourth comment to this piece (Anonymous at 825pm), I sent this note to the Hindustan Times:

After my article appeared in HT yesterday, someone emailed me to say that the blogger I mention corrected his lines about the Shiv Sena retaliating after the 1993 bomb blasts. [etc]"

So was it the comment, or did someone email you? Or was it both. Do tell us, Mr Blogger.

Dilip D'Souza said...

was it the comment, or did someone email you? Or was it both. Do tell us, Mr Blogger.

I'll tell you with pleasure, Mr Anonymous. You might say it was both. I first see comments as email in my inbox. Then I sent off the note to HT this morning.

Anonymous said...

Tell me something oh wise one.

"You might say it was both. I first see comments as email in my inbox. Then I sent off the note to HT this morning."

So that means you get "notification" of comments as emails. Fine.

But you also said:

"After my article appeared in HT yesterday, someone emailed me to say that the blogger I mention corrected his lines about the Shiv Sena retaliating after the 1993 bomb blasts."

"Someone" emailed you. Do you mean you actually *think* there is a little man who sits in blogger and that "somebody" emails you everytime a comment is posted?

Pity. I wish I had contacts in a newspaper. I could have published this as an example of a typical gaffe by a blogger whose fans call him "intelligent".

Dilip D'Souza said...

you mean you actually *think* there is a little man who sits in blogger ... [etc]

You want to see nefarious intent, you will. So please go right ahead.

I informed HT of the correction after I heard of it. That's it.

In any case, this article was not about people correcting themselves. Even corrected, the question remains: how did this impression get out? How did this blogger, and the two writers, internalize the idea that the blasts set off the riots, to the extent that they had to be corrected?

That's the point. There is no other. The correction does not change the point, and had I known about it, would not materially have changed the way I wrote the article (except that I would have mentioned the correction).

I wish I had contacts in a newspaper. I could have published this as an example of a typical gaffe by a blogger whose fans call him "intelligent".

Write it up. I'll help you get it published. This is a serious offer. But use your real name.

Ashok K. said...

Diip, I stand corrected (again!), and also accept your point--it's not really about corrections, but about how this misimpression spread--and was allowed to spread. Excellent point, and very good article. Do continue to write and stimulate, challenge and question all of us. As for the charge of 'leftist', perhaps it's time that that commentator, like so many others (including, sadly, many in the media as well) stopped applying convenient labels to people and realized that we are each of us more than the idealogies we assimilate or the cards we carry.

And since we're speaking of corrections anyway, may I offer one of my own? I've actually completed my retelling of the Ramayana in six volumes, and not several volumes into the writing of it!

Ashok Banker

Dilip D'Souza said...

Ashok, I would like to particularly thank you for being so gracious.

The point is, as you say, how this impression has got out.

And yes, I can stand to be corrected too ... I didn't know you were done with the Ramayana, good for you! Congratulations, and this will remind me to go pick them up! I look forward to it.

Sidhusaaheb said...

I hope the misinformation will not spread any further and the 'inversion' attempt will not be reflected in school history books in the future.

You never know what to expect from politicians in this country...

But then, it is the people who vote them to power and, in fact, help them to secure election victory by record margins when they are seen to have organised communal riots (Please excuse the digression!).

sudeep said...

[anticipatory bail: slightly off-topic as far as the "main subject" is concerned, but does refer to the comments made here] you're saying the word "fundamentalism" is "fundamentally meaningless".. could you explain why you feel so?

Anonymous said...

The discussion seems to have gone way off track: IIT/BITs/leftism?

1. Radhabai Ch. another odd inversion of history
Got me on that, it seems to be something I have internalized.

2. Went thru the excerpts of SriKrishna Comm report @ sabrang. Very disturbing reading. All those ghantanaads and mahaartis pre-demolition and riots afterward.

3. sorry to say, @ sabrang there seemed to be a brief to clear or mitigate acts of one party; appeared to go out of the way to highlight

- "individual & unorganized"
- "underworld links"
- "professional stab wounds" (trained killer not lumpen mob)etc.

Maybe that IS the truth. looked a little strained.

4. While I found it hard to believe that ppl who rioted at hyd / lucknow for cartoons published in Denmark sat on their hands waiting to be set upon by SS mobs after Babri, it could be very true - no direct knowledge of these events.

5. Take it as 'asked and answered' (@ 2 hands of the Q) that various parties to various degrees supported some riots or the other.

On justice for the victims:
the non-SS/BJP govts in power surely have incentive to go after the perpetrators.

Are you suggesting that the 92 riots were an all party affair, or that Maha. parties have an understanding to not go after each others cover-ups.

6. Off-topic: Wish you & everyone here a happy diwali,& Id Mubarak!

regards,
Jai

Anonymous said...

being an iitian trained to be a skeptic, i question that there is a misimpression.

1. ashok banker says he made an honest mistake -without an agenda. he implies that it was not his fault for not doing his homework, but somebody else's nefarious design to create this misimpression in him. let's take his word for it.

2. everybody who has read dhavale's book, raise your hand. okay, everybody who had even heard of dhavale, raise your hand. no, not you, dilip, we know you read strange books.

3. this was what 13 years ago? i was nearly caught in a riot, my cousin nearly died in the plaza blast, a second cousin was injured enough to require plastic surgery, but i have no recollection of what exactly happened when. i put it all in the 92-94 timeframe. for most normal people, it registers as a *cycle* of violence.

has there been a deliberate attempt to cast a particular community, either hindu or muslim as a prime instigator? yes, this is done by the fundamentalist right and the fundamentalist left, one of which is dilip dsouza, who went to bits pilani, a school for rich kids.

Dilip D'Souza said...

i have no recollection of what exactly happened when.

Doesn't necessarily mean others have no recollection too.

for most normal people, it registers as a *cycle* of violence.

Even "cycles" of violence have a sequence.

this is done by the fundamentalist right and the fundamentalist left ...

I'll repeat what I asked before:

It would be interesting to know what this has to do with the theme of this article. i.e. what being "fundamentalist left" or "fundamentalist right" has to do with an inversion of events, or the correction of such inversion.

Not, again, that I expect an answer.

Anonymous said...

certainly, i'll give you an answer. i've already given you the answer.

the fundamentalist right tries to portray hindus as reacting to violence by muslims, thereby pinning blame and responsibility on muslims. the fundamentalist left does the opposite. it wants to portray hindus as instigators and muslims as victims reacting to violence unleashed by hindus. the fundamentalist right and the fundamentalist left are lovers and cannot do without each other.

Dilip D'Souza said...

certainly, i'll give you an answer. i've already given you the answer.

Nope, you haven't. Not before, not now.

The question was this: What does being "fundamentalist left" or "fundamentalist right" have to do with the theme of this article -- i.e. this inversion of events, or the correction of such inversion? (For that matter, what does bits/iit have to do with such inversion?).

Not, yet again, that I expect an answer.

I couldn't care less what "fundamentalist left" or "fundamentalist right" are, actually. I do care that the killers be punished, whether they kill by setting off bombs or by slicing people to pieces in riots. I do care that we keep history straight.

Anonymous said...

one of the many reasons why your writing is so intensely disliked by so many is that you prefer not to understand simple and obvious points made by people you are arguing with. what is so hard to understand what i said? do i have to spell it out in pitiless detail, suddenly assuming that i'm talking to a four year old?

the sequence of events pins down who started it first, doesnt it? i can understand dhavale (fundamentalist right) and you (fundamentalist left) harping on it because it is important to your agendas. the rest of us dont really care because we are not interested in pinning down blame to one community. long years of experience on the streets of bombay have taught us that there are muslim and hindu cut-throats and mischief makers on both sides. do we know the religion of the person who throws a butchered cow into a temple or a butchered pig into a mosque? i would say, in either eventuality, there's a 50% probability that he is hindu.

what has iit or bits to do with this? i am too modest to say anything outright about this.

Anonymous said...

Why are these illegal immigrants still defended ?
http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/oct282006/national19484120061027.asp

Dilip D'Souza said...

the sequence of events pins down who started it first, doesnt it?

All I am interested in is getting the sequence straight. I couldn't care less what religion the guilty party is in whatever atrocity, killers whether of Hindu or Muslim colour need to be punished severely, that's all. This has nothing to do with pinning blame, but with just keeping facts straight. It continues to baffle me that this is so hard to understand.

Please do spell things out in pitiless detail. You need to, because you have still not answered the question: what does "fundamentalist right" or "fundamentalist left" or bits/iit have to do with the theme of this article, which is this inversion of history.

Not, of course, that I expect an answer.

Finally, I take it as high praise if you tell me my writing is disliked by "so many."

Anonymous said...

@ anon. IITian & dilip:

Sorry to interfere in a pvt fight.
"what has fund.R & fund.L to do with sequence/inversion"

1. Anon, are you stating that the sequence doesnt matter except for fund. R and fund.Ls?

If so I am probably a fund. though cant tell which.

2. Maybe you are stating that inversion happened but its mitigated by fund.Ls also doing it (& provide some example here)

3. Or that there is inversion but somehow mitigated by fact that there was other violence already going on prior that fund.Ls are ignoring ( & provide some example perhaps).

4. Or that some inversion is being attempted but nowhere as grand as being proposed by DDS, most fund.Rs are unaware of any inversion project? (and substantiate this if possible)

Do note here its not just Dhavale, Dilip has listed Ashok Banker/ Pavan Varma etc. as 'under the influence'.

All of the above may not negate the actual inversion but will have some relevance.

regards,
Jai

Anonymous said...

the comparison with fox news' bill oreilly is particularly interesting. like dsouza he also claims that he is non-partisan, something that is amusing to everyone else. bill oreilly makes a big deal out of people saying happy holidays instead of merry christmas, suspecting some kind of conspiracy.

let me give an example of how fundamentalist lefties are no different from f. righties, and in fact more dangerous because they speak good english and are are harder to identify. now remember godhra and the massacre of people in the train. what is the sequence of events according to them. according to them, the story starts with the 'kar sevaks' (the f. righties call them hindu pilgrims) return from ayodhya. they have set up the context in which the 'kar sevaks' are the aggressors. on the way, they torment muslim hawkers and tease women and consequently, an enraged mob torches the train. this is the f_leftist version that first came out. the latest revision states that there was no torching at all, but an accident. the leftists always refer to the victims as 'kar sevaks', as though being a kar sevak deprives them of the consideration given to other human beings.

who started it first is an important point for propagandists - the left and the right. for most of us normal, intelligent, common folks, it is not worth *dwelling* upon who started it first. it all started years ago.

Dilip D'Souza said...

what is the sequence of events according to them. according to them, the story starts with the 'kar sevaks' (the f. righties call them hindu pilgrims) return from ayodhya. they have set up the context in which the 'kar sevaks' are the aggressors ... [etc]

What you might call the interpretation of events: Who gets called what by whom, etc.

This article had nothing to say about who is more or less responsible or who started what or who called whom what. It simply said, let's keep the sequence straight. The riots preceded the bomb blasts, that's all.

When some X says the blasts "set off" the riots, or the riots were in "retaliation" for the blasts, this is not something to squabble over saying it's not important who started what or who retaliated to what, and that "most normal intelligent common folks" don't give a damn. None of that is relevant. Because what X says is simply false, that's all: for the simple reason that the riots preceded the blasts.

It would seem to me that "most normal intelligent common folks" would understand that. Yet apparently some prefer to obfuscate that simple issue by "fundamentalist leftists" and "fundamentalist rightist" and "iit/bits" and on and on.

After all, it is not fundamentalist rightists or fundamentalist leftists who spread falsehoods about the blasts "setting off" the riots. That's done by liars, which is all they are.

Dilip D'Souza said...

That's done by liars, which is all they are.

Meant to say, that's the last I will offer on this particular debate.

Anonymous said...

well *one* story by bill oreilly does not make him unfair and unbalanced, but the same slant to all his stories over years makes him a hardcore conservative commentator, doesnt it?

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