October 31, 2007

Become fearless

Actually, I'm not afraid, not in the least. Tarun Tejpal asks us to read Tehelka's recent reports on Gujarat and "be afraid", but no, I'm not afraid. I know what he means, but I am inspired instead by a small, dogged organization I know in Bombay that calls itself "Nirbhay Bano Andolan". Literally, "Become Fearless Movement". For years, they have fought fearlessly and diligently for justice for the victims of the 1992-93 riots in my city. Almost single-handedly, they have kept alive and in public memory a national shame that too many of us want to forget.

Think of it: what have you got to be afraid of? If you stand up and ask for murderers to be punished, you're only asking for the way things must be. You're only asking that we observe the principles of justice that our country was founded on.

Consider, on the other hand, the situation of the guys who feel forced to defend the killers.

They have to make out that your concern is motivated by elections, or profit, or some other triviality. They have to resort to the curious logic that because you speak about some murders, you don't care about other murders (and if you mention those, then its some others still). They have to ask peculiar questions like "Who started it?" -- because they cannot express straight out the perversity they really believe, that hundreds of innocent Indians killed across Gujarat somehow had asked to be murdered. They have to pronounce that Gujarat (or Bombay, or Meerut, or Delhi, or any of many other places before) has "moved on" and we must not "reopen old wounds." They have to insult you, your friends, your family, whoever -- because they have to try everything to discredit you who asks for justice.

You see, from the very start they must resort to evasion, insinuation and double-talk: the classic tactics of the guys with cowardice eating at their very entrails. These are the ones afraid. Afraid of standing up and saying, clear and forthright, what else they really believe: "We think these murderers should not be punished." Afraid of what they see in the mirror, afraid of themselves.

So leave them to their fearfulness and follow your own conscience. Ask for justice for the slaughter in Gujarat solely because when people are murdered, there must be justice. Period. Just as there must be justice for murders in Bombay, Assam, Kashmir, Delhi, Bhiwandi, Hyderabad, and plenty more. Period. Period. Period ... and plenty more.

Because think, in the end, of this: I can list those several places that have witnessed uniquely Indian horrors, and I can also say "plenty more", precisely because they have seen no justice. When you have no justice, you have horrors that follow on horrors.

So become fearless. There's nothing else.


What can you do, you ask? Here's what somebody suggested to Dina Mehta: write to the national leadership of the BJP to condemn "the tainted leaders of [their] party in Gujarat", those responsible for the slaughter as they have themselves confessed on tape. This is the "second chance" for these leaders to show that they believe, like you do, in justice for all Indians.

No more finger-pointing, no more evasion. Let us all, together, make a new beginning towards justice for all Indians. Let us, with no further delay, punish the criminals.

Some addresses, as supplied in the same suggestion:

advanilk@sansad.nic.in, ashourie@sansad.nic.in, bjpco@bjp.org, bjpco@del3.vsnl.net.in, bpapte@vsnl.com, chandan.mitra@sansad.nic.in, covdnhrc@nic.in, gandhim@sansad.nic.in, george@sansad.nic.in, iisatwal@hotmail.com, jaswant@sansad.nic.in, jualoram@sansad.nic.in, mnaqvi@sansad.nic.in, mprasad@nic.in, msgill@sansad.nic.in, murli@sansad.nic.in, mvnaidu@sansad.nic.in, najmah@sansad.nic.in, rajnath@sansad.nic.in, spokesman_rss@yahoo.com, swaraj@sansad.nic.in, vajpayee@sansad.nic.in, ysinha@sansad.nic.in

Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee: (BJP web page)
6A, Krishna Menon Marg, New Delhi 110011

Former Home Minister LK Advani: (BJP web page)
30 Prithvi Raj Road, New Delhi 110003
Tel: 011-23794124/23794125
Fax: 011-23017419


Anonymous said...

Sadly, even they are fearless. And shameless.

Anonymous said...

I call that 'playing-on-fear tactic'. That is what Bush did to gather popular support when he bombarded Afganistan, then Iraq. Modi did the same. Landslide victory? Yeah, why not.

People get killed in riots, people get terrified, people are reminded to be afraid before the elections. And they do! Games politicians play over the bodies of the dead. Commendable performance.

Anonymous said...

What are you talking about D3 man! I am scared like sh** of these hooligan mosters! Dont know where you got your fearlessness from...

Anonymous said...

Please, be fearless

Jai_Choorakkot said...

Thanks for the encouragement Dilip. But unfortunately agree with K. You're being too hopeful with that 'afraid to look in the mirror'.

More than fear, its something else. Ive pretty much had a 'break-up' blog-wise with ppl I consider pretty reasonable on other aspects.

I never knew disillusionment and dismay could be so palpable. It comes I think when expectations of basic decency or humanity seem to not be met.

If there is an online petition on somewhere could you please let us know. I'm writing in as suggested, but the petition may be more effective.


Anonymous said...

Hey, Quttubudin Ansari is really brave and fearless to return to Gujarat despite paid relocation in the marxists Shangrila, no?
Wonder why he did that - despite all the fear-mongering by our typist.

Anonymous said...

Attitudes like these never change and are never in the radar of the typists:

If these islands are to be gained for the Lord Jesus Christ, then God's people from all the corners of the Indian sub-continent and from the four ends of the world must lift their voices and cry out to the Lord that these islands and their inhabitants be delivered from the bondage of the powers of darkness and that the light of Jesus Christ will shine throughout the length and breadth of these islands.
Secondly we have the command of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:19 "to go and make disciples of nations". The Word of God exhorts us to 'go' where the need is and share the Good News. So 'go' to these islands if you can!

Michael Deibert said...

A great post, Dilip, and very reminiscent about some of the discussions that I have with (often foreign-born) political extremists regarding Haiti, that somehow some people's lives are worth more than others, and that, by extension, deaths should be graded as to whether or not to whether or not the victims fit certain criteria that the extremists alone see themselves as fit to judge. This is not a phenomenon confined to India by any means, alas. Good of you to point it out.

Anonymous said...

This is not a phenomenon confined to India by any means, alas..

But a phenomenon largely confined to India is where scribes (or even wanna-be-scribes and typists) is that they cry themselves to sleep for riots-looting-death in one part of the country but sleep like a baby when it comes to riots-looting-death in another part of the country.

Let's see, can you spell Nandigram?

Anonymous said...

Dilip, enough spin, time to get to work. You are one of those rare self-confessed liberals who calls evil when you see it never mind who the perp is. Here's your opportunity to demonstrate your impartiality. Nandigram is the Dandi March of our times. People being crushed under the jackboots of Stalinist, Maoist, Castroist, and Kimist thugs aka the CPI(M).

Xposted from offstumped.nationalinterest.in

If there ever was a doubt that the principal communist outfit was nothing more than an organised mafia operation, last week’s events in Nandigram and their aftershocks today in Kolkota should put those doubts to rest. The CPI-M today is perhaps the most lethal of mafia outfits the world over having subverted electoral democracy, to snuff out any semblance of a credible opposition, to usurp power unchallenged. It is today more lethal than its foreign inspiration, the Chinese Communist Party, which atleast is honest and transparent in its intolerance of political opposition. Masquerading as a participant in electoral democracy the CPI-Mafioso has covertly infilitrated every organ of the State in West Bengawith individuals committed to the supremacy of the party’s interests over constitution.

Last week’s events have also blown the cover off the moralising Mafia Bosses who run the CPI-M. While the nonagenarian god father Jyoti Basu perfected the art of passing the buck by questioning the role of the police, the party bosses in New Delhi Karat and Yechury took the art of denial to new heights. The most artful of the lot however was the party boss in West Bengal Biman Bose who excelled at manufacturing fiction with his theories of revenge and maoist threats. The one man who has come out completely stripped of any semblance of authority or integrity is West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. The man who until recently the mainstream media celebrated as “brand buddha”. Well now we know what “brand buddha” stands for - pusillanimous complicity.

The desperation in Nandigram is evident by the utter helplessness of the opposition BUPC which has resorted to bearing arms allegedly supplied by Maoists to battle the CPI-M hit men. The Trinamul Congress is down to issuing empty threats of paralysing the state idefinitely. Its chief Mamata Bannerjee has practically exhausted what little political capital she had with her hunger strike last year from which she had to ultimately capitulate. So inconsequential the Trinamul’s political threat to the CPI-M that Mamata who has been blocked from entering Nandigram had to pillion ride on a motorbike. A motley group of far left activists and ideologues ranging from the tireless Medha Patkar to the erudite Mahasveta Devi have been registering their protest in Kolkota but the only one listening seems to be the Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi. Adding glamor to the token protests in Kolkota are a bunch of film personalities from Aparna Sen to Moushumi Chatterjee but not having much of an effect.

The Congress in the Center is playing Nero while Nandigram burns with deafening silence from lame duck Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the sphinx Sonia Gandhi. While gutless wonder Shivraj Patil has been playing second fiddle to Buddha sending in a unit of the CRPF the National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan ensured official corroboration to Biman Bose’ fiction of Maoist activity in Nandigram. The only token protest from the Congress came from Priyaranjan Dasmunshi. Pranab Mukherjee please to be left alone on national television were the highlight of the Congress’ complicity to the tragedy in Nandigram.

Barring the BJP none of the major political parties have even voiced concern. The print media has been deafingly silent with the Diwali holiday season as a convenient excuse. Of the 24×7 news channels, Sahara Samay seems to be the only one with a semblance of activisim in following this story but it too had to live with interviewing a desparate Medha in Kolkota, Nandigram being out of bounds.The media blackout on Nandigram is in stark contrast to the activism with which the media covered events in Gujarat and elsewhere. The sanctimonious TV Today channels Aaj Tak and Headlines Today were back to their usual coverage of cricket, bollywood gossip and other baldergash. NDTV’s headliners with references to “Maoist Threat” were more reflective of the CPI-M’s spin than on reality. At the time of writing this post over at the CNN-IBN the husband wife duo Rajdeep Sardesai and Sagarika Ghosh were nowhere to be seen with op-eds that they so routinely come up with expressing moral outrage and sanctimony.

The internet world has been surprisingly quiet as well unlike in the case of Mumbai Blasts and when rains had Mumbai marooned.

Why are we not seeing any bloggers reporting directly from the war zone in Nandigram ?

How come no YouTube videos giving a blow by blow account of the events in Nandigram ?

In this day and age one would have expected a flood of stories with citizen videos to hit the internet calling the CPI-M’s bluff.

It perhaps is a sign of the information culture that has come to pervade in communist ruled West Bengal.

One has to conclude that there is a cyber curtain in Bengal and it has enveloped Nandigram into the Dark Age of Information.

Offstumped is calling out to those with Internet Access in Nandigram to step up and fill the gaping void left by the media blackout in Nandigram.

The rest of India needs to see and hear what happened in Nandigram.

Anonymous said...


Fear takes on a new meaning altogether. Hope this leads to some awakening. Just as Solzhenitsin unmasked the brutality of Stalin, and The Cultural Revolution, the horrors of Maoism, may we hope that Nandigram will unmask the Indian commies for what they truly are - a fifth column, full of low life thugs? And Dcubed next time when Sainath or Ram sweet talks you into writing your usual run of the mill column for them will you step back and ask them, dear friends where were when the horrors of Nandigram happened. I have faced all sorts of thuggery in a long career in HR - the DMK labor/language mafia, the Shiv Sena - parochial mafia - but nothing beats the pure callous evil of the commie thugs of India. Dcubed you have rightly questioned the practice of setting apart communal violence from terrorism. Now will you oblige us by calling CPI(M) thugs for what they are - terrorists pure and simple.

From the Hindustan Times

“They pointed a gun on my temple and ordered me to cry out ‘Inqilab Zinadabad’. I had no other option but to utter their war cry. Otherwise they would have killed me immediately.”

Kalpana Pal, a middle-aged housewife, was shivering with fear as she talked about the worst moments of her life.

Kalpana was doing her daily chores at her Amgachia home in Nandigram on Tuesday when she heard gunshots. Before she could realise what was on, a group of gun-wielding CPM cadres stormed into her house and held her at gunpoint.

She managed to escape from the clutches of her captors two days later and took refuge at a school, the Nandigram Braja Mohan Siksha Niketan, kilometres away from Amgachia.

The school is now house to the thousands of homeless villagers from across Nandigram Block-I, including Jambari, Satengabari, Ranichowk, Simulkunda, Takapura, Kaikhali, Mahespur, and Rainagar.

Kalpana was, however, one of the fortunate ones who managed to escape unhurt. Everyone who escaped from the clutches of CPM cadres had harrowing tales to relate.

According to eyewitnesses, few houses at Mahespur has a roof, as all of them have been looted and razed. “They took away all our belongings including cash, jewellery, television sets, music systems and whatever they could get lay their hands on.”

“They beat up the men mercilessly until they agreed to join the CPM. The women were gangraped. Before they left, they had a hearty meal of roasted chicken,” said Shyamlal Giri, a resident of Jambari.

Echoing Giri’s views, Shiekh Motaleb, who anyhow managed to rescue his sister Mossamat Akhera Bibi and admit her to the Tamluk sub-divisional hospital in East Midnapore on Saturday, said: “My sister was pregnant and couldn’t run away when the armed CPM cadres stormed inside Satengabari village. She was severally beaten up and then raped by the cadres. Her two teenage daughters Soma Khatoon and Anwara Khatoon too have been raped and then taken away.”

According to Sukanta Gayen, who is still trapped in his Jambari village home, CPM cadres have ordered everyone to keep the doors of their houses open at night. “They are keeping a vigil on almost all major entry and exit points in the village. The villagers are being forced to participate in the rallies organised by them and active Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) supporters have been slapped cash fines to the tune of several lakhs,” Gayen lamented.

Jai_Choorakkot said...

Kaangeya and others,

You will doubtless be glad to know that Dilip has written on Nandigram:


Jai_Choorakkot said...

Update on Nandigram from a discussion with a few Bong friends (brief):

Trouble started when CPM guys of the village supported the notification and asked others to comply. TC backed rivals in larger numbers, evicted these guys by means more foul than fair, from that area.

Ever since there has been sporadic violence from (reportedly) both sides. After the SEZ cancellation, its now a pure 'turf war' between these formations with the area being captured and re-captured (everybody including officials using these military terminology).

Overall there is way more violence and deadlier use of force from the CPM. In this latest 'operation' police were withdrawn from the area in superb co-ordination (of the kind N.Modi is accused of) to clear the way for attackers.


I agree it is interesting to speculate on how 'some sections' of the media/ blogworld would have reacted if this had occurred in that Western state but I dont think anybody here is saying that any of this has to be condoned.


Dilip D'Souza said...

Of course, what did I expect but evasions and distractions?

* Quttubudin Ansari is really brave and fearless to return to Gujarat despite paid relocation in the marxists Shangrila, no?

I have no idea whether he is brave or fearless, and even less idea about how that might be relevant to the point, which is, simply, justice for those killed in 2002. Period.

* we have the command of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew [etc]

I have no idea what the command of the LJC in Matthew is, and even less idea about how that might be relevant to the point, which is, simply, justice for those killed in 2002. Period.

* your opportunity to demonstrate your impartiality

I'm uninterested in latching on to your proferred "opportunities", and again, I have zero idea about how that might be relevant to the point, which is, simply, justice for those killed in 2002. Period.

Next time, I'd appreciate some of your own opinions, instead of someone else's cut-and-pasted.

What happened in Nandigram is nauseating. But how it is relevant to this post, I am unable to see.

Anonymous said...

What happened in Nandigram is nauseating. But how it is relevant to this post, I am unable to see
You'll be able to see if you get those secular blinkers off. You see, you find it perfectly relevant to lash out at Advani or Modi when you post about Nandigram.
It's just like that.
Relevant by context only, capish?

I have no idea whether he is brave or fearless, and even less idea about how that might be relevant to the point,
Yes, I can see that you have no idea. What a surprise!!
If we are talking about brave and fearless people, this is one dude who was begging for mercy for his life in the streets of Gujarat and is back in Gujarat today despite paid relocation.
Blog behind a computer - that's brave a fearless compared to Ansari. Do you even know who he is????

which is, simply, justice for those killed in 2002.
What the hell are all those commissions doing with about 4 years of UPA rule in India? Why blame Modi if govt of your choice can't deliver.
Justice for 2002? Justice for 1984? Any word on just for those Marad riots when you know who ruled Maharashtra? Don't bother answering - buy a mirror.

Anonymous said...

purff, anonymous, brijesh, kaangeya, and now anon123 - he-llo Ot/Raghu Reddy/RR!! your seriously talking about being brave? you, the guy who is afraid to use his name, even on my blog, the guy who regularly complains that you been ignored?

great that ansari is back home in guj. how does that change the reality that most of killers from '02 are not punished yet?

speaking of mirrors, what name do you see when you look in one? purff, or rr, or brijesh, or sumthing else?