Plenty of discussion in the comments here over a few days that I had no web access reminds me of plenty of things I've said before and I believe I will say plenty of times again.
1) There are a whole lot of people who believe that bomb blasts (such as in Delhi or Ahmedabad in the last few months) must be treated as infinitely more horrific crimes than other massacres (such as in Gujarat in 2002, or in Delhi in 1984). To me, this comparison makes no sense. There's this simple truth, after all: the massacres kill many more than the blasts (e.g. Bombay 1992-93, about 1000 dead in carnage on the streets, Dec-Jan; about 250 dead in blasts, March).
So these people are left with an unenviable task: explaining why they believe the blasts are worse. Not one of them has ever explained.
Me, I can't see one or the other as more or less horrific -- whether massacres or bombs, regardless of death tolls, they are equally ghastly assaults on us all. All of them deserve to be speedily and firmly punished.
2) You would think that such a call for all these assaults -- whether blasts or massacres -- to be punished would qualify as an impartial call. You would think wrong, at least to the people I refer to in point #1 above. To them, this is a "perspective" that is "selectively applied."
3) There is a continuing effort on the part of, yes, the same people I refer to in point #1 above, to deny any connection between Bombay 1992-93/Gujarat 2002 and the continuing bomb blasts. (To prove they are "unrelated"). This is an effort that defies common sense, for several reasons:
* They must explain what then drives the ghouls who set off these bombs, who often themselves claim they seek (a perverted) "revenge" for the killings of 2002 and 1992-93.
* Even ghouls don't sit up one day and say "Let's have lunch, then go set off bombs and kill people." There is a context to their crime.
* These same people (of point #1) often seem sanguine about accepting a connection between, for example, burning the train in Godhra and the subsequent killings across Gujarat ("revenge" that's just as perverted as what bomb setters invoke). Yet they will not abide a connection between Gujarat 2002 and blasts.
4) That a few criminals invoke such a connection for their acts of terror does not imply that all other criminals do, nor that these few were necessarily personally affected by those killings. After all, I think a grave injustice has been done by not punishing the terrorists responsible for Delhi 1984, or Bombay 1992-93, or Gujarat 2002. I think this even though I was not personally affected -- apart from being seriously scared for my life a few times in 1992-93 and 2002. Even though I think this, I am nauseated by the idea of setting off bombs as "revenge" for those crimes. Yet I can imagine that there are a few out there who translate that awareness of injustice into a twisted revenge.
5) The people I refer to in point #1 like to ascribe bombs to the "demented view" of the bombers who "think they are waging wars against infidels". I agree. In fact, it is exactly the same demented view that drives all violence in the name of religion: all the way from Christians setting off on Crusades, to Hindus slaughtering innocents in Gujarat and Orissa, to Muslims setting off bombs in Bombay.
6) A demand for the guilty to be punished applies to every crime, and it no longer surprises me that there are those who will distract this demand by emptiness such as "what about Radhabai Chawl?" or "what about Godhra?" When I ask for justice for what happened in Bombay in 1992-93, that's somehow assumed to exclude the Radhabai Chawl atrocity. Why? When I ask for justice for what happened in Gujarat in 2002, that's assumed to exclude the Godhra burning. Why? Punish the killers, whoever they are, in every such massacre. Period.
7) A country that cannot find the will to punish the guilty in great crimes had better get used to the reality of more great crimes. Me, I'm getting used to that reality.