March 03, 2012

#DDGujDiary, #3: Dehlol

Some more tweets from my #DDGujDiary sequence on Twitter (as @DeathEndsFun) over the last few days.

***

* On the road from Godhra to Baroda, we stop at a mosque that has been burned down. Inside we can see pieces of cloth strewn about, and a small flock of rather calm goats. There's a man standing outside; he says he knows nothing about what happened here. "Nothing?" we ask. "Nothing."

* Dehlol village has a burned and completely destroyed mosque. Inside we dan see monkeys running about. (Not goats). Outside, the residents of Dehlol watch us sullenly and silently.

* 37 Dehlol residents were pursued to this and killed there. A man tells us that then it was torched and its minaret toppled. Still sullen people still watch us.

* In Dehlol a photographer buddy and an old man from our group were surrounded by a mob who demanded their film. They refused. Started to get heated and ugly. A cop saved them.

* The cops tell us that the residents of Dehlol had complained, saying our group was harassing them and making them uncomfortable. I had to wonder, could we have said something similar, at least, about those 37 who were chased into a mosque and killed?

* A man in a sleeveless vest in Dehlol, glasses and running to flab, says this: "Pakistan attacks us on the border. Obviously we can't go to the border, so we hit back at them here."

* "See what Israel is doing to the Palestinians," the same man says admiringly. "That's the treatment we had to give them here."

* "For 50 years they have been doings things like Godhra, with many more train burnings. But the press never reports all this." Who's "them" and "they", I want to ask.

* (Still with the same man in a vest, running to flab. He's talking to a German blonde and me, standing in middle of Dehlol, large crowd around us.)

* "The days of that ch***ya Gandhi, with his turning the other cheek, are gone!" He turns his cheek to me in a way that -- I would never have guessed -- is shockingly crude.

* "When people enter our houses and torture us," he says, "we have to react!" The crowd nods. Who entered your home, I ask. Angry silence.

* The crowd disperses. We start walking. The same man suddenly says "Come have a soda at my shop." When we get there, he makes us a lime-based drink. Good stuff. But he takes no money, just shakes my hand.

* The blonde and I are walking out of Dehlol. It's a frightening, unnerving several minute. Large crowds watch us pass in complete silence, the women in it snickering behind us after we pass.

* For 10 years, I've wondered: someone killed 37 people in Dehlol. This flabby guy who wouldn't charge for soda, was he one of the killers?

2 comments:

Chandru K said...

Why does this mentality shock anyone? After all, it's what the Moslems have been doing all along. How do you think the Punjab riots of 1947 began? Moslem leaders in West Punjab showed pictures of Moslems killed in riots in Calcutta and Bihar, a thousand km away. Moslem mobs started that violence as well, but the retaliation visited upon them, was propaganda fodder to incite Moslems in West Punjab. The Sikhs( and Hindus) massacred in Rawalpindi, Kahuta and Peshawar must have been wondering "What do we have to do with the killings in Calcutta?"(that Moslem, to repeat, instigated in the first place).

Anonymous said...

Shocking massacre depicted in http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/ColumnsOthers/When-the-dead-speak/Article1-822407.aspx. This is not even in history books. Liberals/seculars want us to forget these things and move on. Dilip, why not apply the same principle to 2002?