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?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Shocking massacre depicted in 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?