Friday, April 11, 2014

Not in our name (not quite good enough)

This letter is indeed one on which we would like to attach our name but for an important caveat. The Hindu pilgrims on the train who got burnt to death should have been mentioned (not as a justification for the riots). Leftists are so cute when they feel that others (including neutrals) will not notice their acts of omission even when they are the first people to find (micro level) fault with others.

Bottom-line murdering people is bad. Murdering people with state power backing is evil. This has been the bane of India since ever (starting from the Hindu era), but in the modern times one particular event stands out for its culpability: Direct Action Day declared by the Muslim League in 1946. Short term policies of might is right might have helped gain Pakistan (this is not to question the validity of the Pakistan movement as a flowering of muslim nationalism in SAsia) but then it went sour right away when people died for the cause of Bengali in 1952.

And now the sword (of criminals patronized by  the state) has fallen on 40 million Shias (even though the founder father of Pakistan was a Shia). Following the same logic espoused in 1940 they should be demanding partition (Indian muslim leaders have already warned about another partition- should Modi become head of Hindu-stan). Yet Shia voices in Pakistan stay silent. Why?
Without questioning the validity of India's democratic election process, it is crucial to remember the role played by the Modi government in the horrifying events that took place in Gujarat in 2002. The Muslim minority were overwhelmingly the victims of pillage, murder and terror, resulting in the deaths of more than 2,000 men, women and children. Women, in particular, were subjected to brutal acts of violence and were left largely unprotected by the security forces. 

Although some members of Narendra Modi's government are now facing trial, Modi himself repeatedly refuses to accept any responsibility or to render an apology. Such a failure of moral character and political ethics on the part of Modi is incompatible with India's secular constitution, which, in advance of many constitutions across the world, is founded on pluralist principles and seeks fair and full representation for minorities. Were he to be elected prime minister, it would bode ill for India's future as a country that cherishes the ideals of inclusion and protection for all its peoples and communities.

Anish Kapoor, artist
Homi K Bhabha, professor of the humanities, Harvard University
Salman Rushdie, novelist
Deepa Mehta, film director
Dayanita Singh, artist
Vivan Sundaram, artist
Dame Helena Kennedy, barrister
Imran Khan, solicitor
Mike Wood, British Member of Parliament
John McDonnell, British Member of Parliament
Fiona Mactaggart, British Member of Parliament
Jacqueline Bhabha, director of research, François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University
Kumar Shahani, film director
Geeta Kapur, art historian
Pragna Patel, director of the Southall Black Sisters
Sashi Kumar, film producer
Jayati Ghosh, economist
Prabhat Patnaik, economist
MK Raina, actor/film director
Ram Rahman, artist
Saeed Mirza, screenwriter
Anuradha Kapur, National School of Drama in Delhi
Kumkum Sangari, professor of English and the humanities, University of Wisconsin
Gautam Appa, emeritus professor, London School of Economics
Chetan Bhatt, professor of sociology, London School of Economics
Suresh Grover, director, Southall Monitoring Group


No comments:

Post a Comment