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MODINAMA 8 (Modi's 'Action-Reaction' Statement) by Madhu Purnima Kishwar

MODINAMA 8 (Modi's 'Action-Reaction' Statement) by Madhu Purnima Kishwar

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When Select Phrases are Lifted and Distorted out of Context - Modi's "Action-Reaction" Statement on 2002 Riots and “Rs 50 Crore Girlfriend” Speech
When Select Phrases are Lifted and Distorted out of Context - Modi's "Action-Reaction" Statement on 2002 Riots and “Rs 50 Crore Girlfriend” Speech

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Published by: dharma next on Jun 03, 2013
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06/06/2013

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Working Towards Solutions
 Forum for Women’s Rights and Democratic Reforms
MODINAMA 8
When Select Phrases are Lifted and Distorted out of Context
 Author(s) : Madhu Purnima Kishwar 
Modi's "Action-Reaction" Statement on 2002 Riots and “Rs 50 Crore Girlfriend” Speech
Rajiv Gandhi had justified the 1984 pogrom against the Sikhs in Delhi and other places in north India saying, “When abig tree falls, the earth is bound to shake.” It was the most clear cut example of Congress led killings which resultedin one way killings of Sikhs and brutalization of Sikh women. Not a single Hindu was killed in the 1984 mayhem. Tilldate not a single Congress leader who was found leading riotous mobs during those murderous days, has beenpunished. Nor was Rajiv Gandhi or any other Congress leader hounded for allowing the massacre for full 3 days rightunder their noses. But then Congress does not have to worry about such trivialities since it claims to be “secular”!
 
 Teesta Setalvads NGO and others targeting Narendra Modi for his alleged complicity in the post Godhra riots of 2002 have tried attributing a similar statement to Narendra Modi. The Supreme Court appointed SIT examined thecharge in –depth. The charge is that when asked about the post Godhra violence, Modi quoted Newton’s third law of motion which states that ‘every action has an equal and opposite reaction’ - “
Har kriya ki pratikriya hoti hai” (
Quotedin
Communalism Combat
, pg. 107, “Genocide Gujarat 2002” (Mar-Apr.2002),
 
Ms Setalvad’s case is that this provesModi justified the anti Muslim violence 
that followed the burning down of a rail bogie leading to 58 Hindusbeing charred to death.
However, the Special Investigative Team appointed by the Supreme Court exonerated Modi of this charge on theground that that the actual statement was- “
Kriya pratikriya ki chain chal rahi hai. Hum chhate hain ki na kriya hoaur na pratikriya
(A chain of action–reaction is going on. We want that there should be neither “action” nor“reaction”)
 
It all started with an incomplete statement telecast on Zee TV based on an interview conducted by Zee correspondentSudhir Chaudhary. As per the testimony of Sudhir Chaudhary, Zee TV Correspondent to the SIT, he had attended apress conference held by Narendra Modi on 01-03-2002, in the Circuit House at the outskirts of Gandhinagar. Herequested Narendra Modi for a short interview after the press conference. The latter agreed and was interviewed forabout 10 minutes. (SIT report page no.187)When Chaudhary questioned the CM about the Chamanpura (GulbergSociety) massacre in which the former Congress MP, Ehsan Jafri was killedalong with more than 50 others, the Chief Minister in his replies referred to thereports that Jafri had first fired at the violent mob, which infuriated the crowdfurther and that the mob thereafter stormed the Housing Society and set it onfire. (SIT report page no.187)
 
According to Chaudhary, Narendra Modi referred to Jafri’s firing as “action”and the massacre that followed as “reaction”. Modi’s exact quote was:
“Kriyapratikriya ki chain chal rahi hai. Hum chahte hain ki na kriya ho aur napratikriya
”. A chain of action – reaction is going on. We want that there shouldbe neither “action” nor “reaction”)
 
However, in the Zee TV telecast, as well as newspapers that picked up Modi’s
Sudhr Chaudhary
 
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statement, the last line saying, “
Hum chahte hai ki nakriya ho aur na pratikriya.
”(We want that there should neither be“action” nor “reaction”) was deliberately omitted.Similarly when asked about the wide spread violence in Gujarat post Godhra CM’s reply was:
 
“Godhra main jo parsohua jahan par athavan(58) purush, mahilaon aur bacchon ko zinda jala diya, Is main desh main aur videsh mainsadma pahuchna swabhavik tha. Godhra ke is ilake ke logon ki criminal tendencies rahi hai. In logon ne pahelemahila teachers ka khoon kiya. Aur ab yeh jaghanya apraadh kiya hai jiski pratikria ho rahi hai.”
(The incident of daybefore yesterday at Godhra when 58 women, children and men were burnt to death was bound to create deep shockboth within and outside the country. People of this particular area of Godhra have had criminal tendencies. Thesepeople had earlier murdered some women teachers. And now they have committed this gruesome crime which isproducing this reaction. )
 
During investigations, a requisition was sent to the Zee TV to make available a copy of the CD of the televisioninterview of Narendra Modi conducted by their correspondent Sudhir Chaudhary on 01-03-2002. Despite tworeminders and a notice u/s 91 Cr.P.C. sent to them, the CD was not made available to the SIT. (SIT report page 188).But Sudhir Chaudhary told the SIT that the Chief Minister was of the view that he neither wanted action nor reaction.When Narendra Modi was questioned about the aforesaid interview given to Zee TV on 01-03-2002, SIT records hisstatements as follows:
 
a.
 
 Those who have read the history of Gujarat would definitely be aware that communal violence in Gujarat has along history and the State had witnessed serious incidents of such communal violence.b.
 
As regards the Zee TV interview of 01-03-2002 is concerned, Modi told SIT that he had always appealed onlyand only for peace. He had issued several appeals to the people to shun violence in straight and simplelanguage. If his words cited in this question are considered in the correct perspective, then it would be evidentthat there is a very earnest appeal for people refraining from any kind of violence. (SIT report pages188-189)c.
 
Regarding the statement made to the media about post Godhra riots by citing Newton’s law that every actionhas equal and opposite reaction, Narendra Modi said that
The Times of India
had published a news item on 03-03-2002, purportedly as though he had given an interview to them whereas the truth is that nobody from TOImet him indicating that his so-called justification “Action-Reaction Theory” was a case of misreporting. He saidthat it had been his considered opinion that violence cannot be replied to by violence and he had appealed forpeace. Modi told the SIT, he had not and would never justify any action or reaction by a mob against innocents.(SIT report pgs. 187-188).
 
d.
 
Modi informed the SIT that when this news item misquoting him appeared in TOI, the state governmentimmediately sent a protest letter to the editor of 
The
 
Times of India
pointing out that the CM had not beeninterviewed by TOI nor had he justified the violence in the words attributed to him. But the TOI did not publishthe correction issued by the CM’s office. It was brought to the notice of the editor twice in writing before theCM’s clarification was published on 23
rd
March—a good 20 days after the original story was published on 3
rd
 March 2002. What is worse, while the inflammatory misquote attributed to Modi was published on the front pageof TOI in both the national edition as well as in the Ahmedabad edition, the clarification by the CM’s office waspublished on 23
rd
March in a remote corner in the inside pages of the Ahmedabad edition while the Delhi editiondid not carry it at all.
 
 That these were not afterthoughts to save his skin is evident from a series of press statements and appeals onDoordarshan issued by Narendra Modi during that period. For example, on February 28, 2002, Narendra Modireleased the following personal peace appeal in Gujarati broadcast across the state on Doordarshan at 7pm. It wasrepeatedly broadcast thereafter on the same evening. I’ve translated it verbatim in English. The Hindi version with English subtitles is available at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIRMR8zW0iI. (TheYouTube translation is stylistically somewhat different from mine given below, even though there is nodifference in the overall content).
 
 Yesterday in Godhra an inhuman tragedy struck. More than 40 women and children were burnt to death.18 men were also burnt alive. In all 58 people were trapped inside a rail bogie and mercilessly massacredby cannibals. Such a heinous crime will bring tears to the eyes of the most hard-hearted person. Thisdevilish and inhuman act committed in the land of Gujarat cannot be tolerated/justified in any civilized
 
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society. This crime cannot be forgiven. I want to assure the people of Gujarat that something like this willnever be tolerated. The culprits will be appropriately punished for the crime they have committed.Not only that, we will set an example so that in future no one will dare dream to commit such a heinous act. The government of Gujarat is committed to the protection of all its citizens. Those who take law into theirhands and destroy the lives of innocent people have no place in a civilized society. I share the grief of thepeople of Gujarat.
For any humanist such an incident would cause indescribable grief. But at thesame time creating disturbances (
ashanti
) indiscipline and expressing outrage (
akrosh
) is not thesolution.
Violating the law and venting your anger by indulging in riots cannot be tolerated in any civilized society. Iunderstand your feelings but I pray to you that the need of the hour is to maintain peace and self-restraint.We are determined to punish those who have committed this crime. No one will escape their duepunishment.
Won’t you help the Government in saving Gujarat? Won’t you help us in maintainingpeace and harmony? The Government of Gujarat appeals to you for help, appeals to you for 
shanti
 (peace) and
sanyam (
restraint/self-discipline).
In the midst of this
akrosh
(deep outrage) it is my humble request that in such a testing time Gujarat expectsfrom you what it is best known for. There are numerous examples of how Gujarat has maintained peace andharmony during the most adverse of times. I want to remind you of this unique characteristic of Gujarat - of showing restraint and maintaining peace during adversities.
Let us serve Gujarat by maintaining
shantiand sanyam.
Let us strengthen the arms of law.
Let us create an atmosphere that will ensure the mostsevere punishment for the perpetrators of this heinous crime. I am confident that my solemn appeal willtouch your hearts. Let me assure you that everyone in the Government feels the shock and painexperienced by you. We feel the same intensity of pain as you do.
 
Even the Prime Minister is deeply disturbed by these developments and so is the Home Minister of India. The entire country has expressed solidarity with and shares the grief of Gujarat. But the responsibility tomaintain peace, harmony and restraint is
ours.
I understand your anger and outrage, I understand your pain. And yet in the self-interest of Gujarat, and to ensure that we don’t jeopardize the future of Gujarat, that Gujarat doesn’t get a blot on its face/ carry a stigma connected with these times all the5 crore Gujaratis need to keep calm and exercise self-restraint.
 
I also want to express my gratitude to you that in the midst of so much anger, out of 18000 village of Gujarat,disturbances have broken out only in a handful of villages.
 
By and large, there is any atmosphere of peace. However, the incidents that have occurred in the cities of Gujarat are disturbing.
It is my request to you, tit for tat is not a solution. “
Ver ver thi shamtu nathi
 (Hatred is never won over by hatred)
 
I am not here to give you sermons. But I see the bright future of Gujarat. For its sake, I seek your helpcome and help the Government in maintaining peace.
 
 The government seeks your help in punishing the guilty through the due process of law. The governmentseeks your help in creating an environment of peace so that law can take its own course.
 
I have full faith that the people of Gujarat will respond to my appeal and will work together for a peacefulGujarat.It is our responsibility to ensure that innocents do not suffer or lose their lives. Come, let us togetherwork for establishing peace. Again, let me assure that I full share your grief and pain. However, let ustogether strengthen the hands of law so that the guilty get the severe punishment due to them to set ahistoric example. Once again I appeal to the people of Gujarat for peace.
Jai jaigarvi Gujarat mantra jeevant karne ke liye hame shanti ka marg hi chahiye.
In order to give life tothe mantra of Jai Garvi Gujarat, we need to follow the path of peace.
 
I for one cannot find fault with this speech. There is a not a trace of provocation or demagoguery in it. Even the bodylanguage and facial expressions of Modi are sombre and sad—far away from the kind of devilish reaction attributed tohim.**page**
 

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