Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The 'ugly' face of Gujarat!

Parzania was a movie which I wanted to watch for quite some time now. I knew no matter how much the director would try to get the public to get a feel of what happened in the Gujarat riots, he would be unsuccessful. However, the thorough effort made to make the movie should be commendable. I still remember the cover page of the India Today issue during the riots!

27th February 2002, I was in Ahmedabad (આપનો અમદાવાદ - Our Ahmedabad, ગરવી ગુજરાત - Proud Gujarat) my parents' place, the place that has made me to what I am now, the place where people like to be in peace, the place of complete freedom, the place of least fear, the place I love the most and claim to be the best city in India; around 4PM when the news floated all around that the Sabarmati express was set ablaze in Godhra railway station, it was horrendous to hear more and more details about the incident. Later, people discussed about the bodies coming to Ahmedabad and everybody almost was sure that things would get worse and it would result in a communal violence - how long? how strong? Whether it would be of similar intensity of the one in the early 80s? No one knew...but all knew that the coming few days or weeks would be far from peaceful.

28th February, 2002 - all expected and unexpected unpleasant things started to happen in full swing, curfews imposed in almost all of Ahmedabad, the entire air of complete freedom turned in air of extreme fright. I went up the stairs of our building to the terrace to see actually what the city is like - there was smoke seen in all 4 sides & 4 corners of the rectangular terrace that I was standing in, of different shades of black and grey all around, - depending on the intensity of the fire, depending on what was burnt or how much was burnt or how many were burnt may be! Almost every known place was in the news to have got burnt - the very own Topaz restaurant, Kabir restaurant, the Paldi area, the Vasna area and more, and more - almost the entire city & the entire state actually!

I heard, saw and read about Narendra Modi being involved in this most remarkable incident in the history of Gujarat and India. Modi, is an icon I respect very much, admire very much - when his speech comes on television, I and my entire family make sure that we watch it and we feel good listening to him. I have witnessed the development of Ahmedabad - the roads in and outside the city (when you see flyovers constructed to accomodate 4 times the current traffic, when you drive on NE-1 which is a part of the 5,806 km long Golden Quadrilateral and reach Baroda from Ahmedabad in just 1 hour), the other facilities (absolutely no power cuts, various transport schemes like BRTS and so on to put forth)!

I never denied Modi's involvement in the 2002 happenings but I always thought someway if it wasn't true. I was reading through the Tehelka reports 'Operation Kalank' and watched a couple of videos (do read through and you would feel fearful churning in your stomach), wherever there was Modi written along with Gujarat riots 2002, I would hope it wasn't something that I don't want to see. But I wish it wasn't true. I don't trust any politician for that matter and everyone would be involved in some or the other happening like this, and more may be. It is probably just that Modi's was proved to be true? And rest weren't proved yet?

To all those who drove the massacre, shame to be called humans, forget about appending the adjective 'civilized'!

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