Propaganda v/s Facts: 2,000 Muslims were killed in the Gujarat riots?

Published: Friday, Apr 06,2012, 09:23 IST
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Fact: As per figures given by the Union Minister of State for Home Shriprakash Jaiswal, who belongs to the Congress Party, in Parliament on 11 May 2005, 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed in the riots, 2548 people were injured and 223 people were missing. This was in a WRITTEN REPLY to a question asked by a Congress member on the religion wise casualties in Gujarat after Godhra. The report placed the number of riot-affected widows at 919 and the number of children orphaned at 606. The UPA government gives these figures, and hence they themselves may be inflated. To read the Rajya Sabha records. (Click to read)

Even Indian Muslims’ English newspaper Milli Gazette also reported this, BBC too reported the same. Despite this fact, newspapers like The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, etc. continued to publish articles saying, “Win in Assembly elections of December 2002 does not whitewash Narendra Modi’s sins of the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 when 2000 innocent Muslims were butchered” or “The Gujarat pogrom of killing thousands of Muslims did not help the BJP in the long term” etc. etc. NDTV, mouthpiece of a political party, and that too the CPI (M), a Leftist party, reported a thousand times during the Lok Sabha elections of April- May 2004 that, “2000 Muslims were killed in Gujarat”.

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Let us see the interview given by the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to Aaj Tak’s Prabhu Chawla, excerpts of which were published in the weekly India Today, dated 4 November 2002

Q – Your opponents call you 'Jinnah of the Hindus'.
A- I am hearing this for the first time though I still don’t consider you as an enemy.

Q- You are held responsible for the killing of 1,100 innocent people in the riots.
A- In our last interview, you said 900 people. Now you are saying 1,100. Are you adding all the people killed in other states like Maharashtra and Bengal to Gujarat’s account? (Narendra Modi is talking of the Solapur riots of 10 and 11 October 2002 in Maharashtra and other petty riots which occured long after Godhra and had nothing to do with Godhra and post-Godhra).

Q- So what is the correct toll?
A- There would have no riots in Gujarat if there had been no Godhra…

Q- Do you accept that you failed to provide security to the people of the state?
A- 98% of Gujarat would not have had peace if we had failed to fulfill our duties. We managed to control the riots in 72 hours…

Q- Why don’t you accept that Gujarat is being defamed because of Narendra Modi?
A- If that is true, give the people of Gujarat a chance to pronounce their verdict through elections.

As we see, the number of people killed in the riots jumped from 900 to 1100 after Narendra Modi’s previous interview, i.e. within 4 months! Then it jumped from 900 to 2,000. Already it is being said that, “thousands of Muslims were killed in Gujarat”. The death of a single innocent person, whether Hindu or Muslim or belonging to any other religion, is highly unfortunate and cannot be justified. That more than 1,000 people were killed is highly unfortunate and reprehensible. But that cannot a justification to exaggerate and inflate the number of people killed to 2,000 or any higher figure.

What these lies have done to well-meaning people:  It is generally believed, even in the Sangh Parivar, that the post-Godhra riots were one-sided. Anil Nair, Organiser correspondent in Mumbai reported in the weekly, dated 20 February 2005 thus: “On February 10, Pakistan finally gathered the gumption to tell us that it was both—in Ahmedabad over 2,000 Muslims were killed in riots. Such polemics are useless; Pakistan is working on the presumption that the Congress government will find it hard to choose between national honour and secularism, and by all measure it will choose the latter at the cost of the former.”

That is, even a correspondent of RSS weekly Organiser believed the bluff that 2,000 Muslims were killed in the riots. Most leaders of BJP seemed to be blatantly ignorant of the truth of the Gujarat riots. Whenever Congress leaders or anti-BJP journalists raised the issue of the Gujarat riots on TV, the BJP leaders like Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Nitin Gadkari, Gopinath Munde, Prakash Javdekar, Sheshadri Chari, Shahnawaz Hussain, Harsh Vardhan etc hopelessly failed to give befitting reply. They faltered in speech. They merely tried to point out that the Gujarati electorate gave a huge mandate to the BJP and to Narendra Modi in the December 2002 Gujarat Assembly polls, and mention the Godhra incident as a cause of the riots. None of them ever pointed out any instance of Muslim aggression, sufferings of the Hindus in the riots, police firing deaths, or the fact that only 60 places out of 18,600 saw riots. This is because of ignorance and blind belief on media lies.

After every terrorist attack, the national English media rationalized the deed on grounds of the ‘Gujarat riots’. The Gujarat riots were the result of the Godhra massacre.That the English media justified Godhra as a response to the Ramjanmabhoomi movement in Ayodhya, did not justify or even rationalize the post-Godhra riots which were the direct result of Godhra where Muslims were killed and ignored the killings of the Hindus, and it tried to and tries to de-link post-Godhra and Godhra. And it rationalizes and/ or justifies the (so-called) ‘reaction’ to the post-Godhra riots.
 
The very fact that some terrorists claimed that they “plan to avenge the Gujarat riots” clearly shows the devastating consequences of the media lies. The media lies about Gujarat riots being a ‘pogrom’ have instigated innocent Muslims to terrorism.

And many writers have simply written- a mob killed karsewaks in Godhra- instead of saying openly- 2000 Muslims killed karsewaks in Godhra. Kuldip Nayar- in one his columns in 2002 said- “500 Muslims attacked the train in Godhra”. Others said- 1,000- some said 1,500. The actual number is 2,000 as mentioned by Vir Sanghvi in The Hindustan Times on 28 February 2002- and in the report of the Justice Tewatia Committee. The number is all that important. But what it shows is the mentality- of trying to reduce Muslims’ guilt and Hindus’ suffering as much as possible. And it is this mentality which is responsible for them exaggerating the number of Muslims killed in the riots to as much as possible. When the total number of people killed in the riots- Hindu as well as Muslim- is 1180-they lie that 2,000 Muslims were killed in the riots-like Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf did in the United Nations in September 2002.  Teesta Setalvad increased this number to 2,500 Muslims in one of her articles titled “What ails Gujarat” published in CPI(M) party weekly Peoples Democracy in 2006. And Tehelka reported in 2007- after its sting operation that 2,500 Muslims were killed in the first 3 days!

2,000 is the number of Muslims who carried out the massacre and gruesome roasting alive of 59 Hindus-including 25 women and 15 children in Godhra. It is not the number of Muslims who were killed in the subsequent riots. There is no justification for violence-and of even a single death-be it in Godhra or after Godhra. But why lie through the skin of your teeth that 2000 Muslims were killed when only 790 were killed? Who gains by these lies? And it is everybody’s duty to correct the figure. The point is- what should be reported is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. This reporting simply exposed the reality of self-styled secularists- Hindu suffering should be ignored and kept as minimum as possible- Muslims’ guilt should be reduced as much as possible- while  Muslims’ suffering should be increased as much as possible.

Continued at Propaganda v/s Facts: Gujarat riots were totally one-sided, and entire Gujarat burnt?

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