Monthly Archives: April 2012

Burnt.

In Feruary 2002, just outside the town of Godhra in the western state of Gujaray, 58 Hindus, many of them women and children, were burnt alive as mobs set fire to their train. They had been returning from the town of Ayodhya, the centre of a dispute between Muslims and Hindus over the building of a temple on the site of a demolished Mughal mosque. Dozens of Muslims were arrested and charged; they pleaded that they had been taunted by the Hindus. The Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, decreed a day of mourning so that funerals could take place in the state’s largest city, Ahmedabad. Crowds of people, many wearing the saffron scarves and khaki shorts that are the uniform of Hindu nationalism, and armed with swords, explosives and gas cylinders, rampaged in search of vengeance. They poured kerosene down the throats of men, women and children, before setting them alight. As many subsequent investigations have shown, police chiefs and politicians from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) either stood by or helped them in their task, providing them with computer printouts of addresses. More than a thousand people, most of them Muslims, were killed. About 230 mosques and shrines were razed to the ground. When asked to condemn the violence, Modi instead quoted Isaac Newton’s third law: “every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” Modi has neither apologized nor expressed regret for what happened.

it still puzzled me what humans can do to each other.

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