Maulana Khalid Dhorat
The funny thing about western mass murderers and terrorists is that they sport very innocent faces and passive looks. Judging from their looks alone, you would want to hug them and even offer them a tissue if they had a runny nose. Tony Blair, for example, looks like he couldn’t harm a fly, but he his hands are soaked with the unlawful blood of millions of innocent civilians in Iraq. Bush and Obama too look so timid as a if a mouse can scare the daylights out of them, and the deceptive holy man, the Buddhist Dalai Lama, gives the impression that he couldn’t harm a fly. Look deceive and everything else in this Dajjali world we live in is not as it appears to be.
Narenda Modi, on his part, looks like a compassionate grandfather and an overprotective guardian over his children, but beneath the looks, is an ugly mask. Nobody can forget what happened in 2002. Modi was then the chief minister of Gujerat who wanted to grow his political career. He did so, not by cleaning up corruption or delivering much-needed services to the state, but by playing the racist and religiously inflammatory “Hindutva” card. Today it has been established that the train which Modi alleges was set alight by Muslims in the city of Godhra, was nothing but an electrical fault, but it resulted in one of the most meticulously planned and co-ordinated Hindu aggression against Muslim that India has ever witnessed in 100 years.
Till today, the Muslims are suffering due to these riots. The murdering campaign was so brutal that at one stage, a 6-month old baby was taken out from a women’s womb, it was kept on the tip of the sword and ‘Jai Sriram’ was chanted. This seemed to be the ultimate of the mob: to cleanse all Muslims from India and return India to its original 100% Hindu state according to the extremist BJP ideology.
Muslim survivors of the Gujarat riots are still suffering today. Modi, master at the art of deception and manipulation of the law, is not only walking free, but has become the President of India based upon the spilling of Muslim blood. Today, he is sadly a guest of the South African government. But who cares? In the political world, the politician who scores the most amount of points are those who can kill Muslims the most. Think, how does America and UK remain ahead in the world?
In May this year, VICE News visited a relief colony at the foothills of a dumping ground in Ahmedabad, the largest city in the western Indian state of Gujarat, where survivors have been living for the past 12 years since the incident. Journalists had to cover their mouths and noses to avoid the nauseating stench from the dumps nearby. They managed to visit the tent of a woman simply known as “Sheikh.” A mob had torched her home in a middle-class housing complex on February 28, 2002, killing 97 Muslims there. The survivors fled. Her one-room hovel was cluttered with a small stove, a straw mat, and clothes hanging to dry. Her husband, who once managed a firm that contracted billboards and signboards, was somewhere in the city looking for work. Her 21-year-old son, Mohammed Rashid, is unemployed, and her younger son, Mohammed Rafiq, who is 13, can’t go to school because the nearest one is miles away.
Sheikh is not the only helpless victim. Over 1000 people were brutally murdered and some 98 000 Muslims were displaced in the Gujarat riots. Sheikh and her family are among the 16,000 who remain in relief colonies, 83 of which are located across the state. Residents of the 15 camps in Ahmedabad overwhelmingly lack clinics, schools, proper roads, and adequate drinking water. Sheikh, like many others, has developed jaundice as well as blisters on her feet from the sewage water that floods her neighborhood. “But going back is out of the question,” she said. “I can still hear screams for help.”
Today, polls certify the popularity of Narendra Modi, but the riots remain a notable stain on his administration. While Modi evaded the law and was cleared in 2010 from all criminal liability by the Supreme Court, a former minister in his cabinet took the fall and was convicted of inciting the bloodshed. However, questions have been raised about the thoroughness of the investigation.
Over the past decade, Modi presided over an economy considered among the strongest in India. The “Gujarat model” boosted industry through infrastructure and focused on creating access to water, roads, and electricity. The state grew at a rate of 10.1 percent between 2004 and 2012, while the national average was 7.6 percent. “What is Modi’s famous Gujarat Model? It is dismal human development indexes,” Vijay Parmar, CEO of the nonprofit organization Janvikas, told VICE News. “The victims of 2002 need to be alleviated from hopelessness. This means that in addition to basic amenities, they need rehabilitation, economic stability, and a stake in India’s progress.”
Modi is fond of saying on the campaign trail that India needs the roads, electricity, and jobs that he has helped bring to Gujarat. Feroz Gulzar, a man in his late 30s who lives in another relief colony in Ahmedabad, still wonders when those resources will reach him. He has struggled with his livelihood ever since surviving the attack at Gulbarg Society, an upper-middle-class housing complex that was torched during the Gujarat riots, killing at least 69 Muslims. Gulbarg is now a cluster of burnt shells – doorless, windowless structures covered in soot. From its dilapidated gate one can see a city buzzing with prosperity: air-conditioned cars honking furiously at sluggish rickshaws, women being tended at a beauty parlor, and a group of men relaxing after a game of cricket.
Today, India’s economy is booming, but the beneficiaries are largely Hindu. Muslims have not been the beneficiaries of government development plans and grants, but many still think that they can address the issue of Hindu-Muslim trust issues at government level. Sadly, many Muslims have such false notions and pipe dreams. They should know that disbelievers and polytheists, according to verse 2:105, will never have the welfare of Muslims at heart. Allah also says in this regard in another place of the Qur’an:
“Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers the Jews and those who are Al-Mushrikun (like the Hindus), and you will find the nearest in love to the believers (Muslims) those who say: “We are Christians.” That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.” (Al-Ma’idah 5: 82)
Refuge is only with Allah, not under deceptive sweet looking polytheistic politicians.