Whatever is being written about Gujarat must be taken with a ton of salt. While I do not deny that a significant number of innocent Hindus and Muslims were killed, reports have been deliberately doctored to give them a anti-Hindu hue.Some of the incidents quoted here on Tehelka have been countered by investigative journalism in the past or its authors (like Arundhati Roy) have retracted their statements or have not been able to prove them when challenged. reproduced below is an excerpt from a recently published book : Lies, Lies and More Lies.The Campaign to Defame Hindu/Indian Nationalism (ISBN 0595435491): page 81 “More recently, the reporting of events in the troubled state of Gujarat are other examples of hyperbole. Before elaborating on specific instances of deception, let me state that we cannot and should not condone the senseless violence that happened there. By the same token we cannot accept the malicious dissemination of falsehoods. Writing about the Gujarat riots, Arundhati Roy (noted novelist) had this to say (Outlook, May6, 2002):“A mob surrounded the house of ex-Congress MP Iqbal Ehsan Jaffri. His phone calls to the director-general of police, the police commissioner, the chief secretary, the additional chief secretary (home) were ignored. The mobile police vans around his house did not intervene. The mob broke into the house. They stripped his daughters and burnt them alive. Then they beheaded Jaffri and dismembered him.” The description is graphic; the veracity of the incident taken almost for granted coming from a writer of Arundhati Roy’s reputation. But, alas, that’s where we make the mistake. Fame and honesty are not interlinked as the following paragraph clearly indicates. Jaffri was killed in the riots but his daughters were neither “stripped” nor “burnt alive”. T.A. Jafri, his son, in a front-page interview titled Nobody knew my father’s house was the target (Asian Age, May 2, Delhi edition), says, “Among my brothers and sisters, I am the only one living in India. And I am the eldest in the family. My sister and brother live in the US. I am 40 years old and I have been born and brought up in Ahmedabad”. So if Ehsan Jaffri had only one daughter (singular) who was safe and sound in the United States, where did Roy get her facts about not one but daughters (plural) being stripped and burnt ? Was it the fantasy of a writer’s mind? Or was it willful deceit aimed at maligning her ideological adversaries? Arundhati Roy did apologise for her mistake in a letter published in Outlook May 27, 2002. Could this have been a genuine mistake, one is tempted to ask? But when such “mistakes” occur periodically, the chances of them being accidental appear remote. They appear to be in fact calculated machinations aimed at achieving a specific goal as the following incident further proves. In the same article, Roy claims: “Last night a friend from Baroda called. Weeping. It took her fifteen minutes to tell me what the matter was. It wasn’t very complicated. Only that Sayeeda, a friend of hers, had been caught by a mob. Only that her stomach had been ripped open and stuffed with burning rags. Only that after she died, someone carved ‘OM’on her forehead”. Disturbed by the thought of such a ghastly act, Balbir Punj (a BJP Member of parliament-Senator) had this matter investigated. In Outlook (Jul 08, 2002) he wrote: “Shocked by this despicable “incident”, I got in touch with the Gujarat government. The police investigations revealed that no such case, involving someone called Sayeeda, had been reported either in urban or rural Baroda. Subsequently, the police sought Roy’s help to identify the victim and seek access to witnesses who could lead them to those guilty of this crime. But the police got no cooperation. Instead, Roy, through her lawyer, replied that the police had no power to issue summons. Why is she hedging behind technical excuses?” So when asked to prove her allegations, Arundhati Roy developed cold feet; definitely not the attitude of a crusader for truth. Similarly you must have read some accounts of what preceded Godhra. There were wild accounts of an altercation between Ram sevaks (Hindu pilgrims) and Muslim stall-owners, and of abduction of a Muslim girl by Ram sevaks. All this emanated on the basis of a fictitious e-mail as revealed by Prem Shankar Jha (Outlook, March 25).”
October 28, 2007
pseudo congress communists journalism
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