Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sadbhavana derailed at Godhra Jn

Muslims Stay Away From Otherwise Successful Show

Sachin Sharma | TNN

Godhra: Narendra Modi’s most publicized Muslim acquaintance in this town missed his date with the chief minister. Modi’s former laundryman Chand Abdulsalam Dhobi said he was occupied with pressing engagements and received the VIP invitation for the Sadbhavana fast rather late.
Even as the BJP exerted itself to ensure maximum participation from the minority community, most Muslims stayed away from the event, which is seen as Modi’s image-makeover bid to wash off the taint of the post-Godhra violence. The fast is being held nearly a month before the 10th anniversary of the Godhra carnage. Fifty-nine persons, mostly karsevaks, were killed when the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express train was burnt near the Godhra Railway station on February 27, 2002, triggering the worst ever riots in the state.
However, local BJP leaders claimed large-scale participation from the Muslim community. Sahibkhan Siddique, a councillor in Godhra who supports the BJP, said: “Muslims turned up in large numbers. They did not sit through the day as many had to go for Friday prayers.” The BJP leaders claimed many members from the minority community even made donations for Modi’s girl-child education scheme.
Activist and prominent Godhrabased gynaecologist Dr Sujat Valli said that while it was portrayed that the minority community was supporting the event, the undercurrent was different. “They may have agreed to go initially, but eventually not many went there,” he said.
Though the presence of the minority community at the venue was limited, the event was a success with people pouring in all through the day. The bulk of the crowd was mobilized through milk co-operatives in the district affiliated to the Panchamrut Dairy. P 9
Activist Shabnam Hashmi, 5 others held
Shabnam Hashmi, the founder trustee of NGO Anhad, and five other activists were detained by Gujarat police on Friday when they were trying to enter Godhra. Hashmi’s NGO had organized a programme ‘In Search Of Justice’, parallel to Narendra Modi’s show in Godhra, the Ground Zero of Gujarat riots of 2002. P 9
Togadia takes a swipe at chief minister
Senior VHP leader Pravin Togadia on Friday asked if there was any ‘Sadbhavana’ for the Godhra train carnage vcitims. Without naming Modi, he said, “All netas are in a race to appease minorities. It is a dangerous trend that led to the creation of Pakistan.”


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