Monday, October 15, 2012

Walk the talk, Muslims tell Modi

The community reacts with mixed feelings to Modi’s statement that he be hanged if found guilty in 2002 communal riots cases 

 Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s statement to an Urdu newspaper that he was ready to be hanged if found guilty of complicity in the 2002 communal riots has evoked mixed responses from political parties and social activists. While some have dismissed it as a political gimmick and an attempt to influence judiciary, others have been more accommodative of his‘ new found concernforminorities’.

    Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia on Thursday said “He (Modi) is trying to influence the judiciary. Whatever he wants to say, he should say in the court. Making statements like this in the media means nothing,” he said. “Instead of giving interviews and challenging the country, he should give these statements to the judiciary and the court in which cases are being heard against him,” he added.
    “Even his own party believes that he made a mistake,” Modhwadia said.
Prominent social activist and president of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), an NGO, Teesta Setalvad said, “It seems CM Modi and the journalist who was interviewing him have deliberately ignored the fact that the Supreme Court has already appointed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the case. Enough material has already been found to prosecute the CM. Now the case should be lodged and he be prosecuted. This statement has no meaning.” Teesta is one of the parties in the Gulberg Society fire case in which former Congress member of Parliament Ehsan Jafri had died.

    A prominent Muslim community member, I H Sayyed, questioned Modi’s credibility. He said, “If he is saying so then why didn’t he co-operate with the various commissions that were set up to probe the post-Godhra communal riots. He has to really walk the talk and not just talk. If he is able to do that then we would support him as prime minister candidate.”
Advocate Iqbal Ehsan Sayyed said that no one is guilty until proved guilty. “We can’t blame Modi outright. Charges are yet to be proved against him. Modi’s statements must be taken in a positive sense. Japan has praised him as the future of India.”

    Educationist and prominent member of a renowned Muslim institute Mohammad Hussein Gena said, “ There should be fair probe into the issue and then the real picture would emerge.” Social activist Rais Khan dismissed Modi’s statements as a political gimmick. He said, “It is typical of any accused to plead not guilty. Modi must own up his responsibility for the riots and face the law. He should ensure free trial of riots cases so that Muslim victims get justice.“ We don’t believe in kangaroo justice: Union law minister
NEW DELHI Gujarat Chief Minister NarendraModihassaidthatheshoul
dbe hanged if he is found guilty of complicity in the 2002 Gujarat riots. The BJP leader has been accused of giving tacit support to the riots in which more than 1,000 Muslims were killed following the February 27, 2002, Godhratrainburningincidentinwhich57 kar sewaks returning from Ayodhya were burnt alive.
    In an interview to Urdu newspaper, Nai Duniya, Modi has discussed the riots in which 1,200 people were killed – a majority of them from the minority community. The newspaper is edited by Shahid Siddiqui, an MP of the Samajwadi Party from Lucknow.
    Taking a dig at Modi, Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid said if the Gujarat CM was aiming to change his image with such a remark, it would be better to change his demeanour instead. “I don't think we believe in kangaroo justice. Whatever the law is in the country will prevail. The courts will decide. I don’t think we either in the streets can decide or that Modi can take a decision by himself,” he said.
    Upset with Modi’s remark, Union Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily said it’s time the Gujarat CM apologises and learns from his mistakes. “Modi should remember that genocidehadtakenplaceunderhisa
ctive governance. A particular community was targetted, thousands of innocent people were killed and lakhs were uprooted,” Moily said.
    The interview is believed to be significant as Modi chose to talk about post-Godhra violence to an Urdu weekly. Earlier, Modi used to walk out oftelevisiontalkshowswhenprodd
ed to give his views on the 2002 Gujarat communal riots.
    Siddiqui said that the decision to interview Modi came after a meeting in Mumbai with filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and script writer Salim Khan. Siddiqui said he was not satisfied with Modi’s reply. AGENCIES
We can’t blame Modi. Charges are yet to be proved against him. His statements must be taken positively.

If so, why didn’t he cooperate with the various commissions that were set up to probe the post-Godhra communal riots.
    Community member
He (Modi) is trying to influence the judiciary. Whatever he wants to say, he should say in the court.
    Congress leader