December 15, 2007

Jitega Gujarat?



The big debate about Gujarat continues on all news channels. Ghosts of Godhra and Sohrabuddin haunt back, taking up most of the air-space and the crowd once again gets divided into extremes – to be or not to be (with Modi). While Mr. Bandukwalla said that its time to forget 2002 and move ahead, there are people who think that Modi needs to be hanged for all the blood and gore that shredded the moral fibre of the state.

I switch off the television and am lost in deep thought. This is for the 1st time I’ll be voting. It’s quite a responsibility. On one hand we have a Modi who has changed the face of Gujarat, made it the land of investments and convinced people that we live in a ‘Vibrant Gujarat’. On the other, he’s the mass-murderer – the modern day Nero who set the state on fire and gleefully watched it from a safe distance. So while people do not stop praising him for making Gujarat one of the most progressive states of India, the same people abhor him when they watch the sting operations with men describing the details of the Gujarat genocide. And now that it’s time to take a stand – Modi or no Modi - people are struggling under the burden of choice.

My question is - Can the Modi of 2002 be separated from the Modi of 2007? Is it really possible to forget (if not forgive) everything and move towards a better future? Is it possible not to think about ethics but only about economics? Can there be a middle path? Can progress and justice co-exist in Gujarat once again?

The dichotomies boggle me and I fear the consequences.


To be or not to be (with Modi) is the question my Lord.

18 comments:

LilOne said...

i think u miss the point here.

economic development is no development, no progress if it excludes half the populace anywhere. or even if a minor section of the population.

i refuse to believe, even though i sit miles away from the ahmedabad that the kind of vibrant gujarat which is catering to "US", the hindus or the majority caters to the minorities also: irrespective of what religious/ ethnic/ linguistic minority we are talking about.

the development, the vibrancy of the state only caters to those who have simply shut their eyes, ears and mouth to everything that happened. those who can reconcile themselves to this KIND of development which excludes others.

peace and development can co exist.
but not by exclusion, which is what is happening right now. only by inclusion.

unless the inclusion happens, unless the same number of malls are at least "tried" to be opened in areas dominated by minorities, whether they are eventually opened or not. then perhaps we would be putting a step towards the inclusion.

currently we just seek to sit outside and observe when mass exclusion happens.

the safety, the progress prevails, exists only for a few. and to be blinded by this privilege granted to a few, which should be made available as a right for all, is perhaps the biggest crime we could allow ourselves to indulge in.

to vote for whom is perhaps not the pertinent question here.

whether to vote at all or not, is more crucial.

Alistair D'souza said...

my flatmate is from baroda.... a very nice chap.. has good intentions... once in our friends group we were discussing about gujarat and religion in general... his undertones spoke of muslims as terrorists... he said that he does not have anything bad against them but when you read about terrorists attacks its always muslims... when I asked him how many muslims he has as good friends... he said none... and thats the problem... not taking initiative...

the problem lies in ppl just picking an option that lies in front of them thinking that they can't change much... cause it will probably taken a couple of generations for that change..

we all need to put ourselves into other ppl shoes before we make decisions... we need to judge ourselves sometimes too...

bhumika said...

@ neha

not voting is no solution...agreed, change can come only with inclusion and we can bring that change only when we do not choose the one who is widening the divide. By assuming that no matter what we do, the condition will not change is foolishness...

@alistair

i completely agree with your POV...take an initiative...be the change you want to see

LilOne said...

"By assuming that no matter what we do, the condition will not change is foolishness..."

I never said that. but to vote back the same person in power, who is responsible for all the mayhem n madness is foolishness.

It seems that the state has no alternative but him, and this is foolishness.

in such a situation, it is better to do nothing at all, sit hand on hand rather than actually be proactive n get him back.

if u really think he as a person has changed, and that because hes working towards the economic development of the state, one can forget what all happened, then there is no point in taking this argument further, unless and until you realise that whatever development gujarat has seen in the years since the riots IS because they want to silence the riot critics. it is BECAUSE they want you to be blinded to the dichotomy of the development in the state. because everything is available to you or me at stone's throw from the house, without any application of mind and brain, we have been brainwashed into thinking and believing that this is the situation for everyone.

we have forgotten how to think differently, how to ask questions.

and unfortunately, that is what the government wanted to achieve, post 2002. it clearly seems they have also acheived it.

bhumika said...

“to vote back the same person in power, who is responsible for all the mayhem n madness is foolishness.”

I think you got me wrong – AGAIN! When I say we need to vote to bring in the ‘change’, I’m not referring to the oh-so-great development as the change. I’m talking about change in the political power - to kick this poster-boy of Hindutva. If you think that majority of the people are anyways going to vote for him and your single vote to the other party will not do any good, THAT is foolishness. I would like to believe - every vote counts...

NYSH said...

good... keep the spirit alive...

Swapnil said...

Theres no way that the two Modis can be separated.

The economic progress that you talk about (and I've lived in Gujarat for 3-4 months, have travelled on the beautiful roads, walked down the excellent sidewalks, seen industry grow etc etc)should not be taken as some great favour that he's done to the state. That was his JOB! That was what he signed up for when he stood for elections. He just makes it look so good because other Chief Ministers are not doing what they should be doing. Sheila Dikshit has also done it without the need for stoking communal fires.

The heinous crimes that were committed in 2002 are pure criminal acts and can anyone really feel that 100s of murders can be redeemed by making better roads? or by providing electricity?

There are no get-out-of-jail-free cards in life (unfortunately not literally true - its called 'money and power' in India) and there shouldn't be a single vote in his favour as that would take him down the same road again with renewed vigour.

No Bhumika, I'm afraid the two Modis are not separable or forgiveable.

Although I agree that not voting is not a solution.

bhumika said...

@nysh

thanks...

@swapnil

bingo! i appreciate your comments and completely agree that the 2 modis cannot be separated. but unfortunately the modi of 2007 has overshadowed the modi of 2002 for a vast majority in this state. Wish they understood that progress without justice is not worth it...

Adam said...

Hi bhumika, I ve gone through a few posts by you and they are quite interesting. How ever I strongly feel abt this one. What do these good for nothing politicians have in their minds? That they are gods, invincibles. Who has given them the right to screw up the country, I guess us. Its all abt show biz and powerplay, thats what politics is reduced to.

bhumika said...

'showbiz' - oh yes, that's an important part of these elections. The poster boy of Hindutva aka 'Brand Modi' has been marketed successfully. Unfortunately, people don't know that they'll have to pay a big price for this brand of politics.

thanks for dropping by adam...

Swapnil said...

He won :(

bhumika said...

:(

vineeta said...

I felt like I was reading my mind when I read your post. yesterday His victory was all over the papers. the people of Gujarat have obviously chosen progress and good economics- at whatever price. Last night I was raving to my friends- not unlike lilone here. but I also feel that he won because there was no real alternative. The people of gujarat have tasted blood both literally and in the economical sense.And they have voted. For more of both.

bhumika said...

"I also feel that he won because there was no real alternative"

Vineeta, i guess Newton's law ruled in Modi's case. The more the media attacked him, the more people grew sympathetic towards him. It's sad that people have chosen progress over justice. Perhaps, they've lost hope that justice will ever be done to the victims of 2002.

Anonymous said...

What a great Blog this is!

I happened on it accidentally and can't help commenting. I don't live in India though I claim the heritage.

If there is a person who had a hand in the murder of other human beings, its simple, isn't it? s/he might be forgiven by those against he committed the heinous. But murder can never be overlooked just because he is a good manager of the economy. Today's economy is meaningless to those who are dead. And their loved ones, those who survived, are forever lost no matter the state of the economy.

Gujarat is full of smart people who can run a successful economy. And I am sure among them are smart and moral politicians.

Hope this helps. And thanks again for a fantastic blog.

niks the pure gujju said...

i landed on this post accidntly but the talks that ppl are talkin against modi is all not so true.

i hail from the land of gujarat and am a gujarati. speakling about the mass murder and minority thig, y dont anyone speak for the murder of hindu brahmins in kashmir?? what was their fault that the so called minority community ha dto kill them and kick them out. those brahmins are lik a refugee in their own country now, and those so called minority enjoy all the benefits of gujarat which noone from any other state in india has. gujarat boasts of the best economic growth, it has given people best life according to standrd of living in the whole of india. there is ev\lectricity in each village and each village has paved roads which no other state in india has. and fater Mr. Modi came in the seat of chief minister the progress has increased by leaps and bounds. he has come in with a clear majority and he didnt have to lick others feet for seats. this shows wrespect people of gujarat has for him. he has never discriminated againstr the propress of those so called minority communities. they are equally a part of gujarats success as everyon else. ask those minority community people to leave gijarat and nooone will leave jus coz the fruits of freedom and economic progress that they enjoy in gujarat, they know they wont be able to enjoy in any other state. and about the 2002 riots, noone is asking the relatives of those burned alive in godhra carnage. those so called minorities were the only ones to burn hindus alive. what wrong did they do?

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