Fact: As per figures given by the Union Minister of State for Home Shriprakash Jaiswal, who belongs to the Congress Party, in Parliament on 11 May 2005, 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed in the riots, 2548 people were injured and 223 people were missing. The report placed the number of riot-affected widows at 919 and the number of children orphaned at 606. The UPA government gives these figures, and hence they themselves may be inflated.
Even Indian Muslims’ English newspaper Milli Gazette also reported this
BBC too reported the same.
The editorials of the national English dailies, and the articles published from the freelancers on the newspapers’ editorial pages are nothing but a pack of lies, akin the autobiography of former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf, “In the Line of Fire”. Newspapers like The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, etc. continue to publish articles saying, “Win in Assembly elections of December 2002 does not whitewash Narendra Modi’s sins of the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 when 2000 innocent Muslims were butchered” or “The Gujarat pogrom of killing thousands of Muslims did not help the BJP in the long term” etc. etc.
All these numbers again came into the picture when Narendra Modi was denied a US diplomatic visa in March 2005 by the USA and his earlier tourist visa, issued in 1998 was revoked just one day before his scheduled visit to the USA. Why the USA took as many as three years after the Gujarat riots to revoke Modi’s earlier visa is not known.
But these numbers are nothing but a pack of lies. The number of Muslims killed in the post-Godhra riots is inflated and exaggerated to unimaginable levels. Let us see the interview given by the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to Aaj Tak’s Prabhu Chawla, excerpts of which were published in the weekly India Today, dated 4 November 2002
“Q – Your opponents call you ‘Jinnah of the Hindus’.
A- I am hearing this for the first time though I still dont consider you as an enemy.
Q- You are held responsible for the killing of 1,100 innocent people in the riots.
A- In our last interview, you said 900 people. Now you are saying 1,100. Are you adding all the people killed in other states like Maharashtra and Bengal to Gujarat’s account?(Narendra Modi is talking of the Solapur riots of 10 and 11 October 2002 in Maharashtra and other petty riots which occured long after Godhra and had nothing to do with Godhra and post-Godhra).
Q- So what is the correct toll?
A- There would have no riots in Gujarat if there had been no Godhra…
Q- Do you accept that you failed to provide security to the people of the state?
A- 98% of Gujarat would not have had peace if we had failed to fulfill our duties. We managed to control the riots in 72 hours…
Q- Why don’t you accept that Gujarat is being defamed because of Narendra Modi?
A- If that is true, give the people of Gujarat a chance to pronounce their verdict through elections.”
As we see, the number of people killed in the riots jumped from 900 to 1100 after Narendra Modi’s previous interview, i.e. within 4 months! Now it has jumped from 900 to 2,000. May be after 10 years, at this rate it will jump to 10,000!Already it is being said that, “thousands of Muslims were killed in Gujarat” and “3,000 innocent Muslims were butchered in Gujarat”.
The death of a single innocent person, whether Hindu or Muslim or belonging to any other religion, is highly unfortunate and cannot be justified. That more than 1,000 people were killed is highly unfortunate and reprehensible. But that cannot a justification to exaggerate and inflate the number of people killed to 2,000 or any higher figure.
What these lies have done to well-meaning people
It is generally believed, even in the Sangh Parivar, that the post-Godhra riots were one-sided. Anil Nair, Organiser correspondent in Mumbai reported in the weekly, dated 20 February 2005 thus:
“On February 10, Pakistan finally gathered the gumption to tell us that it was both—in Ahmedabad over 2,000 Muslims were killed in riots. Such polemics are useless; Pakistan is working on the presumption that the Congress government will find it hard to choose between national honour and secularism, and by all measure it will choose the latter at the cost of the former.”
That is, even a correspondent of RSS weekly Organiser believed the bluff that 2,000 Muslims were killed in the riots. He actually reported- “Over 2,000 Muslims were killed in Ahmedabad”. Smriti Irani, BJP member and TV actress (mind the word actress and not actor), also said that she would sit on a fast until death unless Narendra Modi resigned by 25 December to help the BJP get a secular image once and for all in December 2004.
Most leaders of BJP seem to be blatantly ignorant of the truth of the Gujarat riots. Whenever Congress leaders or anti-BJP journalists raise the issue of the Gujarat riots on TV, the BJP leaders like Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Nitin Gadkari, Gopinath Munde, Prakash Javdekar, Sheshadri Chari, Shahnawaz Hussain, Harsh Vardhan etc hopelessly fail to give befitting reply. They falter in speech. They merely try to point out that the Gujarati electorate gave a huge mandate to the BJP and to Narendra Modi in the December 2002 Gujarat Assembly polls, and mention the Godhra incident as a cause of the riots. None of them ever points out any instance of Muslim aggression, sufferings of the Hindus in the riots, police firing deaths, or the fact that only 60 places out of 18,600 saw riots. This is because of ignorance and blind belief on media lies.
After every terrorist attack, the national English media rationalizes this deed on grounds of the ‘Gujarat riots’. The Gujarat riots were the result of the Godhra massacre.That the English media justified Godhra (as a response to the Ramjanmabhoomi movement in Ayodhya), did not justify or even rationalize the post-Godhra riots (which were the direct result of Godhra) where Muslims were killed and ignored the killings of the Hindus, and it tried to and tries to de-link post-Godhra and Godhra. And it rationalizes and/ or justifies the (so-called) ‘reaction’ to the post-Godhra riots.
The very fact that some terrorists claim that they “plan to avenge the Gujarat riots” clearly shows the devastating consequences of the media lies. The media lies today about Gujarat riots being a ‘pogrom’ and instigates innocent Muslims to terrorism.
In March 2005, the Pakistan cricket team was on a tour to India. It refused to play a Test match in Ahmedabad on ‘political’ grounds, i.e. for ‘the killings of Muslims’ in that city. All this is clearly the result of stark lies concocted by the biased media, which it itself may have started to believe by now. All these lies and myths need to be thoroughly exposed.
That the UPA government, with Congress President and Italian-born and staunchly anti-BJP Sonia Gandhi as the UPA chief, and Communists as outside supporters, gave the figure of 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus killed in the Gujarat riots inside Parliament is something worth pondering about. These figures themselves may well be exaggerated given as they are by a Congressman, who works under Sonia Gandhi.
India Today weekly reported in its issue dated 20 May 2002, when the riots had almost stopped that “Total dead- 972” (For details, see page 122). Out of these 972, India Today included 57 people killed in Godhra. If anyone sees the English newspapers of those days, i.e. between 10 to 21 May 2002, no riots took place in Gujarat in those 10 days at all, and the Army left Gujarat on 21 May. A maximum of 20 more deaths might have happened in Gujarat after that. The death toll in Gujarat riots would thus be 935.
I myself recall reading in Nagpur-based English daily The Hitavada that 936 people were killed in the Gujarat riots after the Army left Ahmedabad on 21 May 2002. The official figures before the missing were declared dead were 952. After missing were declared dead- the toll was revised to 1180.
Adding the UPA’s figures of 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus, we have a total of 1044 people killed in the Gujarat riots, a 100 more. Hence, the true figures may well be 698 Muslims and 254 Hindus, a total of 952 people killed- before the missing were declared dead.
But let us, for argument’s sake, assume that the figures given by the UPA government are correct. Does that give anyone the reason to believe that more than 790 Muslims were killed in Gujarat? Why should the English dailies and the 24-hour news channels lie through the skin of their teeth that 2000 Muslims were killed in Gujarat? A total of 223 people are said to be missing. Out of them, how many are Hindus is also not told. The maximum number of people thus killed in Gujarat, assuming that all the missing are dead would thus amount to 1267. There is no scope for anyone in the world, including the human-rights organisations and the US-based religious freedom groups and the TV channels like NDTV and company to report that one more than 1267 people were killed in the Gujarat riots.
Despite this, Prafull Bidwai, a self-proclaimed secularist wrote in Nagpur-based English daily, The Hitavada’s Sunday magazine, Insight in July 2006, soon after the Mumbai blasts that killed 187 people in the city, that, “VHP, Bajrang Dal and the BJP butchered 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat”- ignoring Godhra completely. And he was not the only one. NDTV, mouthpiece of a political party, and that too the CPI (M), a Leftist party, reported a thousand times during the Lok Sabha elections of April- May 2004 that, “2000 Muslims were killed in Gujarat”.
2,000 is the number of Muslims who carried out the massacre and gruesome roasting alive of 59 Hindus-including 25 women and 15 children in Godhra. It is not the number of Muslims who were killed in the subsequent riots. There is no justification for violence-and of even a single death-be it in Godhra or after Godhra. But why lie through the skin of your teeth that 2000 Muslims were killed when only 790 were killed? Who gains by these lies? And it is everybody’s duty to correct the figure. The point is- what should be reported is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
The mentality of self-proclaimed secularists is to keep the number of Muslims who killed Hindus in Godhra as low as possible- and the number of Hindus killed in that train as low as possible. Alok Tiwari- a self-styled secularist editor of The Hitavada wrote- “Just because 56 Hindus were killed in Godhra doesn’t give them the license to kill Muslims in Gujarat…” Burkha Dutt of NDTV tried to keep the number of Hindus as low as possible in 2002- in one her talk shows she said- “The karsewaks killed in Godhra- what’s the number 53 or 57…” The correct number is 59-the numbers given by self-proclaimed secularists reveals their attitude- and that attitude is- to keep the numbers of Hindus killed in Godhra as low as possible.
And many writers have simply written- a mob killed karsewaks in Godhra- instead of saying openly- 2000 Muslims killed karsewaks in Godhra. Kuldip Nayar- in one his columns in 2002 said- “500 Muslims attacked the train in Godhra”. Others said- 1,000- some said 1,500. The actual number is 2,000 as mentioned by Vir Sanghvi in The Hindustan Times on 28 February 2002- and in the report of the Justice Tewatia Committee. The number is all that important. But what it shows is the mentality- of trying to reduce Islam’s guilt and Hindus’ suffering as much as possible.
And it is this mentality which is responsible for them exaggerating the number of Muslims killed in the riots to as much as possible. When the total number of people killed in the riots- Hindu as well as Muslim- is 1180-they lie that 2,000 Muslims were killed in the riots-like Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf did in the United Nations in September 2002. Teesta Setalvad increased this number to 2,500 Muslims (as if not a single Hindu was killed) in one of her articles titled “What ails Gujarat” published in CPI(M) party weekly Peoples Democracy in 2006. And Tehelka reported in 2007- after its sting operation that 2,500 Muslims were killed in the first 3 days! This would imply that many more were killed in the next days of riots!!!
This reporting also exposes the reality of self-styled secularists- Hindu suffering should be ignored and kept as minimum as possible- Islam’s guilt should be reduced as much as possible- while Muslims’ suffering should be increased as much as possible.
A must read article is on the role of the Gujarat Government in controlling violence in the riots: