Often, while discussing Godhra riots of 2002, I get confrontational. “Just because the person (s) accused is Hindu, you are more offended/upset/outraged etc etc” And just like any argument with me, when confronted with forceful talk, I retreat. But I have always wondered why Godhra affected me more than any other instance of communal riots.
Was it because often people speak of Narendra Modi being the perfect candidate for a PM? “He may have killed people but look how Gujarat has prospered? Why not India?”
Was it because I heard of an elderly couple, whose hospitality I had enjoyed, having to be shuffled out of their homes in the middle of night?
Or was it because this was the only communal riot that happened while I was in a newsroom?
I don’t know.
Or maybe on some fundamental level it could be because I am Hindu and hated that someone killed innocent people using my religion as a guise?
Can a great tragedy like this get us to see how foolish are the trivialities that we let ourselves get preoccupied with?
I mean renaming things. I mean kicking out the north Indian. I mean the insistence on one language in Government communications. I mean plenty more.
Did any of these things keep us secure last week?
Am tempted to do what I usually do — head-in-the-sand syndrome.
Perhaps not this time.