Can’t stop thinking…


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?

Why did I start thinking of Godhra?

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.


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