Is Congress really the Lesser Evil?

tangy-tuesday

The recent news of Jarnail Singh tossing his shoe at Mr P Chidambaram, has raked some horrible nightmares for many of us. It also reinforced my belief that some wounds must heal. And some crimes must be punished. And for this healing to take place, these crimes must first be acknowledged. Our politicians almost always fail to do that. Congress shocks with its indifference.

And still, I have always considered Congress the lesser evil.

Let me try to explain.

Evil because they failed to control the 1984 carnage. Lesser Evil because they did not say the victims deserved it. Lesser Evil because they did not try to pass off the burning and killing of citizens as an emotional reaction to the assassination of a political representative. Lesser Evil because no recent or past history was used to wedge permanent cracks in the society. Lesser Evil because they did not try to see the other side of a violent carnage.

Evil because 3000 (not sure) Sikhs were killed by mobs made up of hooligans mainly from neighboring slums and villages. Evil because when our neighbours heard some noises in their garden hedge, they ran to shoo away a stray animal and found a teenage boy hiding there. Evil because we heard of bodies rotting near…some public places. Evil because some rumors claimed (overnight) that Sikhs were basically ‘aggressive’. (I have heard the same description for ‘outsiders’ & Muslims.)

Lesser Evil because the neighbors’ heart had not been not filled with so much hate, that they refuse to take him inside – even though they were frightened of mob-fury. There were no hate speeches in those days. My sister in law was amongst many who hid their Sikh neighbours in their homes, risking frenzied mob fury.

We were in college then, some of our friends cut their hair to hide their religious identity. Men from many neighborhoods, Sikh and non-Sikh started neighbourhood watches.

There was indifference from those who should and could have acted swiftly… We did not know it then, but it could have been still worse. But no official or political voice attempted to justify or glorify the massacres. Not even indirectly.


It did not become, under any circumstances, okay to hate a whole community. So the trauma remains, the horror remains, memories will haunt forever, but the fear gradually faded.

So I would say, the Congress is Manipulative? Maybe. Weak in controlling violence? Time and again, and sometimes without the excuse of offending any sentiments, like the senseless nightmare of 1984. Condemnable in indifference? Totally. They appease the minorities? Maybe. (but that’s no excuse to burn or rape some citizens of minority communities.) They are not really Secular? Perhaps… (again that’s not something we bring up to justify carnages.)

Then why call them the lesser evil? Because they do not preach and encourage violence and intolerance.

They do not say it’s okay to chop off hands and it’s bewkuf to turn the other cheek. They do not tell us that some amongst us are deserving of hate. They don’t make the evils of Hate, Violence and Intolerance an acceptable option.

Khushwant Singh wrote of a widow who had two sons. One learnt to rule, one learnt to fly. The one who learnt to rule tried to fly and he died. The one who could fly tried to rule, he died too. He also suggested (I think it was in his column called ‘With Malice towards one and all’) – an apology. And it stuck in my mind.

Apologies matter. So when Sheila Dixit seemed to regret on National Television a statement no responsible leader should make I forgave her fast. And when Rahul Gandhi expressed regret over the 1984 carnage – I saw hope.

WORDS are powerful. Words are Statements. Words are Promises. Words are Hate speeches.

Words are also Apologies. Apologies are hope, apologies are a new beginning.

But more than anything an apology says I do not defend my actions, I admit I was wrong.

To the bloodthirsty mobs, an apology like this says “I will no longer defend you if you tried something like this.”

Apologies also mean our representatives have not completely forgotten that they are not our rulers.

Words can be the difference between life and death, because words of our political leaders are also a message to our violent mobs. Words don’t change the way potential rioters think. Blood thirsty mobs are lead by people who are too smart to believe that murders can be right – but blood thirsty mobs are also smart enough to understand that if a political leader hates a community (even indirectly or subtly) the murders will be excused away as a reaction to hurt sentiments.

Why is it crucial that we do not ever say anything to condone violence? Because the murderers, the unemployed and the unwilling to work, the perverts, and anti social elements are waiting for us to do just that. You tell a thief he will not be punished, what will he do?

That is why Jagdish Tytler was tossed a shoe (via P Chidambaram). I don’t support the implicit violence in flinging a shoe – I would have preferred a Shoes Sending Campaign just like Pink Chaddi Campaign. But thankfully this is not required now. I read in today’s newspaper, that finally ‘The Congress on Thursday announced Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, accused of involvement in the 1984 Sikh riots, are withdrawing from Lok Sabha elections in Delhi.

This should have been done years ago. I wish this move had not been caused by a shoe. This might become an unhealthy precedence? Are we going to see shoes being aimed at Advani and Modi next? If that happens, will that result in some more killings, this time provoked by shoe throwing? (The idea of couriering shoes is a safer, non-violent option)

If a political party is not finding newer victims to hate every election season, then even if it has taken 25 years to apologize and dump one of those allegedly involved in a nightmarish carnage, sad to say I am compelled to call it the Lesser Evil.

Aren’t you?

I know Amit Varma agrees!! Read what he says at India Uncut Blog!

‘What Jagdish tytler and sajjan Kumar Tell Us About The Congress Party.’

And MadMomma says Dear Jarnail Singh

63 thoughts on “Is Congress really the Lesser Evil?

  1. “Evil because they failed to control the 1984 carnage”
    Did the Congress even try to control?

    “Lesser Evil because they did not say the victims deserved it”
    Hardly anyone will publicly say that. And what does this Arjun Singh statement mean?
    “Only a person who is totally committed to the nation can make an attempt like Rajiv Gandhi did to bring murderers of his mother into the mainstream”.
    Were all Sikhs murderers of Indira Gandhi?

    “Lesser Evil because they did not try to pass off the burning and killing of citizens as an emotional reaction to the assassination of a political representative.”
    So what does Rajiv Gandhi’s statement – “when a mighty tree falls, it is only natural that the earth around it does shake a little” – mean?

    “Lesser Evil because no recent or past history was used to wedge permanent cracks in the society”
    Punjab did witness militancy for nearly a decade after the events of 1984.

    “Lesser Evil because they did not try to see the other side of a violent carnage.
    There was no other violent carnage. There was an assassination and assassins of Indira Gandhi were swiftly punished. And then why did Congress leaders take part in the riots?

    “Evil because 3000 (not sure) Sikhs were killed by mobs made up of hooligans mainly from neighboring slums and villages”
    So Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar, H K L Bhagat did not take part in the riots? And the hooligans were reportedly paid by Congress leaders like Lalit Maken.

    “Lesser Evil because the neighbors’ heart had not been not filled with so much hate, that they refuse to take him inside”
    This had nothing to do with the Congress.

    “But no official or political voice attempted to justify or glorify the massacres”
    Again, what does Rajiv Gandhi’s statement – “when a mighty tree falls, it is only natural that the earth around it does shake a little” – mean?

    “Then why call them the lesser evil? Because they do not preach and encourage violence and intolerance.”
    How can you say that they do not encourage violence when Congress leaders took part in 1984 riots?

    “They do not say it’s okay to chop off hands”
    May be they do not. They just would like to issue fatwas .

    Apologies have no meaning if the perpetrators of riots are not punished. Apologies may be a hope or a new beginning if they are sincere. Were the apologies sincere? Even after the “apologies” , Congress nominated Tytler and Sajjan Kumar.

    No way is the Congress a lesser evil.

    RGB, I do understand how you feel, it is true that Congress has done it’s own share of evils, what I am saying is,

    “Then why call them the lesser evil? Because they do not preach and encourage violence and intolerance. They do not say it’s okay to chop off hands and it’s bewkuf to turn the other cheek. They do not tell us that some amongst us are deserving of hate. They don’t make the evils of Hate, Violence and Intolerance an acceptable option.

    I believe we must allow ourselves to move on. Do read what I have written about apology above.

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    • The apologies by the Congress were meaningless for the reasons mentioned above. By the yardstick of such apologies, even Modi has said that the 2002 riots were wrong and there has been no communal violence in Gujarat since then.
      Take a look, http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2008/11/19/modi-why-dont-you-follow-rahuls-example/

      I agree about moving on. But for that to happen, there has to be a change in the policies. The Congress encourages violence by its inaction. They failed to control the 92-93 Bombay riots and kept silence during the Nandigram violence. Even today, the Congress endangers national security due to its peculiar brand of vote bank politics. And,unfortunately even the media does not pay attention to it.

      I do not think anyone has said it is acceptable to chop off hands and it is indeed stupid to turn the other cheek in self defense.

      RGB, read here, http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/some-speeches-are-a-result-of-provocation/

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      • 1)Do you really think Rahul Gadhi’s apologies were sincere? He said in the apology the guilty should be punished. Have they been? Instead they have been renominated for elections.
        What is the use of such apologies? They are just political gimmicks.

        He has also said there were “excesses in the Emergency”. What is the use of such a statement when the Congress is constantly trying to subvert the Constitutional institutions ?

        And if the Rahul Gandhi’s apologies are to be considered as sincere , why should not the same standard be applied to Modi’s apology ?

        2) The BJP has said it does not agree with that speech . Even if Varun Gandhi has made that speech as it is reported, it would be a folly to say it is the view of the BJP.

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        • Were my comments deleted?

          No RGB I just got busy with the contest and you did not participate:(
          I think we can never agree on this, why don’t you (please do) read the two very small posts I have linked to my post, and let’s leave it at that an agree to disagree, okay :)

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        • I have read Amit Varma’s post . But I disagree with him when he says Congress stands for nothing. Congress stands for somehow contriving to remain in power by following caste based and vote bank politics.

          I did not participate in the contest as it would have been futile. I would have never guessed it.

          The guesing was all lighthearted fun :)

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  2. Nice one!
    Nice to see you here Chikki :) Welcome to my new blog :D

    I agree with everything here, specially the ‘forgive’ part. I don’t want to brand congress for what it did 25 years back or 50 years back or for what Rajiv did, I will probably see how good do they look to handle our country today, and their sincerity. Similarly, I will probably forget Gujrat 25years down the line if BJP changes itself, but right now, there are no signs of it. Congress is definitely the lesser evil. BJP pretty much irritates me.

    I will probably forget Gujrat 25years down the line if BJP changes itself, but right now, there are no signs of it Chikki, this one line, sums up my approach too!! And I too sense a sincerity ….

    IHM, why is your new blog so colourless??Try adding some colours, what say?

    Chikki I am still doing up this blog, you are right … yes colour is needed – I will add colour on the side bar? And have a pretty header! … some widgets on the side bar and coloured font!

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  3. lesser evil crtainly IHM! anyday lesser than the BJP certainly!I mean Modi and Advani make me gag!

    ”Evil because 3000 (not sure) Sikhs were killed by mobs made up of hooligans mainly from neighboring slums and villages.”
    but IHM who was leading these mobs?
    And where was the state police force??

    Indyeah, I do not doubt any allegations by the victims that Jagdish Tytler was involved. The victims have no reason to lie. I was as disappointed by the clean chit given by the CBI as Jarnail Singh. The mobs might have been mad, but somehow they knew they could get away with it…
    And the Police? Probably hand in glove with the killers Indyeah? We heard of them saying, ‘….we’ll be back in half an hour.’ The mobs COULD have ben controlled, but weren’t. This needed, still needs, very serious action.

    ‘So I would say, the Congress is Manipulative? Maybe. Weak in controlling violence? Time and again, and sometimes without the excuse of offending any sentiments, like the senseless nightmare of 1984. Condemnable in indifference? Totally. They appease the minorities? Maybe. (but that’s no excuse to burn or rape some citizens of minority communities.) They are not really Secular? Perhaps… (again that’s not something we bring up to justify carnages.)’

    and yet IHM it is this very weakness which when compared with Hindutva forces looks okay…and not so bad and yet it is also these very weaknesses that give encouragement ot those Hindutva forces again and again by their simple silence …also not being secular is exactly what leads to carnages in the long term..

    Indyeah, we have made Hindtva forces powerful. We should never have brought them to power for Hindtva, but all over the blogosphere you hear people repeating, mouthing RSS speeches and speaking of hate, worrying about Hinduism – this is how all extremists come to power. Nazis, Taliban both did the same thing. Looked like saviours of any one community… I prefer silence to hate speeches. And nobody but we can put an end to Hindtva forces and the fundamentlaism they are taking us towards, one group after another (including women ) is being targeted- I have seen people even support Muthalik the moment he speaks of Indian Culture(the magic word for voters to follow as if hypnotised… why are we so insecure about Hinduism and our culture, or even so passionate? Why not make it clear to every party that we only vote for development and progress, if we don’t watch we will have our own saffron taliban right here in India.
    And for all the criticism of Jawahar Lal Nehru, he was am amazingly modern man – progressive, a feminist (Hindu Prersonal laws would have included polygamy etc if it wasn’t for him and Ambedkar, and it was the same right wing voices that are so jealous of Muslim Personal Law, that were against it – they still resent the loss of patriarchal Hindu personal law) – It troubles me Nehru, Gandhi, Ambedkar are maligned and called cowards/ etc etc by extremists because these angry conservative voices genuinely think women progressing is the end of Indian culture. (Do read some comments on my Juno & Taliban post in Blogspot…)

    Now I am rambling (sheepish look) I feel very strongly about all this Indyeah :-\

    ‘Then why call them the lesser evil? Because they do not preach and encourage violence and intolerance. ‘

    yes I would call them the lesser evil too when compared to BJP..

    Like I said in a comment on my post that the anger is always more not for those who committed the crime/sin but for those who could have stopped it and yet stood by and simply watched..so I have more anger towards the Congress party the so called bastion of all that is secular than the BJP which seems to be a gone case

    I share this anger with you, and helplessness ……….that we have to choose Evil, just because it is the Lesser Evil.

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  4. and yeah IHM all the shoes packed and couriered is the best idea! :D like Kislay said let send em dirty smelly shoes :D

    first recipients?
    Modi
    Tytler
    Sajjan Kumar

    and ofcourse many more..we might run out of shoes but never out of recipients..yeh India hai..
    which just made me depressed :(

    LOL I thought it was my original idea!! But this means many of us are thinking the same thing! I agree, we’ll have too many deserving recipients… but remember there are some we – or the victims – not dare protest againstt even, they are the ones who are most dangerous.

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  5. IHM despite being the lessr evil or any other I still hate the Congress

    Indyeah I don’t have any feelings for any Party, I like four people, Renuka Chowdhary, Menaka Gandhi, M M Singh and Omar Abdullah. I understand Indyeah, I did not say I love them either :) I just explained why I consider them the seriously Lesser Evil :) That they are no doubt.

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    • Renuka Chaudhary? What has she done to merit a place alongside Manmohan Singh?

      Done her own job as Union Minister of State for Women and Child Development. Been honest :) That matters.

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      • yes I agree…
        Neither congress is lesser evil nor BJP ‘The Evil’. I just found these details ,as comments, by a reader, on net ..hve a look:-

        I would like a link please.

        Ladli Laxmi Yojana scheme was started by the BJP govt in MP in 2006. In a very short time, it has proved to be one of the most successful social welfare schemes in the history of the state. Under the scheme, the state govt buys saving certificates of Rs 6,000 each year for five consecutive years for every girl born in a family.

        The girl gets Rs 2,000 after she completes her Class 5, another Rs 4,000 after she completes Class 8, Rs 7,500 after she completes the Class 10, Rs 200 per month in her 11th standard and a lumpsum amount of Rs 1,18,000 after she enters the 12th standard or, alternatively, attains the age of 18.

        The principal aim of the scheme is to eliminate school dropout among girl students and to encourage them to study at least upto pre-college level.

        This scheme sounds really nice. Please give a link – I’d like to do a post on girl child related schemes. There was another one more recently, where education was completely free for girl children… that was brilliant too, but I must get info for both.

        The Kanyadhan Yojna: state gives Rs 7,500 for poor families @ time of a girl’s marriage,
        The Janani Suraksha Yojna: economic & health support to a pregnant woman till the time of delivery
        This is what I (as an Indian) call development of girl child; unfortunately no media will project this, but will project BJP as T@liban if some Sene beats a girl who goes to a pub only coz it happened in a state ruled by BJP. ”

        For this I blame the CM Karnataka, who instead of condemning the molestations started talking about Pub Culture. I was watching and waiting for some words of reassurance, came from no one – not one sensible political leader in our country because they have their families safe with security paid for by our taxes. Only person who finally spoke was Renuka Chaudhary. And it still makes me angry that others did not join her, they tried to gain political mileage out of it, and one brilliant soul (Congerss) from Rajasthan promptly added some more gems about as to why girls and boys mustn’t hold hands. Anybody who makes such statements should be made to live the life of an ordinary citizen and go out with his family facing the risk of molestations and then be told perhaps they wore the wrong colour or drank the wrong drink.This was an opportunity for them to win over the women, mothers, fathers, families (voters) by condemning the molestations unequivocally. Uma Bharti on TV also defended the sexual assaults, and thankfully she was reminded by another debater that women were voters too!!There are no excuses for what they did.

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      • Is congress the lesser evil ??

        here are some statistics

        http://www.geocities.com/indianfascism/fascism/statistics.htm

        this is from independence to 1992… BJP first came into power in Gujarat in 1994 or 1995….

        Kindly refer the figures… !!!

        Tell me how is Congress the lesser evil… ??

        Coz the media spared them ?? or lack of awareness… ??

        Congress is suauve and diplomatic… and BJP is in your face… but they are two sides of the same coin….

        there is no lesser evil….

        its only evil evil and evil… and you can select what you want to…

        Hitchwriter I feel Congress did not make hate speeches and did not create hatred. They never made it alright to kill. After BJP came we saw violence against minorities has became the norm, first Gujarat, then Orrisa … Even if they have some grouses, how can they kill????

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        • Meaning if you be discreet and go about killing people without airing your opinions.. or dont prevent killings… its fine… ?? does it ??

          No Dhiren, meaning if you kill and say you were right to kill, it’s much worse, because it encourages more violence. We don’t realise how much harm this can do … when I heard how people in SWAT valley had greeted Taliban with relief and in hope of peace, I had thought they were like us, when we greet any violent right wing groups, it starts very simply with talk of religion and hate, and a Hindu Nation. You really want a Hindu Nation? No drinking and smoking, no dancing, no valentines day, no westernised birthday celebrations … it will keep getting worse, very gradually. Ask us we have seen how much has already changed! Religion should remain in our hearts. No political representatives should interfere with it.

          Let me still tell you in 1984..Congress went about killing Sikhs… and in 2002 Bjp went about killing Muslims… and both are same…

          no difference…

          There is no lesser Evil…

          Its only evil evil and evil… and you ahve to pick one of them !!

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        • “Congress is suauve and diplomatic… and BJP is in your face… but they are two sides of the same coin…. ”

          Exactly . Bang on . The Congress appears cleaner and less evil , but the two are the same .

          Even after reading this post you say this!!! :(

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        • I say this not out of love for either of them , but because, they both seek power, and at any costs .

          I agree with that. But Kislay don’t you think one has made hatred and intolerance spread all over the country?

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  6. IHM sonia gandhi apologised in 98 and yet 10 years later murderers were still being given tickets..of what use are such apologies??

    Indyeah, it’s an assurance that they don’t intend to create any more victims. They aught to do a lot, lot more, they should make sure they have no criminals in their party… but that is something the voter can also drive home. No criminals should win elections, nobody who plays religion or caste card should win either. That is up to us. Most of all I hate anybody who preaches violence, because it scares me, mob has a mad power, I have seen more than one riots, and don’t wish to see another one ever. And I also realise, today it maybe targeting someone else, it can easily target me next…..

    Rahul is just a nobody for me..I dont consider him a politician at all

    The Gandhi grandsons have power over the masses, they are like film stars, and they better watch what they say… I am indifferent except that I don’t want them to say the wrong things, because sadly thousands do seem to listen to them. We can’t avoid this fact Indyeah.

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    • YEs I agree on this they do have power over the masses which look upto them for some reason and anyone who has that much of power had better watch what they say…that moronic Varun needs to learn this lesson

      All the Gandhi grandchildren have that power, and each uses or misuses it :) We Indians live dynastic lives, we have movie families, business families, defence services families, and even political families.

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      • :D the difference between defence services family and the other examples here IHM the defence kids dont get everything handed on a platter, they have to reach there on their own as do children of IAS officers…one might or might not get the job

        whereas a dynastic family which would mean : a succession of rulers of the same line of descent
        : a powerful group or family that maintains its position for a considerable time
        A dynasty is a succession of rulers who belong to the same family for generations

        so the political families, the ruling dynasties are more apt as an example
        :D couldnt resist :D

        I can only nod in eager agreement :)
        -IHM

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        • as do children of all parents who have jobs :D
          they wont come under the definiton of dynasty :D

          Lol Indyeah! I meant it sarcastically!!! I strongly disapprove of Dynasty rule or inherited careers, (our very caste system is based on that I think the system can be oppressive if somebody does not want to follow they will be (knowing us) pressurized to follow the family trade (or whatever) … I am too Democratic to ever approve of Dynasty rule.

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  7. yes lesser evil i agree

    But real reason is last fifty years i am eating so i am little satisfied with eating
    but others when get the kingdom they are hungry from last 50 years so need to eat very fast,quick and lot

    hope everyone got the message.

    Absolutely :))) (I did I mean!) But I like Omar Abdullah… and MM Singh.

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  8. Great post. You are absolutely correct IHM. Only those who are blinded by propaganda will say both are equal. Congress did not have any ideological problem in withdrawing Tytler and cn but BJP wont be able to do a similar thing because it is against its founding principles.Main accused in antichristian violence in Orissa are BJP candidates.25yrs down the lane there wont be any change in BJP because if it changes it ceases to exist.

    Yes I agree Charakan. I also feel we should start a Stinking Shoes Campaign for all politicians who are involved in any crimes or violence against citizens, I would like to see some more people being dumped. Will not happen I realise. :(

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  9. yes… i agree.. Lesser evil is the word…
    Forgiveness is important, I think. Else, it festers evilness in us, if we do not forgive the perpetrator of the crime… But, how much of this is actually true or holds good is again debatable.
    I am not saying that crime should go unpunished, no, justice to the 1984 victims should have come sooner and the accused punished much earlier…but, festering the hatred is not good either as it makes us have no control on our emotions at times…

    Well said Pixie!!!
    ‘Forgiveness is important, I think. Else, it festers evilness in us’!!!And also a request forgiveness gives us this hope that the crimes will not be repeated. And that is reassuring.

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    • How can you people talk of tendering apology like it’s some kind of ‘Prasad’. Someone says, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have killed 3000+ people. I made a mistake. Now will you please forget all that and VOTE FOR ME?”, and you find it acceptable. How do you even call it an apology? Apology is for something that happens on the spur of the moment. How could one apologize for cold-blooded murder. And still worse, be forgiven for that?

      You all have this wrong impression that the mob seen in riots is driven by some misguided ideology or any such high-sounding entity, or by any emotion like anger. They loot, kill and burn because they’d get booze and other worldly resources of pleasure at the end of the pogrom/program.

      In any large political rally, if you ask those “following the leader” what they’re protesting against, they just wouldn’t know! And if you’d know how to befriend them, they’d also tell you what was their price for ‘registering protest’. Usually, the price is steeper for registering a thumping (violent) protest. That’s the degree of hypocrisy in Indian politics. How do you counter this kind of immorality?

      Keep eyes and ears open (more so before forming an opinion) and take care.

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  10. You’ve written it so well! Its very true that an apology goes a long way. Even in everyday life it matters when someone says sorry when they hurt you, so I dont understand why politicians cant see this.

    I think they become over confident… like Indira Gandhi during the Emergency? And BJP during their last tenure, everybody including me thought they will win again.. so over confidence makes them forget that voters have minds of their own, nobody can predict what surprises the elections will bring!

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  11. LESSER EVIL YES< BUT EVIL NEVERTHELESS.
    I agree Gunmeen!

    thats all i want to say. there was a report yesterday about a woman who works as a peon in a school, her elder son drives an autorickshaw and her younger son is jobless. all of this because her husband was killed in mob fury in 1984. the three of them have been denied a right to lead a dignified life because one leader was the abettor of these riots. this woman lives in a colony in delhi which is known as “widow’s colony’. tell me was congress justified in giving tickets to these men in the first place who will become reresentative of people of india. is this womam and her sons not a part of common indian public. can their plight be overlooked at any cost? thats why i say IHM evil is there maybe the percentage is less thats all.but evil nevertheless. and as far as apologies go, do you think any apology will make this woman’s life any better. and even inspite of all apologies did it stop the congress from giving tickets to these men. no it did not. today if their candidature is withdrawn its all because of the backlash congress would have received in punjab.SAB KUCH KURSI KE LIYE SATTA KE LIYE!!! LOGON KE LIYE KUCH NAHIN!!!!!!

    I totally agree with you Gunmeen. I was there at the time and know of the horrors … and the purpose of giving tickets to men allegedly involved in killing of innocent citizens is beyond my understanding.
    I also feel the victims, like the ones you mention, should not only have got compensation but also justice – but that is like asking for the moon…
    Gunmeen, the apology is no more than a message to any other anti social elements that such violence will no more be acceptable/supported. Also it means they have taken (after 25 years) that first step to acknowledge that something horribly evil had happened, and they are the only one’s who can be held responsible for it.
    We were traumatized. Watching violence and what mob-moods do to people was like the world had gone insane. It made me see how much we need peace and non violence. The carnage totally changed the way I looked at life. It also made me see how quick we are to hate, and how many in the society are just waiting to kill if they are given the safety of numbers… mob violence is the worst and most dangerous threats we have today.
    To me, more frightening than terrorists also… because they are not even condemned, let alone punished.

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    • yes we were traumatized. as a 6 year old child i did not understand what was happening but the frightened faces of my dad and mom will forever remain etched in my mind. and apologies though have come but a little late. its sad that it took 25 years to take that one small step towards healing.for the victims this apology means little but such is life. i don’t know how many years we will have to wait for a similar apology coming from BJP and modi for the godhra carnage.

      I have seen this fear. It must have been horrible and what is worse, the fear was real. A child imagines that her parents will solve all problems – so to think they are scared must have been terrible. We must learn our lessons from history, and cherish peace and non violence. It seems we are surrounded with hatred these days. Over past ten years we have become our religion before we are Indians. Our past can be our guidance for future.
      I pray we never have to see such massacres again.

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  12. Lol IHM i didnt know that u moved to WP.You all r tempting me to move to WP.Will follow u here..
    Will come back and read ur post as kids are getting ready to go to park.

    Varunavi WELCOME to my new blog :) I had no idea you didn’t know!
    And please come to WP I am tempting you again …. :))) We’ll all help you!

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  13. IHM we should not forgive the BJP even if they do apologise…I have the same stand on the Congress… because wont it then become the norm?
    go kill a few thousands and then apologise 5 or 10 or 25 years later… :(
    Indyeah if they apologise it would mean no killing of or violence or hate speeches against the minorities? I don’t think that is likely to happen – but if it does I think we should be glad that good sense prevailed and move on from there – why hold grudges? Any change for better should be accepted, I believe in forgive but do not forget, so we can be vary but agree to give peace a chance…

    This is so hypocritical…on the part of the parties and the Indians
    When I say I dont want any apology from the Congress because it does squat for me I also know that I cannot forgive Modi 10 years down the line no matter what that ###### says!

    IHM why do we have such a divided country where we have to choose between such people? :(

    I agree this is a sad situation, if we are lucky people like Mallika Sarabhai will come in power, and we might see better times… I am trying not to say anything negative here… you never know what surprises election results bring..

    Will I start accepting Modi 20 or 15 years down the line?The thought makes me shudder

    Indyeah if he stops being prejudiced and starts being inclusive – I am confident that he will not even really need to apologise. We don’t have much to choose from, give us peace and hope and we’ll follow them…. or show us hate and hope we’ll still follow them :(

    Like

  14. You didn’t tell me you moved !

    Will you believe it I was just going to come and leave a comment to tell you?!

    Anyways, I think they suck in equal measures . Deciding which is the worse of the two is more of a personal opinion, but even if it makes me appear as a misguided fundamentalist , blinded by propaganda, I would still say it .

    I knew you would say this :) But I read you also think it is a good idea to SEND SHOES CAMPAIGN instead of tossing our shoes violently, I suggested the same thing in this post :)
    But most importantly, Welcome to my new Blog :)

    Like

    • :D I dis-like , not hate Congress for screwing my home-state .

      It seems that my idea for a SSC will not take off . Won’t get covered by the MSM for sure, as their darling Congress would be at the receiving end .

      Lol why ? We will send SS to all who deserve it, no? From every party.

      Like

  15. http://acuppaconversation.blogspot.com/2009/01/thin-transparent-line.html

    This is something I too wrote about. I agree with every word u’ve written. But our fate does indeed lie in our own hands. [btw this is in response to ur MIL-DIL post].

    We are conditioned not to question, otherwise I find every next person has had similar unpleasant, even traumatic nad stressful experiences. Girl also commit suicide, and still our conditionality is so deep that we think they didn’t try hard enough to fit in.

    Like

    • Jawaharlal Nehru, known for secularism and modernity, had this to say:
      “Secular philosophy itself must have some background, some objective, other than merely material well-being. It must essentially have spiritual values and certain standards of behaviour, and, when we consider these, immediately we enter into the realm of what has been called religion.” (Nehru: An Anthology for Young Readers 193)

      Disclaimer: There is a stark contrast between “spiritual values” and “mixing religion and politics”. So this is no endorsement of any party or group.

      Like

  16. Nope the sad thing is all off’em are in the smae boat when it come to cultural progressiveness of India.

    “Congress stands on the false pretense, illusion of rationalism and equality.
    No what troubles me as an Indian and I shiver to is…We don’t have any representation of people. The trouble is the whole thing is run by people/parties, who couldn’t care less. The problem is our embedded narrow mentality and approach to problems at each level as QI said we are double standards certified people. In the current India you can never be two free, and why should 1984 be forgotten?

    We(Congress/BJP) are secular only on the bloody paper and when it comes to be tolerant to others value system we suck at that.

    Secularism will not mean that I should like your religion, it should mean that I am tolerant to what ever you want to do.”

    Like

  17. Hi there,

    I thought a lot about this. My own memories of what happened in 1984 are hazy but I have read enough to conclude that Congress had a huge role to play. It is unforgivable and atrocious and no matter what they say now, its hard to move past it.
    Yet I think they are the lesser evil. They are the only hope to move towards a secular and modern India. BJP and its various allies are turning more regressive everyday. It would be hard for me to list reasons like you did, but I do think they are the lesser evil.

    I agree terasndreams And like I said in another comment, can we imagine what would have happened if the shoe had been hurled at Modi?

    Like

  18. Well, IHM here’s the thing, from the point of view of the dead it makes little difference. The important thing is that the murderer’s be brought to justice. And frankly, to me it seems that has happened more in the case of Gujarat than in the case of Delhi. The arrest of Kodnani, Best Bakery and Zahira Sheikh convictions. Nothing of that sort has happened with the Delhi riots.

    But Vikram Muslim and Christian communities are still not feeling secure, and can you imagine what would have happended if the shoe had been thrown at Modi or Varun Gandhi?

    Denying tickets to mass murderers in not justice.

    Note that even the minimal justice that riot victims have gotten in India is due to a small but extremely active civil society.

    The rest of the educated only ‘wake up’ when 5-star hotels are attacked.

    I know this much, we do need fast track courts for such cases, adn speedy justice, right, now anybody can do anything in a mob, and remain totally free if they bring in some religion or community.

    Like

  19. Well written IHM. I too feel that they are a lesser evil. Perhaps simply because they dont make us feel like outsiders. The constant saffronisation makes people like us scared and isolated and unable to trust the BJP.

    I’m sure there will be those who argue that it’s better to be in your face. I will beg to differ – it’s not very nice to have someone tell you to your face that they will chop off your arms and wipe out every trace of you.

    I dont know how the Sikhs feel about Rahul’s apology. Naturally its up to them to accept or reject. And I have no right to forgive or hold a grudge against the current governments that sat and watched while churches were burnt and nuns raped and people massacred. Its for their tickets to be refused and for those people to be satisfied. Its so easy for us to sit here and rant when most of us havent lost a family member to the carnage… no?

    MM I agree. I didn’t mean to say they should be forgiven, just that apologies do seem to be reassuring…
    And despite everything, they seem to be less evil than BJP, who are unrepentant and aggressive even now…

    Like

  20. Pingback: BlogAdda's Tangy Tuesday Picks - Apr. 14, '09 | BlogAdda Blog

  21. I think the congress also reasons well atleast on national television and I kind of like the intelligent people there like the PM himself, PC, Sheila Dixit, Mani Shankar Iyer and a few more. Also the younsters lined up looks promising, how they perform might be a different story but still.

    On the withdrawl of Tytler’s ticket, ndtv drilled mani shankar that if the congress maintains he wasnt guilty untill proven why did they withdraw the ticket. MS replied that if the people did not like Tytler, there was little meaning in him contesting irrespective of him being guilty or not. I think that is the honest plain truth and the way it should be too.

    Sunita I agree. And the biggest point in favour of Congress is they do not call any Indian citizens “outsiders”!

    Like

  22. I completely agree with RGB and Dhiren.

    Congress is no lesser evil, it has just managed to hold on to its secular garb pretty well.

    Did not Rajiv Gandhi say when a big tree falls, there are some tremors in a public speech in 1994? If you can digest this, along with a faithful adherence to all the politicians named in the 1984 carnage (and yet not bought to book– Tytler was given a clean chit, and for some strange reason, we don’t see a lot of noise being made when this happens.)

    And do not forget, the carnage in Gujarat was the first one to be so widely televised. In 1984, you did not see people being burnt alive and minute to minute reports of bloodshed, did you?

    Repentence is important but not the only factor on the basis of which you can or cannot call a party a lesser evil.

    Masses do not live on repentence or forgivence. They live on good roads, good jobs, security. Gujarat has all that. And however though you may grudge it, Modi has a lot to do with transforming the state and putting it on the fast track of development.

    Another thing that foxes me is why, always Modi’s anti-terror speeches are read as anti-muslim speeches? Al-Quiada and Taliban is a reality we cannot deny, then why, when terror issue is picked up, BJP is seen as anti-minority and if at all the very diplomatic and often non-comittal Congress raise the terror issue, it is seen as a just saviour?

    I still cry when I remember 2002. It was horrible and should never ever be repeated. I am quite certain, it never will, even if the state continues to patronize BJP. All the same, Modi was re-elected and no one can deny the popular mandate. Why do you assume he was re-elected as he has fueled anti-minority feelings in the working class? Why is it tough to agree that he indeed did a lot of work to change the face of the state and people had a desire to move on. Gujarat is much more happier, prosperous and safe than other places I have been to or read of.

    I only wish BJP were not such a hardlined right winged party and that its tough hindutva stand would soften up. In any case, I do not think Congress is a lesser evil…

    Gauri I fear the BJP for their open instigation and hate speeches, and they make a many citizens feel like outsiders in their own countries. I feel that is sad an dangerous… and now they have aslo started a trend of culture and moral policing. Their very ideology is based on creating hatred…. I wrote a post on why I consider them dangerous, let me find a link…on top of everything is their conservative, going back to the middle ages approach…

    Like

  23. Yooo..

    I kno it has nothing to do with what you wrote, but have you ever heard of http/www.bluestickers.info/ringtones.php. They seems to promise free ringtones

    PS. Dont be an ass, this is NOT spam ;)

    Lo I never thought an offer of free ringtones could ever be spam :) I am glad you commented on what we were discussing!!It pleases me that you like my blog !!

    Like

  24. Dil ko bahlane ko Galib ye khayal achha hai ..

    you can turn other side if facts are presented to you .. which does confirm in what you want to believe in …

    reading a Prattle’s Tale … has some lovely insights into some of the mighties …

    LOL Unsing Indian, you think some other mighties are lesser evils??
    Ek hi ullu kafee tha
    barabaad e guilistaan karne ko,
    har shaakh pe ullu baithe nhain
    anjame gulistan kyaa hoga?

    Like

  25. Agree with you IHM. But after hearing Varun Gandhi’s speech, I don’t think I would be able to choose between Congress or BJP. Its good that I don’t have to make that choice.

    The party I voted for here didn’t win the elections but the National Government that we got this January seems to be doing OK so far, touchwood. I am just glad that we voted on the basis of merit and not on the basis of ‘lesser evil’. Touchwood again.

    I am sick of all this hatred that we are seeing in India in the name of religion. Agree with you that religion should stay inside our hearts. We should be humans first…

    BTW, you are tagged http://2bsmommy.blogspot.com/2009/04/21-april-09-tag-time.html

    Like

  26. Do read this link even if you do not want to publish it in your comments roll as it does not agree with the views that you have put here.

    I took a look at the link Unsung, but have you read my post? I will welcome any comments on what I have stated, your own views…
    I am not out to win any debates, I just feel afraid of a future, where religion rules, and which will take us to a Taliban like situation. Have you read about how Advani wants to bring religion into our offices? Read here,

    http://communalism.blogspot.com/2009/04/bjp-for-godmen-in-govt-advanis-letter.html

    Advani has gone beyond just vague assurances of informal consultations with the sadhu samaj, as some apologetic BJP functionaries have tried to spin it so as not to alarm middle-class opinions. In promising to “evolve a suitable consultative mechanism”, Advani has proposed an institutional arrangement, something like the National Advisory Council set up by the UPA government under the chairpersonship of Sonia Gandhi and later abandoned in the wake of the Office of Profit controversy.
    What does this mean?

    Like

  27. Why i dont like the congress is this (and this has nothing to do with the hatred that i feel for 1984) :

    The Congress has engineered, time and again, divisive policies that have led to long term harm, often permanent.
    – The Hindu Sikh divide was unimaginable even 50 years ago, but it was complete and permanent.
    – The Kashmir issue not being resolved with the strength required, ensured that the division was permanent, scarring and bloody.

    The Indian defence forces have not received the upgrade due to them. Why is that? India’s foreign policy has no muscle at all. Why is that? As an economist, the PM has failed us even in sound economic planning – The farmer suicides we see today are the result of decades of ill-planning, starting with populist measures like subsidies and farm loan waivers. Nothing has been done to plan a macro-economic approach to farm/rural economy revivial. Small as the issue sounds today, this will be the termite that causes the mighty oak to fall. An army fights on a full stomach. When the stomachs of our growers are empty, how will the rest of us fall?
    In that alone, the Congress, ESPECIALLY since it had PC and Manmohan in its kitty, is criminally guilty.

    Re. Rahul Gandhi’s apology, how about making sure that all the cases of 1984 are tried and punishments carried out asap? THAT would be a fitting apology.

    Re. BJP promoting hatred towards communities. That is not justified. But neither is unmitigated tolerance. Enough! is a word that Congress really needs to learn on Foreign Policy.

    Like

  28. I found lots of interesting information on indianhomemaker.wordpress.com. The post was professionally written and I feel like the author has extensive knowledge in the subject. indianhomemaker.wordpress.com keep it that way.

    Hey, no Bcl, Actually it is not professionally written at all, this posts is only my personal opinion!! :)

    Like

  29. IHM, they are all selfish people only interested in their vote banks.
    My nana used to say-
    Khuda vanda tere sadalu bande kahan jayen,
    Sultani Aiyari hai darveshi makkari hai.( roughly translated it means- where should the common man go, the rulers and holymen
    all are scoundrels).

    I agree Prerna :(

    Like

  30. Pingback: Five Reasons Why Congress Won. « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  31. I think there needs to be some kind of ban on comparing evils.

    What kind of a sick, perverted defense of Gujarat is Delhi, I’d like to ask some people?

    If a Modi’s response to accusations of genocide in Gujarat is ‘Look at Delhi, 1984′, our first instinct should be to cut him short right there.

    NO. LOOK AT YOUR OWN SHIT. This is real, This is now.

    I can’t kill a hundred people and say ‘Look at Viet Nam’.. or ‘Remember 1914?’. One evil can never, ever, ever justify another.

    That’s why godhra carnage and the gujarat genocide are not opposite sides of a coin. They are TWO different crimes.

    So are Delhi and Gujarat.

    Like

  32. Pingback: Arvind Kejriwal. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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