Thoughts on economics and liberty

Analysis of Modi’s 9 September 2002 hate speech at Bahucharaji, Gujarat (Gaurav Yatra)

In his various communications on the subject, former DGP Gujarat R B Sreekumar keeps referring to “a communally objectionable speech by the Chief Minister Shri Narandra Modi in Sept 2002”. The contents of the speech were provided by him to the National Commission for Minorities. In attempt to understand the issues better I’ve now traced the following speech from the internet (it already contains annotations. My annotations are in blue, as usual). I hope this is the one he is referring to. Let me analyse this for whatever it is worth. In this context it will be useful to review this first.

Addendum 2 January 2020: Looks like links to the internet keep disappearing. So I’ve re-located a couple of links and also uploaded screeenshots on my server: Link 1 (Outlook)screenshot | Link2 (screenshot)

==contd.==

I have no hestiation in declaring the following as HATE SPEECH. I am not against stopping hate speech, so long as it doesn’t provoke direct violence. However, this speech has definitely crossed the line as far as a Chief Minister is concerned. If Obama gave such a speech today he would be hounded out of office. Or any Australian PM. Or British PM.

Here’s background story re: this speech:

After a number of media reports on Narendra Modi’s inflammatory speeches against the minorities, the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) asked the Gujarat home department on September 10, 2002, for a copy of the speech made by the CM at Becharaji, a temple town in Mehsana. Attempting to block such information, the Gujarat government claimed that it had been unable to trace a copy of the speech.

The state home department ensured that its stooge DGP, K. Chakravarti, endorsed the fact that the state intelligence department, headed by the then ADGP, RB Sreekumar, was not required to provide such a report. But Sreekumar felt duty bound to comply with the request of the NCM. He obtained a copy of the speech and forwarded it to the commission soon after. This proved to be a costly move for him. Sreekumar was immediately transferred out of the intelligence department to a relatively insignificant post. [Source]

Also:

Modi’s speeches during the gaurav yatra

Becharaji, Mehsana: Modi makes inflammatory speeches demonising Muslims in his build-up to the 2002 election campaign and then does his best to deny information about the same to the National Commission for Minorities (see box, ‘Tongue of flame’). [Source]

Verbatim of Public Speech delivered by the Chief Minister, Shri  Narendra Modi, at Bahucharaji (Mehsana district of Gujarat State) on  9.9.2002, as part of Gaurav Yatra.

The procession of prestige (Gaurav Yatra) has now reached the holy land of Bahucharaji, from Fagwel, by blowing the bugle of self-respect of Gujarat. This is the holy place of power (Shakti), the power for extermination of Ashuras. We have resolved to destroy and stamp out all forces of evil, who are a threat to the self respect of Gujarat. A set of people, who are not concerned about ordinary Gujarati citizens, are keen to impede progress of Gujarat State and its future, are out to defame Gujarat State. In this holy land of Bahucharaji, let the 5 Crores Gujaratis acquire such power and energy, which will build tomorrow’s prosperous Gujarat.

There is allegation against us that we are Hinduwadis. Oh! brothers, for the development of Bahucharaji Devi temple, our Govt. has allotted 8 Crore Rupees. Is it a crime done by us? Have we become communal by allotting 8 Crore Rupees for the development of Bahucharaji. [Sanjeev: I wasn’t aware of this – but this is SHOCKING. BJP wants the uniform civil code, but it first DEMOLISHES an old mosque – Babri Masjid – and then funds a TEMPLE. And claims that there should be one law for India??]

Our Congress friends have come out with another charge. They say, this Narendrabhai has brought Narmada water to Sabarmati river and this man is so much clever that he brought the water in the month of Shravan (a holy month for Hindus). My dear brothers, we built the dam and so water is available. Let me ask a question to my Congress friends, if water is brought during Shravan month, those mothers / ladies residing on the banks of Sabarmati river can take bath in Narnada water and feel holiness and blessedness. Then what is paining them? Since, we (means BJP) are here, we brought water in Sabarmati during the month of Shravan, when you are there, you can bring it in the month of Ramdan (the holy month of Muslims). [Sanjeev: this kind of a communal language is truly unfortunate, and really unbecoming nor expected from a Chief Minister.] When, we brought water in the month of Shravan, you feel bad.

When we spend money for the development of Bahucharaji also, you feel bad. What brother, should we run relief camps? (referring to relief camps for riot affected Muslims). Should I start children producing centers there, i.e relief camps? We want to achieve progress by pursuing the policy of family planning with determination. We are 5 and our 25 !!! (Ame panch, Amara panch, referring the Muslim polygamy). [Sanjeev: This is absolutely atrocious – a direct attack on a significant number of Indians] On whose name such a development is pursued? Cant Gujarat implement family planning? Whose inhibitions are coming in our way? Which religious sect is coming in the way? Why money is not reaching to the poor? If some people go on producing children, the children will do cycle puncture repair only? [Sanjeev: clearly Modi has no idea that birth rates are a function of economic opportunity – and have declined dramatically across the board given increased economic opportunity.]

If we want to develop Gujarat, every child born in Gujarat should get education, enlightenment, livelihood and the economic order should be built up accordingly. For this purpose, there is a need for teaching a lesson to those people, who are expanding their population (Hinting at Muslims). If we [Sanjeev: This is ATROCIOUS: He only identifies himself with Hindus – not with India] object to the explosion of population, they feel bad. Can somebody tell me, is there any Nation like ours? Is China ruled by BJP? Still China had enacted a law to curb population explosion. Here some people say no no, Are we religious fundamentalists. Brothers, in this matter, how religion is involved? In Gujarat, Madrasas are coming up in large numbers. The children have right to get primary education. But, Madrassa going child is deprived of primary education. [Sanjeev: While I agree that there is some merit in this argument, the idea of DIRECTLY ATTACKING INDIANS who are Muslims is simply intolerable.] What will such a child do, when he grows up? Suppose, normal education is not available and only religious education is available, will it not be a burden on Gujarat. [Sanjeev: Once again Modi idenfies himself/Gujarat with Hindus only.]

We are scrutinizing Madrassas from Kachchh (district) onwards. Now these people may say that we are communalists. If West Bengal Govt. put restrictions on Madrassas, it is secular, but when it is done in Gujarat, how do we become communal? Any institution needs regulation. If we want peace in Gujarat, we have to make long term plans. We cannot permit merchants of murder freely operate in Gujarat. [Sanjeev: This is really strange language -so WHO has been ithe biggest merchant of murder in the history of Gujarat?] I am sitting in the holy place of Shakti (energy), in the lotus feet of Bahucharaji Mata. I want to assure you that I may lose the chair tomorrow or today. But, I will not allow those plotting to destroy Gujarat and harm the innocent, to carry out their plans. Gujarat wants happiness, Gujarat wants peace, 5 Crores Gujaratis are united and progressing.

The days of somebody like Daud Ibrahim sitting in Karanchi and playing games of murder and destruction are over. [So it was a plot to kill 1000 people in Ahmedabad?] We would not permit it. For what purpose all this is done. My chair may go today or tomorrow. We are not sticking to the chair with fevikol. Brothers, we are sitting at the feet of the Gujaratis. If the people feel that this person (referring to himself) will work, then they will put him as their head. And if the people don’t feel, then they will kick us out. Brothers, we are a set of people, who are always at your service.

The Congress is afraid of going to the people; they do not want the election. Oh brothers, if you do not want the election because you are going to be defeated and so you want to delay the holding of election?  Smt. Indira Gandhi was afraid of going to the election. Therefore, she extended the tenure of the Parliament to 6 years. Why don’t you do the same thing? But you are afraid of doing that. What do you talk? There are disturbances in Gujarat. The people of Gujarat indulge in riots. If you don’t want face election you have no right to abuse 5 Crores Gujaratis. This is not acceptable to us. If you have courage, brothers, why don’t you bare your chests and face us in the battle field of election? Why do you run away? If one has to run away, we have to do it. There is propaganda is against me through out the World. It is done by you (Congress men). We are willing to go to the people and you are running away from the people. Why don’t you go to Italy?, Go, and offer aarti (offering by holy flame) to the Election Commission. You are shouting, stop elections, stop elections, Oh mother ! stop elections, Oh Congress friends ! We have taken the dust from the feet of 5 Crores Gujarati on our head. We are one with them and we are proud of telling that. We are not cheats. If you go to collect the dust from the feet of the people of Gujarat they will kick you. We have no selfishness.

This daughter of Italy (Sonia Gandhi) had given us open certificate that we had insulted the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel. We have to demand your answer in this matter. How much did you insult Sardar Patel? [Sanjeev: Modi should be aware that Sardar Patel detested RSS – He called people like you POISONOUS. DOES MODI KNOW THIS?] The Nehru dynasty of Congress people, develop fever hearing the name of Sardar Patel. You may feel sad, Sanjay Gandhi was no great man other than being the husband of Menka Gandhi. But, there is samadhi of Sanjay Gandhi at Rajgadh. Oh my Brothers and Sisters of Gujarat ! Sardar Patel does not have a samadhi (in Delhi). We feel very sad about it. [Sanjeev: I’m glad to hear that Modi has high regard for Sardar Patel, but he is likely to have CRUSHED people like Modi, not tolerated them.]

You Congress people, you are toiling for effacing out the name and image of Sardar Patel, but I warn you, Beware, if you try to wipe out the fame and name of Sardar, we are here to sacrifice our lives for keeping the flag of Sardar at high pedestal. We believe that, if we have to do good of the Nation, we have to adopt the path of Sardar Patel. If you want to save Kashmir, you have to walk in the path of Sardar Patel. If you want to bring unity in Gujarat, you have to adopt the path of Sardar Patel. If you want to contain and check the merchants of murder, we have to follow the path of Sardar Patel. Our motto is to pursue the path of Sardar. [Sanjeev: I’m glad to hear this but then why has the stench of death not yet left Gujarat?]

There are people, bent upon destroying Gujarat. We have come out for awakening the self-respect of Gujarat. If we raise the self-respect and morale of 5 Crores Gujratis, the schemes of Alis, Malis and Jamalis (referring to Muslims) will not be successful to do any harm to us. [Sanjeev: This is a MAJOR COMMUNAL SPEECH, SPREADING EXTREME HATRED.] These 5 Crores Gujaratis will decide about their future. The buffoons of Delhi will not decide the future of Gujarat.

In Delhi, there is a crowd of Ex. Prime Ministers, who are sitting idle. In the evening, these Ex.Prime Ministers meet. They issued Fatva (royal proclamation) that in Gujarat the Rathyatra of Jagannathji should not be taken out. We asserted that it will be taken out. In Gujarat, if the Rathyatra of Jagannathji is not taken out, whose Rathyatra should come out ? People sitting in Culcutta (referring to the communists), do not want the Rathyatra to come out. It will be better to go out of the Govt. instead of not taking out Jagannath Rathyatra. I don’t care if I loose political power and authority. We have decided that Jagannath Rathyatra will be taken out. Then, the whole crowd of Congress people rushed to Delhi, to Madam (Sonia Gandhi), appealing, Madam save us, this Narendra Modi is a mad man, and we cannot compete with him. Save us, solve the problem of Narendra Modi. Madam said, what happened? Stop Jagannath Rathyatra, if the Rathyatra of Jagannathji is taken out Gujarat will burn. Muslims will be massacred, there will be wide spread hue and cry, stop the Rathyatra of Jagannathji, stop the Rathyatra of Jagannathji, stop the Rathyatra of Jagannathji. When Congress men told this thing to Madam, finally she asked, brothers, tell me this Jagannathji is belonging to which political party? Is this Jagannath Rathyatra like Advani’s Rathyatra? (The Congress men replied) Oh Madam, this Jagannath is not worker of any Party. Jagannath is God (Bhagwan). Does Bhagwan Jagannath belong to any Party? See, such (ignorant) people are set our for serving the Nation !!!

Mahatma Gandhi used to say “Drive away these white men”, “Oh white men, quit our Country”. But, what did Congress do? Oh white people, please come, be our Congress President, Oh white people, please come, be our Congress President. [Sanjeev: This is a RACIST comment]

The following appears to be the analysis of the speech by R B Sreekumar Congress is like a Dharmashala.

I say and submit that as can be deduced from perusing the above there is a clear cut design behind the deliverance of such a speech by the chief minister, who swears an oath of allegiance to the Indian Constitution. I say and submit that in Para 6-F Shri Murmu states that the ingredient of the offence (of creating a communal divide) is missing according to the then DGP, Chakravarti. It is clear from a close perusal of the speech that there is a desire to create hatred and ill-will towards the minority. For example:

— — We have resolved to destroy and stamp out all forces of evil, who are a threat to the self respect of Gujarat. (Comment- This is clearly an indirect justification of a policy of carnage against the minorities after the tragic Godhra incident).

—- Let me ask a question to my Congress friends, if water is brought during Shravan month, those mothers / ladies residing on the banks of Sabarmati river can take bath in Narnada water and feel holiness and blessedness. Then what is paining them? Since, we (means BJP) are here, we brought water in Sabarmati during the month of Shravan, when you are there, you can bring it in the month of Ramdan (the holy month of Muslims). ( Comment- The Holy Month of Ramzan and observance of Roza are one of the Five Pillars of Islam hallowed in the Holy Koran. The mens rea (motive) behind making this reference in the speech can be clearly deduced.

—- What brother, should we run relief camps? (referring to relief camps for riot affected Muslims). Should I start children producing centers there, i.e relief camps ? We want to achieve progress by pursuing the policy of family planning with determination. We are 5 and ours are 25 !!! (Ame panch, Amara panch, referring the Muslim producing five children) .

(Comment- These remarks from the highest elected representative in a state is nothing short of an attempt to ridicule the plight refugees from the minority community who were dishoused because of widespread violence that was not contained. Refugees in relief camps included victims of mass massacre, rape and arson. State complicity at the highest level has been judicially held responsible for the sustained spread of the violence. Therefore ridiculing the camps and thereafter lacing the statement with the poisoned stereotype of the alleged Muslim aversion to family planning during an election campaign clearly has a motive. This statement also projects the Muslim minority as a stumbling block to progress and patronises an ‘us versus them’ mindset among the populace that then becomes easy fodder for incitement and the outbreak of communal violence. )

31. I say and submit that on the whole the speech displays a definite communal bias, denigration of the minority community, ridiculing and belittling of the Holiest Scriptures of the minority community particularly the Five Pillars of Islam, the Holy Month of Ramzan and Observance of Roza. I say and submit that these references will certainly germinate a sense of hatred ill will and excluvism towards the Muslim minority in the minds of the majority community. The claim that nothing happened in the form of riots after the speech is irrelevant, dangerous and untenable because the sense of excluvism and sectarianism obvious in the tone and tenor of the speech not only goes against the concept of emotional integration of the Indian people but also engenders an intense feeling of alienation among the Muslims towards the Hindu community. In this perspective the speech of the chief minister is injurious to the Preamble of the Indian Constitution and Particularly Article 51-A that is the Chapter on Fundamental Duties.

“ 5 1-A.Fundamental duties. – It shall be the duty of every citizens of India-

(a)          to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem;

(b)          to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;

(c)           to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;

(d)          to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;

(e)          to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities, to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;

(f)           to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;

(g)          to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures;

(h)          to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;

(i)            to safeguard public property and to adjure violence

(j)           to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement].

32. I say and submit that appropriate action needs to be directed against the state of Gujarat on the issues raised above. [Sanjeev: I am certain this speech was deserving of a legal test by the government. Of course, why would Modi’s own government prosecute him?]

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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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