Sunday, September 18, 2011

Who would apologise for 1969 and 1985 Gujarat Riots?

Shankar Sinh Vaghela
Have you forgotten your speeches of 85?
Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela, who is on a parallel fast to protest the Modi regime's 'corruption and wastefulness', once again demanded that Modi should resign on moral grounds for 2002 riots. Like him all the congress leaders and media channels have been raising this issue for past nine years ignoring the history of communal violence in the state during previous regimes.

It is surprising that news editors never recall the events of 1969 and 1985 when the communal riots were more gruesome than 2002. During 1985 to divert attention away from the anti-reservation stir the state was pushed to communal riots. A hindu family was burnt alive by the communal mob. How could that incident be forgotten when we talk of Gulbarg society?

Even the press was not spared in 1985, the offices of Gujarati daily “Gujarat Samachar” and “Indian Express” were attacked and put to fire. These newspapers were considered to be anti government by then Chief Minister Madhavsinh Solanki of congress.

The state was under curfew for more than six months. Dave Commission inquired into the incidents which took place during the course of anti-reservation agitation and also communal disturbances during February 1985 to July 1985. So, these events are on record and can be verified on the role of various parties and inaction of the then state government. The state government let the violence spread to entire state and called for the army on 16th April, 1985. Hundreds of people had lost their life before that.

The year 1969 is considered to be the worst year as far as communal violence in Gujarat is concerned. On September 18, 1969, a major communal riot broke out in Ahmedabad City and subsequently spread in the other districts of the State. Hon. Justice Jagmohan Reddy inquired into the violence which broke out during the said communal disturbances. The number of deaths as estimated were between 15,000 to 25,000. At that time, the Congress was in power Gandhian Hitendra Desai as the Chief Minister.

Since, 1924 onwards Ahmedabad, Godhra, Vadodara have been communally sensitive areas of state and thousands of people had lost their lives before 2002. It is only the last event which is recalled every time where the state went back to normalcy in less than a week. Barring the NGOs and like minded media channels people of the state have forgotten that the state ever had any communal tension. The communal harmony in state is far superior than it used to be in the past.

But, our reporter and editor friends have no time to read the history. It was same Mr Vaghela who wanted that Mr Solanki should be charge sheeted for communal violence in 1985. Why cannot he rewind his own memory? Leaders of 70s might not be around.

Ask, Gujarati people above 40 years of age who lived in the period from 1965 to 1992, the majority of them would want congress leaders to apologise for their inefficiencies in combating communal tension in the state.

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