I would have been happy if he had caught all the culprits who set fire on the train in Godhra and hung them on streets with complete media coverage. They deserve such a punishment, but not the innocent people that belong to the same religion of the criminals that did it. It is so basic and commonsensical that any punishment should be given to the guilty and not those who belong to the same group, be it caste, community, religion, region, race, language, nationality, or any other nonsense that divides people.
I know there are people who still advocate this theory of harassing the weaker people when someone stronger from their group does something wrong. To put it mild, all such people are still alive just because everyone doesn’t think like that. Commonsense has been prevailing. It is inhuman and barbaric, to say the least. I strongly hold this opinion on any movement against any group. Be it against Jews, Brahmins, Muslims, or any group that is targeted for the misdeed committed by a subset of the group. First thing is that it is a sign of cowardliness. Second is that that is the only thing that differentiates leaders and intellectuals from common men.
If you say all from so and so group have to be killed for a wrong done by some people from that group, even you and I could not have been alive for so long. There are criminals in all groups. Can we go on a killing spree against the group that they belong to when some of them do something wrong? If that’s how you are going to think, you don’t deserve a state’s highest political office, but you could well be spending your time productively in debating in our street corners with half-baked common men who think like you.
Having said that, I don’t think it is also justified in belittling his achievements as a chief minister. I somehow feel that no one dares to speak the good that he has done as an administrator. All of us are scared of the branding that would be done on us if we appreciate anything he does. He has been a great administrator. He is exposing his people to an unprecedented - extraordinary style of governance, without which he wouldn’t have been elected again.
When I see the Muslims in Kathlal explaining why they voted for Modi’s candidate (I wouldn’t like to call him BJP’s candidate here), I feel very happy. I am going to ignore those of you who are going to say that they were paid to speak so in front of the camera. Having grown up in a Muslim street where my friends used to come to Hindu temples along with me (don’t ask me silly questions like whether I also went to their mosques with them the same way), I feel touched by all this. I sincerely hope Modi also would pay back appropriately to this.
Isn’t it a sign of communal harmony? Isn’t it the beginning of end of an era of bitter feelings that a community carried against their enemy for a long time? I am not writing this piece requesting anyone to free Modi from all cases that were filed against him. I am not at all arguing that he had no role in 2002 riots. All I am trying to talk about is the better side of a clean politician in addition to his horrible side, which I am sure would never come out again in his life time.
Politics has always been a business of crooked and corrupt rogues. Having seen too much of such people (rather only such people in recent times), like any common man in this country, a clean system has become the highest expectation from our leaders though it is supposed to be the most fundamental stuff. It looks like a miracle for us to see that kind of governance in a state that is very much part of our own country. He has made it possible in the land where every good thing is impossible in politics. If all his so-called secular counterparts could learn this one simple thing from him, I am sure I wouldn’t have a reason to like him anymore, which I am sure would please some of you who read this.