This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Tanvi Bikhchandani. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

An Open Letter To Narendra Modi: I Will Vote For You But Please Answer These Questions First

More from Tanvi Bikhchandani

By Tanvi Bikhchandani:

Mr. Modi,

My name is Tanvi, and I am 20 years old. This means that 2014 will be the first time I will be eligible to vote. The UPA has been in power since I was 11, and I do not really have first hand memories of the state politics and society when the BJP was part of the govt. Like many others of my age, I am disillusioned with the scams, corruption and policy paralysis that have plagued the government in the past few years, and would like to vote for an alternative in the next elections.

Narendra Modi

Here is where all eyes point to you. You say your political strategy is“pro-people, good governance,” and many laud your efficient decision-making and leadership skills which are conspicuously absent in the current Prime Minister and the potential UPA candidate for the next election. All of this sounds good but I would still like to ask you a few questions.

Firstly, about the 2002 riots: why don’t you come clean and apologize unequivocally for what happened? You expressed an apology once in April this year, but since then, your comments have been at best contradictory and at worst, offensive and distasteful. You may say that the ‘kutte ka bachcha’ comment was taken out of context, but I read the article and I don’t think there is a context that justifies such a statement.

You may also say that riots happen quite often in India, why only focus what happened in 2002? This seems to be a common argument now, there is an e-mail doing the rounds which lists major communal riots since 1947 and points out that the Congress has been in power in most of them. But Mr. Modi, there is a difference between communal riots and state-endorsed communal riots. While both are tragic, the latter category suggests a degree of cold-bloodedness that is disconcerting.

After making this distinction, we realize that the worst state endorsed riots occurred in 1984 and 2002, with the Congress in power in ’84, and the BJP in ’02. While the guilty need to be punished in both cases, Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh have apologized for ’84. In contrast, Rajnath Singh has stated that there is no need to apologize for 2002. Also, before I am accused of being a Congress partisan, I want to clarify that if Sajjan Kumar or Jagdish Tytler would be in your position, I would ask them similar questions.

The next issue is related to the focal point of your campaign– growth. Indeed, Gujarat has had a consistently high growth rate for the past decade now. But how much of it was your doing? In 1992-97, the state growth rate was 12.9%. It reduced in the next 5 years but was brought up when you came to power. And yes, Gujarat has been praised for balanced growth across multiple sectors (including rural areas), but all villages in Gujarat had electricity before they were ModiFied, so to speak. So the growth was achieved by building on the foundation of previous regimes.

I must admit that maintaining such a high growth rate is a great achievement, but in its current state, the Indian economy needs more than that. What will you do? How will you cause growth, stabilize our currency, reduce the current account deficit? Members of your party have been vociferous opponents of the Food Security Bill on TV discussions, but when the rubber hit the road, hardly anyone voted against it.

And perhaps the most worrisome issue is related to the inclusiveness of this growth. You may say that riots are a one time incident. Agreed, but what happens after the riots? Ahmedabad is home to “India’s largest Muslim ghetto”, Jauhapura, home to three lakh Muslims. Till February 2013, it did not even have a municipal school and in a most recent election, the BJP did not even field a candidate from here. Why? This “polarizing politics” (as critics have called it) may work in Gujarat, but will it work in India?

I end this letter by reiterating that I am not a pro-Congress voter just looking for an opportunity to deride you. I am just trying to prepare myself to make informed choices, and answers to these questions will help in this regard. I am aware of the faults and flaws of both major political parties, and in the end it is about the lesser of two evils. Unfortunately, I still don’t know what to do.

Thank you

You must be to comment.
  1. Sagar Vishnoi (@sagarvishnoi)

    Neither am a pro congress or pro modi person , but I can’t understand why so much hoopla even after the Supreme court verdict over riots ?Article got balanced when the author mentioned about polarizing politics in Ahemedabad.Good article .It’s a tricky situation this time,was we don’t have” options” for PM in coming elections.

    1. Tanvi Bikhchandani

      Hi Sagar,

      Thanks for the response. I mention the riots, because though I do have faith in the High and Supreme Court, I am aware that witness silencing, and tampering of evidence takes place at the lower level. Remember how Manu Sharma was initially acquitted in the Jessica Lal case?

      Also, Tehelka’s sting operation on 2002 is interesting: http://archive.tehelka.com/story_main35.asp?filename=Ne031107gujrat_sec.asp

    2. manisha bhadoria

      u dont have faith in high court..u dont have faith in supreme court.. i think god wont come down to tell u the truth… why arent u mentioning the points where congress governed states refused their help when modi asked for it during the riots??? are u serosly so naive to not believe that the ruling congress party wont have done anything.. anything in its power to bring him down if he was guilty??? have u seen the riots urself?? go ask the people who live there… i even know muslims who vote for him because they know the reality…every time u people have nothing to say but riots riots.. come off it… what about sikh riots?? do u think sajjan kumar alone has done everything??? how pitiful… how many SITs n CBI investigations have been held for other riots??? none.. n still u think he was the one responsible???
      moreover if u are so interested in this countrys future go and read the articles written by Dr Subramaniyam Swamy.. hes an economist from harvard.. his articles will show u how this foreign governed government is exploiting our nation.. y dont u post about all those things???
      n considering the fact that BJP passed the Food security bill after many ammendmnts.. they opposed it because 6000 crore rupees would be wasted every year… n whose gonna pay that?? u n me… n they have also made it clare that after coming to power they will cancel all these schemes.. but ofcourse u wont believe any of these things.. atleast u would believe the so called spineless prime minister that he accpet that his policies are reaponsible for downfall of indian rupee.. but ofcrse this still has to do with modi i guess…

    3. sg02

      is it so important to anticipate what Modi “will” do and choose to look over what UPA “has been doing”?? seriously?

  2. Tyagi

    Totally agree with you. In last sentence you mention “informed choice” but unfortunately the state of the nation is such that we do not have any choice. I am not pro modi either but I can’t vote for congress in the coming elections for sure.

  3. sandeep thandra

    Good article. The fact you mentioned that every politician opposed food bill along with senior economists in our country but it seems like none have opened their mouth while passing..!!!! It shows how good they are at real politics. Thought provoking point.

    1. Deepak Jethwani

      Opposition had brought some 305 amendments to the Food Security Bill but as they were not in majority all amendments rejected by the ruling UPA. So dont say it was as it is supported by opposition or BJP, they opened their mouth, presented all arguments but ultimately number works.
      http://ibnlive.in.com/news/lok-sabha-rejected-305-opposition-amendments-to-food-bill/417641-3-244.html

    2. sandeep thandra

      well.. sorry for that and thank you for the information and I havnet stated anything which includes the individual parties and its members. However, the resultant of the bill doesnt make our India better in an effective way and our political system failed irrespective of parties. That is what I meant.

  4. Rohit Bansal (@theRohitBansal)

    Tanvi,

    While I enjoyed your stark and pointed questions, I think your talented generation shouldn’t limit itself to a head-or-tail between Congress and the BJP (worse still Pappu and Feku as they are often referred to on twitter).

    India is full of talented people. Hope some will stand from your constituency too. And hopefully they won’t be criminals and having Rs 20-30 crore of dubious funding unlike many candidates of these two parties.

    Think of them. Use your SM prowess to create newer forms of canvassing for them.

    I realize I’ve been prescriptive, but I’d rather go for the candidate…and I’ll do that in the hope, perhaps out of naivete, that the ‘parts’ will add up to the ‘whole!’

    Warmly

    1. Tanvi

      Thanks so much for the feedback. I agree, the constituency matters, and would love to talk to you about using Social Media to canvass for worthy candidates.

  5. Harsh Patel

    Their is nothing like balance in this article, the author has only tried his judgement and intution to prove his point rather than hard core fact.

    I can point out numerous other examples which will proved the arguments totally baseless

  6. Manish Rathi

    nothing great dear ! pl try to improve .. these days even 10-12 yrs girls can write with better logic ,,, BTW just apologizing for criminal acts is against natural law .. Namo already said , several occasions ,hang me if i am guilty .. so pl try voting in 2019 when u get fully mature by mind !

    1. nihalparashar

      Dear Manish,

      I have no doubt that your amateurish comment only point how immature you are or how foolish you are!
      This young girl is asking the most valid questions from a person who is certainly aggressive, but the general perception is that he is not a leader of all. No matter how much APCO tries to project him as a superman or He-man, there are people who do not consider him their leader. In these times questions like these are most important to discuss. But sadly you and Namo’s followers will prefer fighting and abusing rather than indulging in meaningful discussions.

      The language you have used for the writer is uncalled for. And her points and logics very clearly show that she is mature and far mature than you 🙂

      With Love,

      N.

  7. varsha

    corruption is the most dengerious factor affecting Gujarat. i think it is the highest level in Gujarat.

  8. Pappu Tiwari (@pappuBDL)

    I do agree with most of ur questions and I am very happy that today’s generation is ready to choose ur leader wisely..I am a Modi follower from 2008 and have kept track of his speeches and his activities through FB and Twitter as I am not from Gujarat but have been there many times..I would like to put some of my perspective to u:

    > Your first point is Modi should apologize for riots:
    You urself agree that he has been acquitted by highest courts that there is no hand of his in riots.
    Also, though Gujarat riots was state sponsored in few areas where local politicians were involved but if you go through sequence of events you will realize Modi did a commendable job and saved around 28000 Muslims with more than 280 people of Majority community was killed by police for saving MInorities.
    The case of Gujarat is totally different from 84 riots where the public figures involved were of very high stature and nothing was done to prevent the riots.
    If u analyse the MSM from 2002 they have been showing partisan news w.r.to riots and Modi has been targeted by every section of MSM, politicians and public in India. He has been targeted till date..I somehow feel sorry for this state of media that they twist the stories whole way around to keep the people in dark just for getting plum posts like PMO Media advisory. The state of media is such that he is culprit for them inspite of court verdict and now they demand apologies from him for 2002 riots….What purpose will be solved if he says sorry..the only purpose solved will be of media and the headlines will be “Modi agress to his hand in 2002 riots and apologize for it” the statement of politicians will be “He should resign now that he has agreed to it” “He is a mass murderer”….Now politically if u see his current stand his far better than get maligned again for things which he has not done.

    > Second, point if you talked about inclusive growth and polarisation in Gujarat…This is the same curiosity I had because there are conflicting things happening..whereas on one side MSM is reporting few things and on the other hand his party won seats in Minority dominated areas of Gujarat..
    I went 3 weeks to Surat to pay a visit to my Aunt…Surat has got considerable amount of Minority population..I tried my hand with 16 Muslim men..Auto rickshaw drivers, people working in markets and person having their businesses in markets..9 out of 16 said they do not feel any threat and no different behavior from their local politicians one of them strikingly went ahead and describe Modi as a hero and said he is patriotic and chooses patriotic people for his people…He gave me example of Surat MLA who was given ticket for showing his patriotism while launching an Indian Flag in Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Aug 15th 2011 when seperatist challenged that no one can unfurl indian flag there. 6 out of 16 said yes they fear for their life and feel threatened and when I asked the reason for it they said media is source of their fears..only 1 person said that they have seen riots in 02 and fear for that reason..In the evening I was at my uncles shop in main Textile market there and suddenly a deafening volume loudspeaker went on during evening Namaaz..The market in Surat has lakhs of shops in vicinity and crores of money is transacted daily there with people from around India sitting there..Then I realised that how cheap our MSM has gone where they do not show the positives and instill fear in peoples mind by showing the negative

    > Thirdly you point about how he has gonna recover the economy…I would suggest you to wait for Vision document of BJP..

    A leader is known for his vision, decision making ability and implementing decisions…He has demonstrated that in his state and I am hopeful that he can correct few things in this country especially vote bank politics

    1. Veer Subhash

      Well Said Pappu Tiwari..
      Pls read my comments below on Ashu.. The same goes for you..

    2. Tanvi

      Thanks for the perspective, and I appreciate that you kept the comment strictly related to the article rather than including personal pot-shots!

  9. abc

    Before writing anyone any letter,first write to your MP,chief minister.Ask them questions and more importantly go to IFORINDIA.ORG.See what citizens has to speak for Gujrat.Write letter to Assam’s chief minister.
    Then write AN OPEN LETTER to someone..stop spamming my mails with bullshit!!!!

  10. Deepak Kakran (@deepakkakran)

    Ok, if he doesn’t give you answer, won’t you vote for him? and if not him, who else? do you think, do we have anyone from any party with good image, without any charge of corruption, without any bhai-bhatijawad, with pro-people, good governance thinking, etc etc ? if you have, do let us know plz

  11. Tanvi Bikhchandani

    Hi Manisha,

    Thanks for your comments. Regarding the riots, I disagree with the SITs statement that Modi’s inciting rioters in a private place is not an offense, and would not have affected their activities. You can read more about it here:

    http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/gujarat-riots-illegal-orders-within-a-room-no-offence-says-sit-report-on-modi-209155

    And as I have mentioned in a previous comment, Tehelka’s sting operation on 2002 is also available online: http://archive.tehelka.com/story_main35.asp?filename=Ne031107gujrat_sec.asp

    1. Ashu

      Psychology defines that Humans take pride in distinguishing themselves, favoring ideas which portrays themselves as liberal, kind, forward thinking and blah blah.
      In India we have freedom to express ourselves from ages and that is a very good thing.
      But problem starts when those liberal ideas become disturbing and starts ignoring ground realities.

      Whatever you have written is your view and whoever keeps those views in India is taken as intellectual and secular. Bashing Modi is now a days fashion statement of so called intellectuals in India.

      Some Info which I have got to know over the years from different sources on that Tragic Incident of Gujarat
      “””””
      But what you are forgetting or ignoring is that riots started after a brutal act of killing/burning alive of some 60 people among whom children/women were there, and while this was happening there were constant voices of “Laden na Dushmano ne maaro” on loud speaker from a nearby religious place of minority community, when railway police tried to save those people who were being burnt alive, they were stopped by a gathering of minority people consisting women/children from minority communities.

      In Gujarat before 2002, the goons especially from minority community were very powerful and active, and people of Gujarat were not happy with that.

      The People who were burnt in Godhara were returning from Ayodhya, and killing them like this was more than enough to add fuel to fire as The news spread and people could not be stopped.
      Which resulted in most tragic communal tension of the last decade in India, Both of the community were killing each other, around 60% from minority community died and 40% from majority community.
      “”””

      While, this was very tragic and should have not happened. And, I feel hurt by that incident because it separated hearts of communities across the India, which is very bad for whole India and “Unity in Diversity” principle of India.

      But one thing to set straight this was not state organized. This incident in fact is result of congress’s politics of seeing minority community as a vote bank rather than seeing them as simply citizen of India, rather than promoting education in minorities they promote freebies which does not result in long term betterment of community.

      I am having many friends from minority community, they are very “GOOD”, “Law-Loving” people and I find them very much PATRIOT and as INDIAN as I am or any other from Majority community, but Its just few people who incite politics of hatred, of fear among the communities, creating distance between the communities, in turn both communities stay under constant fear of other and results in tensions/tragic incidents.

      Why Our constitution itself, distinguishes people on religion, I question why to consider someone’s religion while enforcing law on that person or while giving job to someone.

      Treat Everyone as Indian…Just Indian, Whatever his Religion, wherever He is from.

      But Congress will not do it, because It wants to appease them, these kind of politicians will always keep them separate. Because, congress knows till the time it keeps Minorities under fear that BJP is bad, Minorities will keep congress in power.

      That has worked for Congress for 60 years, and it will work for Congress in future also, Unless people really open up!!

      When, in Batla house encounter, terrorists were killed, it was told that Sonia Gandhi had tears in her eyes, but she did not shed her precious tears for A policeman who was martyred in this encounter, she did not shed her tears when Pakistanis killed Indian soldiers, She did not shed her tears when Farmers of Vidarbha or Bundelkhand did suicide because of hunger,
      When People in Maharashtra don’t have water to drink, when North east Indians, face discrimination in Delhi, Because they are not a Vote Bank.
      And, the same Petty, Low level politics, Mr Kejariwal is doing, to win in Delhi, he gave a “judgment” that Batla House Encounter was fake and he will punish the Policeman once he gets in Power, What a low life He is. I used to support him before but now no more, while I still support Anna, Kiran Bedi team.

      Isharat Jahan suddenly becomes Daughter of every politician around the country.

      At least the MODI, I know is running his Gujarat for the last 10+ Years without any communal tension, with very low level of crime, High level of development and has successfully saved Gujarat from any attacks while being no 1 on Radar continuously.
      And, He never does appeasement politics, that is why he never has to bow against these low life Idiots.

      China has captured 640 Sq Km of India, and this govt does not give a shit, they let China take over whole Tibet, they did not give a shit, they let Pakistan take over Kashmir, they did not give a shit and still they are ruling India, Because you know the truth is Indians do not give a shit.

      And, if this is what gonna happen in India, I am better off outside India, at least here people like development and they give a shit about good and bad, about their Country.

      You keep bashing MODI, and keep your country among the third world countries.

      Because, MODI is a Nationalist, He does give a shit about his Gujarat, He does give a shit about India.

      Hope, the sense prevail in 2014, and MODI becomes PM.

      or u Stay Intellectual and I stay Nationalist!!!!!

    2. Ashu

      And, Just to add Minority Community in Gujarat is giving very good numbers of votes to MODI….!!!!

    3. Veer Subhash

      Dear Ashu,

      I logged in specially to congratulate you for your efforts. These days it is becoming a fashion amongst the new born and also some aged intellectuals to do Modi Bashing, just to show they are secular and grown up. It is only upto a few learned young men/women like you who can see the big picture, and take efforts to save the truth. And the painful thing is that these same psedo seculars, in anguish would brand us as Apco agents.

      You have presented the facts in a very logical and sequential manner. I would suggest you write a complete article itself and send for submission to Youth Ki awaaj. I hope YKA pubishes it.

      As for the Young girl who wrote this article, I have nothing against her. She is just a victim of Massive False propaganda against Modi. Unfortunately she herself ends up becoming a link in this chain of false propaganda.
      If she is reading this comment I will really like an answer from her, that why, in one of her first political articles, she chose to not to ask questions to our running PM about the Dead Rupee or about Chinese incursions in India or about the Rising Rapes Crimes. Do those things dont matter to her and her friends ?

      Modi Bashing helps Congress in two ways

      1) It takes the focus away from the misgovernance and corruption of Congress government.
      2) It decreases the chances of their rival coming to power so that they can continue in power for another decade.

      Unfortunately, our educated talented youth like Tanvi, Nihal cant understand this simple fact.

    4. Deepak Jethwani

      Very true

  12. control

    A straight, no-nonsense article from a bright young mind teeming with perspicacity and clarity of thought. I have, or well, rather had my own share of questions wrt him, including the ones you mentioned and even extending up to his stand on RTI, RPA amendments, RTI implementation in his state, EC empowerment, Lokayukta, CBI independence, dealing with corruption/criminalism and corrupt/criminal members, the problem of black money, inducting goons, protecting prosecution of corrupt/criminal ministers (eg. Solanki/Bharwad), the Kodnani drama and so on! But, I guess, Mr. Modi has already supplied the answers – that he is in favor of perpetuating the same script but enacted by different/same (eg. Vithal) set of actors under the shade of a new protagonist! The structure remains the same, the rules remain as eminently flawed as ever,,, and yet there is a tacit understanding of continuing the status quo, of nipping all the reforms in the bud, as the duo delude the citizenry into believing that the devil is worse than the deep sea or vice-versa!

    #Stray_thought: At times, I wonder if there really is an opposition….that can play an adversarial role and keep the government in check when the latter goes berserk!

    #Quasi-philosophical: Also, in the context of choosing the lesser evil, one might also want to keep track of one’s resolving power. Unfortunately, for me, no matter how I see it, I seem to be working with exorbitantly large wavelengths, fuzzy flashes that encompass both the national parties. Ergo, my resolution fails me in deciding which of them is the lesser evil!

    Anyway, continue with the good work. Since you have tried to rattle the “big guy” ensconced in a citadel defended by an obnoxious online battalion, some bullets will ricochet and/or some new bazookas/violent projectiles will be launched. But luckily, we are not characters in Mein Kampf. So, ignore and keep chipping away. 🙂

    I think, more than anything – man on the white horse,,, man on the black horse,,, man on double-decker donkeys and what not,, intellectual honesty is the need of the hour, and when I see that somewhere, I feel an obsessive compulsion to compliment. You in this case. Well done! The comment is soporific, and the reader somnolent already, I presume. Hence, good night, and all the best for your future articles too! 🙂 Regards!

  13. Sagar

    This response is going to be little long but any one who wants to know the truth can go through my response.

    I would call myself a rational and liberal Modi supporter.
    In my answer I do not talk of the 1984 riots nor does my logic include “he won’t do it again” or “but look at the development he brought”.

    Let’s go back to 27th Feb 2002.
    A train full of people are burnt alive in a ghastly act of violence. In the past Gujarat has seen riots start due to the slightest of things. There was no doubt that something massive is going to happen after this incident. What does Modi do?
    Events starting from 27/02.2002
    • CM reaches Godhra at about 4.30 p.m. and goes to inspect the rail bogies which had been set on fire and issues the following official statements:
    • The government has taken a serious note of this….This government will not allow anyone involved to go scot-free and is taking fool-proof steps…This is mass violence. This government is always trying to bring about communal harmony and is in favour of preventing any communal flare-up.’…This inhuman terrorist crime of collective /mass violence is not an incident of communal violence.” (Translated from Gujarati, source: CM Press release).
    • The Government will not be lacking in discharging duty…No efforts will be spared in ensuring law and order.” (Source: CM Press release, Godhra). In the press meet on 27th itself, the Chief Minister said that though the Godhra incident is shocking and sad, people should not take law into their hands and government will ensure law and order by taking necessary steps.
    • Imposition of curfew in Godhra and other potential trouble spots from the day of Godhra massacre;

    Shoot-at-sight orders, curfew in Godhra – The Times of India

    • First alert message of 27.02.2002 from the Home Department covered the need
    to take precautionary measures including adequate police bandobast and preventive measures including instructions to impose prohibitory orders in disturbed areas.
    • All the Police Commissioners, District Magistrates and Superintendents of
    Police directed to remain in the headquarters and monitor the situation.
    • In order to cope with the emerging law and order situation during the Gujarat
    Bandh call given by BJP, VHP and others to protest the massacre at Godhra
    railway station, request was made to the Government of India to provide 10
    companies of Central Para Military Forces in addition to 4 companies of Rapid
    Action Force.
    • Large scale preventive arrests of Hindus and Muslims starting February 27, the
    day of Godhra incident. On the day of Godhra massacre, 217 preventive arrests made, out of which 137 were Hindus and 80 were Muslims. This despite the fact that several BJP leaders, including some who were part of Modi’s own Cabinet, were actively fomenting trouble;
    • The entire police force of 6000 is deployed in sensitive areas of Gujarat on the very first day.
    • 62 Companies of State Reserve Police Force and Central Para Military Forces
    companies deployed on February; Out of 62, 58 were of SRPF and 4 were of CPMF.
    • After his return from Godhra, Chief Minister calls a late night meeting of senior
    officials at his residence at 11 p.m to review the law and order situation and
    assess the preparedness of the government in dealing with it. Modi asks his officials to explore the possibility of army deployment.
    Enquiries made with the local army revealed that no force was available for
    deployment, as all the units were deployed on the Gujarat border with Pakistan
    where a war like situation existed following the Pak inspired terror attack on the
    Indian parliament in December 2001. At such a point, the Centre alone could take decision regarding Army deployment.

    Now let’s go to 28th Feb 2002:
    • Gujarat Government requests neighbouring states of Maharashtra, Madhya
    Pradesh and Rajasthan to send additional police force. Digvijay Singh as CM of Madhya Pradesh and Ashok Gehlot as CM of Rajasthan decline the request saying they have no forces to spare. Maharashtra CM, Vilasrao Deshmukh sent some police force which was returned to them as soon as the situation came under control.
    • Modi makes a telephonic request to the then Home Minister, L.K Advani for deployment of the Army.
    • As a follow up, Gujarat government sends a fax to the Secretary Ministry of
    Defence at 2.30 p.m. seeking deployment of the Army.
    • Due to tense situation at the Border and the on-going Operation Prakram, the
    Army cannot be withdrawn from the Indo-Pak border of Gujarat. Therefore,
    army units have to be airlifted from other states.
    • CM issued instructions to provide safe escort to the 6000 Haj Pilgrims returning to the State. This was followed by further measures in later days. All the 6000 Haj pilgrims from 400 different towns and villages of Gujarat reached their homes safely under police escort on 20.03.2002.
    • Message from Home Department to all the concerned officers to round up anti
    social elements and known communal elements under preventive laws.
    • George Fernandes, the then Defence Minister, arrives in Gandhi Nagar and
    meets the CM at 10.30 p.m.
    • The first aircraft carrying army personnel lands at Ahmedabad by midnight of
    28th February.
    • 13 Columns of Army deployed to assist the State Civil administration.

    Modi’s speech telecasted on Doordarshan where he appeals to people to remain calm reassuring them that justice will be served by the law.

    On 1/03/2002
    • Chief Secretary issued orders to use force including Shoot- at- Sight on 1st March, that is, within a day after the riots broke out on 28th February.
    • Army deployed on the ground within 20 hours of the start of violence despite troops having to be airlifted.
    • The Defence Minister personally supervised the deployment of the army which commenced on the morning of 1st.
    • The deployment was facilitated on a war footing by the government. The District Magistrate Ahmedabad provided 6 buses, 9 trucks and 15 jeeps for use by the army by 2:30 a.m. During the day 39 other vehicles were also provided to the army personnel.
    • Liaison officers and escort officers from the police were also provided to the army by the morning of 1st March
    • By 11 a.m. the Army reached some of the affected areas in the city i.e Paldi, Juhapura, Vejalpur, Shahpur, Bapunagar,Rakhial, Gomtipur, Meghaninagar, Draiapur, Kalupur, Naroda and Dania Limba. In Ahmedabad total of 9 columns of Army were deployed on 1.03.2002
    • A total of 131 vehicles were provided to the army for their movement.
    • In addition 7 Executive magistrates were provided to the army by 7:30 a.m followed by three more. A total of 32 Executive magistrates were provided to the army because the army cannot shoot without a magistrate’s orders.
    Statements by Narendra Modi on 1.03.2002:
    • “Orders for shoot-at-sight have been issued to deal strictly with the people involved in violence”.
    • “Gujarat’s peace and tranquillity will not be allowed to be disturbed by anti-social elements intent on exploiting the people’s anger.”
    • “Restoring peace is our topmost priority. We will act strongly against those disturbing the peace.”( CM Press release)
    • “Verify before printing/broadcasting –do not spread false news.”( Source:CM Press release)
    • “Kriya pratikriya ki chain chal rahi hai. Hum chhahate hain ki na kriya ho aur na
    pratikriya” (A chain of action-reaction has set in. We wish to see an end to both
    action and reaction) Zee TV Interview with Sudhir Chowdhary , Gandhinagar. SIT
    Investigation established that Zee TV deleted the last line to give the impression that Modi was justifying “ reaction” by way of mob violence to avenge the killings of Godhra.
    • “Do not mention names of communities as per established press ethics and practices –to stop the spreading of violence.” ( CM Press release)
    • “ Do not show visuals of the dead people to avoid emotional flare ups leading to violence” ( Source: CM Press release)
    • Appeal for peace” ( Source: CM Press release)
    • “There will no compromise in law and order situation. Gujarat’s peace and tranquillity will not be allowed to be disturbed by anti-social elements intent on
    exploiting the people’s anger/feelings.” (Source: CM Press release)

    On 2.03.2002
    • 14 aircrafts airlifted to Rajkot and the first plane landed in Rajkot by 0300 hours on 02-03-2002.Later on 2 columns of the Army were dispatched to Godhra on 02-03-2002 and they reached Godhra at 1.30 p.m on the same day.
    • Two columns of the Army were moved to Baroda on 01-03-2002 at 1830
    hours.
    • Two columns of Army were moved to Rajkot on 02-03-2002 at 1100 hours.
    • A total of 573 preventive arrests were made out of which 477 were Hindus and 96 Muslims. 16 persons were killed in police firing, out of which 12 were Hindus and 4 Muslims. 482 Hindus and 229 Muslims were arrested for offence.
    • Total SRPF and CPMF deployed in the state on 2.03.2002 was 88-1-2, out of which 64-1-2 were SRPF and 24-0-0 were CPMF.

    Statements by Narendra Modi on 2.03.2002:
    • I appeal to people to cooperate with the security staff in order to maintain law and order and in the performance of their duties.” ( Source: Sandesh/Gujarat Samachar)
    • “Interest of Gujarat lies in peace and not in communal tension or disturbances.” (Source: CM Press release)
    • State Government is committed to pacify the wide spread anger amongst the people and restore law and order with strong political will.”( CM Press release)
    • Government cannot shy away from its moral duty of maintaining law and order in the state.”(Sandesh/ Gujarat Samachar)
    • No one will be allowed to take law into their own hands and strict directives have been given to deal very firmly with all those provoking the people and all such elements trying to disturb the atmosphere.” ( CM Press release)

    On 3.02.2002
    • Army columns were moved to Surat on 03-03-2002 at 11 a.m. and to Bhavnagar on 03-03-2002 at 10.35 p.m. hours in the wake of incidents of violence reported from Bhavnagar and Surat. At the peak of deployment there were 26 army columns in the state.
    • Total number of preventive arrests on 3.02.2002 was 280 Hindus and 83 Muslims. 416 Hindus and 173 Muslims were arrested for offences. 10 Hindus were killed in police firing.
    Statements by Narendra Modi on 3.02.2002:
    • “Government cannot shy away from its moral duty of maintaining law and order in the state…all sections of the society too have a role to play in restoring peace quickly… I appeal to people to cooperate with the security staff in order to maintain law and order and in performance of their duties…”
    • In Gujarat Samachar dated 3.03.2002 the Chief Minister appealed- “After the
    earthquake of last year and riots now we do not wish to see the future of lakhs of
    students of the state turning into despair…March is the month of examinations and therefore, I appeal to parents, guardians and educationists to help restore peace quickly and keep the atmosphere stress-free so that all examinations are finished in time…”
    • March is the month of examinations and therefore, I appeal to parents, guardians and educationists to help restore peace quickly and keep the atmosphere stress-free so that all examinations are finished in time.” ( Source: Gujarat Samachar)

    On 4.03.2002
    • 65 SRPF and 29 CPMF companies were deployed in the state during that day. Out of 285 preventive arrests 241 were of Hindus and 44 of Muslims. 301 Hindus and 75 Muslims were arrested for offences, while 4 Hindus died in police firing.

    That concludes his actions during the riot period.

    Rehabilitation:
    The Gujarat Government spent a lot of money for providing relief to the riot victims. None other than the UPA Government’s MoS for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal said this in the Rajya Sabha that too in a written reply on 11 May 2005. He said an amount of Rs 1.5 lakh was paid by the government to the next of kin of each person killed and Rs 5,000, Rs 15,000, Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 to those injured up to 10, 30, 40 and 50 per cent respectively.
    In addition, Jaiswal said relief was also extended by the state government to the victims of the riots under the heads of cash doles and assistance for household kits, foodgrains to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in affected areas, housing assistance, rebuilding earning assets, rehabilitation of small business, assistance to industries/shop and hotel and so on.
    The state government, Jaiswal said has informed that a total of Rs 204.62 crore has been incurred by it towards relief and rehabilitation measures. The Gujarat government has also informed that they had published the data as recommended by the NHRC, he added.

    ‘Post-Godhra toll: 254 Hindus, 790 Muslims’

    Let’s look at some statistics:

    •Through the period of disturbances, in all 66,268 Hindus and 10,861 Muslims were taken into custody under preventive detention laws.
    •5000 people were saved from Noorani mosque by Ahmedabad Police.
    • 240 persons were saved at Sardarpura in Mehsana district and shifted to safe
    places;
    • 450 lives were saved in Pore and Nardipur villages and shifted to safer places.
    • 200 persons were saved in Sanjoli village;
    • 1500 persons were rescued from Fatehpura village in Vadodra district;
    • 3000 people were saved and shifted from Kawant village.

    Even from Ehsan Jafri’s Gulberg Society, 150 people, including his wife Zakia Jafri, were saved and taken to secure places. In her first FIR, Zakia Jafri admits to having been rescued by the Police. The charges she levelled against Modi and 63 others came 4 years later, based on secondary sources like the statements of IPS officer Sreekumar who has been indicted by the SIT as a dubious person, a liar who fudged records and therefore an unreliable witness.

    Riots in the past, Gujarat and elsewhere, have often lasted weeks, and even after being contained, small (in comparison) incidents after the riots are common. The Gujarat 2002 riots were stopped on the 4th day including the day of the Godhra incident (preventive arrests continued for another 2 days). No more small after riots incidents happened. Not in the next few months. Not for the next decade!

    Now let us look at those who made allegations against Modi:

    1.IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt claimed that in a meeting Modi said “allow the hindus to vent their anger”.

    Sanjiv Bhatt a manipulator, not a witness: SIT

    He forced one of his constables to sign evidence that he was at the meeting.
    Sanjiv Bhatt forced me to sign false affidavit, says constable

    SIT: Sanjiv Bhatt did not attend Modi’s Feb 2002 meeting

    Sanjiv Bhatt is not a witness, he is a manipulator: SIT

    Also note, although it could well be irrelevant, that Sanjiv Bhatt’s wife was a congress candidate for the 2012 Gujarat elections. She said with contempt “People of Gujarat deserve Modi” after getting creamed.

    2. RB Sreekumar was also deemed unfit as a reliable source by the SIT.

    3. Activist Teesta Setalvad

    Teesta Setalvad unmasked

    ‘Teesta Setalvad minting money in riot victims’ name’

    Modi’s radio interview with Shahid Siddiqui (who is of Samajvadi Party) :
    Siddiqui claimed he asked challenging questions which even the SIT hadn’t asked and concluded that Modi did everything he could to prevent and stop the riots.

    The consequence?

    SP disowns Shahid Siddiqui after Narendra Modi interview for party prospects in 2014 elections

    (For those unaware, I’ll state explicitly)
    Modi had been exonerated by the Supreme Court of India

    Narendra Modi acquitted in Gujarat riots case

    Modi exonerated in Gulberg massacre case

    Many news papers and media channels like to write and say the above statement in a different way: “No proof found against Modi”.

    SIT finds no proof against Modi, says court

    No evidence that Narendra Modi incited rioters or pressured police: SIT

    Despite SIT exonerating Modi, some are spreading lies: Guj Govt – Hindustan Times

    The Gujarat govt. despite frequent inconveniences caused by the central govt. has delivered justice much quicker than other incidents of violence.
    Maya Kodnani, who was of BJP was found to be guilty of instigating and helping mobs during the riots in the Naroda Patiya case.

    Naroda Patiya: Modi government to seek death penalty for Maya Kodnani

    The Gujarat govt. has given her 28 years in jail. Look how NDTV reported this.

    Gujarat government to seek death for former Narendra Modi aide Maya Kodnani

    My personal note :

    Judge a politician by 1. the results he produces from his post 2. watching interviews carefully observing his answers and simultaneously observing the attitude of the journalist/media person 3. listening to his speeches, ask yourself, does he have vision? is he sensible? is he connecting with the crowd? 4. the catch-lines he delivers like “secularism means India first”, “less government, more governance”.

    Do not buy all that the media is selling. For example the “Modi is authoritarian” judgement. Where did that come from?
    How did some journos go to the extent of labeling him a mass murderer? Do they have their own investigation unit, and court of justice? Why don’t they have faith in the supreme court (that acquitted Modi)? Are they right in maligning his image so much even after being acquitted? Are they being fair to this man? Was the Gujarat riot the worst riot we’ve seen? Then why did we see the biggest character assassination? After the SIT “witnesses” were found to be lying, what good evidence is there that he is guilty?

    Here’s one fact that is very compelling if you have knowledge of Gujarat’s violent history. Gujarat has witnessed it’s first ever decade that has been free of any riots or communal violence. In fact, minorities and majorities don’t feel any different from each other. Is this not secularism? Then how is Modi declared non-secular? Does he not deserve credit for this unexpected peace? Why does no one seem to give him credit for this? Is this not something the whole country should celebrate? The whole nation was caught in the wave lead by the media, in condemning him after the violence. But now no one is interested in celebrating peace. Why does the media go back to 2002 to talk of riots? What about 2012 Assam riots? UP riots? No mass murderers there? No holding the man in charge responsible? Given that he has been exonerated why do they keep going back to 2002 in the first place? We want to look ahead.

    Why has there been such a huge media campaign against one man? What drives this campaign? Certainly not proof and facts.

    Here’s a tip. Doubt the media. They’re no saints.
    I could bombard you with links on this matter, but for now take a few.

    What TV Channels Did Not Inform You In 2002 Gujarat Riots Case – IBTL

    NaMo’s stand more credible than liberal rage

    Edit:
    There have been updates on the Maya Kodnani death penalty issue, shortly after the answer was written.

    The Gujarat govt. has put on hold it’s decision to give her and a few others death penalty. They seek the opinion of the Advocate General before proceeding.

    Narendra Modi’s U-turn on Maya Kodnani; seeks advocate general’s opinion on death penalty

    SIT to seek Supreme Court guidance on Maya Kodnani death penalty issue

    Of course, people have begun interpreting this to suit their own world view, and they have every right to do so.
    But allow me to suggest that you wait for the case to proceed before jumping to conclusions.

    I would also like to apologize for making this update so late. My Quora profile was blocked a few weeks ago and unblocked only earlier today (15th June) due to some policy change.

    Disclaimer:
    The actions taken by the government have been gathered from the official record maintained by the Gujarat Government.
    These were compiled by academic and writer Madhu Kishwar, who was once critical of Modi before she went to Gujarat to uncover the events of the 2002 riots. She has covered many riots in the past.
    The report on the number of people saved from various locations by the army were gathered as per records of army deployments and newspaper articles at the time.

    I also want to reply to a claim that this answer was seen “floating around Facebook and other platforms”. I have written this answer in reply to questions relating to the 2002 riots. The only other places you’ll find this answer is wherever people have shared it. I’m not a propagandist or part of any PR company working for Narendra Modi.

More from Tanvi Bikhchandani

Similar Posts

By Krishna Singh

By Aulina Pandey

By ABID KHAN GUDDU

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below