Sunday, March 2
Case for `the genocide'
Arvind Narain, Hindu on line, March 2, 2003
ALMOST a year after the incidents of rape, murder, looting, arson and destruction of mosques, which followed the Godhra incident, one is asking troubling questions as to what a possible legal response to the violence could be. What is a frightening possibility is that Gujarat is but a precursor to the genocidal endgame of Hindutva politics. If one takes seriously the ideological framework within which the Gujarat violence was conceptualised and executed then it is obvious that M.S. Golwalker and Praveen Togadia share a common philosophy.
The nature of the philosophy emerges with icy clarity in an extract in which Golwalker refers to Nazi Germany,
"To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races — the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well nigh impossible for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by."
Thus it is clear that the "other" will have to be subject to the constant threat of extermination if one goes by the understanding of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's founders. In such a context what is the legal response, which is possible?
To conceptualise what happened in Gujarat, it is clear that it was not a communal riot with two antagonistic communities inflicting violence on each other. Instead what happened was that members of the Muslim community were systematically targeted and the community suffered large-scale destruction of life and property.
In the case of Gujarat, what happened was neither a local incident nor a riot. The only category, which seems to fit, is the understanding of the Gujarat violence as a pogrom, which would indicate state complicity in targeted violence against one community. [...]