Posts Tagged 'narendra modi'

Narendra Modi on poetry, politics and Rahul Gandhi as PM

This interview is from Society magazine; its views do not necessarily reflect those of NDTV.

Meeting Narendra Modi was like meeting multiple personalities at one time. I have always perceived Modi as a man of steel having gone through fire. The constant picking and media barbs have not left him embittered. This could be attributed to his strong and courageous personality and being centred in spirituality.

Modi is the only CEO Chief Minister so-to-say who has corporatised political administration in his well groomed and well kept state! As I proceeded to Modi’s residence for a chat,
en route, the typical attributes associated with a politician were all missing. No hangers-on, no party flags or king size cut outs, no party men shouting slogans while lounging around and awaiting a darshan of their party honcho, and no desperate security frisking. One enters a ‘peace zone’ of sorts when you step into his home surrounded by well manicured lawns.

As I was ushered into his neatly laid out home cum office, I saw Vivekananda’s bronze figurine tucked in the corner of his work station. The freewheeling tete-a-tete that followed gave an astonishing insight into the man, the mystic and the leader, rather than the controversial politician that Modi is made out to be. My initial apprehension, going by his public image of a darting and intimidating person, was put to rest at the very outset. Modi seemed cheerful, gentle and benign. There was no attempt to overpower and manipulate my thoughts, no overtones or undercurrents. Modi exuded brilliant command over the session, was clearly defined in his approach and was never caught off guard.

“I make political statements only before elections. There is much more to talk about than my political opponents,” he quips. We agree. Here is a man who has become synonymous with dedicated hard work and administrative genius so much so that he is the only politician for whom a temple is built by his people. His state shines luminously as a model city. No doubt there are still issues to be addressed in the vast canvas, but Gujarat most certainly has filed past other states in showing an all round progress-industrialisation, infrastructure, tourism and a total turnaround.

The architect of this new and shining Gujarat, Narendra Modi, is surely someone you will either adore or despise but certainly won’t ignore. His political strategies that raised him from being a party worker to the Chief Minister for three terms in succession field him as a strong potential Prime Ministerial candidate from amongst the rest of the regional leadership. The writing on the wall is clear that if the nation chooses to vote out the Congress, Modi is the first choice of the people.

With the grim scenario that the nation faces today, the need of the hour is an able administrator who can fix the fractures within our system. Today, regional leaders like Narendra Modi, Ashok Gahlot, Sheila Dikshit and Nitish Kumar are in the public discernment as the ideal options for replacing their national counterparts at the helm.

With a proven track record of excellent governance in his kitty, Modi chooses to play the cards about his national political agenda only when the time is ripe. Among the disadvantages Modi faces is his love-hate equation with the media. And so, here was an opportunity to peel the stern communalistic facade, and peep into the man behind the iron curtain. Is he as blunt and intimidating as he seems from a distance? As ruthless as he is made out to be? As communal minded as he is perceived? What is his typical day like? Does Modi like to watch TV soaps and sob with them? When did he last take a holiday and where does he really like to unwind? Many such questions flooded my thoughts and my research furnished no insight into the man that Modi is. His political track record reveals him as an uncompromising and shrewd politician. Besides, the magnificent transformation he achieved in the eyes of his own people, from being an anti-hero to a hero, is a case study in itself. To the people of Gujarat, Modibhai, as he is fondly addressed as, is like no one else. They view him as a brilliant politician, an efficient administrator, an able strategist and ultimately, a competent leader who has staked all his might in serving his people. Indeed, all this and more is supported by the progress that Gujarat has recorded as a model state in the country with maximum NRI investment and all around growth. The accent is on ‘systematic, non-corrupt and good governance’ rather than mere tactics for political survival.

Modi is a proud man who can flaunt his report card and by quizzing him to talk about his state, you have turned him on, so to say! “In Gujarat’s model of governance, we have moved out of the traditional piecemeal actions and knee-jerk reactions. We now look at a whole new approach to the fundamental changes that would yield qualitative and quantitative leaps. My role is that of a facilitator and the real credit goes to Team Gujarat and the people of the state,” preens Modi. However, history can’t be recalled without associations of landmark events to fundamental authors. Like Gandhi and the freedom fight, Nehru and the Kashmir goof-up, Sardar Patel’s police action in the Razaka movement of the Nizam State, Indira Gandhi and the Emergency, and when it comes to Modi, you cannot finish the breath without remembering the infamous Gujarat riots.

Though the riots will continue to haunt Modi, he has made a conscious effort to heal the wounds and has worked in a sustained way to make the media take note of the immense progress made in the land of the Mahatma. His image as the ‘merchant of death’ is reversed to that of the ‘Sultan of good governance’. As shrewd and emphatic as Chanakya in his political arbitration and in the stringency of administrative competence, Modi is aligned in the league of the legendary Gujarat leader, Saradar Vallabh Bhai Patel.

However, Modi’s modesty is outraged at the comparison with the legend and he springs up in protest. “It is unfair to compare anyone with Sardar Patel. He was a great stalwart. We are lucky that his soul is there to inspire us. He was an iron man because he stood by his commitment to his ideology and thoughts. Even in the face of opposition to his stand, he never succumbed. No toothless ruler can rule the country,” he interrupts your thoughts.

Going to office is a rather academic activity for Narendra Modi. He has drawn a definite blue print for his people and his personal political agenda. His hours spent in the office are channeled towards proactive administration rather than for political sustenance, Probably, Modi feels best when he talks about his innovative governance, and his schemes are no mere eyewash. Looking closely, his schemes are universal in nature, not to be constricted by boundaries either. An offspring of a middle class family in Vadnagar in Mehsana district of north Gujarat where Modi completed his schooling, he was conferred his PG in Political Science from the Gujarat University. As a young man, he joined the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student wing and was involved in the anti-corruption Nav Nirman Movement. After working as a full time organiser there, he was later nominated as its representative in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The upward climb had no stopping. But, amidst all the sound and fury, wouldn’t we like to know how his growing up years impacted Modi as a person? “I am just an aam admi, a common man. I live and think like a common man despite the trappings of power. My family background was very humble. My growing up was also nothing extraordinary. There were no unusual aspects to my life to have made me blossom into someone special. Neither my mother nor my father was the sarpanch of any village. It was a bewilderment to even know what it was like to be a Panchayat member. So, whatever is attributed to an ordinary man is applicable to me. I am happy with the small mercies of life. Even if a child tells me, ‘Uncle, you have done a good job,’ I feel joyous. And, the endeavour is to not do anything wrong so that you could be centred in joy,” proffers Modi. Modi likes to believe that he is driven by the will of God when he says, “I had not shown any temperament to be in mainstream politics in my growing years. Even now, administration within the government framework is an absolutely apolitical activity for me. I hardly spare one or two hours in a month for political activities. I am totally dedicated to my job. I don’t see this office as a political one. While you are elected to work, there should be no politics at all. If there is politics, it means you are a failure. You are not a Chief Minister for those who have voted for you but for those who have not voted for you.”

Usually, the day begins early for Modi. “I have been an early riser since the beginning. My initial life demanded labour and effort for survival, so I am very hard working by nature. I would toil more than my peers. Be it sports, theatre activities or even reading a book, I would feel I should read faster and more books than the others. Lazing around is not in my nature. Even today, I don’t avail a Sunday. I remember when I was a child, during the India-China war, 50 kilometres from my village; there was a railway junction from where the army was dispersing aid to the war field. I accompanied some young men who went there to serve tea and snacks and give a pep talk to boost the soldiers’ spirits. I didn’t know what exactly this whole act was about, but I was there,” recalls Modi.

A strong national fervour was bound to be embedded with such an exposure at such a tender age, and it sure did. Modi embarked on a political pathway with the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and as a swayamsevak, he had to go underground during the Emergency declared by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. He joined the BJP in early 1987. “I helped maintain relations between the RSS and the BJP. In 1988, I was recognised as a master strategist of the party and was entrusted with the post of General Secretary of the Gujarat State BJP unit. Between 1988 and 1995, I successfully carried out two major projects of the BJP initiated by LK Advani-the Ayodhya Rath Yatra and the march from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. In 1995, I became the National Secretary of the party with the charge of five major states. In1995, the BJP came to power with a two thirds majority in the Gujarat Assembly. Since then, Gujarat is under the rule of the BJP. In 1995, I was promoted to the post of General Secretary (Organisation) of the BJP. I held the office till October 2001 and then became the 14th Chief Minister of Gujarat,” writes Modi in his introduction on Facebook.

“Being in the RSS, I got a chance to work at every level of the organisation, which helped me in building my character. Basically, I am not built only for politics. I am an ardent lover of nature. My interest is mainly culture and character building. Now, political instability has becomes a part of politics. You need diligence and commitment to succeed in politics,” says Modi. An avid reader, biographies of great men catch his fancy apart from philosophical books, and he unwinds by reading and writing poetry. “Poetry which had something to say about life and its varied facets used to captivate me. Now, I just flip the pages as that phase of my life is over. But, I have published my poems and the beauteous nature has always been my muse, my inspiration. I am a big environment buff and even in my own state, a lot has been done to protect and nurture the environment,” he muses.

Recalling his growing years, Modi says, “From a very young age, I have been writing books and I also wrote columns with pseudo names. During the Emergency, I used to run a newspaper, called Satya Samachar. I was barely 20 plus then and during that time, I would unearth whatever was censored, publish them and distribute copies as an awareness campaign. The government had also issued a warrant in my name. Recently, I wrote a book on the environment, titled, Convenient Action, which was launched by Abdul Kalam. It is about various environment problems and solutions and Gujarat practices all of them.”

Modi the Mystic

Modi revealed in a television programme that he lived in the caves of the Himalayas for four years before he made his foray into public life. To retain one’s composure on the face of a storm reveals one’s inner spiritual strength. “A stress buster is needed for the one who feels stress. For the one who has authored his life with detachment, where is the question of stress? I am a totally detached person. I am here, but I don’t feel I am a Chief Minister. I am a CM only when I sign on the dotted line. Even that is because someone has to take the responsibility,” he says emphatically.

Not one of the temple going politicians who always look to the almighty for solutions to problems of their own making, Modi says, “I am not religious. I go to the temple on the Gujarat New Year day. I can’t claim to be spiritual because it’s a very profound epithet. But, I like it when I get to read or hear anything related to the spiritual world. I have been practicing yoga and meditation for many years. Detachment is something I believe in practising for my spiritual self. In fact, with great difficulty, I have torn myself away from pursuing mendicancy in totality to be a part of this world. The call of the Himalayas has been put on the back burner. When the time is right, it is like crossing from one room to the other for me. You will be surprised to know that despite having lived in this house for 10 years now, until of late, I didn’t even know how the entire house looked. I only used spaces like my office, bedroom, dining room and the study. Only when recently there was a move to relocate my library did I take a tour of the rest of the building. That is what I mean by detachment. And, what makes me angry? That’s the problem. I don’t get angry, but have to enact anger in order to get work done.” (Laughs)

So, where does spiritually and politics bifurcate? “There is a problem only when they bifurcate. They should not be cut off. Gandhi was immersed in spirituality all his life and it is this spirituality that inspired him to serve the society. This inspiration sustains because it is a power. This is where we are erring,” he pontificates.

Moments to Cherish

Modi lives his life purely with an agenda for his people with no personal strings attached. However, were there any moments he stole for personal gratification amidst the dust and din of politics and work? He recollects, “After being the CM for two consecutive terms, I had two desires. One was to unearth my childhood friends with whom I had completely lost touch. One day, I sat up and listed all the names I could remember. I remembered them all but had lost track of their whereabouts. Some 35 names popped up. I wanted to invite them to the
Chief Minister’s residence and share my childhood with them and also because I wanted to remind myself about the real Modi lest I lose sight of him. So, I spent time with my friends getting down-to-earth. They too felt that if I remembered and spent time with them after having reached where I have then I must be fine. So, that was my test. The other desire was to get together all the teachers in my lifetime and honour them. One of them was 93-years-old. I invited them here and organised a big function to honour them. It gave me immense happiness that I was able to honour and say thanks to those who have contributed their might in shaping me. So, I fulfilled both my desires and I am happy about it.”

Contributory Influences

An ardent bachelor, one hardly hears about Modi’s family. “On my birthday, I go home to visit my mother and spend a few minutes with her. That’s my only contact with my family. I left home when I was 17. And, I went back after 35 years. I left home in order to serve the society and the country. Then, I was drifting to different destinations and landed as the CM. I eat simple food-khichdi, chapatis, kadhi and stuff like that. I am a 100 per cent vegetarian,” he says.

“As a 13-year-old, I used to read Vivekananda. I don’t have a political background. I hadn’t seen the Chief Minister’s chambers before I became one. I had not seen the Assembly before I became an MLA. I didn’t know how a government functioned. I didn’t know anything. I was fortunate to physically visit more than 400 districts where I stayed overnight. That’s why I am conversant with the problems of Hindustan. Probably, amongst all the politicians, I have visited the maximum number of villages. I have visited more than 50 per cent of the state and for 35 years, I was only travelling all over. This has given me a lot of strength. This contributed to my vision for the state and has translated into the progress of the state in all sectors. The other thing is my temperament to write, and to think out of the box is my innate nature,” stakes Modi.

Pro Hindutva

Branded as the messiah and ambassador of Hindutva, Modi has had much at stake due to the image. However, he vindicates his core philosophy in his inimitable rhetoric. With a stern voice, he says, “The government’s work is to function in accordance to the constitution. I am committed to the constitution of India. Being a Chief Minister, I have to follow the word and spirit of what the constitution states. If I say violence is bad, what is wrong in it? If I believe that we must love nature, what is wrong? If I say, serve the poor, what is wrong in it? If I say, sarva pantha samabhav-no discrimination of religion-what is wrong in it? And, if this philosophy is called Hindutva then why should one feel shy?”

The Bachchan Factor

Even as Modi’s Hindutva has triggered controversy, there was a hullaballoo over the choice of the Big B as the brand ambassador of Gujarat. Unflustered, Modi simplifies the entire saga, “I was taking up the promotion of tourism in the state. Gujaratis are the best tourists but Gujarat was never a tourist destination. I wanted to change this because all the elements needed for exotic tourism are inherent here. So, someone had to do something. Around the time I picked up this campaign seriously, Amitabh Bachchan came to me as he wanted me to watch his film Paa. I liked the film. Then, we got chatting and he said I could count on him if at all there was anything he could do for me. I have no personal needs, but it occurred to me that if he could do something for Gujarat, I would be happy. He said he had only his voice and his face as his fortune. I immediately asked him if he would promote our tourism. He willingly agreed to do so and what’s more, he does not charge us a single rupee and has always given as much time as we required for the shoots without even once shifting or cancelling a schedule. This is sheer service to the state. What more can I ask for when someone gives so much love to my state? I repeatedly express my thanks to him.”

Genesis of Controversy

The ghost of the 2002 riots haunts Modi as a convenient silencer and a political weapon. To Modi, it is a dream to find a benign press that would put the past behind and pat him for his good deeds. So, being the blue eyed boy of the media is indeed on Modi’s wish list. The media, Modi feels, keeps scratching the wounds of the riots, not allowing them to heal despite the dramatic amendments he has made. “It would be good if I were liked by the media world,” he rues.

Personal and Political Philosophy

Political commentators feel that the veteran politician has all the exposure and experience it takes to shoulder the responsibility at the helm of the country with ease, if given a chance. Does he not see himself playing a bigger role in national politics? “For me, any remote villager from Hindustan, even if he is repairing shoes, is doing national work. Even if a small individual averts an impending accident, it is a service to the nation. I don’t believe that it’s only by holding certain posts that you can serve the nation. Even now, whatever, I am doing is service to the nation. It does not matter from where and how you do it. It is a media created trend that if any Chief Minister does good work, he has to be spoken about being fit to be the next PM. We have seen this happen in the case of Chandrababu Naidu, Karunanidhi, Sharad Pawar, ND Tiwari, and others. It is a very big club but I don’t want to become a member of that club. To me, as Raja Ranthidev said, ‘Neither do I desire to rule nor do I desire liberation or rebirth. If I do have any desire, it is to wipe the tears of the poor.’ That was the philosophy of our country. What better inspiration can we have than this? Whatever work is entrusted to us, the benefit must reach the last person in the periphery,” he says crystal clear in his thoughts.

National Politics

While the media is going hammer and tongs about the suitability of Rahul Gandhi to take over the leadership of the nation and Rahul himself making inroads at the grassroot levels to entrench his presence, Modi’s take on the situation is of everyone’s interest. “Well, I don’t want to discuss this. One has to first explore where the grassroot is. As for Rahul Gandhi having the makings of a national leader, analyse the ingredients needed for that first. It is not my job to analyse anyone. Everyone works in his own way. The country is watching the centre’s performance. The Prime Minister himself stated that he has problems and that he is constrained. After this, there is no need for any editorial debates about their performance. He has confessed he has his limitations,” he sums up.

Keeping Terror At Bay

One of the major achievements of the Modi government is its success at keeping terror at bay even though the state shares a boundary with Pakistan. Even as the Al Qaeda has administered a threat letter to Modi, he refuses to lend terrorism any religious association. He explains, “It is not in good taste to associate terrorism with any religion. Terrorism has no religion and you cannot associate it with humanity. Someone who is human can’t be a terrorist. Only the one who ceases to be a human being becomes a terrorist.”

Success Mantra

“Success is a relative term. By and large, success is measured in comparison with someone else’s. I feel success is something that satisfies your inner conscience and tells you that you have done the right thing. Success should not be measured on a scale. If I can please a person by some gesture then I have found success,” Modi believes.

Personal Style

Modi has authored his own style statement that is now world renowned. “Well, when I was travelling extensively, I used to take a small bag and keep all my stuff in it. I used to then wash my own clothes. So, just as a space-saving and soap economising measure, I used to chop away the long sleeves of my kurtas. That’s how the half sleeve kurta became my style statement. You can find the Modi kurta even in London and New York and also in our own Khadi Bhandar,” says he blushing.


Twitter and Facebook are now public forums and no surprise that Modi is present there. How net savvy is the Gujarat Chief Minister? “The communication revolution has set in and there is nothing wrong in using these mediums. I am an avid user of Twitter, I use Facebook, I send emails, I keenly keep track of how this medium is developing. In this age, information is power and through social networking, you can get and disseminate information fast. I believe in keeping communication with people alive. There are rarely any calls I don’t return or mails I don’t respond to. I surf the net and read the newspaper early morning over a cup of beverage, listening to my morning ragas,” he says.

Leaving FootPrints

All those who have achieved prominent public presence nurture the desire to be immortalised for their deeds. Modi has made service his axiom. How would he like to be remembered in posterity? “I should be able to serve the poor even more. Why should I be remembered? Why should I have such a dream? I am not an idealist. You behold the Ajantha Ellora caves. They are immortal. Does anyone know who created them? So, my philosophy is, we have been given a mission, we need to finish it before we quit. As far as the work is remembered, it’s still acceptable, but what is the need to remember the person behind it? I don’t even have the stature to give a message to anyone. I am a very small person. I don’t have the right. But, I love this country and its people and I give them the assurance that whatever task I am entrusted with, I will never spare any effort to fulfill it. I will work as hard as I can.”

Men of steel are rare to find and here is one, self made. It’s time we saw Modi in a new light-as a catalyst of change and growth. Though he insists he doesn’t harbour great political ambitions, only time will tell if this iron man of Gujarat gets the opportunity to rule the Delhi darbar.



Source: Organiser Date: 10/1/2011 6:54:45 PM

Modi’s message: Will it work?

Shift in Muslim vote inevitable

By GVL Narasimha Rao

Narendra Modi’s Sadbhavana Mission is an attempt by the Gujarat Chief Minister to make Muslims equal partners in the process of development rather than treat them differently as vote banks. The message from the three-day fast by Narendra Modi is loud and clear. Muslims are an integral part of the state’s populace and they would neither be singled out for special treatment nor discriminated against.

The results of such non-discriminating governance paradigm are already showing. The human development and economic well being indicators show that Muslims in Gujarat are a much better lot than their counterparts elsewhere in the country, notably in states ruled by pseudo-secular parties.

Hitherto, Muslims were taken in by the bogus promises of the Congress and other pseudo-secular parties. The Congress party and other ‘secular’ parties have always benefited immensely by demonising the BJP and its leaders among Muslims and developing the Muslim community as a vote bank. What they got in return was a raw deal from parties that secured their support. The condition of Muslims is the worst in states like West Bengal where the Muslims overwhelmingly supported the Left regime for decades.

With his Sadbahavana Mission, Narendra Modi has begun a process of reconciliation with the minority community not by appeasement but by creating awareness and arousing aspirations for better development. Muslims are responding to Narendra Modi’s call because he is speaking with conviction and from a position of strength.

Nationwide, Narendra Modi is perceived to be an icon of development, a role model for efficient governance and a symbol of honest governance – virtues that are extremely rare to find in politics today. For the same reasons, Narendra Modi has been rated as the best Chief Minister in the country by India Today’s “Mood of the Nation” surveys year after year.

Muslims are also experiencing the same level of development as those belonging to other religions. In the last year’s local body polls in Gujarat, more than 120 corporators elected on BJP ticket were from the Muslim community. The tremendous response from the Muslim community to the Sadbhavana fast has rattled the Congress party so much that it has begun to organise campaigns in all districts of Gujarat to woo the minority voters.

If Narendra Modi’s efforts pay off in next year’s assembly elections in Gujarat, he may be able to replicate elsewhere in the country. In that event, proving its critics wrong, the BJP may be in a position to dent the Muslim vote bank outside Gujarat as well.

Had Muslims been vehemently opposed to Narendra Modi in Gujarat and unwilling to support his non-appeasement policy, the Congress party would have never felt threatened and organised campaigns to woo minorities. That Muslims would heavily oppose Narendra Modi in elections, if he is given a national role is the most aggressively circulated myth by the opposition parties in the country.

The reality is that the Muslims have always voted vehemently against the BJP in national elections in 1996, 1998 and 1999 even when a moderate Atal Behari Vajpayee was projected as Prime Minister. Yet, the BJP emerged as the single largest party in all these elections and grew from strength to strength despite stiff resistance from the Muslims. What I am saying here about the Muslim consolidation against the BJP is based on evidence and not a hypothetical analysis.

The same BJP which was not favoured by the Muslims attracted allies in 1998 and 1999 parliamentary elections despite the Muslim community’s fears and opposition to its ascension to power at the Centre. Admittedly, the allies needed the BJP because it had a popular leader in Vajpayee who could sway general masses. Muslims were also not opposed to Vajpayee as a leader and respected him, but they never supported the BJP in any significant measure in any election held under Vajpayee’s leadership.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had once told a media acquaintance in a personal conversation, ”Who wants the BJP to get the Muslim votes for us? We want the BJP to win Hindu votes for us.” For potential allies of the BJP, electoral success is all that matters and it does not matter whether the votes come from Hindus or Muslims.

Alliance Expansion

The BJP’s success in expanding the NDA would depend on the appeal and popularity of the BJP and its leadership. No party does anybody a favour in politics. Therefore, the BJP need not bend over backwards to appease any potential allies. Parties join the alliances for their own political success. Potential allies would like to deal with a party and a leader with stature, nationwide appeal, authority and an ability to strike deals.

With the BJP on a bounce, a number of parties are likely to sign up with the NDA. The most likely allies would include the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Chautala led INLD, Ajit Singh led RLD, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) etc. Alliances with regional parties like Telugu Desam Party, YSR Congress and Trinamul Congress also cannot be ruled out.

The future augurs well for the BJP and its return to power is being widely speculated. The BJP neither needs to dilute its ideology nor be apologetic about its non-appeasement policy for Muslims. The BJP is a national party with much strength and should not follow the minority agenda set by some regional allies for their own selfish considerations. Parties are known for their core beliefs and principles and they should never be compromised at the altar of short term political success.

A note on the cases and conduct of Sanjiv Bhatt

A note on the cases and conduct of Sanjiv Bhatt

Much undue controversy has been raised by the vested interests on the alleged arrest and harassment of an IPS officer Shri Sanjiv Bhatt. Always the State Government has maintained that the process of law is above everything and it honours rule of law. The State government holds the Hon’ble Courts in high esteem. However, Shri Sanjiv Bhatt for the reasons best known to him has been leveling wild and baseless allegations against the government. It is strange that he, on the one hand wants due process of law should prevail and on the other hand when the same process of law is catching him up, he is alleging all sorts of things which he never disclosed earlier.
Wild allegations are being made about harassment of Police Officers and registration of false cases. It is strange that nobody is noticing that no such criminal case has been registered against Shri Sanjiv Bhatt by the Government. Even Shri R. B. Shreekumar retired DGP rank officer and Shri Rahul Sharma DIG rank officer who have been making statements against the Chief Minister and the State Government, no such complaints have been made by the Government. Hence, the government has nothing to say on the private FIR registered by the Police.
Shri Sanjiv Bhatt has been in touch with some of the State Congress leaders as his email exchanges disclose. The revelations have sounded trouble for such people for which the allegations are being leveled against the government.
The allegations made against the Chief Minister on alleged illegal direction on 27-02-2002 after almost 10 years of incidence has already been investigated by the SIT. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has passed order on 12th September 2011 after considering the SIT reports and the Amicus Curiae’s comments thereon.
The CBI had carried out investigation to the late Shri Haren Pandya’s killing and Shri Sanjiv Bhatt did not found it fit to disclose the alleged killers name said to have been told to him by an accused Asgar Ali while he was the Jail Superintendent. Now when the Hon’ble Gujarat High Court is seized of his matter regarding his atrocities on hundreds of people at Jam khambalia in Jamnagar district, he is coming out with a wild disclosure.
Shri K. D. Panth is a Police Constable in the Police Department in Gujarat. He had been cited by Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, suspended IPS officer of Gujarat cadre as witness to his alleged presence in the meeting at the Chief Minister’s residence on 27-02-2002. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt took Shri K. D. Panth before the SIT looking in to the complaint of Mrs. Zakia Ahesan Jaffrey and suo motu produced him as his witness.
Later on Shri Panth recollected that he was not present in the State during the time when the said alleged meeting was held on 27-02-2002. He recollected the fact that he along with his relatives had gone to Mumbai on 25.02.2002 & returned to Gandhinagar on 28.02.2002. Shri K. D. Panth wrote to the SIT about the facts and wanted correct his stand.
However, on 16-06-2011Shri Sanjiv Bhatt coaxed Shri KD Panth to meet him as his statement is required for strengthening his case for demand for security cover. When Shri Panth along with one Shri Shrenik Shah met Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, he was taken before a Notary in the midnight and forced him to make an affidavit.
Shri K. D. Panth realizing that he has been duped and coerced by Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, immediately on 17.06.2011 filed an affidavit before the Executive Magistrate, Gandhinagar narrating about the facts and incident which took place in the night intervening 16.06.2011 & 17.06.2001.
Regarding this incident Shri Panth lodged a complaint in Ghatlodia Police Station vide I. C. R. No. 149/2011 on 22.06.2011.
In this connection Shri Panth’s statement under section 161 of CrPC was recorded by the Investigation Officer Shri N. C. Patel, under videography at his own request. Later on he recorded his statement before Ld. Additional Senior Civil Judge, Ahmedabad Rural at Mirjapur Court u/s 164 CrPC on 30.06.2011.
I.O. of this offence has also recorded the statement of witness of this case namely Shrenik Shah. This witness also gave evidence under section 164 CrPC before the Ld. Additional Senior Civil Judge, Ahmedabad Rural at Mirjapur Court.
Mr. Shrenik Shah who is a witness in this case of Ghatlodia Police Station I.C.R. No. 149/11 was threatened to compel Shri KD Panth to withdraw the FIR or face dire consequences. Hence, a case u/s 507 of I.P.C. was also registered by Shri Shrenik Shah in Chandkheda Police Station bearing C.R. No.II 3177/11 0n 23.07.11.
As a part of investigation Shri Sanjiv Bhatt was summoned u/s 160 of remain present before the Investigation Officer. First summons was issued on 12.08.2011 to appear before I.O. on 24.08.2011. 2nd summons was issued on 25.08.2011 for 02.09.2011. 3rd summons issued on 02.09.2011 to remain present on 19.09.2011. 4th summons was issued on 20.09.2011 to remain present on 30.09.2011. He has not remained present on any of the date given to him, stating various reasons. He sent communication in respect of last summons stating that as he has to remain present before the Justice Nanavati & Justice Mehta Commission it is not possible for him to remain present on 30.09.2011. It was inquired in the office of the Justice Nanavati & Justice Mehta Commission of Inquiry; and found that he has not been asked by the commission to remain present before the commission on 30.09.2011. It transpires from the above fact he is avoiding the summons and inquiry process, hence it was felt that to record his statement his arrest was the only step that the Investigation officer has taken.
This case being investigated by the concerned Police Officer where the case has been registered and detained Shri Sanjiv Bhatt as part of investigation on 30-09-2011. Search warrants were issued by the Investigation Officer on 30-09-2011 and on 01-10-2011. It is alleged that his house was ransacked during the search which is baseless and false as search was carried out as per law and under videography.
Shri Sanjiv Bhatt filed a petition in the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India praying for transfer of an offence registered as C.R.No.I 149 of 2011 which is filed as private offence independently by Shri K.D. Panth. It is a settled position in law that extraordinary constitutional jurisdiction of the Hon’ble Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India would be sparingly invoked and normally, a litigant should approach the jurisdictional High Court invoking its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt has neither approached the Hon’ble High Court invoking its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India nor has he assigned any reasons shown as to why he cannot move the Hon’ble High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
Further, the facts stated and the grounds raised do not even remotely justify the petitioner invoking the jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India as none of his fundamental rights are violated. There is certain startling and shocking fact which shows that Shri Sanjiv Bhatt is guilty of suppressing most material facts and making incorrect statement and even submitting fabricated document on oath. The copy of the office order mentioning rewards given to Shri K. D. Panth by the present petitioner as annexed in his petition is fabricated and words have been inserted deliberately though the actual order is different.
The investigation into the riot cases of the year 2002 is completed by the SIT and the trials are going on strictly in accordance with the order passed by this Honorable Court dated 1st May 2009 in Writ Petition (Criminal) No.109 of 2003. So far as the complaint of Smt. Zakia Naseem Ahesan Jaffrey dated 8th June 2006 is concerned, the said complaint is already examined by the SIT pursuant to order dated 27th April 2009 passed by this Honorable Court in SLP (Criminal) No.1088 of 2008. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has issued final direction in its order dated 12th September 2011. Hence, the allegation that witness like Shri Sanjiv Bhatt is being targeted is baseless. The judicial process will continue as per law.
The allegation being made against private FIR lodged independently by Shri K. D. Panth said to be with a view to falsely implicate, pressurize and intimidate Shri Bhatt is wild and baseless.
Even Shri Sanjiv Bhatt for the reasons best known to him, chosen to come out with wild allegations with respect to the incidents which took place 10 years back. He seeks to vaguely justify such a belated stand on the ground that he was ‘under the oath of secrecy’ all these years. However, on the contrary, he is sharing all information with several NGOs, Journalists and political people as his email exchanges show which would clearly demonstrate that the said explanation for delay is far from truth. Even the petitioner did not file any affidavit before the Justice Nanavati and Justice A. H. Mehta Inquiry Commission on the alleged facts as he is coming out now, neither he provided any information when the then Addl. DGP in charge of the State Intelligence Bureau Shri R. B. Shreekumar filed affidavit on behalf of the department in the said Inquiry Commission. The electronic media interview given by Shri R. B. Shreekumar on 24th April 2011 bears testimony to it.
Further, during the hearing of his petition in the Gujarat High Court, as per his habit, made wild allegation that the alleged killer of late Shri Haren Pandya, Asgar Ali confessed to him that Tulsi Prajapati was the real assassin. It is strange to understand that as he claims to be a conscious Police Officer as to why he did not disclose this fact to the CBI investigating this offence. Why he came out with this alleged disclosure through an affidavit when the hearing of his petition was over and the Hon’ble High Court is to deliver its order. This shows his deliberate attempt to create controversy with an ulterior motive. These wild and unsupported claims made by him are readily supported by the vested interests.
It is worthwhile to mention that Shri Sanjiv Bhatt is an IPS officer of 1988 batch belonging to Gujarat cadre, whose career since the beginning of his service has remained controversial. He has been in sidelined postings throughout his career. He is facing several departmental proceedings and criminal cases of serious nature. Often he has been taking undue advantage of the government citing different arguments of his actions of omission and commission as part of his duty. However, many departmental inquiries could not be settled and the criminal cases against him are still pending for which he has been trying to get favour from the government. Even he has not been promoted as IGP though his batch mates have been promoted long back.
The controversial officer has come out with a claim that he had attended the meeting on 27-02-2002 when alleged illegal instructions were given by the Chief Minister. He has cited the support of a driver, who allegedly took him to the CM’s residence where the meeting took place. In fact the driver Shri Tarachand Yadav had been dismissed from the service long back for serious misconduct of forgery of certificates to obtain the driver’s job. Shri K. D. Panth has denied his presence in Gandhinagar on 27-02-2002. It is strange that the statement of the disgruntled officer and the dismissed driver are being given such hype while ignoring the statements of other most senior Police and IAS officers who remained present during the meeting on 27th February 2002.
Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had never been provided “Y” category security by the Government. There is a procedure to asses threat perception of a person where a Committee consisting of the Home Secretary, Additional DGP (Intelligence) and the Joint Director of the Central IB consider the category of the security cover required for a person and on this recommendation such security is provided by the Government. No such recommendation has ever been made for Shri Sanjiv Bhatt. The allegation that the Government has withdrawn his security is false and baseless. The DGP provided appropriate security to him.
In fact Shri Sanjiv Bhatt has been in the habit of keeping more personnel at his residence in excess of the orderlies entitled. There had been such instances when he was posted at Banaskantha as SP and at Rajkot as DCP earlier. Shri Bhatt was posted as SP, Banaskantha from 13-10-1995 to 18-06-1996. He was keeping one head constable, eight constables, three constables for attending telephone calls, three constables for Picket duties, three commandos, four constable for guard duties, twelve constable for striking force and three constables for gardening at his residence at Banaskantha SP’s Bunglow. Shri Bhatt was charge-sheeted on 30/9/1999 for keeping more number of orderlies than the sanctioned number.
He was then transferred to Rajkot as DCP, where he remained for a period of eight months from 19th June 1996 till 23rd February 1997, as the Government had to transfer him out along with the then CP Rajkot, for an unpleasant incident. He was keeping 22 constables at his residence when he was posted at Rajkot as DCP. Show cause notices for such misconduct were also issued at the relevant time. Also he was instrumental in helping a person in a land grabbing case by lodging false criminal case against the opponent under prohibition Act. He was transferred to State IB where he remained till May 1997.
Shri Sanjiv Bhatt the then ASP, Jamnagar during a call of `Bharat Bandh` on 30/10/1990 incident of arson and fire broke out at village Jamjodhpur, district, Jamnagar. Shri Bhatt enforced curfew for 3 days and used excessive power and TADA. Therefore, the then Government appointed a Commission under the Chairmanship of retired Judge Shri B.V. Desai.
In the Commission’s report Shri Bhatt was held responsible and a decision to initiate departmental inquiry was taken by the Government and accordingly he was charge-sheeted on 6.3.1992. In view of this, Shri Bhatt was not given promotion of Senior Time Scale.
During the “Bandh Call” police atrocities were committed when innocent people were beaten up mercilessly. One pregnant lady was also beaten up mercilessly. Kidney of two persons was damaged badly and later on one person namely Prabhudas Madhavji Vaishnani succumbed to injury on 18-11-1990 and died later on. There was a private criminal complaint filed at Jamjodhpur Police station against Shri Sanjiv Bhatt under Jamjodhpur Police station CR No.102/1990 under IPC sections 302, 323, 506(1) 114 by Shri Amrutlal Madhavji Vaishnani. This case is pending with the Sessions Court at Kahambalia, Jamanagar district. Meanwhile Shri Sanjiv Bhatt has approached the Gujarat High Court against the withdrawal of revision petition by the State government and against framing of charge sheet against him. The Gujarat High Court has completed the hearing and order is reserved to be delivered on 10th October 2011.
A criminal complaint was filed in 1996 by one Shri Sumer Singh Rajpurohit, an Advocate practicing at Pali, Rajasthan against Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, the then SP, Banaskantha District. It is mentioned that Shri Sumer Singh Rajput was a tenant of sister of Shri R.R. Jain, a sitting Judge of Gujarat High Court. To get the tenant evacuated for the rented premises, Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, the then SP of Banaskantha and his subordinate police officers planted more than 1 kg of Narcotic drug in one room in a hotel at Palanpur, Gujarat, which was shown that Shri Sumer Singh was occupying the same while he was at Pali, Rajasthan. The said complainant Advocate was abducted at midnight from Pali on the instructions of Shri Sanjiv Bhatt by his subordinate police staff and brought him to Palanpur, Banaskantha in Gujarat. The Advocate under pressure vacated the property. Physical possession of the property was immediately handed over to sister of Shri R. R. Jain, Judge of Gujarat High Court. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt asked released Shri Sumersingh Rajpurohit on 08-05-1996, after filing a report u/s 169 Cr.P.C., in which it was stated that Shri Sumer Singh could not be identified in the Test Identification Parade.
After the registration of the said private complaint in the year 1998 Shri R. R. Jain (the then High Court Judge, Rajasthan) and Shri Bhatt had filed a transfer petition (Criminal) No. 98/98 in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. The said petition was filed praying for transfer of proceedings. The Hon’ble Supreme Court disposed off the said proceedings vide an order dtd.3/11/98.
The State of Gujarat filed a petition in Rajasthan High Court praying for quashing of the private complaint filed by a private party, inter alia, contending that no further proceeding can lie without sanction of the State Government of Gujarat under section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. More over Shri R. R. Jain who is also named in the private complaint also filed a separate writ petition for quashing of the said complaint before the Rajasthan High Court. Rajasthan High Court refusing to quash the complaint by a common order dated 5th April, 2000 passed in both the said petitions.
Shri R. R. Jain approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court by filing Special Leave to Appeal (CRL) No.1327/2000. Government of Gujarat also filed Special Leave to appeal (CRL) 1931/2000 in the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The Hon’ble Supreme Court vide an order dated 1st May, 2000 stayed further proceedings of the said private complaint pending before the court at Jodhpur-Rajasthan.
Ultimately on 30th September, 2002 Hon’ble Supreme Court of India pleased to admit both the petitions by granting leave to appeal and was pleased to direct Stay against the proceedings granted earlier to continue during the pendency of the appeal. The said appeal is not heard so far and the stay order granted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court is continuing till date.
Meanwhile, Gujarat Vigilance Commission, Gujarat State, had also opined vide its letter dated 15/7/2002 that charges leveled against Shri Bhatt are very serious in nature, therefore he should be placed under suspension. Again, Vigilance Commission wrote to the Government vide letter dated 19.10.2006 as the Government did not place Shri Bhatt under suspension.

Complaint against Shri Sanjiv Bhatt in National Human Rights Commission:
Shri Siddheshwar Puri, Secretary, Bar Association, Pali Rajasthan made a complaint to National Human Rights Commission on 1/6/1996 and alleged that wrongful arrest and detention of a lawyer named Shri Sumer Singh by Gujarat Police on 2.5.1996 from his residence at Pali, Rajasthan and implicating him in a false Narcotic case under section 17 of NDPS Act registered at Palanpur, District Banaskantha, Gujarat.
The National Human Rights Commission vide its order dated 15/9/2010 No. 2147/96-97/NHRC/FC ordered State Government to pay a sum of Rs. 1/- lakh monetary relief to Sumersingh, Advocate of Pali within eight weeks and asked to send a compliance report with proof of payment. The Gujarat government issued order dated 23-12-2010 as per the direction of the NHRC to pay the amount. A cheque was issued on 25-01-2011 in favour of Shri S.C. Rajpurohit. Now Sanjiv Bhatt has been directed by the Government to deposit the fine amount.

Promotions from senior time scale to DIG: (4 promotions simultaneously)
As Shri Bhatt is a 1988 Batch IPS officer he was entitled to get senior time scale on 1/7/92 but on account of above mentioned pending departmental inquiries he was not granted senior time scale. Resultantly he was not entitled to get junior administrative grade, selection grade and DIG grade along with his Batch mates. However, the State Government dropped all the 3 departmental inquiries against Shri Bhatt vide order dated 5.8.2005, 3.9.2005 and 24/7/2006. The State Government gave promotions in Senior Time Scale on 13/9/2007, in junior administrative grade, selection grade, and DIG grade all the three promotions by holding 2 special DPCs on one day on 21.9.2007. Therefore Shri Bhatt got 3 more promotions i.e. in Junior Administrative Grade on 21/9/2001, in Selection Grade on 3/12/2008, and in DIG grade on 29/9/2007.
However, though his batchmates and juniors have been promoted as IGs, Shri Sanjiv Bhatt has not been promoted because of number of departmental inquiries pending against him.

Pending departmental inquiry against Shri Bhatt at present:
Shri Bhatt was charge-sheeted vide order dated 29.12.10 for irregularities in police recruitment in May, 1996 under the Chairmanship of Shri Bhatt when he was working as SP, Banaskantha. Shri Bhatt has not yet submitted his defence statement.
At present Shri Bhatt is posted in DIG grade as Principal SRP Training Centre, Junagadh vide Govt. order dated 1/9/2010. He remained absent from the duties for which repeated directions were given to him. Departmental Inquiry was instituted against him and he was suspended for gross indiscipline. The Government has served charge-sheet to him 0on 19th September 2011.

Pending preliminary inquiry against Shri Bhatt at present:
Preliminary inquiry has been instituted for the misuse of official resources by Shri Sanjiv Bhatt when he was posted as Additional Director General of Civil Defence.
Inquiry has been initiated by the Director General of Civil Defence for misusing official vehicles.
Inquiry is in advance stage in the matter where Shri Sanjiv Bhatt got issued more weapons than he is authorized and unauthorisedly taking away weapons without recording the same in the official Register. Serious misconduct amounting to offence under the Arms Act is involved.

Rahul Baba grow up, and then visit Gujarat next time

Rahul Gandhi’s Gujarat visit on 26 November didn’t invoke much interest. The visit was somewhat talked about, only because of Rahul’s hinted utterances against Narendra Modi.

It’s difficult to understand what Rahul achieves by carrying out such paratroop visits to Gujarat, and selective interaction with youths? Rahul’s 2007 Gujarat election road shows and rallies were much hyped in media, but in Surat, or in Vadodara, wherever he carried out party campaign, the BJP was victorious with thumping majority. Ditto in Bihar recently.

Not many youths who attended his Gujarat interaction functions of 26 November were impressed. The youths complained that Rahul’s answers on corruption, and Gujarat’s development related issues were not straight-forward, realistic and convincing enough. The youths say they don’t think Rahul has his own ideas on betterment of the country or society.

While main agenda of Rahul was to convince the youths that they should join politics, and they need no godfather or some relative in Congress party to go ahead, the point highly discussed among the youths was that Mr. Rahul himself is holding higher position in country’s politics today, only because of the fact that he is son of Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. Nobody has any doubt about the fact that Sonia became Congress President because she was widow of Rajiv Gandhi. Rajiv could become Prime Minister because his mother was Indira Gandhi. Indira could become Prime Minister because her father was Jawaharlal Nehru. Now when Rahul Gandhi come to the youths to tell them that they would get fair chance in politics according to their capacity, disregarding of the fact that whether they are relative or disciple of some big shot in the party, why one should believe him?

One of the worst things about Rahul’s Gujarat visit was that, he targeted popular Chief Minister Narendra Modi by comparing him with China’s Mao. Now how can one compare Modi with Mao? Did Mao fight elections and rule the nation? Modi has been victorious and re-elected three times with thumping majority within democratic framework of the nation. If Modi is like Mao, then who the Gujaratis are according to Rahul? Do Rahul believe they are like revolutionary Army-men of 1920s China?

Rahul said in Gujarat rich have become richer and poor poorer. Sorry to say that Rahul has no knowledge on ground reality of Gujarat. The seepage of development has been upto ground level here. If Rahul is not informed about recent Gujarat rural area election results by his partymen, then we should be sorry for the fact that he is dis-informed, but if Rahul has that information, then sorry for his illusion.

The most offending act of Rahul during this visit was his chanting of 2002 riot mantras. Rahul still sees Gujarat through the prism of year 2002 riot. If Rahul wants to chew and spit again and again that 2002 chewing gum, then he should first grow up and then come to Gujarat next time. Do we see Delhi through the prism of year 1984? Was there no riot in Gujarat before Narendra Modi? And would there be none after him? Were all riots in the world history happened under the area ruled by Narendra Modi? Did Narendra Modi’s entire 9-year-long term witnessed riot everyday? Will paratroopers like Rahul continue to come to Gujarat and talk nothing else but 8-year-old riot?

Rahul’s 26 November visit only proves that he is a political extension of Teesta Setalvad. In Rajkot, he told the students that he understands Gujarati. But the sad part is that Rahul does not seem understanding Gujarat enough. And the 2002 prism that he has adopted to look at Gujarat, would not allow him to see anything but a bunch of rioters who elect Mao!

Next time grow up, and then visit Gujarat Rahul.

Inhuman rights – by Uday Mahurkar

Inhuman rights
Uday Mahurkar
March 25, 2010

For eight long years, Gujarat 2002 has stood out as one of the worst episodes in our calendar of atrocity. Since then, the country has witnessed ugly sparring over the bloody riots between the Gujarat Government and the votaries of the Hindutva movement on one side and the human rights lobby on the other.
Setalvad is alleged to have included charges that were retracted later by the witnesses.
Meanwhile, the state Government, Chief Minister Narendra Modi in particular, has been repeatedly accused of direct or indirect involvement in the riots. In March 2008, the Supreme Court (SC) appointed the Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by former Central Bureau of Investigation Director R.K. Raghavan, to reinvestigate nine major cases in the Gujarat riots of 2002. Charges flew back and forth once again last week when human rights activists called for the prosecution of Modi for his involvement in the riots in response to a petition.
The latest round of sparring began after the SIT sought Modi’s presence in response to an SC petition by Zakia Jafri, a riot victim and the widow of Congress leader Ehsan Jafri, accusing Modi and 61 others of being involved in riots and hatching a conspiracy to kill Muslims. Ehsan was among the 69 people killed by a riotous Hindu mob in the Gulberg Society case.
“For eight years, canards have been spread against me. But the truth cannot be suppressed.”
NARENDRA MODI, Gujarat Chief Minister
Significantly, in March 2003, the SC had stalled the trial of nine Gujarat riot cases, thanks to the relentless campaign by the human rights activists seeking justice for the Muslim victims. The riot victims said they won’t get justice as long as the Gujarat Government had a role in the police probe and the subsequent trial. The SIT is reinvestigating the cases under the virtual supervision of the apex court, with even the judges and public prosecutors being selected under the SC’s monitoring.
As the SIT goes about its task, more and more evidence is surfacing that the human rights lobby had, in many cases, spun macabre stories of rape and brutal killings by tutoring witnesses before the SC. In the process, it might have played a significant role in misleading the SC to suit its political objectives against Modi and his government.
Last week, one of the most horrible examples of cruelty resurfaced once again as the trial of the Naroda Patiya case, where 94 persons were killed, began in the SC-monitored special court in Ahmedabad. Soon after the riots, the human rights activists and the Muslim witnesses had alleged that a pregnant woman Kausarbanu’s womb was ripped open by rioters and the foetus was flung out at the point of a sword. The gruesome incident was seen as the worst-possible example of medieval vandalism in the modern age.
The wait for justice for Gujarat’s riot victims is still not over
Last week, eight years after the alleged incident, Dr J.S. Kanoria, who conducted the post-mortem on Kausarbanu’s body on March 2, 2002, denied that any such incident had ever happened. Instead, he told the court: “After the post-mortem, I found that her foetus was intact and that she had died of burns suffered during the riot.” Later Kanoria, 40, told INDIA TODAY, “I have told the court what I had already written in my post-mortem report eight years ago. The press should have checked the report before believing that her womb was ripped open. As far as I remember, I did her post-mortem at noon on March 2, 2002.”
A careful study of the three police complaints, claiming that Kausarbanu’s womb was ripped open by the rioters, shows several loopholes. While one complaint accuses Guddu Chara, one of the main accused in the Naroda Patiya case, of ripping open Kausarbanu’s womb, extracting her foetus and flinging it with a sword; another complaint accuses Babu Bajrangi, yet another accused in the case, of doing the act. A third complaint, on the other hand, does not name the accused but describes the alleged act.
Modi will also have reasons to smile at the affidavits filed by the Muslim witnesses in the SC in 2003 at the behest of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) and Teesta Setalvad on the basis of which the trial in nine cases were stalled for six long years. The most glaring hole is in the affidavit of Nanumiya Malek, a key witness in the Naroda Gam case. In his affidavit before the SC filed on November 15, 2003, Malek stated that a newly married woman called Madina, who lost four of her relatives, including her husband in the riots, had been raped by the rioters.
“Her (Kausarbanu) foetus was intact and she had died of burns suffered during the riot.”
Malek’s affidavit states: “I was witness to the crimes of murder and rape that took place on Madina and her family. I also saw seven people being burnt alive, including four orphans. I request the SC to keep the details of this rape victim confidential since she is alive and use it only for the purpose of trial and conviction of the rapists.” But on May 5, 2009, in his statement before the SIT, Malek said: “I had wrongly claimed that Madina had been raped. I made the charge because of Teesta Setalvad’s pressure. I kept on telling her not to include that charge in my affidavit, yet it was included.”
In her statement before the SIT on May 20, 2008, Madina, who has remarried now, said: “The charge made by Malek claiming that I was raped by a riotous mob is false. I wasn’t raped. When the riotous mob put my house on fire, I tried to run but was attacked by a rioter who injured me with a knife. Later I managed to merge in a Muslim crowd.”
There are six other affidavits filed by different Muslim witnesses on November 15, 2003, that wantonly allege rape in the Naroda Gam and Naroda Patiya riot cases without giving any details. Interestingly, all the affidavits have a uniform language: “Over 110 persons were not simply killed, but raped and mutilated as well, including young children. We urge the SC to stay the trials and transfer them to a neighbouring state and also order fresh investigation.” The affidavits state that they had been filed at the behest of Setalvad and in the presence of her co-activist Rais Khan.
“I had wrongly claimed that Madina was raped. I made the charge because of Teesta Setalvad’s pressure.”
If this wasn’t enough, other glaring attempts by human rights activists to tutor witnesses have come to the fore. For example, soon after the Gulberg massacre in which Ehsan Jafri was killed, nearly a dozen Muslim witnesses told the police that Jafri had fired in self-defence, killed a rioter and injured 14 others. They also said that this led the mob to resort to violence and attack Muslims in Gulberg with vengeance. But almost half of them who deposed before the special court have retracted from this statement.
The statement of Imtiaz Pathan in the Gulberg trial also raises eyebrows. He told the special court that before being killed, Jafri told him that Narendra Modi abused him (Jafri) on phone when he sought protection during a mob attack. Incidentally, there is no record available of Jafri having made any call to Modi. Pathan didn’t name Modi in the first police statement he made soon after the riots. Interestingly, he has also identified as many as 27 individual attackers from a mob of thousands of rioters.
When the SIT started taking statements of witnesses in the Gulberg Society case, around 20 witnesses came with typed statements. But the SIT objected to it, citing Section 161 of the CRPC, saying that the police must record the statement of a witness. So when the SIT forced the witnesses to give their statement during the interrogation, there was a vast difference between the ‘readymade typed’ statements and the oral evidence that the police had received earlier.
As a senior lawyer defending the accused puts it: “The witnesses under the influence of the human rights activists didn’t allow videotaping of their statements while they were being recorded. There is an obvious attempt on the part of activists to dictate not just the SIT, but also the courts.” Last week, INDIA TODAY quizzed Setalvad about the charge of tutoring the witnesses and creating false evidence before the courts in the 2002 Gujarat riot cases.
Her response: “I am under no obligation to respond to your questions.” The human rights activists’ band seems to believe that one side’s suffering is greater than the other’s.
Credibility Gap
In his petition before the SC, Nanumiya Malek, a key witness in the Naroda Gam case, says that a married woman called Madina had been raped by rioters. Now
Malek later told the SIT that Madina’s rape was an accusation put forth at the behest of Teesta Setalvad. Madina also denied the charge.
For the past eight years, human rights activists and Naroda Patiya victims have alleged that the rioters ripped open the womb of the pregnant Kausarbanu. Now
Dr J.S. Kanoria, who conducted a post-mortem on Kausarbanu’s body, says she died of burns during the riot and that her womb was intact.
While reinvestigating the Gulberg case, the SIT comes across nearly 20 witnesses who came with their readymade, typed statements to which the SIT objects. Now
The Muslim witnesses refuse to videotape their statements. The statements that are recorded by the SIT do not match the readymade statements.
Imtiaz Pathan, a key witness in the Gulberg case, tells the special court that Ehsan Jafri was abused by Modi when Jafri called the latter seeking his help during the riots. Now
The SIT has not been able to find any evidence or a record of Ehsan Jafri making a phone call to Narendra Modi.
In their 2003 SC petition, Muslim witnesses accused the rioters of raping women. As a result, the trials of nine major cases were stalled for over six years. Now
In their statements made before the SC-appointed SIT, the witnesses haven’t accused the rioters of raping women.

I am not a PM candidate – says Modi
In an exclusive interview with ParamNews.Com, Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi shares his view about current economic crisis and how to tackle against terrorism.

Q: What are your views on Global economic slowdown?

Narendra Modi:It is a financial tsunami which has originated in the US and Europe and has started impacting India also. Wherever there is inflation, the Centre blames international scenario but when it comes to economic slowdown, they try to outrun it by claiming that India is safe. The central Government needs to be proactive in handling the crisis. The industries, finance companies and insurance sector have been impacted due to the global economic turmoil. A vacuum has been created. Terrorist groups and drug mafias are waiting for this opportunity to enter into the Indian market to pump in their ‘dirty money’. If it’s so happens, they can gain command on the Indian economy

Q: What are your views on UPA Government underplaying current economic crisis?
Narendra Modi: “UPA Government has failed completely in handling economic crisis in the country. Issues of price rise, economic policies, corruptions and scams (satyam fraud), mismanagement of fund, and to tackle Bangladeshi infiltration. Congress had been surviving by creating problems in the country and insecurity and fear in people’s mind.” Congress has not only become weak and old but a burden for the people, I appeal to the voters “to reject the old party and choose BJP which can solve all their problems, including terrorism and unemployment.”An old Congress can not change the fate of the youth,” he said and pleaded for a young BJP government committed to peaceful and steady development of the country.

Congress in its manifesto before the last election had promised to provide 1.5 crore employment. But unfortunately, about 5 lakh people have lost their jobs recently due to faulty policies and mismanagement. While UPA had been crippled after several of its constituents quit the alliance, “people are virtually sitting in a sinking boat”.

Q: Where do you see Gujarat in five to ten years down the line?

Narendra Modi:Gujarat will be different from other states because our development focus is not Ahmedabad-centric. Ahmedabad is good for marketing Gujarat. It may get the right branding in the next couple of years. But we want uniform development of Gujarat. We want to make Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and other cities strong pillars on which Gujarat will stand. Plus, we are building new cities, like the financial city. Then there will be a nano-city exclusively for units researching or using nano-technology. We are planning a knowledge city, on the lines of Nalanda or Taxila, as an education hub. We are also planning a health city with modern medical infrastructure. We need to create satellite cities around major cities to speed up the expansion of the mother city. Another new concept I am working on presently is called ‘rurban’. It is a big village with a rural soul and an urban feel, having all the amenities that a city can strive for. But the soul would remain that of a village.

Q: How far is Terrorism seen as a threat in realizing the dream of Vibrant Gujarat?

Narendra Modi: Terrorism is not Gujarat’s problem alone. It is a problem for entire humanity. The need is for the right thinking world to isolate terrorism and unite to fight it. There should be a joint strategy to combat terror. In India, all governments, people, media and intelligentsia should come together. It’s like war. Nobody talks about intelligence failure in a war situation. There should be one voice against terror. We need zero tolerance on terror.

Q: Most of the people have started seeing you as the ideal prime minister of the future?

Narendra Modi: There are two ways to harm a person. One, you can give that person less work than what is he is capable of doing. Second, you can show him big dreams which he is not capable of achieving. You fire his ambition so that he ventures out and gets finished. In my past, many CMs were shown dreams of becoming PM. I pray to all my well wishers not to make me a sacrificial lamb. I am happy doing what I am doing.

NGOs, Teesta spiced up Gujarat riot incidents: SIT

NGOs, Teesta spiced up Gujarat riot incidents: SIT

14 Apr 2009, 0413 hrs IST, Dhananjay

Mahapatra, TNN

New Delhi: The Special Investigation Team responsibile for the arrests of those accused in Gujarat riots has severely censured NGOs and social activist Teesta Setalvad who campaigned for the riot victims.

In a significant development, the SIT led by former CBI director R K Raghavan told the Supreme Court on Monday that the celebrated rights activist cooked up macabre tales of wanton killings.

Many incidents of killings and violence were cooked up, false charges were levelled against then police chief P C Pandey and false witnesses were tutored to give evidence about imaginary incidents, the SIT said in a report submitted before a Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam.

* A pregnant Muslim woman Kausar Banu was gangraped by a mob, who then gouged out the foetus with sharp weapons

* Dumping of dead bodies into a well by rioteers at Naroda Patiya

* Police botching up investigation into the killing of British nationals, who were on a visit to Gujarat and unfortunately got caught in the riots

Rohtagi said: “On a reading of the report, it is clear that horrendous allegations made by the NGOs were false. Stereotyped affidavits were supplied by a social activist and the allegations made in them were found untrue.”

Obviously happy with the fresh findings of the SIT which was responsible for the recent arrests of former Gujarat minister Maya Kodanani and VHP leader Jaideep Patel, Rohtagi tried to spruce up the image of the Modi administration, which was castigated in the Best Bakery case by the apex court as “modern day Neros”. He was swiftly told by the Bench that but for the SIT, many more accused, who are freshly added, would not have been brought to book .

The Bench said there was no room for allegations and counter-allegations at this late stage. “In riot cases, the more the delay, there is likelihood of falsity creeping in. So, there should be a designated court to fast track the trials. Riot cases should be given priority because feelings run high having a cascading effect,” it said and asked for suggestions from the Gujarat government, Centre, NGOs and amicus curiae Harish Salve, who said the time had come for the apex court to lift the stay on trials into several post-Godhra riot cases.

While additional solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam agreed with the court that public prosecutors should be selected in consultation with Raghavan, counsel Indira Jaising said there should be a complete regime for protection of witnesses as the same government, which was accused of engineering the riots, was in power now.

Salve said that he would consult Raghavan and let the court know about a witness protection system for post-Godhra riot cases. The court asked the parties to submit their suggestions within a week.

Some Gujarat riot victims retract charges before SIT

Manas Dasgupta

“Earlier statements fabricated, recorded without our knowledge”

AHMEDABAD: In a queer turn, some of the victims of the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat have retracted their charges of rape and bribing of the police by the rioters before the Special Investigating Team (SIT).

As it approached the victims for recording their statements, as per the Supreme Court’s order for investigating some of the cases afresh, the team encountered the U-turn.

The SIT has appended the statements of at least six persons contradicting what they said in the charge sheet filed before the Ahmedabad Metropolitan Court in connection with the rioting at Naroda Gam in which it named 53 accused, including 29 fresh names, but had to drop the charge of rape in at least one case.

The victims told the SIT that the earlier statements filed in their names at various places, including as an affidavit in the Supreme Court, were “fabricated” and recorded without their knowledge. They agreed that they had signed the statements but claimed that the statements were in English and they had no idea of what these contained. “We were made to sign on the dotted lines and we did it,” some of them said.

A 25-year-old woman, in her statement before the SIT, denied that she was ever raped as was mentioned in her statement before the apex court filed in 2003. She said she was stabbed in the hand by some rioters and her family members were burnt alive. She said she had fled the scene of violence and had no idea if any other woman was raped by the mob.

The woman said her earlier statement was recorded in English by some voluntary organisations through counsel. She claimed that when she was told orally about what had been written, there was no mention of rape. “I was made to sign the paper and I did it without knowing the contents written in English,” she said.

Maqsood Pathan denied his earlier statement that he saw some senior BJP leaders handing over a black suitcase to the then local inspector after which the police left the scene leaving the field open for the rioters to make mayhem. In his earlier statements, Pathan named two former BJP members of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation as having offered the bribe to the police to get the field cleared for the attack on the minorities.

Rafiq Sheikh, Mohammad Malik, Rafique Malik and Rahim Malik also retracted their statements giving vivid descriptions of the mob attacks and naming some Hindu leaders in the vicinity among the rioters.

Among those earlier named by some victims as having instigated the rioters were the then BJP member of the Assembly, Maya Kodnani, now Minister of State in the Narendra Modi Cabinet, and VHP State general secretary Jaideep Patel.

Narendra Modi’s interview by Indian Express

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is considered one of the most able administrators in the country. But after the 2002 riots, he is also among the most controversial political leaders. In this Idea Exchange moderated by Shishir Gupta, Editor, Express News Service, Modi answers questions on his role in the Gujarat riots and reveals the blueprint of his good governance I wanted Nano to roll out of West Bengal. But when Ratan Tata announced his decision to leave Singur, I sent him a text message saying ‘swagatam’. He came because of our track record. The decision on Nano was taken in 45 minutes, the land was handed over in 24 hours, and in 36 hours my team had started work on the factory I have said this repeatedly: if I have done something wrong, punish me. I seek punishment, not forgiveness… Secularism in India was not invented by the Constitution. It’s our age-old tradition. I don’t see people as Hindu or Muslim as you do. The Sachar Committee report says that Muslims in Gujarat are better educated than Hindus-

SUMAN K. JHA: How did you go from being an RSS leader to becoming the Chief Minister of Gujarat?

I was an RSS leader in Gujarat and in those days, there was a Jan Sangh leader called Natha Jhagda. He insisted that young people should join the party. So I joined the BJP in 1989-90. When the Ayodhya-Somnath rath yatra started, I helped organise it. That marked the beginning of my political career. In 1995, I became a BJP General Secretary. That’s when I closely observed how governments function. In 2001, I suddenly received a call from Atalji who told me to return to Gujarat.

MANEESH CHHIBBER: We’ve been told that the Gujarat anti-terror law, which is stuck with the Home Ministry, may be referred back to the state. Your reaction?

The GCOC (Gujarat Control of Organised Crime) Bill is based on a draft that was circulated by the Government of India to the entire nation when POTA was in existence. So it’s not as though this law came in place of POTA. The draft law was passed by the Gujarat Assembly. A similar law existed in Maharashtra, but it was challenged in court. The Maharashtra High Court’s judgement amended two sections of the law. In 2004, the Government of India asked for these changes to be made in our proposed law. We made the changes, passed it in the Assembly and sent it back to the Centre. By then there was a new Government at the Centre, which had a very different agenda.

In the last three years, whenever I have met the Prime Minister and asked him about the Bill, he asked, “Oh, is it still pending?” So we don’t know if the PM is aware of why the bill is still stuck. But if the law already exists in Maharashtra, why delay it in Gujarat? I have told the government that they should write to us on whatever they think about this law so we can decide what needs to be done. They are not doing even that.

DHEERAJ NAYYAR: You are one of those rare politicians who has put economic development on the campaign agenda. Why don’t other leaders do the same?

When I went to Gujarat in 2001, people told me, “Modiji, please ensure there is electricity in our homes when we sit down for our evening meal.” I know what it is to be without electricity. So I conceived a brilliant idea—Jyoti Gram Yojna. We installed 18 lakh new poles, 20,000 new transformers and some 78,000 km of new cables. It cost me Rs 1,600 crore but now Gujarat has uninterrupted power supply.

SUDHAKAR JAGDISH: What did you tell Ratan Tata that he decided to take the Nano factory to Gujarat?

I didn’t say a word. When controversies were on in Singur, mine was the only state that did not interfere, unlike other CMs who were writing letters inviting Tata to their states. When Tata’s top people met me, I told them that the whole world is saying the 21st century belongs to Asia. I told Tata that Nano should roll out of West Bengal. But when Ratan Tata announced his decision to leave Singur, I sent him a text message saying, ‘Swagatam (welcome)’. They have come to Gujarat because of our track record.

AMBREEN KHAN: How far do you hold yourself responsible for killing the spirit of secularism in the country after the 2002 riots?

This is not a question but an accusation. And the accusation is absolutely baseless. We have a vibrant media, an active judiciary and global human rights groups working in the country. If there was even the slightest evidence that I had committed a crime, I would have been hanged long since. The government in Delhi is such that it will prevent me from returning to Ahmedabad, right now, if it finds a pretext. So if you have any evidence that Modi has done something wrong, please bring it forward. Secularism in India was not invented by the Constitution. It’s our age-old tradition.

AMBREEN KHAN: Why should a Muslim vote for you?

It is this country’s curse that everything is weighed in votes. The only yardstick should be the welfare of the poor. I’ll give you the example: I have been successful in ensuring 100 per cent enrollment in schools—of both girls and boys. And when I say 100 per cent, I mean 100 per cent; I don’t see people as Hindu or Muslim as you do.

SOMA DAS: Is Narendra Modi a disciplined democrat or a lenient dictator?

The fact that you are able to ask me this question and that I am answering it in your office should be proof enough of my being a democrat.

SOMA DAS: If you had to vote for one of the current UPA chief ministers, who would you choose?

The system of voting in this country is through secret ballot, and I’m committed to upholding the spirit of the Constitution. On a more serious note, however, there are issues every party should consider. First, why not make voting compulsory? Second, every government should be mandated to complete the full five-year term in office—that’s what people have elected it for. Third, there should be the option for a ‘No vote’—a vote of rejection—and if a candidate gets less than a minimum percentage of votes, elections should be held again with new candidates.

PRANAB DHAL SAMANTA: Does it distress you that the US still hasn’t granted you a visa?

I’m deeply grateful to the US for denying me a visa. I used to go to the US a lot earlier, and there were so many Gujarati friends there that I spent eight hours a day just travelling from one place to another. Now, through video-conferencing, I address the biggest NRI conventions in the US.

PRANAB DHAL SAMANTA: The BJP has opposed the Indo-US nuclear deal. But how soon do you want to get nuclear energy to your state?

Nuclear power was being used in my state even when there was no deal and plans for nuclear expansion had been approved long ago. But nuclear energy will make up only six per cent of the country’s energy by 2040. If we were to upgrade the existing electricity plants, we can generate up to 15 per cent more power now.

SUMAN K. JHA: Ashis Nandy had charged the Gujarat government with harassment over an article he wrote.

One citizen filed a writ against Nandy for insulting the Gujarati people. How does my government pre vent a citizen from filing a writ in court? If my police had gone after Nandy, you could blame me. Nandy went to the media and claimed that the Gujarat government was hounding him. I remained silent because it’s not in my nature to get into such quarrels.

D.K. SINGH: Sonia Gandhi has apologised to the Sikh community for the 1984 riots. Have you ever considered apologising to the Muslim community for your failure as chief minister during the 2002 riots?

I have said this repeatedly: I seek punishment, not forgiveness. If I have done something wrong, punish me.

D.K. SINGH: The NHRC has indicted your government for the 2002 violence. What is your opinion of the NHRC as an institution?

Institutions need to be honoured and strengthened, and clashes between them and the government should be prevented. But there’s been no adverse remark against me so far. All the NHRC’s directives have been complied with. This is just political sloganeering. I have always said, let the inquiry commission come out with its report and let the Supreme Court decide.

UNNI RAJEN SHANKER: After the 2002 riots, there has been considerable insecurity among Muslims in Gujarat. How will you allay this sense of insecurity?

I’m sending every child to school, I’m providing healthcare to every citizen, I’m giving everyone a share of the fruits of development. The Sachar Committee report, you’ll be surprised to learn, says that Muslims in Gujarat are better educated than Hindus. I always address my people as my five-and-a-half crore Gujarati brothers—the entire population of the state.

IRENA AKBAR: Your government is known for its efficiency. Why is the same efficiency not in evidence when it comes to securing justice for the riot victims?

The judicial system is responsible for securing justice. And it is doing its job, the government cannot do anything about it. The Supreme Court is involved, the High Court is involved. As for the compensation package, the government has announced one and implemented it.

ASHOK KUMAR: Do you think it’s possible to have casteless politics in India?

I’m a living example of casteless politics. I am an OBC and I come from a most backward caste. If I can be successful, so can others. The fact that I have no caste base helps me because no one says I take decisions based on caste.

RUCHIKA TALWAR: Is it difficult dealing with so much criticism?

I welcome criticism, but charges made without substantiation are injurious to democracy. Whatever I’ve said here must be investigated and even if one per cent is found to be untrue, it should be publicised.

SHAILAJA BAJPAI: What is the reason behind increasing home-grown terrorism?

Be it Naxalism, Maoism or this latest home-grown terrorism, everything has international links. The harm to the nation occurs when a law is accused of being against a specific community. There are Hindus in Naxalism and POTA was meant for Naxal terrorists too.

SHEKHAR GUPTA: VHP’s Praveen Togadia was once a political ally. Then you distanced yourself from him. Some of his followers have been jailed in Gujarat. Is he your adversary now?

He is one of the five-and-a-half crore Gujaratis that I want to take along with me. If some of his followers are in jail, they must have done something to get such a punishment. If a relative of mine commits a crime he should be put in jail.

SEEMA CHISHTI: Do you admit that your government failed to contain the situation in 2002?

A commission is looking into the charges of who failed and on which fronts. The media trial is over, the sloganeering is over. I always said that the commission of inquiry will bring out the truth.

SEEMA CHISHTI: The NHRC’s indictment, the Supreme Court’s censure, these mean nothing?

There’s nothing in writing to substantiate what you are saying.

IRENA AKBAR: Many people have questioned the Nanavati Commission’s report because it was set up by the Gujarat government, which is itself accused of wrongdoing in 2002.

The Constitution gives every state government the right to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry and to decide who’ll head that commission. My government did not appoint the members of the commission. I wrote to the Supreme Court and the High Court asking for a sitting judge to head a commission of inquiry into the 2002 riots. My request was turned down citing the workload of sitting judges. I then wrote asking for a retired judge to head the commission. I have the letter from the Chief Justice of India suggesting Nanavati’s name—the same Nanavati whose report on the anti-Sikh violence in 1984 has been applauded by the Congress.

D.K. SINGH: Did Sonia Gandhi’s description of you as ‘a merchant-ofdeath’ have an impact on the Gujarat elections?

I don’t think there’s a leader of such stature in the country whose one statement can alter an election’s fortunes.

AMBREEN KHAN: Five years ago, you wouldn’t speak to the media. Now you interact with the media. Is this part of an image makeover?

Why didn’t I court the media? That’s because I’m focused exclusively on the development of my state. I’m speaking to the media more often these days to generate awareness about the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investment Summit coming up in January 2009. It has nothing to do with an image makeover.

SUMAN K. JHA: Like Mayawati, you are building a core base and then expanding it. L.K. Advani said that you are his likeliest successor. Please comment.

There’s only one party in India that has the system of a successor. The BJP is a democratic party and there’s no question of a successor in the party.