Author: Siddharth Varadarajan
Editor: Siddharth Vardarajan
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143029010
This book is intended to be a permanent public archive of the tragedy that is Gujarat. Drawing upon eyewitness reports from the English, Hindi and regional media, citizens’ and official fact-finding commissions- and articles by leading public figures and intellectuals – it provides a chilling account of how and why the state was allowed to burn.
The events at Godhra and the ensuing communal carnage in Gujarat, like the Babri Masjid demolition and the 1984 massacres, constitute an ugly chapter of our contemporary history. For the sheer brutality, persistence and widespread nature of the violence, especially against women and children, the complicity of the State, the ghettoization of communities, and the indifference of civil society, Gujarat has surpassed anything we have experienced in recent times. That this happened in one of India’s most well off and progressive states, the home of the Mahatma, is all the more alarming.
With an overview by the editor, the Reader covers the circumstances leading up to Godhra and the violence in Ahmedabad, Baroda and rural Gujarat. Separate sections deal with the role of the police, bureaucracy, Sangh Parivar, media and the tribals, the economic and international implications of the violence, the problems of relief and rehabilitation of the victims, and above all, their quest for justice.
The picture that emerges is deeply disturbing, for Gujarat has exposed the ease with which the rights of citizens, and especially minorities, can be violated with official sanction. The lesions of the violence ought to be heeded, and acted upon by the public. For, in the absence of this, can another Gujarat be prevented from happening elsewhere?
Notes on Contributors
Chronicle of a Tragedy Foretold
The Carnage at Godhra
A License to Kill: Patterns of Violence in Gujarat
Narratives from the Killing Fields
When Guardians Betray: The Role of the Police
An Open Letter to My Fellow Police Officers
Nothing New? : Women as Victims
Adivasis and Dalits
Tribal Voice and Violence
The Violence in Gujarat and the Dalits
The Truth Hurts: Gujarat and the Role of the Media
Little Relief, No Rehabilitation
Apart, Yet a Part: Ghettoization, Trauma and Some Rays of Hope
The Elusive Quest for Justice: Delhi 1984 to Gujarat 2002
India’s Reaction to International Concern
ESSAYS AND ANALYSES
The Dialogues of Vali Gujarati and Hanumanji
Genocide of the Idea of Gujarat
The Pathology of Gujarat
Caste, Hindutva and the Making of Mob Culture
The VHP Needs to hear the Condemnation of the Hindu Middle Ground
Where Will it End?
NM and Kalinga? Thrice Impossible, Brother Gill
Just Another Day in Ahmedabad
I Salute You Geetaben
Appendix 1 Prime Minister Vajpayee’s speech at Goa
Appendix 2 Chronology of Events
Postscript: Terrorist Attack on the Swaminarayan Temple