To Ishrat Jehan, On the 10thanniversary of the Gujarat Genocide
With Reference to Ehsaan Jaafri
Dear Departed Soul,
On 15th June, 2004, youwere gunned down brutally in an incident which the Special Investigation Team(STI) constituted by the Supreme Courtin 2011, called a fake encounter. Officially, for 7 years, you were a dreaded terrorist: you left your cosy Thane home on 12thJune 2004 along with Ghulam Sheikh alias Pranesh Pillai, a Malayali convert to Islam, and two Pakistani nationals, to kill Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Now, oddly enough, officially, as per Supreme Court guidelines, you had no intention of killing Modi. Like Sajid and Atif in the Batala House encounter, you were avictim of an extra-judicial killing. You were a target of state terrorism. Thus you are now a symbol of brutal Muslim persecution afoot in such diverse centres as Hyderabad, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
It is not fashionableto recount your story on the 10th anniversary of the Gujarat
genocide. But I think you—and several individuals like Sohrabuddin—represent
the collateral damage ofthe event that changed India. You refract and therefore
present things unseen in other deplorable stories like Naroda Patiya and Best
Bakery. You are more intune with the way 100,000 thousand residents of Gujarat saw their women being raped again and again and
children killed—and still remain ostracized by Narendra Modi’s illegal,
illegitimate and bastard regime.
Ishrat, you were killed not once but twice—first, of course
by bullets emerging from the unholy guns of the Gujarat
encounter specialists. Then by barbs of right wing bloggers, commentators and senior
ex-government functionaries who raised doubts about your character.
A retired government officer pointed to the fact that you
had checked in hotels withdifferent men. This made your behaviour
suspicious—and liable for death? Did Iget it right Mr. Retired Government
Ishrat, you were killed first as a `terrorist’; and then as
a woman. You see you had two very `negative’ connotations—you were a Muslim and
a woman who had chosen tolive life on her own terms. Right wing bloggers—many
of them sadists and perverted modernists—people who support the BJP and
watching date rape and pornography inside a state assembly precinct—do not like
Muslims; they hate more, Independent Muslim women. These fascist elements accuse and abuse me
whenever I try to write on secular issues. They are not ready torecognize
anything said or written against Narendra Modi or his fascist Police State. God
knows who made them Hindus—they are all anti-Sanatan Dharma figures, scum of
the earth, fit to be smashed into the ground like worms.
I am a real Hindu—and I weep for you. I wear the sacred thread. Yet my Brahmin code of honour and fair play forces me to acknowledge that most bloggers and human fleas scourging the net are doing a disservice to India, its constitution and the Hindu-Sanatan Dharma religion.
These scum of the earth celebrated when your name was
`leaked’ by none other David Coleman Headley, the notorious26/11 mastermind, as
being part of Lashkar-e-Toiba. The fact remains that the National Investigation
Agency (NIA), which went to the US
to interrogate Headley, made no such revelation. Headley never took your name
even once duringthe interrogation. Yet the Indian English medium press carried
the news-story with aplomb. Later, the retraction by NIA appeared as a small
Only the NIA had access to Headley.If the NIA did not hear
your name from Headley’s lips, then who did? Why was the false story about you
having Lashkar links splashed all over the media?
This is how we treat dead persons inIndia—by maligning and
besmirching their name. Today I am ashamed to belong tothis rotten anti-Muslim
society—each and every inch of the Hindu in me finds everything anti-Muslim
around, stinking badly, and contrary, to the fair name of India.
By not defending you all Indian intellectuals have failed
the test of secularism. By not blackening the face ofthe bureaucrat—who
publicly attacked your morals—and parading him through the streets of Delhi—they are guilty of
a major crime against humanity.
On the 10th
anniversary of Gujarat riots I am filled with
dread and sadness. How does it feel to be a Muslim in India? This
question is spiritual and existential—and I doubt if Swami Vivekanand or Jean
Paul Sartre would have had an answer.
How does it feel to know and live day by day with the
knowledge that Ehsan Jaafri, a secular intellectual, a poet, a man who had gone
beyond identity politics, whose fair name was identified more by his calling in
life than religion, was killed in the most despicable, medieval and barbaric
manner during the Gulbarga Society riots? His RSS-VHP-communal murderers
clasped a sansda (a collar used to clutch a dog’s neck) around his neck; he was
paraded around in this condition; he was dragged mercilessly; first his hands
were chopped off; then legs; he was cut into pieces—imagine something that horrible
happening to someone’s father or mother or anyone. We must thank the wife and
children ofEhsan Jaafri for not demanding the public execution of Narendra
Modi, who personally supervised what happened to Ehsan Jaafri.
On 8th March, 2002,RSS-VHP goondas levelled the grave ofWali
Gujarati—a Sufi, and, considered by many, as the father of Urdu—to the ground—in
the heart of Ahmedabad city. Till date, the grave has not been restored.
Hundreds of architectural buildings were razed to the ground. Were all these
Muslim buildings? Is Urdu a Muslim language?
The scum of the earth, pro-RSS bloggers need to be given a
public flogging. What do they have to say about the murder of Ehsan Jaafri? I
have several friends in Bollywood. Not one of them—even enlightened precursors
of the Indian Indie cinema—ever stated the irintent of making a film on Ehsan
In this fascist game, rich and dalaal Muslims are as guilty SanghiHindus. No one is willing to avenge the death of Ehsan Jaafri. No one iswilling to speak up for you.
Right now, we, the forces of progress and development, are
involved in a life or death struggle in Uttar Pradesh. Fortwenty years,
regional parties like the SP and BSP—along with a fascist partylike the
BJP—bled India’s most populous state dry to the point where the daily life of
its citizens became a nightmare. Then Rahul Gandhi and Digvijaya Singh arrived
on the scene. Overnight, people of UP saw a new hope—a leadership angryat their
plight, incensed at their helplessness, with a vision to instil newhope in
bleak surroundings. I am part of the Congress campaign, which began deepin some
of the most backward regions of East UP. These were areas from wherethe
Congress had drawn a blank consistently over the years. But there was
majorscope for work—benefits of central schemes like MNREGA, Indira Awaas
Yojana,Rajiv Gandhi Vidyutikaran Yojana were not reaching the poor. People had
jobcards but no work. Electricity poles could be seen but there was
noelectricity. Major irrigation projects inaugurated and run by pre-1989
Congress governments were in disuse.
What began as a mass movement toawaken the people of Uttar
Pradesh turned into a tide by the closing months of2011 when Rahul Gandhi hit
the streets to invoke the poor—now, after 5 phasesof polling, and two more to
go, it is clear that the people of Uttar Pradeshwant a change.
For Rahul Gandhi and Digvijaya Singh,and members of their
team, change means turning Uttar Pradesh into a secular,plural, inclusive,
pro-poor developmental model in stark contrast to theRSS-Narendra Modi-BJP
model of communal fascist state, pro-rich development, aspracticed in Gujarat.
Ishrat, officers of Gujarat Policekilled you; we want to
save thousands like you from meeting the same fate. Wewant India and the world
to know the truth about `vibrant’ Gujarat—how in aprovince of the world’s most
populous democracy, Muslims have been turned intosecond class citizens; if you
are a Muslim you cannot buy a house in Ahmedabad,no matter how much money you
We want to show India
and the worldthat an alternative to Gujarat is
possible. That we can win and govern a state byensuring free and equal
participation of minorities, by celebrating, notsuppressing our diversity, by
creating an atmosphere of joy, harmony andbelonging, not fear, discord and
terror, amongst the people.
In this venture the last twophases—on 28th February and 3rd March—are crucial. About128 seats are going to the polls. Quite a few of them have over 25% Muslimvoters. The worrying thing is thatleaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati prefer the BJP over Congress.TheBJP is hand in glove both with BSP and SP. Why else would Varun Gandhi raisethe spectre of SP getting the maximum seats in UP? Since when a pseudo-electionanalyst—actually a communal, anti-Muslim politician—like Varun Gandhi—startedcaring for SP? Obviously Varun Gandhi, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadavhave a secret understanding. The game here seems to be to raise the bar of SP—whichis not in contest in several Muslim dominated seats in the Ruhelkhand region—sothat Muslim votes going to Congress get diverted. If Muslims are seen asleaving a secular party like Congress and drifting towards the SP, Hindu voteswill get consolidated behind the BJP!
So Mulayam Singh, who calls himselfsecular, is playing a
dirty communal game that benefits both the BJP and the SPat the cost of
In UP, only the Congress can stem therising tide of the BJP.
Mulayam and Mayawati are totally worthless. The onlyfitting tribute to
thousands of innocent people who were killed in variousmassacres of Gujarat can be a resounding defeat for the BJP in UP. The
onlyhomage to you would be secular Hindus and Muslims voting en masse for
theCongress in order to stop the BJP.
May you rest in peace...