Sanjiv Rajendra Bhatt, Indian Police Service
Dear Shri Modi,
I am glad you chose to write an open letter to the ‘Six crore Gujaratis’. This has not only afforded me a window to your mind but has also given me an opportunity to write to you through the same medium.
My dear brother, it seems you have completely misconstrued the judgment and order passed by the Honourable Supreme Court of India in Criminal Appeal No. 1765 of 2011 arising out of S.L.P. (CRL.) No. 1088 of 2008 viz. Jakia Nasim Ahesan & Anr. Versus State of Gujarat & Ors. It is very likely that your chosen advisors have once again misled you and have in turn, made you mislead the ‘Six crore Gujaratis’ who look up to you as their elected leader.
Let me as a younger brother-Gujarati, help you decipher the Judgment and Order that has led to unequivocal gloating and jubilatory celebrations among some sections of the political spectrum. It has been stated in your letter that “One thing is apparent from the Supreme Court’s judgment. The unhealthy environment created by the unfounded and false allegations made against me and Government of Gujarat, after 2002 riots, has come to an end”. Let me clarify that even by a long shot, the order of the Honourable Supreme Court has nowhere, even remotely, suggested that the allegations contained in the complaint filed by Mrs. Jakia Jafri were unfounded or false. The truth is that the order of the Honourable Supreme Court is in fact, a very major leap in the direction of delivering justice to the hapless victims of theGujarat pogrom. As you are well aware, Mrs. Jafri had approached the Honorable Gujarat High Court with a prayer for registering her complaint as an FIR. The said petition was disallowed by the Honourable High Court of Gujarat. Mrs. Jafri, therefore, approached the Honourable Supreme Court of India by way of a Special Leave Petition against the order of the High Court. The Honourable Supreme Court directed the SIT to look into her complaint and subsequently also directed the learned Amicus to examine the evidence collected by the SIT. At the end of this long and arduous exercise the Honourable Supreme Court has not only allowed the Appeal of Mrs. Jafri and directed the SIT to virtually treat the complaint of Mrs. Jafrri as an FIR, but has also directed the SIT to file a report under section 173(2) of the Cr.P.C. Let me clarify for your benefit and for the benefit of your Six crore brothers and sisters ofGujarat, that this report under section 173(2) of the Cr.P.C. is colloquially known as Charge-Sheet or Final Report. The honourable Supreme Court of India has also directed the SIT to place all the evidence collected by it, including the reports of the learned Amicus before the magistrate empowered to take cognizance. I am sure you will appreciate that in order to let the law of the land take its due course, this was the best option available to the Honourable Supreme Court as per the scheme of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
What the Honourable Supreme Court of India has given to Mrs. Jafri is much more than what she had originally prayed for. The order over which some of us are gloating in feigned glee, is in fact, a very cleverly worded order that takes the perpetrators and facilitators of the 2002 carnage a few leaps closer to their day of reckoning. The false bravado comes across as a very smart attempt to mislead the gullible people ofGujarat and instil a false sense of confidence in the political rank and file. Please be assured that we will see a very different picture as the actual import of the order starts settling in and takes judicial effect.
As one of the ‘Six Crore Gujaratis’, I feel deeply pained and cheated when the likes of you, consciously or inadvertently, mislead the people ofGujarat for ulterior motives. The theory propounded and practised to perfection by Paul Joseph Goebbels, one of Adolf Hitler’s closest associate and Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany, can definitely work with the majority of the populace for some time. But all of us know from historical experience that Goebbelsian Propaganda cannot fool all the people for all the time.
I fully endorse your realization that “Hate is never conquered by hate.” Who would know this better than you, who has served this State for the last one decade; and I, who has served in the Indian Police Service for the last 23 years. I had the misfortune of serving with you during those days of 2002 when the dance of hatred was choreographed and perpetrated at different venues inGujarat. Albeit this is not the appropriate forum for me to discuss and reveal the details of our respective roles, I am sure that both of us will be getting ample opportunities before appropriately empowered fora to disclose our knowledge about the dynamics of hatred in the realpolitik of Gujarat. I hope you and your cronies, within and without the Government, will not hate me more for this.
I cannot agree more with you when you say that “the credibility of those who have been spreading lies and defamingGujarat has come to its lowest ebb. The people of this country will not trust such elements anymore”. But my dear brother, you seem to have got it entirely wrong as to who are the ones spreading lies and defamingGujarat. To my mind,Gujarat has gained infamy not because of the hapless victims who have tirelessly crusading for the cause of justice and truth, but because of the despicable actions of the people who sowed and cultivated hatred to reap political and electoral benefits. Please give it a thought. Introspection can prove to be very revealing at times.
I am deeply touched by your concern and efforts to “further strengthen Gujarat’s environment of peace, unity and harmony.” Thanks to you and your kinsmen, Gujarat has been free from any large scale eruption of communal violence since 2002. The reasons for this may not be very obvious to our fellow ‘Six Crore Gujaratis”. This is my 24th year in the IPS. I was allotted to the Gujarat cadre during a time when the State was passing through the throes of widespread and sporadic communal violence. Having been baptised by fire, I have been since trying to understand and deal with the likes of you, who deal in the divisive politics of hatred. It is my well founded observation that the polity of Gujarat has now crossed the stage where communal violence can accrue electoral benefits to any political party, as the process of communal polarisation is very nearly complete in Gujarat. The experiments in the divisive politics of hatred have been very successful in the Gujarat Laboratory. You and your likes, in the political arena, have been largely successful in creating divides in the hearts and minds of the “Six Crore Gujaratis”. The need to resort to any further communal violence in Gujarat is already passe.
In a constitutional democracy like ours, it is incumbent upon the State to act in Good faith at all times and under all circumstances. Over the last nine and a half years many friends have fallen prey to the misleading campaign that the Gujarat Carnage of 2002 was a spontaneous reaction to the condemnable action at Godhra on the fateful morning of 27 February 2002. The Newtonian Law was never abused more. You had resorted to your knowledge and understanding of Newtonian physics in March 2002 and had sought to apply it to polity and governance at the peak of the Gujarat Carnage of 2002. But what you might have deliberately missed then, and what many of us seem to be inadvertently missing now; is the universally accepted principle of governance which mandates that in a constitutional democracy, an avowedly secular State cannot be allowed to be partisan. It was the bounden duty of the State to have anticipated and controlled the possible Newtonian reaction, if any; not orchestrate and facilitate systematic targeting of innocent individuals! Be that as it may, as an expression of solidarity with your stated objective of spreading Sadbhavana in the land of the Mahatma, I resolve to join you in your Sadbhavana Mission. What better way to do this than helping the truth to come out and let the spirit of justice and goodwill prevail. As all of us understand, there can be no Sadbhavna or Goodwill without truth and justice. I hereby reaffirm my resolve to contribute my might towards the restoration of Sadbhavana in the administration and polity ofGujarat.
But let me warn you that genuine heartfelt goodwill is something we cannot demand, buy or extort…we can only strive to deserve it. And it is not going to be an easy task. The land of the Mahatma is slowly but surely coming out of its hypnotic state.
As the most powerful person in Gujarat you may think that you do not need to feel accountable to the perceptions of all sections of the community. But believe me, history has proved time and again, that power without genuine goodwill is a path fraught with dangers…it is also a path of no return.
Samabhava is a condition precedent for Sadbhava. Governance by equity and goodwill should not only be the first article of your faith but should also be the last article of your creed.
The truth is more frequently than not, a little bitter and not very easy to swallow. I hope that you will take this letter in the true spirit in which it is written and you or your agents will not indulge in direct or indirect acts of retribution as is your wont.
[Martin Luther King Jr quote and poem by Bhuchung Sonam omitted being lengthy.]
May the kind God give you the requisite strength to be equitable and benevolent towards one and all!
With best wishes.