On September 8th, Metropolitan Magistrate Tamang’s report is made public. His findings about the encounter which killed Irshat and her friends are that it was a fake encounter. They were shot at short range and then the bodies left on the public road for all to see how Gujarat deals with terrorists (read Muslims?). The action of the police is suspected to be entrenched in a deep desire to please the BJP strongman Narendra Modi, and to boost his image as the defender and protector of the Hindu community.
On September 10th, Gujarat goes to polls and Narendra Modi registers a better show than the Congress.
Now what are we to make out from this? This has happend several times. The worse his record on human rights violations gets, the better Modi's chance of victory at the polls. The only interpretation for this fact is, Modi's brutal acts have the support of the majority of the people of Gujarat
Gujarat is a divided state. The people of Gujarat have lost faith in the concept of secularism as defined in the Constitution of India, which the BJP ridicules as ‘Pseudo secularism”. For the people of Gujarat, secularism as the average Indian understands it is a pseudo notion. The minorities have rights if the majority is generous enough to grant them those rights. The minority communities have right to existence only if the majority community so wills it.
The state of Gujarat is a scale model of what India would become if the BJP with its control strings in the hands of RSS gets a majority at the Centre, and rules India unhindered by coalition partners.
In the responses to my last post (on Rahul Gandhi), there were some views on choosing between fundamental rights and bread for all. Gujarat results makes me think that even a discussion on these lines is dangerous. If we are willing to give up any one of the fundamental rights, why not another at another point in time? And another and another?
In a democratic Nation-State, Fascism can be ‘encountered’ only by a tenacious faith in fundamental rights exercised through the ballot.