The world admires Amitabh Bachchan for many a things apart from his movies; the blend of his diplomacy being one among that virtuous list. He has had a sizable fan-following despite his fallen off box-office value post 1990, and they belong to all faiths, classes, languages, political idioms and nationalities. And while keeping this diverse fan-following content with his diplomatic grandeur, he has also had many face offs with the media about his public conduct. Much has been reported about his thriving relationships with as contrasting public figures as Amar Singh and Mulayam Singh on one hand, and Bal Thackeray on the other.
The pseudo-secularist focus of targeting anyone that may be trying to approve Modi’s governance has started to shift towards Bachchan as well now, after the latter’s open endorsement of his administrative caliber. Some of his own fans have been hurt badly due to his alliance with Modi. Bachchan has taken the usual diplomatic route to counter this situation. But, it gives enough scope for both the anti and pro-Modi posters to start shooting off their mouths and keep his blog moderators overtly busy. I couldn’t stop myself either from posting the following comment, which I shall share with my fellow Modi supporters now.
Haven’t been to your blog for a while, but I knew the Modi affair would not allow you settle down in the near future. And the reasons of it are amply clear. Modi evokes two contrasting emotions in India. Those who wish to see India as a strong and blooming country, to get rid of its “ifs and buts”, to get rid of its inefficiencies, strongly support Modi. While those willing to milk India’s corrupt and sluggish nature and wish the status quo being maintained, would always strongly oppose Modi. Because “Modi means the right change in the right direction” in a simple sentence.
How ironic, that those unwilling to debate communalism in its entirety accuse Modi of the same crime they have committed for generations now! They start debating the 2002 events from Feb 28, the day riots broke out and not from Feb 27, because if started a day earlier, they may have to explain the dynamics of the Muslim communalism that was the cause behind the Godhra train carnage and its political patronage from the so-called mainstream secular outfits.
In my teenage-hood days in the 80s, when the BJP in Ahmedabad used to be confined to a two square kilometer area only, and the Congress used to call shots allover Gujarat, Hindus had no peace in those days either. There was a family of seven Hindus burnt alive in a Muslim strong hold. Agitated Hindus responded by torching up six Muslims in yet another area. Mumbai’s top cop Julio Ribeiro had to be called in, but he couldn’t control the repeated stabbings by Muslim goons for weeks on. He then threatened to bring in tanks if the violence did not subside quickly.
The ruling Congress was known to support the city’s Muslim mafia in those days, who were additionally, part of Dawood’s extended network. A goon named Alamzeb was known to pay 20K rupees to any Muslim stabbing and killing any Hindu. Somebody killed their fellow Muslim and the money had to be paid to the victim’s family, Muslims used to openly brag of such flawed heroics in those days.
On his own part, P Chidambaram, who was part of Rajiv Gandhi’s ministry and once happened to visit Ahmedabad with Gandhi during another similar strife, had openly accused the Muslims of having supported the Muslim underworld and harmed the city’s peace in that course. A bootlegger called Abdul Latif had been elected from five Muslim dominated AMC wards in those days, while carrying out his jail term. He was latter photographed shooting dead a PSI during another riot, but always evaded arrest due to his “secular” contacts in Gujarat Congress. He was finally gunned down by Shankar Sinh Vaghela’s cops in the 90s in yet another fake encounter, but nobody, not even the media questioned it with the Congress being Vaghela’s alliance partner.
Those residing in Gujarat have known why things finally boiled up after the brazen carnage in Godhra. Both the sides were blood-thirsty demons that targeted only innocents, but they both were and not just the post-Godhra rioters. Let there be no doubt, that the things would not have been any different without Modi. The Gujarat electorate understands this simple truth without any tinge of doubt and hence has voted back Modi as their CM twice. He is widely known to be an incorruptible, workaholic and impartial administrator throughout Gujarat. Those trying to pick up only the negative half of the 2002 story are finally getting exposed with more and more people acknowledging Modi’s true caliber outside Gujarat.
(The author, a North Indian and who as a first time voter had voted for Rajiv Gandhi in the late 80s, was brought up in Ahmedabad since 1972 and knows a great deal of Gujarat’s transformation from a Congress stronghold in the 1980s to a BJP bastion in the new millennium.)