Thursday, October 05, 2006

Damn Lies, Statistics and Arundhati Roy

Demand to commute Afzal's sentence

"Prominent political leaders, social activists, writers and academicians" are all fighting for the rights of a criminal; the reasons: he is a muslim. CBCNN, on its behalf, is giving prominent coverage to these jholawallas and rent-an-ngo businessmen.

Arundhati Roy says, "The Parliament attack case is full of fabricated stories and evidence...". We must all believe her because she knows fiction best. She was even given a Booker prize for her fictional work. It is rather unfortunate that her fictional work on Gujarat did not receive the same kind of response.
Writing about the Gujarat riots, Arundhati Roy had this to say (Outlook, May 6,2002).

“A mob surrounded the house of ex-Congress MP Iqbal Ehsan Jaffri. His phone calls to the director-general of police, the police commissioner, the chief secretary, the additional chief secretary (home) were ignored. The mobile police vans around his house did not intervene. The mob broke into the house. They stripped his daughters and burnt them alive. Then they beheaded Jaffri and dismembered him.”

The description is graphic; the veracity of the incident taken almost for granted coming from a writer of Arundhati Roy's reputation. But, alas, that's where we make the mistake. Fame and honesty are not interlinked as the following paragraph clearly indicates.

Jaffri was killed in the riots but his daughters were neither 'stripped' nor 'burnt alive.' T.A. Jafri, his son, in a front-page interview titled Nobody knew my father's house was the target (Asian Age, May 2, Delhi edition), says, "among my brothers and sisters, I am the only one living in India. And I am the eldest in the family. My sister and brother live in the US. I am 40 years old and I have been born and brought up in Ahmedabad.”

So if Ehsan Jaffri had only one daughter (singular) who was safe and sound in the US, where did Roy get her facts about not one, but daughters (plural) being stripped and burnt? Was it the fantasy of a writer's mind? Or was it willful deceit aimed at maligning her ideological adversaries?

Arundhati Roy did apologise for her mistake in a letter published in Outlook May 27, 2002.
We all know by now that her vivid account of how former Congress MP Iqbal Ehsan Jaffri and his family were killed was a piece of fiction. Roy had begun her charter of hate with another damning description: "Last night a friend from Baroda called. Weeping. It took her fifteen minutes to tell me what the matter was. It wasn't very complicated. Only that Sayeeda, a friend of hers, had been caught by a mob. Only that her stomach had been ripped open and stuffed with burning rags. Only that after she died, someone carved 'OM' on her forehead".

Shocked by this despicable "incident", I got in touch with the Gujarat government. The police investigations revealed that no such case, involving someone called Sayeeda, had been reported either in urban or rural Baroda. Subsequently, the police sought Roy's help to identify the victim and seek access to witnesses who could lead them to those guilty of this crime. But the police got no cooperation. Instead, Roy, through her lawyer, replied that the police had no power to issue summons. Why is she hedging behind technical excuses?

Medha Patkar goes a step further in her crusade for Afzal.
Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan said death sentence to Afzal was a reflection of "terrorism by the establishment.
Wonderful wordplay by Patkar. "Terrorism" is in vogue so Patkar is trying to use it to be hip.
Afzal's execution would widen the rift between communities.

How does Afzal's execution widen the rift between communities? He is punished by our secular legal system for committing an act of crime and not because of his religion or ethnic background. It is the communists who are seeing the criminal as a muslim and hence fighting for his case.
The minorities should be made to feel secure and opinion of the Kashmir people should be respected.
ROTFL. Is this Patkar stupid? What has the opinion of Kashmiri people got to do with this case? But why am I asking this question. It is proved beyond any doubt that communists have no logical abilities. Communism kills all logic.
Even if a thousand culprits escape, not a single innocent person should be victimised," she said.
The neo-liberalism of communists. The persons killed in the terrorist acts are innocents too. So I would like to ask Patkar, "Can thousand suspects be convicted to save one innocent from terror attacks?" Are the human rights of a terror victim any less than the human rights of a suspected terrorist?
By the blood money concept, the life of a muslim is more valuable than that of a hindu. The communists, and hence CBCNN, believe in this blood money concept.

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