Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SV's search for systemic remedies begins with fabrications

The Hindu : Columns / Siddharth Varadarajan : Your riot was worse than mine
The debates on Mr. Modi over the past two weeks have been so incredibly divisive because neither the Congress nor the BJP is interested in a discussion on systemic remedies.
I bet Siddharth Varadarajan would not have gone on endlessly repeating fabrications like "more than 2000 muslims", "genocide of muslims", "Newton's laws", etc if he were looking for systemic remedies. What he is looking for is propogating his version of history in utter disregard to facts. By trying to sully BJP and Modi, he is endearing himself to Congress and hoping to get a "Padma" award in return. Even in this article, he takes excessive liberties while talking of BJP but leaves Congress alone. Sample this:
  • In keeping with his party's (BJP's) fondness for technology and Islamophobia,
  • Paternity for the ‘riot system' belongs to both the Congress and the BJP, even if the sangh parivar managed to improve upon the technologies of mass violence
  • Gujarat 2002 should go unpunished because Delhi 1984 never saw justice, says the BJP.
  • ‘No SIT ever interrogated Rajiv Gandhi so why is Mr. Modi now being interrogated?' is the party's self-serving refrain.


Raghu said...

This creature is incredibly vicious and provocative in his articles.I read his resume and qualifications online.He loves to twist the knife , as is apparent from his choice of metaphors and words. One noticeable trait is, like journalists of his ilk, he thinks that he knows it all. We watch!

Anonymous said...

For this secular SV, Hyderabad is out of the focus! What about all the violent riots instigated by the Pakis-in-residence there?

Anonymous said...

S.Varadarajan is the most dangerous of all mainstream writers and journalists. He thinks he is very clever and balanced and that he fools readers with his rhetorics and english word play. I also see him acting all sagelike and wise on the TV debates. Sadly many get taken in by his poisonous brews. More hard work is needed to attack and expose this dangerous person.

Anonymous said...

"Since a big tree came crashing down upon us. It is time for the earth to stop shaking"

Tinku , Tinku , Little Varda , why are you repeating the famous sentence of Rajiv Gandhi. who said " when a tree falls , the earth shakes" Tinku , Tinku , Little Varada , why then the earth shook in 1984. Was it to commemorate Orwell's 1984? . Dekho Tinku , this bakwas journalism must stop. Tavleen Singh Jaisa seeda seeda likho, yeh dus paisa wala journalism nahi chalega , Tinku, Tinku , Little Varada

Anonymous said...

Came across a photo in The Chindu on Hyderabd clash.


An RAF constable stands by his tear-gas lobbing gun following clashes in Hyderabad's old city with the Pakistani flags on top of him.

Sindoor Bairavi

Anonymous said...

Came across a photo in The Chindu on Hyderabd clash.


An RAF constable stands by his tear-gas lobbing gun following clashes in Hyderabad's old city with the Pakistani flags on top of him.

Sindoor Bairavi

Anonymous said...

If this is the output we are seeing from Columbia School of Journalism, only God save Indian journalism.

I remember seeing him in a recent NDTV debate where he was referring to himself as a "common man", which was immediately refuted by Swapan Das Gupta. So much so for the American "common man" working for The Chindu. Hope he gives up his US citizenship soon (though he has been saying it for many years now).


Anonymous said...


See here. This is not Pakistan.


Anonymous said...

According to Chindu and fellow travellers, "There are communal rioters and secular defenders" and naturally the Angrezi media sympathy is reserved for the poor defenders of (secular)"faith".

beta.thehindu.comment.bot said...


Thanks for providing an unbiased report on this sensitive matter. I almost felt real journalism is dying in India, then I read your article.
from: Subhasis Nayak
Posted on: Mar 30, 2010 at 23:55 IST

Very good article and you are absolutely right, if the culprits of 1984 riots should have been punished, we should have never seen riots in India. Congress has no moral right to point fingures at someone.
from: hari
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 00:26 IST

You forgot Kandhamal in Orissa.
from: jer kush
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 01:43 IST

This article is outdated since Mr.Modi's speech to the people of Gujarat, the day after the Godhra carnage,i.e. Feb.28,2002, not to take vengeance, which was aired in Doodarshan, is now available on youtube.
from: Dr. Vijaya Rajiva
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 01:46 IST

Awesome insight & analysis..agree with the writer 100%.Both Congress & BJP are equally responsible for the communal riots of 1984 & 2002 respectively. It's high time the long delayed police reforms were implemented & a Communal Violence Bill with real teeth was introduced in parliament & enacted into law.
from: James J
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 04:08 IST

A very thought provoking piece of analysis. We indeed need a law with teeth that will deter politicians, police officers and other important members of government from letting murder and mayhem reign when it is their fiduciary responsibility to protect precious human life and dignity. I have great faith in the integrity and vision of people like Dr. Manmohan Singh, but really fail to understand as to how and why such people too fail to come up with a systemic response to address the scourge of communal violence abetted by the people in power.
from: Syed Khan
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 05:31 IST

Congress has no right to accuse Narendra Modi for 2002 riots considering the massacre of thousands of Sikhs to take revenge of Indira Gandhi's assassination.
from: Mayank
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 06:19 IST

I agree with Siddharth Varadarajan. It is time we addressed the larger and the real problem of applying suitable systemic correctives to the riots that often erupt. Instead we waste our time in accusations and counter-accusations stirring up a lot of heat and no light.
from: G.Naryanaswamy
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 06:43 IST

beta.thehindu.comment.bot said...


A well written article Mr.Siddharth. You have captured the emotions with the right words and have pointed fingers in the right directions. The law that you have suggested the Government pass, if at all it gets passed, should ensure that the person under investigation should resign temporarily until the investigation is complete. And on your concluding line "It is time for the earth to stop shaking"; I think it should be "It is time for the earth to start shaking (politically) one last time", before there is peace.
from: R.C. Ramesh Chander
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 07:30 IST

There were no communal riots when the TDP was ruling the state. Your contention that only Congress and BJP are experts in causing riots and getting away with it is absolutely correct. A very strict Law is required to put an end to this nonsense. The public should ensure that these parties are not elected to office in future. Such riots take us back to the 1940s. We do not want an Italian style mafioso regime in this country.
from: S N IYER
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 08:08 IST

Very well written article. BJP or Congress, all the politicians are one and the same. Sadly it has become a game of one upmanship and the victime are the innocent lives, who know not where their fault is.
from: Krishnan
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 08:22 IST

Excellent article...well articulated and well balanced....I think it's high time we started more SITs for communal riots preceding Godhra...Only then would there be complete justice.
from: Amit Julka
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 08:30 IST

Let us put the anti-Modi campaign by the media in the right perspective. To do that, the following facts have to be recognised. A large percentage of our population goes to bed on empty stomach. An equally large section just manages to eke out a living. The prices of essential items of mass consumption are so high today that even the upper middle class is facing financial problems. The economic growth over the last two decades has not improved significantly, if at all, the standard and quality of life of most people. The land under foodgrains cultivation has not increased in the last four decades and the rice, wheat etc stored in government godowns are being eaten by rats when penury and hunger are haunting the country. There are many more such appalling conditions which the majority of Indians have to contend with. But do these bother the media? Apparently it doesn't seem so.
The communal carnage of 2002 and Chief Minister Modi are the only subjects which interest the media. Communal riots do kill innocent people. But road accidents which the government has always failed to prevent or reduce kill a lakh of Indians evry year and maim many more. No one knows how many die of hunger, malnutrition, diseases which they cannot get treated and a whole lot of other reasons. Yet the Indian media does not take the government up on these issues. Since communal divides create vote banks, the politicians and their supporters in the media play these up ignoring other equally alarming conditions and developments in the country. The fourth estate is clearly on the wrong track.
from: K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 09:02 IST

The article is very good. It talks about what needs to be done now to stop these kind of riots.
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 09:02 IST

Being in power to misuse the forces to eliminate any class of society, is a heinous crime. The time will come when each and every person has to pay for his misdeeds.
from: Ajmer Singh Randhawa
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 09:07 IST

Couldn't agree with you more Mr Varadarajan.
from: anil kotwal
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 09:15 IST

beta.thehindu.comment.bot said...

I don't think BJP has ever shied away from the debate (I remember L K Advani thundering Mr. Manmohan Singh for a debate on national issues before the General Election 2009). The problem with the opposition is that the media always treats them as culprits even before any trial begins. All of us have seen a lot of such debates hosted by various renowned faces (Sagarika, Burkha, Sanghvi etc). BJP can debate provided there's a neutral anchor. Media has to re-invent itself before pointing fingers at others.
from: Piyush
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 09:22 IST

Excellent analysis of the politics of Injustice. Lets hope a bill is passed with real teeth.

from: Rabi
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 09:34 IST

Great stuff!
from: V Ramnarayan
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 10:05 IST

What are your views on Kashmir? No views rather just a vague comparison!
from: ksourabh
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 10:18 IST

Good balanced view on 1984 and 2002. The author is very correct in saying that people should not play number games when it comes to the travails of the victims, whoever they may be or whatever the religion they belong to -- after all everyone is Indian. In that spirit I wish he had touched upon the poor 59 people who were burned alive which seems to have been the spark for 2002, and the thousands of Pandits who were forced out of their homes over 20 years ago. I agree that we have become an apathetic nation, inure to the pains of our own people. Let us not forget that the pain that afflicts others today might consume all of us one day, if we choose to continue with this apathy and selective guilt and redemption! We as a nation truly seem to have lost our shame.
from: P. Swaminathan
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 10:59 IST

Congress has got a single point programme and that is to please Muslims by doing this or that. In this very chain Gujarat is being made the target. Otherwise don't we know that earlier also Gujarat had even worst riots, which even prolonged to months. Congress uses Muslims as its vote bank. Now this is my personel assessment. As the awareness increases among Muslim community, they would also come to know the reality and would stop allowing themselves to be played in the hands of Congress and such other parties. They are citizen of India and have every equal right like any other citizen.
from: D. Agrawal
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 11:12 IST

Why is English media so biased against BJP in general?
from: shailendram
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 13:32 IST

I am a fan of Amitabh Bachhan.He should have opted for Bihar, or Orissa rather than Gujarat.
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 13:34 IST

Anonymous said...

For whom is the author batting? Using light words for one crime and strong words for another crime will show only true colours. Please remember that appeasement of one section will not yield the desired result.
from: raghavan
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 13:47 IST

Dear Siddharth Varadarajan, you spoke what is in my heart and hopefully in a million Indian hearts.
from: Tarakanta Nayak
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 14:28 IST

The first time the Congress buckled was when Jawaharlal Nehru allowed a RSS contingent to be part of the Republic Day parade. Then there were riots in Meerut, where the UP Chief Minister GB Pant allowed Golwalkar to escape (in his official car!). After that was the age of Indira (during which RSS grew or reached its maximum potential) and after that we have Narasimha Rao who formally laid the red carpet and ensured RSS to power in Delhi.
from: Manik Prabhu
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 14:34 IST

Very interesting perspective and as the author rightly puts it, both parties (BJP and Congress) are engaged in addressing irrelevant issues of publicity rather than addressing systemic causes of mass mobilisation for violent acts and punishing the perpetrators. The issue of justice is more important than why Tatas, Ambanis and Amitabh are looking after their business interests.... politicians need power, celebrities need endorsements and people need justice... is there anyone to listen...
from: onkar singh
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 15:24 IST

Genocide of any form is unacceptable irrespective of the faith people practice. When we are a functioning democracy the religions sentiments of all should be upheld. The law should raise above the people and their incumbancy. Unfortunately, intermittently some form of communal violence is erupting and time and again the machinery of bringing the culprits into justice never comes. This is the truth and reality.
from: Yasmin Banu
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 16:03 IST

Great article. It is high time that we become more critically aware of the various manipulative discourses that all political parties articulate in some way or the other. It is both interesting and disheartening to see how all issues of religious violence are reduced to an ideological battle between the BJP and the Congress, or worse, between individuals.
from: luhar sen
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 16:36 IST

Why does the Congress always hark back to the Gujarat riots of 2002; they never mention the Kashmiri pandits, refugees in their own land. All terrorism issues are due to appeasement.
from: Vipul Dave
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 17:21 IST

Your words represent mine and every true Indian's feelings. Just that I would like to add that 1984 massacre was not riots...it was murder. There was no clash between two sects in 1984, but planned and organized killings of Sikhs for straight four days. In fact even Godhra cannot be called a riot technically...But kudos to you for writing this piece.
from: Pankaj Thuain
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 17:42 IST

Nice one. Both the parties are culprits and have no moral right to criticise each other. Best way is to leave it to the law to take its own course.
from: Hariharan N
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 19:05 IST

beta.thehindu.comment.bot said...

More comments from The Hindu:

The commentary on the competitive communal politics would have been genuinely well-meaning if only it wasn’t loaded with singular focus on Gujarat & Narendra Modi. Sadly, there are even clear insinuations against Amitabh Bachchan.

The author seems to be having more knowledge about Modi's role in instigating riots than SIT could have gathered.
That the theme of the article is so apparent and is to condemn Mod; 1984 riots mentioned only to balance the article. Why only 1984 be investigated. India has suffered even before that.
Media needs a lot of introspection. Spend some space and time for pressing issues of country like development. Am sure, developed societies will not have time for clashes.
Also the author must have patience and faith in Indian Judiciary.
Truth shall prevail. At least I hope so!
from: Satish Kumar
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 21:51 IST

A good article with diplomatic analysis , but in our country 2 big parties are not allowing a law to be passed to stop communal violence because they have forseen leagal problems they may face in future, it is time for people to change or atlease change in their thinking , if modi lost in election after gujarath roits , he may not talk like this and this will be an example in future that if anybody support any voilence or nuetral at time of violence will get punished atlease they will loose in election , but nothing happend . first people should change by not electing tainted politicians
from: Mallikarjun
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 11:42 IST

Thats thinking like a human being.thank almighty ,such still exist in this inhuman world.
from: maninder singh
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 13:41 IST

I believe, both the Congress and BJP are culprits, hiding behind each other. Only victims and those who are fighting for them have right to blame these parties.

As far as Amitabh is concerned, it is sad that at this old age instead of doing good for society, he is still hungry for money and fame. He is nowhere to what roles he played in his early movies, as crusaders against injustice. And hence lost the respect among some of his fans.

It is time for the fourth pillar of democracy to awake and raise the relevant issues at the right timing, like the above article.
from: Majid Khan
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 15:25 IST

Just fair opinion ! Hats off! My Wish,My dream We just get something new political front/party in India.
from: Asit Vashistha
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 15:45 IST

Very nice and unbiased article. The failure of Modi to stop the atrocities of the communal force is condemnable . It is as equal as rajeev's failure in delhi. After all politics is about saving their own skin for survival . No matter what party or politician. At the end they all same.
from: antony swami
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 16:09 IST

There are some comments that seem to suggest that the article is a witch hunt against the BJP. I don't get that sense, if at all, there is a witch hunt it is against communal violence. The fact is, that India needs a strong BJP but certain things have to be non-negotiable. The life of every Indian - hindu, muslim, sikh, parsi, christian, is precious. We all have a right to live whatever religion we follow. Communal violence takes that right of life away from me and puts it in the hands of mobs. Is this the kind of India we want to live in? Always fearful because of our name or religious persuasion? I don't think so. The article is timely and very well balanced. Xenophobia has no place in this day and age.
from: P. Murali Gopal
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 16:17 IST

Sanal said...

The Editor
The Chindu,

Dear Sirs,

Judging by the letters The Hindu has received to the article on riots, it seems the seculars have it!


Hindu Fundamentalist said...

i wonder why bjp is not suing this guy. i am sure there is no way he can prove some of those statements he made.

Sudhir said...

I left the following comment on Sidd's blog. Also, I gave some examples before coming to this conculsiong on my blog here: http://serious--fun.blogspot.com/2010/04/selective-history.html

"Your personal vitroil against some parties not withstanding, I wish to pose some questions here.

How many of us know who the Chief Minister of Maharashtra was during the 1993 riots? How many of us know who the Home Minister of India was during 1984? How many of us know the CM durung 1990 Hyd riots? 1983 Assam riots? These are just a couple of incidents of the many many riots that have happened in India.

Which brings me to my basic question. Who is responsible for the exclusive concentration of ANY riots related debate to center around 1984 ad 2002? My stand on 2002, 1993, 1990, 1984, 1983 1978 etc is the same, but if I demand equal justice in all cases, why am I being looked upon as someone with dubious political intentions?

Say for example, if I demand that the perpetrators of 1984 be punished on par with 2002 riots, why on earth is that argument twisted as if I am "justifying" the 2002 riots? Media blames Congress for 1984, Modi for 2002. Why can't it blame Rajiv and Modi, or the Congress and the BJP? How does my questioning of this distortion of the media, which has phenomenal reach to people of this country construed as a "justification" of the 2002 riots?

Why is the discourse of the riots in India, the "reliving of ghosts" exclusively limited to the 1984 and 2002 riots alone? Don't the people of this country need to have maximum information at their disposal and then be allowed to come to their conclusion? Why is asking for a full account of history termed as being loony and a right winger?

Who is responsible for not putting a full stop to the devious methods many many cheap politicians used to fan thse emotions, and even continue to do it today? Why can't we debate and set in process a motion that will ensure rioters think twice before embarking on mass killing and destruction?Why has the judiciary been let off in the criticism so far? If we are willing to go back in history to study these occurences in depth, why are we stopping at 1984? Aren't all these topics worthy of debate, or will I be called names for even suggesting this?

Go ahead and blame Narendra Modi. It's your(as in the reader) opinion, I won't contest it. But please extend that same courtesy to all those leaders mentioned above too. Please don't make the whole riots thing sound as a debate between 1984 and 2002. You are doing grave injustice by discussing selective history."

- Sudhir

Whintare said...

Sudhir and all other hindus here, why do you bother even dealing with Siddharth Varadarajan? He is a clever snake who it is best to hit with a stick when he is not watching. Dont feed him milk.