Indebted to Dilip D’Souza

Rediff Columnist Dilip D’Souza was patient enough to read this entry on my old blog (which is defunct for all practical purposes and I don’t visit it myself) and was even more gracious to leave a comment on it. I had ranted randomly in that entry, about the Congress, the BJP, the misdeeds of the Congress, about patriotism, and a few words about patriotism.

But I didn’t realize then, that I had invited the reaction of Dilip D’Souza, whom I had named in that entry, in the following words:

To sum its “achievements,” the Congress is responsible for: [...] Indians to feel unpatriotic about their own country: Resident Idiot, Arundhati Roy, Romila Thapar, and Dilip D’Souza, to name a few. These are people who typically draw the world’s attention to India’s negatives and who have made careers out of trashing India and peddling lies. Patriotism comes from a deep knowledge, respect, and appreciation of one’s own culture and heritage.

I thank Dilip for leaving the following comment nearly 6 months after I wrote that entry; it has given me scope for improvement, to revise my own perceptions, knowledge, and the rest.

Someone just pointed me to this, forgive my six-month-old reply. I put this on your old blogsite, but I guess you don’t check that any more.You say:> There was a similar case during the Mumbai> (Bombay) Blasts, (little) known as the> Jogeshwari massacre/Radhabai Chawl massacre,> where many Hindu families were locked up from> the outside and roasted alive by Muslim> miscreants. How many know this?The better question, reading these lines, has got be this: What do YOU know about this?One: The Bombay blasts happened on March 12, 1993. The Radhabai Chawl massacre happened on the night of January 7/8, 1993. Therefore, it would be very interesting to learn from you how the massacre happened “during” the blasts that followed over two months later.Two: One, not “many”, Hindu family was locked up and roasted alive by Muslim miscreants. A crime horrible enough that it doesn’t need to be inflated to “many” families.Three: Radhabai Chawl is hardly “little” known. The Shiv Sena regularly points to it as the spark of the Bombay riots. Which is itself a lie, because the riots went on all through December 1992, but no matter — the point is that it is known. It figures prominently in the Srikrishna report on the riots. A dude who asks of it “How many know this?” only puts on display his own ignorance. Lastly, it would be interesting to hear from you why you appear to believe that “one’s own culture and heritage” don’t include what you call “negatives”.

Now, I read this over and over, and spent loads of time thinking about it. In the interim, I don’t know what prompted Dilip to send me a second comment–this time on my current weblog. Here it is:

Wouldn’t you care to respond to this that I put on your Aug 5 blog? Or is that too hard?

I initially deliberated whether I should send a private email to Dilip D’Souza about this, but later, thought it would be good to have my response as a separate blog entry because he had made this issue public by leaving his comment on my blog. Which is how I’ll deal with it. Now that the tone is set, my response follows.

Dilip’s contention is about my writing on the Radhabai Chawl burning rests on four points –

  1. I got my dates mixed up
  2. I got my numbers wrong–i.e, the number of people burnt alive. I mentioned “many” families, whereas he states that it was only family.
  3. The incident did not happen during the Bombay riots, but much earlier–January 1993
  4. The incident is widely known, and not as I perceive it, “little known.”

All right, let me admit that I’ve got the numbers wrong, and that it’s really bad on my part not to verify the dates and numbers before writing about it.

However, my point is entirely different; it goes beyond dates, and number of people killed and should be read in that context. How does it matter on what date, how many people were killed? It will however matter, if we use that as a stick to browbeat the issue. All right, I shall then provide some statistics in the vein of Dilip D’Souza just for its own sake. And before that, the “one family” that was burnt, consisted of the following “numbers” – 6 Females, 3 Males (two of whom were minor), out of which 5 died on the spot and one, later in the hospital. So, when Dilip asks, A crime horrible enough that it doesn’t need to be inflated to “many” families, what am I supposed to make of it? That the number of people killed isn’t “enough” for me to express outrage? Or has my erroneous use of the word “many” offended him that bad? In the same vein, when secular reports are circulated about Gujarat riot victims’ tally–2000 when I last heard it, I’m confused. The IIRC reports a figure of 900 out of which 250 are Hindu. Now, shall I apply Dilip’s words to the Gujarat riots: A crime horrible enough that it doesn’t need to be inflated to 2000? This is what I call leading an argument astray by diverging from the issue on hand. Now, is this acceptable? Oh and I forgot to keep my promise about the numbers. And they begin prior to the Radhabhai Chawl incident.

My further number-play yielded me this result:

It is simple to deduce from the comparison that the Muslim death toll was higher on all dates post January 8 1993. The reason is also not far to seek: Hindus resorted to backlash. Oh! by the way, I forgot to mention that these figures are all derived from the Bhagavad Gita Sri Krishna Commission Report, the same source that Dilip has quoted in his comment. Now that we’re on the subject, is Dilip aware that the Krishna Report is eminently biased, and that it was rejected by the ex-Maharashtra Chief Minister, Manohar Joshi? Or, is Dilip aware that a few years ago, Varsha Bhosle had denounced the Sri Krishna Report, and Dilip’s justification of it?

Coming to the point of how “well-known” or otherwise the Radhabhai Chawl incident is, it is very evident that I spoke in terms of comparison. For those who don’t understand, let me simplify it: how well-known (or should I say, “well-publicized”) is the Radhabhai Chawl incident compared to the Gujarat riots? Dilip, it would be interesting if you could publish a poll and find out how many people know about:

  • The Radhabhai Chawl incident
  • The Bombay blasts/riots
  • The Godhra train burning incident
  • The Gujarat riots

I’m most certain you’ll find plenty of dudes who display their collective ignorance, like I have done.

You have signed off your comment with a very interesting statement:

.it would be interesting to hear from you why you appear to believe that “one’s own culture and heritage” don’t include what you call “negatives”.

I believe you have answered that yourself by saying I appear to believe that I don’t see any negatives in my own culture and heritage. That’s right, and I’ll repeat it: I merely appear to believe; in reality, I am aware that my own culture and heritage does have shades of negativity, and realize that it has to be dealt with appropriately.

Conversely, it certainly interests me to see how much you know of “one’s own culture and heritage,” or what you consider to be your culture and heritage before you can make sweeping generalizations about its adherents being fundamentalists.

I really look forward to hear/read your views on that.

For the record, I have a fair idea of it, if your articles on Rediff are any indicators of it.

69 comments for “Indebted to Dilip D’Souza

  1. September 14, 2004 at 5:35 PM

    Dear Anonymous

    The Gujarat riots were not spontaneous, but they were definitely revenge attacks.
    (snip)
    Sick people in the Indian media justified it and tried to claim it was a “spontaneous” attack.

    We are in agreement on the points mentioned above. Gujarat riots were not spontaneous, they were planned. And a lot of the media tried to justify the riots.

    Regarding the Sabarmati fire, I don’t know who did it. Could be a Congressman, could be a Muslim group, could be whatever. However, I do know that many innocent Muslims in Ahmedabad DID NOT cause it. But they and others elsewhere in Gujarat were killed in what you correctly state as planned revenge killings. I think that is SICK.

    I am no fan of Arundhati Roy but I think she’s an atheist. And does it matter? I can lead you to scores of Hindus who would have similar views.

  2. September 14, 2004 at 5:24 PM

    Dilip being J B D’Souza’s son is kinda “public” knowledge in Bombay at least.

    I wonder why all the hullabaloo is made of JB D’Souza’s PIL? And Dilip not mentioning it? Does it make a material difference to the argument? Does JB D’Souza have any pecuniary gain from the PIL? In fact had Dilip mentioned it, I suppose he might get flak for “publicising” his father’s crusades.

    I don’t see the “conflict of interest” here. Dilip is not saying something that is opposite to JB D’Souza’s PIL. He’s saying the SAME thing.

  3. anonymous
    September 14, 2004 at 9:43 AM

    Yazad Jal’s comment is crass and in poor taste.

    The Gujarat riots were not spontaneous, but they were definitely revenge attacks. OTOH, the firebombing of the train by Muslims was led by a Congressman and it was a planned attack.

    Sick people in the Indian media justified it and tried to claim it was a “spontaneous” attack. Notice how those who rubbed salt into the wounds of Hindus and either fabricated stories or supported those who did contained so many Christians – Arundhati Roy, Dilip D’Souza etc.

    Fore the perverted sadists who justified the killing of innocent Hindus, sickularists is a good term as they are sick in the mind.

  4. anonymous
    September 14, 2004 at 9:33 AM

    Dilip D’Souza won’t tell you that there is a conflict of interest issue involved when he speaks of Srikrishna Commission.

    I quote from
    http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/jun/04rajeev.htm
    About the Srikrishna commission, it turns out that D’Souza has been very coy about a few little facts. One is that his father, one J B D’Souza, a former chief secretary in Maharashtra [see the byline at http://www.rediff.com/travel/1998/mar/26rajb.htm filed a Public Interest Litigation asking for immediate implementation of the Srikrishna Commission report and has been in the forefront of those making noise about it.

    Now Dilip D’Souza has written innumerable columns on rediff.com supporting the Srikrishna Commission’s report, without ever once mentioning his father’s vested interest. Why this bashfulness? Isn’t it a blatant violation of journalistic ethics to avoid full disclosure of one’s biases? What is the difference between D’Souza, Jr, and a business journalist who takes money to write stories trashing a particular stock? Shouldn’t D’Souza, Jr, be investigated by the Press Council for deliberately withholding relevant information? Did he just ‘forget’ all 47 times he wrote about the Srikrishna Commission?

  5. August 31, 2004 at 3:39 PM

    Minor stuff first. Yes Dilip I’m the same Yazad (and I think we met when I was in AYBI circa 1993-4)

    Secondly, it’s easy to avoid spambots by inserting a phrase in your email ID. Something like mail@NOSPAM.yazadjal.com which I use. Humans ignore the nospam.

    Now on to the main story. Like Dilip, I live in Bombay and was a witness to the horrible events of 1992 – 93.

    The backlash argument sounds very funny. It can logically be used to justify *everything* Lets take an non-Indian example. American troops in Saudi Arabia — backlash 9/11 — backlash US in Afghanistan and Iraq — backlash what happening in Iraq — backlash ……. There is a difference between unserstandng why something happens and accepting it as a justification. I understand why Radhbai Chawl events could cause a riot, but I will not use that as an excuse to justify the riot. and BTW, just as in Gujarat, the reaction was far worse than the “original” event. Punish those responsible for Radhabai murders not those whose only crime was to profess the same religion.

    How many of you have actually seen a riot in front of you? I have. It’s not a nice sight. Apart from the gruesome stuff, rioters would loot. I’ve seen entire shops targetted. Those whose owners were of the wrong community of course. For a year or so after 1993, there were huge “street sales” largely of goods that were looted. Stuff that could not be sold was burnt.

    Can you distinguish between a “spontaneous riot” and a “planned” one? In my analysis, 1992 December was mostly spontaneous (with some fanning of flames). 1993 was planned. The Shiv Sena took the pains of locating Muslims even in posh localities and selectively targetted them. Modi in Gujarat had a little more time so they were able to do a better job at genocide with detailed analysis of voter lists.

    With all the data collected, (if you wish, ignore Justice Srikrishna’s conclusions — just read the evidence) I absolutely refuse to believe 1993 riots were anything apart from a Shiv Sena plan to achieve political and other aims. And it was successful. Of course Manohar Joshi would disagree with Justice Srikrishna. Mr. Joshi the biggest gainer (CM and all) and he was personally involved in planning the riots. One anecdote: he called up a Muslim friend who owns a petrol pump in his constituency and warned them to leave (with all the cash and petrol behind) or they would be killed. He was a kind man methinks! Those of us who’ve lived through the riots and the Shiv Sena know many more ancdotes but I won’t take up more space here.

    Finally, it’s easy to brand people as “sick-ularist”. Far tougher to do something so that these riots never recur. Luckily some Bombayites did. We saw the formation of Mohalla Committees, Citizens for Peace, etc. And in the eleven years since 1993, Bombay has had no riots. I’m proud of that. And I’d like to see that elsewhere.

  6. Dilip D'Souza
    August 27, 2004 at 8:33 PM

    Sandeep,

    Thanks! That’s very kind. I’ve sent you a note at your gmail address.

  7. August 27, 2004 at 4:52 PM

    Dilip,

    I’ll try to answer the blog tech help request. MadMan has too many people asking him to dole out free tech help and he’s asking all of us to market his restaurant :-)

    It’d help a great deal if you state what exactly you’re looking for vis a vis blogs? We can take it from there.

  8. Dilip D'Souza
    August 27, 2004 at 4:19 PM

    MadMan,

    Thanks for the explanation. I have no complaints. Actually I agree.

    On another note, what do I do to get some tech help from you re: blogs?

    Also, is this Yazad whom I knew at AYBI in the early ’90s? Of course, maybe I should ask him…

  9. August 27, 2004 at 3:53 PM

    That link again

  10. August 27, 2004 at 3:51 PM

    I have my views, and they deserve respect because I have them, even if they are different from yours.

    Dilip,

    I respect your right to your views. But I don’t have to respect your views themselves. Please read:
    http://www.yazadjal.com/mt/archives/000263.html

  11. Al Mujahid
    August 25, 2004 at 7:46 PM

    I have witnessed a ‘Hindu-Muslim’ riot in India and I can tell you that you dont want to be a Muslim when a riot starts. Bhagalpur, Rampur, Aligarh, Meerut, Surat, Bombay and now Gujarat. These are not riots. These are usually state sponsored pogroms of Muslims ( sometimes local city administration if not state) There’s a problem when the city officials roam around the city burning and looting muslim houses, business establishments after identifying these places with voters list, ‘ration’ cards and municipal records while the police is either acting as accomplices or as cheering spectators at best. Go and check amnesty international or human rights watch ( I know I know ‘Patriot Indians’ believe that these organisations are the propoganda arm of the Imperialist West) And for the asswipes who defend the Congress Party. What about the macabre dance of death played with Sikh blood in Delhi after Indira Gandhi’s death ? Congress itself was in power in UP when there were massive anti Muslim riots in Meerut. I dont see this as a problem of Hindu Versus Muslims Versus Whoever. This is a problem of 3rd World Poverty. Too many people, too few resources. Last I checked no one was rioting in rich countries.

  12. Dilip D'Souza
    August 24, 2004 at 4:14 PM

    > Would YOU give that much respect to others who have
    > views diff from ur ‘secular’ ones?

    Certainly. It’s why I’m here.

  13. Prasanna
    August 24, 2004 at 12:44 PM

    I have my views, and they deserve respect because I have them, even if they are different from yours.

    Would YOU give that much respect to others who have views diff from ur ‘secular’ ones?

  14. Dilip D'Souza
    August 24, 2004 at 10:38 AM

    No Prasanna, it wasn’t a huff, nor was it the first time I was being questioned, I couldn’t care less what rhetoric I swallow, and I haven’t left! No sir.

    I will gladly exchange views with anyone who is willing to start with this much: I have my views, and they deserve respect because I have them, even if they are different from yours. Start with that much, and I will do the same.

    But don’t, and I’m not interested.

    yours always,
    dilip.

  15. Prasanna
    August 24, 2004 at 10:24 AM

    Reading through this exchange between Raghu and Dillip was very fascinating indeed.I wonder what made Dilip leave in a huff midway?Is it because this was the first time DD was having his ‘theory’ directly questioned by somebody? Is it because Raghu made him swallow the rhetoric of many of his fellow secularists like Roy,Patwardhan,Mander ?Whatever it is, I must say that Raghu writes well….exceptionally well to be honest, assuming he is not a professional journalist. Thanks and Pls do not stop writing.

  16. August 23, 2004 at 8:53 PM

    Raghu,

    If you can send me an offline mail at deepuDOTsandeepATgmailDOTCOM, I’d be most grateful. I need to talk to you about something. Thanks in advance.

  17. RR
    August 23, 2004 at 3:03 PM

    From Google’s Usenet archives, I cull a few sentences which appeared in messages posted in early 1993.

    In one message, which apparently is a compilation of news reports from BBC, NYT, CNN etc, this sentence appears:

    The January riots were in retaliation when a group of Muslims killed a Hindu family of 14 in Jogeshwari.

    This was posted on 15th March, 1993, right after the Bombay blasts.

    In another, which apparently is a reproduction of an opinion poll published in India Today:

    Q: Overall, who did people hold responsible for the riots?
    A: While some people saw the Sena’s hand behind the riots, more often it was Muslim provocation (collection of arms, the murder of mathadi workers, the Jogeshwari killings) and Congress infighting (Naik vs Pawar) that were held
    responsible.

    This was posted on 21st May, 1993.

    These were not from the (re-posted) original internet copies of respective publications, for way back then neither the Internet as we know it today, nor the WWW was yet widely established. So presumably, the posters keyed in the text from print copies. Which makes them open to the accusation — from our alert journalist for example — that they are fabrications.

    But I’m on a different point. Assume for argument’s sake that they are indeed fabrications. But these are fabrications dating back to early 1993! So what does that make of our journalists’s sauve claim that the Hindu backlash argument was a latter-day invention, eh?

    Cheers,
    Raghu

  18. RR
    August 23, 2004 at 3:03 PM

    From Google’s Usenet archives, I cull a few sentences which appeared in messages posted in early 1993.

    In one message, which apparently is a compilation of news reports from BBC, NYT, CNN etc, this sentence appears:

    The January riots were in retaliation when a group of Muslims killed a Hindu family of 14 in Jogeshwari.

    This was posted on 15th March, 1993, right after the Bombay blasts.

    In another, which apparently is a reproduction of an opinion poll published in India Today:

    Q: Overall, who did people hold responsible for the riots?
    A: While some people saw the Sena’s hand behind the riots, more often it was Muslim provocation (collection of arms, the murder of mathadi workers, the Jogeshwari killings) and Congress infighting (Naik vs Pawar) that were held
    responsible.

    This was posted on 21st May, 1993.

    These were not from the (re-posted) original internet copies of respective publications, for way back then neither the Internet as we know it today, nor the WWW was yet widely established. So presumably, the posters keyed in the text from print copies. Which makes them open to the accusation — from our alert journalist for example — that they are fabrications.

    But I’m on a different point. Assume for argument’s sake that they are indeed fabrications. But these are fabrications dating back to early 1993! So what does that make of our journalists’s sauve claim that the Hindu backlash argument was a latter-day invention, eh?

    Cheers,
    Raghu

  19. RR
    August 23, 2004 at 3:02 PM

    From Google’s Usenet archives, I cull a few sentences which appeared in messages posted in early 1993.

    In one message, which apparently is a compilation of news reports from BBC, NYT, CNN etc, this sentence appears:

    The January riots were in retaliation when a group of Muslims killed a Hindu family of 14 in Jogeshwari.

    This was posted on 15th March, 1993, right after the Bombay blasts.

    In another, which apparently is a reproduction of an opinion poll published in India Today:

    Q: Overall, who did people hold responsible for the riots?
    A: While some people saw the Sena’s hand behind the riots, more often it was Muslim provocation (collection of arms, the murder of mathadi workers, the Jogeshwari killings) and Congress infighting (Naik vs Pawar) that were held
    responsible.

    This was posted on 21st May, 1993.

    These were not from the (re-posted) original internet copies of respective publications, for way back then neither the Internet as we know it today, nor the WWW was yet widely established. So presumably, the posters keyed in the text from print copies. Which makes them open to the accusation — from our alert journalist for example — that they are fabrications.

    But I’m on a different point. Assume for argument’s sake that they are indeed fabrications. But these are fabrications dating back to early 1993! So what does that make of our journalists’s sauve claim that the Hindu backlash argument was a latter-day invention, eh?

    Cheers,
    Raghu

  20. RR
    August 22, 2004 at 9:48 PM

    But I had asked earlier, “Is this about scoring points?” Even earlier, I said, “If we cannot manage this basic respect for each other’s humanity, each others’ views, let’s stop this right here (and, like I said earlier, this is the last you’ll hear from me).

    It saddens me comrade, that you cannot hold a decent conversation with your debating opponts without accusing them of malafide intentions. Respect for their humnaity, I guess. You may see yourself as overflowing with the milk of human kindness, but why not please assume that so do your debaters, though these pesky chaps may ask you tough questions? Well, I am not sure if arguing on the basis of facts is your forte or not, but putting on airs of injured innocence, of being “victim”, does certainly seem to be!

    But, as I said, never mind. I won’t insist that you answer all my questions. Would that give you some relief? After all, the dialogue has gone pretty much in the direction you wanted: eventhough respect for humanity is our leitmotif, we’re
    preoccupied with “proving” that Radhabai had nothing to with the subsequent events; not with the fact that — as Sandeep’s original lament has been — no citizen for peace and justice is losing sleep over the fact that justice has not been done to the victims!

    As for the events of January 1993, thank you for reinforcing, with your excerpts, my sole point: Bombay was burning before Radhabai Chawl happened.

    You mean I helped you score a point?

    Well chum, I shall be glad to help you again: we do not at all contest the point that Bombay burned before Radhabai Chawl; it burned on various occassions before Dec 1992 too; and stretching back to 200 years as a matter of fact; and that the rioting parties included, at least on a couple of occasions, a community as tiny, and as innocuous, as the Parsis.

    We only contest the glib claims of Sri Krishna “Confused” Commission and its worshippers that whereas the December phase of the rioting is “explained” by the destruction of an inanimate thing — a decrepit building — in far away Ayodhya, the events of Jan have nothing to do with a gruesome incident involving human lives that happened bang in the middle of Bombay.

    Don’t you need to investigate why Associated Press was scoring points by dubbing Jan 16th as the “TENTH” day after eruption of riots? Tough question, I think. Feel free not to answer.

    Therefore, the claim that Radhabai set off the riots is false, not least because at the time it wasn’t seen so. Not even by those who later decided to claim it was the spark.

    Poppycock.

    Let me help you with another point: your kind has been attempting to downplay the RC incident right from 1993, and therefore, it has shown admirable consistencyin this regard. But the crucial point to note is that the other side has been showing consistency too!

    I remember very well that in Usenet discussions around that time, some dudes were arguing NOT that the RC incident did NOT fuel the subsequent events, only that it COULD NOT have done so because it was not a “communal” incident but a case of land-mafia evicting tenants etc.

    Why, let’s consult our own updated version of the gospel, journalist. Even that infallible tome attests to the fact that the RC incident was always seen as a turning point in Jan events:

    This incident was played up by the Hindutva parties, particularly the Shiv Sena, and is stated to be a watershed mark during the January 1993 phase of the communal violence which led to Hindu backlash, according to the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party, which theory has been reiterated by the State and Police.

    And here’s the Commission’s line on the testimony of SK Bapat, city police commissioner:

    2.13 Though Bapat was vocal that the stabbings of a large number of Hindus during 6th, 7th and 8th December 1992, the Mathadi murders of 5th January 1993 and the Radhabai Chawl incident of 7th/8th January 1993 led to a “Hindu backlash”

    and I reproduce the spin that follows the above too, just so our journalist would not accuse me of mimikcing the Commission’s ways of highlighting that which only buttresses my argument:

    it is not possible to believe that the `backlash’, assuming there was one, manifested itself spontaneously. Bapat has been remarkably reticent on how, by whom and in what manner this backlash was being directed.

    (But elsewhere, the Commission accepts, no questions asked, Bapat’s testimony that the Decemeber riots were a “backlash” to Babri demolition, and accepts that they were “spontaneous” and “leaderless” too. How convenient.)

    I know, journalist, that you have a neat explanation for this too: the State is biased and anti-Muslim and the police are biased and anti-Muslim. But I am on the other point: the commission does not comment on the late introduction or otherwise of the argument that Radhabai marked a watershed. Surely, our venerable Commission would not have missed a golden opportunity to point out a duplicitous, opportunistic stand taken by BJP etc on this score, if there was one?

    (As an aside, let me put that in perspective. What if somebody said: “the 1992 Babri Mosque demolition was played up by Muslim parties, and is stated to be a watershed mark during the December 1992 phase of communal violence which led to the Muslim backlash, according to Jamaat-e-Islami, Samajvadi Party, SIMI etc, which theory has been reiterated by self-styled secularists”?)

    There is another interesting point. The gospel repeatedly, and vehemently, asserts that the Radhabai incident was “exaggerated” in the media, especially Saamna. Avers the Commission:

    This case attracted lot of media attention and was extensively reported in newspapers – even in exaggerated versions.

    That is, according to the Commission, the extensive reporting and the said exaggeration took place way back on Jan 8th, 1993, right after the incident, thank you, not years later. Our venerable Commission does not explain why the media “extensively” reported the incident if it was just one among a sequence of events dating back to Dec 6th. Moreover, if the RC incident had nothing to do with the subsequent events, then the reporting and the “exaggeration” obviously had no impact on people, so why the Commission takes the trouble of mentioning them, repeatedly to boot, is also not explained. Or is it the Commission’s contention that the original incident by itself had no potential to cause trouble but only that the media reporting and “exaggeration” of it by Saamna made it so? The Commission certainly won’t tell us, probaly because it knows it would stir a hornet’s nest if it does so.

    Finally, here’s a few more lines from the Express, 9 January, “8 roasted alive in Jogeshwari Chawl”: “8 persons succumbed to burns. … The names of the dead have been given as Kamlabai Buttu (32), Laxmibai Buttu (10), Rajaram Bane (35), Kumari Narkar (20), Sudhir Kusumbe (35), Shaikh Nasir Yusuf Ali (26) and Shahbuddin Mohammed Chaudhary (18). One body was yet to be identified.”

    Thank you, journalist, for helping me make my point, which is that the SK “Confused” COmmission’s report is not worth the paper it is printed on, a point made by countless others before me, of course, and for which I take no credit.

    Why is that we choose to quote Indian Express report, instead of our reliable and “accurate” SKCCR? Could it because it turns out that the venerable institution is “confused” on the subject of casulaties in Radhabai case too?

    In Vol 1, we have SKCCR informing us:

    During the wee hours of 8th January 1993, at about 0030 hours, some of the Hindu residences in a chawl popularly known as Radhabai Chawl in Jogeshwari jurisdiction were locked from outside and set on fire by miscreants. One male and five female members of a Hindu family (Bane) and their neighbours were charred to death and three other Hindus sustained serious burn injuries.

    That is, the dead included the Bane family and their “neighbours”.

    In Vol 2, this changes to:

    14.25 On 8th January 1993 at about 0030 hours a house in a chawl popularly known as Radhabai Chawl (though its actual name is Gandhi Chawl) was attacked by miscreants who locked the door of a Hindu house from outside and set it on fire. Although nine persons from the Hindu family of Bane had been confined inside the room, some of them managed to escape. Six of the family succumbed to burn injuries including a handicapped girl (C.R.No.15 of 1993).

    No mention of the neighbours!

    Even our journalist seems to be no longer swearing by the venerable Commission’s Report, for he is now brandishing some new evidence, an Indian Express report of Jan 8, 1993, probably because it includes some Muslim-sounding names too among the victims of a crime targeted at a Hindu residence, something that even the Commission dared not to do!

    As I said, folks, please do read that damned report. The propaganda of last several years has so seeped into our system that even those of us who are otherwise critically inclined tend to accept the claims made on behalf of this report at their face value. My request is: please do read the report in the original, neither a plug nor a criticism of it, and apply your own thought as you go along. Here’s a pointer to it, hosted on a site called Dalitstan, no less:

    http://www.dalitstan.org/mughalstan/qatl/krishna/

    Cheers,
    RR

  21. Dilip D'Souza
    August 22, 2004 at 4:02 PM

    Fair enough, perhaps an explanation is in order:

    > But then you refuse to explain anymore.
    > Were some of the questions I asked too hard?

    You want to think so, if it pleases you to think so, do go right ahead.

    But I had asked earlier, “Is this about scoring points?” Even earlier, I said, “If we cannot manage this basic respect for each other’s humanity, each others’ views, let’s stop this right here (and, like I said earlier, this is the last you’ll hear from me).”

    That’s the explanation. And, as always and yet again, make of that what you will.

    As for the events of January 1993, thank you for reinforcing, with your excerpts, my sole point: Bombay was burning before Radhabai Chawl happened. All through December, then again starting on Jan 1. Therefore, the claim that Radhabai set off the riots is false, not least because at the time it wasn’t seen so. Not even by those who later decided to claim it was the spark.

    Finally, here’s a few more lines from the Express, 9 January, “8 roasted alive in Jogeshwari Chawl”:
    “8 persons succumbed to burns. … The names of the dead have been given as Kamlabai Buttu (32), Laxmibai Buttu (10), Rajaram Bane (35), Kumari Narkar (20), Sudhir Kusumbe (35), Shaikh Nasir Yusuf Ali (26) and Shahbuddin Mohammed Chaudhary (18). One body was yet to be identified.”

    Now, dontlie@wontask.com, this IS the last you hear from me. I promise. I’m willing to exchange views with anyone else interested, any time, anywhere.

  22. RR
    August 22, 2004 at 11:45 AM

    While revisiting the updated version of the gospel, a.k.a SKCCR, I came across an interesting bit of information; ‘intresting’ only insofar as this discussion is concerned; though it involves an incident of most gruesome nature.

    Recall that this whole shebang started with our “journalist” voiceferously objecting Sandee’s version of the events. How many families were killed in Radhabai Chawl incident? “Journalist” informs us:

    One, not “many”, Hindu family was locked up and roasted alive by Muslim miscreants.

    According to SKCCR:

    One male and five female members of a Hindu family (Bane) and their neighbours were charred to death and three other Hindus sustained serious burn injuries.

    Do the dead neighbours constitute a family, or a fragment of family, or at least the members of a different familiy, in the extremely stringent technical terminology used by our “journalist”? Curious.

    By the way, I do urge all to take the advice of our “journalist” seriously: please peruse the Sri Krishna “Confused” Commission’s Report. Revisiting it after all these years, I was all the more struck not only by its various errors and inconsistencies, but blatant rationalizations as well, as also the fine-tuned technique of playing up what it wanted to highlight and underplaying what it decided not to take cognizance of. You don’t really need the help of a Varsha Bhosle or Arvind Lavakare to point them out to you. I mean, they are sitting there begging to be noticed, for crying out loud!

    Raghu

  23. RR
    August 22, 2004 at 11:26 AM

    APnews, that is, Associated Press, reports on 16th Jan, 1993:

    BOMBAY, India (AP) _ Hustle and bustle returned to Bombay’s streets today after 10 straight days of Hindu-Muslim rioting.

    TEN straight days of rioiting? What was Associated Press smoking? Didn’t it know that the riots were going on from Dec 6th the previous year? That, as our “journalist” reported, they were going on on Jan 2nd as well?

    Could Associated Press be “anit-Muslim”? A hindutva outfit probably? We need to invsetigate its links with Bal Thackeray.

    Further, on Jan 16th, it reports:

    BOMBAY, India (AP) _ As calm returned to Bombay, the government announced Saturday it will order an investigation of Hindu-Muslim rioting that erupted last week and claimed more than 500 lives.

    The same lie again, that the rioting “erupted” the week before, when in fact they were going on right through Decemeber!

    It turns out that AP lied on Jan 13th too:

    BOMBAY, India (AP) _ A woman councilor who led a frenzied mob of Hindus was among 25 people reported killed Tuesday as Hindus and Muslims fought with knives, clubs and firebombs for the seventh straight day.

    Is AP news trying to insinuate that something that happened 7 days eariler “triggered” the riots, just as our updated version of the gospel, aka SK “Confused” Commission, claims that the demolition of Babri Mosque “triggered” post-dec6 riots?

    Is AP news trying to insinuate that something that happened 7 days eariler “triggered” the riots, just as our updated version of the gospel, aka SK “Confused” Commission, claims that the demolition of Babri Mosque “triggered” post-dec6 riots?

    Must be, given its insistence that it was only the SEVENTH day of Hindu Muslim fighting? What a liar, this Associated Press. They were fighting all through the previous six weeks! In fact, they were fighting all through the last 200 years, if you take into account several riots that occured at different points in time! There are on record cases of rioting between Muslims and even Parsis of Bomaby!

    Note also that AP was prominently reporting the rioting by — and the subsequent killing of — a woman councillor, who everybody knew belonged to — hellalujah! — the Congress (I). Do you see the conspiracy there?

    Why was apnews consistently being misled to believe that the “riots” erupted on Jan 6th? We go back and see what happened on that day. We consult a tome as sacred as the updated version of the gospel, a.k.a SK “Confused” Commission Report (SKCCR), for our editfication, eventhough many “anti-Muslim” people inluding V Bhosle and A Lavakare have pointed out blooper after boopper in the said tome.

    On the night of Jan 5th, 1993, 4 mathadi were murdered by Muslims. SKCCR doesn’t tell what were the other casualties on that day, especially of Muslims, so we presume none were killed.

    On Jan 6th, SKCCR reveals, “mob violence” claimed the lives of 7 Hindus and 1 Muslim. there were 18 cases of stabbings, in which 1 Hindu and 1 Muslim was killed.That is in all 8 Hindus dead to 1 Muslim. Last two days put together, 12 Hindus and 1 Muslim.

    On Jan 7th, SKCCR reports, 16 Hindus were killed in stabbing incidents, and 2 in arson. 4 Muslims killed in stabbing. That is, 3 days of clashes leave 30 Hindus dead, 5 Muslim. (Incidentally, SKCCR mentions Antop Hill car-burning here, when the incident actually occured a week later. Were the Muslim casualty figures of this incident back-posted to Jan 7th?)

    The Radhabai Chawl incident occured in the intervening night between Jan 7th and 8th.

    On Jan 8th, SKCCR’s break-up for casualties in sectarian fighting are: Stabbing: 11 Hindus, 15 Muslims; mob violence, 6 Muslims; arson: 6 Hindus, 2 Muslims. Total figures for the day: 17 Hindus and 23 Muslims. That is, whereas Hindus suffered the most the previous two days, Muslims begin to bear the brunt starting Jan 8th.

    For Jan 9th, SKCCR’s casualty figures for clashes are: 12 Hindus and 30 Muslims.

    We note that the rioting began after the murder of Mathadi workers , and, even as mostly Hindus continued to be killed, it took a decisive turn for the worse afafter the Radhabai Chawl incident.

    Yet, we have it from our “journalist” that these telling figures establish no causal relationship between the said incidents and subsequent killings; whereas the destruction of Babri Mosque definitively and understandably “explains” the rioting that followed it.

    You better swallow that, or you’re anti-Muslim.

    RR

  24. RR
    August 22, 2004 at 10:16 AM

    As for you, wontlie@dontask.com, this is the last you hear from me. Make of that, yet again, what you will.

    You disappoint me mate. Just when I thought we were making great progress. Most of the self-styled secularists and liberals I argued with so far would justify post-Dec6 rampaging of Muslim mobs; as if the destruction of a deceipit, disused mosque in far away Ayodhya is licence enough for mobs in Mohammed Ali road to go on burning, looting and killing. You, on the other hand, came as a whiff of fresh air. To hear explanations as opposed to justifications is indeed a great relief. But then you refuse to explain anymore. Were some of the questions I asked too hard? Never mind. I remain impressed, like my friends, that a “journalist” actually had the courage to engage in interaction with readers on a public forum like this. Even if he chose to make an exit midway.

    Cheers,
    Raghu

  25. August 22, 2004 at 1:49 AM

    I don’t want to go into the techanilities or the details. A communal riot from either side serves no purpose at all. I just spare a glance at Irfan Pathan and shudder, if something might have happened to this player during Gujarat riots…..I watched U.S. of A. and see how claverly this country MOSTLY coaxes its citizen to give its best, irrespective of their caste, creed or religion, THEY NEVER ALLOWED ANY “BACKLASH” AFTER SEPT. 11 AT LEAST IN THEIR COUNTRY.
    I think when we alienate one community, we alienate their talent and potential too, and HERE I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT MUSLIMS ALONE, BUT OF 70 TO 80% OF THE POPULATION WHICH LIVE IN VILLAGES AND THEY ARE DEPRIVED IN MANY WAYS TO GIVE THEIR BEST TO THEMSELVES, THEIR FAMILY, COMMUNITY, SOCIETY AND FINALLY TO THE COUNTRY.
    Sandeep, don’t give too much attention to what is published in media. I was reading Kushwant Singh autobiography and it gives a good insight how a media house functions. :-)

  26. Vinay
    August 21, 2004 at 10:52 PM

    that even if one were to shout, scream, toot horn, blow trumpet or even set up a fireworks display, one still can’t alert you

    ROFL

  27. Dilip D'Souza
    August 20, 2004 at 4:48 PM

    Times, Jan 2 (datelined Jan 1): “Sporadic violence in suburbs” … “stone throwing disrupted the uneasy peace … fresh attacks by miscreants … [a mob in Khar] broke up into stone-throwing groups [and] seized one of the policemen on duty and tried to drag him into a nearby lane [to kill him]. Since [they] were armed with choppers, swords and knives, the policemen were forced to fire at the mob. [As a result] 3 people sustained gunshot injuries, Deepak Jadhav, Anil Rewale, Vijay Chalke. … [There was a] murderous attack in broad daylight … on a municipal truck driver. … [In Bhandup] an owner of a ration shop was attacked by a group of men wielding lethal weapons.”

    Times, Jan 5 (dateline Jan 4): “Riots erupt again in Dharavi” … “crossfire of stones and bottles filled with burning petrol. The police fired rounds to quell the violence.”

    Independent, Jan 5: “Dharavi residents flee city to escape terror.”

    Times, Jan 7 (dateline Jan 6): “3 killed, 40 hurt in city clashes.” … “4 persons were stabbed [in Dharavi] … [Elsewhere] 8 taxis were torched … A frenzied mob poured petrol over [a tempo] and set it on fire … [an] eyewitness said they also stabbed the tempo driver … Dongri remained tense after two men were stabbed to death … [a] teenager, Raju, was one of two boys set upon and pulled into a house … when arson and stone-throwing broke out … [T]he fate of Raju remains unknown. … Rioting continued in Indiranagar all night … and spread the next day to Gopaldarji Chawl. … More than 70 families have fled.”

    Times, Jan 8 (dateline Jan 7): “13 stabbed to death in city” … “Police sources … placed the number of deaths at 20. … Taxi drivers became targets … Two cabbies were stabbed by a mob at Shaukat Ali Road … The police commissioner said the situation was aggravated by the maha-aartis being performed in several temples around the city. … At Carnac Bunder, miscreants torched several huts … Several godowns at Shankarwadi [were torched]. A residential complex at Squatters Colony at Jogeshwari too was torched.

    Elsewhere in the same paper: “City cops fail to stem violence” … “A tyre shop at Mori Road [was] set ablaze last night. … nearly 54 BEST buses were burnt.”

    Also elsewhere in the same paper: “Riot victims’ tales of agony” … “Since 930 last night, Sion hospital received 6 victims of communal violence, mainly suffering from stab or stone injuries. … Mohammed Aslam Abdul was driving past Mahim on a scooter when a crowd surrounded him and attacked him with choppers. … Mansoor and his companion Mohammed Ishraf were caught and hit with chains and rusted swords. While Mansoor was allowed to flee at the request of some of the Hindus among the mob, Ishraf was saved by some pandits returning from a nearby temple.”

    Independent, Jan 8: “From Rumours to mind-numbing Carnage” … “By evening, the cold fact was that 6 people had been slain in a most brutal manner … [W]e saw a man running for his life, soaked in blood. He had been stabbed in the lower part of the abdomen and was being chased by a group … He was a taxi driver. He had been dragged out of his vehicle, stripped for verification of his religion and assaulted.”

    NOTE: It is after this that Radhabai Chawl appears in the reports, since it happened early on January 8. You read these reports (above), and you can’t help concluding what we remember from those weeks: Bombay was burning for days before Jan 8. But read on.

    Express, Jan 9: “8 roasted alive in Jogeshwari chawl” … “8 persons, including 4 women, were roasted alive in the wee hours of [Jan 8]. … [R]iots and arson in the city continued unabated.”

    Sunday Mid-Day, Jan 10: “Where the innocent pay the price” … “The horror in her eyes is as vivid as the flames that engulfed her home … Naina Rajaram Bane … was one of the 7 persons trapped in the house [in Radhabai] … Her father and 3 others died instantly … Naina helped most of [the trapped people] out through the window and herself managed to escape. ‘We were helped by our Muslim neighbours who poured water on our wounds. But soon a mob surrounded us and we had to flee.’ The fresh bout of violence, Naina swears, is because of the maha-aarti that was conducted that night.”

    Front page of same paper: “City Burns” … “Arson and rioting gripped the city for the 4th consecutive day on Saturday [Jan 9].”

    NOTE: “4th consecutive day” – meaning Jan 6, 7, 8, 9. Meaning two days BEFORE Radhabai.

    Times, Jan 11 (dateline Jan 10): “Law and order seem to have faded into oblivion in the 5th consecutive day of rioting in the city.”

    Independent, Jan 11 (editorial): “City of Shame” … “The happenings in Bombay in the past 4 days are not only unfortunate but a shame on humanity. … The fresh outburst of violence does not seem to have any provocation except the maha aarti campaign undertaken by the BJP and the Shiv Sena.”

    Independent, Jan 11 (dateline Jan 10): “Pillage continues unabated in city” … “[A taxi driver] was hit with stones and thrown into his burning taxi … [then] pulled out of the cab again, beaten repeatedly with stones until life snuffed out of him. … His charred remains lay alongside the road till late afternoon on Sunday, when this reporter passed. So much for Hindutva. … In Dadar … a taxi driver lay on the road, badly beaten but still alive. The mob was neither allowing the police to take the body to a hospital, nor was it killing him.”

    Express, Jan 12: “It’s work of trained arsonists: fire chief” … “The arson that swept the city over the last six days was clearly well-planned and professionally executed, aver top officials of the city fire brigade.”

    Elsewhere in same paper: “Troops fan out” … “Micreants continued the spate of arson, looting and stabbing … for the 6th consecutive day. … Meanwhile, Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray has appealed to the people to put a full stop to the mindless violence that has shattered the city over the past week.”

    NOTE: three days after Radhabai, Thackeray himself makes no mention of it as a spark, but refers to the violence “over the past week.”

    Eco. Times, Jan 12: “Bombay’s winter of discontent” … “For 6 straight days the urbs primus in India has been held at ransom by marauding mobs of communalists and arsonists. … [The] Sena has been at the helm of much of the recent violence. [This] link has been tacitly admitted by its supremo Bal Thackeray when he gave a qualified assurance … that he would ask for a cessation in violence. Further, the spurt in violence ever since the Sena began conducting its programme of maha-aartis shows a great degree of correlation.”

    Times, Jan 12 (edit): “No Will to Govern” … “It is nothing short of scandalous … that a full 5 days after the resurgence of communal violence in Bombay, the administration continues to be paralysed. … There is a marked difference between the riots that took place in Bombay after December 6 and [now]. While the first were sparked off by Muslims who were incensed at the destruction of Babri Masjid, these appear to be the handiwork of organizations whose diabolical object is to terrorise Muslims by destroying their property. … [T]here has virtually been a pogrom declared against Muslims … Muslim militants have also been arming themselves in some instances but the harsh reality is that this community has borne by far the biggest brunt of the riots.”

    Hindu, Jan 12 (dateline Jan 11): “Selective arson, looting seen in Bombay riots.” … “The pattern that is clearly visible after almost a week of unabated violence in Bombay is that of selective arson and looting across the city.”

    Telegraph, Jan 12 (dateline Jan 11): “Bombay mobs target Tamil Muslims” … “At least a hundred Tamil Muslim families have arrived in Madras during the last week after communal clashes erupted once more in Bombay. This time the Muslims of Tamil Nadu came in for special treatment at the hands of Shiv Sena, RSS and BJP fanatics.”

    Pioneer, Jan 12: “Middle class joins the lumpens” … “[R]ioting continued for the 6th day on Monday [Jan 11]…”

    Times, Jan 13: “City Riots Toll mounts to 500” … “At a conservative estimate, nearly 500 have been killed in the rioting that has rocked the city since last Wednesday (January 5).”

    (clippings done)

    What’s clear from these clippings? That AT THE TIME Radhabai happened, it was seen as just one more awful event in a whole sequence of them going back to days before it happened. AT THE TIME, nobody, not even the Sena, said it had sparked the riots. But in the years since, the Sena has done a very good job painting Radhabai as the spark for the riots.

    If I need to say it: It hardly satisfies me to make this point. It simply saddens me to type out this record of bestiality on every side. And yet I also take heart from the occasional glimpses of humanity, as in the Times report of Jan 8, “Riot victims’ tales of agony”.

  28. Dilip D'Souza
    August 20, 2004 at 4:41 PM

    > I have led you to believe that when I said “riots”, I meant
    > the entire period from Dec 6th right up to and including
    > the blasts. No, that was not the intention. When we say
    > riots, we mean the second phase of riots, except that
    > we beg to differ with the SK “confused” Commission’s
    > chronology of when exactly this phase started.

    Ah, so that’s it. Excellent.

    Riots happen for about 2.5 months (early Dec 1992 to mid-Feb 1993). About one month into those riots, and about a week into the second phase, a horrific multiple murder happens in Radhabai Chawl. Newspaper accounts of the time tell you about this crime, speaking of it as horrific all right, but as just another in a stream of horrific crimes. (Which is why I said, come with me and read the clippings).

    But long afterwards, about when public memory of the precise sequence of riots and blasts starts to fade, a whole set of people start to say: Radhabai Chawl “sparked” the riots. The riots were a “backlash” to Radhabai Chawl. (They also say, the blasts of March 1993 sparked the riots).

    Too bad that at least some of us haven’t let that memory fade. So we point out that it is absurd to claim that an incident that happened a month after the riots began “sparked” the riots.

    But that gets this suave response: “Oh, by ‘riots’ we didn’t mean the ENTIRE riots, we only meant the second phase.” Don’t you see, it’s just a matter of definition.

    But what a pity that that claim also falls flat on its face, because this “second phase” also started days before Radhabai Chawl. It’s not me saying so, check out some newspaper clippings from January 1993 (next post, and please forgive the length).

    As for you, wontlie@dontask.com, this is the last you hear from me. Make of that, yet again, what you will.

  29. RR
    August 20, 2004 at 11:23 AM

    To all you guys out there. This one is gonna be a long message, apologies in advance. This isn’t addressed to Dilip D’Souza really, but to *you* folks. Kindly indulge me.

    I begin from the end.


    > Would you please reconcile these two proclamations?

    Done already. See para in my previous reply to you that includes the second proclamation if you care, which perhaps you don’t.

    Well, if D’Souza insists. I shall reproduce not just the second para, but the entire sequence that led to it, so that you folks can see the claimed reconcilation for yourselves:

    Sandeep: the Muslim death toll was higher on all dates post January 8 1993.
    The reason is also not far to seek: Hindus resorted to backlash.

    DD: HEY YOU ANTI-MULSIM HINDUTVA DRUM-BEATER, YOU DANGEROUS SENA MOUTHPIECE, YOU FASCIST THACKERAY LOVER, WHY ARE YOU JUSTIFYING THE RIOTS SAYING THEY ARE A HINDU BACKLASH!? SHAME ON YOU JUSTIFIER! LOOK AT ME! I DON’T JUSTIFY MURDERS! I ONLY EXPLAIN THEM! DAMN YOU JUSTIFIER!

    (I am sorry. I apologize. I made that up. Dilip D’Souza didn’t say that. Why did I make it up, then? To drive home the point that though he could have said that, D’Souza chose not to say that. Why? Because D’Souza is a sincere guy, he is not here to score browine points, and his endeavour is to get to know others’ views, share a drink and maybe a joke, and give good company and generally be a jolly good fellow. Ergo, he’d begin as any gentleman would, namely, with the assumption that Sandeep is as noble, and as saintly, as himself in thought and deed. That being the case, the question of D’Souza construing — deliberately or otherwise — Sandeep’s statement to be a justification for the backlash does not arise at all! Do unto others as you’d have done unto you: that’s the D’Souza credo.)

    DilipD’Souza : There you have it: the attempt to make out that Radhabai Chawl forced Hindus to “resort to backlash.” Bombay is on fire, due in no small part to the Sena, for a month. But the Sena’s supporters now make valiant efforts to show that one atrocity among many, the Radhabai Chawl murders at the end of that month, sparked the riots. And more, that everything subsequent was just an understandable “backlash”.

    As for me, I think this backlash argument, coming from anyone, is absurd nonsense. Putting it kindly.

    (I am getting uneasy. Dilip D’Souza did say the above. Could he have, really!? I make a feeble attempt to rub my eyes in disbelief. He’s insinuating that Sandeep said what he said because he is a Sena supporter. And even as I fork my electron microscope out and pour over Sandeep’s post diligently, I can’t see where it was that he — that is, Sandeep — said that the riots were an “understandable” backlash. Is something going wrong here? No, no, maybe I’m prejudging our sincere man D’Souza. It is not the perceived justification that bugs him, surely, for doesn’t he allow Sandeep to be what he himself is: ie, just an explainer as opposed to a justifier? So it must be this concept of ‘backlash’ itself. D’Souza hates it, really.)

    YoursTruly : hasn’t there been a regular parade o”secularists”, “liberals” and such like who in the wake of India Gate blasts a year ago claimed that
    the killings were a backlash to Gujarat riots? Strangely enough, the Shiv Sena was heard saying that it was a nonsensical theory …

    DilipD’Souza: Try to understand this: I believe there are such things
    as backlashes. They happen. They can be offered as explanations for events. What is nonsense (putting it kindly) is when they are offered as justifications for
    events. When they are held up as the (false) reason for carnage and murder.

    (I am shattered. There’s no getting around that unsettling fact now: D’Souza _does_ believe in backlashes. There are backlashes and then there are backlashes. The ones that D’Souza believes in are those that are being *explained*. The ones
    that Sandeep mentions aren’t even, sincerely speaking, backlashes! They are only justifications! I feel miserable. Does St D’Souza have feet of clay, after all? NO! That can’t be true! I won’t give up! Maybe I’m still reading this man wrong! Maybe, if I brought the relevant material to his attention he’d do that which
    he is sincerely good at: explain.)

    YoursTruly: D’SouzaSpeak, circa 17th Aug, 2004: I think this backlash argument, coming from anyone, is absurd nonsense.

    D’SouzaSpeak, as of 18th Aug, 2004: I believe there are such things as backlashes.

    DilipD’Souza: One more time, and I’ll try to use words of one syl-la-ble: Backlashes happen. Those who justify them are wrong (putting it, as ever, kindly). Sorry, I did have to use words of more than one syl-la-ble.

    Gujarat riots were a backlash to Godhra. Bombay bomb blasts were a backlash to Bombay riots. Etc. Being backlashes does not make them justified; in fact, the attempted justification is nauseating. I said the same thing to the Muslims who told me the blasts were a backlash, I say the same thing to you now.

    (That’s it. That’s as in-your-face as can be. Stop deceiving yourself, Raghu dude. Tough luck. All you can do now is *demand* that he explain.)

    YoursTruly: DDSpeak, 17th Aug: How about this: there are Muslims who
    have told me that the Bombay blasts of March 1993 were just Muslims “resorting to backlash” for the riots of the previous December and January. Is that OK? Or will you tell me that your backlash is OK, but theirs isn’t?

    DDSpeak, 18th Aug: Bombay bomb blasts were a backlash to Bombay riots.

    Would you please reconcile these two proclamations?

    DilipD’Souza: Done already. See para in my previous reply to you that
    includes the second proclamation if you care, which perhaps you don’t.

    I rest my case, folks.

    PS: Oh, by the way — and this is addressed to you in good-natured humour DD dude: why don’t you — wink, wink ;) — go fly a kite or something instead of accusing Sandeep that he’s “justifying”? :) :) Sandeep is doing just fine in the moral fiber department (he he, just pulling your leg, Sandeep ;) , and if you want to sermonize to him, show him what you got, okay? (he he, pulling your leg too, DD dude ;) ;)

    Cheers,
    Raghu

  30. RR
    August 20, 2004 at 11:18 AM

    Do explain to me how the riots can be claimed to be a backlash to Radhabai when Radhabai happened a month after the riots started. Are you going to attempt
    this?

    If this weren’t followed by the question, “is this about scoring points?”, I’d have thought that you’re getting mischievous, mate. It distresses me that I have led you to believe that when I said “riots”, I meant the entire period from Dec 6th right up to and including the blasts. No, that was not the intention. When we say riots, we mean the second phase of riots, except that we beg to differ with the SK “confused” Commission’s chronology of when exactly this phase started. My sincere apologies for not clearing up terminology upfront.

    But do we then move ahead? Or not?

    But you are not even attempting anwering _my_ question, pal. Looky here: Islamic fundamentalists say that Bombay blasts, India Gate blasts, Godhra carnage, Akshardham etc are ‘backlash’. Jamaat-e-Islami says this; Tablighi-Jamaat says this, as also SIMI, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, SAHMAT, Patwrdhan, A Roy, Imam Bukhari, Syed Shahabuddin and a host of communal and terrorist outfits and individuals. Do they mean to ‘explain’ the course of events? Of course not! They mean to say — quite gleefully to boot — that these massacres are justifiable ‘reactions’, that they were meant to teach a lesson to Hindus.

    Obviously, you deny any association with these groups, eventhough you also say that these blasts etc are ‘backlashes’. That’s because unlike them, you are only an explainer, not a justifier, merely elucidating a technical point as an impartial observer of social dynamics. Right?

    Well, I’m sure Sandeep is doing the same too: merely explaining the riots as a backlash. He is NOT justifying anything. Why then is this morbid obsession on your part to get him around to your point of view? I mean, dude, this is bordering
    on intolerance, for chrissakes. It is being explained over and again that what Sandeep is offering is only an explanation, not justification. (While obviously nobody here is compelling you to swear that what _you_ are offering is also only
    an explanation, not a justification!)

    Why is it so difficult for you accept diversity of opinion where no ‘justification’ is involved?

    you’re smarter than me, I’m inconsistent, I’m biased, I’m bitten in the butt,

    Oh please, stop the self-pity; giving me a massive guilt-complex.

    Cheers,
    RR

  31. August 20, 2004 at 5:24 AM

    Oh… just one more thing, Dilip. Have a look at this comment on a post by Anil Dash on his blog. The comment has been made by a journalist, Farhad Manjoo, from Salon.com

    That comment has the exact reason why I feel bloggers can keep journalists honest.

  32. August 20, 2004 at 4:26 AM

    Dilip… blogs/bloggers are kept honest by their readers. In a way, its the same mechanism. Only more transparent and real-time. The interactivity afforded by having comments ensures that the readers can crack the whip as soon as the blog author slips up. You can see that feature in action right here on this blog… and that’s not all… you’re a part of that process of keeping the blog author honest… right here!

  33. Dilip D'Souza
    August 19, 2004 at 4:32 PM

    > Would you please reconcile these two proclamations?

    Done already. See para in my previous reply to you that includes the second proclamation if you care, which perhaps you don’t.

    > you were challenging Sandeep on his explanation of
    > Bombay riots as a backlash to Radhabai …

    Also done. See para beginning “Back to Radhabai Chawl.”

    Do explain to me how the riots can be claimed to be a backlash to Radhabai when Radhabai happened a month after the riots started. Are you going to attempt this?

    Is this about scoring points? If so, I give you all the points right off the bat: you’re smarter than me, I’m inconsistent, I’m biased, I’m bitten in the butt, name it and you’ve got it. But do we then move ahead? Or not?

  34. RR
    August 19, 2004 at 3:03 PM

    I am in this to try to learn about your views and try to make you understand me. I’m willing to try that sincerely.

    I’m in this conversation precisely because you’re putting your most sincere foot forward, dear Dilip. We’ll definitely keep this going as long as you’re sincere, don’t worry.

    DDSpeak, 17th Aug: How about this: there are Muslims who have told me that the Bombay blasts of March 1993 were just Muslims “resorting to backlash” for the riots of the previous December and January. Is that OK? Or will you tell me that your backlash is OK, but theirs isn’t?

    DDSpeak, 18th Aug: Bombay bomb blasts were a backlash to Bombay riots.

    Would you please reconcile these two proclamations? There are about 50 words there to play with, spin around, waltz about and generally break into syllables, but I’m sure I can rely on you to take that which you’ll deem is the most sincere
    approach.

    So when you were challenging Sandeep on his explanation of Bombay riots as a backlash to Radhabai, were you telling him that Muslim backlash is ok, but Hindu backlash isn’t, given that at the end, after all, you _do_ consider the Bombay blasts to be a ‘backlash’?

    I’m also on another point. If you or those cryptoIslamists — the Patawardhans, the Roys, the Manders — spout the backlash theory, it is only to ‘explain’ events, right, not to justify them? But why are you so violently opposed to Sandeep or anybody explaining Bombay riots as a backlash? We’re only arguing a technical point, after all, not making a moral judgement, so we could agree to disagree, no? Why do you get so blue in the face insisting that everybody must accept your point of view on a — obviously non-value-loaded — technicality?

    I’m all intrigued, sincerely speaking.


    ay, dear Dilip, if Consistency bit you in the butt would you be able to tell?

    Unlikely, old man. But I will wait for you to alert me.

    I’m inclined to believe — sincerely — that even if one were to shout, scream, toot horn, blow trumpet or even set up a fireworks display, one still can’t alert you to the fact that Consistency has bitten you in the butt.

    Ciao,
    Raghu

  35. Dilip D'Souza
    August 19, 2004 at 9:20 AM

    MD: Of course other extremist ideologies are a threat. For example, I think the half-baked Islam of the “Islamic” parties (I use the quotes because they know nothing of Islam) in Pakistan is clearly the greatest threat to the survival of that country. The incomprehensible hatred between Catholic and Protestant has caused decades of bloodshed in Northern Ireland. Both sides there have shown they know nothing about Christianity. The racist propaganda that Hutus were fed in 1994 pushed them into committing genocide on a scale I still find it hard to understand. Here in India, when I look around me, my opinion is that this stuff that’s peddled as Hindutva (whose proponents, like the “Islamists” in Pakistan and “Christians” in N Ireland, know nothing about Hinduism) will drive us into hatred, turn us against each other. Left to itself, it will destroy us long before Pakistan, or China, or anything else, manages it. The hatreds are already evident, and I don’t exclude myself from that.

    One lesson I take away from all this: those who claim to be the sole defenders or keepers of a faith, whichever that faith is, know nothing of that faith. One reason I find all religions repulsive and stay firmly agnostic.

    And yes, blogging certainly looks fascinating! Perhaps I’ll get into it, if I find the time.

    Sameer, a short question and like MD, no sarcasm: should blogs and bloggers also be kept honest? If so how?

  36. August 19, 2004 at 5:32 AM

    Great work Sandeep!! Your post is an excellent example of bloggers and their blogs keeping the journalists honest. It’s the “you’d-better-standby-what-you write,-coz-one-of-us-is-gonna-rip-your-story-to-shreds-if -you-don’t!” attitude that excites me about blogging!

  37. MD
    August 19, 2004 at 5:08 AM

    Oh, and to clarify my last comment: what I meant was why would one extremist ideology be more or less threatening than another? Not being sarcastic, genuinely want to know your opinion :)

  38. MD
    August 19, 2004 at 5:03 AM

    Ok, I got here through Shanti’s blog and I am not qualified to argue the issues being presented here.

    I just wanted to say: aren’t blogs wonderful? The ultimate democratic medium. I think it is wonderful that you all are debating this issue and that Mr. D’Souza is listening to his ‘public’ as it were.

    Ok, one side note: if hinduvata is the greatest threat to the nation of India, wouldn’t other extremist ideologies be a threat as well?

    Best of luck to you all…..

  39. Dilip D'Souza
    August 18, 2004 at 11:19 PM

    > My entry isn’t in the least bit so dramatic that you need to feel a sudden on-rush of
    > adrenalin. Have always been around here on Sandeep’s blog, and hey, I even left a
    > counter-comment to your comment in the previous entry that you pretend not to
    > notice.

    But I do, old chum, I do! (feel a sudden on-rush of adrenalin). I never heard of Sandeep’s blog (not being much of a blog-reader myself) till someone sent me a cut/paste from that January entry of his. So how would I have known you lurk on his blog? (Are you a blog-lurker?). As for your counter-comment, no, I had not noticed. But I will go check after posting this.

    > I thought I could elevate you to the position of spokesman of Al Qaeda … err .. of
    > Arundhati Roy, at any rate, though it’s difficult to tell between AQ and AR.

    Elevate me wherever you like, old pal! But I still speak for myself, that’s it.

    > D’SouzaSpeak, circa 17th Aug, 2004: I think this backlash argument, coming from
    > anyone, is absurd nonsense.
    > D’SouzaSpeak, as of 18th Aug, 2004: I believe there are such things as backlashes.

    One more time, and I’ll try to use words of one syl-la-ble: Backlashes happen. Those who justify them are wrong (putting it, as ever, kindly). Sorry, I did have to use words of more than one syl-la-ble.

    Gujarat riots were a backlash to Godhra. Bombay bomb blasts were a backlash to Bombay riots. Etc. Being backlashes does not make them justified; in fact, the attempted justification is nauseating. I said the same thing to the Muslims who told me the blasts were a backlash, I say the same thing to you now.

    Back to Radhabai Chawl. Two things being conflated here. One, that Radhabai sparked the riots. Demonstrably false. Two, that therefore the riots were a backlash against R Chawl. Oh yes? Then what about all the carnage before R Chawl, stretching back a month? How come you have yet to address that?

    > Say, dear Dilip, if Consistency bit you in the butt would you be able to tell?

    Unlikely, old man. But I will wait for you to alert me.

    > I can’t really force you to admit that I am as smart as you.

    You are every bit as smart as I am, and likely more.

    > How cute.

    Cute, who knows? But true, yes. When you turn up for that drink I shall tell you more about gentle readers who were so angry about a report they had not cared to read.

    > What was that you said about Prassana’s explanation of his email-ID? “Give me
    > another one”, right?

    Actually, no. “Tell me another one.”

    > Have you downgraded the rating from “accurate” to “confused”? Is that, by any
    > chance, a shade of “biased”?

    Nope, still “accurate”. As for biased, of course I’m biased. Never claimed to be anything but.

    > the car-burning howler in the Sri Krishna report is the most telling evidence that not
    > only is the report based on faulty reasoning …

    Standard tactics of Parivar followers. Latch on to one howler and pretend that invalidates everything else; hold on to that howler because it remains the only stick to beat back everything else.

    Go ahead, old friend. Even with this howler, the Srikrishna report offers a good case for punishing the guilty from the riots. The clearest proof of that is the way the guilty themselves – Sena and the Parivar faithful – have reacted to it over the years: tried to stop the inquiry in 1996, did their best to make out that it should not be made public once Srikrishna submitted it, published it in extremely limited numbers, trashed it as “anti-Hindu”, latched onto his boo-boo with dates re: the burning of the taxi.

    > Kafkaesque.

    Yeah, but are you coming for a drink or not?

    OK, here’s the deal. I tire of the sarcasm and so forth pretty fast, and perhaps you do too. Like I said to Seriously Sandeep, I am in this to try to learn about your views and try to make you understand me. I’m willing to try that sincerely. I’m not in the least interested in scoring points. What worries me deeply is that many hundred fellow human beings were killed in Godhra and across Gujarat in 2002; many hundred more were killed in Bombay in 1992-93; still others were killed in Delhi in 1984; on and on. I want to see the murderers punished, whoever they are and whatever religion they follow. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I have not assumed that any of you are thrilled about murders of one kind of human; by the same token, you have got to assume that I’m not thrilled about murders of another kind of human. If we cannot manage this basic respect for each other’s humanity, each others’ views, let’s stop this right here (and, like I said earlier, this is the last you’ll hear from me). If we can, let’s take this forward.

  40. August 18, 2004 at 3:51 PM

    Dilip,

    Prasanna is right about spam and when it comes to computers and internet, I think you should lend an ear irrespective of the political view of the person concerned. Maybe you can get more information about spam here. Coming to the topic of half-baked hindutva, I would like to hear from you about fully-baked hindutva, or say just plain hindutva. Please be kind enough to explain what do you think it is.

    Riots, particularly Hindu-muslim riots have been happening in In India even before independence. Now when lives are lost in riots, be it a hindu or a muslim or a parsi, they are indian live and everything should be done to prevent it. From what I have read, most of the riots began with attacks from one religious side’s intolerance. Please do check this information with the data at your disposal, which this religious side is.

    I am not a journalist by profession, but I assume you are (maybe the reason why I cant find much time to write and you can). Please do feel to correct me if I am wrong. Over the period of time media and the journalists have been reporting how horrible the right-wing hindus (whatever that means) are, how horrible that people burnt Graham staines etc etc. Couldnt see much about the killings in maraad in the media, and also it was quiet about the killing in westbengal, except for a few muffled voices here and there. Maybe lives of hindus are not just valuable enough against say a muslim or a christian missionary.

    Look how media reacted recently to Ishrat Jahan incident. The whole media knew, rather they decided that Isharat Jahan was a poor innocent girl and the police encounter was fake, even going to the extent that Gujarat police kidnapped her and killed her. Wow, the analytical powers of the media never ceases to amaze me. I am sure the headlines that the media projected during that incident might have helped jihadi-organisations recruit more people. Later when the news came out that she indeed was part of LeT, the media mumbled something for a short while and forgot the whole thing. Sorry maybe you didnt want to write about that or maybe you didnt know such thing happened at all.

    Now from where you sit, if you see “half-baked Hindutva” (whatever that means) is the major threat the greatest threat to my country, I really wonder where you are sitting. Its like a quack-doctor prescribing a standard medicine to a patient without finding out the disease. I think as a journalist (correct me if I am wrong), you need to get your analysis done a bit more.

  41. RR
    August 18, 2004 at 3:04 PM

    Woo-hoo! Brought another dude out of the woodwork!

    Calm down. There’s nothing to be so excited about. My entry isn’t in the least bit so dramatic that you need to feel a sudden on-rush of adrenalin. Have always been around here on Sandeep’s blog, and hey, I even left a counter-comment to your comment in the previous entry that you pretend not to notice.

    > I speak for myself. That’s it.

    Sure? Given the enthu with which you unilaterally appointed Sandeep as the spokesperson of Shiv Sena, I thought I could elevate you to the position of spokesman of Al Qaeda … err .. of Arundhati Roy, at any rate, though it’s difficult to tell between AQ and AR.

    i > … who in the wake of India Gate blasts a year ago claimed that the killings were a
    > backlash to Gujarat riots?

    Try to understand this: I believe there are such things as backlashes.

    How rich, given only hours earlier you have declared: “As for me, I think this backlash argument, coming from anyone, is absurd nonsense.”

    Let me just repeat that, so it sinks in to you as well as to onlookers:

    D’SouzaSpeak, circa 17th Aug, 2004: I think this backlash argument, coming from anyone, is absurd nonsense.

    D’SouzaSpeak, as of 18th Aug, 2004: I believe there are such things as backlashes.

    Say, dear Dilip, if Consistency bit you in the butt would you be able to tell?

    They happen. They can be offered as explanations for events. What is nonsense (putting it kindly) is when they are offered as justifications for events. When they are held up as the (false) reason for carnage and murder.

    Very enlightening. So when Dilip D’Souza says that India Gate killings are a ‘backlash’ for Gujarat he is not holding up a false reason for carnage and murder really; nor is he offering that argument as a justification for events.

    But when a Sandeep says that Bombay riots are a backlash to Radhabai Chawl or that Gujarat riots are a backlash to Godhra, there’s absolutely no doubt at all that he is both justifying those riots and offering a false reason for them.

    Why is that what is sauce for the goose isn’t for D’Souza? Could it be because D’Souza is a saintly man waiting in line to be beatified by the Pope?

    While at it, can you tell me what your comprehensive policy for declaring an act of carnage as ‘backlash’ is?

    Or, let me give it shot myself. Let me try and trace your fantabulous thought process to enlighten and enrich my own thinking experience.

    In your book:

    The India Gate killings are a backlash.
    Bombay blasts are a backlash.
    Post-Dec-6 riots all over India are a backlash.
    The Godhra train carnage is a backlash.
    9/11 is a backlash (to American foriegn policy).
    The killings by Hamas are a backlash. (to Zionist policies)
    The kidnappings and the killings in Iraq are a backlash.

    Gujarat riots are NOT a backlash.
    Bombay riots are NOT a backlash.

    So what does this data tell us? .. Ummm… a tough one, really…. ugh … I’m thinking really hard now … argh… let me try a little bit harder … come on, come on, inspiration, strike me … ughh…arghh…. YEAH! GOT IT!

    If Muslims kill non-Muslims, it is a backlash, simple!

    A carnage in the opposite direction is not a backlash, simple!

    Oh. What strenuous brain-racking it was!

    Did I miss any nuance of your policy, dear Dilip?

    Never mind. I can’t really force you to admit that I am as smart as you.

    And as for my using the Jan 7th incident that Srikrishna got confused, I was quite aware it had been confused in the report. I wanted to see how many of my
    gentle readers who criticize Srikrishna, like you, had actually read the report.

    How cute. What was that you said about Prassana’s explanation of his email-ID? “Give me another one”, right?

    Hey, but remember you certified that the Sri Krishna Report is “accurate”. Have you downgraded the rating from “accurate” to “confused”? Is that, by any chance, a shade of “biased”?

    Make of that, too, what you will.

    I have, long ago. That the car-burning howler in the Sri Krishna report is the most telling evidence that not only is the report based on faulty reasoning (as I tended to believe till that point in time) but that it is based on dubious “facts” as well!

    I’ll ‘fess up. At that point in time I *did* read the SK report. But Varsha’s expose of the howler made me read VHP’s counter-report too! In a way I’m actually indebted to you!

    What a disaster, D’Souza. The guys that get the maximum mileage out of your valiant efforts to give the SK report the widest possible coverage are these half-baked Hindutva dudes.

    Kafkaesque.

    Cheers,
    Raghu

  42. Prasanna
    August 18, 2004 at 1:46 PM

    Tell me DD,how can anybody only HIDE behind a fake id.I can hide behind my actual id too.Is there any way u can find out about me from my mail id?What can u do if u can?What exactly is it with mail ids?

    I look around at what’s around me and I write about it
    Obviously u look around and write carefully enough to write only about Hindutwvadis and not a word about muslim extrmenists or the missionaries,don’t u?

    What’s it, you guys read each others’ blogs and pat each other on the back, is that all you do
    Is not that exactly waht u secularists do all the time?u r now down to what we call in north India Chhichhorapan.

    it seems to me that the greatest threat to my country is this half-baked Hindutva.

    The moment u and ur gang of secularists stop half-baked secularism ,Hidutva will stop.The jehadis and their secular backers are the greatest threat to my country.Period.

  43. Dilip D'Souza
    August 18, 2004 at 8:41 AM

    Woo-hoo! Brought another dude out of the woodwork! What’s it, you guys read each others’ blogs and pat each other on the back, is that all you do? Hey, I wanna do it too! Pat me on the back, won’t you?

    > So what is one to make of a person who not only invents a rape that didn’t
    > occur, but also invents victims who didn’t exist either?

    Make what you like. I speak for myself. That’s it.

    > … who in the wake of India Gate blasts a year ago claimed that the killings were a
    > backlash to Gujarat riots?

    Try to understand this: I believe there are such things as backlashes. They happen. They can be offered as explanations for events. What is nonsense (putting it kindly) is when they are offered as justifications for events. When they are held up as the (false) reason for carnage and murder.

    > if Radhabai Chawl on Jan 8th is the spark for subsequent events, you demanded to
    > know, how about that incident on Jan 7th when two Muslim men in a car were
    > burned to death?

    What was the point I made in my article? That Bombay was burning well before Radhabai Chawl. For over a month previously, in fact, but all through the first 8 days of January as well. (This is why I told Sandeep, come look at the clippings). This is undeniable, unless you are a Sena aficionado. So those who like to claim that Radhabai sparked the riots are only trying to shift the focus away from their own crimes from well before Radhabai. It’s the same guys who are now pushing the lie that the blasts preceded the riots (and thus sparked the riots – though of course they haven’t bothered to explain the conundrum that they also claim Radhabai sparked the riots).

    Have you had anything to say about these lies?

    I don’t believe that my dispute over this with Varsha should have occupied more columns than it did, which is why I left it there. Besides, I had one point to make – see above – and that I did. Make of all that what you will.

    And as for my using the Jan 7th incident that Srikrishna got confused, I was quite aware it had been confused in the report. I wanted to see how many of my gentle readers who criticize Srikrishna, like you, had actually read the report. Turned out only Varsha had (and Lavakare, who wrote an article about this one confusion). Says something to me. Make of that, too, what you will.

    And in any case, the confusion doesn’t detract from the main point in my article: that Bombay was in flames for a month before Radhabai, so it clearly wasn’t the spark for the riots. Nor, in fact, does this one inaccuracy detract from the overall accuracy of Srikrishna, even though his critics have used this endlessly to beat the report.

    Finally, I am glad you reciprocate my sentiments about reaching out. Truly. Come to Bom, I’ll give you a drink, maybe a meal, and let’s chat. This, too, is a serious offer. Hell, why just serious? We can laugh too. Over email addresses, for one thing…

    By the way, my sympathies that you found me in Outlook.

  44. RR
    August 17, 2004 at 10:15 PM

    > when Dilip asks, A crime horrible enough that it doesn’t need to be inflated to “many” families, what am I supposed to make of it?

    You make of it the impression you give to people who know that you inflated the numbers: that a man who inflates an already hideous crime is a man who doesn’t quite believe in his own arguments.

    Very kind of you to put it so unambiguously.

    So what is one to make of a person who not only invents a rape that didn’t occur, but also invents victims who didn’t exist either? We learn that one of those non-existent victims this person invented was not only brutally non-murdered by having stomach ripped open and burning rags stuffed in guts, but also that the fictional killers left us with no doubt as to who killed this fictional victim and why: wasn’t the ‘OM’ carved on the forehead of the non-corpse clue enough?

    So, D’Souza, I take it that Arundhati Roy is a dudette who doesn’t believe in the shrill piffle she herself peddles bigtime. Not news that would rock civilization — many people have known this all along — but it’s gratifying to get to know it from you, nevertheless.

    If the figures are inflated, call that bluff.

    Done, already. The bluff is called by the fact that they are figures peddled by those whose bluff has been called: the Roys and the Manders. What is unsettling though, D’Souza, is that these rumour-mongers seem to have wildly succeeded: look at you, for example.

    As for me, I think this backlash argument, coming from anyone, is absurd nonsense. Putting it kindly.

    Ha. That adds one more person to the list whose rhetoric you seem to have swallowed hook, line and sinker: Anand Patwardhan. He actually said that the blasts were *Muslims’* backlash to the riots. Mark the emphasis. He disputed that it was *Pakistan’s* handiwork; he knew for sure that it definitely was a Muslim backlash.

    Actually, your wonderful declaration adds two persons to the list whose rhetoric you seem to have swallowed wholly. How could I have missed Teesta Setalvad? For this is what our Citizen for Peace and Justice told Washington Post, on the eve of Godhra, *before* riots began:

    “.. you cannot pick up an incident in isolation. Let us not forget the provocation. These people (Godhra victims) were not going for a benign assembly. They were indulging in blatant and unlawful mobilization to build a temple and deliberately provoke the Muslims in India.”

    Actually, let me correct myself. We need to add several entries to our list, for hasn’t there been a regular parade o”secularists”, “liberals” and such like who in the wake of India Gate blasts a year ago claimed that the killings were a backlash to Gujarat riots? Strangely enough, the Shiv Sena was heard saying that it was a nonsensical theory …

    So here’s what we end up with: a list of people who don’t believe in their own arguemnts, who peddle nonsense, and whose staunch defender you are.

    I find this turn of events more hilarious than you find my email-id to be.

    I roamed the city widely then, visiting hospitals and riot-hit areas, speaking to victims, and I think Srikrishna’s report is just that: accurate

    I see. You’d naturally claim that _you_ are accurate, too, no, notwithstanding your admiration for Roy-the-vicitm-inventer and Mander-the-rumour-monger? In fact, it is because _you_ are accurate that you know for sure that Sri Krishna is accurate, right?

    Now let us recall some stuff you wrote a couple years ago, dear Dilip. You threw a challenge to Varsha Bhosle, disputing her chain of causality for riots, and pushing your own: if Radhabai Chawl on Jan 8th is the spark for subsequent events, you demanded to know, how about that incident on Jan 7th when two Muslim men in a car were burned to death?

    You sure remember that exchange don’t you? And you sure remember that Varsha has shown that the Commission itself is clueless on when precisely the said incident occured?

    It turns out that 3 men, not 2, were burned in a car on Jan 14th, not 7th.

    Elsewhere, you are angry with Sandeep for saying that you peddle lies. Strong language on his part, no doubt. But I wonder as to where to file the above howler of yours under: ‘lie’ or ‘mistake’ or just plain ‘fiction’? You who roamed the streets accurately.. could you have erred!? Mind boggles.

    Why get hung up about my email, DD? I’m trying to reach out to you too, and for the same reasons to boot: to reach across divides that will destroy my country. What’s my decidedly hilarious email got to do with your (and — you’ll hopefullyagree — mine too) laudable objective, haan? I’m here on Sandeep’s blog, available, ready to respond to you, feel free to talk to me!

    Cheers,
    Raghu

  45. Dilip D'Souza
    August 17, 2004 at 8:20 PM

    Yeah right, Prasanna. Tell me another one about fake email ids.

    As for secularism, I have no intention of teaching it to anyone, whether Muslim thugs or Hindu goons or Christian dacoits or someone else altogether. I write, that’s all. I look around at what’s around me and I write about it. From where I sit, it seems to me that the greatest threat to my country is this half-baked Hindutva. Therefore I will criticise it. Therefore I will annoy dudes like you. Fine with me.

  46. Prasanna
    August 17, 2004 at 7:44 PM

    Hey Dilip,
    Good that u spoke out..
    u got me wrong.I do not wanna HIDE behind a fake id..not at all.It’s just that I do not want to make my id public.Ever heard of ‘Spam Mail’ or ‘Junk mail’?
    Secularists like do not have the guts to confront muslim thugs and teach them secularism.They HIDE behind the traditional Hindu tolerance(or apathy) to make a living peddling phoney secularism.But people like me,who grew up watching muslim thuggery and intolerance and continue to do so,are not convinced .
    The question of hiding from a secularist does not arise at all.

    Now take a hike and teach secularism to muslims for a change.

  47. Dilip D'Souza
    August 17, 2004 at 2:56 PM

    Also about Prasanna, gotta also love the way he hides behind a fake email id. What’s it with guys like these? zyz@somewhere.com is just about as hilarious as another I’m sure you’ll recognize: dontask@wontlie.com.

  48. Dilip D'Souza
    August 17, 2004 at 2:53 PM

    Ah, the man finally responded. But let’s see how:

    > 1. I got my dates mixed up

    It’s not just you getting your dates mixed up. There is a concerted attempt on the part of the Sena and its friends to confuse the dates, to make out that the blasts happened first and caused the riots. This is no fantasy of a “sick-ularist” (gotta love that word): I have a copy of a biography of Manohar Joshi that says this explicitly. And I’ve lost track of the number of people who have written angrily to me saying just this much.

    > 3. The incident did not happen during the Bombay riots, but much earlier–
    > January 1993

    I see the man is still confused. The incident DID happen during the Bombay riots. What you said in your earlier post was that it happened during the Bombay BLASTS.

    > when Dilip asks, A crime horrible enough that it doesn’t need to be inflated to
    > “many” families, what am I supposed to make of it?

    You make of it the impression you give to people who know that you inflated the numbers: that a man who inflates an already hideous crime is a man who doesn’t quite believe in his own arguments.

    > The IIRC reports a figure of 900 out of which 250 are Hindu. Now, shall I apply
    > Dilip’s words to the Gujarat riots: A crime horrible enough that it doesn’t need to be
    > inflated to 2000?

    Of course you shall apply them. If the figures are inflated, call that bluff. I will join in.

    But consider this: it might also be useful if you told us what “IIRC” is and where it reported that figure, instead of just using the acronym and the number authoritatively and hope that none of us will ask the question.

    > they begin prior to the Radhabhai Chawl incident.

    Very good. Very nice tables, very nicely formatted, etc. But why wasn’t I in the least surprised that you began on 5 Jan 1993 and not on December 7 1992, when the riots in Bombay started? What’s it, nobody died in that whole month of December 1992, whether Hindu or Muslim?

    Just like the Sena wants to insinuate that the blasts preceded the riots, it also wants to insinuate that the Radhabai Chawl horror was the spark for the riots that actually started a month earlier. On both insidious efforts, I can see they have succeeded wildly: look at you.

    And even if you take just January, for the sake of argument, there was killing and rioting going on from the 1st of that month. (Come with me sometime and look through clippings from the newspapers of that time. I’ll pay your cab fare. This is a serious offer.) So the implication that Radhabai Chawl sparked it all is just this much: a lie.

    > the Muslim death toll was higher on all dates post January 8 1993. The reason is also
    > not far to seek: Hindus resorted to backlash.

    There you have it: the attempt to make out that Radhabai Chawl forced Hindus to “resort to backlash.” Bombay is on fire, due in no small part to the Sena, for a month. But the Sena’s supporters now make valiant efforts to show that one atrocity among many, the Radhabai Chawl murders at the end of that month, sparked the riots. And more, that everything subsequent was just an understandable “backlash”.

    Yeah right.

    But even if this was truly just a backlash. How about this: there are Muslims who have told me that the Bombay blasts of March 1993 were just Muslims “resorting to backlash” for the riots of the previous December and January. Is that OK? Or will you tell me that your backlash is OK, but theirs isn’t?

    As for me, I think this backlash argument, coming from anyone, is absurd nonsense. Putting it kindly.

    > is Dilip aware that the Krishna Report is eminently biased, and that it was rejected by
    > the ex-Maharashtra Chief Minister, Manohar Joshi?

    His name, incidentally, is “Srikrishna”.

    Of course the report is biased, as seen by you and Manohar Joshi and Varsha Bhosle. It says things you guys don’t agree with, so what else will you call it but biased? You have no real argument against it, so it must be denounced as biased and anti-Hindu and so forth.

    You expect me to believe a man like Joshi, who is criticized in the report along with his party and remote-controlling boss, would do anything OTHER than reject it? You expect me to believe that you, who has swallowed the Sena rhetoric so wholly, would say anything else than that it is biased?

    But to those of us who employ minds of their own, who lived through the riots, and who have READ the report (tell the truth, have you read it? If not, I’ll send you a copy, at my expense): it is a generally accurate description of what we saw and heard happening around us in those horrible weeks. I roamed the city widely then, visiting hospitals and riot-hit areas, speaking to victims, and I think Srikrishna’s report is just that: accurate. It could hardly be otherwise: he spent five years painstakingly recording evidence, listening to every side of the issue, in particular to the Sena/BJP lawyers who were there every day. (I sat through dozens of his sessions, watching how painstaking he was). It’s funny, during his inquiry the Sena and BJP were eager to present him with every kind of evidence, in great detail, and he put it all on record. But when he considers all that evidence and comes to his conclusions – the only ones he could reach, really – the Sena (and you) suddenly pronounce him biased. Why didn’t they (and you) denounce him as biased while he was conducting his inquiry?

    > Conversely, it certainly interests me to see how much you know of “one’s own culture
    > and heritage,” or what you consider to be your culture and heritage before you can
    > make sweeping generalizations about its adherents being fundamentalists.

    I have never called anyone a fundamentalist. In fact, I have never used that word in anything I’ve written – because to me, it means nothing. Yet why let that stop you? You claim to have read my articles, but clearly you have not. Or you would not have made this point about “sweeping generalizations”.

    I didn’t pay much attention to your mention of me in your January post: it was the Radhabai mention I reacted to. But since you’ve quoted it, let me say this. You claim I have “made a career” out of “peddling lies”. Here’s the challenge I offer to everyone who writes to me in this vein: please point out to me the precise words in anything I’ve written that amount to “peddling lies”. The precise words, please. No waffling. Will you be the first to take up that challenge? Or do you prefer merely blustering?

    As for patriotism, I’ll say this much. People who think they have a monopoly on patriotism, who think any views different from their own are automatically unpatriotic, who feel the need to pronounce who is and who isn’t a patriot – such people, to me, know nothing about patriotism. Not that they need to.

    And finally, about your friend Prasanna: like I said, gotta love that word! Gotta love your fans who think this is about name-calling and scoring points and putting me in my place. Here’s a thought for him and you: I’m doing this not to score points, but to try to reach out across divides that I fear will destroy my (and your) country. To try to understand guys like you and see if you will attempt to understand me. You can’t wish me away, and I can’t wish you away (even if I wanted to, which I don’t). I care about this country and the people here just as deeply as you do. But I’m not interested in demonstrating it, or in certificates from anyone.

    Sure, that reaching out I mentioned will be acrimonious. I don’t mind that. But I would rather do that, or at least try it, than feel smug about putting people in their place. If this makes sense to you, let’s keep this going. If not, this is the last you’ll hear from me.

  49. August 17, 2004 at 11:38 AM

    Prasanna,

    Thanks for the appreciation:-) I’m waiting for Dilip’s response now.

  50. Prasanna
    August 16, 2004 at 9:04 PM

    All I can say is God bless you,dear Sandeep.You have put everything that people like us have been trying to tell these sick-ularists time and again.Keep ‘em comin!

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