Issue 20 - May 2005

Genocide in Gujarat The Sangh Parivar, Narendra Modi, and the Government of Gujarat

The Modi government in Gujarat is responsible for the deaths of thousands of its citizens in instances of organized violence, large-scale displacement of its minority populations, continuing denial of justice and the climate of terror that permeates civil society in Gujarat even today. Narendra Modi must be held accountable for his complicity and instigation of anti-minority violence, and for the injustices and trauma that his actions continue to propagate to this date.

Written by chatterjiangana

Genocide in Gujarat
The Sangh Parivar, Narendra Modi, and the Government of Gujarat

This report was compiled by Angana Chatterji, Associate Professor, Anthropology, California Institute of Integral Studies; Lise McKean, Deputy Director, Center for Impact Research, Chicago; and Abha Sur, Lecturer, Program in Women’s Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the support of various members of the Coalition Against Genocide. We acknowledge the critical assistance provided by certain graduate students, who played a substantial role in shaping this report through research and writing.

In writing this, we are indebted to the courage and painstaking work of various individuals, commissions, groups and organizations. Relevant records and documents are referenced, as necessary, in the text and in footnotes.

Gujarat: Narendra Modi and State Complicity in Genocide

Summary

Under Narendra Modi’s leadership, between February 28 and March 02, 2002, more than 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in Gujarat, a state in western India, aided and abetted by the state. Sporadic violence against Muslims in Gujarat continued in the months that followed. In the aftermath, 200,000 people have been rendered homeless and internally displaced.

Numerous inquiries and commissions, such as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India, have held that Narendra Modi, as the chief executive of the state, had complete command over the police and other law enforcement machinery during February 28 through March 02, 2002. They have condemned the role of the Government of Gujarat headed by Modi in providing leadership and material support in the politically motivated attacks on minorities in Gujarat.

Mob of Hindu nationalists on rampage

Photo: BBC

The European Union, and every major Indian and international human rights organization: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Commonwealth Initiative for Human Rights, Citizen’s Initiative, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), have condemned the Gujarat violence, and pointed to the complicity of the Government of Gujarat in the execution of the event. Coverage in the Indian and international press, including the New York Times (July 27, 2002), Washington Post (June 03, 2002), and Boston Globe (July 12, 2002),[1] reported the failure of the state machinery in Gujarat.

Former President of India, Kocheril Raman Narayanan, stated that there was a “conspiracy” between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governments[2] at the Centre and in Gujarat behind the riots of 2002 in Gujarat. President Narayanan said:

“There has been government participation in Gujarat riots. I had sent several letters to the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, and also talked to him. But he did not do anything effective.”

Former President Narayanan said he had directed sending in the army to Gujarat to stop the violence. “How many instances of the serial killings could have been avoided if the Army had resorted to shooting against rioters? The slaughter could have been avoided if the Army was given the freedom to stem the riots”.[3]

According to independent human rights observers, the events that transpired in Gujarat between February 28 and March 02 conform to the specifications of genocide. These events can be classified as a genocide under the Second Article of the Genocide Convention of 1948, adopted by Resolution 260 (III) A of the United Nations General Assembly on December 09, 1948, which delineates the following criteria in determining ‘genocide’. ‘Genocide’, the Convention clarifies, occurs when any of the following acts are committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, such as:[4]

A. Killing members of the group.

B. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.

C. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.

D. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.

E. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

In Gujarat, as the International Initiative for Justice identified, the (first) four of the above criteria were met: killing members of the group through massacre; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group through massacre, rape, burning, stabbing, beating, etc.; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part through massacre, economic boycott, psychic, physical, and social trauma; and imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group through rape, trauma, destruction of family, sexual violence and mutilation.[5]

Background

On February 27, 2002, the Sabarmati Express, a train bound for Ahmedabad,[6] was carrying kar sevaks (pilgrims, religious workers) from Ayodhya to Gujarat.[7] The kar sevaks traveled to aid in the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya. In 1992, a mob of Hindu militants demolished the Babri Masjid (mosque) in Ayodhya, built in the 16th century, instigating rioting that spread to other parts of the country, and resulted in the death of more than 2,000 people, again mostly Muslims.[8]

They declared that they would build a temple to Ram at the site, in supposed retribution for the Muslim invasion of certain spaces in what is today, centuries later, the nation-state of India.[9] The train stopped at Godhra, a town in Panchmahal district in Gujarat with a history of communal[10] tension. During the stop, a fire broke out in Coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express, which resulted in the death of 59 people. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders belonging to the network of Hindu nationalist organizations collectively known as the Sangh Parivar (or ‘Sangh’)[11] alleged that the Godhra tragedy had been a pre-planned Muslim conspiracy to attack Hindus, subvert the state, and damage the economy. In addition, Modi “further sought to stoke religious passions of the majority Hindu community by taking the decision to bring the charred remains of the victims of the tragedy to Ahmedabad in a public ceremony intended to arouse passions.”[12] Hindutva[13] groups also alleged that Hindu women had been violated in the attack.[14]

Events

Hindu nationalists called for a bandh (general strike), to take place on the following day. Despite the fact that bandhs are frequently associated with violence, and have thus been made illegal, the Government of Gujarat, led by Narendra Modi, endorsed the strike. Unlike chief ministers of other states, such as Jharkhand, Bihar,15 and Maharashtra,16 Narendra Modi, took no precautionary measures against the imminent violence, such as preemptive detentions, which are legal and effective in India. Nor did he send an appeal to the Prime Minister to ask the news media to exercise restraint while covering the violence, and issuing strict ‘no riot’ instructions to the police force. To the contrary, as the violence ensued, Modi “justified this massacre by calling it a natural reaction to the Godhra violence.”[17] Modi then ordered that Star News and other liberal media that were actively reporting the violence against the Muslim community in detail, leave Gujarat for “airing provocative coverage.”[18]

In the three days following the fire in the Sabarmati Express, the Sangh Parivar, with the knowledge of Modi and his cabinet,[19] led a campaign of targeted anti-Muslim violence across Gujarat, in which 16 of 24 districts were affected.[20] Some of the worst violence occurred in rural areas hundreds of miles from the train incident at Godhra. Had the violence been a“spontaneous reaction” as Narendra Modi and several other Gujarat officials claimed, it should have been concentrated only in the areas immediately around Godhra.

Moreover, subsequent investigations[21] found that only Muslim-owned businesses were destroyed, including hotels with Hindu names, or with Muslim dormant partners, where public registry listed the owner as Hindu. Inventories of Muslim businesses, including hotels with Muslim partners, and Muslim residences were made available to the mobs by BJP, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and Bajrang Dal leaders and cadres, and the Gujarat State Police,[22] as were voter registration lists/electoral rolls that aided in the targeting of Muslims in mixed, or dominant Hindu neighborhoods. In Gujarat, with its history of communal violence, the events of February 28 through March 02 emerge as distinctive based on the scale and scope of sexualized and gendered violence, and the complicity of the state government in enabling the massacre and allowing it to continue.[23] There is strong evidence that the anti-Muslim violence following the fire on Sabarmati Express was planned. Witnesses described how Sangh Parivar mobs were armed with liquid gas cylinders, tridents, knives, and sticks. People from rural areas were trucked into neighboring villages and towns to participate in the violence, sporting the uniform of the Sangh — saffron scarves and khaki shorts.

Mob leaders used cell phones to coordinate the movement of thousands of armed men through densely populated areas. Many of the mobs descended upon Muslim neighborhoods, homes, and businesses, hacking and burning people and property. Women and girls were beaten, thrown into wells, targeted for rape, gang rape, and collective rape, sexually mutilated and burnt. Mobs participated in the severing of women’s breasts, the tearing open of women’s vaginas and wombs, forcing the abortion of fetuses and their display on trishuls.[24] The elderly and children, even unborn children, were not spared.[25]

Police participation and complicity with the Sangh Parivar-led violence has been clearly and carefully documented. Much of the violence took place within sight of the local police stations. Witnesses testified that police officers often refused to come to the aid of Muslims, or took active part in the violence, to the point of shooting and striking at Muslims as they ran from the mobs. Rakesh Sharma’s documentary on the Gujarat violence, Final Solution, shows footage of police officers shooting tear gas into Muslim sections of town as rioters waited to enter. Frantic calls for help to police and state government offices often resulted in little aid, or a betrayal: “We have no orders to save you.”[26] Even politicians were not impervious to this onslaught; Ehsan Jafri, a prominent Muslim and a former member of the Indian Parliament, made more than twenty phone calls seeking help for his family and those who had gathered at his home for protection; his pleas remained unanswered, and he and many others were tortured, brutally killed, and burned on the street.

The Gujarat Police routinely did not register First Information Reports and refused to take action against the mobs.[27] In a survey conducted between March 05 to March 13, 2002, 2,797 Muslim families who were impacted were interviewed from within 17 relief camps in Ahmedabad, and some from villages near Ahmedabad and Sabarkantha. Of the 1,783 families that responded to a specific set of questions about actions taken by the police, 9.8 percent reported that the police had fired on them, 14.2 percent said that the police had acted against the victims, 31.1 percent reported police inaction, and only 2.9 percent reported that the police had been supportive.

The Citizen’s Initiative report documents some of the responses given by the police: “We don’t have orders to protect you”- To a group of women who were asking help to protect girls being raped on the roof of near by building with the State Reserve Police standing close by; “They have been given twenty four hours to kill you” — to people who asked them for help; “If you want to live in Hindustan, learn to protect yourself” — response given to some people who dialed 100 for help; “Why didn’t you also die? They should have killed you also” — to a person who went to lodge a complaint about his kin being killed.”[28]

The violence continued for over thirty-six hours as the Indian national army remained on standby. Modi claimed that the army had been called for on the evening of February 28 and arrived on March 01. Even as approximately 600 troops reached Ahmedabad and other areas on March 01, they were not mobilized. The state government failed to utilize the armed forces and assist them with adequate transportation support, or provide them with information regarding the locations of outbreaks of violence.[29] While large-scale attacks ended on March 02, the violence continued into the following weeks, erupting into episodes.

Subsequent forensic investigations have established that Coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express could not have been set on fire from the outside on February 27, 2002, and that the fire that destroyed compartment S-6 started from within the train compartment. The interim report of the Justice U. C. Banerjee Commission, released on January 17, 2005, has concluded that the fire in Coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express on February 27, prior to the mass killings which ensued on February 28, was “accidental,” and not a “terrorist” attack on Hindu pilgrims as claimed by Narendra Modi and other Hindutva leaders in their attempt to justify the violence that followed.30 Narendra Modi declared in August 2002, that: “It wasn’t merely a communal riot, it was like a mass agitation,” and later in an August interview with Rediff: “What happened in Godhra supports our contention how innocents are being killed ruthlessly. Gujarat has helped India convince the world community how terrorism is damaging us.”[31] Hindu nationalists continue to maintain, with no factual basis, that Godhra was an act of (Muslim) terrorism.

Haren Pandya, the then Home Minister of Gujarat, testified before a Citizen’s Tribunal about a meeting which took place on the evening of February 27, 2002, where Chief Minister Modi asked his officials “not to come in the way of what will occur in the next few days.”[32] As a directive from his position as Chief Minister, such action constitutes an endorsement of violence and the state’s complicity in the events that followed. Pandya was forced to resign from government after he testified. On March 26, 2003, Haren Pandya was assassinated in his hometown of Ahmedabad. The death was investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation, with controversial findings.[33]

Various investigations (listed in earlier footnotes) have inquired into the precise nature of the genocidal violence used by Hindutva mobs[34] to target Muslim communities in Gujarat. Fact-finding teams have concluded that, based on the reach and impact, the implementation of violence that occurred, including across the districts of Ahmedabad, Dahod, Gandhinagar, Kheda, Mehesana, Panchmahal and Sabarkantha, between February 28 and March 02, must have been premeditated and could not have erupted spontaneously. These investigations have asserted that Narendra Modi, as the head of state of Gujarat, not only failed to take preventative measures against those who were planning the violence with his knowledge, but undertook a series of measures that either tacitly or explicitly condoned the violence.

The horrific breakdown of governance in Gujarat and the Sangh Parivar’s infiltration into the state and judiciary have made justice and the hope of reparation, as well as security and healing, impossible. The situation was exacerbated by the endorsement of Modi by then BJP government at the center, and post-election in May 2004, in the absence of intervention on the part of the Congress-led alliance. Three years have passed. Narendra Modi remains the Chief Minister, and many of the perpetrators of the violence walk free. The Government of Gujarat continues to harass and discriminate against its Muslim, Christian, and Sikh minority populations, adivasi,[35] dalit,[36] and other marginalized groups, as well as secular activists and intellectuals, with new policies and prejudiced application of existing laws such as the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor of the United States Department of State released a report on International Religious Freedom in 2002, pointing to the culpability of the Government of Gujarat in the violence, its violations of human rights and religious freedoms, and the targeting of other minority groups, such as Christians, following the event.[37]

The Sangh Parivar: Narendra Modi’s Inspiration

Narendra Modi was nominated (and not elected) to his first public post in 2001, after the resignation of Keshubhai Patel, the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Modi was not part of electoral politics and participated in his first election in 2002, after becoming the Chief Minister. He held the position of general secretary of the Gujarat BJP unit, and was appointed chief minister based on his reputation and success as an organizer.

Narendra Modi

Photo: BBC

Modi has been affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)[38] as a pracharak[39] since 1972, drawing inspiration from the Sangh Parivar’s agenda for a Hindu state in India. The history of the Sangh Parivar is interwoven with complex politics.

In response to British colonization, the Sangh’s agenda was to build a strong Hindu nation through physical and military training and construction of a fundamental Hindu identity that asserts higher-caste cultural values. It was a political strategy for free-India where upper-caste and -class Hindus could accumulate and maintain social and cultural power and privilege over religious minorities (especially Muslims and Christians) and lower caste and adivasi people.

This political strategy and ideology of the Sangh was formulated in the early decades of the 1900s, motivated by Nazi and fascistic ideologies, and German and Italian programs for ethnic cleansing toward nation building.[40] The ideological and paramilitary training in Germany and Italy in the 1920s and 1930s inspired early Hindu nationalist leaders such as Vinayak Damodar Sarvarkar and Balkrishna Shivram Moonje. Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, one of the early ideologues of the RSS, expressed his admiration for Nazi agendas very clearly in 1938:

“To keep up the purity of the nation and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races — the Jews. National pride at its highest has been manifested here.”

He continued:

“The non-Hindu people in Hindustan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and revere Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but the glorification of the Hindu nation… in one word, they must cease to be foreigners or may stay in the country wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment, not even citizen’s rights.”[41]

Modi, as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, incorporated the teachings of the Sangh in his governance of Gujarat. According to a Times of India article, entitled: “In Modi’s Gujarat, Hitler is a textbook hero,” tenth grade school texts: “present[s] a frighteningly uncritical picture of Fascism and Nazism. The strong national pride that both these phenomena generated, the efficiency in the bureaucracy and the administration and other ‘achievements’ are detailed, but the exterminations of Jews and atrocities against trade unionists, migrant laborers, and any section of people who did not fit into Mussolini or Hitler’s definition of rightful citizen do not find mention.”[42]

Another strategy deployed by Hindu nationalists in Gujarat is to acquire popular support for Hindutva through social, developmental, charitable and cultural work. Sangh members often show up in various villages building schools, constructing wells, and organizing religious functions. They are also usually among the first to arrive at the site of a natural disaster, offering relief and rehabilitation aid.

The Sangh utilizes such opportunities to mobilize local communities, including women, adivasis and dalits, for its cadres, involving them in Sangh campaigns against religious minorities.[43] The participation of Sangh-affiliated, women, of Hinduized, adivasi and dalit communities in the assault on Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 exemplifies this pattern.[44]

Gujarat: Continuing Violence

Relief and Rehabilitation

Following the events of February 27-March 02, 2002, the Government of Gujarat was grossly and willfully negligent in providing necessary political support, security, relief, resettlement and rehabilitation measures to the victims. Initially, the compensation announced for the primarily Muslim victims was half of the amount declared for the Hindu victims of the Godhra train tragedy. Chief Minister Modi described those who died in S-6 as victims of “terrorist activities.” In response to the Sabrarmati Express fire, the Modi Government announced a compensation package of 200,000 rupees for each victim.

Modi described those who died in the anti-Muslim carnage following Godhra as victims of “communal violence.” The compensation package for these victims was 100,000 rupees. The inequity in the allocated compensatory amounts, based on religious affiliation for all intents and purposes, violated “provisions of the Constitution contained in Articles 14 and 15, dealing respectively with equality before the law and equal protection of the laws within the territory of India, and the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.”[45] The compensation packages were later lowered to a single sum of 100,000 rupees for all victims after intense public protests dissenting the decisions of the Government of Gujarat.

However, most victims and survivors have had enormous difficulty in claiming even this amount of compensation, with some being paid as little as 500 to a few thousand rupees.[46] Relief camps were assembled, marshaled mostly by citizens groups, and not by state relief agencies. At a public function on September 09, 2002, Chief Minister Narendra Modi stated: “Do we go and run relief camps? Should we open child producing centers?… those who are multiplying population at a rapid rate will need to learn a lesson.”[47]

The Gujarat Government, acting under the orders of Narendra Modi, ordered that all relief camps be shut down as of October 30, 2002, leaving the 200,000 internally displaced vulnerable and without resettlement and rehabilitation. Relief camps set up to house the thousands of displaced Muslims were run largely by Muslim and other citizens groups. The camps received little support or aid from the state, and were constantly harassed and threatened with closure even as the victims residing there had been displaced and had nowhere to go. Moreover, it was reported that: “the few camps in Ahmedabad which are hosting [displaced] Hindus are visited more frequently by government authorities and receive more regular rations.”[48]

After the closure of the camps, many survivors fled Gujarat to stay with family in neighboring states rather than return to their villages to face further violence, a process that has led to progressive ghettoization of the Muslim community in cities like Ahmedabad and Baroda. Others, only after agreeing to abandon their cases, returned fearfully to broken homes and often to neighbors who had committed or supported atrocities against them. Economic boycotts of Muslim shops and employees continue to the present day, compounding the trauma and constraining the right to life and livelihood.

In addition to the emotional and psychological trauma of the loss of life and the violations of family, dignity, and body, everyday struggles also continue to strain daily life. Muslim youth are discriminated against and denied access to good schools, and teenage boys in particular are vulnerable to police-led search operations and POTA detentions. Testimonies of displacement of Muslims are accompanied by stories of Hindu businesses or individuals who take over spaces and jobs vacated by their former neighbors.

Freedom of mobility, especially for women of the Muslim community, has been greatly reduced as the failures of justice have produced a sense of impunity, sanctioning further acts of violence. Hindus who befriend or support Muslims are targeted and ostracized. False cases have been registered against them, and Hindu women married to Muslim men have been singled out for brutal torture and death.[49]

Court Cases

Numerous efforts by various human rights groups to seek justice for the victims of the post-Godhra violence and hold the perpetrators accountable have met with resistance and complete lack of support from the Gujarat Government. A Human Rights Watch report (2004) stated:

“Although, the Gujarat government, responding to international outrage, initially boasted of thousands of arrests following the attacks, most of those arrested were acquitted, released on bail with no further action taken, or simply let go.”[50]

Under Narendra Modi’s leadership, more than 2,000 of the 4,000 and more cases filed by the victims of the violence were never investigated or else were dismissed, leading the Supreme Court of India to rebuke both the Gujarat judiciary and the Gujarat State Government for its handling of the cases, and transfer several cases out of the state for trial. According to Human Rights Watch, many of the crimes of 2002 have not been reported or the evidence has been doctored to not implicate certain politicians, and the cases that reach Gujarat courts often face a judiciary filled with Sangh members and sympathizers.[51]

Of the cases filed, there are currently two civil suits against Narendra Modi for crimes against humanity and genocide. Some of the cases include: Dawood Case: Among those attacked by Hindu extremists in February-March of 2002 were four British nationals, Mohamed Aswat, Sakil Dawood, Saeed Dawood, and Imran Dawood, and an Indian national Yusef Palagar, as the vehicle they were traveling in was stopped by a well-organized road-block erected in close proximity to the local police station on a main highway leading into Gujarat. Targeted as Muslims, the group were stabbed and burned. Only Imran Dawood survived.

On April 30, 2004, the widows and relatives of the murdered British Muslims filed a Civil Suit in district court in Gujarat against Chief Minister Modi and the state government for crimes against humanity and genocide.

Best Bakery Case

This case was filed to seek redressal for the torching of fourteen persons in the Best Bakery Building in Vadodara, Gujarat, on the night of March 01, 2002. The attack coincided with the India-wide bandh called for by the Sangh Parivar and endorsed by Modi and the Gujarat Government. In 2003, India’s high court dismissed a case against 21 people accused of burning 14 Muslims to death at Best Bakery. All 21 of the accused were acquitted due to lack of evidence by the Trial Court, as key eyewitnesses recanted or turned hostile due to coercion, manipulation, and threat of reprisal – reversing their statements, refusing to speak (or were refused the opportunity to speak), or appear in court, or were absent during court processes determining competency and reliability. The National Human Rights Commission contested the acquittal of the named assailants and called for an investigative cell that would inquire into the actions of the state’s high-ranking officials.

The NHRC filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court, appealing to change the venue of the case, on the grounds that a free and fair, and impartial trial was not possible in Gujarat, and that witnesses for the prosecution were being systematically intimidated by those affiliated with the Sangh Parivar. Modi contested the appeal. The NHRC also advocated the need for witness protection. Following the changes in testimony pronounced by Zaheera Sheik, who had experienced the trauma of her family’s murder and who was present for the Best Bakery ordeal, more than one-half (35 out of 60) of the witnesses for the Best Bakery trial shifted their positions and were, as a result, pronounced hostile.

Zaheera Sheik’s shift was hyper-visibilized in the media. Almost all these witnesses who turned hostile during the trial reported that the police had randomly selected them and forced them to sign on panchnamas (inquest reports). Based on evidence that the case could not proceed in Gujarat, on April 12, 2004, the Supreme Court transferred the Best Bakery case to Mumbai, in the state of Maharashtra. On February 09, 2005, the 43rd witness in the Best Bakery case, whose residence is within forty feet of the Best Bakery site, recanted his statements as eyewitness, and was subsequently declared hostile.[52] Following the demands of the NHRC, on February 21, 2005, the Supreme Court granted a three-month extension for its self-appointed high-level committee investigation into allegations and counter allegations of key witnesses and activists seeking to challenge the order of acquittal.[53]

Witnesses and survivors continue to be apprehensive of and endure threats of violence, in the absence of support, and psychological and social care. The Best Bakery case is not unique in how the Sangh Parivar or the Government of Gujarat has threatened witnesses and shaped what evidence may or may not be heard, and what circulates in the public imaginary.[54]

There is a new word, ‘compro’, short for compromised. Compro families have been coerced/agreed to drop charges against perpetrators of the massacre, in lieu of a promise of safe return to their homes and neighborhoods. Without viable options to gain justice through the judiciary, compromised families remain at risk, open to manipulation and intimidation from the dominant community.

Bilkis Case

Bilkis Yakoob Rasool (or Bilkis Bano) of Randhikpur village was gang-raped during the post-Godhra violence. She was five months pregnant at the time of her rape and lost fourteen family members, including her three-year-old child, mother, and two sisters. She was among a group of seventeen persons attacked by village neighbors, some of whom she has known all of her life. Since then, she has been forced to move twenty times due to the threats made against her. On August 06, 2004, the Supreme Court transferred her case from Ahmedabad to Mumbai, based on evidence generated by the Central Bureau of Investigation that as witness she would be in danger if the trial were to proceed in Gujarat.[55] On February 22, 2005, she identified 12 of the perpetrators in in camera proceedings. Eight others, including police officers and medical doctors, are also accused of protecting the guilty.

Ali Case Sentencing

On February 23, 2005, an Ahmedabad court sentenced three persons, Varyansinh Bhatia, Manjitsinh Varyansinh and Rajesh Koshti, to four years imprisonment for stabbing Naseembibi Safar Ali, a pregnant woman, to death. The murder took place on February 28, 2002, in the Madhavpura area in the city of Ahmedabad.[56] This case was re-opened for investigation per the directive of the Supreme Court. The Gujarat Court’s decision starkly communicates the lack of value given to the life of Naseembibi Safar Ali, a pregnant Muslim woman. To find the male perpetrators guilty of murder and see fit to punish them with four year sentences makes a mockery of justice and aligns the state, perhaps once again, with the organized violence that was Gujarat in 2002.

Anti-Christian Violence

When Keshubhai Patel came to power as the BJP chief minister in 1998, violence against Christians escalated.[57] Between December 25, 1998 and January 03, 1999, in Dangs district, more than 20 churches were destroyed. Angry mobs assailed and robbed Christians, including in their homes. Human Rights Watch noted that the attacks in December and January were “preceded by escalating violence throughout the state in which many police and state officials were implicated.”[58]

Although Muslims were the primary targets of violence in 2002, there are reports of Christians being attacked or robbed during the post-Godhra riots. According to a Human Rights Watch, Christians in Gujarat are still under “legislative, administrative, and physical assault” in 2003. Anti-Christian actions range from anti-conversion legislation in the state government, state sponsored surveys of Christians, and threats and physical assaults.[59] Organizations such as Christian Solidarity Worldwide and the All India Christian Council continue to document cases of widespread anti-Christian violence perpetrated by the Sangh.[60]

Anti-Adivasi and Anti-Dalit Actions

Narendra Modi’s actions have also impacted adivasis and dalits, as dams on the river Narmada have forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands across the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat, without their consent and without provisions for resettlement and rehabilitation. Sardar Sarovar, which Modi cites as Gujarat’s majestic achievement, is a gigantic dam expected to displace 200,000 people and negatively impact another 200,000. Modi has used the dam’s apparent ‘success’ to deflect attention from his government’s complicity in the events of 2002.[61]

Prevention of Terrorism Act

The Government of India introduced the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance on October 15, 2001, empowering the state to detain political opponents, revoke civil liberties, and suppress actions it deems threatening to the nation. On March 26, 2002, POTA was enacted into law. The People’s Tribunal on POTA, held in New Delhi in March 2003, describes the use of the Act to target minorities, especially Muslims.[62]

In Gujarat, after 2002, 240 people were held under POTA, 239 Muslims and one person from the Sikh community.[63] Modi’s government has not released any of these POTA detainees[64] while the Parliament of India repealed POTA in December 2004, even as the repeal is not retrospective.[65] This clearly indicates the use of law to target minority communities, fostering division, hatred and violence in Gujarat.

Gujarat: Hindutva Politics and Narendra Modi

According to the concerned Citizens Tribunal, the Sangh Parivar undertook a series of preparatory actions in Gujarat prior to 2002.66 Keshubhai Patel came to power as the BJP Chief Minister in 1998. As early as January 02, 1999, Gujarat was identified as a “Hindutva laboratary” as reported by Harish Khare, who argued that the anti-Christian violence of 1999 was indeed organized and carried out by the VHP and the Hindu Jagran Manch (a VHP front organization), contrary to the conclusions of another fact-finding team led by M. B. Kaushal. Khare called attention to the infiltration of the Sangh into the police force, pointing to the transfer of the District Superintendent for registering a complaint against Bajrang Dal members, and the fact that the police force’s “lower level postings throughout the state have been allowed by the Keshubhai Patel Government to be vetted by the local Bajrang Dal-VHP functionaries.”[67]

On February 14, 1999, a Sangh-controlled “religious parliament,” organized by the VHP in Ahmedabad, the city where some of the most extreme anti-Muslim violence took place in 2002, declared “Christianity and Islam as alien religions and therefore against Indian ethos.”[68] On February 16, 1999, progressive organizations in Gujarat strongly protested against the Government of Gujarat’s census of Christians and Muslims in the state. The census of these religious minority populations included an inventory of telephone numbers and vehicle information, their links with foreign countries and their police records.[69]

The Gujarat Civil Servants Conduct Rules of 1971 prohibits government employees from participating in the activities of certain organizations, which included the RSS and the VHP. On January 04, 2000, then Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, with the support of the BJP national government, unlisted the RSS from this ban, authorizing state government employees to participate in the activities of this organization.[70] In late January 2001, a severe earthquake devastated Gujarat. Various charitable organizations raised money for relief work. Sangh organizations raised substantial funds from abroad[71] for the Gujarat earthquake, and discriminated against religious minorities and lower-caste people in the distribution of the aid.[72]

Between February and April of 2002, incendiary pamphlets were distributed, ranging from encouraging people to participate in anti-constitutional boycotts of Muslim shops and establishments to “exhortations to violence against Muslim women and children that are too shocking to detail.” Though most of the circulars were anonymous, the “VHP and Bajrang Dal claimed proud ownership of at least four.”[73]

Narendra Modi came to power as the Chief Minister of Gujarat on October 07, 2001. Following the violence of early 2002, Modi embarked on a Gaurav Yatra, or ‘Pride Procession’, to begin a campaign for his re-election. His platform was ‘Gujarati Pride’, and many regarded the Yatra as a celebration of the success of the Sangh in his state. Modi was re-elected as Chief Minister in December 2002.

The BJP-led coalition of political parties at the national level faced defeat in 2004. Although the BJP lost its position as the head of the governing coalition in 2004, it still governs in several states, including Gujarat, where Narendra Modi remains in power, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Uttaranchal, Chhatisgarh, and Orissa. Narendra Modi’s actions in Gujarat have compelled other Hindutva ideologues such as Praveen Togadia, International Secretary of the VHP, to issue a call seeking to bring “Ram Rajya” (rule of Ram, an energizing myth in the discourse of Hindu nation) to other states, such as Orissa.[74] The Sangh’s social and cultural organizations continue their work at the local level and infiltrate into institutional structures, continuing to undermine and target cultural, political and religious minorities.

United States: Narendra Modi and Sangh Parivar Organizations

Continuing International Concern

There has been non-partisan support in the United States for human rights in Gujarat. Former President Clinton condemned the events in Gujarat, and Congressman Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA) addressed the United States House of Representatives on June 18, 2002, condemning the premeditated brutality in Gujarat and acknowledging insufficient action on the part of the United States. Pitts also conveyed that Hindu extremist groups receive some of their funds from charities in the United States and the United Kingdom. In 2003, the Commission on International Religious Freedom of the United States State Department recommended that India be designated a Country of Particular Concern (CPC). Although this recommendation was rejected by Secretary of State Colin Powell,[75] the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom’s annual reports continue to reflect concern over the abuses of the Sangh,76 and again recommended that India be named a CPC in 2004.

Who Invited Narendra Modi?

Amid such concern, Narendra Modi is preparing for his first post-2002 visit to the United States.[77] His visit is endorsed by Sangh affiliated organizations and supporters in the United States,[78] many among which undertake fund raising to sustain the work of Hindu nationalism in India, and are linked to Hindu nationalist organizations supporting Modi in Gujarat.

In Closing

The Gujarat massacre was pre-planned and the state government of Gujarat was complicit and culpable at the highest level. Three years later, Narendra Modi remains in violation of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, and other international laws. The Modi government in Gujarat is responsible for the deaths of thousands of its citizens in instances of organized violence, large-scale displacement of its minority populations, continuing denial of justice and the climate of terror that permeates civil society in Gujarat even today. Narendra Modi must be held accountable for his complicity and instigation of anti-minority violence, and for the injustices and trauma that his actions continue to propagate to this date.

NOTES & REFERENCES

[1] Celia W. Dugger (2002) ‘Religious Riots Loom Over Indian Politics’ in The New York Times, July 27, 2002, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.genocidewatch.org/Indianriots27July2002.htm; H. D. S. Greenway (2002) ‘Rising Threat of Hindu Extremism’ in The Boston Globe, July 12, 2002, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_13-7-2002_pg4_12; and Rama Lakshmi (2002) ‘Rapes Go Unpunished in Indian Mob Attacks; Muslim Women Say Claims Are Ignored’ in The Washington Post, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/news/news.php?sub=155

[2] The BJP led national government of 1999-2004 was in power at the center. The BJP emerged as the single largest party in a hung parliament in 1996, and acquired power as part of the 24 party National Democratic Alliance in 1999. In May 2004, the BJP led government was defeated in the parliamentary elections and the Congress-Left Party coalition formed the government at the centre.

[3] “Gujarat riots a BJP conspiracy: KR Narayanan” in The Hindu, March 02, 2005, URL (consulted March 2005): http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/001200503022152.htm

[4] United Nations (1948) Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.hrweb.org/legal/genocide.html

[5] See International Initiative for Justice (IIJ) (2003) Threatened Existence: A Feminist Analysis of the Genocide in Gujarat. Pp. 81-96, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.onlinevolunteers.org/gujarat/reports/iijg/2003/;

[6] Principal city in Gujarat, located east of the Sabarmati River, approximately 440 kilometers north of Mumbai.

[7] Ayodhya, in Uttar Pradesh, a state in northern India, is the mythical birthplace of Ram, a Hindu god.

[8] “Rioters defy Indian Army” in BBC News March 02, 2002, URL (consulted February 2005): http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/1850424.stm

[9] Radhika Desai (2002) Slouching Toward Ayodhya. Three Essays. New Delhi: Three Essays Collective.

[10] In India, the term ‘communal’ refers to the politicization of religious differences, commonly used to describe tensions between Hindus and Muslims.

[11] The Sangh Parivar’s major branches are the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, National Volunteers Association, cultural wing of Hindutva), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP, World Hindu Council, the ideological front for Hindutva, see footnote 13 for an explanation of ‘Hindutva’), the Bajrang Dal (the paramilitary wing of Hindutva), BJP, the parliamentary wing of Hindutva, and other organizations which claim to do charitable or cultural work.

[12] “Bringing Godhra bodies to Ahmedabad was Modi decision” in Indian Express, August 22, 2004, URL (consulted February 2005):

http://indianexpress.com/print.php?content_id=53594 [13] Hindutva literally means ‘Hinduness’, and refers to Hindu extremism connected to the battle for a Hindu majoritarian state in India. Hindutva is inspired by Nazi ideology and fascistic beliefs. See, Thomas Blom Hansen (2001) The Saffron Wave: Democracy and Hindu Nationalism in India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, and Christophe Jaffrelot (1996) The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics, 1925-1994: Social and Political Strategies. London: C. Hurst and Company (Publishers) Limited.

[14] See, People’s Union for Democratic Rights (2002) ‘Maaro! Kaapo! Baalo!’ (Kill! Hack! Burn!): State, Society, and Communalism in Gujarat. New Delhi: People’s Union for Democratic Rights. May 2002, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.onlinevolunteers.org/gujarat/reports/pudr/

[15] “VHP bandh [general strike] passes off peacefully” The Times of India, March 02, 2002, URL (consulted February 2005): http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2507416.cms

[16] “Ghosts of ’93 come to haunt Mumbai” Indian Express. March 01, 2002, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.indianexpress.com/ie20020301/ayo1.html

[17] “Mr. Modi Must Go” The Hindu, March 13, 2002, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/2002/03/13/stories/2002031300131000.htm

[18] Narendra Modi website (2002) ‘They have accepted their mistake – Narendra Modi’ March 18, 2002, URL (consulted February 2005): http://news.narendramodi.org/archives/2002/march/march18_2002_2.htm

[19] Citizens for Justice and Peace (2002) State Complicity: Government of Gujarat. In Crime Against Humanity: An Inquiry into the Carnage in Gujarat, Volume II. Pp. 75-80, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.sabrang.com/tribunal/

[20] Amnesty International (2005) India Justice, the victim – Gujarat state fails to protect women from violence, URL (consulted February 2005): http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engasa200012005

[21] See International Initiative for Justice (IIJ) (2003); and Kavita Panjabi, Krishna Bandopadhyaya, Bolan Gangopadhyay (2002) The Next Generation: In the Wake of the Genocide. A Report on the Impact of the Gujarat Pogrom on Children and the Young. Ahmedabad: Citizens’ Initiative. July 2002, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.onlinevolunteers.org/gujarat/reports/children/; and People’s Union for Democratic Rights (2002). Also see, Communalism Combat (2002) ‘Godse’s Gujarat’ in Year 8, No. 78, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.sabrang.com/cc/current/index.html; Citizens’ Initiative (2002) How has the Gujarat Massacre Affected Minority Women? The Survivors Speak. Fact-finding by a Women’s Panel. Ahmedabad: Citizens’ Initiative. April 16, 2002, URL (consulted February 2005): http://cac.ektaonline.org/resources/reports/womensreport.htm

[22] See People’s Union for Democratic Rights (2002).

[23] Paul R. Brass (2003) ‘The Gujarat Pogrom of 2002. In Social Science Research Council’ in Social Science Research Council, Volume 4, Number 1, Winter 2002-03. New York: Social Science Research Council; and Ashutosh Varshney (2003) ‘Understanding Gujarat Violence’ in Social Science Research Council, Volume 4, Number 1, Winter 2002-03. New York: Social Science Research Council. URL (consulted February 2005: http://www.ssrc.org/publications/items/

[24] Trishul — trident, used as a symbol of militant Hinduism.

[25] See International Initiative for Justice (2003); and Kavita Panjabi, Krishna Bandopadhyaya, Bolan Gangopadhyay (2002).

[26] Human Rights Watch (2002) “We Have No Orders To Save You”: State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat. New York: Human Rights Watch. April 2002, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/india/

[27] See People’s Union for Democratic Rights (2002).

[28] Citizen’s Initiative (2002) Analysis of FIRs [First Information Reports] Filed Between 27 February 2002 to 23 March 2002. Ahmedabad: Citizen’s Initiative.

[29] Communalism Combat (2002) ‘State Complicity: Government of Gujarat.’ in Year 9, No. 81-82, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.sabrang.com/cc/archive/2002/novdec02/gov.html

[30] The former Supreme Court judge, Justice U.C. Banerjee, headed the Commission constituted on September 04, 2004, following a Union Cabinet decision to investigate facets of the Sabarmati Express occurrence. The Commission was appointed by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad. The Commission submitted its report to the Railway Board Chairperson R. K. Singh in New Delhi. See, “Godhra fire an accident, says report. Rules out conspiracy” in The Tribune, January 17, 2005, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20050118/main1.htm

[31] “It wasn’t merely a communal riot, it was like a mass agitation” in India Today, March 18, 2002, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.bjpguj.org/interviews/itwas.htm; and “The BJP is unstoppable” Rediff, August 27, 2002, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/aug/27inter.htm

[32] “Modi told officials ‘not to act” in The Tribune, August 09, 2002, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.tribuneindia.com/2002/20020810/main1.htm

[33] Dionne Bunsha (2003) Probe or Persecution? in Frontline, May 18, 2003, URL (consulted March 2005): http://www.countercurrents.org/comm-bunsha180503.htm; Leena Misra (2004) ‘The sound & silence of Pandya family’ in The times of India, March 26, 2004, URL (consulted March 2005): http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/582686.cms; and Press Trust of India (2004) ‘Trial begins in Haren Pandya murder case’ in Outlook, October 08, 2004, URL (consulted March 2005): http://www.outlookindia.com/pti_news.asp?id=254292

[34] In the report, ‘The Survivors Speak’, it states that: “The size of the mobs who were encouraged by chief minister Narendra Modi’s verbal statements and sanction to roam the streets was between 5-15,000 and the scale of violence and barbarism suggestive of trained trishul-wielding cadres.” See Syeda Hameed, Ruth Manorama, Malini Ghose, Sheba George, Farah Naqvi, and Mari Thekaekara (2002) How has the Gujarat Massacre Affected Minority Women? The Survivors Speak. Fact-finding by a Women’s Panel. Ahmedabad: Citizen’s Initiative. URL (consulted February 2005): http://cac.ektaonline.org/resources/reports/womensreport.htm

[35] Adivasi (indigenous, tribal) peoples. Literally — First dweller.

[36] Dalit: erstwhile ‘untouchable’ caste groups.

[37] The following reports provide further information about the violence in Gujarat 2002, see, Amnesty International (2005); Kamal Mitra Chenoy, S.P. Shukla, K.S. Subramanian and Achin Vanaik (2002) Gujarat Carnage 2002: An Independent Fact-Finding Mission. URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.outlookindia.com/specialfeaturem.asp?fodname=20020411&fname=chenoy&sid=1; Citizens for Justice and Peace (2002) Crime Against Humanity: An Inquiry into the Carnage in Gujarat, Volume II. URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.sabrang.com/tribunal/; International Initiative for Justice (2003); and National Human Rights Commission (2002) National Human Rights Commission Final Order. URL (consulted February 2005): http://nhrc.nic.in/guj_finalorder.htm

[38] Shortly after India’s independence, the RSS was banned by the new government of India for its connection with the man who murdered Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in 1948. The ban was lifted in 1949. On December 10, 1992, the RSS, VHP, and Bajrang Dal were banned for two years for their role in the destruction of the Babri Masjid. The ban on the RSS was lifted on June 04, 1993. See, Naunidhi Kaur and Ravi Sharma (2001) ‘Organizations: An ineffective Move’ in Frontline, Volume 18, Issue 11, May 26-June 08, 2001, URL (consulted March 2005): http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl1811/18110360.htm

[39] Literally — Person who broadcasts information. In the context of the RSS, it refers to a person who devotes her/his life to the work of the RSS.

[40] See, Hansen (1999); Jaffrelot (1996); and International Initiative for Justice (2003:169-187).

[41] Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, quoted in Tapan Basu, et al (1993) Saffron Flags, Khaki Shorts. New Delhi: Orient Longman. Pp. 26-27.

[42] “In Modi’s Gujarat, Hitler is a textbook hero” in Times of India, September 30, 2004, URL (consulted February 2005): http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid- 868469.cms

[43] See, Sabrang Communications & Publishing and The South Asia Citizens Web (2002) The Foreign Exchange of Hate: IDRF and the American Funding of Hindutva. France: Sabrang Communications & Publishing Private Limited, Mumbai, India; and The South Asia Citizens Web, Pp. 28-35, URL (consulted February 2005): www.stopfundinghate.org

[44] Citizens for Justice and Peace (2002); and Awaaz , South Asia Watch Limited (2004) In Bad Faith? British Charity & Hindu Extremism. London: Awaaz — South Asia Watch Limited, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.awaazsaw.org/ibf/

[45] National Human Rights Commission (2002) Order(s) on Gujarat. New Delhi: National Human Rights Commission. URL (consulted February 2005): http://nhrc.nic.in/Gujarat.htm

[46] Communalism Combat (2002:No. 81-82); and All India Milli Council (2002) 2002: Muslim Statements. URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.milligazette.com/IndMusStat/2002a/019aimc08jan02_memo.htm

[47] ‘”Should we run relief camps? Open child producing centers?”‘ in Indian Express, September 19, 2002, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=9714

[48] Human Rights Watch (2002).

[49] See S. Varadarajan (2002) ‘I salute you Geetabehn, From The Bottom Of My Heart’ in The Times of India, April 19, 2002, URL (consulted March 2005): http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:cC5Bdaqqj2wJ:www.riotinfo.com/articles/at397.html

[50] Human Rights Watch (2004) Discouraging Dissent: Intimidation and Harassment of Witnesses, Human Rights Activists, and Lawyers Pursuing Accountability for the 2002 Communal Violence in Gujarat. New York: Human Rights Watch. September 2004, URL (consulted February 2005): http://hrw.org/backgrounder/asia/india/gujarat/

[51] Human Rights Watch (2003) Compounding Injustice: The Government’s Failure to Redress Massacres in Gujarat. New York: Human Rights Watch. July 2003, URL (consulted February 2005): http://hrw.org/reports/2003/india0703/

[52] “Best Bakery Case: Witness Turns Hostile” in Siffy News, February 09, 2005, URL (consulted February 2005): http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=13667229

[53]. For an overview of witnesses, investigations and the juridical processes in relation to Best Bakery, see Criminal Appeal NOS. 450-452/2004: Supreme Court Judgment, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.sabrang.com/cc/archive/2004/apr-may/bestjudgement.pdf

[54] “Best Bakery Carnage: an overview” i n Time of India, July 08, 2003, URL (consulted February 2005): http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?msid=65697

[55] “SC transfers Bilkis Case to Maharashtra” Rediff, August 06, 2004, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/aug/06guj.htm

[56] “Three sentenced to four years imprisonment in riot cases” in Rediff, February 24, 2005, URL (consulted February 2005): http://navhindtimes.com/stories.php?part=news&Story_ID=022434

[57] See, People’s Union for Democratic Rights (2002). The BJP has occupied power in Gujarat intermittently since 1995.

[58] Human Rights Watch (1999) Politics by Other Means: Attacks Against Christians in India. New York: Human Rights Watch. URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/indiachr/christians8-04.htm

[59] Christian Solidarity Worldwide (2002) All India Christian Council and CSW call for resignation of Gujarat chief minister over failure to control riots. April 26, 2002, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.csw.org.uk/Latestnews.asp?Item=281; and Human Rights Watch (2003).

[60] See, Christian Solidarity Worldwide and All India Christian Council websites, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.csw.org.uk/Latestnews.asp?item=506; and http://www.aiccindia.org/

[61] Centre for Equity Studies Without Land or Livelihood. (2004) The Indira Sagar Dam: State Accountability and Rehabilitation Issues. Report of the Independent People’s Commission. Authored by Angana P. Chatterji and Harsh Mander. October 2004, New Delhi: Centre for Equity Studies.

[62] See Preeti Verma (ed.) (2004) The Terror of POTA and Other Security Legislation. A Report on the People’s Tribunal on the Prevention of Terrorism Act and other Security Legislation. New Delhi, March 2004. New Delhi: Human Rights Law Network.

[63] Harsh Mander (2003) ‘Gujarat Victims Completely Isolated’ in Times of India, November 23, 2003 URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.countercurrents.org/gujaratmander231103. htm

[64] Mihir Desai (2004) ‘Editorial: Judicial Response’ in Combat Law, Volume 03, Issue 2, November-December 2004, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.combatlaw.org/information.php?article_id=519&issue_id=19

[65] “Parliament repeals POTA” in Press Trust of India, December 09, 2004, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.outlookindia.com/pti_news.asp?id=266496

[66] For more details of the events leading to the violence, see, Citizens for Justice and Peace (2002: 148-151).

[67] Harish Khare (1999) ‘Gujarat, the Hindutva Laboratory’ in The Hindu, New Delhi January 02, 1999.

[68] “VHP Declares Christians and Muslims Non-Indian” in the Statesman, Calcutta, February 14,1999.

[69] “Left Sees Motive Behind ‘Census’” in the Hindu, New Delhi, February 16, 1999.

[70] V. Venkatesan (2000) ‘Beyond a ban’ in Frontline, January 22-February 04, 2000, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl1702/17020470.htm

[71] Two reports link the Sangh to two overseas charities, India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF) in the United States and Sewa International in the United Kingdom, and speak to their activities after the earthquake in Gujarat. Over 5.5 million dollars has been raised in the last decade by the United States charity IDRF, and about £2 million was raised from the UK by Sewa International for relief work for the Gujarat earthquake alone, mostly funding the Sangh’s sectarian charitable, cultural, development and relief work in India. A network of Hindu right-wing organizations abroad including overseas chapters of Sangh bodies, such as the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS, the overseas counterpart of the RSS) the VHP of America (VHP-A), the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of America, Indify (Indicorps), Hindu University, Vivek Welfare and Education Fund, and many others, including Hindu temples where Sangh members serve on the board, proliferate across the United Kingdom and United States. See Sabrang Communications & Publishing and The South Asia Citizens Web (2002); and Awaaz , South Asia Watch Limited (2004).

[72] “Communalizing Relief: VHP seizes Earthquake Opportunity” in the Statesman, Calcutta, February 12, 2001; and Vijay Dutt (2001) “‘Discrimination’ in Distribution of Relief against Dalits [former untouchables] in Gujarat Causes Concern” Hindustan Times, New Delhi, February 27, 2001.

[73] Citizens for Justice and Peace (2002:62).

[74] Angana P. Chatterji (2004) ‘The Biopolitics of Hindu Nationalism: Mournings’ in Cultural Dynamics 16(2-3): Pp. 319-372; and Angana Chatterji (2004) ‘Hindu Nationalism and Orissa: Minorities as Other’ in Communalism Combat. Year 10, No. 96, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.sabrang.com/cc/archive/2004/mar04/sreport1.html

[75] Shakti Bhatt (2003) ‘US not particularly concerned about abuse of religious freedom in India’ in Rediff, March 07, 2003. URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.rediff.com/us/2003/mar/06us.htm

[76] United States Department of State (2004) International Religious Freedom Report: India. Washington: United States Department of State. URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2004/35516.htm; United States Department of State (2003) International Religious Freedom Report: India. Washington: United States Department of State. URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2003/24470.htm; United States Department of State (2002) International Religious Freedom Report: India. Washington: United States Department of State. URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2002/14023.htm

[77] In early 2004, Sudhir Parikh, a prominent Indian living in the United States, extended the invitation to Modi to enter the United States to take part in a Gaurav Yatra. Parikh is on the board of the Indian American National Foundation, which is an umbrella organization of: American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), National Federation of Indian American Associations (NFIA), and Indian American Forum for Political Education (AFPE). See, Sukrat Desai and Ramesh Tanna. ‘Narendra Modi invited to start Gaurav Yatra in US’ in IANS, January 14, 2004, URL (consulted February 2005): h t t p : / / s u l e k h a . c o m / c h p o s t . a s p ? f o r u m = p o l i t i c s & c i d = 6 7 8 1 5 ; a n d S u d h i r P a r i k h , URL ( c o n s u l t e d F e b r u a r y 2 0 0 5 ) : http://www.sudhirparikh.com/php/showContentFrame.php?linkid=3; Various persons associated with hosting Modi’s New York visit (see, URL (consulted March 2005): http://www.narendramodi.net/agenda.htm) include, Suresh Jani, formerly a secretary for the Overseas Friends of the BJP (OBJP) and New Jersey regional contact for the OFBJP. See, Indo-Asian News Service (2003) NRI group comes to Modi’s rescue. In MSN News and Overseas Friends of the BJP (2002) Overseas Friends of the BJP Contact Information, URL (consulted March 2005): http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:RpdV9fdKLq0J:autofeed.msn.co.in/pandoraV2/output/76734095-FD68-4DF0-935DA68A408DB76A. Asp.

Sunil Nayak, President of Apex Hospitality, who reportedly said: “I have been in the hospitality industry for 15 years but I have never experienced such a warm welcome anywhere. I can learn a lesson or two from him (Modi),” at the gathering in Ahmedabad where Sudhir Parikh invited Narendra Modi to the United States. See, Sukrat Desai and Ramesh Tanna (2004) ‘Narendra Modi invited to start Gaurav Yatra in US’ in Hindustan Times. January 14, 2004, URL (consulted February 2005): http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:GebiE0_PxaQJ:www.narendramodi.org/news/2004/january/14012004_1.htm; Sudhakar Reddy, who is a member of the OFBJP and the American Telegu Association. See, Narain Kataria and Shree Sidhwani (2004) ‘Unparalleled Demonstration of Hindu Unity in New York’ in HVK (December), URL (consulted March 2005): http://www.hvk.org/articles/1204/20.html.

Ved Nanda, the current Sanghchalak (head, chief) of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), the overseas wing of the RSS in the United States and a former President of Friends of India Society International. He is also a university professor and Director of the International Legal Studies Program at the School of Law, University of Denver, as well as a member of the advisory council of the U.S. Institute of Human Rights. See, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (2005) Contact Page, URL (consulted March 2005): http://www.hssworld.org/~usevak/; Ved Nanda Website (2005) Ved Nanda/Vice Provost for Internationalization: Activities, URL (consulted March 2005): http://www.du.edu/%7Evnanda/act.html; University of Denver (2005) Internationalization Staff, Office of Internationalization at the University of Denver: Ved Nanda, URL (consulted March 2005): http://www.du.edu/intl/staff_nanda.html.

Mahesh Mehta, founder of the VHP of America, and the President of the VHP-Overseas. See United States Internal Revenue Service (2003) VHP-Overseas Tax Return Form 990 for 2003; Mukund Mody is one of former Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee’s closest friends in the United States. Founder and a former President of the Overseas Friends of the BJP, a former Secretary General of Friends of Indian Society International, he has held various positions in the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. See, Aziz Haniffa (2001) ‘No conflict with ambassador-at-large: Lalit Mansingh’ in Rediff on the Net (August 31, 2001), URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.rediff.com/us/2001/aug/31us.htm; Prashath Lakhihal (2002) ‘Enraged Parivar undecided on anti-IDRF report’ in India Tribune (November 30, 2002), URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.letindiadevelop.org/indiatribune.html; Visawhiz.com (2005) Visawhiz.com’s Editorial Board- Mukund Mody’s Biography, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.isn.org/news/20010122202426.html; and Rajesh Shukla, Vice President of the Northeast region of the Overseas Friends of the BJP (USA). See BJP Today (2004) ‘Victory celebrations in New York,’ January 01-15, 2004, URL (consulted March 2005): http://www.bjp.org/today/Jan_2004/Jan_1_p_27.htm

[78] See Coalition Against Genocide, URL (consulted February 2005): http://www.coalitionagainstgenocide.org

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