Ten years after the Gujarat genocide:

The heinous crimes of the rulers against our people will never be forgotten or forgiven!

Ten years have passed since the gruesome genocidal massacre of Muslims in Gujarat in March 2002. The memory of those horrific days continues to haunt the affected people and all Indian people of conscience -- the armed mobs, with petrol bombs, trishuls and voters' lists, that went about the streets of Ahmedabad and other cities, towns and villages across Gujarat, attacking, burning and looting Muslim shops and homes, burning and killing the men and boys, raping and killing the women and girls and committing various forms of bestial torture. The massacre continued for several days, thousands were slaughtered, lakhs of people became refugees and tens of thousands of children turned into orphans.

The facts are well-known by now, which show irrefutably that the genocide in Gujarat in 2002 was pre-planned and organized by the ruling party, with the support of the state machinery. For at least two months before the genocide, voters’ lists identifying the names of Muslims, petrol and other weapons were made ready for distribution. Communal propaganda was openly carried out against Muslims and anti Muslim frenzy was systematically whipped up. On February 28, 2002, 58 kar sevaks were burned alive in a train at Godhra railway station, in preparation for launching the genocide. The Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi justified the genocide of Muslims in Gujarat saying “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. He organized for the bodies of the kar sevaks to be paraded by road from Godhra to Ahmedabad, to incite passions. He called a meeting of the top state police officials and instructed them to ensure protection to the genocidal mobs and allow them a free hand to carry out the genocide.

Subsequent developments have further confirmed the role of the Gujarat government and the state machinery, and the ruling BJP in organizing the genocide. Those police officers who implemented the government’s orders were rewarded with promotions. Those police officers who refused to do so in their districts, or later exposed the government’s role, were punished. Despite so much evidence, the courts have time and again given Narendra Modi and his government a clean chit. For ten years, the survivors of the genocide, who lost their homes and loves ones, as well as their means of livelihood, have been treated with total contempt by the government, which has done its best to ensure that the real culprits are never convicted and punished.

The events in Gujarat were in many ways a repeat of the genocide of Sikhs in Delhi and other places in 1984, right from planning to execution. The then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of the Congress party had cynically justified the genocide of Sikhs, saying “when a big tree falls, the earth shakes”.

Following the Gujarat genocide, communists and hundreds of people from all faiths boldly took up the task of assisting the victims of the genocide in their miserable conditions in the refugee camps. Students, youth, cultural activists, lawyers, rights activists have all played an important role in this. Braving terrible state opposition, in a climate of poison and hatred deliberately spread by the rulers, they have come forward to assist the families of the victims to somehow start afresh — organizing that the children could go to school, that the women could learn some means of livelihood, and so on. Various citizens have heroically taken up the challenge of exposing the role of the state in the genocide. Their work and struggle helped to establish once again, as in 1984, that the people of our country are not communal. The people are not the organizers of communal genocides. It is the parties of the ruling class, like Congress and BJP, which in the pursuit of their narrow agendas, use the state machinery to organize genocides.

The genocide in Gujarat in 2002, like the genocide of 1984 and other such massacres, show what kind of “leaders” and rulers the Indian political system has given rise to under the existing Constitution. It is in accordance with this Constitution that genocides like that of 1984 and 2002 are committed and the guilty never punished. It is in accordance with this Constitution and the political system and process sanctified by it that people like Narendra Modi can not only come back to power but also be promoted by the Indian big capitalists and the US Congress as a “future Prime Minister” of India. It is in such a system that criminal and communal parties like the Congress and BJP are permitted to not only exist, but also to continue to rule.

Ten years after the Gujarat genocide, the guilty have not been punished. Similarly, 27 years after the massacre of Sikhs in 1984, the guilty have not been punished. This is only to be expected, because neither the Congress Party nor the BJP are interested in bringing about an end to communal massacres and genocide. The Congress Party used the Gujarat genocide to promote itself as ‘secular’. In this, it was assisted by the CPI and CPM, who shamelessly spread the illusion that by voting the Congress Party to power at the centre, there would be an end to communal violence and genocide. But the Congress Party which has been in power at the centre for the last 8 years, has done nothing to punish those guilty of organizing the 2002 genocide. Both the Congress Party and the BJP have used the genocides of 2002 and 1984, each to point the finger at the other and justify its own culpability. In fact, what this clearly shows is that the entire political system is culpable. Organising communal genocide is an integral part of the arsenal of the ruling class. Neither the Congress nor the BJP nor other ruling class parties want to give up the option of organizing future genocides to advance their own aims as well as the broader aim of the ruling class.

Only the working class, peasantry and other working people, irrespective of their religious beliefs, are interested in ending communal violence and ensuring that the organizers of communal massacres are punished. But in the existing political system, the working class and people are completely marginalized and have no mechanisms by which they can defend their interests, against those of the ruling capitalist class.

Today these parties of the ruling class and various agencies that work for them are putting pressure on our people to “forgive and forget” and to “move on”. But our people can never forgive or forget these heinous crimes of the ruling class. It is precisely because our people were told to ‘forget’ the communal holocaust of 1947, because we were fooled by the political parties of the ruling class into believing that such things would be a ‘thing of the past’ in independent India, that 1984 and numerous other communal massacres have been organised since then. It is because the perpetrators of 1984 were never punished, that the 2002 genocide could be organized with such impunity.

Why are the Central government and its various institutions, including the judiciary which can incarcerate innocent people for decades as ‘suspected terrorists’, so reluctant to punish those guilty of organizing genocides? This is because organising communal genocides and stoking communal passions are part of the arsenal of the ruling bourgeoisie.

Mazdoor Ekta Lehar calls on all communists and all those interested in ensuring justice and an end to communal violence to come together and organize the working class and people to put an end to this barbaric rule of the capitalists and establish their own political power. We need a new political system and process, with a new Constitution that will guarantee the human rights of every citizen, regardless of religion or community, and establish mechanisms by which the working people can ensure the sternest punishment for all those who violate these rights. Establishing the political power of the working class, in alliance with the other working masses, is the only way to bring about an end to the tragic recurrences of state-organised communal violence and genocide.


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