Is it a good idea to assume good faith on part of the Modi-baiter? Is Modi-baiter really a well-meaning guy?
Modi-baiter says his monomaniacal, decade-long crusade against Modi is motivated by concerns of justice for riot victims. Is this claim true? If a Mahatma Gandhi advanced it, we’d certainly not dismiss it out of hand. But then, a Mahatma Gandhi is also logical, rational and respectful of fact and evidence. What about Modi-baiter? Consider his disposition towards the SIT report. The SIT was the result of Islamists’ own campaign, was monitored by the highest court of the land and was headed by a person whose reputation for integrity was never in question. The report is in the public domain. It collates numerous facts, backs them up with lots of evidence and makes an elaborate case that there is no prima facie evidence against Modi. If Modi-baiter is a reasonable guy, why isn’t he deferring to the facts and evidence of SIT report?
Modi-baiter would then claim that SIT’s conclusion is not the same as exoneration by any court. (Actually, shifting of goalposts itself is not a good sign of good faith — it indicates slippery tactics to defend a pre-conceived “conclusions” with an elaborate, extend-as-you-go arguments). This line of “reasoning” is devoid of reason too. Not being charged at all for want of basic minimum evidence is stronger proof of innocence than being charged and then acquitted. If that weren’t the case, X filing a criminal complaint against Y should in itself be reason enough for police to file a charge-sheet against Y.
This takes us to the Mod-baiter’s next argument: “political accountability”. (Third goalpost, already. And you still believe this guy is well-meaning?) According to this “political accountability” or “political morality” theory, Modi is “morally” culpable. He “presided” over a riot, and whether he is criminally culpable or not, he must owe “moral” responsibility and get out of public life, if not into a jail.
Remember how the debate started: with the bleeding of Modi-baiter’s heart for riot victims. But now he wants to halt the bleeding for a moment while he goes off on a tangent to argue a case for political morality. No problem, but before we indulge him, point must be reiterated to avoid circular arguments that suit our friend well: justice for victims is served by punishing the perpetrators of violence, and we have just dealt with the false claim that Modi is one of them. If anything, SIT report shows Modi’s actions were geared toward protecting life, not taking it.
Modi-baiter’s standard of “political morality” is nice in theory, except for this troubling question: does Modi-baiter himself believe in it? What makes him invoke that standard only for Modi, but not for Tarun Gogoi? Assam violence is still fresh in memory, having happened only last year, not in 2002. In fact, why is Modi-baiter stopping arbitrarily at 2002, and not going all the way back to 1984? Does Modi-baiter want us to believe that Sajjans and Tytlers flourished without Sonia’s patronage? Recall, also, that none other than the Chief Minister of Bihar at the time of Bhagalpur riots alleged his own party’s, and Rajiv Gandhi’s, hand in the riots. Is there a campaign at all, let alone a campaign of one-tenth the intensity targeted at Modi, to enforce political morality on Gogoi or Sonia? The answer is of course a resounding No.
The inescapable conclusion is that Modi-baiter has just as much respect for his expressly designed standard of political morality as he has for the facts and evidence of SIT report.
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Deep down, Modi-baiter’s real hate is not for Modi, but for those who elected him time and again, and for those who are now set to elect him to the Parliament.
Islamists and Hindu-baiters are angry that three times as many people from “their side” died in 2002 than from the “other side”. Since they project their crude, communal mindset on to their adversaries, they also imagine that Hindus are gloating that “Muslims were taught a lesson”. This self-inflicted sense of humiliation has fueled an uncontrollable lust for “revenge”.
Since the days of Jinnah, when it was obvious that the course of India’s democratic politics would be influenced to a greater extent by its Hindu majority, Islamists and left-liberals had forged a power of veto that was to be exercised over Hindus in general and vocal Hindus in particular. This power of veto was supposed to deliver a political pound of flesh in Gujarat too, and show Modi-voting Hindus who was boss. But alas in Gujarat it came to nought. Had Modi been defeated at the hustings at least once, the hate levels would have been several notches lower, because ‘revenge” would have been deemed extracted.
It is important to know the nature of the adversary to deal with him effectively. It is important therefore to know that the Modi-baiter is a moral-schmoral humbug motivated not by concerns of political morality or justice for victims, but by an atavistic human emotion called hate.