SC exoneration of Modi proves we must move beyond riots: MJ Akbar
Renowned journalist turned Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader MJ Akbar on Monday called for moving beyond the 2002 riots following Supreme Court exonerating Narendra Modi and instead to focus on the development of the country's future for the next decade.
"There were riots in 2002 and hence questions were raised and therefore criticisms were bound to come, and I was a journalist hence I did take it up strongly. I am grateful to United Progressive Alliance (UPA) that it raised issues based on scrutinizing the reasons for the riots for the last ten years. Though, the government used police, bureaucracy, CBI and every aspect in its power for an intense scrutiny on the Gujarat riots but they were not successful in getting anything in return on trying to link the riots with Modi. An independent Supreme Court which is an important pillar of the constitution have at the end exonerated Modi after thoroughly going through its enquires on Gujarat riots," Akbar said.
"Had this same verdict been given by an NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government then all would have raised questions, but this exoneration given by the SC happened under UPA's tenure. Therefore, we believe that after SC ruling we must accept it as it is hence, we must not dwell over the past and instead look ahead and think about the country's development for the next decade. There were many riot cases that took place under several other chief minister's in the past, but the same yardsticks to scrutinize such riots did not take place," Akbar added.
Akbar conveyed that he strongly believed that the next decade will be an era of development, where the economy will once again bounce back, and everyone will reap the benefits including the minorities.
Interestingly, Akbar had been a strong critic of Modi in the past. He wrote several editorials criticizing Narendra Modi for his inability to handle the riots in Gujarat in 2002 and even compared Modi with Hitler.
"Modi is an ideologue, with a difference. The difference is hysteria. It is an edgy hysteria, which can mesmerise; and it easily melts into the kind of megalomania that makes a politician believe that he is serving the larger good through a destructive frenzy against a perceived enemy. In Hitler's case, the enemy was the Jew; in Modi's case the enemy is the Muslim. Such a politician is not a fool; in fact, he may have a high degree of intellect. But, it is intellect unleavened by reason, and untempered by humanism."
(Posted on 25-03-2014)