Manmohan Talk Tough to His President on Gujarat Massacre
India, September 20: President Kalam’s blatant attempt to
cover up the role of former Prime Minister Atal Vajpayee in the
shameful anti-Muslim carnage unleashed by the Gujarat government
in 2002 is coming unstuck.
Kalam’s sense of gratitude to the politicians who installed
him in the august office may be considered by many as commendable,
the Judicial Commission consisting of Justice Nanavati and Justice
Shah probing the state-sponsored genocide is not much impressed
by his display of loyalty.
September 5, the Commission dismissed the grounds on which Rashtrapati
Bhavan had claimed privilege to the correspondence between Kalam’s
predecessor KR Narayanan and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s
predecessor Vajpayee. This significant order effectively pours
cold water on Kalam’s desperate attempts to shield Vajpayee
from valid criticism that he failed to listen to the advice of
the former President to act promptly to prevent or at least limit
had severely indicted the Vajpayee government that was in power
in New Delhi for inaction during the terror campaign unleashed
by fundamentalist zealots against minorities in Gujarat in 2002.
The ex-President had said in an interview published in a Malayalam
magazine Manva Samskriti (Humane culture): “I gave
several letters to PM Vajpayee in this regard. I met him personally
and talked to him directly.
Vajpayee did not do anything effective. I requested him to send
the Army to Gujarat and suppress the riots. The Center had the
constitutional responsibility and powers to send the military
if the state government asked. The military was sent, but they
were not given powers to shoot. If the military had been given
powers to shoot at the perpetrators of violence, recurrence of
the tragedies in Gujarat could have been avoided. However, both
the State and Central governments did not do so. . . . I feel
there was a conspiracy involving the state and central governments
behind the Gujarat riots.”
his response to a query by the Shah-Nanavati judicial commission
probing the state-sponsored terror about these remarks, the former
President wrote a brief letter on April 8. In this letter, Narayanan
categorically stood by the revealing statements he had made in
the interview. He however could not produce the relevant papers
for examination by the Commission as the Vajpayee government had
succeeded in ejecting him from Rashtrapati Bhavan in order to
install a pliable incumbent.
query had emanated from an application moved before the Commission
on March 9 this year by Ahmedabad-based advocate Mukul Sinha on
behalf of Jan Sangarsh Manch, desiring examination of the former
President after quoting excerpts from the interview.
on Narayanan’s response, the Commission then wrote to Rashtrapati
Bhavan asking it to locate the correspondence and forward copies
so that it may probe the role of the Central government in not
averting the genocide.
President is supposed to be the Supreme Commander of the armed
forces but apparently all appeals of the then President got the
short shrift from the government of the day. The only effect was
that Narayanan lost the chance of having a repeat tenure as President!
The Vajpayee government, controlled by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Samiti
(RSS) that aims to reestablish Hindu Empire in South Asia, found
him an impediment in implementing its well-known agenda.
pulled a smart one by announcing APJ Abdul Kalam as the ruling
party candidate when Narayanan was due for a repeat term by convention.
The Congress Party, then relegated to the opposition in pro-Hindutva
wave, had to necessarily go along and ditch Narayanan. That was
because it was the Congress that had meticulously built a halo
around Kalam. High-pitch PR campaigns had been mounted by the
Congress politicians to sell Kalam to the gullible masses as “brilliant
world-class scientist” to fool the electorate into believing
that India will soon be a “developed country” by such
many people are aware that the so-called “nuclear scientist”
has no record of ever enrolling himself as a research scholar
in any university. Also, he had had nothing to do with India’s
nuclear program until he got superannuated upon completion of
a perfect bureaucrat’s career in Space Application Center
is of note that when some top scientists of SAC and ISRO were
framed in fake spying cases (Their “crime’ was to
have inadvertently come upon a gigantic scandal of siphoning off
public funds in importing junk cryogenic engines costing several
million dollars from Russia!), Kalam never cared to lift his little
finger for them in his position as Scientific Advisor to the Prime
Minister He apparently thought that would have embarrassed the
powers that be in New Delhi and he always wanted to be on the
right side of powers that be. Eventually, the space scientists
underwent a hellish harassment for three years until they could
earn reprieve from the Supreme Court, which exonerated them.
showed his gratitude to his sponsors by allowing himself to be
paraded in the streets of Ahmedabad, flanked by the perpetrators-in-chief
of the 2002 pogrom. His shameless pliability symbolically demonstrated
to the minority community the level of influence wielded by RSS
just before e act just before the elections. This kept Muslim
voters away from the polling booths and paved the way for a landslide
victory to communal elements. See
Shrewd Move by Extremists to Trap President Kalam
Kalam once again failed to display an integrity equal to his intelligence
and caliber by deciding not to cooperate with the judicial commission
in fixing responsibility. The President’s secretariat wrote
back to the Commission plainly refusing to make the correspondence
available for scrutiny. It claimed “privilege” over
the correspondence on the basis of article 74(2) of the constitution.
Any inquiry by any court into what advice was tendered by the
council of ministers to the President is barred by this article.
Kalam’s secretariat claimed the exchange between the President
and the cabinet the in the course of his discharge of his functions
as head of state comes under the article’s purview.
doubt this was a clear attempt by a grateful Kalam to put a screen
over the role of Vajpayee government in Gujarat Pogrom. The Genocide
Probe Commission has seen through the design and rejected the
arguments advanced by the President’s secretariat. It requested
the President not to hide the correspondence it and to cooperate
in dispensing justice.
cognizance of the “high position of the President”
the Commission made a “request” to the President’s
secretariat instead of instead of issuing a “directive”
to produce the letters written by Narayanan to Vajpayee in the
month of March 2002. The commission noted in its “request”
that these letters were relevant to the inquiry and that the information
contained in the correspondence was not likely to adversely affect
security or the interest of the State.
Kalam see reason and comply with the Commission’s “request”
or will he continue to scuttle justice being meted out to the
riot victims for shielding his sponsors? Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh must gather the same courage he displayed in sacking powerful
goons from his cabinet for their role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots
and do some do some tough talking to the President.