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Gauri Lankesh was murdered

She was a target of Hindutva forces. She had spoken about this before. Yet, supporters of the government would like us to believe anything except the obvious suspects could be responsible.

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Let us say it loud and clear. Hindu terror units killed Gauri Lankesh. She opposed the RSS, the BJP and these hindutva forces and this killing is the silencing of that voice against hate politics.
B T Venkatesh
Gauri's lawyer

She was the fourth rationalist to be murdered in this manner

She was murdered at point blank range by two assassins who came on a motorcycle in a style similar to other rationalists before her. A professional hit by masked men who knew her routine enough to intercept it, came on motorcycles and fired shots and left.

The killers skills and weapon were good enough to shoot her 4 times in 15 seconds. Like the others, assassins aimed for her chest and head (Govind Pansare was hit in the chest and neck). Like the others before her, she didn't stand a chance. They were stalking her and it was a matter of time before they found her.

Additional striking similarities with murder of Prof Kalburgi

In addition to the similarties in the murders of all four rationalists, there are even more similarities between the murder of Gauri Lankesh and Prof. Kalburgi.

They were both attacked by assassins who came to their homes and attacked them there. (Dabholkar and Pansare were attacked on morning walks).

Like Kalburgi, Gauri Lankesh also was of the view that the Lingayat community was distinct from Hinduism and merited a minority status and was vocal about it. She had also written about the Lingayats in English media.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgaQv3Jmt-Yhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FF_Vx3mAFQM

So far, there is no clearly referenced Naxal threat to Gauri described other than the BJP troll factory's accusations, which are now being published in their echo chambers waiting for mainstream media to treat it "equally" with known facts.

Death threats have become a common factor

Gauri Lankesh had described the communalised atmosphere of Karnataka and threats and attacks by Hindutva forces, compared it with her father criticizing Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.

She had come up with a list of who likely Hindutva targets were based on threats and put her own name as fourth on the list. Gauri's lawyer is categorical that she was killed by Hindutva forces.

BJP MLA Jeevaraj openly said in public that Gauri Lankesh would be alive if she hadn't written about the RSS.

What dweshbhakts want you to believe

The troll factory wants you to ignore everything above and believe that Naxals are "equally" suspect. Why? No one has an answer. No doubt, this is laying the groundwork for producing a "Naxal" somewhere. Who just happened to attack Gauri in the same manner as other rationalists.

This is a strategy they have performed successfully before too, when they trolled and bombarded a lazy media with enough invented facts that convinced them to look at the Gujarat riots in a "neutral" manner - as in, ignore direct testimonies and facts on record, BJP or Modi is no more responsible than anyone else.

The goal of dweshbhakts is to either discredit Gauri Lankesh to the point where people will not make too much noise about justice for her or to discredit those deamnding justice in order to create a perception that their demand is inconsequential and should be ignored.

Accordingly, they have come up with a lot of bullshit that is being propagated through usual troll networks

Gauri Lankesh was a "criminal"

The party that specializes in slander and organized slander as a method of attacking dissent now sees defamation - something journalists routinely get sued with - as a statement of her character as a "Criminal" - why? Probably because they already have a script for shooting criminals dead being a good thing.
She was already a target of Hindutva's favorite tactic of filing cases in various places to punish the target by being forced to travel constantly to attend them. The one case she lost, she was out on bail under appeal.

Gauri Lankesh's last name was Patrick

This, of course is an out and out justification of killing Christians as "deceptive". Minor problem with that. Either through sheer illiteracy or malice, the name of her newspaper - Gauri Lankesh Patrike, meaning Gauri Lankesh's journal has been misrepresented as "Gauri Lankesh Patrick" being her full name that she concealed in order to appear Hindu. Actually she is from the Lingayat community and BJP only is desperate to claim them as Hindus - they want minority religion status distinct from Hindus.

Gauri was a Naxal sympathizer - they kill their own

Objective of this is easy. They already have followers well trained in making accusations of being Naxal sympathizers. If this one sticks, they are on the home stretch of the propaganda war.
Well, decide. Was she a Naxal sympathizer and useful for their cause or a Naxal target? There is considerable evidence of her being a Hindu target,This appears to be copied accusations from the recent murder of an RSS activist where RSS-BJP held statewide strikes and then one of them was found to be the murderer.

Gauri Lankesh had a feud with her brother

The implication being that he must have killed her. This, to the best of anyone's knowledge is a longstanding ideological difference. Incidentally, her brother is joining BJP. So how does this rumor even let the Hindutva criminals off the hook if she was killed due to ideological differences with a brother with Hindutva leanings?
This brother is now parroting everything BJP prompts - give case to CBI, Naxal threat after saying no Naxal threat and what not.

Gauri was buried, not cremated

The fault for this actually lies solidly with the RSS and its Hindutva brainwashing that their followers have so little knowledge of Indian religions and traditions, that they don't know there are many Hindu communities that bury their dead. This would include Lingayats - the religion Gauri belonged to. But this is deliberate malicious propaganda aimed at exploiting the ignorance they nurture to trigger instant hate for her. Unless of course BJP wants to ask for Lingayat votes after saying those who bury their deads are Christians/Muslims.

Journalists didn't protest for other slain reporters

The objective is so transparent. You don't ask for justice every single time, therefore you can't expect justice in this murder. This piece of bullshit is actually from an alleged journalist examining five handles and deciding that they did not demand justice for previous cases.This is basically gibberish in the name of statistics.This was immediately and abundantly debunked using everything from proofs to education on statistics. No point adding a few hundred words here.

So, dweshbhakts, what is your damage?

How is it that unknown assailants have at their disposal the entire BJP propaganda machinery? Claims of innocence would have been so much easier to prove with simply demanding an investigation and asking killers to be punished. So why not?


What do you know that we only suspect?

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Just look around and you will realize the state of affairs in our country. All of our villages have roads and there are plenty of vehicles that run on them carrying modern fertilizers and hybrid seeds. Tractors have reached villages and farmers in remote areas are capable of modern cultivation. Watching TV, we keep abreast of whatever happens anywhere in the world. We can contact a person anywhere on the telephone through the satellite. Science has made all this possible to the villagers. However, with all these facilities made available by science, the villagers in Maharashtra, slaughter, every year, 5 to 7 lakh goats and innumerable chicken in order to fulfill their superstitious vows. Among them are a number of educated people who do not feel what they do is not in accord with their education. It is a well-known fact that to be possessed is a psychic condition, a kind of mental illness; and yet in all Navaratri festivals, on full moon and new moon days and in village fairs, women are possessed by some deity and dance vigorously, oblivious of them. People worship these noisy humming and dancing women taking them to be the deities that possess them. They gleefully exploit the products of science but refuse to adopt the scientific outlook. We use the latest computer; and perform Satyanarayan pooja to inaugurate the computer service. Using the computer and the performing pooja are mutually inconsistent. But we do not mind it because we want to use science but not adopt scientific way of thinking.

Scientific Outlook in the Past

Some people claim that this scientific outlook is not at all new to India; it has been there for ages. What existed in our country in the ancient past is, in fact, a matter for anyone to imagine the way he likes. A reference to the Pushpak Yan in the Ramayan means that we had aeroplanes and Brahmastra means the existence of atom bombs in those days. One does not need to refute these claims because it is more important to analyze why we are in such a dire state today if we had all these technologically advanced appliances in the past? Later on we can examine whether it is sheer imagination or things really existed as is claimed by some. But one thing is clear. We did not have any philosophy in the past that can be compared with what is called scientific outlook today. What we did have was rough estimates, assumptions and lengthy studies based on careful observations and genius of our people in the past. Whatever significant contribution India did make has been recognized by the world. The zero, for example, that has removed a big mathematical obstacle, is an Indian invention. It is attributed to Bhaskaracharya. Another scientist of acclaim, in those days was a chemist, Nagarjun. He invented the process of combining silver and gold with copper. Amarsinha classified the animal and plant kingdoms. Varahamiheer knew that the sun is a star and not a planet even in those days. Copernicus known for the Copernican revolution, that changed the center of the world from the earth to the sun, had said, ‘ the sun seems to be revolving round the earth, but in reality it is just the opposite of it. The sun is the center while the earth revolves round it.’ Aryabhatta initiated this concept in the 5th century, in India. We have honored him by naming our first satellite after him. (Incidentally Aryabhatta was not a Bhatt, i.e., a Brahmin but a Kshatreeya.) People ridiculed his idea. They argued, ‘If the earth revolves, as you say, how do we who, stand on it and perform all sorts of activities not fall off as the earth moves? Again how is it that the birds that leave their nests in the morning can find them on their return in the evening, when the earth has moved ahead?’ The point here is that we did have a process of critical thinking in the 5th and 6th century AD. This wisdom we had attained through observation, experience and discussion and were important and useful. However this process of acquiring knowledge cannot be called scientific outlook. In the next ten to twelve centuries the tradition of critical thinking also almost disappeared. A few good kings, eminent philosophers and littérateurs were born during this period, but no scientists. All debate centered on trivial matters such as who should and should not dine with whom; how should one wear the sacred and mundane dhoti; how many strands should there be in the sacred thread; should one eat onions and garlic during the four sacred months of the year; how drinking cow’s urine and brushing one’s face with its tail give you merit and emancipate your soul and so on. The rest of the world was following a different path. The Portuguese brought the revolutionary art of printing into Goa in 1550. It saved huge time that was required to copy manuscripts by hand. Spreading knowledge would have become very easy, but it took nearly three hundred years for this invention to reach the rest of India.

Development of Scientific Outlook

Scientific outlook was not developed in our society. Since it is essential to have such an outlook, Indira Gandhi amended the constitution. Till then only the rights of a citizen were mentioned in the constitution. With the amendment of 1976, along with the rights, a citizen’s duties were also included in the constitution. One of these duties is, ‘Every citizen should endeavor to spread scientific outlook, critical attitude and humanism in the society.’ The core content of the ‘new education policy’ of Rajiv Gandhi included ‘inculcation of scientific attitude’. Scientific attitude is an important part of our life. Is it something very serious, quite difficult to understand and meant only for a few people? No not at all. All of us use it in our normal life. ? No not at all. All of us use it in our normal life. If I want to go to Bhandara from Satara, to attend a function, I would ask a friend as to how to go about it. He tells me, there is a train from Satara that will take me to Bhandara. When I ask him, on what basis does he say so, he tells me that he remembers having seen it in his dream six months ago. Another friend told me that I would have to go to Pune and take a train from there. When I requested him to substantiate his information, he said, he had heard someone telling his friend, two months ago, at Pune railway station, that he went to Bhandara by a train. A third friend told me that I need not go to Pune since the Maharashtra express can take me directly to Bhandara. ‘How can he ascertain this information?’ I asked him. He replied that 15 days back he had been to Satara railway station where somebody was telling this to somebody else who wanted to go to Bhandara. A fourth friend told me that one has to go to Nagpur by the Maharashtra express, then go to the bus terminus and take a bus going to Bhandara that will reach me there in about two and half hours. I asked him how can I be sure of what he told me, he said he had been to Bhandara for some work by this route only a couple of days back. Now out of these four friends whom should I rely on, the most and on whom the least? The least on the one who saw something in his dream, six months back; may be, a little on the one who heard someone telling about it to another person; I can rely on the third friend a little more who heard about it at the Satara railway station fifteen days ago and the most on the fourth friend who himself had been to Bhandara, just two days ago. We rely to the extent we have reliable evidence. The same practical criterion that we all commonly use is the basis of Scientific Outlook.

We rely to the extent we have reliable evidence. The same practical criterion that we all commonly use is the basis of Scientific Outlook.

Method of Verifying the Evidence

How does one verify evidence? The process of scientific thinking is the method that is used for doing this. The factors that constitute this method are: Observation, Logic, Inference and Verification (this is of three types, viz., direct, repeated and universal), followed by experiment. What comes out of this is the scientific outlook. All the discoveries made so far are the result of some observation. We are taught in school about steam energy discovered by James Watt. The story goes thus. James Watt was engrossed in his thought. A kettle was boiling by his side. When enough steam gathered in the kettle its lid fell off. James put the lid back on the kettle. It fell off again after a little while. A few repetitions set him thinking about the reason for the lid coming off. He did not imagine a ghost in the kettle. He reasoned that since the lid comes off again and again, there must be something inside that pushes it out. This reasoning resulted in the discovery of energy contained in the steam, which led to the industrial revolution in Europe. Another example: we celebrate 28th February as National Science Day, because C.V. Raman’s discovery of ‘Raman effect’ was published in world-renowned magazine ‘Nature’. Later he won the Nobel Prize for it. How did he discover it? He was going to England in a liner. Every day he used to go to the deck and see the deep blue sky above and the deep blue sea below. He was curious to know why. Now he could have praised God for creating the beautiful blue sky above and the beautiful sea below. But, he did not do that. He started reasoning and discovered a novel scientific truth. Thus, scientific outlook starts from observing phenomena and asking oneself the question ‘why’.

Now one cannot expect to prove everything by observation. Suppose you have lost your way in a jungle in the evening. You need to reach some small settlement before night. Since you do not know where such a cluster of hutments can be found, you would not know which way to go. Then if you see some smoke going up at a dozen places by the side of a hill, you think this may be an indication of a settlement and you take the path towards it. What is the basis of your choice? You have not seen any men or a settlement or their fireplaces. But you know that wherever firewood is used for cooking, there is smoke and in the jungle, firewood is used for cooking. Evening is the time for cooking dinner and if food is being cooked in every hutment, there would be a dozen places from where the smoke can rise. So you deduce that there must be people living there and they are preparing their dinner. On the basis of this logic you proceed in that direction and your deduction turns out to be correct. Scientific outlook consists of firstly observation, secondly reasoning (or logic) where observation is not possible and thirdly inference. Let me explain the third constituent, inference. A friend of yours, who is a late riser, suggests that you accompany him for a walk at sunrise next morning. He promises to come to your house very early next day. Since you know he is incapable of doing this, would you argue with him, ‘Oh, you want to go for a walk at sunrise, but how are you sure that the Sun will rise tomorrow?’ No you won’t. But how does one know that the Sun is going to rise tomorrow? When we give appointments several days in advance, how do we know that those days are going to break on this earth? We deduce this from our knowledge that the Sun has been rising regularly in the morning for the last 460 crore years. It has not taken any leave at all. If it does that even for a day, it can cause a permanent “leave” for all the living things on earth. Since the Sun has been rising regularly so far, you infer that it will do so even tomorrow and plan to go for a walk in the morning. This is inference.

The next factor is verification. We have already seen that it consists of three parts: verification, repeated verification and universal verification. What is verification? Adi Shankaracharya had said, even if hundred wise men tell you that fire is cool, will you believe it? No, you will not. If those hundred wise men say, ‘not only do we say it, but it is also written in the book’, you would reply, ‘I do have a lot of respect for all of you but the direct evidence, my own experience, tells me that if I put my hand in fire it will burn.’ Verification by direct experience is an important part of scientific outlook. Now we will see what is repeated experience. Someone tells you that using a certain enchanted ring will secure employment for the user within one month. You ask him to give you proof. He then says that he had used it and later his neighbor had used it and both got jobs within a month. What you should argue with him, is that if the same experience is repeated a large number of times, then we should make ten thousand such rings and distribute them among ten thousand unemployed youth. If they all get jobs within a month then we can accept that this ring does have some supernatural power of securing jobs for the unemployed. We cannot draw conclusions from just one or two examples. For drawing conclusions you need a very large number of such examples. This is the crux of the scientific outlook. Again this experience or verification has to be universal. It cannot be science without being universal. If you say that only the residents of that particular city will get jobs on using the ring, it will not be acceptable as scientific truth. If the ring really is capable of getting a job for the user, any body anywhere should get a job within a month on using it. If a medicine is developed for a particular disease, it will cure any person suffering from that disease any where in the world. When the law of gravitation was proved, it could be applied anywhere in the world to verify it. Thus scientific outlook is founded on direct verification that is repeated in very large number and is universally applicable.

Experiment is the last important constituent of scientific outlook. Anybody should be able to verify scientific truths by conducting required experiments. Water boils at 100 degrees centigrade. It means that water will boil at this temperature anywhere in the world, be it Bombay, Calcutta, London or Madras. If it boils at a lower or higher temperature at any place, you have another universal law that explains why and to what extent the boiling point of water rises or drops. It is not that water will boil at 90 degree centigrade in Mumbai and save fuel because the residents of Mumbai are very religious, while the residents of Moscow being atheist water boils there at 110degrees centigrade. One can verify it by experiment. So observation, the question ‘why so’ based on the observation, then reasoning or logic where observation is not possible, followed by inference and verification and lastly experiment are the steps that build the scientific outlook. There is a lot of value content too in the scientific outlook. It tells how a human being should look at life in general. The value content dwells in the method of scientific thinking.

Independent Movement to Eradicate Superstitions

Every body feels that with the spread of science education and modernization, superstitions will automatically disappear by and by. No special efforts are needed to do that. Say, for example from a totally dark room we cannot dig out the darkness. Just light a candle and the darkness will vanish. A petromax will make it brighter, while a tube light will make it brighter still. When the day breaks out and as the sun reaches the zenith the room is flooded with light from all sides. Darkness has no room there. Superstition means the darkness of ignorance. So it goes without saying that with the light of knowledge and science the darkness of ignorance i.e., superstition will simply melt away. Had this concept materialized, we would have been the happiest people for, in that case, such a huge movement would not have been necessary at all.

Originally published by Dr. Narendra Dabholkar on antisuperstition.org. It has been republished here to propagate rationalist thinking and as a mark of solidarity with his beliefs. Do visit the site for more thought provoking rationalist commentary.

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Cobrapost Investigates Complicity of Delhi Police in Anti-Sikh Riots in Delhi

The anti-Sikh riots of 1984, resulted in more than 3,000 deaths in the national capital. In a new sting operation titled "Chapter 84", Cobrapost exposes the open secret of police collusion to "stay in on the good side" of the Congress and the methods they used to cover up. The sting shows police officers candidly admitting to their failure as a force. Some of them confess that the top brass of the police force colluded with the government of the day to teach Sikhs “a lesson”.

The police officers covered in the sting are Shoorveer Singh Tyagi, then Station House Officer (SHO) Kalyanpuri; Rohtas Singh, SHO Delhi Cantonment; S. N. Bhaskar, SHO Krishna Nagar; O. P. Yadav, SHO Srinivaspuri; and Jaipal Singh, SHO Mehrauli.

S.C. Tandon, then chief of police, parried all questions and Gautam Kaul, then Additional Commissioner of Police, rejected the idea that he had any first-hand knowledge of rioting. Amrik Singh Bhullar, then the SHO of Patel Nagar – who the Cobrapost reporter also met – had named some local leaders in his affidavit, accusing them of instigating and even leading the frenzied mobs.

Cobrapost Special Correspondent Asit Dixit met these official, retired with a clear name and enjoying perks and benefits that government servants are entitled to. In their interviews with Dixit, disclosures made clearly establish the following:

  • The police force had succumbed to anti-Sikh sentiments, thus abetting rioting and arson, even encouraging rioters
  • Warnings about the simmering communal sentiments against Sikhs went unheard by senior officers
  • While news of arson and rioting bombarded the police control rooms, only two per cent of the messages were recorded
  • Police logbooks were conveniently changed to eliminate evidence of inaction on the part of senior officers
  • Some officers did not act for fear of punishment being transferred
  • Some police officers dumped bodies of victims somewhere else to minimize riot-related crimes
  • The police did not allow the victims of rioting file FIRs or when they filed FIRs, they clubbed many cases of murder and arson that took in disparate places in one FIR
  • Messages were broadcast directing police to not take action against rioters who were shouting slogans of ‘Indira Gandhi zindabad’
  • The government of the day did not allow the police to act while creating an impression that the police were not performing their duty
  • Senior police officers did not allow their subordinates to open fire on rioters
  • Even the Fire Brigade refused to move to areas where cases of arson had been reported by police.

While former Commissioner of Police S. C. Tandon evaded questions posed to him by the Cobrapost Special Correspondent, other officers in the sting independently described S. C. Tandon's role in not providing leadership to the force in addressing the crisis. At least three officers castigated the then police chief without mincing words.

Tyagi criticizes Tandon for acting under the influence of the government of the day:

Toh jaane anjane mein wo government ke influence mein rahe hain ki unhone mismangage kiya shuru mein aur do din jab asal mein baat jab haath se nikal gayi (So, knowingly or unknowingly, he was under the influence of the government. He mismanaged in the beginning and in the first two days the situation went out of control).

Yadav accuses Tandon of not providing leadership to the force, while Bhaskar says that instead of singling out some station house officers, the police chief’s head should have rolled.

The Ranganath Mishra Commission as well as the Kapur–Kusum Mittal Committee abundantly establish that S. C. Tandon at the very least grossly underestimated the gravity of the situation in remaining complacent that promulgation of section 144 would be adequate in maintaining control. The When the Cobrapost reporter met Tandon, the former police chief excused himself saying any comment by him may create a controversy in poll season.

The breakdown of the law and order machinery was complete with messages for reinforcement being ignored by senior officials.

“Main toh apne level se ye keh sakta hoon ki jab maine chaar baje message bheje aapse force mang raha hoon toh aapne mujhe kyon nahi di (I can tell you at my level that when I had messaged them asking for force, then why did not they send it to me?).” ~ S N Bhaskar, then SHO of Krishna Nagar

Then there were senior officers like Hukam Chand Jatav who did not act even when the press informed him about the murder and mayhem all around Delhi.

Hukam Chand Jatav ye yahan ke hi the Karol Bagh ke hi IPS the toh uss time the DIG ab wo Control Room mein baithe huye the aur reporter wahan unko pooch rahe hain aur wo keh rahe hain everything is all right unhone kaha wahan toh bande mar gaye hain aapki itni duniya lut gayi hai ja ke dekho toh sahi nahi nahi main yahan Control Room mein hoon and he knew everything lekin wahan se move hi nahi kiya (Hukam Chand Jatav. Karol Bagh fell under him. He was an IPS and was a DIG at that time. He was sitting in the control room and calling him up press reporters told him of murders and arson taking place all around, asking him to go out there to intervene. He said, ‘everything is all right … no, no, I am here in the Control Room’ … and he knew everything but did not make any move).” ~ Amreek Singh Bhullar, then SHO of Patel Nagar

To make matters worse, officers like then Deputy Commissioner of Police Chandra Prakash did not allow his subordinates to open fire on the rampaging mobs.

“Na unhone [DCP Chandra Prakash] mujhe ye keh diya ki matlab likh ke bhi diya hai ye bhi keh diya yaar wo toh goli chalne se toh Indira Gandhi wala kaand itna bada ban pada hai tum kyon naya kaand khada karte ho (No, he [DCP Chandra Prakash] told me, and gave me in writing, that Indira Gandhi’s murder is big enough an event. Now should you make an even bigger event by opening fire).” ~ Rohtas Singh, then SHO of Delhi Cantonment

Rohtas Singh alleges that Chandra Prakash had messages that would indict him changed.

“Agar wo record ho gayi hoti toh main kaafi kuch sabit kar sakta tha not even two per cent were recorded control room mein jo log book thi (If those message had been recorded, I could have proved many things but not even two per cent were recorded in the log book of the Control Room).” ~ Rohtas Singh, then SHO of Delhi Cantonment

“Toh wireless log book ke ki bata raha hoon … usmein kuch aise message the jo usko le baithte … jahan jahan usko suit nahi kar rahi thi wo saba change kara diya (I am telling about wireless log book … there were some such messages in it which could have been damaging for him … he had the logbook changed at places which did not suit him).” ~ Rohtas Singh, then SHO of Delhi Cantonment

The reason the police personnel behaved in a biased manner was the communal fluke that had infected the rank and file of Delhi Police.

“Ismein mujhe koi sankoch nahi hai kehne mein humare policemen bhi yahin local men the wo bhi communal-minded ho gaye the (I have no hesitation saying that our policemen who were drawn from the local men too had become communal minded).” ~ Rohtas Singh, then SHO of Delhi Cantonment

Covering up the anti-Sikh riots

After several bouts of murder and mayhem, when the rioting died down upon the intervention of Army after three days, began a cover-up operation by Delhi Police. First, they did not register cases and when they did, they clubbed disparate cases in one FIR.

“Logon ne case register nahi kiye dabane ki koshish ki tere ilake mein hua ke itne lambe chaure riots hue unko koshish ki kum se kum karne ki apni naukri bachane ke liye aur utha ke body wahan fenk di Sultan Puri (The police did not register cases, instead they tried to suppress the cases. They knew there were huge riots in their areas, so they tried to minimize, even picked up corpses and dumped them in Sultan Puri, to save their jobs).” ~ Amreek Singh Bhullar, then SHO of Patel Nagar

While the police have been indicted by several separate inquiries, there has been no real action taken against those whose complacency led to humanitarian disaster, or who actively prevented action against criminals, so this investigation by Cobrapost, in my view is quite relevant and well timed given that people are making choices with regard to who will rule them.
For more details log onto: www.cobrapost.com
Follow us on Twitter: #cobrapost
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook/cobrapost.com

Many people these days are eager to write about how Modi is a bad idea and come up with stupid ideas like his marriage status and then argue themselves into a corner about how it is their business because lying on paper and finally getting trolled into a corner where you have to get asked about the girlfriends of Congress MPs and it goes downhill from there.

There are better things to clobber Modi with, that will also educate the country on more than how to aim for someone's wife or girlfriend if you want to attack them.

Truth of Gujarat

Amazing Congress supporters don't read this more, because it is among the best websites for debunking the self proclaimed Vikas Purush. It is in the lucky position of not having to tell many lies to oppose, because Modi regularly indulges them with suo motu bloopers. This is also a good place to find links for specific subjects if you actually get replies on biggies. Read, learn, be entertained. Truth of Gujarat

Modi's Gujarat speeches

While you were busy outraging about Modi, Modi supporters had quietly gone and got down links to his speeches endorsing violence to the point where some time in 2009, I really had to search (and did not find) a link to give someone as an example of what used to be appreciated in RSS circles as "fiery speeches" - and it takes a lot for someone from the land of Bal Thackeray to even register another fiery speaker as having any potential at all (other than his nephew).

Here are parts of Modi's election campaign for Gujarat CM, round one. His speaking style is a little different. Puppies sounds better than many other things.

Not only was he unapologetic, he was gloating over the riots in public election rallies. Tough to paint that one as "helpless to prevent".

BJP funding

BJP is on a spending spree like nobody's business. Mega expenses, mega deployment of promotion. This is in addition to misuse of state resources to promote a national political agenda. Nice to ask a bhakt, where is BJP funding for all this coming from? Surely if there were dramatic donations coming in, BJP wouldn't have wasted a minute stating them when AAP CLOBBERED them with each speech against them raising mega donations? You think BJP would waste a moment to say "Never mind the one crore donations Modi speech raised for AAP today, check out this 10 crores coming in daily last month.". So the donations would come from those who would profit from a BJP win (just like for AAP), only it doesn't seem to be the masses.

The RSS connection

Modi's RSS connection is played up or down depending on who the audience is, but the fact remains that over 2000 RSS shakhas have come up in the last three months. 185 Sangh Parivar organizations are campaigning for Modi, including 44 thousand RSS shakhas. RSS is planning to move some 2000 cadre into the BJP if BJP wins the elections to keep the RSS ideology strong in the party. For all the insistence that Modi is not a fundamentalist and is a "Vikas Purush", the investment of RSS in his win as well the plans for spreading its influence in the party in the event of a win both tell its own tale. Modi had joined BJP after being an RSS Pracharak as well, during the last time BJP was in power as a part of the NDA government. Within months of him assuming power, the fanatics had been bold enough to wreak their own brand of revenge for what they proclaimed as a crime by all Muslims against them regardless of law and order, and whatever Modi claims now, his election campaign immediately after fully glorified the riots and demonized its victims (video above).

2000 RSS shakhas come up in 3 months to campaign for Modi

Even as Modi projects himself (literally, using 3D) as a modern, innovative leader with focus on development, his most trusted sidekick is busy touring riot hit areas of UP with speeches promoting "revenge" against the SP government through the ballot. This isn't unlike the "Miyan Musharraf" speeches of 2002, where the absent Musharraf served as a euphemism for Muslims within the population.

Wikileaks cables

No, not the one Modi creatively exaggerated to give himself a character certificate, but another, more worrying one that describes his methods of polarization among Hindu ranks through the eyes of an independent observer. Here are important parts of the text:

1. (C) On August 1, controversial Gujarat BJP Chief Minister
Narendra Modi (whose visa we revoked for his role in the 2002
Gujarat Hindu-Muslim riots) expanded his cabinet by inducting 11
new ministers. In doing so, Modi met a long-standing demand of
the rebels within his own party who had openly criticized him
for not sharing power more broadly. A closer look at the timing
of the expansion and the allocation of the portfolios, however,
leads most of our contacts to argue that Modi actually
ingeniously weakened his critics by only appearing to devolve
some power to them, and by securing pledges of loyalty.
Following the cabinet expansion, many rebels all but conceded
defeat in their long drawn-out battle for power with Modi, whose
star is rising in national BJP politics. Modi's move also
demonstrates that caste-based politics remain alive in Gujarat.
The chief minister, himself from a small, economically weak
caste group, used the expansion to weaken the position of the
long dominant Patel caste to the advantage of what are
categorized by the government as Other Backward Castes (OBCs).
Modi's latest actions may alienate both the better-off, urban
middle classes that have supported him until now as well as the
hard-line Hindu VHP, which used the swearing-in ceremony to
rebuke Modi publicly. On balance, however, it appears that Modi
has solidified his power in Gujarat and that the rebellion of
his fellow BJP politicians could likely flicker out. Modi is
using his strong base in Gujarat to position himself for the BJP
power struggle and to crow about Gujarat's investment-friendly
(but certainly not minority-friendly) record. End summary and
comment.

Modi Shares Power With His Critics...
-------------------------------------

2. (C) In late March, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national
president Lal Krishan Advani directed Modi to expand his cabinet
after BJP parliamentarians openly criticized the chief
minister's autocratic leadership style (ref A). Modi consented
under the condition that the BJP appoint a state party president
loyal to him. In early June, Advani kept his part of the
bargain when the BJP appointed Vajubhai Vala as Gujarat BJP
president (ref B). Vala is widely seen as pro-Modi.

3. (C) On August 1, Modi finally expanded his cabinet by
swearing in 11 new ministers. The cabinet, which had far fewer
ministers than allowed under Indian law, expanded to 26 as a
result. Opinions differ among our Gujarat contacts as to whether
or not the cabinet expansion is truly a sign that Modi is
finally prepared to share power with the rebels, whose
opposition to the chief minister was founded primarily on
questions of power and personality and less on any political or
ideological differences. The new ministers were drawn in nearly
equal numbers from the rebel faction, from Modi's supporters,
and from so-called fence sitters that are neither Modi's
supporters nor opponents.

...And Weakens Them in the Process
----------------------------------

4. (C) Many contacts, including journalists Anosh Malekar and
Uday Mahurkar as well as BJP official Pankaj Mudholkar, told us
that none of the new ministers will have any significant
policy-making clout or sizable budgets that can be diverted for
political patronage. The newcomers received departments such as
woman and child welfare, employment guarantee and fisheries.
The CM and his core supporters still control the most important
portfolios, such as Home, Finance, Industry, Irrigation and
Rural Development.

5. (C) Mudholkar and Mahurkar said that Modi has ingeniously
strengthened his position while weakening that of his opponents
by superficially devolving some power to them. Modi timed the
expansion of the cabinet to take advantage of the absence of the
leader of the rebels, former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai
Patel. Patel is currently in the U.S., where his wife is
undergoing medical treatment. Modi reportedly focused on two
influential Patel supporters and enticed them to join his
cabinet under conditions that Patel himself would probably never
have supported. Modi also offered selective cabinet postings to
rebels and fence sitters who he knew could be easily co-opted.
"The rebels are weakening," journalist Malekar told us. "The
so-called opponents inducted in the cabinet have also actually
assured Modi of their loyalty." Bimal Shah, an outspoken rebel
parliamentarian who had hoped to get a cabinet posting,
concurred. He said the rebels realized that the central BJP
leadership is firmly with Modi, while rebel leader Patel is old
and weakening. Shah conceded to us that he and several other
key rebels had decided it is in their own best interests to make
peace with Modi.

[...]

9. (C) Our sources, including journalist Mahurkar, tell us the
chief minister further alienated urban middle class Hindu voters
by granting a cabinet post to a shady and controversial OBC
leader named Purushottam Solanki, who is wanted by the Mumbai
police in various extortion cases...

Eyes on The National Stage
--------------------------

10. (C) Despite the shenanigans in Gujarat local politics, it is
clear Modi has his eyes on bigger things. His governing style
has its appeal among a nationwide set of conservative Hindus,
and that could translate into growing power in the national BJP.
Moreover, in a BJP beset by internal struggles, Modi's revival
sets him up nicely to influence the king making when the time
comes. Having recovered from the crisis invoked by our visa
revocation and his tyrannical management style, Modi is
positioning himself as a national leader by reminding people
that Gujarat has done a fine job of economic governance,
notwithstanding the black stain the riots left. When the
Gurgaon riots broke out in Congress-ruled Haryana, Modi
published full-page ads in the major national broadsheets to
remind voters everywhere that Gujarat had model labor relations,
sound macroeconomic policies, terrific infrastructure, and
responsible local government. Modi's face and name were
prominent in these costly pokes in the Congress' eye. Moreover,
Modi can crow to the nation that the respected newsmagazine
"India Today" just named Gujarat among the best-run states...

[...]

CHEATHAM

If we look at what is happening over a decade later in BJP at the National level, the pattern continues. Today we notice Jaswant Singh's exit, but less realized is the almost complete marginalization of BJP leaders with mass followings of their own built over years. There is a callous dismissal of allies who won't toe lines disrupting linkages built over decades by other leaders, while new relationships are being seeked. So for those who believe in BJP as opposed to the Narendra Modi cult, what you see happening here is basically a wipeout of BJP.

Chilling Effects

Without Modi yet being in power, the massive business clout and the financial power as well as control it brings (*cough* Ambani Adani Tata *cough*) has resulted in the near complete decimation of Indian media to the point of news of crucial importance in a democracy where people's votes are manipulated or outright conned does not reach people due to a complete blackout.

Exposes of paid Social Media services to manipulate elections died. Both media and government failed to hold Modi accountable over misuse of state machinery to spy on a woman once a token statement by her father was issued that he had asked for it. The complete lack of explanations on several issues raised fails to see media hold the questions in public attention. Newspapers that have taken prominent leftist stands in the past are keeping a low key, being reinvented into more neutral (read compliant) entities or are completely destroyed or even facing potential corporate takeovers.

Modi today said in a speech that he would give the people ten times what Indira Gandhi gave, and this is an eerie premonition of an Emergency declared in media where content must toe lines - without people even knowing that it has been declared. And this is him campaigning. Not even ruling yet.

Caravan story on Narendra Modi

The superb story on Narendra Modi's life in Caravan is a must read for its painstaking research into Modi's life. It is a story of an ambitious man who is not a team player, to put it very mildly. It details the relentlessness with which Modi has decimated enemies within the BJP and is a chilling view of the manner in which Modi pursues power. Read the Caravan story on Narendra Modi - The Emperor Uncrowned

.... many more links coming up, as I get time. Keep checking back...

6

Tough to say how much Congress is damaged by Rahul Gandhi's interview. In an intelligent world, I'd say the Congress is over. But then, the Congress shop should have been shut at least 3-4 years ago, if not longer. But this is a world that runs on propaganda and deliberate stupidification with the collusion of all parties. So it is really tough to say.

I spoke with some people in the last few days and asked them if they had seen Rahul Gandhi's interview. About 80% of the people said they hadn't. Believe it or not. I talked with them about it, and asked if they were planning to catch a re-telecast if it happened. Most of them weren't all that interested. A few said talking with me made them curious, and if it came on again, they might see it.

Overall my perceptions here. The biggest negative from the interview people had is that he didn't say anything "exciting" or "interesting" etc -  I understood it to mean that the subjects of the interview weren't something they felt strongly about. They hadn't paid much attention to details. Few interesting views I came across. Note: THESE ARE NOT MY VIEWS.

About Rahul Gandhi as a PM candidate

"uski marji hain. woh nahi chahta to Arnab ne force nahi karna chahiye" (It is his wish. If he doesn't want to be PM candidate, Arnab shouldn't force.)

He isn't aggressive enough for Indian politics.

Whatever you say, Congress is the party that has run this country all this time. He is Indira Gandhi's grandson, Rahul Gandhi's son. He grew up knowing how to rule.

As long as Gandhi family is there, people will vote for it (though he himself wouldn't, he said)

About youth empowerment, women's empowerment, jobs and such

Most people weren't interested. General opinion is that politicians say such things.

One man said that he has been hearing politicians promise such things for years. Anyone you vote for will promise you this.

Woman seemed a bit resentful. Everyone talks about women. But our life remains the same. What is the use?

naukri hogi to accha hoga par kar ke dikhana chahiye. ye to abhi bolte hain phir election ke baad bhool jaate hain

About the Rahul Gandhi's comments on the Sikh riots

Most people had no real idea of the magnitude of the riots as anything different from other riots though they did know "Congress did them" - this is quite contrary to the public knowledge on social media. One person thought of the Anti-Sikh riots as larger than they were "dasaon hajaar sikhon ko kaat diya" (tens of thousands of Sikhs were cut down). Many (about 6-8) of the people did not understand any special significance into Rahul Gandhi being asked about those riots in particular. Two people brought up the Assam riots and Muzaffarnagar as more recent and needing attention.

The BJP may have helped Congress with regard to handling PR for 1984, because most people thought that "rival parties exaggerate riots and try to trap main leaders to make them lose election" or some variation thereof.

Astonishingly, not even a single person held Rahul Gandhi's denial of Congress involvement against him. Excuses ranged from "he was young at that time" to "how will he publicly admit?". One strange comment was "if he admits, he only will get arrested" no idea how that computed, though the naive belief that Rahul Gandhi could be arrested for saying the wrong thing delighted my heart for a while.

Other responses

Some other common responses.

Not interested in politics.

Aam Aadmi Party is "apni tarah" it will be good if they start here.

Vote for Modi.

Note: This isn't a proper scientific survey, but my observations - from memory of casual conversations. Sample size is not large (30-40 people), and ours is a lower middle class to working class area where few spend extensive time watching TV and those are usually housewives interested in talent shows and soaps. Shopkeepers and people with jobs usually don't get much time for TV at all - whether NaMo or RaGa.