I was 12 years old then.. when I experienced something I never experienced before. A total chaos; people crying, running, losing hopes, losing courage.
A coconut was dropped on the road, some 50 odd feet away from my house. Next thing, I see a big circle of people, wondering what it could be. Some naming it a hand made bomb, some naming an explosive oil. About 15-20 minutes later, someone made a call to Police Station. First question asked by Police: “Is there a smoke coming out?” “Do you know for sure it is a bomb?”. Many of you may wonder, why police asked such question instead of rushing to location and taking over the situation and securing safety. But it was a very fair question. Police reportedly got close to 100 such cases everyday during that time. Three days ago, one of the biggest riot in India happened in my city- Ahmedabad as an after effect of what is known as Godhra Kand. A train returning from Ayodhya was set on fire by a group of extremists which killed 58 Hindu Sevaks. Which then turned into a state wide riots where Ahmedabad was the epicenter of it.
I have seen many such small riots before this happening at regular intervals in Ahmedabad. Be it as a result of infamous India-Pakistan cricket match, be it a result of sour vote results or religious festivals. Ahmedabad was Congress heavy before 2002 which supported minorities for pure vote banks. Supporting minorities for pure water, electricity, equal rights, education is commendable (which was not on agenda) but inducing them to riots where often majorities were bullied and targeted is NOT. I often saw my father returning home from his business earlier on such days as family would be worried if he was out when such riots took place. It was the case for many such families.
This time the riots were ran by majorities over minorities. Sad scenes were everywhere where someone lost their loved ones, their homes, their religious places, their business.. Life was upside down for many. I remembered those curfew days, where our schools were shut for over a month, we were not allowed to go out after 4. We always were praying that someone would not turn up at our community with bombs, swords and petrol. It was hell of a month.
One thing was different this time however. We had Chief Minister who was politically right and sound. It was his bad luck that he appeared to be a pure supporter of Majority. However, by no means he supported riots or induced majorities to carry them. Congress who always supported and induced such for minorities instilled the belief in Media, In people’s mind that Modi is a true HATER of minorities and indeed behind the riots. He later proved himself not guilty in Supreme Court.
What really happened was that majorities were tired of decades of bullying in ruling of Congress. They knew that they were no longer on back steps (mentally). Congress did suffer as a result but so did minorities. For many Muslim brothers, life was not same anymore and many still suffer as of today. They went through irreparable damage. What happened was a bi-result of vote banking and political agendas. Had Congress not induced or stopped earlier riots, the 2002 would not have happened.
After this event, no major riots ever occur till date in Ahmedabad and Gujarat but it did TURN the majorities to be a fan of Modi or rather termed “Bhakts”. Modi was blamed unfairly during riots but also earned unfair advantage of majority votes (80% of population in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India is Hindu) ever after. He was CM of Gujarat for record 4 terms. Modi further took the unfair advantage he had to national levels in 2014 where he emerged as a PURE leader of Bharatiya Janta Party. For the first time, BJP earned absolute majority in Lok Sabha Election.
His next mission was to turn the unfair advantage he received as a result of 2002 into fair advantage by winning hearts of minorities and majorities. By actually focusing on education, jobs, human rights, cleanliness in India. He came up with many schemes and orders during his first tenure as Prime Minister of India, most popular being Demonetization, GST and Surgical Strikes. He also put India back on International map by securing many foreign affairs. India also saw record number of public constructions. He still missed on some promises and he was once again ready to face Deomcracy test in 2019.
He did prove that what was termed unfair advantage is actually fair by winning Lok Sabha Election one more time in 2019 with absolute MAJORITY.
He still has a lot to prove, he still has a lot to offer. May this next 5 years be the best for India where we will see never seen before progress and prosperity for both minorities and majority. We as India need to be one nation of Indians. Not for Muslims. Not for Hindus but for Indians.
Maybe what once he enjoyed having unfair advantage of Majority (Hindu) support is now turned into unfair advantage given by a weak opponent? Congress did suffer irreparable loss to their image ever since Modi turned National. They tried everything, got even support of all opponents of Modi termed Mahagathbandhan but still came very short of anywhere near forming government.
Modi in his second term will have to be more progressive and sensitive toward the people of India, specially Minorities. People like Sadhvi Pragya, Varun Gandhi should find no place near ruling formation. Islam, Sikh, Jain, Christian and all religion must find equal endorsement and place with Hinduism. Indeed, religions must not be the main topic of discussion. He will need to focus on how farmers can get the right price for their crops, how small businesses can thrive between big mongols, how a poor kid can get proper education, how an ordinary man can get pure drinking water, how we can sustain and endorse a clean nation with clean rivers, roads, public places and our communities.
We all wish him all the best. Jai Hind!