Anyhow, plenty of print and bandwidth and airtime got a high as they went to town about his ‘cowardice’. Please. By making him into some creature looking for a cranny to hide in, we forget that he has had his way after looking the other way as crimes were committed in his state. It is this rather jumping-the-gun attitude that has helped him further, to the extent that he has addressed “my beloved countrymen”:
Seeking to communicate to people his “deep pain” and “despair” over the attempts to tarnish the “good image of Gujarat, my government and me”, he rebutted the perception that he was scheduled to appear before SIT on March 21. “To say I was summoned on March 21 is false. I shall respond to the SIT fully respecting the law and keeping in view the dignity of a body appointed by the Supreme Court.” He added, “SIT had suggested that a suitable date can be fixed for my appearance based on mutual convenience. Such a date, when it is fixed, will be known to countrymen in due course.”
Note that mutual convenience is operating here. The SIT is putting him on the mat but he will show up when he wants to. He is using the trump card of Gujarat’s progress by involving the people in his incarceration.
It is surprising that Citizens for Peace and other NGOs want him to come clean. What are we suggesting here? There are cases of abuse of people, delay in justice, and one fine day they think he will stand there and say, yes, he is guilty? I don’t imagine there is any naiveté in this, for these are organisations that have been involved in the process of getting legal aid. They have seen injustice up close; they were around when police officers were transferred to protect them.
If it isn’t sound bytes and an attempt at getting some attention to the cause, then that is a different matter. But do not expect results or a confession.
We are dealing with the worst form of power play that co-opts the citizens and uses elitist progress as a yardstick to wipe away blood stains.
The Congress has no business to get moralistic about the situation. They have their Tytler and Sajjan Kumar. To Modi’s credit, he made no feeble excuses. Did he check into a hospital with a sudden tummy ache or to get urgent medical tests?
The courts took their time appointing the SIT. Earlier reports have been ignored or put on the backburner. Let us not forget those and obfuscate the issue by calling a man responsible for the carnage, a man who has been re-elected as CM, a coward. If he is, then so are the people of Gujarat and a large section of the nation that thinks he is a great administrator and a patriot.
We need to get our fundamentals right about who we permit to rule us. Hanging on to precarious consciences will only get us a good night’s sleep. A sleep we can ill-afford.