Immediately after the verdict, Mr. Modi tweeted, "Satyameva Jayate" -- that truth triumphs at the end. The words sound hollow.
Referring to the 2001 earthquake, he wrote on his blog, "Hundreds of lives were lost. Lakhs were rendered homeless. Entire livelihoods were destroyed. In such traumatic times of unimaginable suffering, I was given the responsibility to soothe and rebuild. And we had wholeheartedly plunged ourselves into the challenge at hand."
Of course the hardcore supporters will lap it up, but this should have happened as an initiative and not as a reaction.
Mr. Modi, did you not have the responsibility to soothe and restore the lives of the riot victims, at least with some heart if not wholeheartedly? If you had cared for them, the world would have been with you and you did not have to play these games.
However, you still have the time to show if you really have a pure heart that does not discriminate any one. Mr. Modi said, "I pray to God that no bitterness seeps into my heart". Please do the praischit (repentance); prayers alone won't cut it, and they are merely words.
Should we buy the following statement: "However, it was from these very built-up emotions that I had appealed to the people of Gujarat on the day of the Godhra train burning itself, fervently urging for peace and restraint to ensure lives of innocents were not put at risk."
Should we buy this statement from Rahul Gandhi, your opponent, if he delivers this: "However, I was totally opposed to corruption in the UPA government, I was shaken to the core. 'Grief', 'Sadness', 'Misery', 'Pain', 'Anguish', 'Agony' with the way things are happening, I am here to change it and put India back on prosperity that reaches every Indian."
After twelve years and countless investigations and interviews, he comes up with this to build momentum and position himself as a good guy: "I was shaken to the core. 'Grief', 'Sadness', 'Misery', 'Pain', 'Anguish', 'Agony' - mere words could not capture the absolute emptiness one felt on witnessing such inhumanity." Really? It took twelve years for you to share that in an opportunistic time?
He continues, "On one side was the pain of the victims of the earthquake, and on the other the pain of the victims of the riots. In decisively confronting this great turmoil, I had to singlemindedly focus all the strength given to me by the almighty, on the task of peace, justice and rehabilitation; burying the pain and agony I was personally wracked with."
Mr. Modi, you still have the time to take action. Here are the suggestions.
1. Restore the lives of refugees uprooted in the riots; find them minimum housing and a path to earn a livelihood. Let them be accommodated amidst all others with caring attitudes. In the long run we have to build desegregated societies for the good of all.
2. Inclusive governance, to include Muslims on the internal advisory of the Chief Minister to make security decisions on a voluntary basis with nothing to gain.
3. Justice to the families of the ones who have lost their lives, both Hindu and Muslim without discrimination.
4. Find the truth about burning of 59 passengers in the train in the most transparent way -- to bring closure to doubts on both sides or acknowledge the findings and live with it.
5. Punishment for anti-Muslim and anti-Christian attitudes in the state machinery, just like the strong anti-corruption rules instituted by the Chief Minister.
6. Meet with local Muslim, Dalit, Sikh, and Christian leadership on a regular basis, not to appease them, but to hear them out and prevent injustice to them.
7. Earn the goodwill of the people affected by restoring their lives and seek forgiveness from them.
Remember, Muslims and other minorities are not looking for favors or handouts, but just fair treatment and an opportunity to be productive citizens. If Mr. Modi can demonstrate that he is a good human being, and put in to practice the above seven points for the next five years, he would earn the goodwill of the people and could hope to be the Prime Minister of India for several terms.
OpEd News: Narendra Modi's Nakshatra's are not in his favor
Huffington post - India's future, Narendra Modi and moving forward.
Modi's letter after the lower court's decision
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, and committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions.
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