The Case of Gujarat: An extract from Khushwant Singh's "The End of India"

07 April 2014
Manish Swarup / AP Photo
Manish Swarup / AP Photo

There are days when speeches made by our netas and so-called sants distress me so much that a voice within me screams, “Let all of them go to jahannum (hell). I’ll get on with my life as best as I can.” When I get over the depression, a wave of anger surges within me and I say to myself: “This is my homeland, I will not let these medieval-minded fanatics get away with wasting precious years squabbling over where exactly a temple should have its foundation-stone laid. I will shout my protest from the roof-tops.”

Then comes the ghastly carnage in Gujarat.

Much has been written and said about the riots of 2002. But not enough. I would like to quote from a document from another time. Summing up his report for the Maharashtra government after the riots in Bhiwandi and Jalgaon in 1970, Judge Madon wrote: It was a lonely, arduous and weary journey through a land of hatred and violence, of prejudice and perjury. The encounters on the way were with men without compassion, lusting for the blood of their fellow men, with politicians who trafficked in communal hatred and religious fanaticism, with local leaders who sought power by sowing disunity and bitterness, with police officers and policemen who were unworthy of their uniform, with investigating officers without honour and without scruples, with men committed to falsehood and wedded to fraud and with dealers in mayhem and murder.

Khushwant Singh Khushwant Singh was a prominent Indian novelist and journalist, and the author of Train to Pakistan, I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale, Delhi, The Company of Women and Burial at Sea.

Keywords: Gujarat Khushwant Singh communalism
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