This week marks the 19th anniversary of Muslim genocide in Gujarat.
About 3000 Muslims are killed. Some 20,000 Muslim homes and businesses and 360 places of worship are destroyed, and roughly 150,000 people are displaced.
Strong evidence links the Narendra Modi administration in Gujarat to the carefully orchestrated anti-Muslim attacks. Hindu mobs had detailed lists of Muslim residents and businesses, and violence occurred within view of police stations. An independent media, Tehelka, used hidden cameras to capture some of the accused speaking openly of how the attacks had Modi’s blessings.
- GUJARAT RIOTS: THE TRUE STORY: THE TRUTH OF THE 2002 RIOTS
Author : M.D Deshpande
Publication Date: 22 December 2014
Publisher: Patridge Publishing India
Page Length: 401 Page
The 2002 violence in Gujarat, Godhra and after was reported widely by the media, both Indian and Global. The nature of the violence, the role of the state government, and also of the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi were massively debated and discussed. Many contrasting views have been expressed worldwide about the topic. This book reveals exactly what happened. With meticulous media research, it gives contemporary newspaper reports, official statistics and comprehensive analysis to reveal the full truth of the 2002 riots, and removes many misconceptions. It also gives a special chapter on the findings of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team. With comprehensively documented arguments, this is like an encyclopedia on the 2002 riots, reveals everything you need to know about the Gujarat violence.
Was the state government of Narendra Modi culpable, or did it handle the riots effectively? Was the violence after Godhra one-sided or was it plain riots in which both sides suffered? Were some reported incidents exaggerations or were they real brutal facts? The answers to all these questions are given comprehensively. A simple reading of the book will throw enough light and arm the readers with strong facts to make up their mind.
2)GUJARAT FILES – ANATOMY OF A COVER UP
Author: Rana Ayyub
Publication Date: 25 March 2016
Publisher: Rana Ayyub
Page Length: 214 Pages
MRP : 249/
Gujarat Files is the account of an eight-month long undercover investigation by Journalist Rana Ayyub into the Gujarat riot, fake encounters and the murder of state Home Minister Haren Pandya that brings to the fore startling revelations. Posing as Maithili Tyagi, a filmmaker from the American Film Institute Conservatory, Rana met bureaucrats and top cops in Gujarat who held pivotal positions in the state between 2001 and 2010. The transcripts of the sting operation reveal the complicity of the state and its officials in crimes against humanity. With sensational disclosures about cases that run parallel to Narendra Modi and Amit Shah’s ascents to power and their journey from Gujarat to New Delhi, the boos tells you the hushed truth of the state in the words of those who developed amnesia while speaking before commissions of enquiry, but held nothing back in the secretly taped videos which form the basis of this remarkable read.
3)MODI AND GODHRA: THE FICTION OF FACT FINDING
Author: Manoj Mitta
Publication Date: 10 February 2014
Page Length: 217 Pages.
MRP : 285/
No instance of communal violence has provoked as much controversy as the Gujarat 2002 carnage and none has been subjected to as much fact-finding, especially under the monitoring of the Supreme Court. Sifting through the wealth of official material, this book contends that the fact-finding, riddled as it was ambiguities and deceptions, gaps and contradictions, glossed over crucial pieces of evidence and thereby shielded the powers that be. Scrupulously researched, The Fiction of Fact-finding exposes a range of unasked questions which helped Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi procure a clean chit. The book is written by Manoj Mitta, a senior journalist who has been tracking legal and human rights issues over 25 years.
4) THE ANATOMY OF HATE
Author: Revati Laul
Publication Date: 10 December 2018
Page Length: 232
What makes a man stand by and watch violence being done to another? What does a woman do after her husband has killed a pregnant stranger? What latent tensions and complexes did the instigators of violence draw upon to unleash the carnage of 28 February 2002?
Investigations into mass violence in India, and Gujarat 2002 in particular, have focused on the consequences, the victims, the political apparatus. The mob has always been a faceless, unidimensional machine. But the act of turning around and looking at individuals from that crowd changes everything. If we see the mob as amorphous and their hate as shifting, given to complex personal motivations and vulnerabilities, we are much closer to understanding it—and to opening up conversations that can lead to change.
Revati Laul’s unforgettable narrative, built on a decade’s worth of research and interviews, is the very first account of the perpetrators of 2002—and a crucial new addition to the literature on violence.
5) GUJARAT: THE MAKING OF A TRAGEDY
Author: Teesta Setalvad (Edited by Siddharth Varadarajan.
Publication Date: November 25 2003
Publisher: Penguin Global
Page Length: 472 Pages
The state of Gujarat has one of the most conflicting histories within India. Despite being the birthplace of the great Mahatma Gandhi, the state, believed to be one of the most economically and socially progressive in all of India, has a horrifying past. Gujarat: The Making Of A Tragedy describes the lowest and most turbulent times that the state faced.
The communal riots that broke out and resulted in the demolition of the Babri Masjid led to wide scale massacres of various religious communities. The year 1984 has been forever etched into the memories of the people of Gujarat as a dark and inhumanly violent time. The large scale communal riots that broke out between the Hindus and the Muslims resulted in death tolls numbering in the hundreds. Gujarat: The Making Of A Tragedy provides a detailed account of the riots and the ensuing chaos and despair in 1984.
Gujarat: The Making Of A Tragedy is meant to be a permanent public archive of the events of the communal riots of 1984, that took place in almost all major cities and towns of Gujarat and even some villages. The book also provides an overview of the circumstances and the reasons that led to the riots. The book reveals the nature of the beast, pertaining to religion, politics and media, and how the victims of this ghastly event are yet to receive justice. The book was published by Penguin India in 2002, and is available in paperback.
6) FEAR AND FORGIVENESS: THE AFTERMATH OF MASSACRE
Author: Harsh Mander
Publication Date: 1 January 2015
Publisher: Penguin Books
Page Length: 240 Pages
‘Human history is not just a history of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, [and] kindness. What we choose to emphasise in this complex history will define our lives…’—Howard Zinn In February 2002, a violent storm of engineered sectarian hatred broke out and raged for many months in Gujarat; blood flowed freely on the streets and tens of thousands of homes were razed to the ground. An estimated 2000 men, women and children, mostly from the Muslim community, were raped and murdered, and more than two hundred thousand people fled in terror as their homes and livelihoods were systematically destroyed. However, Gujarat abounds with thousands of untold stories of faith and courage that endured amidst the fear and hate—Dhuraji and Babuben Thakur who sheltered 110 Muslims for ten days in their home; of Rambhai Adivasi who restored his Muslim neighbour’s roof in the face of local opposition, Rabiya of Ratanpur who waits in the hope that the people from her village will call her back one day and then every thing will be all right, Bilkis Bano and Niyaz Bibi whose perseverance and determination have made them symbols of courage in the face of adversity. Harsh Mander’s Fear and Forgiveness: The Aftermath of Massacre, written over the past six years, is not just about the grim events of 2002, of the state’s lack of accountability and the failure of justice, of the numerous commissions and their reports, of the indiscriminate use of the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act 2002, of police brutality and the trauma of relief camps. It is about the acts of compassion and courage, of the hundreds who risked their own lives and those of their families and their homes to save innocent men, women and children, and even today help the betrayed and shattered minority heal and rebuild. The book compels us to acknowledge the flaws in our judicial, social and rehabilitative structures while showing that the way forward must be one of sympathy, understanding and forgiveness.
7) BETWEEN MEMORY AND FORGETTING: MASSACRE AND THE MODI YEARS IN GUJARAT
Author: Harsh Mander
Publisher: Yoda Press
Page Length: 316 Pages
Between Memory and Forgetting, Harsh Mander recounts the history of one of the most gruesome communal massacres since India’s independence in Gujarat in 2002. This occurred under the watch of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who led the state until he went on to be elected as Prime Minister a dozen years later. Mander tells the story of the years that passed between the carnage and his elevation as Prime Minister, examining difficult questions of whether he carries guilt for the crimes, and whether acknowledgment, remorse, reparation and justice were accomplished in the years which followed. The book emerges as a powerfully reasoned indictment of Modi’s record in these years, for not just why the survivors of the carnage were denied both reconciliation and justice; but also for the rise of a series of spectacular extra-judicial killings, including of Ishrat Jahan and Sohrabuddin Sheikh. In the last section, Mander writes stories of courageous resistance to the injustice of these years, by persons within and outside government.
8) SCARRED: EXPERIMENTS WITH VIOLENCE IN GUJARAT
Author: Dionne Bunsha
Publication Date: 1 January 2006
Publisher: Penguin India
Page Length: 332 Pages
Did it really start with the burning of a train? Scarred: Experiments with Violence in Gujarat asserts the existence of a much larger politics of violence, and tells the story of a disaster in Hindutva’s laboratory which etched deep faults in Gujarat’s social landscape. While capturing the predicament of the Sabarmati Express survivors, Scarred is an intense, moving portrait of refugees whose lives have been changed forever by the violence that followed. It tells the story of people fighting for justice amidst fear and turmoil, unable to return home. It is also an insightful look into the minds of the perpetrators of this violence, and the PBI – World they seek to construct―a PBI – World where the ghettoization and socio-economic boycott of Muslims have become the norm. What exactly happened in Gujarat in February 2002? Why did the country’s political leaders fiddle while Gandhi’s Gujarat burned? In this honest and thought-provoking book, Dionne Bunsha tries to answer these and many of the questions that we are still left with.
9) SPLINTERED JUSTICE: LIVING THE HORROR OF MASS COMMUNAL VIOLENCE IN BHAGALPUR AND GUJARAT
Author: Prita Jha and Warisha farasat
Publication Date: 31 December 2018
Publisher: Three Essays Collective
Page Length: 300 Pages
India, both during its struggle for independence and in the decades of freedom has been rocked by periodic episodes of communal violence, mostly taking the form of state-enabled violence, even massacres, of religious minorities. These episodes have been characterised by impunity, or the assurance that those who plan and execute these targeted communal attacks are protected from legal punishment. Scholars in the Centre for Equity Studies mapped through official records the ways in which impunity is accomplished in their book On Their Watch: Mass Violence and State Apathy in India. In this second work, Warisha Farasat and Prita Jha drill deeper into two major communal massacres, of Bhagalpur in 1989 and Gujarat in 2002. Relying not just on official papers but also on in-depth testimonies of many survivors, they systematically chart the troubling failures of India’s criminal justice system to secure justice for survivors of hate violence. Written with both rigorous scholarly insight and engaged compassion, this book is essential reading for all who care about upholding that most sacred pledge of India’s Constitution, of ensuring the equal treatment of all people, regardless of their faith, caste, gender or wealth, before the law of the land.
10) COMMUNAL VIOLENCE, FORCED MIGRATION AND THE STATE: GUJARAT SINCE 2002
Author: Sanjeevini Badigar Lokhande
Publication Date: 13 October 2016
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Page Length: 224 Pages
When violence occurs in democracies it is often characterized as an aberration. The state that saw human rights violations and failure of law and order in Gujarat in 2002 emerged, even if by its own admission, as a model for good governance. Communal Violence, Forced Migration and the State, through an account of displaced Muslims, challenges this notion. Through the unlikely yet probing lens of displacement, it offers fresh insight into communal violence and is an important resource for the emerging domain of forced migration and the changing nature of the state in a globalized world.
11) RECONCILATION IN POST- GUJARAT: THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY
Author: T.K Oommen
Publication Date: 7 May 2008
Publisher: Pearson Education India
Page Length: 287 Pages
Communal violence is often a deliberate product of human design, seemingly provoked by national or religious passions. Attempts to contain it by encouraging ideas of secularism, unity in diversity, and composite nationalism have failed to produce the desired results as is evident from the recurring inter-group conflicts, particularly Hindu–Muslim conflicts. Reconciliation in Post-Godhra Gujarat: The Role of Civil Society aims to achieve a durable inter-group harmony, by imparting lessons in reconciliation at the grass-roots level and involve the participation of civil society.
12) COMMUNAL VIOLENCE: A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY OF GUJARAT
Author: V Kannupillai
Publication Date: 1 January 2006
Publisher: Shipra Publications
Page Length: 208 Pages
India is multi-cultural state with large number of Muslims. In the recent past communal violence has been frequent. The state puts down violence by crushing it by police, paramilitary forces and army. But it is necessary to understand and critically examine various causes of social violence and adopt successful strategy to curb such violence.
The present volume is an attempt towards this direction. It is a unique strikingly quantitative sociological research on communal violence with special reference to Gujarat. Casual repression, without analyzing critically causes of ferociousness, results into further turmoil, constantly concerning lives of innocent people. The data received from more than twelve hundred respondents and with the aid of information technology, the entire course of communal violence is examined point by point in the book. Policy makers, research scholars and students of sociology and political science may find the book useful.
13) UNDER COVER: MY JOURNEY INTO THE DARKNESS OF HINDUTVA
Author: Ashish Khetan
Publication Date: 11 January 2021
Page Length: 327 Pages
I had to submit my work to the ultimate test to which a piece of journalism can be subjected—a forensic scrutiny, criminal investigations and finally a rigorous judicial cross-examination in three separate trials by a battery of aggressive defence lawyers who scrutinised, examined and doubted every word I had written and every fact I narrated.’
Ashish Khetan went undercover in Gujarat thrice in four years. He penetrated deep into the world of Hindutva and uncovered a hate-filled universe, where stories of rape and murder are exchanged over a cup of tea. Each time, he returned with reports that shook the country to its core. Equipped with cameras small enough to be clipped to a button on his shirt, Khetan secretly filmed men close to the corridors of power, or indeed in them, admitting to mind-numbing venality during the Gujarat riots of 2002. The men he filmed said the riots could not have happened without the implicit, sometimes explicit, support of the state government. His investigations led to the conviction of Babu Bajrangi, his close aides and Maya Kodnani, and in the Best Bakery case, he proved that the defence had bribed Zahira Sheikh to turn hostile.
One of India’s leading investigative journalists, Khetan has broken some of the biggest stories of the last twenty years, but the time he spent in Gujarat, especially a gruelling six-month spell in 2007, left gaping emotional wounds. As he recounts the course of the three investigations, and the long, frustrating legal processes that followed, Khetan fills in the gaps in the Gujarat-model narrative. He also reminds us that this is not the story of something that happened nearly two decades ago—it is a portrait of the present and future of India. The Gujarat playbook is now the India playbook.
Sirajunnisa KP is a media student at Pondicherry University Mahe center.