Within hours after a local court upheld a probe report giving him clean chit in post-Godhra riots of 2002 in Gujarat, Chief Minister Narendra Modi today expressed his grief and said he was ‘shaken to the core’ by the communal riots that tore through the state in 2002.
Writing on his blog, Mr Modi said the communal riots that took place within five months of devastating earthquake in Gujarat, he was shaken to the core.
While pointing out that this was the first time he was sharing the harrowing ordeal he had gone through in those days at a personal level, he further said, ‘Grief’, ‘Sadness’, ‘Misery’, ‘Pain’, ‘Anguish’, ‘Agony’ mere words could not capture the absolute emptiness one felt on witnessing such inhumanity.’ Mr Modi said, ‘The law of nature is that Truth alone triumphs Satyameva Jayate. Our judiciary having spoken, I felt it important to share my inner thoughts and feelings with the nation at large.’
‘The end brings back memories of the beginning. The devastating earthquake of 2001 had plunged Gujarat into the gloom of death, destruction and sheer helplessness. 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,’ he said.
‘And we had whole-heartedly plunged ourselves into the challenge at hand. Within a mere five months, however, the mindless violence of 2002 had dealt us another unexpected blow. Innocents were killed. Families rendered helpless. Property built through years of toil destroyed. Still struggling to get back on its feet from the natural devastation, this was a crippling blow to an already shattered and hurting Gujarat,’ he said. Revisiting the communal riots in the state, he said, ‘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 single-mindedly 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.’
‘During those challenging times, I often recollected the wisdom in our scriptures; explaining how those seating in positions of power did not have the right to share their own pain and anguish. They had to suffer it in solitude. I lived through the same, experiencing this anguish in searingly sharp intensity. In fact, whenever I remember those agonizing days, I have only one earnest prayer to God. That never again should such cruelly unfortunate days come in the lives of any other person, society, state or nation,’ he said.
‘You will also find these deep emotions in my recent words at my Sadbhavana fasts, where I had emphasized how such deplorable incidents did not behove a civilized society and had pained me deeply,’ Mr Modi said.
He said that in fact, his emphasis had always been on developing and emphasizing a spirit of unity; with the now widely used concept of ‘my 5 crore Gujarati brothers and sisters’ having crystallised right at the beginning of my tenure as Chief Minister itself from this very space.
“However, as if all the suffering was not enough, I was also accused of the death and misery of my own loved ones, my Gujarati brothers and sisters. Can you imagine the inner turmoil and shock of being blamed for the very events that have shattered you!’ For so many years, they incessantly kept up their attack, leaving no stone unturned. What pained even more was that in their overzealousness to hit at me for their narrow personal and political ends, they ended up maligning my entire state and country. This heartlessly kept reopening the wounds that we were sincerely trying to heal. It ironically also delayed the very justice that these people claimed to be fighting for.