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Gujarat’s ‘merchant of death’

After reading the affidavit of Sanjiv Bhatt stating that chief minister Narendra Modi had exhorted Hindus to teach Muslims a lesson, one can easily understand why Sonia Gandhi, had called him Maut Ka Saudagar — Merchant of Death. Khushwant Singh writes.

india Updated: May 08, 2011 01:01 IST
Khushwant Singh
Khushwant Singh
Hindustan Times

After reading the affidavit of Sanjiv Bhatt, a senior police officer in Gujarat stating that chief minister Narendra Modi had exhorted Hindus to teach Muslims a lesson for what some of their fellow Muslims had done to the Sabarmati Express at Godhra railway station in which 68 Hindu kar sewaks returning from Ayodhya were burnt alive, one can easily understand why Sonia Gandhi, President of the Indian National Congress, had called him Maut Ka Saudagar — Merchant of Death.

However good Modi may have done by industrialising the state, his hands area soiled with human blood.

If you examine the causes and effects of communal conflicts you will see that when the State fails to take action, people take the law in their own hands to seek revenge. It should always be borne in mind that maintenance of law and order is the monopoly of the government — no one else has the right to do so.

When Mrs Gandhi was assassinated, the government should have known that lawless elements would go for the Sikhs because the assassins were Sikhs.

Instead of doing that it encouraged thugs to ‘teach the Sikhs a lesson’. Consequently, over 5, 000 innocent Sikhs were killed and their properties looted.

Modi did not learn anything from that experience. He should have known that after the train was set on fire by some Muslims, Hindus would go for innocent Muslims. Instead of preventing them from doing so, he encouraged them to ‘teach the Muslims a lesson’. So thousands of innocent Muslims were done to death by Hindu mobs.

He fully deserved to be known as ‘Maut Ka Saudagar’.

Save Delhi

I sold my car almost ten years ago. I do not go out except for periodical visits to my dentist Vohra in Khan Market or Dr Sachdev, the eye specialist or Vipin Buckshey, my optician. But every time I do, it takes me longer to get to them because of the increasing traffic. Delhi has more cars than Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata put together.

New overbridges, widening roads, most of all the Metro, have brought some relief but not enough. We have to think of some radical measures to relieve congestion on our roads otherwise our capital city will become unlivable.

I recommend people to take a look at a small booklet by Ram Niwas Malik, retired engineer-in-chief, Public Health, entitled 10-Point Solution For Traffic Problems of Delhi. Some of his suggestions are in practice in many western countries and Japan. Malik’s first suggestion is likely to make a lot of difference as soon as lit is implemented.

It is new to me and most sensible. He suggests that office working hours should be so organised that the staff of different offices come and go at different hours. At present they are observing same timings and clog the roads. If some report for duty at 8 am other at 9 or 10 am they will not be on the roads at the same time.

His second suggestion is that on certain days of the week no vehicular traffic be allowed in selected areas. If no cards were allowed in Connaught Place on Sundays but shops remained open, it would make a lot of difference.

I have seen this in Tokyo streets are congested on most days, suddenly they turn into open because people drink and eat in restaurants and children play about. I saw the same happen in Ottawa (Canada).

Some bazaars like Chandani Chowk should be declared out of bounds for cars and scooters.

We have to make provision for parking vehicles. I see no alternative to building multi-storeyed parking buildings. All advanced countries which have space problems have them. I also think the number of cars with red lights on their roofs to indicate that the owner is a VIP should be abolished.

Let VIPs learn by experience what the common man has to put up with. The problem acquires more and more urgency by the day as almost 100 are added daily to Delhi.

Well said

Women’s styles may change, but their designs remain the same.

Running into debt doesn’t bother me, it’s running into creditors that’s upsetting.

Two feet on the ground are worth one in the mouth.

Bachelor: A rolling stone that gathers no moss.

Race horse: An animal that can take several people for a ride at the same time.

A secret: Something you tell only to one person at a time.

A Will: A rich man died and a line in his will read “I leave to my beloved son all the money he owes me.”

What Sheikh Saadi said: “I fear the following two: Rabb (God) and those who don’t fear the God - Jahre rabb kolon nahin dardey.

(contribued by Rajnish, Shimla)

(The views expressed by the author are personal)

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