Still a long road to justice in Gujarat
Nearly a decade after the gruesome massacres that killed over 2000 Muslims in the Indian state of Gujarat, 31 Hindu extremists have been found guilty of 33 of the deaths. Chief Minister Narendra Modi has not been held responsible for his role in inciting the violence.
The international media reported the violence as sparked by a Muslim attack on a train full of Hindu pilgrims. However, the story is more complicated than is suggested by such accounts, as Martha Nussbaum recounts in her powerful 2004 essay, “Body of the Nation”. As Nussbaum recounts, the Hindu nationalists arrived at the station in an aggressive mood:
When the train stopped at the station, passengers got into arguments with Muslim vendors and passengers. At least one Muslim vendor was beaten up when he refused to say “Jai Sri Ram” (“Hail Ram”), and a young Muslim girl narrowly escaped forcible abduction. As the train left the station, stones were thrown at it, apparently by Muslims.
Fifteen minutes later, one car of the train erupted in flames. Fifty-eight men, women, and children died in the fire.
Pakistan has been rightly condemned for its sponsorship of atrocities such as the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. But we ought to be just as outraged by the fact that Modi remains in office in Gujarat.
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