India's Divide and Misrule

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. So said Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of non-violence. Today communal violence ravages his home state Gujarat.

Were Gandhi alive to witness today's communal violence between Hindus and Muslims in Gujarat, he would sink into despair. Despair not only for the victims of violence, but for the cynicism of those politicians, such as Gujarat's Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who seek to justify lawlessness, violence and even murder of minority members by the majority Hindus.

The current spate of violence began on February 27 th , when a train carrying many Hindu devotees was set ablaze by some Muslims at Godhra, Gujarat. Retaliation against Muslims came swift - the next day - and has smouldered since, leaving hundreds dead, orphaned, and homeless. The tension boils on thanks, in part, to the refusal of Gujarat's government to pursue and prosecute the perpetrators of the crime.

That such bloodshed occurred in today's Gujarat is surprising, for the state is no economic backwater but is, instead, one of India's most dynamic states. Moreover, it has been noted for tolerance: not only Muslims, but of Parsees (a minority community from Persia who practice Zorastrianism). So why did such a state suddenly explode?