How to stop another Gujarat?

Karthik Navayan

[Karthik Navayan wrote this article ten years ago, in 2002, after visiting Gujarat as a relief volunteer seeking to offer aid to the victims of the 2002 carnage. The one persistent thought on his mind after the experience was: how to stop Andhra Pradesh from becoming Gujarat? How to stop any other state from becoming another Gujarat? We think that question is still very relevant-- Round Table India]


'Adivasis, or indigenous people, are not Hindus; they have their own culture and customs as well as festivals and gods. Organizations like Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Vishwa Hindu Parishad are working on a mission to convert them into Hinduism since decades. They are using these innocent Adivasis in murders by luring them into Hinduism. These Adivasis did not participate in any earlier incidents of communal violence; in fact, communal violence is experienced only through the RSS and VHP'

 Champak, Coordinator, 'SAARTHI' (An NGO which is working for the rehabilitation of Adivasis since last 20 years).

'In every incident of communal violence, the main victims are either Muslims or Dalits. No single Brahman or Thakur or Patel died in this communal violence. RSS goons caught one of my friends called Sanjay Parmar and issued orders to attack the Muslim community and further instructed him that they will deposit a compensation of 2 lakh Rupees at his home in case he faces death in those incidents. In a similar fashion, each Dalit used in attacks on Muslims was lured in by the promise widely publicized by the Sangh Parivar elements that "No case will be registered for attacking Muslims, moreover the looted property will belong to the looter itself"

 Yousul Mansoor, Shah Alam Camp, Aman Samuday (An NGO which is extending a helping hand to the victims). All the 800 members of this mission are either from Dalit or Muslim communities. Not a single member was from any upper caste community.

'Muslims are making preparations to kill you. If you want to save your life, you yourselves should confront the Muslims'-- fake messages like these were spread by the police themselves in and around the hamlets of Randikpur Taluk of Dahod District; in villages like Sanjali, Seethakosli, Limidi, Mikoshi, Pimi, Vasiya, Fathehpur, Sukhsar, Mothebandhibar, Linkheda, Piplod, and Baria, to instigate Adivasis against the Musims in this manner.'

– Siddiq, Teacher, Sanjeli.

"Tumhare state me jo naxal vadi hain, unko idhar bhejo! Woh toh hamari raksha karenge! ("you have Naxalites in your state (Andhra Pradesh), send them here, they will protect us!")

– Abdul Haq, a resident of Panchamahal District.


There is no active Dalit movement or Naxalite movement in Gujarat, there are no parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party or the communist parties; there are no civil liberties organizations or democratic rights organizations. There has been no active reformist movement or democratic movement since decades in Gujarat. The void created by the absence of these organizations and movements is filled by Hindu religious fanatics and fundamentalists. Numerous Hindu organizations like the RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena, and some other outfits like Yogeshwar Pariwar, Gayathri Pariwar, Sadvichar Parivar, Swamy Narayana Sampraday, Hindu Mahasabha and its affiliated Bharathiya Hindu Milan Mandir, and other outfits like the Samajik Samrastha Manch, which originated in the RSS, are actively functioning in Gujarat since decades. Bharathiya Milan Mandir is engaged in celebrating Hindu festivals extravagantly; it made Adivasis a part of these celebrations. They spread the message that all non-Muslims and non-Christians are Hindus and all Hindus should pray to 'Cow, Rama, Veda, Geetha and Achari'; the main target of this outfit is Adivasis. Another outfit which is the brainchild of the RSS, called Samajik Samajik Samrasta Manch is engaged in attracting dalits and Ambedkarites towards Hinduism.

Due to such intensive campaigning, they have succeeded in making some Dalits and Ambedkarites loyal to the BJP. There was a special agenda and a perfect plan to attract Adivasis and Dalits from the beginning itself. Another right wing organization called Vanavasi Kalyana Ashram is working exclusively among Adivasis. The activities taken up by these right wing organizations did not fulfill any material needs of Dalits and the tribals. The main intention of these outfits is to lure these people into the fold of Hindusim. On the other hand there are no other political parties other than the Congress and the BJP. The members of Hindu right wing organizations like RSS and VHP are acting as leaders in Congress party and as public representatives, and BJP is acting as the political representative for Hindu fundamentalists. The leaders of Congress are also pro-Hindutva. There is no alternative to Hindu politics in today's Gujarat. There is no political party that represents the interests of, or supports the Muslim fraternity.

Scores of Textile Mills were closed down due to the crisis in Gujarat Textile Industry in the 80s and 90s. More than one million people were thrown on the roads. The disgruntled among the unemployed, poor and the starving were used as a Vanar Sena, or monkey soldiers, by the Hindu fundamentalists. They used them in killings, lootings and house burnings.

In Gujarat, both Hindu Baniyas and Bohra Muslims are engaged in the business of pawnbroking. Acting on prior information, the Baniya community reduced the interest rate from to 120% to 80%. This helped to instigate Dalits and Adivasis against the Muslim business community which had no access to any prior information about the plot.

When we observe the social, economic and political situation in Gujarat (in 2002), we can understand that there was a pre-hatched plan worked out for decades by Hindu fundamentalists to carry out genocide of the Muslim community. There are no effective movements to confront this genocide of the Muslims. The most pathetic effect is that some so called Ambedkarites are also members of BJP.

This Gujarat carnage is like a final caution for secular, democratic, Dalit, Communist and Naxalite movements and organizations. The responsibility of giving assurance to the Muslim community is upon these organizations. In our state (Andhra Pradesh), especially in Telangana region, the ideology of Hindutva is gaining strength day by day.

Victory of Hindutva-driven BJP in districts like Karimnagar, Warangal, Medak and Hyderabad in recent elections (in 1999) where the Naxalite movement is considered strong, is the sign of a dangerous new development. Can we restrain our state from becoming another Gujarat?

How can we stop any other state from becoming another Gujarat?

Karthik Navayan is a human rights activist.

Other Related Articles

Discipline and Punish: A History of Impalement in Kerala and Tamil Nadu
Monday, 06 July 2020
  Umar Nizar The brutal murder of P. Jeyaraj and his son Beniks in police custody in Sathankulam in Tamil Nadu invokes the Nirbhaya case in its brutality, the only difference in this case being... Read More...
Dalit single women in lockdown: Lived experiences
Sunday, 28 June 2020
  Madhavi Kamble Whether it is a natural or man-made disaster, the vulnerable sections of the society are the first to get hit. The Corona outbreak put the spotlight on the issue of daily... Read More...
Poverty of Philosophy within Liberals in Understanding Anti-Caste Politics
Wednesday, 24 June 2020
  Omprakash Mahato There are social scientists who develop their views on caste through textual means, attending conferences and seminars, observing society from a distance etc. While reading... Read More...
Inequality and mental well-being
Saturday, 20 June 2020
Shubhangi Nanwatkar Mental Health has never been a national issue in India, it is an issue for those who have got privileged by their caste, gender and class. They do not suffer from discrimination,... Read More...
കോവിഡ്-19 : മാധ്യമങ്ങളും സർക്കാരും അവരുടെ മുൻഗണനകളും
Saturday, 20 June 2020
സിന്ധു മരിയ നെപ്പോളിയൻ (SAVARI and Round Table India are doing a series to put together the Bahujan perspective on the Coronavirus pandemic) [The conversation... Read More...

Recent Popular Articles

Feminism is Brahminism
Saturday, 30 May 2020
Anu Ramdas This is the transcript of a preliminary talk on the topic of feminism is brahminism. First, thank you. It is so lovely to see all of you. Thank you for the opportunity. And I am not at all... Read More...
Caste, Class and Corona
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
  Dr Jas Simran Singh Kehal 'Epidemiology is like a bikini; what is revealed is interesting; what is concealed is critical'. This statement by Peter Duesberg, a cancer epidemiologist, at... Read More...
Is there a space for North-Eastern identity among students' politics in Indian Universities?
Thursday, 23 April 2020
  Thangminlal (Lalcha) Haokip My colleagues have often asked me why University students from the North East do not take an active part in students' politics in mainland Indian Universities.... Read More...
Who does Rohith belong to?
Sunday, 23 February 2020
  Ravikant Kisana On 28th January 2020, standup comedian Kunal Kamra walked up to BJP-ally & news anchor Arnab Goswami on the Mumbai-Lucknow Indigo flight and heckled him for a minute on... Read More...
Is it time to re-strategize the Anti-CAA Protests?
Sunday, 08 March 2020
  Khalid Anis Ansari Effective protests have to be purposive, expansive and with a clear sense of the core and subsidiary issues. Moreover, in a first-past-the-post electoral system, it is... Read More...