The scorching of passengers in railway compartments at Godhra railway station on 27 February 2002 and the riots that the carnage triggered has so far been analysed only through the communal and political prisms. All commissions and inquiries have been confined to ‘immediate causes’. Security analysts were amiss in ignoring the external machinations responsible for the carnage. The prevailing geopolitical environment was hardly factored in appraisal of the situation. The security discourse in this country has still not sensitized itself to the entire realm of proxy war, the type of war in which Pakistan has few equals.
After series of jihadi attacks across the nation in the preceding five years, the decision to script the so-called ‘Hindu terror’ by the ‘Hindu terror industry’ was in keeping with the imperatives of vote-bank politics in run up to the elections in 2009. Untruths are now recoiling on the establishment. In the past five years, nothing has been established against the so-called ‘Hindu terrorists’, like Col Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya. They deserve to be restored and rehabilitated with dignity with which a saint and soldier deserves. If a nervous establishment decides to see last of them before it relinquishes power, then it is another matter.
Without going into the merits or demerits of Gandhi’s statement, what is clear is that such an assertion before a foreign envoy – while keeping in mind that India at that time, and still continues to, was seeking American influence over Pakistan to clamp down on extremists groups targeting India – was not merely distasteful but smacked of naivety.