Wednesday, Dec 25, 2002
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Sir, In the wake of the BJP's landslide victory in the Gujarat Assembly elections, the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, made the very unfortunate remarks that Muslims had not been vocal enough in condemning Godhra. This utterance is not only misleading and baseless, it is also unworthy of a Prime Minister.
Indian Muslims do not form one single community. Islam, like Hinduism, has no clergy and anyone claiming to speak for one or both communities as a whole is but an impostor, be it the so-called Shahi Imam of Delhi or the president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
As a member of a minority community, I would like to ask Mr. Vajpayee how much condemnation or regret it takes to escape the backlash of the majority community for a crime one has not committed. The perpetrators of the Godhra attack have excluded themselves not only from any community of faithful, but also from humanity as a whole. So have the Gujarat rioters. Condemning their crimes is incumbent on no single community but on the whole human race.
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