23 January, 2021

In The Reign Of The Headless Horse

Disband the Sangh parivar's extra-governmental militias, or we could be heading the way of Zia-ul-Haq's Pakistan.

illustration by Jayachandran
In The Reign Of The Headless Horse
The recent carnage in Gujarat is not just a fresh chapter in the subcontinent's annals of horror: it may well prove to be the prologue to horrors yet-undreamt-of. In the aftermath of the slaughter, it has become clear that the machinery of state and possibly even the financial apparatus of the commercial world were bent to the task of instigating and supporting mob violence. In other words, two of the most important forces of order in society were turned to exactly the opposite purpose: undermining peace and promoting violence. This is a grim augury for the future, and it has been made grimmer still by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's speech in Goa. In endorsing the action of the Gujarat mobs and in demonising an entire community, he has essentially abdicated the Government of India's claim to sovereignty in administering justice. This is an outrage; a clear and culpable dereliction of duty on the part of the BJP-led government and the prime minister himself.

There are certain obligations of governance that admit of no dilution for ideological purposes: they are binding...


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