NGOs, Teesta spiced up Gujarat riot incidents: SIT OSSA views on Kondhmal.
After learning about the SIT report from media and other sources, some well meaning people, who were earlier supportive of Teesta are feeling disturbed, shocked and let down or cheated. Some self appointed over zealous defenders of Teesta, without understanding this, have started crying foul and become abusive and accusative. What is needed is a straight forward answer to the special investigation team's findings as follows:
1. that she was cooking up macabre tales of wanton killings,
2.that many of the charges against PC Pandey were found to befalse,
3.that 22 witnessesquestioned had submitted identical affidavits and confessed before the SIT that they were tutored by Teesta and her NGOto do so,
4.that the widely published reported allegation of gang rape of a muslim woman Kausar Banu and gouging out the feoetus with sharp weapons was false,
5.that there is no truth behind the reported dumping of dead bodies by rioters at Naroda Patiya,
6.that the report of killing of British nationals during the riot was totally false,
and many other such cooked up stories have only worsened the fragile relationship between the communities and maligned the country.
Yet, this does not absolve the Gujrat govt of other incidents which have not been disproved yet. The issue is, we in Civil Society should not blindly defend an NGO doing a wrong thing. No amount of beating around the bush and abusing others for their independent view is going to help. The answer should come from Teesta and her NGO. I don't think she has authorized or appointed or rented any other individual or NGO to speak or represent her by using foul language. Those who say they believe in civil liberty and fight for it must learn how to respect the liberty of others to express their views on an issue can file affidavit.
Dear Dr. Bhagaban Prakashji,
I expected more maturity and seriousness from you on this issue. In case you are not a Sangh parivar propagandist, it behoves you to be more careful in accepting one "single news report" and to portray it as truth. As you must be aware, newspapers and reporters have their own agendas and interests, and to use one article to join your considerable voice to a stance that comes straight from Sangh Parivar propaganda arsenal is extremely intemperate. Specially if you want to be seen as someone who upholds Indian Constitution and are working for peace and harmony.
To include Sangh parivar and its activists as a partner in the campaign for peace in Kandhmal, is like treating Maoists as a partner for peace. Trying to build bridges doesn't mean condoning the reign of terror let loose by both these anti-constitutional forces. If peace in Kandhmal means appeasing the goondas and murderers of Sangh Parivar, maybe peace may not be the best option.
One appreciates the efforts of the bureaucracy to bring back normality - but let us be clear that the Kandhmal riots wouldn't have been possible without the complicity and complacence of the bureaucracy. Nor would the conditions for Kandhmal riots would have been possible without the bureaucratic blunders related to land settlements and ST certifications, or the state's inability to create educational and health infrastructures- the gap which has been so ably filled by the missionaries and the Sangh Parivar through their schools, Ashrams and health centers; and the lack of which has been so well exploited by Maoists.
Nobody is Teesta's follower or blind supporter, but one recognises that she has been working really hard for the Gujarat riots victims; and that the line you took and the manner in which you took it puts you squarely in the "Sangh Parivar Propagandist category" which seeks to discredit anyone who opposes them. It is for you to clarify whether you see yourself as one.
My Dear Dhirendra, I have gone through your intemperate mail and still respect your right to your own views on issues and individuals. althogh I was expecting a more mature response.Before entering public life, I had taken three difficult decisions,- that I would not be a slave to a religion nor .to an ideology nor to an individual. I have been trying to follow this.If u find any lapses feel free to point it out.I shall appreciate it as a feedback. As a freethinker I give my own views and assessments which need not be OSSA's nor am I beholden or bonded to a single organisation.You and me are as free as anybody to stay in or leave an organisation based on our own conscience , perception.and decision. Kindly note OSSA has never stated that situation in Kondhmal is normal.We only said that it has improved a lot, thanks to a number of initiatives by CSOs cooperated by the local people and the local administration.Recently the local self govt elections like the present one has also been incident free.Hence we questioned the wisdom and attempt behind the call petition for suspension of democratic process and postponement of election in kondhmal.Even the separatist Hurriyat has refrained from giving such a call this time.Predictably,the people of Kondhmal have now soundly rejected the assessment of the prophets of gioom and doom including Teesta.And the good news is the percentage of voting by the minority was much higher than the district and state average.So whoever facilitated this process deserves kudos.And we have to work with them in future carry everybody with us in the difficult task of peacebuilding.Let us not be miserly in appreciating people for their hard wok in the district in trying circumstances. As regards Teesta,I have only quoted the TOI and other media reports.I recognise her contributions and simultaneously do not agree with some of the unethical methods she adopts.Since I was erlier aware of her work style, I was not surprised by the media reports about it.I have no quarrels with anybody who decides to be her blind follower or defender and I am also willing to be persuaded and change my view about her if some one convinces me with facts and truths. As regards 'Hindutwa forces' and 'Narendra Modi' mentioned by u,OSSA consciously avoids the naming and blaming game as it tries to build bridges between communities.while condemning divisive forces of all hues and violence of any form.Because, once we fall into this trap,OSSA will lose its credibility and be reduced to a debating society of warring groups trying to infuence its processes and burden it with their own political baggages and ideologies. However if u have any other concerns, let us meet and discuss. With all the best wishes.
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