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Vidodra -Gujarat:
It was an Agni pariksha
There is no clue or reason apparent showing involvement of Gujarat Government.
(Report by Dharmesh Bhatt)

The city known for academic, cultural and literary heights since many centuries is under shadow of violence for the last 4-5 decades. The city developed by king Sayajirao Gaykwad was always ahead of other contemporary cities in all positive aspects and nuances is still keeping the pace, but is now notoriously known for nuisance of communal riots too.

Vadodara a city of central Gujarat, known as Sanskar Nagari is best narrated in poem Indudoot by Jain saint poet Vinay Vijay. The poet was amazed by enriched geography and economy of the city known as `Vatpad’ during those days. Not only Jain writers and poets but the Vaishnav tradition of literature has also appreciated the city with glory and galore.

A luminary of Gujarati literature Ramanlal V. Desai narrated the atmosphere of communal harmony while speaking at the silver jubilee function of the Vadodara sahitya sabha 65 years ago. How Noorbai a muslim lady used to take part in Navratri Utsav and enthusiastically sung garabas of Devi and bhajans of Radhakrishna!

Noorbai had such sweet and wonderful voice that Hindus and Muslims all together listened her devotional songs. Not only that but King Sayajirao himself used to lead Idd processions on his elephant. Many Hindus mingled in Tajiya processions. Those days vanished so quickly…
Now a days, people always fear of some unwanted and uncontrollable happenings during Tajiya and Ganesh Chaturthi processions.

After Independence, the communal serpent was brought out by political `madaris’ conjurors. It is commonly believed that the Congress party was keen to have the support of sycophant Muslims to use the big chunk of minority votes en masse and after 2-3 decades the `Mandal’ of Janata party and `Kamandal’of BJP created a smoky atmosphere. Many small timers and political pigmies gained good mileage in that wave.

Riots of 1969, Navnirman riots of seventies during Chimanbhai Patel’s tenure as chief minster and riots of eighties during Madhavsinh Solanki’s chief ministership (To make his KSHATRIYA-HARIJAN-ADIVASI-MUSLIM formula effective) are still alive in the minds of local people. By this time, Vadodara & Ahmedabad had earned bad name as sensitive epicenters of communal outrages. Then the incidents after Advani’s 1990 Rathyatra, 1992-1993 violence also passed through. The latest major riots that attracted people’s attention and tempered political arena were riots of 2002-the post Sabarmati express inferno violence.

It brought Chief Minister, Narendra Modi under clouds of controversies and he was compared with Hitler and Nero by the opponents. Of course, the prolonged fervour of communal riots, gruesome happenings and statements given by politicians created clear suspicion that riots were initiated by the government of the chief minister himself. The Sabarmati express incident and the relevant atmosphere in Godhara, where an area known as Signal Faliya and other muslim localities known as ‘Mini Pakistan’ are used as an arguments to justify those riots.

For the latest incidents of violence that continued till the second week of May, it seems that the powerful machinery of government was not helpful anywhere to the rioters as an unauthorized mosque was demolished. It was a problem between local Muslim devotees and the Vadodara Municipal Corporation. Logicaly, the municipal staff demolishing the encroachments should have faced the wrath of the affected people. There was some instant`Kahani mein twist’ otherwise there was no point in turning a local conflict as communal violence. Many people settled their scores and personal vengeances, during riots. The demolition took place in the middle of the city but major violence occurred in the outskirts areas like Paanigate and Ajawa Road. Police and government machinery sincerely tried to control the situation because it was unnecessarily earning bad name. The chief minister Narendra Modi visited the city. It is alleged that the Congress and other parties or may be opponents within the party might have created riots to put Modi government in trouble. Ofcourse today, Congress is not in a position to give stable government in the state as its leadership and organization are not strong enough if they intend to throw out Modi government using these riots. Things will be clearer after the atmosphere calms down. We can say that it was an ‘Agni pariksha’ for the city and the state government.

Whatever the cause, this ancient city has lost its cultural glory, with the shadow of communal riots always looming on the horizon.. The poet Premand called it Veer Kshetra for its harmony and strength. We pray God that those days may return and Noorbais and Sattarsha Nizamis
sing bhajans; and Tajiya and Ganesh Processions include all communities.


India’s Mission to the Moon - Chandrayaan-1

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States on the inclusion of two US scientific instruments on board India’s mission to the Moon ‘Chandrayaan -1’.

The two instruments are Mini Synthetic Aperture Radar developed by Applied Physics Lboratory, John Hopkins University and funded by NASA and Moon Minerology Napper jointly built by Brown University and Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA. The main objective of Mini FAR is to detect water in the permanently shadowed areas of Luna-Polar region while that of Napper is characterisation and mapping of minerals on the lunar surface.Chadrayaan-1 is scheduled for 2007-8. It is India’s first unmanned scientific mission to the Moon.


Election Results in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Pondicherry

Communist Party(Marxist) retains power in West Bengal, winning 235 seats.
Tamil Nadu: Karunanidhi DMK wins largest number of seats. 82-year old Karunanidhi becomes Chief Minister.

Kerala - The LDF, consisting of Communist party and other small left parties wins defeating Congress coalition UDF.

Assam: No single party wins. Congress may form government with the help of Bodo.
Pondicherry: Congress wins with substantial majority.

Uttar Pradesh Rae Bareli - byelection. SoniaGandhi retains her seat with a huge majority. The election was caused by Sonia Gandhi resigning because she was accused of holding more than one post of profit. The Supreme Court has clarified the situation by declaring that a profitable post is still profitable whether the holder takes any emolument or not.


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Criticism is welcome. But the letters should not be abusive or derogatory of any religious belief, sect, or individual. We reserve the right to summarise or reject any letter on these grounds or for lack of space. - The Editor

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