I recall the horrors of that time in South Asian history because I was living in Lahore, Pakistan when it happened. We saw the images, read the stories. And today, to see that the ultimate perpetrator of that tragedy - Chief Minister Narendra Modi - is still in power is revolting. His political party - the BJP - is ultra-right wing and is thankfully no longer in power nationally, yet the ugly serpent still rears its head occasionally.
The article opened my eyes to the fact, no matter what, to make money, people will stoop to the lowest rung on a ladder and not even be hesitant or remorseful about it. Take, for example, China, which buys a lot of oil from Sudan. Likewise, you've got huge corporations from all over the world that continue to do business in Modi's Gujarat.
Some excerpts copied below:
Five years ago this week, across the Indian state of Gujarat, the stormtroopers of the Hindu right, decked in saffron sashes and armed with swords, tridents, sledgehammers and liquid gas cylinders, launched a pogrom against the local Muslim population. They looted and torched Muslim-owned businesses, assaulted and murdered Muslims, and gang-raped and mutilated Muslim women. By the time the violence spluttered to a halt, about 2,500 Muslims had been killed and about 200,000 driven from their homes.
The events of 2002 did not conform to the paradigm of the war on terror, in which India was a prize ally, so never achieved the infamy in the west they deserved. An array of interests - in New Delhi, London and Washington - is dedicated to ensuring the atrocity is consigned to oblivion. For them, the release of Parzania, a feature film centred on the violence, is an uncomfortable development. Despite dramatic flaws, it accurately depicts the savagery of the anti-Muslim violence, its planned, coordinated character, and the complicity of the police and the state government. Cinemas in Gujarat, under pressure from the Hindu right, are refusing to screen the film.
If and when Parzania reaches audiences here and in the US, it will offer a necessary counter-tale to the fashionable fable of the Indian neoliberal miracle, exposing the brutality and bigotry that have gone hand in hand with zooming growth rates and hi-tech triumphalism.
· Mike Marqusee writes a column for the Hindu; his most recent book is Wicked Messenger: Bob Dylan and the 1960s.article from The Guardian.