The goddess of idiotic things!
The champion of the poor and minorities, the fearless crusader against neo-liberalism and neo-fascism, the Goddess of idiotic things speaks yet again.
Just reading all that bombastic crap about people voting out communalism and neo-liberalism is enough to put me in the mood for a thorough fisking of her article.
But work and procrastination are a powerful combination. And I let the opportunity pass! ;-)
Even so, I just have to mention a few points...
The rightwing BJP-led coalition has not just been voted out of power, it has been humiliated. It cannot but be seen as a decisive vote against communalism, and neo-liberalism's economic "reforms". The Congress has become the largest party. The left parties, the only parties to be overtly (but ineffectively) critical of the reforms, have been given an unprecedented mandate.Just a cursory glance at the statewise results of Elections 2004 and their comparison with results of the 1999 elections would tell you how big a role 'anti-incumbency' played (as usual) in these elections. So Roy's overtly (but ineffective) leftist arguments don't really hold!
In Gujarat and Mumbai, it (POTA) is used almost exclusively against Muslims. In Gujarat, after the 2002 pogrom in which an estimated 2,000 Muslims were killed, 287 people were accused under Pota: 286 were Muslim and one a Sikh.While this figure of 2000 Muslims is being bandied around, the actual figure was said to be anything between 800 to 2000. Quite a wide margin, isn't it?! And yet, the Internet is littered with a zillion websites denigrating India for letting 'over 2000' muslims be killed by frenzied Hindu fanatics in the Gujarat riots! But, only a thorough search on the Net would yield figures of the Hindus killed (around 300) there. But hey... that was just self-defense, wasn't it?!
In any case, the point I am trying to make is simple. The Gujarat riots took place mainly in three cities, Ahmedabad, Baroda and Godhra. And if the people have voted decisively this time around to root out communalism, then who, do you think, would have won the LS seats from these cities?! ... Surely not the evil monster, BJP!! ... :-o
Anyways... these are more words than I can spare to spend over a pointless piece of writing! So I shall end this post here!