Friday, September 29, 2006

Vadodara Violence, May 2, 2006 - It's Easy to Burn a Mussalmaan

His name was Mohammedrafiq Abdulgani Vora. He was a Mussalmaan. He was burnt alive sometime during the late hours of May 2, 2006 by a mob of around 1500 people in the Gujarati town of Vadodara.

Mr Vora was a transport contractor and was returning home from his work place, Gujarat Refineries, when his car was surrounded by a chanting crowd of Hindus which later burnt him to death.

Six people have been killed in violence since Labour Day when a Vadodara Municipal Corporation demolition drive demolished the over 200-year-old Rashidudin Chisti-ni-Dargah in the Fatehpura area of the walled city.

God! Godhara wounds are still fresh and they still hurt; and once again a similar tragedy is being repeated. I want to cry. That same fear is creeping again into my body. I'm terrified. I love this country but what is happening to it? How can people do such a terrible thing?

Why did they kill that man? Why did they burn him alive? If there was no option, couldn't they have first swiftly cut his throat with a Rampuri knife, and put him on fire only after he was dead and safe? At least it would had been less painful that way for Mr Vora.

But how could they do it in the name of God? What upbringing did they receive? What values were instilled in them by their parents?

How did it all happen?

Of course they must have first spotted that man while he was inside his car (what car model it was?) driving towards their direction. But how did they make out that he was a Mussalmaan?

Was his name, Mohammedrafiq Abdulgani Vora, tattooed on his forehead? If it really was, was it visible from a distance? Or did they first force him out of his car and unzipp him to check if he was uncircumcised or not? And after confirming that he indeed was a katua, what did they do next? Pushed him back, locked the car and poured kerosene? Or perhaps he had a Mullah-like beard and that helped identify him as a Muslim? Could it be that they first requested him for his ration card? Or for his driving license? To find out his religion by his name!

What was the next plan of action after torching the car? Did a silence envelope the mob as it watched the 'bloody mullah' writhing and crying in pain while his skin was peeling off his flesh? Did the brightness of the flames glisten in the furious eyes of the mob? Did they feel the sensation of heat due to the raging fire? Did they fall back a little from the car to save themselves from the untrustworthy flames?

Were they smiling a contended smile as Mr Vora's flesh started turning white? Or were they chanting? If yes, what were they chanting? Om? Bam Bam Bhole? Jai Shri Ram?

Or did they make human chains in concentric circles and dance around the burning car?

Imagine the last moments in the life of late Mr Mohammedrafiq Abdulgani Vora.

Difficult? Ok, imagine a crowd of 1500 people surrounding you. Can't believe it happening to you? Ok, I'll imagine it for you: I'm a Hindu and what would I go through if I am surrounded by thousands of blood thirsty Mussalmaans screaming for my death just because I do not belong to their religion! And then they tie me in my seat belt and empty a medium-sized plastic box filled with petrol over me. Then some smoker among those Muslims thoughfully offers his cigarette lighter to the mob leaders while I'm crying and screaming all the time.

What will be my last words? Surely not 'Mummy Papa'! I think I'll be crying Please mujhe chhor do. And then I will be burned alive. I will then perhaps think of nothing but experience an intolerable horrifying unimaginable burning sensation pulsuating throughout my being.

Oh God Oh God Oh God!

What sort of people were in that crowd of 1500 murderers? What were their profiles? Frustrated slum dwellers? Unemployed youths? Small time traders? Young lampoons from Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal? Were there senior citizens too? Was the gathering graced by the presence of empowered women cadres of the famed Durga Vahini? Were they accompanied by children? Did those children dance with innocent glee the instant that the Muslim's Mullah-like beard caught fire?

Was somebody also teasing the burning Mr Vora by calling him 'Osama bin Laden', 'Osama bin Laden'?

It is early morning as I'm writing this piece and not even 12 hours have passed since the burning of that Mussalmaan. What are all those people that made that killer mob doing now?

Right now it is 9:33 AM (Vadodara time). Are they having their breakfast? What is the menu for today? Aloo Poori and Jalebis dipped in chilled milk (without sugar)? Or are they watching news headlines on Aaj Tak? Perhaps they are getting their children ready for school? They could even be reciting Lanka Kand verses from Ramayana.

What were these people thinking when they brushed their teeth this morning? Did they look back on the last night's events with satisfaction? Did they think of Mr Vora? His family? Can it be that some of them have started feeling a bit guilty?

On what burning topic did their thoughts dwell on while they were shitting? By the way do these people use Indian pot or the western style toilet for shitting? Will they now go to their respective offices and work on the files? Will the ladies observe a 'thank-you fast' today?

What will they do tonight? Have sex? Watch Kumkum on Star Plus? Till they are again called out for an emergency!

And what should I do?

Oh damn oh damn oh damn oh damn!

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