Hate speech at Becharaji

Modi delivered a Hate speech at Becharaji, harassed the officer who provided its details to the National Minorities Commission, then denied  doing either.

Modi made a hate speech against Muslims at the Becharaji temple on 9th September 2002 during his Gujarat Gaurav Yatra.

Given the context of the riots barely 6 months ago, this was particularly insensitive. Also, as B Shreekumar, a police officer sent the details of this speech to National Commission for Minorities, he was transferred, just four months into his job.

SIT questioned Modi on this.

Q.52. Please see a text of the public speech delivered by you at Becharaji, Mehasana District on 9-9-2002, as a part of Gaurav Yatra. Particularly the portion reproduced below:

 

 

“What brother, should we run relief camps? (Referring to relief camps for riot affected Muslims). Should I start children producing centers there, i.e relief camps? We want to achieve progress by pursuing the policy of family planning with determination. We are 5 and our 25!!  (Ame panch, Amara pachees, referring the Muslim polygamy) (laughs). On whose name such a development is pursued? Can’t Gujarat implement family planning? Whose inhibitions are coming in our way? Which religious sect is coming in the way? Why money is not reaching to the poor? If some people go on producing children, the children will do cycle puncture repair only?”

 

Did these remarks refer to the Muslims?

 

Ans.  This speech does not refer to any particular community or religion This was a political speech, in which I tried to point out the increasing population of India, in as much as I stated that “Can’t Gujarat implement family planning?” My speech had been distorted by some interested elements who had misinterpreted to suit their designs. It may be mentioned here that no riots or tension took place after my election speech.

Again, the SIT has no follow up questions on his absurd claims. When Modi has himself said “hum paanch” and asked which religious sect is coming in the way, how can his explanation be accepted?

If anyone reads the full transcript of the speech, it is abundantly clear which religion is Modi talking about.

You[Congress] object to Narmada waters brought in the month of Shravan? When you come to power, you are free to bring water during Ramzan.

If we raise the self-respect and morale of 5 Crores Gujratis, the schemes of Alis, Malis and Jamalis (referring to Muslims) will not be successful to do any harm to us.

Also a TOI story, Tapes capture rabid speeches made by Modi, dated 15 Sep 2002, shows a very confused response from BJP, some even denying the speech took place! Why should they be so confused, had their conscience be clear about the speech?

Also, on Sreekumar’s transfer.

Q 54 Is it correct that when Shri R.B. Sreekumar, the then Addl DG (Int.) refused to issue the denial, he was ordered to be transferred by you as ADG (Police Reforms) cn 17-9-2002?

 

Ans.  The allegation leveled by Shri R.B. Sreekumar, the then Addl.DG (Int ) is not correct, in as much as this was a routine transfer, for which the proposal had been received from the Home Department

A routine transfer, just four months into his role? Why were no other officers who towed the Gujarat Government’s line ever transferred in such “routine” manner? Also, he fails to mention that he was the Home Minister of Gujarat himself!

R.B. Sreekumar is the grandson of famous Indian revolutionary freedom fighter, nationalist, journalist and writer Balaramapuram G Raman Pillai who fought against the British for independence and started a newspaper called Navashakti. He holds a post-graduate degree in history, Gandhian philosophy, law, and literature. A 1971 batch IPS officer, Sreekumar joined Gujarat police forces in 1972 and continued till his retirement in 2007. Sreekumar was awarded the Medal for Meritorious Service in 1990 and a Medal for Distinguished Service in 1998 by the Government of India. Here is Sreekumar’s version of the same event:

SM: You were the one who retrieved the full text of Modi’s speech during his Gaurav Yatra in which he called relief camps for Muslims “child producing centres”. It was a major loss of face for the government and for Modi personally. Recount for us what exactly happened?

RBS: It was 10 September 2002. At two places during his Gaurav Yatra, Modi made these notorious statements inciting communal hatred.

The National Minorities Commission asked for a report on this speech. And it was my duty as the ADGP, Intelligence, to get it.

Now see how funny the situation became. The chief secretary and the DGP called me and said we are giving you a formal letter to provide details about the speech to the commission, but don’t actually do it.

I said that’s not possible unless you give it to me in writing. They threatened me. They said, “you are about to be promoted, why are you creating trouble for yourself?”.

Then they actually gave me a written order to not report Modi’s speech. But on 17 September, I submitted the speech and also observed that it contained elements of communal hatred which vitiated the atmosphere in the state.

That very night, I was transferred to a specially-created post called Additional DGP, Police Reforms. The post didn’t have any charter of duties, any specific job. They provided me one peon, one car and one room, but no work, no files came to me. I continued in this post till my retirement on 28 February 2007.

Here is how the press reported the transfer at the time :

Gujarat state intelligence bureau chief and his two deputies have been transferred ‘on punishment postings’ for putting on record Modi’s anti-Muslim remarks made at Bahucharaji near Mehasana on September 9, 2002.

Additional Director General Srikumar has been transferred to the police reforms department. Srikumar had joined the state IB just four months back.

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