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An Open Letter to Ratan Tata

Dear Mr Ratan Tata

It was perhaps a long and tiring flight from Mumbai – and a meaninglessly long schedule in the city – that probably got better of your senses yesterday. And I do not blame you either. A man is known by his company, and who knows not about your comrades, who have presided over mass murders until 3 years back in this State! But that is besides the point. Hope Ms Radia is in touch with you still.

ratan tata

Old age and retirement can often send people to depression, and it is absolutely sad that a former Chairman of a multinational company has to pass his time nowadays by giving bytes to the media. Talking of media, we heard that you took questions at the press conference from only three journalists belonging to a specific media house (no points for guessing which one).

We all know your fascination for all things Gujarat. You even said that Bengal must learn from what the former Chief Minister has done in the Vibrant State. Sure. The progress of a State is compared on the parameters of Human Development Index. Definitely Bengal has a LOT TO LEARN from Gujarat on what not to do:

 

Parameter West Bengal Gujarat
Infant mortality rate (per 1000 births) 31 42
Maternal mortality ratio 145 148
School dropout rate (I-V)

1.5

 2.6
Household access to safe drinking water

2.2%

 3.3%
Growth in revenue collection 15%  2.27%

 

Sir, such is the vibrancy of Gujarat that one-fifth of the MoUs signed by the former Chief Minister under much fanfare fail to take off!

Sir, like the former Chief Minister of the Vibrant State, are you unaware of the labour strikes in Gujarat? Are you aware that in the last three years, number of mandays lost in Bengal has come down from 5 lakh to zero?

I am sure, like your Vibrant Gujarati friend, you too are not habitual in dealing with facts? Meanwhile, you can also ask the man about a few land scams.

As the State Industry Minister highlighted earlier today, even your own company is expanding business in Bengal. But you did not see any industrialisation in Bengal in the last three years. True. If industrialisation for you means snatching away land from farmers, and egoistically sticking to your stand despite an alternative proposal by a man of impeccable reputation (Dr Gopal Krishna Gandhi), Bengal still needs to match the standards of Gujarat in such “progress”.

Sir, you also blamed Singur for the bad performance of the Tata Nano. Absolutely! Were the hapless farmers, who fought for their only means of survival, not part of the process to design a faulty car which had no feature that could appeal to the consumer (except the price)?

I am too trivial for you to even ponder on the points raised by me.

Have a nice stay in Bengal next time too. And try visiting the districts to see the growth in small and medium scale industries, not just the arterial road connecting Dumdum Airport to Taj Bengal.

– A humble Bengali.

Justice pronounced, Justice done?

Justice delayed is Justice denied.

9 years of courtroom drama, committees, investigations and reports, finally the great Indian Judiciary pronounced a verdict that validated the “Conspiracy” theory of Godhra Train carnage.

“Special Court judge P. R. Patel has convicted 31 accused while acquitting 63 others,” Public Prosecutor J. M. Panchal said after the verdict inside the Sabarmati jail.

Thirty one people were convicted for hatching the conspiracy to burn down the S6 coach of Sabarmati Express carrying mainly the Kar Sevaks returning from Ayodhya. Interestingly, 63 otehers including the “main accused” Maulana Umarji was acquitted.

As many as 253 witnesses were examined during the trial and over 1,500 documentary evidences were presented before the court by the Gujarat police.

There were a total of 134 accused in the case, out of which 14 were released due to lack of evidence, five were juvenile, five died during proceedings of over nine years, 16 are absconding, and trial was conducted against 94 accused.

Of the 94, against whom the trial was conducted 80 are in jail and 14 are out on bail.

Two different panels appointed to inquire into the 2002 case had given different views on the Godhra train burning incident.

The heinous crime of the conspirators should be punished with harshest sentence. But my heart goes out to the 63 who have been acquitted. They have lost nine precious years of their life due to an irresponsible behaviour of the administration. Can their dignity be restored? Can they return back to their normal lives with full honour? Should the government not “compensate” (not necessarily monetarily) them for the inconvenience caused to them?

I wish to sieze this opportunity to also raise the following questions and hope i get an answer

1. Is the validation of conspiracy theory a validation for “reaction” by Hindus in the riots that followed the Godhra incident? Will this verdict influence the verdict on many riot cases still pending?

2. Since the court reached the conclusion that Justice W C Bannerjee is not credible enough, should Lalu Yadav not be show caused by the courts? And what made the judges choose Nanavati report over Bannerjee?

3. Should the Government of Gujarat not apologise to or compensate the victims of state sponsored irresponsible arrests? Is this verdict in a sense not a reminder for the Government of Gujarat that they failed people in 2002? Infact in a National Daily today the victims of Godhra train carnage themselves claimed they felt used for political gains and then dumped.

4. Should this verdict be a closure and people should move on?

5. The last and most important question : Is justice delayed, justice denied???

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