The Players Behind Anti-Muslim Pogrom Caught On Tape

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Last week, the Indian independent weekly newspaper Tehelka published the findings of their six-month long undercover investigation into the Gujarat 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom which left more than 2,000 people dead. Armed with spy cams, journalist Ashish Khetan captured incriminating evidence of the state’s collusion.

The expose reveals how various government and political party affiliates were involved in planning the carnage. One attacker said that Muslims should not be allowed to breed, and recounted how he ripped open the stomach of a woman nine months pregnant and pulled her fetus out, and then threw it in the fire.

The state’s complicity is not new news. In 2002, the Human Rights Watch published a 68 page report pointing to the state’s involvement and in 2005, the U.S. State Department revoked Gujarat’s Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s visa to the U.S. for his involvement. But the importance of this expose is that this time, it was all caught on tape.

At first, the expose elicited mud slinging that had little to do with the actual evidence of state complicity. Modi’s party, the BJP, claimed that the expose is a “political stunt” and it’s “confident” that it will still win the elections. Others charged that it was a “political conspiracy to defame the Hindus.” But long time politician and Railways Minister Lalu Prashad Yadav has demanded the immediate arrest of Modi, while the Concerned Citizens of Gujarat, a civil society organization in Gujarat, protested yesterday, urging citizens to depose Modi’s government and demanded a re-broadcast of the Tehelka expose since it has been banned in most of Gujarat. Let us hope that state officials do not escape justice.

—Neha Inamdar

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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