Dear Sitaram Yechuri

Dear Sitaram Yechuri

In an article today in the Hindustan Times, you state that those who “compare Nandigram with Gujarat are not only belittling the tragedy of the 2002 carnage but are, in fact, extending support to Modi and giving a degree of legitimacy to the communal carnage.”

I fail to see how you can come to this remarkable conclusion. It is like saying that those who compare Stalin’s murder of millions to Hitler’s murder of millions are “extending support” to Hitler and “giving a degree of legitimacy” to him.

It may be difficult for you to fathom, but it is possible to be against both Nandigram 2007 and Gujarat 2002. In both events, the state allowed the law-and-order machinery to stand by as their own goons took matters into their own hands. In both cases, people were raped and murdered. The details may differ, but there is no moral difference between what the governments of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Narendra Modi did. Both deserve our highest contempt.

Equally, it is possible to feel contempt for both the Hindutva Right and the Communist Left. In different ways, both deny individual rights and freedoms. And contrary to what you would like us to believe, there is a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea.

In the rest of your piece, you take task with the BJP for being hypocrites when it comes to free speech. I agree with you there. But after your party’s hypocrisy on Nandigram, you can hardly claim the moral high ground.


Amit Varma