Friday, November 02, 2007

Significance of Tehelka

People ask, ‘What is so new about Tehelka’s sting operation? Many of us already knew what happened in Gujarat. So, what’s so great about it?’

India is completely missing out on the greatest piece of investigative journalism in its history. They just don’t know what hit them.

We all heard stories of Inquisition of Middle Ages where people were targeted, tortured, maimed, raped, pillaged, and killed just because those victims belonged to a different faith. This program was carried out by the state itself getting its legitimacy and sanction from the ruler and administrator.

But nobody heard the perpetrators speak. Nobody recorded the perpetrators speak. We only hear the accounts of what happened through third-party sources. And that too much later after those events took place, when those rulers who perpetrated and sanctioned such heinous crimes were long gone.

When Stalin was in power in Soviet Russia, people heard about gulags, they knew about killings but evidences were not coming out. Only after the regime fell did we get to hear the stories from the people who witnessed the events. And again, nobody got convicted for those crimes.

Similarly, most of the world woke up to the horrors of the Holocaust after the Nazi Germany fell, when the allied troops entered those places where those crimes took place. Only when the Nazi Germany fell did we hear the actual stories, saw the video footages, and got to know the sordid details. While Nazis were in power, the people only had a hunch; they only heard rumors, as hearsay. Every well-informed person knew what was happening, but there was no proof that it was happening the way they thought it was. Many other people continued to believe that everything was quite OK. Even some Jews didn’t know what would be happening to them when they were caught and segregated. Though they heard many stories and had a strong hunch on what was happening, they didn’t know it for a fact. Only when the rulers were no longer the rulers the world came to know about it. But this time around, when the regime fell, the world had a chance to do something about it.

And how did the world react to this Holocaust?

The world did not ignore it. The world did not shy away from punishing the culprits. The world did not try to forget it. Instead, the world set an example. It said- ‘we will not tolerate this inhumanity. We will convict the culprits and set an example so that this may not be repeated again’. The nations which perpetrated the crime went through a big exercise of atonement teaching its citizens the bare truths so that such crimes will not be repeated. For once, some nations really did not want to repeat the history, so they chose not to forget it.

Tehelka is quite different from many of these exposes. It exposed a regime which is still in power. The culprits are still at large. The perpetrators still seated in power. Tehelka has exposed a regime and its heinous crimes when we can still hold this regime accountable for their actions. We have a chance to convict the perpetrators and set an example. We have a chance to tell ourselves- let's not forget this. We have already many sins on our hands. Are we going to repeat this again and again?

Tehelka is different because it transformed our hunches into truths; it transformed our beliefs into facts, while the perpetrators are still at large. Though some of us always knew what happened in Gujarat in 2002, Tehelka has brought those events to everyone, to the whole world. And it recorded the perpetrators boasting and regaling in their achievements of killing and massacring Muslims, the pregnant, the children and the old.

“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them will pick themselves and hurry off as if nothing happened”. -- Winston Churchill

The message of Tehelka should not be lost. We should not miss this opportunity to set an example. We are at the crossroads. What we do now is going to be historic. What we do now will determine the future course of this country. It will be known forever. It will tell the future generations on how India reacted when certain people were targeted for belonging to a different faith.

Related Posts: Narendra Modi and Adolf Hitler III, Narendra Modi and Adolf Hitler II, When majority is not right, First they came for…, Narendra Modi and Adolf Hitler, Sad day for India, We are going to pay the price, Hindu Fascism, We are going to pay the price


  1. I am sorry but I think Tehelka was nothing more than a 'party' job about something which was known to all except those disconnected with real people, with the sole aim of discrediting Modi and win the next elections. The Congress forgot that its many skeletons of the 1984 riots were probably worse than those of Gujarat, and has wound up helping rather than harming Modi. I have written in detail in two posts which can be found here

  2. Thanks for bringing this Sujai,

    Today we are seeing the result of such skewed justice we no more are safe in streets of India, there can be bombs everywhere. I do not want my future generations to participate in civil wars.


  3. Good post. I agree. India/Indians will be remembered for acting blind for this event in history. If ever any other religion comes to power in future(it may be possible) on this land then this event in history will become justification for them to kill more hindus in future. This event will even motivate numerous terrorists to attack innocent hindus and they justify their terror for this event.


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