People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 10

March 09, 2014




Seminar on 12 Years of Gujarat Massacre


N S Sajith


WHILE Ashok Mochi handed over a water bottle to Kutbuddin Ansari, the latter smilingly accepted it and gave a red rose to Mochi. And then the audience gave them a standing ovation the moment when these two persons, belonging to a state which was ripped apart by genocide 12 years back, shared the same stage in Thalipparamba on March 3, 2014, to express their mutual trust and love. This was a noble occasion, characterised by a meeting of Kutbuddin Ansari and Ashok Mochi, two faces of the communal pogrom in Gujarat in the year 2002. The occasion was of a seminar on “Twelve Years of Gujarat Genocide,” jointly organised by 18 cultural organisations, when Ansari and Mochi, by profession a tailor and a cobbler respectively, opened a new chapter of love and humanism.

The programme was also attended by the CPI(M)’s Kannur district secretary P Jayrajan who had suffered multiple injuries from the attack launched by a gang of RSS rogues in 1999, and also by the daughters of martyr U K Kunjiraman who was killed by RSS goons when he was determined to protect a mosque during the Thalasseri riots in 1972. While Ansari’s image with folded hands and Mochi’s image with a protruded sword in the backdrop reflected the dark days of Gujarat genocide, both of them, along with a big crowd, pledged to defeat the ideology of hatred.

An emotional Ansari told the audience: “Many people came to meet me here. I could not be able to recognise who is a Hindu and who is a Muslim among them. I saw only humanity on their faces. I am wearing a white mundu (dhoti) as a token of my love for Kerala. When I fled from Gujarat, it was the people of Bengal who showered love upon me. This humble beginning from Kerala must cover the whole country and must come as a message of change. The whole of Gujarat is being suppressed today to enable Modi to reach Delhi.” Ansari finished his statement by quoting these lines: “Do your duty first as a human being; open the Gita and the Quran only after this.”

Mochi said he came from the Gujarat of Mahatma Gandhi, not of Modi. He said he did not know the language of Kerala; yet no language is needed to communicate with heart. Mochi described himself as a symbol of the backwardness of Gujarat. He has been working as a cobbler in the same street for a long time while the Modi has been boasting about development. Mochi is still unmarried because he is a poor person. He quoted these lines while hugging Ansari: “I robbed myself; then how can I rob you?”

The seminar was inaugurated by former Lok Sabha member and CPI(M) state committee member T K Hamza while James Mathew, MLA, presided over the function. The Malayalam translation of Ansari’s book I am Kutbuddin Ansari was released by P Jayarajan. Copies of the book were received by Satyabhama, Komala, Sujata and Reeta, the daughters of martyr U K Kunjiraman. The book was translated by Saheed Rumi, a journalist, and published by the Chinta Publishers.