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The Report on Gujarat you published is seriously unbalanced. There is an eager acceptance of the thoroughly politicised explanation that the Sabarmati train fire, sending forty women and children to a horrible death and prompting the Godhra riots, was an accident. Many who exult in this improbable account also insist that President Bush engineered 9/11 to justify the invasion of Iraq. The violence that followed it stands condemned and the State authorities must always bear moral responsibility for such events on their watch. However, it was scattered across the state of Gujarat and the army was summoned immediately, contrary to some malicious accusations.
Criminal responsibility has not yet been attributed to the Chief Minister and smears to impute it are premature. The particular smear, for the umpteenth time about the Nazi sympathies of the RSS to which Mr. Modi is affiliated, is a canard that is repeated unfailingly to deliver a supposed coup de grâce. Let me remind you that the particular unfortunate statement in question, formally repudiated subsequently, served up to smear was made before Kristallnacht in November1938 and long before Hitler become the murderous monster for which he is universally reviled. At the time, his Nazi party had countless sympathisers in Europe, perceiving in him Europe's saviour from the perversions of Bolshevism. They included much of the British Conservative Party, among them Neville Chamberlain and Lord Halifax.
The RSS may deserve ignominy for all sorts of reasons, but not for anti-Semitism because of one solitary statement approving what one leader misguidedly regarded as German patriotism. And it remains Israel's staunchest supporter in India unlike the fiercely anti-Western and anti-Israeli commentators whose account of alleged Hindu extremism your correspondent has uncritically espoused.
Dr. Gautam Sen
Indo-Jewish Association (UK)