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Hang me if I am found guilty,Modi tells Urdu weekly

If any govt is responsible for the riots,it should be hanged in a public square: Narendra Modi

In his first interview to an Urdu weekly after the 2002 Gujarat riots,Chief Minister Narendra Modi has said that he “should be hanged” if he is found to be responsible for the post-Godhra violence.

Narendra Modi Sabarmati

“If any government is responsible for the riots,it should be hanged in a public square. It should be hanged so that for the next hundred years,no ruler should attempt this. And if I am responsible,I should be hanged,” says Modi in the interview to Nai Duniya.

Watch the video: Hang me if I am guilty,says Modi

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“In 2004,I had said in an interview,why talk of forgiveness,those talking of forgiveness are only exacerbating the crime. Now,if you want to abuse Modi for political reasons,despite his sincere efforts,then I have no answer,” he adds.

Narendra Modi hanged

Saying that some media persons choose to forget that February has 28 days,he says: “Trouble started on February 28,I called the Army on March 1. I didn’t delay for three days. Gaali dene se pehle kuchh soch to lijiye… If we hadn’t acted (to save Muslims),who would have survived?”

Narendra Modi hanged

While Modi has spoken on similar lines in the past as well,his interview is significant as he has chosen to address the Urdu-speaking population. Besides the timing of the interview — the Gujarat Assembly elections are due later this year,it is interesting that Modi has chosen Nai Duniya,which is edited by SP leader Shahid Siddiqui and has readership in Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi.

Narendra Modi hanged

Asked what he has done for the Muslims in Gujarat,Modi says he helped “the kite industry” and those who “live on the coast”,pointing out that they are “almost all Muslims”. Using statistics he claims to have drawn from the Sachar Committee,Modi says: “Gujarat has 9 per cent Muslims,but 12 per cent in government jobs; Bengal has 25 per cent Muslims,but only 2 per cent in government jobs. Who is secular?”

Narendra Modi remains

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Siddiqui said the next issue would carry a “post-mortem” of the Modi interview. “This has nothing to do with the Samajwadi Party. Even when I was with the Congress,I had written against Narasimha Rao,” said Siddiqui.

Meanwhile,the BJP leadership in Delhi came out in Modi’s support today. “Nobody has found him guilty. No court has convicted him. There is no question of hanging,” said former BJP president Rajnath Singh.

“There is an attempt by this government to defame him. It is a well-planned conspiracy…to malign the BJP government which is doing good work (in Gujarat),” added Singh.

>More pics: Gujarat Riots

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Modi’s remarks carry additional political significance in the wake of the recent controversy over Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s remarks that the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate must be “clean and secular”.

Olympics archery goes to Lord’s,will bring Lord’s to the world Shivani Naik,July 26

Michael Peart is indifferent to cricket,oblivious of its deities,but worships at its Mecca. “Never fancied cricket,not anywhere close to converting,but I have turned into a massive fan of Lord’s,” says the professional archer who has watched the home of English cricket transform into one of London 2012’s landmark venues.

“Unless Buckingham Palace was on offer,we could safely say we have the best venue in terms of enduring images that will stay in memory well after the Games.” Lord’s will host the archery competition,in which world No. 1 and one of India’s brightest prospects,Deepika Kumari,will shoot tomorrow.

Peart,a former UK national recurve champion who has been roped in by the Games organisers to demystify modern-day bowmanship for sporting ignoramuses,says the news of archery’s betrothal to the most hallowed turf in cricket had come as a “massive surprise”.

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“It was kept a secret till we (London) won the hosting rights (in 2005),and though we have hundreds of clubs in London,some of them as much steeped in tradition,Lord’s just brought out the massive wow factor,” he recalls.

At Athens 2004,archery was held at the original Olympia stadium,and archers have shot against other dramatic backdrops like the Sydney harbour,in the middle of a canal,and across water at Copenhagen. “But nothing comes close to Lord’s,” says Peart.

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“I think Indians will feel well at home here at Lord’s,” he says. “Deepika is a special talent… Everyone’s talking about the new rising power (India).” But his personal favourite,he says,is Jayant Talukdar,the “rockstar” with long hair,shades and the loping gait of a big cat. “Lord’s will be good for the cricket nations.”

Australian legend Steve Waugh though,has a different perspective. “More than archery coming to Lord’s,I think the Olympics will take Lord’s to the whole world.”

First published on: 26-07-2012 at 09:54:58 pm
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