Elections in Gujarat are around the corner. If the pundits are to be believed then Narendra Modi is going to win yet again with more than a comfortable majority. The pundits may well be right.
Let us go back to that election immediately after the Godhara deaths and the pogrom that followed. The question to be asked is did the voter believe that the Narendra Modi Government was complicit in the massacres that followed or did they accept the State Government's version that the State was impartial and tried to do all that it could to save life and property. If it was the latter then the matter rests there, however naive one may perceive the voter to be. On the other hand if the vote was "an expression" of a tacit, covert acknowledgment of the Government's role in the savagery then that opens up a completely new debate.
It is a complex debate with many facets and issues. The core of the issue however is the social acceptability of the idea of discrimination. Discrimination based on gender, class, ethnicity, caste and what have you continues to have social sanction.
The State does no better and cannot since it is merely a reflection of society. Take the example of "caste barracks" in the Patna Police Lines. How are these police men expected to uphold the principle of "equality" as set out in the Constitution when they are most comfortable and accepting of existing discrimination?
Of course, as pointed out by a friend what is more disturbing than the social acceptance of discrimination is the collective acceptability of savagery......