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No instance of communal violence has provoked as much controversy as the Gujarat 2002 carnage. And none has been subjected to as much fact-finding, especially under the monitoring of the Supreme Court. Sifting through the wealth of official material, this book contends that the fact-finding - riddled as it was with ambiguities and deceptions, gaps and contradictions - glos No instance of communal violence has provoked as much controversy as the Gujarat 2002 carnage. And none has been subjected to as much fact-finding, especially under the monitoring of the Supreme Court. Sifting through the wealth of official material, this book contends that the fact-finding - riddled as it was with ambiguities and deceptions, gaps and contradictions - glossed over crucial pieces of evidence and thereby shielded the powers that be. Scrupulously researched, The Fiction of Fact-finding exposes a range of unasked questions which helped Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi procure a clean chit. The book is written by Manoj Mitta, a senior journalist who has been tracking legal and human rights issues over 25 years.


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No instance of communal violence has provoked as much controversy as the Gujarat 2002 carnage. And none has been subjected to as much fact-finding, especially under the monitoring of the Supreme Court. Sifting through the wealth of official material, this book contends that the fact-finding - riddled as it was with ambiguities and deceptions, gaps and contradictions - glos No instance of communal violence has provoked as much controversy as the Gujarat 2002 carnage. And none has been subjected to as much fact-finding, especially under the monitoring of the Supreme Court. Sifting through the wealth of official material, this book contends that the fact-finding - riddled as it was with ambiguities and deceptions, gaps and contradictions - glossed over crucial pieces of evidence and thereby shielded the powers that be. Scrupulously researched, The Fiction of Fact-finding exposes a range of unasked questions which helped Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi procure a clean chit. The book is written by Manoj Mitta, a senior journalist who has been tracking legal and human rights issues over 25 years.

30 review for The Fiction of Fact-Finding: Modi and Godhra

  1. 5 out of 5

    Siddharth

    Read in April 2015 A book that will dispel the doubts of the undecided, induce grim nods of reinforcement and the sharpening of argumentative swords among the believers, and produce strident dismissal from the naysayers ("Bah! He's a pseudo-secular Congi." "Uh, but his previous book featured a similar treatment of the anti-Sikh 1984 riots and implicated senior Congress leaders." "Bah! A rabid anti-Hindu 'presstitute'.") Mitta analyzes the fact-finding efforts of the Supreme Court-appointed SIT (Sp Read in April 2015 A book that will dispel the doubts of the undecided, induce grim nods of reinforcement and the sharpening of argumentative swords among the believers, and produce strident dismissal from the naysayers ("Bah! He's a pseudo-secular Congi." "Uh, but his previous book featured a similar treatment of the anti-Sikh 1984 riots and implicated senior Congress leaders." "Bah! A rabid anti-Hindu 'presstitute'.") Mitta analyzes the fact-finding efforts of the Supreme Court-appointed SIT (Special Investigative Team) that was charged with providing justice to the victims of the devastating Gujarat riots in 2002. He finds it "riddled with ambiguities and deceptions, gaps and contradictions", unable to connect obvious dots, and accuses it of shielding the perpetrators of the riots. In the process, he convincingly establishes the complicity of the Gujarat Government, Police Force and - as both Chief Minister and Home Minister of the state at the time - Narendra Modi, in the systematic targetting of Muslims post the Godhra train massacre. A magisterial piece of investigative journalism. Heavily recommended!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ayesha

    The facts are in front of us and if we choose to overlook it then India would have lost it's conscience. Hard times ahead. The facts are in front of us and if we choose to overlook it then India would have lost it's conscience. Hard times ahead.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mukesh Kumar

    I am late in reading this, by at least 6 months. But better late than never. For what a brilliant piece of investigative journalism this is! Manoj Mitta is no stranger to dissecting state sponsored pogroms and riots, having written previously a similar book on 1984 anti Sikh riots. Likewise in this searing piece of fact finding, the author uncovers,in all horrific details, the mechanizations and methods involved in the 2002 Gujarat riots. Laying bare the farce that the SIT and inquiry commission I am late in reading this, by at least 6 months. But better late than never. For what a brilliant piece of investigative journalism this is! Manoj Mitta is no stranger to dissecting state sponsored pogroms and riots, having written previously a similar book on 1984 anti Sikh riots. Likewise in this searing piece of fact finding, the author uncovers,in all horrific details, the mechanizations and methods involved in the 2002 Gujarat riots. Laying bare the farce that the SIT and inquiry commissions were, it raises serious questions about the impunity exhibited by state actors in subverting justice, the extent of political support extended to the blood curling fanatics of VHP et al and the reluctance and cowardice of the higher authorities to take action, during the investigative process. It also raise some very disturbing issues about the nature of democracy exercise in India where organized violence, when used as a politics tool, yields good results and pogroms are swept under the carpet of electoral victories. Apart from implicating our current PM, it also analyses, to a limited extent, the rise of hindutva hate brigade and the awful treatment of minorities that it has resulted in. But mote than a politics stand, it raises fundamental questions about the serious lack of justice and the impunity of our justice process. A must read for every Indian.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Soham Chakraborty

    And thus Justice wept And truth was never to be seen again A society - justice and truth bereft It was a dark reign - and humanity was slain You may ask, whom to blame? We, no one else - for this destruction and wreckage we all can put a claim. The incestuous orgy of politics and power Shielded the king, sitting on the far ivory tower, Remorseless and unrepentant But Justice, truth and fairness were in need Fear not - democracy made it bludgeoned, forced to bleed. Criminal justice system, oh the subversi And thus Justice wept And truth was never to be seen again A society - justice and truth bereft It was a dark reign - and humanity was slain You may ask, whom to blame? We, no one else - for this destruction and wreckage we all can put a claim. The incestuous orgy of politics and power Shielded the king, sitting on the far ivory tower, Remorseless and unrepentant But Justice, truth and fairness were in need Fear not - democracy made it bludgeoned, forced to bleed. Criminal justice system, oh the subversion Protest it, and you may face a blank sedition Comfortable - as we all are - in a hellhole It is so convenient, to thought control. To end the impunity, we may have to stare at uncertainty For there is no easy road, and if not confronted, the remaining hope will erode.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sahasranamam

    one of the rarest books which exposes the hollowness of the justice delivered to the affected in the carnage

  6. 5 out of 5

    Annie Zaidi

    I think anyone invested in democracy and justice should read Manoj Mitta's work, both this one, which is about Godhra, 2002, Gujarat and what followed, as well as his older book about the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 and the failure of judicial mechanisms. I think anyone invested in democracy and justice should read Manoj Mitta's work, both this one, which is about Godhra, 2002, Gujarat and what followed, as well as his older book about the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 and the failure of judicial mechanisms.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Raheem Syed

    Just wrapped up reading this book, the facts are glaring through a crystal clear lens with blatant obviousness. I don’t think it will leave anyone in any doubt about the responsibility of the then Chief Minister of Gujarat in the post-Godhra riots. He has played an unequivocal role in the slaughter (near genocide) of the Largest minority community of India. In my humble opinion though, I don’t think it was a one man’s show, with he being a master planner behind the entire conspiracy, but the bla Just wrapped up reading this book, the facts are glaring through a crystal clear lens with blatant obviousness. I don’t think it will leave anyone in any doubt about the responsibility of the then Chief Minister of Gujarat in the post-Godhra riots. He has played an unequivocal role in the slaughter (near genocide) of the Largest minority community of India. In my humble opinion though, I don’t think it was a one man’s show, with he being a master planner behind the entire conspiracy, but the blame is shared and an important role was played by the people of Gujarat, the local media, high court, Supreme court, Special Investigation Team (SIT), amicus-curiae and some honest blunders made by the prosecution. Everyone, in some way or other, knowingly or unknowingly, played their part. One can connect the dots and conclude that this entire incident occurred, because, and in the background of immense hatred and colossal prejudice against Muslims (for which Muslims themselves hold a partial blame). Modi, is now the Prime Minister, and in selecting him, one can with a broken heart conclude that an entire Nation has chosen material growth over Spiritual Consciousness, the irony being that it was done by a Nation which claims itself to be the hub of spirituality. I genuinely hope that the use of deceit, cruelty, savagery, barbarism and communal politics was only to win the Raj and the sustaining of it will be backed by economic growth as promised via Gujarat Model (which by few pundits, is a myth), Quoting Vajpayee, I hope he at least this time, is conscious enough to respect, “RAJDHARMA”.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Uday Bhaskar

    Manoj Mitta has done his research thoroughly and has come out with a clearly written, to the point analysis of the Godhra incident, the riots that followed and whatever happened post the riots. If you are reading this, then do read his book on the 1984 riots in Delhi, which he co-wrote with H. S. Phoolka.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Austin

    Well researched and thorough in detail. The author points out the many inconsistencies, omissions and failings of the police, courts, SIT in the Godhra and riot cases. Given the subject matter, the book can get a bit legalistic in parts but absolutely worth the read. An indictment of the police, state machinery and judiciary in India.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Naveen Roy

    Good read. Don't want to say more. Good read. Don't want to say more.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Prasenjit

    An insightful book on some important questions that was not asked/ addressed.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rama

    Armed with a law degree put to use firmly in the middle path between sensationalism and dry scholarliness, Manoj Mitta delivers a solid blow to the "even the top court appointed SIT exonerated him!" pro-Modi crowd. This is the story of ethical and moral lapses not only on part of retired bureaucrats, police officers, magistrates, judges, district collectors and the like but also on part of the electorate. Cherry picking, inordinate procedural delays and lapses and pressure from the governmental Armed with a law degree put to use firmly in the middle path between sensationalism and dry scholarliness, Manoj Mitta delivers a solid blow to the "even the top court appointed SIT exonerated him!" pro-Modi crowd. This is the story of ethical and moral lapses not only on part of retired bureaucrats, police officers, magistrates, judges, district collectors and the like but also on part of the electorate. Cherry picking, inordinate procedural delays and lapses and pressure from the governmental machinery pulled the wool over the eyes of decent citizens, activists and the upright officers of Gujarat and its central guardianship. Manoj frequently draws parallels to 1984 and incidents during the anti-Sikh genocide (dwelt in detail in the other book he co-authored with H.S. Phoolka) engineered by Congress guns and flunkies. What's depressing is that, in spite of increased judicial activism and improved technology over time, India's leaders, colluding bureaucrats and members of the judiciary enjoy impunity for just about anything even now. This could've been structured better. The ending left this reader with an incomplete feeling. Other than that, constant references to acts associated with well-established protagonists and perpetrators could've been reduced during editing. Manoj probably wanted to be unambiguous in line with his LLB training.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Vibhor Jain

    The writer has highlighted some crucial lapses and mistakes made by the investigative agencies. Many eye opening events and instances have been laid bare. My only concern with book is that despite bringing out various facts and trauma of the suffering community, the writer has at times tried to pronounce judgement on various acts of omission and commission by the administrative machinery involved. Let the book bare the facts and let the reader/history judge the people involved.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anand Shankar

    Shhh...hush the truth The fiction of fact finding is Manoj Mitta’s gem of the kingdom. Continuing from the same zeal and dogged approach from his last book on the 1984 riots, mitta delves deeper into the 2002 massacre and describes in detail the lapses and actions of the multiple investigations and legal eyes that were on this case. Here’s hoping justice will come someday.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Prakash Iyangar

    The book has the right title This book is not a comprehensive account if the godhra incident or the post godhra riots. What it is, is the exposure of how the path of Justice post the two events were subverted.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Iqra Tasmiae

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. https://thewire.in/politics/babri-mas... https://thewire.in/politics/babri-mas...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rishabh

    Alternative title which is very becoming and also found within the book: Unstated Doctrine of Arriving at Predetermined Findings. I don't think it would be politic to pass any judgements on this one. In this day and age, when a tweet by Mr WhosoeverHasFollowersOnTwitter makes up for most of the news articles that I come across-- partly because my mental constitution has given itself to preoccupation with all things irrelevant. It doesn't allow me to find out the new ways in which humans have so Alternative title which is very becoming and also found within the book: Unstated Doctrine of Arriving at Predetermined Findings. I don't think it would be politic to pass any judgements on this one. In this day and age, when a tweet by Mr WhosoeverHasFollowersOnTwitter makes up for most of the news articles that I come across-- partly because my mental constitution has given itself to preoccupation with all things irrelevant. It doesn't allow me to find out the new ways in which humans have sought their own destruction or partake in destruction of their own kind, for which I do feel blessed. I actively endevaour to stay away from it, but I do enjoy the tweets by Mr. SoAndSo and the opinions that they draw, particularly because they're likely to be forgotten when I click on whatever next draws my fancy. My actions, thereby, contributing to the rapid decline of journalistic standards and the notion of whatever constitutes as "news". It is hard to get reliable news from online sources because of the way the internet works, it is designed to tout up controversial and divisive opinions and bury the more cautious and nuanced ones, leaving little space for objective journalism. Our attention is important, it shapes our personalities because we never consume media objectively. We form an opinion on the subject, be it subconsciously, therefore it's better to be selective of the sources from where information is consumed-- not reddit, but I digress. It's not a book, well atleast not for me, it's an elaborate and detailed dissection of the incident with abundant references from NHRC, SIT, notes by amicus curiae, case files and more. Objective journalism provides the reader with all the facts at his disposal and allows the readers to draw their own conclusions, for which the 240 page long "article" leaves abundant room. The "reporter" (Senior Editor of TOI) writing flavor takes a distant tone when delivering facts and the investigation conducted, the conclusions drawn and follows it up with the questions left unanswered and loose ends in the final report. Before we take a look at the contents of the book, lets take a look at what George Orwell has to say about political discourse. "Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." -- George Orwell, 1984 Let's see some interesting highlights of the book. Since non-fiction cannot be spoiled! REDACTED. I rate it only because, this book-- or the incident surrounding it deserves more attention and we must not allow ourselves to forget, lest history repeat itself. In that spirit 5/5 stars. Parting thoughts, after reading it, it's more than easy to lose trust in institutions who guard the interest of the public as they seem to cater to the whims of whatever political party takes the center stage and resort to mainstream nihilism.....HOWEVER THERE STILL EXISTS HOPE because-- I've discovered the new Avatar, an airbender named Aang, and although his airbending skills are great, he still has a lot to learn before he's ready to save anyone. But I believe Aang can save the world. ;) In all seriousness: Hope is the thing with feathers - That perches in the soul - And sings the tune without the words - And never stops - at all - And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard - And sore must be the storm - That could abash the little Bird That kept so many warm - I’ve heard it in the chillest land - And on the strangest Sea - Yet - never - in Extremity, It asked a crumb - of me. -- Emily Dickinson The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. -- Martin Luther King Jr. Lies maybe, but it's the most beautiful lie ever told.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rakesh Konni

    വിടവുകളിലൂടെ വീണുപോകുന്ന സത്യങ്ങൾ, ചോദിക്കാതെപോകുന്ന ചോദ്യങ്ങൾ - അധികാരം ഉപയോഗിച്ച് എല്ലാ സ്റ്റേറ്റ് മിഷണറികളെയും കൈകാര്യം ചെയ്യുമ്പോൾ ഇതൊക്കെ സാധ്യമാവും. അതിലൂടെ സ്വന്തം കയ്യിലെ ചോരക്കറ ക്ലീൻ ചിറ്റുകൾക്കൊണ്ട് കഴുകപ്പെടും. വിടവുകളിലൂടെ ഊർന്നുപോയ സത്യങ്ങൾ അപ്പോഴും നിലവിളിച്ചുകൊണ്ടിരിക്കും. ഈ പ്രതിഭാസത്തെ നമ്മൾ ഗുജറാത്ത് മോഡൽ എന്നു വിളിച്ചു. ഇപ്പോൾ മെയ്ക്ക് ഇൻ ഇന്ത്യ എന്നു വിളിക്കാനൊരുങ്ങുന്നു. മനോജ് മിട്ടയുടെ 'ഫിക്ഷൻ ഓഫ് ഫാക്റ്റ് ഫൈൻഡിംഗ്' എന്ന പുസ്തകം മുകളിൽ സൂചിപ്പിച്ച ഗുജറാത്ത് മോഡലിന്റെ വസ്തുന വിടവുകളിലൂടെ വീണുപോകുന്ന സത്യങ്ങൾ, ചോദിക്കാതെപോകുന്ന ചോദ്യങ്ങൾ - അധികാരം ഉപയോഗിച്ച് എല്ലാ സ്റ്റേറ്റ് മിഷണറികളെയും കൈകാര്യം ചെയ്യുമ്പോൾ ഇതൊക്കെ സാധ്യമാവും. അതിലൂടെ സ്വന്തം കയ്യിലെ ചോരക്കറ ക്ലീൻ ചിറ്റുകൾക്കൊണ്ട് കഴുകപ്പെടും. വിടവുകളിലൂടെ ഊർന്നുപോയ സത്യങ്ങൾ അപ്പോഴും നിലവിളിച്ചുകൊണ്ടിരിക്കും. ഈ പ്രതിഭാസത്തെ നമ്മൾ ഗുജറാത്ത് മോഡൽ എന്നു വിളിച്ചു. ഇപ്പോൾ മെയ്ക്ക് ഇൻ ഇന്ത്യ എന്നു വിളിക്കാനൊരുങ്ങുന്നു. മനോജ് മിട്ടയുടെ 'ഫിക്ഷൻ ഓഫ് ഫാക്റ്റ് ഫൈൻഡിംഗ്' എന്ന പുസ്തകം മുകളിൽ സൂചിപ്പിച്ച ഗുജറാത്ത് മോഡലിന്റെ വസ്തുനിഷ്ടമായ രേഖപ്പെടുത്തലാണ്. അതിന്റെ അവസാനം അദ്ദേഹം ഇങ്ങനെ പറയുന്നു - "Indeed, one of the great challenges before Indian democracy is to evolve a process that address concerns about institutional bias and impunity and narrow the gap between truth and justice. So long as India does not wake up to its fiction of fact-finding, its citizen are condemned to suffer all kinds of human rights violations, with little redress." നിസ്സഹായാവസ്ഥ ഓർത്ത് ഇടയ്ക്കു കണ്ണുനിറയും, ഇടയ്ക്കു രോഷം തോന്നും. സത്യത്തിന്റെ നിലവിളി കേൾക്കാൻ ഈ പുസ്തകം വായിക്കുക.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Divisionmew

    This book raises important questions on how officials involved in the Gujarat riots investigation, including the Supreme Court, the SIT, the then Gujarat Government and the Gujarat Police have failed in following evidence to logical conclusion. An eye-opener, yet everything written in the book cannot be taken at face value for, definitely, it is but a short analysis of one man, and there is a possibility that the book is biased. If only, all of us had time, energy and resources enough to analyze

  20. 5 out of 5

    Priyanka

    This book raises important questions on how officials involved in the Gujarat riots investigation, including the Supreme Court, the SIT, the then Gujarat Government and the Gujarat Police have failed in following evidence to logical conclusion. An eye-opener, yet everything written in the book cannot be taken at face value for, definitely, it is but a short analysis of one man, and there is a possibility that the book is biased. If only, all of us had time, energy and resources enough to analyze This book raises important questions on how officials involved in the Gujarat riots investigation, including the Supreme Court, the SIT, the then Gujarat Government and the Gujarat Police have failed in following evidence to logical conclusion. An eye-opener, yet everything written in the book cannot be taken at face value for, definitely, it is but a short analysis of one man, and there is a possibility that the book is biased. If only, all of us had time, energy and resources enough to analyze the whole story for ourselves. I guess only Mr. Modi would know the whole truth.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mitesh Patel

    This has been a good read though I must say the author has been very selective in his narrative to create anti-modi image. The book is full of instances where the author praises judicial officials, government officials and others when they have done things against modi regime and he has bashed the same people when they have done anything in favor of Modi. The most brazen attempt is how he has justified claims made by Teesta Setalvad - by glorifying what Teesta's father's did earlier in the last This has been a good read though I must say the author has been very selective in his narrative to create anti-modi image. The book is full of instances where the author praises judicial officials, government officials and others when they have done things against modi regime and he has bashed the same people when they have done anything in favor of Modi. The most brazen attempt is how he has justified claims made by Teesta Setalvad - by glorifying what Teesta's father's did earlier in the last century. Anyways, one should read this book to get counter view.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sakshi Arora

    It opens one's eyes to the flaws of the legal system, a system that the common man holds onto for justice. A well-researched, well-documented book, that asks some tough questions, but at the same time the book answers a lot of questions about the carnage and the involvement of some big names. Without giving away too much, I do want to say this is the first time someone has analysed each and every angle of the carnage and the massacres that followed it in such detail and with such simplicity. An a It opens one's eyes to the flaws of the legal system, a system that the common man holds onto for justice. A well-researched, well-documented book, that asks some tough questions, but at the same time the book answers a lot of questions about the carnage and the involvement of some big names. Without giving away too much, I do want to say this is the first time someone has analysed each and every angle of the carnage and the massacres that followed it in such detail and with such simplicity. An absolute must-read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Vikas Soni

    A well researched book which focuses on the manner, depth and credibility of Gujarat 2002 investigations .

  24. 4 out of 5

    MOHD FARRUKH

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amit Patil

  26. 4 out of 5

    Abdulla Madiyan

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sahil Bhatia

  28. 5 out of 5

    Darshil Safi

  29. 4 out of 5

    Prathapa Chandran

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pranav Joshi

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