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18 January, 2012

Plans to mark 10th anniversary of Gujarat carnage with Live Memorial

Civil society groups have drawn up plans to mark the 10th anniversary of the Gujarat carnage, falling next month, in a suitable manner. The following is a communication from Rupa Modi, Tanvir Jafri, Salim and Saira Sandhi, Teesta Setalvad, Javed Anand, Shiv Vishwanathan, Binita Desai , Ram Rahman and Rajendra Prasad in this connection:

Gulberg Society, Ahmedabad
February 28, 2012 2 p.m. onwards

How do we commemorate such a cataclysmic series of violence, lives torn asunder, narratives of depth and despair, callousness and courage, struggle and hope?
Together we hope. As we near the Ten year mark of the genocidal carnage in Gujarat we appeal and call to all of you to join us on February 28, 2012 in the Live Memorial at Gulberg Society, Ahmedabad, physically or through countrywide protests and memorials all over India. From 2 p.m. onwards that day we shall be observing the Memorial. through reminiscences and recordings, panels and exhibits, music and words, acknowledgements and tears.

Nationwide Resonance: A Call and Appeal

When we do so in Ahmedabad we hope that each and all of you in different parts of India will share the experience and in turn interact with us through a technologically linked endeavour. We shall be linking the Memorial through live webcam links and internet connections so that it can be viewed and shared at a few minutes’ gap in faraway Kerala, Kashmir, Manipur, Lucknow, Delhi, Mhow, Faizabad, Ayodhya, Malegaon, Mumbai.


All we ask is that you arrange Protest and Commemorations to mark this date. To enable an interactive sharing of the Live Memorial on February 28, 2012 at Gulberg Society, Communalism Combat and Citizens for Justice and Peace are, in collective action with individuals and groups, organizing a live relay of the Memorial by Internet link. We request that each and all of you groups organize a Live Screening of this Memorial in different cities/locations all over the country on large projector screens. Participating in this memorial you organize your own special protest commemorations in every location. We shall also make arrangements so that over 3,000 survivors and activists at Gulberg will also view over the evening the protests and commemorations that you are observing in different locales. Such an Interactive Live Memorial will be unique. It will ensure that there is a nationwide resonance to the Ten Year Commemoration of the Genocide.

The Ten Year Live Memorial will be uplinked for permanent viewing on the Internet after February 28, 2012. The Memorial is part of week-long observance by Insaf ke Dagar Pe. The Citizens for Justice and Peace will also be organizing a Seminar Workshop on Lessons from Gujarat (Criminal Justice System and Accountability) at the Gujarat Vidyapeeth on February 27, 2012.

Memorial to a Genocide: Gujarat 2002 – 2012

Manifesto of the Gulberg Society, Ahmedabad

Over the past ten years, as protests, testimonials and meets have observed the traumatic events in Gujarat in 2002, a travelling memorial to all the carnage sites was also attempted by us in 2008. Instead of peacefully allowing victim survivors to pay respects at the Coach S-6 in Godhra we were, one hundred of us, arrested and forced to bide time at the police station. The site of the burnt remains of the S-6 Sabarmati Express Coach has sadly become the sole mourning preserve of the government and organizations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Reconciliation and Reparation appear a faraway dream when collective memorials are thus forbidden. It took time and energy to get ourselves released from the police station before we could reach the sites of brute violence at Pandharwada village, Panchmahals and then Ode, Anand before traversing Sardarpura. At each site, locales of the violence and sites where dear and near ones were unceremoniously dumped, were remembered. The next day when we walked in silence towards Teesra Kuan in the Maidan at Naroda Patiya, where Missing Persons Bodies had been dumped in 2002 and have not been recovered to date. A hostile neighbourhood and an edgy police barely allowed us to light candles there.

Given this painful past, we have decided to collectively commemorate the 300 traumatic bouts of violence over 19 districts in a Live Memorial at Gulberg Society Ahmedabad. We earnestly appeal to each and all of you to participate in this endeavour.

Digital Installations and Exhibits in English, Gujarati and Hindustani

TIMELINE in content and chronology tracking the rehabilitation and justice process with a PHOTO RETRO of the lives of internally displaced persons in various transit camps

STATISTICS of a human tragedy, an installation

MISSING PERSONS remembered through a ritualistic Wailing Wall

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS to Saviours of Lives, Activists, Jurists, Photographers and Media
People in wall panels

HIDDEN NARRATIVES: brute targeting of women and children

DIGITALISED MEMORIALS: News Coverage and Parzaania on large side screens

MUSIC IN MEMORIUM: Shubha Mudgal (vocal), Aneesh Pradhan (tabla), Sudhir Nayak (harmonium)

We shall be digitalizing the exhibit installations with text and photos and sending it out on CD to enable you to reproduce these in different cities. Do revert back to us on the nature of the protests and commemorations that you plan. Already, you can view Survivor lines link on YouTube.

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