Following the voting out of the Hindu right wing Central Government in India, new official inquiries are being ordered into the 2002 genocidal riots against Muslims in Gujarat State (see IHN Nov 2003 [i]Hindutva:[/i] Reaping the Harvest of Hate) when over 2000 Muslims are believed to have been killed.
The Ahmedabad, Gujarat, based Society for Promotion of Rational Thinking (SPRAT) started a sit-in demonstration to draw attention to the fact that the riot victims continue to suffer because of inadequate compensation and continued intercommunity distrust and suspicion. Originally SPRAT was founded by liberal Hindus and Muslims to popularize rationality, scientific temper and plain common sense and to “reassert the supremacy of reason over faith, of knowledge over dogma, of inquiry over belief “.
SPRATÃ¯Â¿Â½s Board of Governors include the distinguished painter and artist Anjolie Ela Menon, the famous danseuse Mallika Sarabhai and Bollywood Director Mahesh Bhat.
Pointing out that economic and educational backwardness due to lack of social consciousness, absence of schools, libraries, hospitals, clean streets, parks, neglect of womenÃ¯Â¿Â½sÃ¯Â¿Â½ empowerment, weak democratic attitudes have caused the present plight of Muslims, President of SPRAT Mr. Hasan Jowher has vowed to continue the demonstration till he receives declarations from the Muslim community promising social reforms and communal harmony; pledges for solidarity from the Hindus, and assurance of prosecution of all the guilty by the State Government.