Seventeen years after the horrific 2002 Gujarat riots, ‘Face of Fear’ Qutubuddin Ansari and ‘Face of Cruelty’ Ashok Parmar choose peace.
The two faces of the communal riots that took place on February 28, 2002 showed an unprecedented friendship when the duo shared a harmonious picture on Friday, September 6, 2019.
Suppressing the ill-feelings, Ansari inaugurates Parmar’s footwear shop named as ‘Ekta Chappal Ghar’ in Ahmedabad’s Delhi Darwaja area. Parmar shook hands with Ansari while Ansari blessed him with his business.
As per Kaleem Siddiqui, a City-based activist, Mochi had been assisted by Kerala’s CPI-M in setting up the shop. “Mochi didn’t have a proper shop and used to sell shoes on a footpath,” he said.
‘Face of Cruelty’
Now 45, Ashok also known as Ashok Mochi, became a face of cruelty after his photo of saffron-bandana-clad with both his arms raise and iron-rod-wielding in his hand and rage on his face depicted barbarity during the riots.
From then onwards, Parmar become a photographic reminder of the carnage, that claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people.
‘Face of Fear’
Notably, Ansari’s image with folded hands and blood flowing over his head and tear-filled eyes pleading to RAF personnel had formed the “face of fear” during the riots.
These images of crazed rioter and helpless victim photographed by the same publication were plastered in newspapers and magazines across the country.
Thus, these images become the photographic reminder of the terrifying and murderous days that symbolise the excesses of one of the dark chapters in the history of Gujarat.
Work For Unity
Parmar, a homeless street cobbler had publically repented over his mistake and apologize for the killings of innocent.
He turned away from the fringe anti-Muslim groups and wants to work for consolidating communal harmony in the nation.
For the first time in 2014, Ansari and Parmar shared a stage together at an event in Kerala where the duo urged the gathering to refrain from backing leaders or groups.