I am quite late in responding to the editorial “The original sin of November 1984” (Nov. 1). While I fully support the idea of a monument in Delhi in the memory of the innocent victims of the anti-Sikh violence in November 1984, I also suggest another memorial at Ahmadabad in the memory of the Gujarat riot victims.
A monument should also be built in Amritsar for the 20,000-plus innocent victims of state terrorism as well as Khalistani terrorism between 1983 and 1993.
I was part of PUDR in 1984 and reported massacres from Kalyanpuri and Trilokpuri, Delhi, in Jansatta, the Hindi daily for which I was working. Who are the Guilty? was the first major report brought out by the PUCL-PUDR. Its Punjabi translation Doshi Kaun, was banned by the Akali Ministry led by Surjit Singh Barnala in Punjab in 1985. None of the Akali Ministries has, till date, lifted the ban on the report on the 1984 killings.
No one extended sympathy towards the innocent people killed by the racially and politically motivated mobs in 1984. No one supported the Sikhs in bringing to trial the culprits. Justice for the 1984 riots is not something to do with Sikhs alone; it is to do with all Indians.
Secular India must accept that Indira Gandhi committed sacrilege by sending the Army into the Golden Temple to flush out Sikh militants. She paid a heavy price for it. But what followed was much more than a case of “the earth trembling when a big tree falls”. Congress goons led and instigated by their leaders went on a killing spree of innocent Sikhs — women, children, babes in arms and the old. This was no “Newtonian” logic.
As long as investigating agencies remain pliant, no politician will be punished.
Even judicial intervention may not help as the prosecution dilly-dallies at the behest of the ruling party. Many riot cases are kept in limbo for decades. Unless the CBI is made an autonomous body, politicians will treat the law as an ass.
A. Seshagiri Rao,
No one goes around killing others even when one’s own kin is killed — that happens only in movies. I do not recall any pogrom or mass violence following Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination. There was no widespread violence after Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated.
The reason for the anti-Sikh riots could be, in some small measure, the special circumstances in which Indira Gandhi was assassinated. What could have happened had the government intervened immediately can only be a matter of conjecture.