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28th anniversary of Sikh genocide: The state in aid of injustices
By Marvi Slathia
The assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984 had drastically changed the atmosphere in our country. It was followed by what we called in general terms as anti-Sikh riots, but actually it was a massacre of Sikh minorities.

The dance of death, in the search of innocent Sikhs, which claimed more than 700 innocent lives and rendered more than 300 homeless, continued on the roads of Delhi and Haryana for four consecutive days from October 31 to November 2 in 1984.

The property damage was to the tune of billions while 72 Sikh shrines were set ablaze by rioters. Police, which was supposed to maintain law and order, remained mute spectator and was directly or indirectly hand in glove with perpetrators. The revelations which came to fore after the genocide, corroborated the fact that the rioters were given voter lists, iron rods, abundant fuel, inflammable powder, while curfew was not enforced for four days, giving free hand to rioters to kill Sikhs.

The rioters used ration card of Sikhs to locate their houses while the victims who were running in search of shelter, were board off from even buses and trains and were killed in cold blood. Many of the Sikhs were burnt alive, by putting burning tyres around their necks. Even the children, women and girls were not spared in the capital of biggest democracy of the country. Thousands of girls were raped in front of their families while children were brutally tortured and even were handed on iron rods.

All these gruesome acts were being done by rioters with impunity and the government which supposed to have responsibility to maintain law and order, was found missing and allegedly with perpetrators.

Several inquiries conducted by various government and non government agencies. Some of the enquiry reports divulged that 1984 massacre was not spontaneous or mob blacklash but a well organised and state sponsored genocide, in which one particular community was brutally tortured, for which they were not responsible.

Till yet, more than 300 FIRs have been filed and in some names of Congress leaders Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler have also surfaced, but it is very unfortunate that after three decades of that gruesome incident, not a single one has been punished under law; besides no compensation has been given to victims.

Instead of putting some ointment on the wounds of Sikhs, the statement of Rajiv Gandhi, son of Indira Gandhi, was very much depressing and provoking, who had said, “When a big tree falls, the earth shakes”. This was like rubbing salt on wounds of sikhs.

On the occasion of 28th anniversary of “Sikh Genocide”, we should introspect and think seriously that it is not a single case but there are many more including 2002 Gujarat genocide, recent killings in Assam and some other sporadic events witnessed off and on.

All these episodes are big blots on our democracy, which enshrines equal rights for every citizen of country but so called patrons of democracy have become real threats to this democracy.

The political parties which boast to be secular or any other have single agenda of minting more and more money and work to divide masses on irrelevant issues including caste, colour, creed, region and religion besides other divisive issues, which have no connection with basic needs of people. Our political parties are descendants of English, and are expert and well versed in using “Divide and Rule Policy” on common masses.

The need of the hour is that the common masses should raise voice and be united against such vested interest. Otherwise the day is not far, when once again massacres will be orchestrated, as the public of the country are facing many basic problems. The political parties have no alternative to solve the problems being faced by masses and they will obviously create irrelevant issues to divert attention from real issues.

(The author is Pursuing MA in Political Science (Ist Semester), Jammu University)
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News Updated at : Monday, November 5, 2012
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