25 years after 1984
Gurdeep Singh Sahota
25 years is not a small period for keeping an issue alive. But Sikhs have succeeded in doing so. Sikhs who are 1.9% of the total Indian population fought their own battle, almost all alone without the support of so-called secularists or communist friends. Ironically they got little support from BJP, for we had no other shoulder to rest upon & shed our tears. BJP gave us some moral support during those odd innings.
The world saw Delhi, Kanpur & some other parts of India burning for three days after the killing of the then Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi by her own Sikh security guards Satwant Singh & Beant Singh on Oct 31, 1984 in order to revenge attack on Golden Temple by the Indian Army. Large number of Sikhs (Govt says 4000, but Sikhs sum it up to 9000) in Delhi, Kanpur & some other parts of the country were brutally killed in trains, buses, trucks, offices & houses burnt by furious mobs.
However, two decades later the Sikhs managed to get compensation package from the govts concerned. But now during recent Lok Sabha 2009 elections, Sikhs had forced the Congress on the back foot, a quarter century later for the involvement of some of its leaders in the massacre. They forced the Congress to drop Jagdish Tytler & Sajjan Kumar from the contest. A senior reporter of Dainik Jagran, Sardar Jarnail Singh even went on to lab a shoe (for which he apologized later) on the gentleman Union home minister Shri P Chidambaram at a press conference, which forced the Congress to rollback their decision. India realized the emotions of a Sikh journalist Jarnail Singh (also Chidambaram forgave him).
Almost after 25 years it is evident that Sikhs still remember that ugly episode of attack on Golden Temple by Indian Army & then the three day massacre in Delhi & other parts of the country. Also, when I compare a handful of Sikh community with twenty crore Muslim in India. I certify that Sikhs largely fought alone, while Muslims had to rely heavily on the secularist elements to carry on their struggle.
Jagdish Tytler & Sajjan Kumar are paying the price till today for just three days of madness in Delhi in 1984. They also never dared to speak anything against Sikhs publically after then.
Dr Manmohan Singh is holding the supreme political post in the Indian Govt. for not being a Sikh but due to his high level intellect, academic excellence, moral discipline, & an economist of world repute. Yet, I notice that the major parties in India i.e. Congress & BJP do not recognize us politically due to our lesser numbers. When Congress projected Dr Manmohan Singh as its top post candidate, Sikhs all over the World bee-lined after Congress to support ‘turban’ but when the news of Tytler & Sajjan aired, the Sikhs rejected their love for Congress, as Sikhs can kick off their due compensation package but cannot forgot & forgive atrocities perpetrated on them 25 yrs ago.
In general it gives us no charm to ‘keep the issue creep’ for decades. Sikhs have become ‘Patients of Patience’ due to repression policies of the rulers of the times. They have poor political network & outlook as compared to other minorities. They rarely indulge in dirty politics & do not extend their hands towards the govt for alms and favours.
Some intellectuals & even Sikhs close to Congress Party in recent times were advising the community to forget the trauma that occurred 25 years ago. The lion -hearted community could have honoured the advice. Sorry to say that three crore court cases are still pending in Indian Courts for years to decades, Majority of them are not for serious offences. But the question of brutal murder of thousands of Sikhs hasn’t been answered for the last 25 years. Who killed those thousand of Sikhs in Delhi and Kanpur? The top investigation agency of the country gives clean chit to the murderers under its appeasement programme to favour big fishes. Justice delayed is justice denied & hence a shoe applied after 25 years.
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2010, All