India 1984 – when it backstabbed & betrayed with Sikh nation (Part-5)
Please read the pervious post at this link : https://asrandhawa.wordpress.com/india-1984-when-it-backstabbed-betrayed-with-sikh-nation-part-4/
1984 Sikh riot: They took their time to kill between meals
Senior journalists Rahul Bedi and Joseph Malliakan are still haunted by the 1984 Sikh riot.
The horror of those 72 hours, when frenzied mobs butchered thousands of Sikhs in 1984 has not left senior journalists Rahul Bedi and Joseph Malliakan, who covered the riots to this day.
“To visualize that time close your eyes and imagine that there’s no state. The police remain inert while rabid mobs attack you minute after minute with military precision. The administrators look the other way with complete indifference and the situation seems never to abate,” Bedi, who covered the massacre in Trilokpuri’s Block-32, says.
The massacre in the small colony in east Delhi was planned, he found out. Nearly 320 Sikhs – men, women and children – were killed over two days.
On reaching the spot on November 1 evening, a day after Gandhi’s assassination, Bedi and Malliakan were chased away by a mob. But the journalists persevered and made it to the spot on the following morning, where they saw “meticulous slaughter of Sikhs while policemen nearby watched, bothering not even to call for reinforcements”.
“The massacre continued for two long days in houses on either side of a bye lane. The killers were so exact and meticulous that they did not even hurry with their job, just took their time to rape, murder and torture them between meals,” Bedi says.
Malliakan, now editor of JEM magazine, says he still cries on recalling those four days.
“I saw a Sikh along with his wife dragged out of his tenement, doused with kerosene and set on fire. Those scenes have not left me. There is no closure to it,” he says.
He recounts the day when the police and the army infiltrated the area and brought out the victims. That was the time when reporters first had access to the area. “I first discovered what a bonfire of human flesh is likeâ¦,” Malliakan breaks down and takes a long pause, “I first touched a child who was ashen in colour and had not eaten anything in 30 hours. When the area’s ACP came I was quivering with anger and told him to shoot himself if he had any regard for his uniform,” he says.
We have also been informed about the animosity of Indira with Sikh community and how she reacted on several times. An example of Ramlila Ground Delhi is also received by us which we need to share with our readers.
Here it is;
“Sangat ji, all this was happened only due to following reasons in Delhi! Soon after this the Govt. Got against Damdami Taksal and Sikhs in Punjab. Result—Sikh genocide of 1984……”
In Delhi on 7 December 1975 AD, to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Shaheedi of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Jee, in the Ram Lila ground, a procession of 2.2 million people arrived and P.M. Indira Gandhi came onto the stage. In the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, all those on the stage arose to welcome and respect her, but it was only Baba Kartar Singh Jee who remained seated. On the stage Baba Jee spoke passionately about this anti-Sikh act. Many leaders who spoke on the stage said that P.M. Indira Gandhi had built an excellent relationship with Punjab, after which she said, “..the Delhi government got Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur martyred and today the Delhi government prostrates to Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Jee. The same Delhi government who gave reports against the Sikhs, today respects and reveres Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Jee.”
Baba Jee’s time to speak was after P.M. Indira Gandhi, he stated :
‘First Rajput Kings used to give their daughters to get rewards. Today Sikhs are disgracing themselves if they do the same. For this reason no Sikh is to marry their daughter to a Mona or a patit and the rehatnama says:
ਕੰਨਿਆ ਦੇਵੈ ਸਿਖ ਕੋ ਲੇਵੈ ਨਹਿ ਕਿਛੁ ਦਾਮ । ਸੋਈ ਮੇਰਾ ਸਿਖ ਹੈ ਪਹੁਚੇ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਧਾਮ ।
A Sikh that marries his daughter to a Sikh and does not take any money/dowry, he is a true Sikh of mine and will reach my abode in Sachkand. (Bhai Sahib Singh Rehatnama, p.160)
The second point that he clarified was that ‘We want to ask Indira Gandhi who achieved the rule of the Delhi government? If you have come here to prostrate to Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur you have done no great act. If Guru Jee had not become martyred, the master of this throne would have been a Muslim and everywhere all would be greeted with Salaam Walekum. You yourself would have been under a Burka(Hijab).
The number of hairs that are on the body of the P.M., even if she was to cut her head off that many times and placed at the feet of Guru Jee, she still would not be able to remove the debt owed to Sri Guru Tegh Bahaur Jee. Regardless of how powerful the P.M. � no one is more powerful than our Guru. She should prostrate to our loved one, the light of the 10 Kings – Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, not require that we get up and pay respect to her.’ Following this, Jakaras (Hails) were heard from all areas of the arena.
Due to the truth being spoken by Baba Kartar Singh Jee, this led to disputes being raised by P.M. Indira Gandhi with the Damdami Taksal. If anyone disrespected Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee he never tolerated it. Thus he spoke up against the Nakali Nirankaris and led programs to tackle their onslaught on Sikhi.
Baba Kartar Singh Jee served as the Jathedar of Damdami Taksal for 8 years and did much Gurmat Parchar in this time. On August, 3rd, 1977, he was traveling from Maleeha (Jalandhar) to Solan and at the station Hussaainpur, where his car crashed into a tree �causing him critical injuries. He was taken to the C.M.C. Hospital. He ascended to Sachkhand here on August 16th, 1977. He was cremated at Gurdwara Gurdarshan Parkash at Mehta on August, 21st, 1977.
Was It A Riot, Or Was It A Pogrom?
By : ARTIKA BAKSHI
Shashi Tharoor – a man of many words. Many meaningful words, that hit a chord every time they are expressed.
Having heard him speak during his time at the UN and on his entering mainstream Indian politics, he has impressed me. Here was a man who actually said it the way it was.
His 2001 novel, “The Riot” struck a chord with me.
It deals with the Hindu-Muslim riots in India as an aftermath of the criminal demolition of the historic Babri Mosque by right-wing Hindu mobs, setting it against a background of Indian markets opening to big multi-national corporations like Coke, Walmart, etc.
He takes you through the events with a series of interviews, as well as notes from journals kept by the protagonists – Priscilla Hart and V. Lakshman: an American NGO worker in love with the subcontinent and all it’s drawbacks, and an Indian bureaucrat, who works within the system but with suppressed romanticism lying somewhere deep within him.
Through this well-narrated tale, what particularly struck me was the character, Gurinder Singh, Superintendent of Police. An upright Indian Police Service (“IPS”) officer and a St. Stephen’s College product, who curses, swears, jokes and enjoys his drinks strong, and easily comes forth as a hero.
The bureaucrat holds his advice to heart and values his sincere friendship.
The reason Gurinder gives for joining the police force holds true, or should I correct myself here, held true, in the dreams of thousands of families in rural Punjab. Most parents have dreamt of their turbaned boys joining the Indian Adminstrative Service (“IAS”), the IPS or Armed forces. Sikhs have always been looked at with a sense of awe – their integrity, their fearlessness, their commitment to defending and protecting the underdog …
Gurinder delves into the aftermath of the 1984 pogroms that left a mark on the heart of each and every Sikh and, I suspect, on any Indian who has fully understood the idea of, and dreamed of a secular and harmonious India.
For me, the 1984 pogroms are a faint memory, but Gurinder’s words left my heart cringing. We are given a quick overview of the birth of the militancy in Punjab in response to the state’s human rights abuses against the Sikhs, to the unnecessary sacrilege of the Darbar Sahib by Indira Gandhi’s troops, to the day she paid for her sins at the hands of her own security guards.
What followed was a massacre of innocent Sikhs across the lregth and breadth of the country, a blot on everything India claimed to be in its own well-cultivated public persona.
Through Gurinder Singh’s experience, Shashi Tharoor attempts to highlight the high value Sikhs give to serving humanity.
During the pogroms, when Gurinder Singh’s 10 year old nephew and brother-in-law are massacred by a marauding mob, he considers resigning from his job as a senior police bureaucrat. But he doesn’t.
His grieving old father stops him, saying that by staying within the law enforcing agency, he could work towards preventing such crimes from happening again. Thus ensues a bit of a dialogue on the duty of a Sikh to contnue to work for ‘sarbat da bhalla’, even when confronted by the worst in human nature.
However, the novel merely touches on the 1984 anti-Sikh massacres.
Unfortunately Tharoor – an educated, intelligent and well-informed man that he is, working in the thick of the very political party which authored the pogroms – fails to distinguish the term “riot” which correctly applies to some of the aftermath of the Babri Mosque demolition, from what happened against the Sikhs in 1984: a pogrom and nothing even remotely akin to a ‘riot’.
It is odd that the author would bring up the 1984 crimes in a book titled “Riot”, and not highlight this distinction.
It was a golden opportunity – unfortunately squandered – to correct his fellow countrymen from the ongoing and intentional mischief of the repeated use of the misnomer vis-a-vis 1984.The motivation, obviously, is to dilute and minimize the enormity of the crimes. But the net effect is that the whole country confirms its boorishness in its relationship with its most patriotic segment of society.
The government, the country’s public intellectuals, the media, and therefore the people, have continued the fraud ad nauseum.
But the fact that Shashi Tharoor has failed to distance himself from the practice is in itself troublsome.
Maybe, just maybe, he’ll write a book soon under the title, “Pogrom”, and redeem himself.
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Ajmer Singh Randhawa.