25 yrs, Can We Please Move On, Now?

October 21, 2009 at 11:48 am 8 comments

1984 is recorded as another landmark year in the Indian history. Operation Blue Star, followed by assassination of Indira Gandhi then PM of our country by her own body guards which lead to the riots and Sikhs were butchered by thousands in cold blood (the Govt white papers are not to be believed for the exact number because the truth is always under reported). All this lead to terrorism in Punjab that went on for so many years and eventually the socio-economic development of the state collapsed.

A few years ago one of my close childhood friends who moved to the US for further studies and now works there asked for my opinion on ‘Sikh terrorists, the demand for Khalistan, people making jokes about them, the unsaid but according to him evident grudge between Hindu-Sikh’.  And it made me wonder that if I know the history & culture of the religion right then the Sikhs were those who decided to join Guru Gobind Singhji’s army to protect people from the Mughals. He laid down the principle of 5 Ks and surname of Singh & Kaur as per the gender. So, if that’s the only differentiator then why would anyone hold any grudges against their own people?

Revisiting and talking about all that happened back then is not going to change anything. Demand for independent states has given birth to militancy and terrorism everywhere and we are no exception.

The ones waiting for justice continue to wait. Commissions, reports, fake promises, Govt talking in the air and expressing regret about whatever happened only adds to the misery of those who were left to fend for themselves and lost what mattered.  An elderly man who suffered the brunt rightly said, “Digging out skeletons from the closet only haunts. What we need to talk and address is that riots in the name of religion shouldn’t happen but that is not on anyone’s agenda.”

The last issue of Outlook magazine (dated Oct 19, 09, their 14th anniv- special) has many articles on Operation Blue Star before and after, so for those who want to read more can refer to it. I just want to refer to this one picture which they have used of a building owned by a Sikh family in Daryaganj that was set ablaze by the mob back then. I wish the magazine along with that article had also featured a picture of that building as of today where a Sikh family of many generations is still running a store that I have grown-up visiting, a sign that they have moved on.

Pic from outlook magazine

I never saw myself more of a Hindu or less of a Sikh because my Indianess gives me an identity where ever I go and my parents have taught me that religion is my personal choice and not an issue for a debate in public.  Oh yes, If the joke is about one like me then I take pride in making you laugh that’s what we are meant to do serve others where ever we go and no better way than making someone crack-up with a joke :).

 Noted author & journalist Khushwant Singh a few years ago in one of his interviews said “Raj Karega Khalsa not with Kirpan but with Pen”. What better way to explain the glories of Sikhs in India and the world over. I just wish others too understand the meaning behind it and move on…

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mayur  |  October 21, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    The Grudge… scariest and most terrible thing on earth.

    Reply
  • 2. Madhav::..::\m/  |  October 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    i’d read one article in gujarati magazine on this issue and after reading that i come to know that this is all politics and as a result so many people lost their life. 😦

    Reply
  • 3. d_minor  |  October 22, 2009 at 12:00 am

    I must say, this is a very sensitive topic that you’ve selected. 25 years, can we please move on… well, i ask you… how can one?

    Just to get facts straight, it is a known that there were senior members of the Congress party involved in the 84 riots, to name a few, Sajjan Kumar, Kamal Nath, H.K.L Bhagat, Jagdish Tytler, Vasant Sathe and not to forget Rajiv Gandhi himself, although there is no evidence against him.

    Justice Nanawatti (head of investigating committee for the sikh riots) has come on record and said that there is strong evidence against Sajjan Kumar and Bhagat, but still no justice, and the sikhs are still waiting.

    ’84 was a long time back, lets not look too far down the memory lane. What happened in Gujarat was no different. If you think that was horrible, the ’84 riots were 100 times worse.

    Targeting a minority is easy, and to prove what? Supremacy??

    Rightly said by the author, the Sikhs were created by the 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji to protect the weaker section, basically a selected few from the Hindus, to protect the Hindus. A new warrior clan called the ‘Sikhs’. A ‘Sikh’ warrior was respected by all and if they were around you, trust you me you’d feel very safe, where is all that respect lost now? Today I have see Hindus teasing the Sikhs for the number 12 or when its 12 O Clock. Bet 99% of the people won’t even know what the story behind this is… In bollywood movies a Sikh person would only be depicted as a stupid brainless comic character. What is all that about?

    People forget what the Sikhs have done and sacrificed, for the hindus and for this country. I can bet most would not know the history and the sacrifices made by the Sikh Guru’s especially Guru Hargobind Singh ji (6th Guru), Guru Tegh Bahadur ji (9th Guru), and Guru Gobind Singh ji (10th Guru) and in return what did the guru’s get? betrayal. Just like in ’84, or during Babri Masjid, or Godhra riots. History keeps on repeating itself.

    I could go on and on on, but i really i don’t think too many of us would care. Dear delhizen, a very good article, but really, my question is… is moving on the answer?

    In the end, all I say… True Sikhism teaches tolerance, but that should not be interpreted as cowardliness.

    Reply
  • 4. delhizen  |  October 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Dear D Minor, Attempting to answer your concerns and questions point by point

    well, i ask you… how can one?

    Delhizen: Just put the record right if you keep scratching a wound it will never heal. By talking about what happened makes you feel helpless, frustrated and only aggravates the anger.

    Just to get facts straight, it is a known that there were senior members of the Congress party involved in the 84 riots, to name a few, Sajjan Kumar, Kamal Nath, H.K.L Bhagat, Jagdish Tytler, Vasant Sathe and not to forget Rajiv Gandhi himself, although there is no evidence against him.

    Justice Nanawatti (head of investigating committee for the sikh riots) has come on record and said that there is strong evidence against Sajjan Kumar and Bhagat, but still no justice, and the sikhs are still waiting.

    Delhizen: We all know what happened with Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, he was a victim of terrorism driven by LTTE (state was different but demand was the same even though it was not in our country). Justice in India takes forever to see light of the day. The cases and fate of victims still hangs in the middle of no where while HL Bhagat died many years ago. To live as a victim forever, is that fair? Why can’t I move on and with pride.

    Targeting a minority is easy, and to prove what? Supremacy??

    Delhizen: This proves that the aam janta like you and me are foolish enough to fall in the trap of politically motivated movements each time and by the end of it we are the victims of the situation.

    Rightly said by the author, the Sikhs were created by the 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji to protect the weaker section, basically a selected few from the Hindus, to protect the Hindus. A new warrior clan called the ‘Sikhs’. A ‘Sikh’ warrior was respected by all and if they were around you, trust you me you’d feel very safe, where is all that respect lost now?

    Delhizen: If you can stand up and look yourself in the eye and say- I am a true Sikh because my principles are those of my Guru then the respect comes from within. Who says what shouldn’t matter. If it mattered to our Guru he would not have protected those who pointed fingers at him. He fought against injustice and not against a community.

    Today I have see Hindus teasing the Sikhs for the number 12 or when its 12 O Clock. Bet 99% of the people won’t even know what the story behind this is… In bollywood movies a Sikh person would only be depicted as a stupid brainless comic character. What is all that about?

    Delhizen: Why get hurt and sentimental about jokes. It doesn’t need to be given undue importance. Ignore it, if can’t then just laugh it off. Trifle issues like this only create barriers in mind later on.

    People forget what the Sikhs have done and sacrificed, for the hindus and for this country. I can bet most would not know the history and the sacrifices made by the Sikh Guru’s especially Guru Hargobind Singh ji (6th Guru), Guru Tegh Bahadur ji (9th Guru), and Guru Gobind Singh ji (10th Guru) and in return what did the guru’s get? betrayal. Just like in ’84, or during Babri Masjid, or Godhra riots. History keeps on repeating itself

    I could go on and on on, but i really i don’t think too many of us would care. Dear delhizen, a very good article, but really, my question is… is moving on the answer?

    Delhizen Nothing can be worse than riots in the name of religion. There is a saying and it aptly explains your point ‘Lamhein ney galti ki sadiyon ney saza payi’ History will keep repeating itself if we don’t move on with our lessons. Keep the grudge pass it on to your children and they will grow-up to repeat it. We have to stop being the victim, stop pitying ourselves as minority. In a country with more than a billion people how I can be a minority? I live in a country with the 2nd largest population in the world and that makes me a majority in comparison to the others not the other way. You just need to stop dividing yourself, because I as an Indian can never be in the minority.

    In the end, all I say… True Sikhism teaches tolerance, but that should not be interpreted as cowardliness. _ please read Khuswant Singh’s quote again

    Reply
  • 5. Guttu  |  October 23, 2009 at 12:37 am

    India is a great country where we go with “Kill and Get Killed” rather than “live and let live”. Thanks to the atomic reaction between majority and minority where politicians act as catalyst. This issue will never get solved and it’ll get worse as I can clearly see the minorities showing their heads everywhere.

    Reply
  • 6. Pallavi  |  October 23, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Indeed a great a country! every thought where does it its “greatness” from?

    from its people, that means us! A minority based on religion is a passe’. The matter will get worse if we continue to belong to the majority who still thinks that way…makes “sense”, I hope.

    Reply
  • 7. Bikram  |  October 23, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    I guess you have stirred a hornets nest…

    A good article, but I can understand the comments going against it .. End of the Day its All politics, THe 84 riots were all Planned and master minded by the Congress and YET WE HAVE THE SAME GOVERNMENT ruling..

    Till all these politicians are caught hold and SHOT.. india is not gonna change… and debates like these will continue.

    My question is how come everytime there are religous riots its only the mority which gets killed.

    Yes we should move on BUT where to , cause it happens again.. So to move on this bloodshed needs to stop and the guilty brought to justice. Till justice is done it cant be easy moving on.

    The riot hit people are still struggling , a few may have moved on but a large number of people are still trying to make ends meet, they are in piti-able state.. reason Some Corrupt Minister or MLA or a BABU has pockets the money supposed to reach the riot victims… SO how can these people move on…

    BUT I LOVE THE COMMENT MADE BY yourself that “You just need to stop dividing yourself, because I as an Indian can never be in the minority” Yes That is true .. wish the rest of the Billion LEARN IT…

    Nice article though.

    Reply
  • 8. Pallavi  |  October 23, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    @ Bikram

    Like you said eod it is all politically motivated irrespective of the political party. Does anyone realize the biggest lesson which all these politicians have learnt from the Britishers is the policy of ‘Divide & Rule’ Amazing to see that we are still ruled by it and it works perfectly for the one who are in power or those who want to be!

    Victims/minority whatever you may call them are they only ones struggling to make ends meet? Are they only ones living in pitiable condition in India? We need to refer to our stats here and we will get an answer. What I maybe saying probably is making sense only to me right now and a few others but till the time it is making people think, It achieves my purpose!

    Thanks for appreciating the article.

    Reply

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