PROFESSOR ALI SUKHANVER
Addressing the 68th UN General Assembly, the Indian Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh raised his serious concerns over terrorism coming to India from across the border. He also spoke on Security Council reform and reiterated that diplomacy be given a chance in resolving the crisis in Syria and Iran. He said, “We believe that if there’s a strong India, that’s good for the world, and it’s ultimately good for the US.” If the honourable Prime Minister had viewed The New Indian Express of 4th September 2013, before addressing the UN General Assembly, he would certainly have added a few lines in his speech regarding the deplorable condition of the Sikh community in India. According to The New Indian Express, US Federal Court, New York, has summoned Sonia Gandhi for shielding and protecting leaders and workers of her party who were allegedly involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The 27-page complaint against Sonia Gandhi alleges that between Nov 1 and 4, 1984 about 30,000 members of the Sikh community “were intentionally tortured, raped and murdered by groups that were incited, organized, controlled and armed” by the ruling Congress party. The complaint petition against Sonia Gandhi was filed by a US based Sikh organization called ‘Sikhs for Justice.’ According to the details published in various international newspapers, 1984 was the ever worst year for the Sikh community in India. It was the year in which hundreds of Sikhs were brutally murdered, innocent children were ruthlessly stabbed to death and Sikh women were mercilessly raped. Sikh properties were looted, destroyed and usurped by hooligans who were involved in a very well organized cleansing of entire Sikh community under the state command and guidance. After this merciless massacre countless members of the Sikh community silently left India and migrated to other countries leaving behind them their homes and Gurdwaras which once used to be the centre of their joys and happiness. And those who couldn’t leave the country were forced to live a life of continuous shame and disgrace. Now even after 28 years it seems impossible for the Sikh community in India to forget the abusive crimes committed by Indian Congress activists in 1984.
A few weeks back, I had a chance of going through a heart rending article written by Sarabjot Kaur, ‘Indian Film Art: A Vehicle to Humiliate Sikhs’. The honorable writer says, “India proclaims to be a secular country. Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isai, hum sab hain bhai bhai. The slogan means, Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians are all brothers and therefore equal. I have been hearing this slogan from Hindu politicians since I was a young child. I have had the realization many times that these lines are a part of a larger propaganda initiated by the Indian State. I have found repeatedly that India is a Hindu country and it treats its minorities as second-class citizens. There is a serious disparity between precepts and actions.” The writer further narrates, ‘One day, I was watching movie awards on the television. An actress, Shilpa Shetty, was performing a group dance on stage. She climbed at the back of two Sikhs as if she were riding a bullock cart and the two Sikhs were swinging their heads and she was dancing above them and all other participants were dancing around them. What to talk about the young boys and girls, even small kids are effected negatively by India’s stereotyping of Sikhs. My nephew is in Nursery school. One day he asked his mother, “Mamma, do Sikhs go crazy at noon?” When his mother asked him from where he had heard this, he replied that one of his Hindu class-mates had told him in the class. Such is the grave impact of media in a country that calls itself the world’s largest democracy.’
Hartosh Singh Bal is the political editor of the Open Magazine. In one of his recent article on the 28th anniversary of 1984 massacre, he has given very pathetic comments, “The 28th anniversary of the massacre of 3,000 Sikh men in New Delhi in retaliation for the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her bodyguards passed largely in silence again. None of the major political figures from the Congress Party who are said to have been involved in the killings has been convicted, and no one in the administration has been held accountable.” The Incredible India has become a hell not only for the Sikh community but for all other minorities as well. Be it the Muslims or the Christians, the Buddhists or the Sikhs, it is the fate of all of them to face a bloody genocide and ruthless massacre time and again. And more unfortunate is the fact that those involved in this type of cruelty are always awarded and honored at national level. The petition filed in the US Federal Court against Sonia Gandhi is a proof that the Sikhs are not only maltreated in India but are also denied justice. Let us see what would be the fate of this petition but one thing is very much clear that the Sikh community is not going to support the Congress in the upcoming elections.