February 19, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Amritsar: In its clear cut response to The Tribune’s piece of advice that it’s a time for closure of 1984, Dal Khalsa has stated that without pinning the perpetrators down there will be no closure. Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh has written a letter to Harish Khare.
Full text of the letter reads as follows:
This is in reference to your write-up on Sunday’s OPED page ‘A time to seek closure of 1984.’
What Delhi and other cities and towns witnessed in Nov 1984 were not riots; it was organized violence, perpetrated by frenzied Hindu mobs, patronized and supported by all the organs of the state against the minority Sikh community.
On Nov 1-3, 1984 the notion of India died. On that day, on the streets of the capital city of New Delhi, the fangs of the demons in India were given full play reducing the country to an un-civilized pre-historic society. On that day, officially 2733 Sikhs were killed whereas unofficial figures are much more, but the country and its media (including The Tribune) refuse to acknowledge it as a massacre or carnage and have reduced it in writing and oral parlance as a riot between the Sikhs and others.
May I tell you on that day the beast in the Man was unleashed in its ugliest form so ably described by William Golding in his masterpiece, “Lord of the Flies.” On that day, the land so fond of calling itself the land of Gandhi – actually shook the earth and reminded the victims to look towards the Almighty.
You have rightly raised a valid question regarding failure to punish the guilty even after thirty years. Let me answer. It is because this country has refused to listen. The people of the country are too easily carried away by rhetoric, personal pecuniary motives and the impact of planned propaganda. It is also because the politics of genocide has become the permanent feature of the Indian psyche and revenge has become an instrument of state policy. It is also because saner and wiser people like you also want a closure without pinning the other side down.
Nobody has any doubt and it is well documented that the Indian state and all its bodies played a planned tactical role in engineering Sikh killings. You ought seek answers to the glaring gaps in the tragedy that befell the Sikh community: What was the role of the then hastily anointed Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Home Minister Mr. Narsimha Rao? What were the various acts of omission and commission by the political and bureaucratic leadership during the carnage?
All possible forums of redress available in India have been exhausted by the victim families, civil liberties organizations and human rights lawyers. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the diplomatic corps of many countries have urged India to act in the interest of justice, but to no avail. A string of inquiry commissions and committees set up by the government of India so far has been unable to uncover the truth and also prosecute the perpetrators.
Sikhs in Punjab, India and the Diaspora have cried hoarse, year after year, for the last 30 years, that such gross injustice should shame the rulers of the country. Losing all faith in the political and justice system of the India and as citizens of this planet, Sikhs have knocked the doors of the United Nations also, but the world body too has not adequately intervened so far.
In your write-up, you have mentioned the apology tendered by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, following the Nanavati Commission report in 2005. Isn’t it ironic that the apology for the genocide of the Sikhs came from a person who incidentally happens to be from the community that was victimized in the November 1984 carnage!
Till the high and mighty conspirators and perpetrators are not brought to book, there will be no closure. And, compensation is not justice. It is acceptance of a wrong done by the state.
Kanwar Pal Singh
Spokesperson, Dal Khalsa