January 29, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi, India (January 29, 2014): Congress Party’s Vice President Rahul Gandhi has recently been interviewed by Times Now editor in chief Arnab Goswami. In this interview Rahul Gandhi said “Some Congress men were probably involved” in November 1984 violence against the Sikhs but refused to offer any apology.
Following are the relevant excerpt from long interview:
Arnab: You say that Narendra Modi was CM during the Gujarat riots and the BJP was in power. The BJP was as much in power in Gujarat during the riots as much as Akhilesh is in power in UP or for that matter the Congress party was in power when the 1984 Anti Sikh riots happened, now let me quote, you spoke in one of your speeches of the anger of your Grandmothers death, I think it was campaign trail in Rajasthan. You spoke about knowing the people who killed her and you spoke about anger and managing your own anger and quelling your own anger and drawing it into strength elsewhere. Now that speech of yours became a subject of controversy with Narendra Modi posing a series a questions to you on 1984 and he said the following and I want to quote him and your categorical and specific response “he’s crying for the assassination of his Grandmother but has he shed tears of those killed in the 1984 riots, I want to ask the Shehzada and you remember Mr. Gandhi he’s constantly deriding you by calling you a Shehzada, whether your party kills Sikhs in anger when your Grandmother died, so following from this I have 2 questions, my first question; do you acknowledge the role of congressmen in the 1984 riots, B) will you apologise for the riots as your party demands an apology from Modi for the Gujarat riots?
Rahul: Two things, in 1977 when my Grandmother lost the election we went and lived ….and the people who came with my Grandmother, those people who stood by my Grandmother were Sikhs. Pretty much everyone had deserted my Grandmother but the Sikhs were standing with my Grandmother. I think the Sikhs are probably one of the industrious people in this country. I admire them; we have a PM who is a Sikh. I don’t have the same world view as my opposition. What those two people did to my Grandmother, was two individuals, I don’t turn around and take my anger which existed then, frankly, it doesn’t exist now and brush it onto an entire community, that’s just not me.
Arnab: I am sure you don’t, my question is do you acknowledge the role of Congress men in the 1984 riots because
Rahul: I am coming to your question
Arnab: I am sure you don’t, my question is do you acknowledge the role of Congress men in the 1984 riots because there must be justice. Mr. Gandhi there has to be finality, the Gujarat riot cases have moved forward and many people have got justice, if I just compare that to the 1984 riots, you can look at the status and case history of what happened to Mr. Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler, HKL Bhagat, Dharam Das Shastri and the one story that you hear there is these cases are endless, they go on for the longest period of time. I am asking you again, Mr. Gandhi before you seek an apology from Modi would you apologise for the 1984 riots, would that be something that you consider?
Rahul: I do not take my anger which existed on 2 individuals who did something evil and wrong and overlay it on millions of people. I think that’s criminal. Did the Sikh riots take place in Delhi? Absolutely. Were they completely wrong? Absolutely.
Arnab: Were Congressmen involved?
Rahul : Did innocent people die? Absolutely
Arnab : Were Congressmen involved?
Rahul : Some Congress men were probably involved
Arnab : Has justice been delivered to them?
Rahul : There is a legal process through which they have gone through
Arnab : You admit some Congressmen were probably involved
Rahul : Some congressmen have been punished for it
Arnab : In that case, why don’t you apologise for the 1984 riots? The congressmen who you are talking about are still fighting their cases and in 2009 if I am not mistaken Jagdish Tytler, Mr. Rahul Gandhi. Was going to get nominated as a congress candidate, it was only following the media furore that his nomination was taken back. Mr. Gandhi I am asking you this question in all seriousness do you feel that Congressmen were involved and 2)Do you believe if you apologise for the riots there will be finality
Rahul : The fact of the matter is that innocent people died in 1984 and innocent people dying is a horrible thing and should not happen. The difference between Gujarat and 1984 was that the Government of Gujarat was involved in the riots
Arnab: How do you say that
Rahul: I mean….
Arnab : The CM of Gujarat has been given a clean chit by the courts
Rahul : The difference between the 84 riots and the riots in Gujarat was that in 1984 the Government was trying to stop the riots. I remember, I was a child then, I remember the Government was doing everything it could to stop the riots. In Gujarat the opposite was the case. The Government in Gujarat was actually abetting and pushing the riots further. So there is a huge difference between the two things, saying that innocent people dying is absolutely wrong
Arnab : Explain that. Government of Gujarat was aiding and abetting the riots is what you just said, explain that?
Rahul : I mean it’s not me…it’s the large number of people who were there, large number of people who saw actively the Government of Gujarat being involved in the riots.
Arnab : You will keep that line despite the CM getting a clean chit form the courts?
Rahul : I mean, people saw it. I am not the person who saw it, your colleague saw it. Your colleagues told me
Arnab : They saw the riots?
Rahul : They saw the administration actively attacking minorities
Arnab: What are you saying? Can you explain?
Rahul : I am saying that there was difference between the 1984 riots and the riots in Gujarat. The difference was that the Government in 1984 was trying to stop the riots, trying to stop the killing whereas the Government in Gujarat was allowing the riots to happen.
Arnab: If the government in Delhi and in the center was trying to stop the riots in 1984, then tell me, how is it possible that Sajjan Kumar was named in Fir’s on the grounds of inciting violence in outer Delhi leading to the murder of Sikhs. The status of the case is known. How is Jagdish Tytler, accused of inciting the mob in Pulbangash leading to murder and rioting in the area. How is the late HKL Bhagat accused of inciting violence. And you know that a plea in the Delhi Court was closed after his death. How did these Congress leaders do what they did allegedly, if the government was so strongly and proactively acting against the riots?
Rahul: There is a process. See there is a legal process. And that process is on. Okay.
Arnab: There was an SIT finding. It was challenged by Zakia Jafri. It went up there and the courts upheld what the SIT found. Are you questioning the wisdom of the courts Mr. Gandhi?
Rahul: Look. All I’m saying, all I’m saying is that there is a difference between the 1984 riots and the Gujarat riots. The simple difference is that in 1984 the government was not involved in the massacre of people. In Gujarat it was. The question is why do these kind of things take place. Why is it that the Gujarat riots took place? The Gujarat riots took place frankly because of the way our system is structured, because of the fact that people do not have a voice in the system. And what I want to do. And I have said it and I will say it again. What I want to do is question the fundamentals over here. What I want to do is ask a couple of questions. I want to ask why candidates that are chosen in every single party are chosen by a tiny number of people. I want to ask why women have to be scared to go out on the street. I want to ask these questions. These are fundamental questions.
Arnab: I appreciate that you believe in transparency. I’ll move away from Gujarat but I must say that I have not found this comparison between 1984 riots and 2002 riots that they are two different cases. I can’t take this at face value Mr. Gandhi. The reason for this is because in both cases the government, the accusation is that the government could have done a little bit more. But at the same time I want you to, once more if you can substantiate. You stand by what you said, that the Chief Minister and the government of Gujarat played a role in abetting the riots? You stand by what you said?
Rahul: All I’m saying is there is a difference between the 1984 riots and the Gujarat riots. The difference is that the government of the day in 1984 was not aiding and abetting the riots. That is all I’m saying.
Arnab: So you don’t need to apologise for the ’84 riots. If someone seeks an apology from you, will you give it? Your Prime Minister has apologised for the riots. Expressed deep regret. Will you do the same?
Rahul: First of all I wasn’t involved in the riots at all. It wasn’t that I was part of it.
Arnab: On behalf of you party.
Rahul: I think that riots, as all riots, were a horrible event. Frankly I was not in operation in the Congress party.
[Please note: Indian state and Indian media do not acknowledge the fact of Sikh Genocide 1984 and term it as merely “riots” and use the term “anit-Sikh riots” to address the November 1984 genocidal violence against the Sikhs in which thousands were massacred in a planned and organized manner throughout India. Above excerpt is reproduced in verbatim and Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) did not change the terminology used by the Arnab Goswami and Rahul Gandhi.]
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