Two images. October 31, 1984: Former Mrs. Indian Airlines pilot rushing out in a nightgown on hearing the gunshots that killed her mother-in-law.
November 1, 1984: Riots break out against the Sikhs. A woman in khaki wielding a lathi is trying to control a mob.
Today, Sonia Gandhi rules what has become tantamount to Indian monarchy. Kiran Bedi has been denied the top-cop post that she richly deserved.
Over 3000 Sikhs were killed and it was not restricted to
I can only quote Harbans Singh, a taxi driver, on a visit a couple of years ago. One evening, as we were passing by Indira Gandhi’s house, where her bloodstains have been marked out, he said, “Inki wajah se hum hero ban gaye.” I did not understand, so he pointed to his turbanless head and trimmed hair. Was that a smile of cynicism or helpless acceptance? How can you accept yourself as part of a criminal conspiracy, which most Sikhs were looked upon as? “No, you can’t. Nathuram Godse killed Mahatma Gandhi, so were all Maharashtrians seen as killers? I will not let anybody point a finger at me. I refuse to take the blame upon myself.”
He should not. They should not. But someone has to answer the questions. In these days of fast-track justice, there are still 1984 widows living in refugee camps.
Aware that the Hindu-Muslim conflict gets people more interested – and having concentrated on the Muslim problem myself – one cannot ignore this longer standing one. I can only say that I have written on the subject a few times and that is where Harbans Singh came in.
Many like him are still around. Waiting…lest we forget