Skip to main content

1984, when Congress became ‘identity of Hindus’, Sikhs were made biggest villains

In a conversation with human rights defender Vidya Bbushan Rawat, which took place about three years ago at his Delhi residence, “Indian Express” journalist Joseph Maliakan talks about the massive anti-Sikh pogrom which place in the aftermath of the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31. He also speaks about the caste bias in our media and how the media ignored the real facts and how the SC-ST officers faced the punishment instead of the real criminals.
In an email alert, which accompanied a youtube video of the conversation, this is is what Rawat says about the conversation he had with Maliakan:
***
Joseph Maliakan is a veteran journalist who worked with “Indian Express” at the time when Delhi was burning in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi's assassination. Mrs Indira Gandhi was assassinated on October 31st, 1984 at her official residence in Delhi by her own security guards, who happened to be Sikhs. Though the incident happened at around 9 am in the morning, the nation was kept on the hook till 6 pm with no information being made available to people on All India Radio and Doordarshan.
Once she was officially declared dead at the 6 pm All India Radio bulletin, Delhi had already witnessed a scene of horrific crime with the goons of the ruling Congress party led by senior leaders campaigning against Sikhs. Frankly speaking, it was not merely Congress, but the party that time became the ‘identity’ of ‘Hindus’ and Sikhs were made the biggest villain being accused of celebrating Indira Gandhi’s death by distributing ‘laddus’ and so many things.
Every Sikh was accused of conspiring, enjoying and a suspected Khalistani. The state completely abdicated its responsibility with Delhi police actively supporting the goons in targeting the innocent Sikhs and their localities. It was one of the worst massacres, if I can say, that India saw in post independent India. Trilokpuri in the Eastern Delhi had a thick population, a majority of whom were poor as well as Economically Poor Sections of society.
This locality was targeted. Media had no clue but it was courageous Joseph Maliakan who reached the place and witnessed the horrific crime. As per his own narrative, his editors initially refused to believe the story because of the magnitude of barbarism and deaths but he stood by his report and it became one of the most sought after information during that period. He was the first and most authentic reporter who reported the massive massacre of Sikhs at Trilokpuri. He appeared before many Commissions of Inquiry.
This conversation was conducted at his home in Delhi. It has many more details about the media and how it functions. An extremely important voice of sanity and reasoning. We saw the anguish, pain and tears in his eyes when he narrated this story to us. Important to understand when the state abdicated its responsibility the result was mayhem and anarchy. Rule of law must persist. We all must hang our heads in shame for our collective responsibility in saving innocent lives.
Very similar things happened in Gujarat 2002 and the real issues are forgotten in the political manipulations and blame games. As a nation and society, we need to understand how long we will allow ourselves to bear such things. One thing is clear that India cannot become a powerful nation as long ethnic, caste and religious identities are used to frame and punish people.

Comments

TRENDING

Tarlabaşı, Turkey’s safe haven for migrants, which exemplifies social marginalisation

The Immigration Advice Service, in an email alert, has sent an article about the situation of migrants living in Tarlabaşı, which is often called Istanbul’s slum neighbourhood. The run-down area, according to this article by Katarzyna Rybarczyk , political correspondent for Immigration Advice, has become home to a community of Arabs, Afghans, Pakistanis, Gypsies and Africans.  According to Rybarczyk, for migrants who arrive in Turkey Tarlabaşı is often where they rent their first apartments as rent there is significantly cheaper than in other parts of Istanbul,   Tarlabaşı became a residential area for the low-income class in the second half of the 19th century and instead of flourishing over the years it has been becoming increasingly impoverished and turning into an inner-city ghetto. "I talk about the challenges to the integration of migrants who live in Tarlabaşı. I have recently visited the area so the article features my own photographs and first-hand insights into daily li

Gujarat cadre woman IAS official who objected to Modi remark on sleeveless blouse

By Rajiv Shah Two days back, a veteran journalist based in Patna, previously with the Times of India, Ahmedabad, phoned me up to inform me that he had a sad news: Swarnakanta Varma, a retired Gujarat cadre IAS bureaucrat, who was acting chief secretary on the dastardly Godhra train burning day, February 27, 2002, which triggered one of the worst ever communal riots in Gujarat, has passed away due to Covid. “I have been informed about this from a friend in Jaipur, where she breathed her last”, Law Kumar Mishra said.

Why this marriage of son of non-IAS babu, earlier in Gujarat, became an event in Kerala

AK Vijay Kumar By Rajiv Shah Many say, marriages are made in heaven. However, as a confirmed non-believer, I don’t seem to think that way. But if one were to believe that marriages are indeed made in heaven, would the guests who are invited in some of the high-profile weddings also decide the destiny of the newly weds? I don’t know. Yet, the fact is, the competition to invite guests at such weddings is something I noticed after I came to Ahmedabad in 1993 to join as assistant editor of the Times of India.

Indian Doctors for Truth want Modi to stop overzealous universal vaccination drive

At a time when there is a huge demand to ensure that vaccination should be universal in order to gain immunity against the pandemic, an organisation called Indian Doctors for Truth, have asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the “urgent need to stop the overzealous universal vaccination drive against Covid-19.  Read the letter, signed by 18 doctors and a health expert: ***

Firewalled again: Gujarat govt sites aren't visible in Americas, Europe, SE Asia, Australia

Roshan Shah By Rajiv Shah Recently, I got a message from an NRI friend settled in Canada, Roshan Shah. Himself a software engineer, he told me that several Gujarat government sites do not appear to be “accessible outside India.” He particularly cited the main state government site , referring to an IT tool , wondering, “When PM has touted Vibrant Gujarat for years, how would any investors trust a government which can't even get its main site, policies etc, accessible to outsiders?”

Food Bills open doors for global merchants of grain, their Indian corporate partners

Well-known environmentalist and scholar Dr Vandana Shiva's  unpublished briefing paper “Protecting the Rights of Small Farmers (our anna datas), the Right to Food of All Citizens to Create a Food Sovereign, Food Self-Reliant India (Atmanirbhar Bharat)” analyses the potential impact of the dismantling of India’s food sovereignty and food security regulatory and legal infrastructure framework through three food and farming Bills, passed in Parliament.  Here is the paper, which was distributed by JanVikalp for general interest in the subject:  *** 

Racists? Rousseau, Hegel assumed Blacks and indigenous peoples weren't dialectical

In his paper, "Philosophy’s systemic racism", Avram Alpert, lecturer in the Princeton Writing Program, controversially argues that it’s not just that Hegel and Rousseau were racists; racism was in fact baked into the very structure of their dialectical philosophy. Alpert has authored "Global Origins of the Modern Self, from Montaigne to Suzuki" (2019) and "A Partial Enlightenment: What Modern Literature". His book "Buddhism Can Teach Us About Living Well without Perfection" is expected to be published soon. The paper has been published by Aeon as an essay. Reproduced below is Alpert's paper:    *** 

Caste in NCERT textbooks: Social identities, lived realities of students and teachers

Excerpts from the paper “Engaging with ‘Caste’: Curriculum, Pedagogy and Reception” by Devika Mittal , Assistant Professor, Bharati College, Delhi University, published in Space and Culture, locates the challenges to this curriculum by focusing on the pedagogy and reception of the curriculum. In doing so, it argues that the challenges emanate from the social identities and lived realities of the students and the teachers:  ***

Known to have assissinated O'Dwyer, Udham Singh chose not to apologise to the British

Udham Singh (26 December 1899 – 31 July 1940), best known for assassinating Michael O'Dwyer , the former lieutenant governor of the Punjab in India , on 13 March 1940, done in revenge for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar in 1919, for which O'Dwyer was responsible, was subsequently tried and convicted of murder and hanged in July 1940. While in custody, he used the name Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, which represents the three major religions of India and his anti-colonial sentiment. Writes a well-known analyst, "He too could have apologised. He chose the noose instead!" Udham Singh's speech prior to sentencing in UK: *** “I say down with British Imperialism. You say India do not have peace. We have only slavery Generations of so called civilisation has brought us everything filthy and degenerating. known to the human race. All you have to do is read your own history. If you have any human decency about you, you should die with shame. The brutality and blood