Finished watching Amu - The Film last night. Its a very slow movie, but conveys strongly what it sets out to convey. I could not sleep for most part of last night.
I was 7 years old in 1984. I am a Sikh. It was 13 years(in 1997) before I would recount, even to myself, what happened in that year.(I am yet to speak to anyone else)
The memory was followed by hatred, and hatred by that inevitable question - Why?
So why is this, the most personal fact about me, on this public blog? Because now, another 11 years later, I think there is an answer to that "Why?" That answer is relevant to all children of riots, and to chidren who are just getting to know about 1984, Godhra or Orissa.
1984 was not about Sikhism. Godhra was not about Islam, and Orissa is not about Christianity. It is about power. 1984 happened because Indira Gandhi could not tolerate the growing power of the Akalis in Punjab, and created a parallel force called Bhindrawale. What she had not anticipated or planned for, was the evolution of Bhindrawale into a strong force. Bhindrawale became her Frankenstein. Operation Blue Star was necessary - both to consolidate her power, and to end the internal security nightmare that she had created in Punjab.
With that operation, many believe(incl. me) , she signed her death warrant, and the death warrant of all the Sikhs in her country.
It was not about Sikhism. It was about the Akali Dal and the Congress.
It is about power. Religion is only used because it is the master key to the passions of the millions. Everyone responds strongly to religion. It is our fault. The fault of the stupid common man.
It was an organised pogrom. A very organised pogrom. How quickly things could get organised often leave me wondering whether the Congress set up was preparing for this carnage anyway, and the Indira Gandhi murder was just a convenient excuse.
It has taken a long time to sift out the emotional from the historical and to arrive at a theory.
Take it or leave it, That is my theory of Indian Riots. What's yours?