Saturday, April 27, 2013

Indira Priyadarshini

25 years ago, on this day, I was a perky 7 year old. Stuck in a friend’s house in Jammu bcs the road to Katra was blocked by snow. Sometime at midday, when uncle came home for lunch, he told the elders that Indira Gandhi has been killed. All of us laughed in his face, asking him to stop spinning tall tales..
In a while, there was a curfew, we were told to forget abt Katra, and I remember being driven through curfew, to “safety”. I remember boarding a train to Delhi. I remember the journey, and what happened at Delhi.

25 years is a long time to wait for justice. It’s a long enough time to see an entire generation, left fatherless and education-less, gone nowhere.. children massacred and the sheer ruthlessness of the whole thing..

In 25 years, I have not understood the logic of this plan.. not understood why it had to be so barbaric , and not understood why no justice has been possible, in all the 25 years..

Not ONE culprit punished. However, all of them have been elevated by the Congress High Command. Answers, anyone?

Oh, and if u are planning to write in the comments section, a la Manmohan, that 1984 should be “forgotten”, here is my reply:
If you want me to forget 1984, sure, I will do it. Just allow me to pull your men and your young male children, drag them out of the house, pour kerosene on them, and then, put a burning tyre around their neck. Allow me to let you see all this, and you should also see me laugh hysterically at your wails, and at the wails of the one being charred to their death. Let me hack your child to pieces, a little 2 year old, who was caught while he was still wondering what just happened. Let me do this in your full view, forcing you to see this right after you have seen your husband and /or young son being burnt with a tyre around his neck, when none of your neighbors could, or did, come out to help. Let me leave you with 3 generations of just widows.

Now, tell me, how long do you need to forget all this happened? How long will you wait for the judiciary to bring you justice? How long will you wait before you become a terrorist to avenge your dead? How many of the victim Sikhs went on to become terrorists in this country after 1984? They could have. And they have waited, patiently, year on year, for the justice system of this country, to deliver that justice to them. 25 years.

And you think it’s a sin to remember?


The Rat... said...


i don't think wat-ever i say or do now will make u forget or take u out of the misery that u went thru..

Take care dear... just remember we are all here for u

hitch writer said...

the agony can never be forgotten... NEVER !

Z said...

I don't know if you've read the blog of my friend Mai - She no longer lives in India, but she can never begin to forget the terrible events that befell her family and her people.

If you go to the link, there are some dreadful photos of burned people in her last post, so don't do it unless you're prepared for the distress.

BK Chowla said...

The nation will ever forget what happened in 1984.
I am not the one to suggest that one should forget it.How can one?

Anonymous said...

The pain will never ever go, what's worse, with the apathetic government, it hurts all the more.

And sorry for nitpicking, but it was 25 years ago

Onkar said...

I was in Delhi when this carnage happened. I can never forget what I saw.

adee said...

ghaav bhar bhi jaaye to nishaan chhod jata hai, aur agar nishan mit bhi gaya toh bhi yaad ka ghaav kabhi nahi bharta...

Mai said...

A sin to remember? It would be a sin to forget! We Sikhs do not forget our shaheeds.

Let us now remember the survivors. If each Sikh diaspora family would "adopt" - provide aid, comfort, prayer and material assistance - to just one survivor family, there would be no more destitute widows and aimless children. Now we are well into the third generation. Clearly neither the "secular" authorities nor the so-called Sikh powers (I refer specifically to the SGPC) are going to do it. We must do it ourselves.

The best way to honour our shaheeds is to honour their surviving families. Please take this idea to your gurudwara.

Thanks, Z. I also put that picture in the header so no one visiting the Khaliblog will miss it.

J P Joshi said...

There are a few times when I have felt ashamed to be a human... a civilised one at that, and 1984 was one of those times...

Varun said...

I saw a fire. There was smoke all around. I couldn't see clearly. My eyes were watery. I had no other way to complete my journey. I took a deep breath and walked through the smoke. It felt like an impregnable wall at first. But, after a few steps, I was a part of it and yet apart of it. The smoke was all around. I looked back and saw exactly the same thing that I saw ahead. The road. There was just one difference.

EXSENO said...

Heart breaking. There is no way to ever understand this kind of horable terror. These people that did this are not ordinary people they are crazy monsters.
I can't even imagine how their sick brain works.

I don't think this should ever be forgotten.
Where not any of these monsters who did these murders caught?

I'm glad that you did this post, I will never forget it.

Anonymous said...

first there is no way that anyone can forget death of a loved one. It hurts much more if it was coldblooded, unjust and brutal.
Lt. kalia's parents probably feel the same when they recollect the inhumanly tortured body of their dead son and so would many others.

If we go back a little more in history we read about many more massacres , occurying at much more frequent intervals than today.

Peace comes at a price. A state is at war not always with external forces but any entity that challenges it. A person in seat of power takes a decision not in her personal interest but in the interest of the state and offends a community. The community doesnot see the necessity of the action in the interest of the state and decides to avenge by targeting the person. Yes all of the community were not a part of the conspiracy but those who were indeed part of it were not blood relatives out to avenge a personal wrong but bonded because of their common identity derived from the community.

Did the community play any role in controlling these elements which got together? The action against the person in chair, sought to assert the supremacy of community over the State and State will not exist if communities thus start asserting themselves over it. Judiciary and other systems benefiting large numbers irrespective of caste, creed etc exist because there is State. Will the judicial systems of a State ever punish its soldiers for retaliating against its perceived enemies or challengers? Many times brutality is engineered to serve as an example-a deterrant for future, how much ever inhuman it is in present. And wounds do heal, may be in 100 or 200 years. History is witness.

How Do said...

Dear Anonymous:
The individual acted, not in the interest of the state, but in the interest of personal power. Bhindrawale was created for personal power equation that was getting disturbed because of the Akalis. That he became a Frankenstein is a case of bad management by the person in question, not a case of a community mobilised.

What happened in Punjab was a case of power politics gone all wrong, but we have to remember that if the Congress was ok with losing power in one state,OR if they had found issues other than religion to garner votes, Frankenstein would not have happened.

The "State" was not threatened, only the absolute power of the individual. The murder was not done by the ones who were killed in the pogrom. And the example, the deterrant, to kill thousands of powerless, blameless people, is the most shameless excuse i can think of for the pogrom.

You might be the modern Chanakya, or u might be an Indira loyalist returned from the grave, the advantage of being in the virtual space is that i cannot put a burning tyre around your neck and explain this Chanakya Shastra to your family as they try to understand your "example" creation.

The rioters on that day were not the soldiers of this country. If you are saying that they are, get out of anonymous and meet me personally. I am available at . lets see that face.

Do me a favor. Don't come back.EVER.

Blackcougar said...

Interesting isn't it .. you are a refugee in a city, you work much harder because you have nothing to fall back on. You fail, yet you work .. eventually you make it. But hey, your success breeds envy, envy from someone who does not see the hard work, the moments of despair, the hungry nights and the families strength in standing behind you. The family that you support. A trigger, a spark, slight provocation and suddenly you are pushed back to the refugee status .. but this time you are a refugee in your own city, your own neighborhood. The circle starts again .. its like someone has just put you in a time machine.

My worry, when would it happen again .. and when it does how many more would suffer, how many more generations would feel that pain this time.

Pinku said...

HDWK: I read through your post and the comments with interest.

I want to point out juts one thing:

Massacres happened many times in history. including at the time of partition. Neighbors killed neighbors.Till date no one has been punished. My mother's family was left destitute and left to walk all the way from present day Bangladesh to Kolkata. AM saying this only to tell you that am aware of how it feels.
But honestly does it help to keep the fire alive in your hearts? It only singes us while the perpetrators sleep in peace.

I agree that what happened 25 years ago was deplorable but is there some way we can teach the next generation to beware of such a trap without being bitter?

How do we know said...

Hi All: Thank you for taking the time to read this post and to comment.

Hi Rat: Thanks dear!

Hi hitchwriter: :-)

Hi Z: Sure i have read Mai's blog.. remember the post about mutilated children that started this friendship? You are 2 incredibly awesome people!!

Chowla Sir: That part of the post was for people who might come up with that advice. :-)

Hi Anonymous: Thank you!!! i dont know why i thot this year marked the 26th! dumb arithmetic mistake.. have corrected - thank you!

Onkar ji: no one can.

Hi adee: Aaye hain samjhaane log, hain kitne deewaane log..

Hi Mai: That is a super idea!!

Joshi sir: the other times were Gujarat and 1947.. the more things change, the more they remain the same...

Hi Varun: And the difference was?

Hi Blackcougar: I still remember the panic that spread through Sikh houses when news reached at midnight that Rajiv Gandhi is dead. People did not even pause to ask whether it was a natural death or even to verify the news before running away from their homes.

Hi Pinku: The tragedy is not that it happened alone, but that we, as a people, are so indifferent to justice being served.

I insist on carriage of justice, not carriage of malice or hatred. Once that justice is carried out, i will vote for the Congress again, even if the Nehru Gandhi family is at the helm. Till then, i will fight for my right to vote, and then vote against the congress.

Z said...

Of course, I realised afterwards that it was here that Mai and I met. It's lovely of you to say so, but there's nothing awesome about me!

How do we know said...

Z: But there is! Ask me!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Can we also remember Kanishka victims alongside? Infants, children,women, men charred to death. 24 years and no justice.

How do we know said...

Hi Anonymous: Sure we can.. but the ppl who did Kanishka, and the ppl who got killed were not the same ppl..

Forget abt Kanishka, in the 80s, there was a terrorism problem in Punjab that happened. It was shameful and i m glad when people who were responsible for that are punished. Sometimes, the punishment extends to their families, who are already punished bcs they were abandoned by the terrorists themselves. So the family is abandoned by the terrorist and punished by the state.. but i digress. The point is, that punishement for the guilty is not even being questioned here. I am asking for justice for the victims of 1984. They were not terrorists. They had nothing to do with the politics of power. They deserve justice.

Anonymous said...

Dafnai hui yaadein udhedne chale ho
Ek dard se doosra kya juda hai?

Varun said...

The difference was the road ahead lead nowhere.

Varun said...

Dard se dard juda hai is kadar
Dard se buni hai dard ki chaadar
Jise od kar sote hain shab-o-roz
Chand karvatein ranj ki idhar
Kuchh khwaab dard ki udhar.

It's not easy to 'analyse' pain.

Frog-in-the-Well said...