Riot Victims Speechless

Mai Harinder Kaur ji has written an inspiring note. For my proposed presentation at WPR later this year, I have been delving into this issue in some depth during my extended stay in India due to some family compulsions. I have interviewed a range of people who have had a role in documenting the tragic incidents, the victims, their grown up sons and some volunteer agencies.

The widows with whom I had a half day town hall type discussion have a heart rending story to tell. We cannot but admire their tenacity, their grit, their belief in themselves and their Guru that helped them raise their families or what was left of them over the last 25 years. It is a sordid saga where the individual human spirit stands out, the healing provided by an interfaith community support again seems a major source of sustaining their faith with the legal battles fought by HS Phoolka helped by Sikh Forum and some patwantai Sikhs. The present agitation is trigerred by the prospect of Tytler and Sajjan Kumar getting Congress tickets for the next elections.

There has been a comment about going to international court of justice. Significantly the documentation in the case of Dekhi carnage is pretty extensive and can be accessed at a couple of sites. Manoj Mitta and Phoolka have also published a book When a Tree Shook Delhi. Contemporaneous evidence is also documented through interviews by Uma Chakravarty and Nandita Haksar and there are severa other sources including the well known Report of the Citizen’s Commission, Report by Citizens for Democracy, Who are the Guity, and plethora of Judgements and various Commissions of Enquiry.

My sense is that even though the Delhi Sikhs have struggled hard to keep this issue alive in their pursuit of justice the Sikh priorities have witnessed a major shift. They seem more focussed on pursuing their live’s goals that include economic needs, relating to the main stream and bringing uo their families. Their commitment to religious life has if at all become more visible – Gurdwaras are full, their programs and samagams are in creasing and Sikh seva is growing. Politically they are engaged but not in an exclusionery, separatist mode. This is a total paradigm shift and therefore the drivers to follow thru the kind of suggestions that are made on the web at the moment seem not to be there.

Given this scenario we may have to ponder as to how we can bring about some synergy between the changing Sikh priorities and their understandings based on their respective vantage points, both in India and the Diaspora.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.