20 January, 2021

Oh, That Other Hindu Riot Of Passage

The assassins of Mrs Gandhi were hanged within four years, while 20 years later, the killers of 10,000 Sikhs remain unpunished. Are there two sets of laws in the country?

Oh, That Other Hindu Riot Of Passage
There are two anniversaries so deeply etched in my mind that every year they come around I recollect with pain what happened on those two days. They occurred 20 years ago. One is October 31, when Mrs Gandhi was gunned down by her two Sikh security guards. The other is the following day, when the 'aftermath' consummated itself: frenzied Hindu mobs, driven by hate and revenge, finally killed nearly 10,000 innocent Sikhs across north India down to Karnataka. Four years later, Mrs Gandhi's assassins Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh paid the penalty for their crime by being hanged to death in Tihar jail. Twenty years later, the killers of 10,000 Sikhs remain unpunished. The conclusion is clear: in secular India there is one law for the Hindu majority, another for Muslims, Christians and Sikhs who are in minority.

October 31, 1984: The sequence of events remains as vivid as ever. Around 11 am, I heard of Mrs Gandhi being shot in her house and taken to hospital. By the afternoon, I heard on the bbc that she was dead. For a couple of hours, life in Delhi came to a standstill. Then hell...


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