oppn parties Congress Cannot Wash Its Hand Off The 1984 Sikh Riots

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  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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Congress Cannot Wash Its Hand Off The 1984 Sikh Riots

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
It is, as the people in Punjab are saying, “rubbing salt in the wounds” when Rahul Gandhi says that the Congress party was not involved in the 1984 Sikh riots in Delhi and elsewhere in the country. For, overt complicity is not always a given for involvement. Complicity can manifest itself in covert ways. It is a proven fact that Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler (and many other second rung Congress leaders) and their underlings were actively involved in the Delhi arson and massacres of Sikhs. At that time, they were prominent Congress leaders. The Congress was ruling at the Centre. The police knew what was happening and so did the Central leadership. But no effort was made to rein in the mobs. By the time action was taken, major damage had been done.

Hence, the Congress party was directly responsible for allowing prominent Delhi leaders to carry out what many people had called a pogrom against the Sikhs. Just because Indira Gandhi was killed by her Sikh bodyguards (who incidentally were handpicked by her despite flags raised by her security advisors) in retaliation for the damage done to the Golden Temple, the whole Sikh community was sought to be taught a lesson. It went on for many days and yet the police and the leadership kept quiet. Although the Congress may not have given express orders to its local leaders to punish the Sikhs, by allowing them to carry it out without stopping them, it cannot absolve itself of the charge of complicity.

Instead of being in denial mode, Rahul Gandhi should acknowledge the mistake, as Manmohan Singh had done, and try to heal the wounds that old timers still carry. It is a measure of the magnanimity of the Sikhs that they still vote for the Congress despite the 1984 riots. If Rahul Gandhi continues in this manner, he will lose the support of the Sikh community. Punjab is one state that voted for Congress recently. Hence, Rahul Gandhi should not do anything that alienates the Sikhs.