Never forget 1984

Have you ever been asked what the definition of irony is? Try to think of an example. You could always use the one about the first non-Hindu Prime Minister of India.

In 1984 the world viewed the media blackout and violence against the Sikhs in India. In June 1984 the Bluestar operation launched by the Congress (I) was extreme. A few months later for 3 immediate days after Indira Gandhi assignation thousands of innocent Sikhs were killed. The total number of Sikhs and non-Sikhs killed has never been officially recorded. What is known in many cases, is the names of the instigators of the violence that occurred. After 22 years and 5 national enquiries no one has been brought to justice over human right abuses and targeted slaughter of a community.

22 years on we have the first Prime Minister (Dr Manmohan Singh � An Ex Oxford University scholar), with Mrs Sonia Gandhi residing as president of the Congress party. Dr Manmohan Singh is a very capable individual. His honest approach and financial acumen will ensure the growth of India�s rapidly developing economy. It was indeed Dr Manmohan Singh�s economic reforms in the early 1990s that ensured the foundation of India�s economic revolution. Today India offers a manufacturing base that competes with the Far East. In terms of India�s strength in computer software development and support, again there is no doubt that India can offer immediate financial returns and committed employees. Indeed in April 2003 I visited Bangalore and was impressed by the scale of development. India now has digital telecommunications, high speed voice and data networks. Investments have also taken place in Hotels. In December 2005, as a tourist I witnessed the progress in infrastructure as impressive.

Investment also means investing in equality for all parts of the population and also assuring justice and honesty. Although Dr Manmohan Singh has acknowledged the wrong that was done at the time, we still need those that commited the crimes of communal violence to be brought to trial.

For Sikhs and everyone there is a need for a concerted effort to ensure that justice does prevail. After 22 years victims of the 1984 Delhi genocide and families are still suffering.

When I visited the candlelight vigile (part of an internationally organised event) outside the Houses of Parliment in London on 2nd November, it was peaceful and surrounded by an ‘air of hope’. Hope that communal violence cannot and will not be tolerated by any society. Also a rememberance for those innocent lives that were lost during those fateful days. We can only pray for peace for their souls and support for those that remain behind.

An amazing example of dedication was when I spoke to one of the sewadar’s and attendees of the candlelight vigile – This gentleman continues to make, bring and serve langar every year. He has been attending the vigile for the last 22 years. This shows a man of commitment and belief in the hope for justice – We can all learn from him the importance of service and a solidarity for justice.

Categories: 2006, Justice, Sikhs

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