Dec 04, 2023
Dec 04, 2023
by V. Sundaram
The man who questions opinion is wise; the man who quarrels with facts is a fool. – Frank A Garbutt
Facts that are not frankly faced have a habit of stabbing us in the back. Get the facts, or the facts will get you. And when you get them, get them right, or they will get you wrong. We should not keep our mouths shut and our pens dry when we know the solidly sordid and brutal facts. Facts mean nothing unless they are rightly understood, rightly related and rightly interpreted. The greatest tragedy in our national public life after independence is that it is not the facts which guide the conduct of our public men at the highest level, but their prejudiced opinion about facts which may be entirely wrong or are generally wrong most of the time. It is the bounden public duty of all enlightened citizens and fearless journalists to endeavour to make them right by discussion. Facts when combined with ideas constitute the greatest force in the world. They are greater than armaments, greater than finance, greater than science, business and law because they constitute the common denominator of all of them.
That is why Walter Lippman, one of the greatest names in the history of fearless journalism, observed with clinching conviction: 'True opinions can prevail only if the facts to which they refer are known ; if they are not known, false ideas are just as effective as true ones, if not a little more effective'.
Facts ought to be the basis of all Governmental policies but they by themselves do not or cannot create policies. They are only the stuff of which policies are made. Here is where synthesis comes in to build up the facts into useful knowledge which is wisdom, and it is wisdom that alone can give meaning and direction to life. I know all this has been totally irrelevant to the dastardly India – a purposeless and nebulous notion and not a sacred nation – created by the Nehru family and the Congress party for themselves and themselves alone after 15 August, 1947.
When the Sikhs under the leadership of Master Tara Singh demanded greater autonomy for the Sikhs after independence, Jawaharlal Nehru tried to weaken the Sikh community by merging PEPSU with other areas (today's Haryana and parts of Himachal Pradesh) to create the larger State of Punjab. The government also declared that Punjab was a bilingual State with both Punjabi and Hindi being designated as official languages. In the merged state, Sikhs made up only 35 per cent of the population and thus lost the majority status they had held in PEPSU.
This unilateral action wounded the feelings and sentiments of many Sikhs at that time. I am mentioning this only to show that Jawaharlal Nehru and his Congress Party always treated the Sikhs and the Hindus after our independence with indivisible contempt bordering on hatred. On the contrary they treated the so called minorities, more particularly the Muslims, with unrequited romantic love and infatuation. Today State-sponsored secularism and State-abetted terrorism have become two sides of the same political coin. Likewise, State-abetted proselytism and Church-sponsored harvesting of heathen souls have become two sides of another political coin. Consequently, the Sikhs and the Hindus have been reduced to the status of kafirs during the days of Aurangazeb.
Against this background, I am not surprised to see from the mainline print media in English that one Sikh citizen called Babu Singh Dukhia, a resident of Tilka Vihar in New Delhi, which was one of the worst affected areas during the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, is a very angry man today. Last week Dukhia said: 'The CBI had proof even then as it has now, but has done nothing so far. Twenty-two years after the anti-Sikh riots, the CBI is throwing its hands up saying it has little proof to pursue the case against Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, the two men against whom the Nanavati Commission had found credible evidence'.
As usual, the BJP Party is accusing the CBI of acting to promote the political interests of the Congress party. BJP spokesperson Prakash Javdekar has said: 'This is the delaying tactics of the CBI. What does the Congress mean by compensation? There will be no compensation till there is justice'.
At the same time, it will be readily conceded that the dismal professional record of the CBI during the last 30 years and its exemplary political record (!) as a hired mouthpiece and hatchet of the political party in power in New Delhi are all established facts in the public mind. In actual practice, CBI whatever be its official nomenclature on paper only for ensuring a smooth and un-interrupted disbursement of salaries to its officers and staff on the 1st of every month with unfailing regularity, has functioned only in a disgraceful manner after independence as a Criminal Bureau of Insinuation (CBI!), Criminal Bureau of Instigation (CBI!!), Criminal Bureau of Infliction (CBI!!!) and Criminal Bureau of Intimidation (CBI !!!!). The Director of the CBI ever looks up to the Government in power to identify its targeted political enemy so that he can swing into immediate action to instantaneously convert that chosen victim into an offender and transgressor in servile obedience to the unwritten Law of Lawlessness in our accursed land. Its daily working principle can be put in simple mathematical terms : Known and old cases against well known political criminals who have held very high public offices can be closed with electronic impunity; new and abominably impossible cases can be foisted with cataclysmic force upon honorable citizens with a proven track record of unimpeachable integrity and selfless public service. I am not therefore surprised that many surviving relatives of innocent Sikh citizens who got massacred in New Delhi told me that they can never hope to get justice from the CBI or the Congress directed UPA Government in New Delhi.
Thus the embers of the great conflagration planned, organized and launched by the Congress party in New Delhi in which more than 3000 innocent Sikhs were killed in a matter of two days after the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on 31 October, 1984 are refusing to die down even 22 years after the barbarous massacre.
In order to understand the pogrom let loose by the Congress party against the innocent Sikhs in New Delhi in 1984 in proper perspective, we have to go back to the emergency that was wickedly imposed upon the nation by Indira Gandhi just to protect her office and the commercial interests of her family flowing from The Private Limited Company called the Congress party. During the dark days of emergency from 1975 to 1977, Indira Gandhi functioned like a supreme dictator, very much like Hitler in Nazi Germany, Stalin in Soviet Russia and Mao tse Tung in China. She used the might of the Government of India to arrest and incarcerate all the opposition leaders like Jayaprakash Narayan, Morarji Desai, Attal Bihai Vajpayee, L K Advani, George Fernandes and many others without a trial. All civil liberties of the Indian people as a whole were crushed by Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi. The masses of India rose as one man and threw her and her party out of office after the General Elections in 1977.
When Indira Gandhi came back to power with a thumping majority after the 1980 General Elections, she turned her guns against the Sikh community. To begin with she had a romantic political infatuation for Brindrawale and her contact man was Zail Singh who was using Brindrawale as a weapon against the Akalis in the Punjab. Finally Brindrawale turned against Indira Gandhi, Zail Singh and the Congress party. Zail Singh was rewarded out of turn, like an obedient and ever-servile Mansabdar in the days of Aurangazeb, by Indira Gandhi when he was elevated as Union Home Minister and later installed as President of India.
In a series of events that that shocked the nation, the Congress government led by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi sent troops into the Sikhs' sacred shrine in 1984 – the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar – to flush out the militants holed up there. Any fact is better established by two or three good testimonies than by a thousand arguments. In their joint Investigation Report titled Operation Bluestar: The untold story, Amiya Rao, Aurbindo Ghose, Sunil Bhattacharya, Tejinder Ahuja and N D Pancholi, came to this conclusion :
'Operation Bluestar and Ghallughar. Two different terms for the same episode – the Army action on the Golden Temple in June 1984. Two different meanings given to the same unprecedented event. 'Operation Bluestar' is the Government's term, connoting a necessary military operation to flush out terrorists and recover arms from the Golden Temple, the implication being that it was an unavoidable cleansing act of purification. Where as 'Ghallughara' is how the Sikhs of Punjab remember the episode, connoting aggression, massacre and religious persecution. The unmistakable allusion is to the killing in Punjab of tens of thousands of Sikhs by the Afgan raider, Ahmed Shah Abdali in 1762, after which the word 'Ghallughara' was coined to become an integral part of the Punjabi folklore in song, story and legend'.
'The contrast between 'Operation Blue Star' and 'Ghallughara' as two different perceptions of the same reality is symptomatic of the wide gap between the official version and the people's recollections of what really happened at the Golden Temple when the army attacked it in June 1984. Listening to the gripping eye-witness accounts of those who were inside Golden Temple at that time, we felt the need to tell the truth, the as-yet untold story and in the process to correct the Government's version as put out by the Army, the Press, the Radio, the TV and the White Paper'.
We the citizens of India should realize that our war for freedom will never really be won till we are willing to pay the full price for that freedom – constant vigilance over ourselves and over our Government.
'Falsehoods not only disagree with truths, but usually quarrel among themselves.' – Daniel Webster
Indira Gandhi and her Congress Party were rooted in their self-embracing certainty and unabashed political arrogance when they took the fatal decision to send the Army to the Golden Temple at Amritsar in June 1984. When the army ransacked the sacred shrine it was viewed as an outrageous act by the Sikh community as a whole in India and abroad. The elemental Sikh passions rose to Himalayan heights proving right what Gautama Buddha said nearly 500 years before the birth of Jesus Christ: 'There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed.'
In the aftermath of Army action whose code word was 'Operation Bluestar' Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards at her official residence in New Delhi on October 31, that same year. The killing was reportedly a reprisal for ordering the army to enter the holiest of Sikh shrines. This triggered anti-Sikh riots in New Delhi which were mainly organized by the Congress Party in which nearly 3300 innocent Sikhs, men, women and children were brutally murdered by rioting mobs in just one day.
These systematic riots were planned and led by Congress activists and sympathizers. To be precise, on November 1, 1984, a huge mob from the suburbs of Delhi descended on various localities where the Sikhs were concentrated. They carried iron rods, knives, clubs, and combustible material, including kerosene. They had voters' lists of houses and business establishments belonging to the Sikhs. People swarmed into Sikh homes, ripping the occupants to pieces, chopping off the heads of children, raping women, tying Sikh men to tyres set aflame with kerosene, ransacking and burning down the houses and shops. They stopped buses and trains, in and out of Delhi, pulling out Sikh passengers to be lynched or doused with kerosene and burnt.
The then Congress government was widely criticized for doing very little at the time, if not acting as a conspirator, especially since voting lists were deliberately and systematically used to identify families for planned killing and extermination. Thus New Delhi and parts of north India witnessed a systematic, well planned and state-supported violence of genocidal proportions against that community. It is also a solidly known fact that a large number of the men were forced to witness the rape of their wives and daughters before being killed or burned alive in front of their families. Reports from the relief and rehabilitation camps pointed to the systematic decimation of the Sikh male population, particularly those of working age. Thus the Congress Party covered itself with eternal infamy and disgrace.
This ghastly tragedy took place not in a remote village on the border of China in Arunachal Pradesh but in New Delhi, the capital city of India. The President, the Home Minister and all the other leading Ministers in the Government showed their indifference and impotence in that moment of unprecedented crisis and disaster. The newly elected Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, son of the assassinated Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, allegedly made an abominable observation on the Sikh carnage, which only showed the extent and magnitude of his petrified adolescence: 'When a big tree falls, the earth is bound to shake.'
Perhaps Bernard Shaw had the political criminals in India after independence in view when he wrote; 'My way of joking is to tell the truth.'
Let me now narrate the truthful jokes about the innumerable Commissions of Enquiry set up from time to time after the 1984 riots. The truth is under the political guidance of the Congress Party from 1984 to 1989 and from 1991 to 1996, many of the primary accused were either acquitted or never charge-sheeted. Ten commissions and committees have so far inquired into the riots. The most recent Commission was headed by judge G.T. Nanavati who submitted his 185-page report to the Home Minister, Shivraj Patil on February 9, 2005 and the report was tabled in Parliament on August 8, 2005. The commissions below are listed in the order they were formed.
This Commission was appointed in November 1984. Ved Marwah, Additional Commissioner of Police, was assigned the job of enquiring into the role of the police during the 1884 carnage. Marwah almost completed his inquiry towards the middle of 1985 when he was directed by the Central Government not to proceed further as the Misra Commission had been appointed by then. Complete records of the Marwah Commission were taken over by the government and were later transferred to the Misra Commission. However, the most important part of the record, namely the handwritten notes of Mr Marwah, which contained important information, were not transferred to the Misra Commission.
Dhillon Committee (1985)
Dhillon Committee headed by Gurdial Singh Dhillon was appointed in 1985 to recommend measures for the rehabilitation of the victims. This committee submitted its report by the end of 1985. One of its major recommendations was that the business establishments, which had insurance cover, but whose insurance claims were not settled by insurance companies on the technical ground that they were riot covered under insurance, should be paid compensation under the directions of the government. This committee recommended that since all insurance companies were nationalized, they be directed to pay the claims. However, the government did not accept this recommendation and as a result these claims were rejected by all insurance companies throughout the country.
Misra Commission of Enquiry (1985)
The Misra commission was appointed in May 1985. Rangnath Misra, a sitting judge of the Supreme Court. Misra submitted his report in August 1986 and the report was made public, in February 1987. There was only one term of reference to this commission, i.e. whether the violence was organized. Justice Misra stated that it was not part of his terms of reference to identify any person and recommended the formation of three committees. He said it was not. The commission and its report have been widely criticized as biased and politically motivated, thus resulting in a miscarriage of justice. The whole of India knows that Justice Misra was a chosen political favorite of the Congress Party.
Kapur Mittal Committee (1987)
The Kapur Mittal Committee was appointed in February 1987 on the recommendation of the Misra Commission. This committee submitted its report in 1990.
Jain Banerjee Committee (1987)
This committee was to recommend registration of cases. This committee recommended registration of cases against Sajjan Kumar in August 1987, but no case was registered.
Ahuja Committee (1987)
The Ahuja Committee was the third recommended by the Misra Commission to ascertain the total number of killings in Delhi. This committee submitted its report in August 1987 and gave a figure of 2,733 as the number of Sikhs killed in Delhi alone.
Potti Rosha Committee (1990)
The Potti Rosha Committee was appointed in March 1990, by the V.P. Singh Government, as a successor to the Jain Banerjee Committee. When the goons of the Congress party intimidated the Judges in September 1990, Potti and Rosha decided to disband their inquiry.
Jain Aggarwal Committee (1990)
It was appointed in December 1990 as a successor to the Potti Rosha Committee. This committee recommended registration of cases against H.K.L.Bhagat, Sajjan Kumar, Dharamdas Shastri and Jagdish Tytler. No action was taken.
Narula Committee (1993)
The Narula Committee was appointed in December 1993 by the Madan Lal Khurana government in Delhi.
The Nanavati Commission (2004)
Justice Nanavati (retired Supreme Court Judge) Commission was appointed in February 2004 by a unanimous resolution passed in the Rajya Sabha.. The commission submitted its report in February 2004. The Commission outlined evidence against Congressmen Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar and H.K.LBhagat, saying they had instigated the mobs to violence. The Commission also held the then police commissioner S.C. Tandon directly responsible for the riots.
There are many Sikhs who still feel bitter about the way they were targeted after Indira Gandhi's assassination and the inaction, or complicity, of Congress politicians in the riots. Their wounds have not healed even after 22 years. When I switched channels on the afternoon of he 3 November, I saw a television programme in which a spokesman of Sikhs for Justice was being interviewed by a correspondent of CNN-IBN. The spokesman said the following:
The Sikhs never forgive their enemies
Sikhs are patient, but once they know they are being taken for a ride, they will not hesitate to resort to other means.
Only when Sonia Gandhi is removed from the Congress will justice be done.
When I tried to view this particular television news later on their IBNLIVE.com website, I was unsuccessful. I fail to understand why the contents were deleted. The UPA Government subscribes to the philosophy that the Indian State will be best ordered when the good and the decent have no command and the wicked have!! I would like to remind them about what George Washington said: 'Government is not reason, it is not eloquence ' it is force! It is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.'Judged by any standard we have an irresponsible Government in New Delhi today.
More by : V. Sundaram