Voices from a Scarred City; edited by Smitu Kothari and Harsh Sethi, 1985, Rs. 15, LOKAYAN, 13 ALIPUR ROAD, NEW DELHI 110054: is an indictment of the men who massacred the innocents and left in their bloody wake hundreds of widows and orphans.

An expose of the government’s inhumanity towards the survivors of the carnage, it asks frightening questions which the Centre will find difficult to answer. And if nothing else, it will prevent the ruling party from obliterating the dark memories of the carnage that will continue to shame India.

The inquiry commission, instituted to probe the Delhi riots, has yet to start functioning, even though it was set up five months ago. The government, apparently, does not seem anxious to see that the culprits are brought to book. Should that come to pass, it will remain a shameful episode in our history. Just as the carnage following Mrs. ‘Gandhi’s death remains the most traumatic event since independence.

Time and the euphoria about Rajiv Gandhi seem to have dimmed memories of that cruel violence unleashed during those three nights after the assassination. 2,716 people were killed. Thousands were left homeless, compelled to re- build their shattered lives with little help from the government. What was even more shocking was the Centre’s reluctance to probe the source of the riots.

World Sikh News recommends to its readers this daring chronicle of the most inhuman brutalities committed against the Sikhs at the instance of the ruling party. Earlier holocausts (Ghalukaras) by power-drunk rulers pale into insignificance before the bone-chilling description of snatching innocent children from their mothers laps and throwing them into burning houses, of gang-raping middle-aged women before their teen- aged children.

Article extracted from this publication >>  September 13, 1985