The people get the Government they deserve. They also get the Prime Minister they deserve. And Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s fondest dream of installing her son as Prime Minister was fulfilled, thus continuing the dynastic rule to which the Hindu feudal mind is so much accustomed. But the mettle of this secondgrade pilot-turned-politician, Rajiv Gandhi (40) was tested on the very first day of his rule when the country witnessed its worst communal riots since the partition in 1947. And the Hindu police kept quiet (as ordered?) as 1000s of Sikhs were massacred in cold blood in a naked display of Hindu barbarity in different parts of India. The world VIPs who descended on Delhi for the funeral must have got a personal taste of India’s Hindu hypocrisy and its over-publicized non-violence. So, the new Prime Minister begins with a very black record giving warnings of darker days ahead. He also becomes (technically) India’s first nonHindu Prime Minister. Born to a Parsee and married to an_ Italian Christian, we do not know how he will be accepted by the orthodox (his mother, a Kashmiri Brahmin, was not permitted to enter the Puri Temple) though his choice was said to have been cleared by the Kanchi Sankaracharya and he was given a cross-thread just to enable him to perform his mother’s rites. So Rajiv begins his career with his “computer boys” under a burst of uncertainties and an uneasy crown on his head. Meanwhile, Sub-inspector Beant Singh, a Dalit* who killed (Oct. 31, 1984) Mrs. Gandhi (67) and was later shot dead, has given new dimension to the Sikh struggle for Khalistan. The fact that he was a Dalit was cleverly suppressed by India’s Hindu Press because that would disprove all their exalted theories that the Dalit Sikhs are against the Akalis and hence hostile to Sikhs. But Beant Singh has proved false these learned commentators who said the Sikh problem is the creation of the Jat Sikhs.
Sikhs all over India and outside who were boiling with anger felt this as- assassination avenged the June 6, 1984 army action in Punjab that killed an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 Sikhs. If two Sikhs killed one person as a retaliation, the ‘‘non-violent” Hindus massacred over 10,000 innocent Sikhs and attacked every Sikh home in Delhi and even the Police joined in this killing of Sikhs though such massacres are not new to Hindu India.
We mourn the death of Mrs. Gandhi, a woman of amazing energy who ruled the country with an iron fist. But, those who sow the wind shall reap the whirl-wind. What will be the verdict of history on Mrs. Gandhi? If we go by her actions, not words, we can say that during her 17-year rule the country slipped from bad to worse on all fronts. But at the time the Ruling Class, 10% of India’s 800-million populations, became fatter. The tiger turned into a maneater. Brahminical imperialism became more blood thirsty. Mrs. Gandhi and the Hindu Nazi party became two sides of the same coin. And at the same of her death she was trying to transform her spineless Congress into a Hindu party, thus totally antagonizing the Muslims (15%), Christians (2%), Sikhs (2%) all the religious minorities. So also the conscious sections of Dalits and Tribes. The Hindu backward classes (40%) have cursed her for throwing the Mandal Commission Report to the waste-paper basket. Had there been an election now there was no chance of her party being elected. Like a plague, everybody would have run away from her. Instead of such a humiliating exit she fell to an assassin’s bullet and died an ‘“‘honorable’’ death. Even the Opposition parties are blown off in her martyrdom typhoon. The two individuals might have killed her to regain their lost pride. By this they only helped her to get a place in_ history which she might have otherwise lost. Because, she was nothing on the credit side. Neither learning, depth nor a spark of genius. This writer as a reporter had travelled with her covered her Speeches in Parliament and outside. Nowhere did we find anything original in her. She has not even a book to her credit. Some may argue: “how come that always the poor voted for her if she was anti-poor?’’ In India deceiving the poor is a fine art. You keep them poor, and hence illiterate, and go on promising them a heaven. These dumb, driven cattle believe it. Take the votes of the poor (low castes) and help the rich (high castes). Say you are pro-Russia but send your children to U.S.A. This is what every leader of India did after “Mahatma”? Gandhi and she followed their illustrious steps. But it was during her regime this science of double-talk received the official stamp. So much so the word ‘corruption’? was removed from India’s dictionaries intrigues made everybody fear, not respect, her. It will be a Himalayan job for anybody to rebuild this country emasculated by one single tyrant. However, President Zia of Pakistan and Farooq Abdullah of Kashmir can now have sound sleep. We will wait for history to pronounce its verdict on this extraordinary woman.
The anti-Sikh riots that rocked India after her assassination were a historical necessity, as part of the developing contradictions. Because when Bhindranwale and 12,000 other Sikhs got killed inside Punjab, the Sikhs outside and particularly in Delhi were indifferent to the happenings inside Punjab. Exceptions apart, the Sikhs in Delhi did not identify themselves with the suffering Sikhs inside Punjab. Rather they joined the caucus chanting ‘“‘HinduSikh bhai bhai’’ chorus. As paid agents of Hindus, they appeared on TV to condemn ‘“‘terrorists” inside the Golden Temple and defend the army action. To them their property and positions became more _ important, not the Sikh nationhood. And it is these very Sikhs who were attacked on Oct. 31, 1984 and later. The irony is these stooges were punished now by those very Hindus for not supporting the Sikhs during the Army action. Most of these belong to the Congress. The Hindus did not spare any Sikh in Delhi. Not even President Zail Singh. His car was attacked. Even the cowardly Sikhs who hurriedly shaved were dragged out and killed. The Hindu hatred against Sikhs, like their hatred against Muslims, is now total. Good.
A radical Sikh here said: “The Delhi Sikhs deserve this kick. In the worst crises in the history of Sikhs, they kept quiet. So, what has happened is for the good. They alienated themselves for petty material gains. That is why they got it on their neck. Henceforth, Sikhs whether inside or outside Punjab, will be one. Even those Sikhs chanting “Hindu-Sikh bhai bhai” like Khushwant Singh and Lt.-Gen. Aurora have now learned that Hindus hate Sikhs as a whole and all their chantings have gone waste.’ Therefore, no more of ‘‘Hindu-Sikh bhai bhai.”” No more inter- marriage of Sikhs and Hindus. This must stop. There might have been lots of deaths and sufferings on the part of Sikhs but their sacrifice will not go to waste. It is now clear that the life and property of the Sikhs outside Punjab is no longer safe. Hence it is in their interest to migrate to Punjab. The outside Sikhs must now take over the initiative. We have to thank the Punjabi Hindus gangs, which organized the Delhi massacre, for paving the way to Khalistan. Sikhs must thank the Hindus for uniting them.
It is now admitted by everybody that the Nov. 1 to 3, 1984 anti-Sikh riots were the handiwork of organized gangs of Congressmen. Why did they do it? One suspicion is that this violence is deliberately made to create fear in the hearts of Congress MPs to force Rajiv’s unanimous election as PM. But for this violence his Nov. 2 election might not have been smooth as Pranab Mukherjee as the No. 2 in Indira cabinet and staked his claim. Despite such large scale killings of Sikhs there was no trouble inside Punjab. And this is a tribute to the greatness of Sikhs inside Punjab where, being in majority, they could have simply butchered the Hindus. The logical consequence of the recent violence should be migration of population and this is thein the interest of Sikhs. Beant Singh was not an Akali, not a Jat, not amember of any organization. He descended from Ramadasia sub-caste of Hindu Untouchables. Incidentally, this is the first case in Indian history where a Dalit killed a Hindu. So peace-loving and duty-conscious, Dalits have been always the victims of Hindu violence. Beant Singh was a trusted and hand-picked member of Mrs. Gandhi’s security force. Then why did he kill her? Obviously he was terribly disturbed by her oppression and the atrocities she committed in Punjab. By this he proved that a Sikh is a Sikh and that he was prepared to die for justice. While we deplore all killings, we have to admit that Beant Singh had the courage of conviction. He was a sacrifice for righteousness. It may be bad or good. The verdict has to be left to history. Since lots of facts are suppressed, we doubt whether truth will be discovered even by the probe into this assassination.
The killing of Mrs. Gandhi by a Dalit has added a new dimension to the Sikh struggle for nationhood. Sikhism, the youngest of religions, was born as a revolt against Brahmanism. Yet, it suffers from lots of contradictions. Bhindranwale had told us that his fight was not only to make Sikhs a separate nation but also cleanse the dirt of casteism which has_ been gradually trickling into rural Sikhism from surrounding Hinduism. The contribution of a Dalit to the Sikh cause will therefore help accelerate the cleansing process which is an urgent necessity. In Sikh history the Dalit Sikhs have played a prominent role, Beant Singh’s is one such.
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