No civilized person can subscribe to the politics of murder. No political system can long survive that practices or encourages violent means to eliminate its opponents. Politics of murder generates psychological strains that are most uncongenial for the evolution of a just and harmonious society. It is particularly repugnant to the concept of democratic order, because like the double-edged sword it cuts both ways leading to a state of uncertainty and distrust.

Democratic institutions and processes develop and operate through a kind of consensus. Rational debate and due consideration for minority view are fundamental to democrs Coercion is alien to it. Problems arise only where the system is misused and perverted to perpetuate ‘dynastic rule, or when majority or minority attempts to force it will upon the other, or when sizeable numbers or sections of the society begin to feel helpless and frustrated or when democratic processes are undermined and subverted to promote personal or sectarian interests.

In her anxiety to win over the Hindu majority votes, Indira Gandhi injected communal poison into the body politic of India and resorted to criminal suppression of the minorities. Her decision to send army to destroy the Golden Temple was not motivated by the exigencies of the situation but was a calculated political gimmick to please the majority at the cost of a minority. The attack was the culmination of a sustained and systematic policy to reduce Sikhs to the position of serfs and slaves. The attack pushed Sikhs to such abject frustration that inevitably and logically produced a violent reaction resulting in her elimination through the bullet.

Sant Harchand Singh Longowal committed the same tragic indiscretion. By unilaterally signing the disgraceful accord, he rendered the majority of his community irrelevant and helpless, and also exposed the already persecuted Sikh youth to an unending nightmare of fake police encounters and unspeakable tortures. His action was the worst ever sabotage and betrayal of the movement that had gradually developed international dimensions and was well poised to realize its long cherished aspirations. It was “the unkindest cut of all” which involuntarily made one remark “et tu brute”.

Consequently it was destined to prove as fatal as Indira’s attack on the Golden Temple.

Whatever be the compulsions, murder is a grim matter and a serious violation of natural laws. It produces in a sensitive mind an understandable revulsion. It is, therefore, necessary to eliminate the factors that lead to such extreme recourse often by persons who normally would hesitate to hurt even a fly. Instead of indulging in impotent expressions of shock and escapist sermonizing, it would be profitable to go into the causes of this malady and take remedial measures. Let us be clear that so long inequities, injustice, suppression, discrimination and communal intolerance would persist in the social order, the sensitive minds would have to put up with the discomfiture of a blast here and a bang there.

Article extracted from this publication >>  August 30, 1985