Why the U.S. administration does not insist that India introduce political liberalization and is happy with Delhi’s limited steps in the direction of economic reforms has been a riddle few could explain. It was left to French President Francois Mitter and to give a clue not only to the U.S. attitude towards India but also to the issues at home. The American society, Mitter and says, is politically conservative and economically liberal…President Bush is a generous man but he has a conservative political outlook. The French Presidents comments are telling as well as informative. The economic freedom and liberalization in the U.S. is and guarantee of corresponding political freedom and liberalization that is precisely why the Bush administration is not overly concerned about the human rights of Sikhs. Kashmiris or Assamese and the need for political reforms and freedoms in India. Equally, Bush is not much worried about the state of political health of his own country as well as its institutions.

The widespread violence in California and other U.S. regions speaks volumes about the sickness of the U.S. society in general and its judicial system in particular. That the system is heavily weighted in favor of one particular racial community is clearly indicated by the Los Angeles jury. * At the same time a fury of violence spontaneous or organized is no answer to the ills of American society. In fact, such violence only strengthens those who may have been guilty of wrong-doing in this case the four white policemen.

The Sikhs are in favor of enlarging political freedoms in the U.S. as well as in India and are in favor of correcting imbalances in the U.S. judicial and other systems and are, on these issues, one with the African Americans and other Asian nationals but are opposed to mindless violence, Chaos and anarchy. The Sikhs would not therefore like the events in the aftermath of the Los Angeles verdict to be repeated. The loss of life and property of the whites as well as of the blacks is a matter of shame for any civilized society. A democratic struggle for human rights, equality of opportunity and fair play for all racial groups in the U.S. society is absolutely possible and there is no room for violence.

It is altogether a different story in India where no democratic struggle for human rights is possible and if the Sikhs, Kashmiris and Assamese have been compelled to take the arms, the responsibility rests entirely with the politically conservative ruling class of India. The events in the U.S. are a warning to the conservative elements to mend their ways before a situation akin to Punjab, Kashmir or Assam develops here too.

While giving this constructive suggestion, the Sikhs would like dissociates themselves form the critics of the so-called U.S. denial of human rights of the blacks. It does not behave the Indian authorities to talk of the human rights of the blacks when the Indian government and its institutions trample under their fact the human rights of Sikhs, Kashmiris, Assamese and the Dalits. There are opportunities for democratic struggle in the U.S. but none of these exist in India where black Jaws rule the roost.

* Only nonwhites in this case two Asian Sikhs could have borne the brunt of this system. They have remained in a U.S. jail for more than five years without any relief being provided to them by the same system,

Article extracted from this publication >> May 15, 1992