There is nothing surprising in the inhuman killing of the Sikh Students of the Guru Nanak Engineering College at Bidar in Karnataka State by the rampaging Hindu mobs. There is nothing shocking at the way police and other law enforcing agencies turned their faces the other way as the innocent students were dragged out of their hostel rooms and murdered in cold blood. The element of surprise and shock disappeared in the macabre massacres of Muslims in Nellie and Meerut, of Sikhs in Amritsar, Delhi, Kanpur, and Bhillai and of Dalits everywhere. But the despicable manner in which the news of the massacre at Bidar was totally blacked out by the national press, T.V. and Radio and ignored by leaders of all shades, has unmasked the reality of India as an essentially theocratic state in which minorities are worse off than the ancient Roman slaves.

The so called free press of India raises a deafening hue and cry at the stray killing of a Hindu in Punjab and is quick to brand even peaceful Sikh protesters as “terrorists” but takes notice when organized Hindu mobs kill Sikhs. All acts of Hindu terrorism are projected as clashes between two communities. The November, 1984 massacre of thousands of Sikhs is invariable described as anti-Sikh riots. The attitude of the opposition leaders is also no different. From Ricksha walla to Rajiv, every Hindu operates at the same wavelength in relation to the minorities in general and Sikhs in particular. The murders at Bidar are the logical consequence of this rabidly communal psyche.

This beastly act should serve to dispel all illusions about Sikhs enjoying equality or freedom in India. In fact, sooner the Sikhs, living outside Punjab realize that they are no better than sacrificial lambs and the axe can fall on them anytime, the better for them. It is a truth that some Sikhs stubbornly refuse to recognise or admit. The pity is that they keep denying it and in their frustration hold the Punjab Sikhs responsible for the sad plight of Sikhs everywhere. How many more holocausts do they need to de hypnotise them out of their wishful perceptions?

In today’s India, it is irrelevant what is right and what is wrong, what is moral and what is immoral, what is democratic and what is undemocratic. What matters is whether or not it is Hindu and for the Hindus. All else is antinational, seditious, illegal, disruptive and terroristic. The mobs that selectively killed the Sikh Students at Bidar had no immediate provocation nor were they reacting to any incident of violence in Punjab. Their anger was directed against the Sikh institution. An educational institution financed and controlled by Sikhs in an overwhelmingly Hindu majority area is an unwelcome structure in the prevailing communal framework of India and therefore, must be destroyed.

The Hindu mobs feel free to attack because they know that there is not going to be any punitive action against them. Rather they can hope to be handsomely rewarded, perhaps with berths in the Central Cabinet. The appointment of murderers like H.K.L. Bhagat and Jagdish Tylter as Ministers in Rajiv Gandhi’s Cabinet serves as a constant inspiration for unleashing orgies of murder and mayhem against the Sikhs.

Hindu majority is using a subtle kind of terrorism which is designed to overawe minorities to make them submerge their distinct identity into the Hindu pantheism. But the minorities are increasingly becoming aware of this terrorism and are making determined efforts to peacefully resist these sinister designs. Since Sikhs were the first to challenge this trend, they have become the prime targets. From Operation Blue star to Operation Black Thunder, it is one continuous campaign, directed to destroy the very fountainhead of Sikh faith, Sikh inspiration and Sikh identity. The scepter that went down with Indira Gandhi in a hail of bullets was immediately picked up by Rajiy. He has been wielding it with a vengeance to crush the minorities, He and his fellow Hindus seem to be forgetting that terrorism breeds terrorism, that Sikhs can never be subjugated with force. Sikhs have so far resolutely refrained from resorting to mob violence despite grave provocations but they may have already reached the end of their patience and a little spark may ignite a terrible conflagration that would surely take in its infernal sweep villages and towns, forcing Sikhs in the armed forces, police and paramilitary troops to cast their lot with their persecuted brethern, The day it happens, India would never he what it is today.

Article extracted from this publication >> September 30, 1988