Demonstration in Delhi Condemns the Indian State and demands that the Guilty Should be Punished
The 20th anniversary of the state-organised holocaust of November 1984, targeted against the Sikhs in Delhi, Kanpur and other cities, was marked by militant demonstrations and dharnas. Hundreds of activists , students, professors, women and children, including victims of the carnage and their children, advocates and people fighting for justice for the victims marched to the Parliament in an exceptional display of their resolve to fight for justice against the communal-fascist Indian state and its criminal political parties, both the Congress Party and the BJP.
People started gathering at the Mandi House Square since 10:00AM, setting up banner and placards. People from across Delhi and Amritsar joined in groups, carrying banners and shouting slogans, demanding to know why the guilty have not yet been punished and condemning the state for protecting the murderers in the carnage.
Representative and activists from Lok Raj Sangathan, Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha, AIFTU, Peoples Front, PUDR, Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), All India Riot Victims Relief Committee (RVRC), Youth Akali Dal (Badal), Rashtriya Sikh Manch, Modern Foods Industries Employees Union, Communist Ghadar Party of India, Naya Sarvahara Vichar Manch and others marched from Mandi House to Parliament, passing through the business, commercial and administrative hub of Delhi, shouting slogans: “Punish the Guilty of the 1984 carnage against Sikhs”, “Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler are Murderers!”, “Punish the guilty of the 1984 Sikh Massacre, 1992 Babri Masjid demolition and 2002 Gujarat Genocide”, “Why have the guilty not been punished even after 20 years?”, “Communalism, Division, Genocide – Indian State is the fountainhead”, “Communalism, Division, Genocide – Handiwork of Congress and BJP”, “Stop massacring people under the slogan of ‘Unity and Integrity’!"
The police tried to restrict the march through less significant and shorter routes, to which a young Sikh organiser retorted that in 1984 the police shut its eyes and stood as bystanders while the massacres and rapes were being carried out; today they had better be bystanders and not interfere with the organization of the march and demonstration.
The demonstration converged on Parliament Street which was blocked by the Delhi Police. Demonstrators set their banners and placards all around and converted it into a public meeting. Artists from Vikalp – a progressive cultural troupe, sang a song against state organised communal violence and the criminalisation of politics. Addressing the meeting, Praksah Rao, Convenor, Lok Raj Sangathan, declared that people, many of whom are victims of the holocaust, have gathered here with a resolve, not to give any memorandum or petition to Prime Minister or Parliament, because the perpetrators of the crime are all sitting in the Parliament and they know very well what the crime was and who organised it. It is the Indian State and its machinery which has been throughly exposed as the organiser of the genocide of Sikhs in November 1984, the demolition of the Babri Masjid and massacre of Muslims in 1992-93, and the genocide of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002. He said that we cannot expect justice from those sitting in the parliament; we have to create our own mechanisms to defend ourselves and our people. People have come here to express this resolve.
Jathedar Kuldeep Singh Bhogal, member SGPC and President of All India Riot Victims Relief Committee (RVRC) squarely blamed the Indian State, Delhi police and Congress Party for the genocide. He pointed out that the Nanawati Commission has identified Jagdish Tytler (who is a Minister in the Central Cabinet) as one of those responsible for the genocide and Sajjan Kumar’s (Congress MP from Delhi) role in the massacre is well known.
Com. Sucharita of the Communist Ghadar Party of India pointed out that the 1984 genocide was organised by the Congress Party with full assistance of the state machinery. In front of our eyes we saw innocent people being burnt alive, raped, and humiliated by the forces of the state. All subsequent massacres have followed the same pattern, of being organised by the state and its main political parties and carried out with the full participation of the state machinery. For twenty years, people have been fighting incessantly for justice. But twenty years after, not only have the guilty not been punished, they have been re-elected as MP’s and awarded Ministership in the present government. In these 20 years, we have seen eight Prime Ministers come and go — no one has taken action against the guilty.
She pointed out that while there have been a lot of crocodile tears shed by the Congress and the Left parties in parliament about the Gujarat genocide, this cannot hide the fact that organising communal violence remains the preferred weapon of the bourgeosie for dividing people and blunting their struggle against the anti-social offensive of the bourgeosie. How serious they are about combating communal violence is shown by the fact that not only are they silent on 1984, but in fact they are justifying it! She denounced all talk of the Indian state having "secular foundations" and pointed out that the foundations of the Indian state were communal to the core. She concluded that state organised communal violence and genocide can only be ended by the workers, peasants, women and youth of India themselves getting organised to put an end to the rule of these criminal and communal political parties.
Paramjit Singh of PUDR said that immediately after the genocide, PUDR had come up with a report “Who is the Guilty?”, based on the facts and testimonials collected from the victims. It was clear even then that the Congress Party and its leaders had organised these massacres with the full backing of the State.
Comrade Sheomangal Siddhantakar of Naya Sarvahara Vichar Manch denounced the Indian State for organising communal massacres to divide and attack people.
Narinder of Peoples Front, Com. Jagdish of AIFTU, Pravin Kumar of Lok Raj Sangathan and Bijju Nayak of Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha, and Harinder Pal Singh of SGPC and Tanwant Singh of Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee also addressed the meeting. All participants were then invited to join the langar for meals, at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, which is just a stone’s throw away from the Parliament.
Activists of Lok Raj Sangathan and Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha did extensive mobilization in residential colonies, slums, resettlement colonies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University and Gurudwaras across the city, boldly distributing leaflets and putting up posters. With both the Delhi State government and the Central government being of the Congress Party, there was intense pressure from the state and police, not to organise the demonstration. During the mobilization, these activists explained that such massacres are not isolated events but part of the program of the ruling class and the rich and their political parties, like the Congress and BJP, to divide people and impose their anti-social program on the people.
Subsequently the activists of Lok Raj Sangathan joined a demonstration organised by PUDR in Ferozshah Kotla Ground and ITO. The activists highlighted the facts related to the November 1, ’84 massacre and demanded that the guilty must be punished.