29 years after the most gruesome and organised massacre of Sikhs by the Congress Party, the struggle to ensure that guilty are punished, continues unabated in street and courts using all means legal and political. Activists and supporters of Lok Raj Sangathan, Communist Ghadar Party of India., Sikh Forum, Forgotten Citizens, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, SUCI-Communist, Mazdoor Ekta Committee, kith and kin of those massacred, students, women, workers gathered at Jantar Mantar to remember this tragic event and pledge to continue the struggle to its logical conclusion, when those guilty and responsible for the genocide are brought to justice and punished for their crimes, and a system is established wherein no section of our people will ever again be victims of such a state sponsored holocaust.
Terming it as not just a crime against a Sikh community but as crime against humanity, Birju Nayak of Lok Raj Sangathan narrated the incident as he had seen it as a child living in Delhi, where the worst crimes were committed in broad daylight with full support of police and administration, led by Congress leaders. He questioned the people who say that this tragic event must be forgotten, and people must move on, that can they give a guarantee that such a thing will not happen again. He narrated how in the 1980’s the state had branded the entire community as terrorists and targeted them, just as they are doing these days with people of Muslim faith. Jarnail Singh, senior Journalist and a committed fighter for punishing the guilty, called it a blot on our country. He pointed out that the Congress Party had promised in 2004 that it would pass a law against communal violence, but 9 years later, this had not happened. He challenged the Prime Minister to take action before his terms ends. He reiterated the conviction that if those guilty of 1984 had been punished the tragic events of 1992, 2002, Assam massacre of 2012, and other such massacres like in Muzzfarnagar in UP would probably not have happened. Nirpreet Kaur, daughter of one of the victims of the genocide, narrated at length the entire sequence of events that led to her father’s death at the hands of Congress goons, and how the neighbours helped their family, even at the risk of themselves being targeted. She questioned the court, which believed in the testimonies of the policemen who came to the defence of the accused and criminals Sajjan Kumar, when the entire evidence was against him.
Renu Nayak of the Purogami Mahila Sangathan said that she had heard of the unimaginable atrocities that were committed on people of Sikh religion even by the police themselves. These were so horrible that even today, recalling those events sends shiver down her spine. Women have been particularly made the target in such violence, not only in 1984 but also in the massacres in 1993 and 2002. If the guilty were punished for their crimes then it would have served as a deterrent for the future massacres and rape. It is both the Congress Party and the BJP, who have been responsible for organising such crimes. We cannot ever forget this genocide and must continue our struggle for punishment to the guilty. We must also demand such changes in the Constitution that will empower the people so that such horrible incidents never take place.
Wing Commander Chhatwal, the chief organizer of the Sikh Forum pointed out that one of the reasons for the fact that the guilty have not been punished is that the entire state machinery is infested with people who were deeply involved in these crimes. S Raghavan, President of Lok RaJ Sangathan reiterated that this state is communal and uses communalism, communal violence and state terrorism to divide and divert people, and impose their rule. This they have learnt from their British masters and continue to use it against its own people, to instill fear in them and to keep them as their captive vote banks. The only way we can ensure that the guilty will be punished it to empower the people to take power in our own hands, make laws that will uphold the concept of command responsibility, and not just punish those who execute such massacres, but also the organisers, and those who hold positions of power and who failed to use their position to prevent such crimes. He reiterated that the root of state-organised communal violence lies in the present political process where people are marginalized and have no say in actions and decisions concerning them. To put an end to communal violence we need to thoroughly overhaul this political process. He pointed out that in the Delhi elections campaign, both Congress and BJP are accusing each other for the Delhi and Gujarat massacres, while neither has done anything when in power, about punishing the guilty.
HS Phoolka, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court applauded the consistent stand and efforts of Lok Raj Sangathan, which has been consistently organizing and supporting the campaign to punish the guilty of 1984 genocide. He said that it is important that people irrespective of their religious belief, have come together to demand justice. He has been consistently fighting cases of victims of the genocide for past 29 years, and waging legal battle in courts to secure justice.
Comrade Tyagi of SUCI-Communist explained how he personally and his party considered it very important to be part of this action. He explained how 29 years ago, at this very time, he had first come to Delhi as a delegate to a conference of the party. He recounted terrible incidents that took place as they took the train back. He explained how Indian state was not at all secular. Religion must be a matter of personal belief, but in India, the authorities, from Prime Minister downwards, all publicly pay obeisance to religious rituals.
Concluding the demonstration, Prakash Rao, Spokesperson of Communist Ghadar Party of India said it is very important to take this struggle forward to its logical conclusion — the empowerment of the people. As long as power is in the hands of parties like the Congress and BJP, we can only expect more such disasters. It is not at all accidental that no one has been punished for the massacre of Sikhs 29 years ago, even after 29 years of struggle. This is because it was consciously organized and the highest leadership of the Congress Party and state were the organizers. Rahul Gandhi says he was very angry that his grandmother’s bodyguards had killed her. But he has no anger, no shame, that his father was heading the government which organized the day light massacre of Sikhs right here in the streets of Delhi! Was Rajiv Gandhi not supposed to be the "bodyguard" of India, as Prime Minister? If Rahul Gandhi had the right to be angry, should people not be angry with those in power, with those who have organized this and other genocides? Today Congress is openly accusing BJP of organising the demolition of Babri Masjid, the Gujarat genocide and the Muzaffarnagar riots. The BJP is openly accusing the Congress of organising 1984. Both are telling the truth on this count. But are they telling the truth in order to ensure such crimes do not take place again? No! They are actually threatening our people with more genocides in the future.
It is no accident that the government will not enact a law that can actually prevent state organized communal massacres like 1984 and 2002. What justice can you expect from a mass murderer? If and When they finally enact a law, they will make sure that it should be written in such a way that the guilty of 1984, 2002 etc can never be punished. We must push hard that the government enact a strong law, as proposed by various activists who have been involved in the struggle to punish the guilty. But we must not have illusions.
He reiterated that the present state is the creation of the British, who implanted the seeds of communalism on our soil, which our rulers continue to nurture and use it to divide and divert people’s struggle. We will continue this struggle. The people of India will create a new state, will guarantee that such tragedies never happen and the guilty are punished.
The demonstration ended with a song exhorting all citizens and the youth to rise up, unite, end the injustice and create a New India.
Candle light march and play
At 5 pm, families of victims of the November 84 genocide, as well as activists working tirelessly for ensuring justice, gathered at Jantar Mantar for a candle light march. This program was organized by concerned organizations with Nirpreet Kaur playing an important guiding role.
The march was preceded by a moving play performed by a group from Patiala, depicting the struggle for justice of a young widow whose beautiful family had been torn asunder by the murderous mobs29 years ago. She had lost her army husband, and her two sons, and she had been raped by the gangsters led by Congress leaders.
Effigies of Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler were burnt, before those present marched with candles to signify their protest.