Nov 1, 2018
Activists belonging to several organisations gathered in Sansad Marg and held a protest demonstration to mark the 34th anniversary of the genocide of Sikhs in 1984. The initiative for organizing the protest demonstration was taken by Lok Raj Sangathan.
Many organisations have been consistently fighting for the cause of the victims of the genocide, and demanding that those guilty of organizing the genocide be punished. Representatives of these organisations addressed the protest rally.
Those who addressed the demonstration included Shri S Raghavan, President of Lok Raj Sangathan, Shri Shahid Ali of United Muslim Front, Shri Inderjeet Singh of Sikh Forum, Shri Jarnail Singh, former Member of Delhi Legislative Assembly, Shri Siraj Taalib of Welfare Party of India, Shri H.S. Phoolka, Shri Inamur Rehman of Jamaat e Islami Hind and Comrade Prakash Rao, Spokesperson of Communist Ghadar Party.
Speakers pointed out that in spite of immense pressure from the ruling establishment, we have never let people forget the horrendous crimes perpetrated 34 years back in the streets of Delhi and other places on innocent people. In an atmosphere of growing hate crimes and state repression on those who defend human rights, it is very important to boldly come out and condemn what is wrong, even if the perpetrator is the state itself and parties of the establishment, ministers and high ranking officials. We need to counter the total silence in the mainstream media about the genocide. New generations born after 1984 need to be told the truth so that such gruesome killings can be avoided in the future.
Speakers pointed out that the genocide of 1984 was a meticulously planned state-organised crime and not just a spontaneous outburst. It was planned several months in advance. There is overwhelming evidence that it was planned at the highest levels including the ruling party, the cabinet, security officials, and the bureaucracy.
The genocide was a part of the overall “divide and rule” strategy of the ruling class. This strategy has been the preferred weapon in the hands of political parties and their governments to stabilize their rule and push through policies which are against the interests of people and benefit only the corporate business houses.
Speakers pointed out that just as the real perpetrators of the genocide of 1984 are yet to be punished, the criminals who organised the destruction of Babri masjid, the massacres of Muslims in 2002, and other communal massacres are still roaming scot free. Attacks on minority communities have only increased since 1984. They have been the target of lynch mobs, encounter killings, and harassment and imprisonment under black laws such as UAPA.
The fact that both Congress and BJP have been involved in these criminal acts was highlighted by many speakers. Both the parties have organised communal violence and terror against the people. Speakers pointed out that people cannot rely on these parties of the establishment to punish the guilty of communal massacres.
The protest demonstration revealed the growing political unity of people against state organized communal genocides. The participants resolved to strengthen this unity, and expose the machinations of all political forces who try to divide people on religion, caste, language and other ways. They resolved to step up the struggle to punish the guilty of 1984.
Families of victims of the genocide from Kanpur organized a protest in front of Parliament to highlight their terrible plight. Several other demonstrations and public meetings were also held in Chandigarh and other towns of India on 1st November, 2018.
Later in the day, Sikh Forum organized a well-attended panel discussion at the Constitution Club. The panel consisted of Shri H.S Phoolka, Member of Punjab Legislative Assembly; Shri Krishan Chander Singh, former Ambassador of India; rights activists Uma Chakraborty, John Dayal and Urvashi Butalia; and journalist Hartosh Singh Bal.