The words under the lions

Truth must triumph. Justice must follow.

The Indian government has literally let-off the Congress party politicians who perpetrated the mass lynching of Sikhs in New Delhi in 1984, using the assassination of India’s then prime minister, Indira Gandhi, at the hands of her Sikh bodyguards as a pretext to carry out one of the worst mass-murders in Indian history. That such a crime went unpunished for two decades is bad enough — that the Congress party continues to brazenly cover it up is shameful and unpardonable.

It has been suggested that what keeps the Congress from cleaning up the skeletons in its own cupboard is not so much the desire to protect those individuals widely believed to be responsible for the riots, but the politics of memory. Just like its shameless reliance on Nehru-Gandhi dynasty its political calculus sees capital in preserving the memories of its wronged and dead leaders.

But no political calculus justify shielding those accused of crimes against humanity. There is no honourable course open to the Indian government other than to prosecute those suspected, however ‘probable’ their guilt may be, for the question of guilt is for the courts to decide. Ironically, this is also politically the most expedient course — for it is sure to blunt the opposition’s calls for the prime minister to step down.

However, the Congress party seems to have already decided that it will choose the low road and protect its black sheep. That is unfortunate. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s leadership qualities were never much to write home about. Much has been made of his own personal integrity — but it diminishes every time he allows one of his cabinet ministers to thumb a nose at propriety. If he cannot ask his cabinet colleagues to step down or convince his political boss to allow their investigation, Dr Singh will have to decide which label he likes better — man of integrity or lame-duck prime minister.

Related Link: Secular-Right calls for a truth and reconciliation commission.

10 thoughts on “The words under the lions”

  1. Pingback: Work In Progress
  2. Nitin – I agrre with you. Justice delayed is Justice denied. But in this case there is clear cut attempt to deny justice right away.

    The nation owes it to the vicitms.

  3. Basically there is absolutely no way the Congress can absolve itself of the blame claiming that members acted in their own individual capacity. I’m fairly sure this is going to get politicised with the Congress claiming that the BJP was in no position since it was calling the kettle ‘black’, given what happened in Gujarat 2002.

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  5. By the way, Tytler keeps insisting that he was beside Indira Gandhi’s dead body all the time when the riots were on and hence he was obviously not responsible for them. Who is he taking for a ride? You do not have to be at a place to instigate people into violence. Narendra Modi was surely not running all over Gujarat! All you need to do is to nod your head, talk on the phone etc. etc.

  6. It is a case of pot calling kettle black as far as BJP is concerned. I thought it was a shame that Mr. Vajpayee did not depose Modi for allowing thousands of fellow Indians to be murdered over weeks. But, we knew the so called secular Congress party is no different – not just with regards to murders of Sikhs after Indira’s death but for provoking Hindu-Muslims clashing and causing death and destruction during the 70s and 80s at a smaller scale in various states. That was then. Now the religious politics means, you can kill people of your own religion and shove it under the carpet; reservations and sops for people of other religions will balance out the votes. So much for secular parties.

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