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.