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Delhi: 1984 and Now

by Jaspal Singh

This article is dated October 31 and was obtained by us as a personal musing of Prof. Singh who has been kind enough to allow us to publish excerpts. 

Thirty-six years ago today, Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, was assassinated by two of her bodyguards on her way to an interview with Lord Attenborough. Organized by the Indian state and the Congress party, mayhem and a dance of death followed in the aftermath of her assassination in Delhi and other cities across India. It is reported that more than 30,000 Sikhs were massacred, 450 Gurdwaras were burnt, and thousands of copies of the Guru Granth Sahib—the holy book of the Sikhs—were set aflame. A newspaper had a headline, “Indira Brought Death and Destruction in Her Life, and Died Bringing More.”

Many investigation teams have been set up in the last thirty-six years by various governments in Delhi. Their reports have never seen the light of day, and those guilty for these crimes have not been punished. Like all state-organized communal violence in India, it followed a set template. Investigators pointed out that, even if Indira Gandhi had not been killed, the massacres of Sikhs would have taken place as they had already been planned way ahead of time. The murderers had electoral lists with the names and business and home addresses of the Sikhs; they had collected a large amount of weapons in various localities; stored petroleum, kerosene, and gas cylinders to set fires; and truckloads of lumpen elements were brought in from outside. The Congress’s leaders supervised the whole operation while police and paramilitary forces watched as silent spectators claiming that they did not have orders to intervene. All state-organized communal violence follows this template, whether during partition, Delhi, UP, Bihar, Gujarat, or Delhi in 2020.

This template was developed by the British in Ireland and Scotland. It was first practiced in India in 1858 when they gave the troops of Maharaja Narinder Singh of Patiala three days to loot the Muslims of Delhi to “teach them a lesson.” After that, they expelled Muslims from Delhi for two years, except their collaborators, whom they protected. In 1984’s Delhi, even the president of India—a Sikh—could not help anyone. He kept calling the home minister to call the army, but no action was taken on the part of the latter. Khushwant Singh, a prominent chamcha (bootlicker) of the Gandhi family and the Congress, was advised by the president to go and hide in the American Embassy. Only in those localities where people formed their defense committees were the goons of the Congress beaten back and Sikhs kept safe. People from all religious backgrounds organized themselves in these defense committees.

Since 1858, communal violence has become an integral part of the Indian state—a form of state terrorism—to accomplish the aims of the ruling elite and to crush and distract people from their struggles for dignity and justice. Since 1947, thousands of such attacks have taken place. The ruling elite, whether British or Indian, have used this form of state terror. They have always unleashed it whenever they are intensifying their plunder and loot of the people and making new arrangements, called “reforms,” to maximize their profits. Whether it is 1858, 1905, 1925, 1935, 1947, 1955, 1969, 1984, 2002, or 2020.


On a lighter side of things, I was talking to a Punjabi worker. He had seen somewhere a sign “Diaspora Against Fascism in India.” He asked me if some Baba in Daspura near Rajpura had started a new religion called Fascism. In Punjabi, it was hilarious. Indian Liberals and Leftists love to borrow phrases from Europe that the working people can not understand. Such is the colonized mind.

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