I came across a tweet this morning saying the Supreme Court of India is to hear a petition by an accused in the anti-Sikh riots in New Delhi in 1984. The petitioner, Congress party leader Sajjan Kumar, is accused of having a direct role in the killing of five Sikhs during what has come to be known an Independent India’s biggest genocide after the killing of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Shocking, to say the least. Twenty-nine years after India was shamed and a hard-working and prosperous community branded traitors, the accused are still free. Not a single conviction has happened. Some of the culprits have died, others have been acquitted, some more still have cases in court while this man has the audacity to ask for proceedings to be quashed! Pity.
Ask any one of those who suffered in those days and hear their stories. What has the nation done for them? How have they managed over the years? What have they gone through? Five-year olds then who saw their fathers murdered and mothers raped are now in their 30s and angry. Do they have a shoulder to lean on?
It was only due to the community’s resilience that they bounced back and even prospered, but have the wounds healed?
Over the years, we have seen how the rich and the powerful have either dodged the system or have managed to wriggle out of tight situations thanks to political patronage while the common man faces courts, jails and corruption and barely manage to scrap through and exist!
Look at former minister, Laloo Yadav, convicted in the outrageous fodder scam. He has lost his Parliament seat and is in jail. Yet, he receives nearly 100 visitors a day in the prison warden’s office. So what has he lost? He has been fined a fraction of what he misappropriated. Five years later, his life is made – forever. He will bounce back then, if not earlier.
Infamous rape-accused godman Asaram is another case in point. Thanks to intense media coverage, he is cooling his heels in jail while his son is on the run. Why can’t the police reach him? Are they so incompetent? Is there a more sinister game being played out? I am sure it’s only a matter of time before both father and son are ‘rehabilitated’.
The overwhelming feeling is that India is a “criminal friendly” country where they thrive, whether in or out of prison, thanks to political patronage and influence they wield.
When will we be able to change that? Never, considering the present state of affairs.
It is frustrating and sad and for us Indians overseas, it is even more so because we sit here and look at the overall picture without even being able to try and change things for we have no voting rights.
Something has to happen, and fast, if we are to survive as a nation. If not, well, we are headed to anarchy. That would be terrible for a nation that was once called “soney key chidia” (the golden sparrow), which is now more or less Sonia ki chidia.