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1984 Caught in the Cross Fire, still Languishing

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by Admin Singh, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    Admin SPNer

    Jun 1, 2004
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    TRAUMATISED childhood, limited education, no job security, a dark yesterday and a darker tomorrow - this is the description of the lives led by the children of widows and orphans of those killed in the 1984 carnage in Delhi.

    Only a minute section out of these riot victims have completed their schooling and taken up professional courses, while others have hardly completed their primary education and are today doing menial jobs.
    With a shattered family structure, these children grew overnight. It wasn't a normal 'boys to men story' as they got a heavy dose of reality at a very young age.

    Gurpal Singh who lost his entire paternal side to the 1984 riots, has been a car driver since seven years. He lives with his mother and younger brother Rishpal Singh in Garh market, close to East of Kailash.

    "My favorite subject was history and I studied till 10th grade after which I had to quit studying due to financial pressures at home. I really wanted to study further, but I couldn't. Today if my father was living, I would have been still studying," says Gurpal.

    Gurpal quashed his desires but he didn't let his younger brother's education get affected.

    His younger brother, Rishpal is currently doing his BA through correspondence and a computer course. He aspires to get into the software industry and give his family all the comforts they have lost out on.
    Nihal Singh, Gurpal's neighbour and childhood friend had a similar story. He too studied till the 10th grade after which he became a car mechanic.
    Unhappy with the nature of his job, Nihal feels helpless today, as his limited education offers him very limited options.

    To boost his income he once dreamt of setting up a motor repair shop but huge investments made him dismiss his dream.

    "I've learnt just one thing and that's what I am doing. I don't like my job but there's nothing else I know," says the young lad.
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    "I really wanted to study further, but I couldn't. Today if my

    NIHAL claims that people have made a mockery of the 1984 riots. In dire need of a job, he once mentioned that he was a riot victim in his Resume. What he got in return was further disgrace to his community.

    "On reading the mention of '84 riots in my Resume, the owner of the car station asked me, 'when would your community stop crying over these riots?' I never got that job but got humiliation in abundance," recalled Nihal.
    After this incident Nihal never thought of applying again.

    Expressing sympathy over his friend's sorrow, Gurcharan Singh, living in the same locality, adds that thinking of an alternative career is an impossible dream for them.

    Gurcharan assists his paternal uncle in a property business, which was set up after 1984.

    He too like his friends quit studying midway and started helping his uncle at a very early age. Gurcharan's father was an engineer and his grandfather was in the military.

    "If they were alive today, they would have never let me do the kind of work I am doing now."

    "I started with this out of compulsion and not choice. Back then I was too young, had no sense, and did what the elders asked me to do," said Gurcharan with a gloomy face.

    Gurcharan is firm about his brother not joining him as he claims that what he does is not a "right line of work."

    He too like Gurpal, wants his younger brother to pursue higher studies and become a working professional.

    "I didn't have an option but my brother does," said Gurcharan exchanging smiles with Gurpal.

    Today they are reluctant to get married in the worry of having more mouths to feed.

    To make matters worse, the frequent interrogation by police, every now and then, causes further humiliation.

    All the youngsters living in this colony were questioned when blasts happened in south Delhi (central market and Ansal Plaza). "Baseless enquiries" too keep happening time and again.

    And if they raise their voice against injustice, the police threaten to pack them off to Punjab.
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