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1984 Jyoti Basu: Sikhs Remember and Honour a Friend

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by Admin Singh, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    Jyoti Basu: Sikhs Remember and Honour a Friend
    by KINSUK BASU, SUBHAJOY ROY & POULOMI BANERJEE


    Jyoti Basu (July 8, 1914 - January 17, 2010) was the Chief Minister of West Bengal, India from 1977 to 2000. He passed away at the age of 95 in Calcutta last Sunday. Our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones, and our sincerest prayers for lasting peace for his soul.

    Jyoti Basu's good deed of the day a quarter century ago helped quench the thirst of those waiting for hours on Tuesday, January 19, 2010, to catch a last glimpse of him.

    "This is our way of paying our respects to him for the way he saved the Sikh community in Calcutta during the 1984 pogroms," said Indrajit Singh of the Guru Singh Sabha, busy serving water opposite Citizens' Park in Calcutta (West Bengal, India).

    Indrajit and a batch of 20 members of the Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara and the Punjab Sevak Sabha offered water to anyone who asked for it while waiting for Basu's body to be brought to the patch of green opposite Rabindra Sadan.

    The Sikhs came with a 9,000 litre capacity water tank and over 10,000 plastic glasses. The spontaneous act drew a smile, even from the teary-eyed. "Even his harshest critics would admit that Jyoti babu was a secular leader. And this gesture from the Sikhs symbolises that," said Pranab Adhikary, a Congress supporter.

    "Sikhs were killed in every other state in 1984, but not in Bengal" said Indrajit, recalling how Basu had rushed back to Calcutta from Delhi after Indira Gandhi's assassination.

    As Basu's body headed for SSKM Hospital, many of his followers who had walked miles with their leader on his last journey made a beeline for the water counter. They all went back relieved and thanking the volunteers.

    [Courtesy: The Telegraph]

    January 21, 2010
     

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  3. ac_marshall

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    Another state where Sikhs were guarded in 1984 was Tamil Nadu by the cadres of CPI(M) and Forward Bloc. However, violence in congress dominant areas could have gone unreported.
     
  4. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    In bombay there is 1 lakh + sikh community live and surprisingly nothing happened to them in 84.Bal thackerey takes the claim that it was him and his shiv sainikis that protected sikh community but It is really surprising for me that the place where communal and regional voilence occur frequently and nothing happened in 84 Despite the fact that congress had and still have a very strong base in bombay
     
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  5. ac_marshall

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    As a matter of fact, in general I don't find any anti-Sikh sentiment among Indian common men particularly in Maharashtra and Southern states. In these states, Sikhs are generally viewed as highly courageous and very patriotic. One of the reasons may be the higher number of educated people in comparison with UP, Haryana, etc. Violence in these states cannot be totally denied as congress sponsored goons were on rampage through out India. Let any media person interview the people of these states and ask them their opinion about Sikhs and Sikh Gurus, atleast 85% of them would say that Sikhs are highly courageous and patriotic.
     
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  6. ac_marshall

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    Common men have no reason to nurse any grudge against Sikhs. In Mumbai, many immigrants from other places have indulged in unlawful activities and unethical work and trade practices. This is one of the reasons for the backlash. The southerners were mostly targeted as they held many white collared jobs in 70s and 80s which could have made some local Marathi folks feel unsecure. As the scapegoat principle goes, these southerners were targeted blaming them for all the wrong things in Mumbai. Whereas Sikhs have the reputation of being very honest at both work and trade along with the qualities of being hard-workers, bold, straight forward and humane. Above all, the Sikh heroes in the Indian Armed Forces are well known. There is no reason to have any grudge against Sikhs unless and until the guy is a fool influenced by false propaganda of Congress or a politically sponsored inhuman anti-social element.
     
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  7. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    It puzzles me. It seems that most of the world holds Sikhs in high regard, except for Sikhs. We have a hard time holding one another in high regard. This is a pessimistic and negative thing that I say -- it is Friday afternoon and the end of the week. I know I am exaggerating. But this is something to think about. Why is it so hard to honor one another.
     
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  8. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Because the condition of world is worse than sikhs. So many people think that sikhs are better or more trustworthy than other persons.
     
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  9. AusDesi

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    There's not much anti-sikh sentiment anywhere in India. 1984 is different case. When political parties sponsor terror thats bound to happen.

    As an example, in Faridabad, none of the Sikhs inside NIT were touched as the population was majority Punjabi. On the other hand, Mathura Road and Beyond, any Sikh that saw the light of day was probably killed.
     
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  10. sikh Engineer

    sikh Engineer India
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    Waheguru ji ka khalsa
    Waheguru ji ki fateh

    ac-marshall i agree with you that sikh's r honest,trustworthy,bold,hardworking,highly courageous and patriotic that is why educated people regard and trust sikh's,your r right by saying that people frm south and maharashtra have good opinion about sikh's but the main problem is that major popluation of hindus frm U.P and north India are after sikh's and sikhism, I dont know why these people along with RSS r trying to prove that sikh's r part of hindus, they r not educated enough to know that in UN sikhism is the 5th largest religion of the world and its not part of hindu's.

    moreover how can a sikh be a part of hindu when ideology of sikhism is totally different frm hindus
     
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