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1984 The Indian Conscience

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by kds1980, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    The Indian Conscience
    Jagmohan Singh
    On 1 November 2009, while Sikhs were grieving, Shah Rukh Khan with the Chief Minister of Delhi –Sheila Dixit and around ten thousand plus Delhites were running a marathon on the streets of Delhi –the same streets on which 2,733 Sikhs were hounded, assaulted, burnt alive and killed on the same day twenty-five years ago. On 3 November when Punjab shut down in the memory of those killed, our conscience-keepers –the SGPC and Shiromani Akali Dal displayed exemplary similarity and closeness with the Indian conscience.
    Jagmohan Singh writes an open letter to actor Shah Rukh Khan questioning his insensitivity and also about the character of the near-absent Indian conscience.
    [​IMG]


    Dear Shah Rukh Khan

    I write to you to express my displeasure at your recent marathon run in Delhi. Generally, you come out as a very reasonable person during your television and newspaper interactions. Last week you undid all that and there can be no alibi or excuse. Just as the American security guards grilling you at an American airport should have done their homework and should have known that you are a Bollywood actor of repute, similarly, you too should have given some time to your conscience. Money and fame alone is not everything in life.

    “Zameer ki Aawaz is mulk mein mar chuki hai” –this phrase is often repeated by those who care to listen to the voice of conscience. This voice is not being heard in this country anymore and you have proved it beyond doubt.

    On 1 November, Sikhs in Delhi and all over the country were grieving at the loss of life and justice twenty five years ago. You and the Chief Minister of Delhi-Sheila Dixit, alongwith many other Delhites were running with you. Your race was sponsored by a Punjabi business tycoon, who could not care less.

    On 3 November, when Punjab shut down to protest the killings, our own ‘conscience-keepers’ –the SGPC and Shiromani Akali Dal betrayed the community, and like you showed a remarkable similarity and closeness with the Indian conscience, by keeping all their offices open. Now they are running helter-skelter to make their presence felt and shed crocodile tears.

    The first week of November has gone by. No Indian leader, no Indian political party has held any meeting –big or small to recall the horrendous times of the carnage, or to make amends for their behaviour or lack of it 25 years ago. The city of Delhi and the people of this country, barring a few true civil conscience-keepers, have lost their conscience. As demonstrated in November 1984, perhaps they do not have any.

    I reliably learn that someone part of the campaign for Run Delhi Run, of which you were a leader, pointed out to you that it would be a little insensitive to do so on 1 November. You brushed it aside. By your own admission on your birthday, “because of injury, I have earned less this year.” So obviously, you wanted to be in currency, lest this year also go away like the previous one.

    I hope you will understand that I have no grouse at your running the marathon – I realise that Delhi needs more of these, but where is the good sense to understand the sensitivity of what one is doing? Would you or anyone dare hold a marathon run on 6 December in Ayodhaya –on the day that Babri Masjid was forcibly brought down or would you bring the entire tinsel town glitterati to run in Mumbai on a day of commemoration of the Mumbai or Gujarat riots, widely depicting glee and joy?

    During the last two weeks, I have been visiting the carnage centres in Delhi. I looked for someone who would come up and say, “I regret what I did. My conscience pricks me. I should not have done it.” I asked the victim families if someone had come up to them seeking forgiveness for what he had done. No doubt, the courts have failed to do justice. What about the inner court –the conscience? No one had come.

    [​IMG]

    Autorickshaw driver Inder Singh, double-victim Nirpreet Kaur from Tilak Vihar and activist-writer Ajmer Singh share one feeling –this entire country was responsible for the carnage, no one came to their rescue. The sad part of the story is that no one still wants to. The son of the tree-shaker has no time for the victim families. The Sikh prime minister is too busy manhandling and mishandling the Naxalites. Other political parties have no time for Sikhs as they are not a political power. Your behaviour could have been unlike all of these.

    Pushkar Raj of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, speaking at the commemoration function in memory of the victims of November 1984 in Delhi this week, posed the question “Is India a civil society?” He did not wait much longer to reply. Almost in the same breath he said, “No, we are a barbaric society. A society which takes twenty-five years to identify killers who murdered people on the streets of Delhi, a society which remains immune to the pain of the Sikhs in Delhi, Muslims in Ahmedabad and Christians in Kandhamal, how can that society be humane and civil? Please let us do some soul-searching.” You included.

    God has been very kind to you with name and fame. You need not be politically correct all the time. Actors and artistes must show some spine as well. They should not be seen hugging only Chief Ministers of states, sometimes they must sit down with a Medha Patkar or pay a visit to Irom Chanu Sharmila in Manipur or participate in a discussion with Arundhati Roy on the land of the tribals being seized and grabbed by the land sharks in various parts of the country. They must have the courage to hold dissenting views. They must not go around telling the world that money is their only religion.

    Zameer Mar Chuki Hai. Still, hope against hope is the law of nature, hope in humanity and submission to the will of God Almighty. So, think about it. Next time you are in Delhi and have to run, try running for justice –may be your conscience will be aroused. May be your run will arouse the conscience of the Indian system and it may start sauntering for justice. May be.

    Rab Rakha

    Jagmohan Singh

    The writer is the editor of World Sikh News. He may be contacted at jsbigideas@gmail.com

    11 November 2009
     
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    This part of the article inspired me to share something.

    "God has been very kind to you with name and fame. You need not be politically correct all the time. Actors and artistes must show some spine as well. They should not be seen hugging only Chief Ministers of states, sometimes they must sit down with a Medha Patkar or pay a visit to Irom Chanu Sharmila in Manipur or participate in a discussion with Arundhati Roy on the land of the tribals being seized and grabbed by the land sharks in various parts of the country. They must have the courage to hold dissenting views. They must not go around telling the world that money is their only religion."

    I read an interesting speech given by a Buddhist monk on file that gets to the bottom of all problems like this. I hesitate to post it on a Sikh forum. So I will summarize his ideas.

    Here is his the bottom line. As long as spiritual values are buried under thick layers of materialism -- nothing is going to change. The lust for money is part of the problem. The need to live in the world of "rational" political theories is another part of the problem. The lust for power and the things it can achieve is another part of the problem. But the root of the problem is what materialism is basically all about -- the inability to give up the delusional image of ourselves, delusional in our sense of self-entitlement, entitled to harness and humiliate, in order to assert our delusional sense of right and wrong. Yet compassion is so much easier.
     
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  4. ac_marshall

    ac_marshall
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    Dear All,
    Here is a page from an online forum that shows the honour for Sikhs that the common Indians have. These are the common men who form India and represent India and not clowns like Shah Rukh Khan.
    Can sikhs be trusted in indian army - Hindustan Forums India discussions

    In this thread, a stupid raises a question about the trustworthiness of Sikhs in the Indian Armed Forces. Read the postings and see how the Indians Respond.

    You can also see that majority of the Indian population is misinformed about the anti-Sikh
    riots due to deliberate malicious acts of those in power. This is also the case with anti-Tamil violence following the assasination of Rajiv Gandhi, massacre of paddy farmers of Andhra Pradesh by Police. The moment the Indian population realizes the facts of 1984, they'll stand by the shoulders of Sikhs.
    Indians really love the Sikhs!
     
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