India - Manmohan Singh's Apology For Anti-Sikh Riots A ‘Gandhian Moment Of Moral Clarity' | Sikh Philosophy Network
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India Manmohan Singh's Apology For Anti-Sikh Riots A ‘Gandhian Moment Of Moral Clarity'

Jan 7, 2005
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3,760
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
LONDON, April 22, 2011

Manmohan Singh's apology for anti-Sikh riots a ‘Gandhian moment
of moral clarity,' says 2005 cable


Hasan Suroor




The HinduTWO DECADES LATER: A victim of the riots at a 2005
demonstration in New Delhi. Photo: Sandeep Saxena


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's public apology for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots is hailed in an American diplomatic cable as a “singular act of political courage'' and an “almost Gandhian moment of moral clarity in India's long march to religious harmony.”

The violence in northern India, primarily in Delhi, targeting members of the Sikh community broke out following Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination on October 31, 1984.

Writing on August 12, 2005 (38469: unclassified), Robert O'Blake, Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in New Delhi, noted that Dr. Singh had done “what no Indian leader in 20 years has been willing to do.”

“The PM's singular act of political courage stands in exquisite contrast to the opportunism and hatred directed by senior GOI officials against Sikhs in 1984. The PM's act of statesmanship will raise his already strong reputation as a representative of the nation's highest Gandhian ideals,” he said, adding that the apology “pre-empted BJP's efforts to capitalize on the (Nanavati Commission) report, which named two high-profile Congress leaders as conspirators in the riots.”

The cable, accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks, said the Congress party's “swift action'' against Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar in the wake of the commission's report “raised questions about the fate of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi if a similar commission investigating the 2002 Gujarat riots finds his government at fault.''

In his apology in Parliament on August 12, 2005, Dr. Manmohan Singh said: “I have no hesitation in apologizing to the Sikh community. I apologize not only to the Sikh community, but to the whole Indian nation because what took place in 1984 is the negation of the concept of nationhood enshrined in our Constitution.”

The cable, describing the riots as “one of the saddest and darkest moments in recent Indian history,” said: “The PM apology and forced resignation of a minister with long ties to the Gandhi family has surprised Indians who only expected the worst of their politicians. The PM's singular act of political courage will be long-remembered as a momentous — almost Gandhian — moment of moral clarity in India's long march to religious harmony.”

(This article is a part of the series "The India Cables" based on the US diplomatic cables accessed by The Hindu via Wikileaks.)

source:
http://www.thehindu.com/news/the-india-cables/article1715620.ece
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Jun 17, 2004
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Yes it was a moment of moral clarity, sudden, isolated, brief, and long overdue. It is unfortunate that an American diplomat chose to fog up the clarity with the comment, “almost Gandhian moment of moral clarity in India's long march to religious harmony.” The phrase illustrates the profound ignorance in most American policy circles of the past 100 years of religion and politics in India and the relative lack of religious harmony. It is deplorable that 'The Hindu' removed the word "almost" and turned the "moment of moral clarity" into a complete "Gandhian moment." But I am not surprised.
 

Mai Harinder Kaur

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Oct 6, 2006
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Yes it was a moment of moral clarity, sudden, isolated, brief, and long overdue. It is unfortunate that an American diplomat chose to fog up the clarity with the comment, “almost Gandhian moment of moral clarity in India's long march to religious harmony.” The phrase illustrates the profound ignorance in most American policy circles of the past 100 years of religion and politics in India and the relative lack of religious harmony. It is deplorable that 'The Hindu' removed the word "almost" and turned the "moment of moral clarity" into a complete "Gandhian moment." But I am not surprised.
I am afraid I will never see anything except irony in a Sikh apologising for the anti-Sikh Pogrom, still wrongfully called the anti-Sikh riots.

When a Hindu - any Hindu old enough to have participated in the Pogrom - apologises, I may be willing to listen.
 

sachbol

SPNer
Feb 12, 2010
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I am afraid I will never see anything except irony in a Sikh apologising for the anti-Sikh Pogrom, still wrongfully called the anti-Sikh riots.

When a Hindu - any Hindu old enough to have participated in the Pogrom - apologises, I may be willing to listen.
There were lot of Hindus who saved Sikhs and put their own lives in danger. We are grateful to these Hindu brothers.

People who killed, raped or looted Sikhs and their families belonged to ruling party. They will never apologize. What Manmohan Singh said was not an apology but a statement and his personal feelings that he regretted the genocide. He never said that he was ashamed that Congress party organised the genocide. He never regretted the Paapkarma of Congress

Being a Sikh I do not give any importance to the statement of S, Manmohan Singh,:angryyoungkaur:
 

JimRinX

SPNer
Aug 14, 2008
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Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
As an American who takes an active role in Politics, I'm appalled by the Wikileaks debacle; as not even Hitlers SS Henchmen would violate the Seal on a Diplomatic Pouch, and this is how and why many, many Jews, Dissidents, and Anti-NAZI Undergrounders activities were enabled and/or their lives were saved - largely by Swiss or Swedish Diplomats using Embasy Pouchs (the forerunner of the 'cables') to smuggle out plans of action, etc..
Of all the things that've come out of the whole thing, this is one that I cannot say I hate; though I certainly understand how both Mai Harinder Kaur AND those who acknowledge that many Hindus saved many Sikhs lives during the unfortunate incident.
May you, someday, finally fulfill Ghandhis dream.
 

ac_marshall

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Nov 5, 2009
131
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Bangalore, India
The apology has been long due and has come up in 2011! What action is going to be initiated after rendering apology? The organizers of the crime still enjoy the support and protection of the same Govt. that is headed by honorable Dr. Manmohan Singh for name sake. Remedial action is needed along with words of apology. I wonder whether justice will ever be delivered.
 

Mai Harinder Kaur

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Writer
SPNer
Oct 6, 2006
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The apology has been long due and has come up in 2011! What action is going to be initiated after rendering apology? The organizers of the crime still enjoy the support and protection of the same Govt. that is headed by honorable Dr. Manmohan Singh for name sake. Remedial action is needed along with words of apology. I wonder whether justice will ever be delivered.

This Sikhtoon speaks to the issue quite succinctly.
 

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