|

January 14, 2019

India: On the posters by Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Yogesh Raj main accused in Bulandshahr Violence "wishes" people on behalf of the two organisations



Yogesh Raj is the main accused in the December mob violence in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr

Lucknow: Yogesh Raj, the main accused in the December mob violence in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr in which a police officer was killed, has top billing in posters of the Bajrang Dal, a Hindu right-wing group greeting people on Makar Sankranti festival and Republic Day.
Yogesh Raj, a district leader of Bajrang Dal, was arrested on January 3, exactly a month after police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh was killed in mob frenzy over cow slaughter allegations. The police say he raised the cow slaughter complaint after the discovery of carcasses at a forest, and incited a mob that targeted policemen.
On the posters by Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Yogesh Raj "wishes" people on behalf of the two organisations on the occasion of Makar Sankranti and the upcoming Republic Dal celebrations.
The Bajrang Dal has said its leader is innocent and will be cleared of the allegations. [ . . .]  https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/bulandshahr-violence-main-accused-yogesh-raj-sends-festival-wishes-in-bajrang-dal-posters-1977300

January 11, 2019

Hindi article Anti Sikh Pogrom 1984- who all were involved


सिक्ख-विरोधी कत्लेआम: पाप का प्रायश्चित -राम पुनियानी कांग्रेस नेता सज्जन कुमार ने अंततः दिल्ली उच्च न्यायालय द्वारा निर्धारित अंतिम तिथि 31 दिसंबर, 2018 को न्यायालय के समक्ष आत्मसमर्पण कर दिया। न्यायालय ने उन्हें 1984 के सिक्ख-विरोधी कत्लेआम में भागीदारी का दोषी पाया था। यह कत्लेआम, भारत की प्रधानमंत्री इंदिरा गाँधी की हत्या के बाद हुआ था। इसकी जांच के लिए कई आयोग नियुक्त निये गए और अंततः सन 2005 में नानावटी आयोग ने सज्जन कुमार को दोषी ठहराया। न्यायमूर्ति मुरलीधर और गोयल ने अपने निर्णय में बिलकुल ठीक कहा कि “विभाजन के बाद से, सामूहिक हत्यायों के कई दौर हुए हैं, जिनमें मुंबई (1993), गुजरात (2002) और मुज़फ्फरनगर (2013) शामिल हैं...इन सभी में वर्चस्वशाली राजनैतिक दलों के नेताओं द्वारा, कानून लागू करने वाले संस्थाओं के सहयोग से, अल्पसंख्यकों को निशाना बनाया गया। इन सामूहिक अपराधों के दोषियों को राजनैतिक संरक्षण मिला और उन पर न तो मुक़दमे चलाये गए और ना ही उन्हें सजा मिली।” सांप्रदायिक हिंसा में इजाफे के लिए, सांप्रदायिक शक्तियों के अलावा, सुस्त राजनैतिक नेतृत्व भी ज़िम्मेदार है, जिसने या तो इस हिंसा को होने दिया या उसे बढ़ावा दिया। पूर्वाग्रहग्रस्त पुलिस प्रशासन और न्यायिक प्रणाली की कमजोरियां भी इसके लिए ज़िम्मेदार हैं। इसके कारण हिंसा को भड़काने वाले नेताओं और सड़कों पर खून-खराबा करने वाले लम्पट तत्वों का बाल भी बांका न जो सका। धार्मिक अल्पसंख्यकों के विरुद्ध होने वाली हिंसा को मोटे तौर पर दो हिस्सों में बांटा जा सकता है। पहली है, सिक्ख-विरोधी कत्लेआम जैसी हिंसा जो किसी एक घटना से भड़कती है और जिसमें असहाय अल्पसंख्यकों को राजनैतिक प्रतिशोध का निशाना बनाया जाता है। दूसरी है, ईसाईयों और मुसलमानों के खिलाफ निरंतर हिंसा, जो हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादी एजेंडे का भाग है। जहाँ सिक्खों के विरुद्ध हिंसा का नेतृत्व कांग्रेस ने किया था, वहीं मुसलमानों और ईसाईयों के खिलाफ हो रही हिंसा के पीछे हिन्दू सांप्रदायिक संगठन हैं। नस्लवादी हिंसा पर अनुसन्धान करने वाले अध्येताओं का यह दिलचस्प निष्कर्ष है कि हिंसा भड़काने वाली राजनैतिक शक्ति को हमेशा इससे चुनावों में लाभ होता है। सिक्ख कत्लेआम के बाद, दिल्ली में कांग्रेस और मज़बूत बन कर उभरी और मुंबई (1992-1993) और गुजरात (2002) के बाद, भाजपा. येल विश्वविद्यालय द्वारा किये गए एक अध्ययन से यह सामने आया है कि हर सांप्रदायिक दंगे के बाद, सम्बंधित इलाके में भाजपा की चुनावी ताकत बढ़ती आयी है। दिल्ली में सिक्ख विरोधी हिंसा के बाद कांग्रेस के ताकत बढी, परन्तु धीरे-धीरे वह वहां कमज़ोर हो गयी। जहाँ तक सिक्ख-विरोधी हिंसा का सम्बन्ध है, इसके लिए केवल कांग्रेस को दोषी ठहराया जाता है। काफी हद तक यह सही भी है। परन्तु इसका एक दूसरा पक्ष भी है, जिसे बड़ी होशियारी से परदे के पीछे रखा जा रहा है. और वह है इस त्रासद घटना में संघ और भाजपा की भागीदारी। दिनांक 2 फरवरी 2002 के अपने अंक में, हिंदुस्तान टाइम्स लिखता है कि हिंसा में शरीक व्यक्तियों में भाजपा के नेता शामिल हैं। पायोनियर (11 अप्रैल 1994) के अनुसार, “भाजपा 1984 की हिंसा में शामिल अपने नेताओं को बचाने का प्रयास कर रही है। न्यूज पोर्टल खबर बार के अनुसार कैप्टिन अमरिंदर सिंह ने सन् 2014 में बताया था कि सन् 1984 के सिक्ख विरोधी दंगों में उनकी भूमिका के लिए भाजपा-आरएसस के 49 नेताओं के विरूद्ध 14 एफआईआर दर्ज की गईं थीं। उन्होंने भाजपा-आरएसएस के कुछ नेताओं जैसे प्रेम कुमार जैन, प्रीतम सिंह, राम चन्द्र गुप्ता आदि के नाम भी बताए थे जो दंगों में शामिल थे। अमरिंदर सिंह ने सुखबीर सिंह बादल से यह सवाल भी पूछा था कि वे इन नेताओं के दंगों में शामिल होने के बारे में शर्मनाक चुप्पी क्यों साधे हुए हैं? क्या इसलिए क्योंकि ये नेता उस पार्टी के सदस्य हैं जिसके साथ उनका गठबंधन है? शिरोमणि अकाली दल के सुखबीर सिंह बादल के इस दावे के विपरीत कि भाजपा सदस्यों ने सन् 1984 में सिक्खों की जान बचाने का साहसपूर्ण कार्य किया था, जैन-अग्रवाल समिति की रपट में दिल्ली के कई प्रमुख आरएसएस कार्यकर्ताओं के नाम थे जो इस नरसंहार में शामिल थे। जाने-माने आरएसएस विचारक नानाजी देशमुख ने भी इस बारे में चोकानें वाली बात कही थी। प्रतिपक्ष (25 नवंबर, 1984) में प्रकाशित एक लेख में उन्होंने कहा ‘सिक्ख विरोधी हिंसा हिन्दुओं के न्यायोचित आक्रोश का परिणाम थी और सिक्ख समुदाय को इसे खामोशी से बर्दाश्त करना चाहिए। उन्होंने यह भी कहा था कि देश की इस आपदा की घड़ी में राजीव गांधी को पूरा समर्थन दिया जाना चाहिए।‘‘ यह दस्तावेज 5 नवंबर 1984 को जारी किया गया था जब हिंसा अपने चरम पर थी। प्रतिपक्ष के संपादक जार्ज फर्नाडीस ने इसे अपनी इस संपादकीय टिप्पणी के साथ प्रकाशित किया था : ‘‘ लेखक आरएसएस के जानेमाने नीति निर्धारक एवं विचारक हैं। प्रधानमंत्री (इंदिरा गांधी) की हत्या के बाद उन्होंने यह दस्तावेज प्रमुख राजनीतिज्ञों के बीच वितरित किया था। चूंकि इसका ऐतिहासिक महत्व है इसलिए हमने इसे प्रकाशित करने का निर्णय इस तथ्य के बावजूद लिया कि यह हमारे साप्ताहिक की नीति के विपरीत है। यह दस्तावेज इंदिरा कांग्रेस और आरएसएस के बीच बढ़ती निकटता को दर्शाता है‘‘। जहां दंगों कांग्रेस की सहभागिता की बार-बार आलोचना की जाती है, जो पूर्णतः उचित भी है, वहीं आरएस-भाजपा के इस धार्मिक अल्पसंख्यक वर्ग के प्रति रवैये के बारे में ज्यादातर लोगों को जानकारी नहीं है। सैद्धांतिक मतभेदों के बावजूद भाजपा और अकाली दल का गठबंधन पंजाब में लंबे समय तक सत्ता में रहा। परंतु सन् 1984 के नरसंहार में आरएसएस की भूमिका के बारे में अकाली दल की चुप्पी वाकई चिंताजनक है। आरएसएस विचारक का यह लेख, जो हिंसा के लिए सिक्खों को ही जिम्मेदार ठहराता है, जबकि इंदिराजी के हत्यारे किसी भी तरह से सारे सिक्ख समुदाय का प्रतिनिधित्व नहीं करते। सिक्ख विरोधी हिंसा के बाद का सबसे दुःखद पहलू यह है कि इस मामले में अब तक इंसाफ नहीं हुआ है। हालांकि कांग्रेस के बड़े नेताओं जैसे सोनिया गांधी और डॉ. मनमोहन सिंह ने सन् 1984 की घटनाओं के लिए गहरा पछतावा और खेद जताया है, किंतु आरएसएस-भाजपा नेताओं की ओर से समय-समय पर होनी वाली मुस्लिम और ईसाई विरोधी हिंसा को लेकर कोई दुःख या पीड़ा नहीं दर्शाई गई है। यह उम्मीद की जा सकती है कि अतीत में हुई सिक्ख विरोधी हिंसा भविष्य में कभी दुहराई नहीं जाएगी, किंतु मुसलमानों और ईसाईयों के विरूद्ध होने वाली हिंसा लगातार बढ़ रही है और अधिकाधिक भयावह स्वरूप लेती जा रही है। यह संतोषप्रद है कि सज्जन कुमार आज जेल में है, जहां उसे कई वर्षों पहले होना चाहिए था। यह कामना की जानी चाहिए की मुंबई (1992-93), गुजरात (2002), कंधमाल (2008) और मुजफ्फरनगर (2013) के साथ-साथ अन्य दंगों के दोषियों को भी कानून के मुताबिक दण्ड मिलेगा और दंगों की योजना बनाने वाले और उन्हें अमली जामा पहनाने वाले उन कायर और नीच लोगों से हमारा समाज मुक्त हो सकेगा जिन्हें अब तक अपनी करनी की सजा नहीं मिली है। (अंग्रेजी से हिन्दी रूपांतरण अमरीश हरदेनिया)

January 07, 2019

The Sajjan Kumar verdict promises to form the basis for an evolving Indian law of accountability in cases of mass violence

Indian Express, January 4, 2019

A judgment, a foundation
The Sajjan Kumar verdict promises to form the basis for an evolving Indian law of accountability in cases of mass violence.

Written by Balakrishnan Rajagopal

The verdict of the Delhi High Court in the Sajjan Kumar case has been welcomed by most commentators. What has not been sufficiently appreciated is that one of the main lessons we must take from the verdict is that the need is stronger than ever for a root-and-branch police reform.

Indeed, some parts of the “administration of justice” are so rotten now, or are caught up in impossible imbroglios like the CBI, that strong political leadership is needed for a bold and visionary approach to reform. Although the problem is well known, no leading political party or mass movement has managed to focus attention on police reform. As the Delhi High Court points out, there were multiple failures in the administration of justice after the 1984 violence, starting with the repeated failure to file FIRs, abetment of the crimes committed by the mobs and failure to prosecute or gather material evidence.

As highlighted by the Court, there is also the key issue of the lack of a credible witness protection programme in India, which hampers the willingness of witnesses to come forward or to maintain consistency. Many cases arising from the Gujarat violence of 2002 have had serious trouble maintaining a credible and consistent witness line up due to fear, intimidation, and retaliation, most notoriously in the Best Bakery case where 37 of the 73 key witnesses including Zahira Sheikh, her mother and her brothers retracted their statements before the judges.

One of the most important innovations of the Sajjan Kumar verdict is the reliance on the crime of criminal conspiracy under Section 120B of the IPC to convict Sajjan Kumar, and also expand the conviction of the other accused. To my knowledge, this the first time that an appellate court in India has relied on the charge of criminal conspiracy to convict individuals for mass crimes.

While the Naroda Patiya judgment of the Special Court in 2009, which convicted Maya Kodnani among others, also relied on criminal conspiracy, the Delhi High Court has firmly entrenched the use of criminal conspiracy as an independent crime against those who are accused of mass crimes. The significance of the Delhi High Court ruling on this matter goes beyond this single case and sows the seeds of an Indian law on mass crimes, which is more aligned with an Anglo-Saxon approach.

Under international criminal law, the question of whether criminal conspiracy can be treated separately as a crime — as distinct from genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes — has led to some divisions, especially between civil law and common law countries. These divisions led in the end to the removal of a separate conspiracy provision in the Rome Charter of the International Criminal Court, for example. However, the Delhi High Court’s use of criminal conspiracy is certainly an innovative approach on a solid legal footing, sharing much in common with other common law countries.

The Delhi High Court’s verdict is also notable for its open call for a new law on “Crime against humanity”, and does much to point out the recent developments under international law including ongoing work at the International Law Commission. While this call is a highly welcome one, it must be noted that nothing prevents Indian courts and prosecutors from levelling charges against those who commit mass crimes under ordinary criminal law including the IPC, using charges of criminal conspiracy and abetment, as the court does in the Sajjan Kumar verdict. India has been a party since 1968 to the convention on the non-applicability of statutory limitations to war crimes and crimes against humanity, while India extends universal jurisdiction (over crimes committed by anyone anywhere globally) over war crimes under the Geneva Conventions Act of 1960.

Taking the cue from the Delhi High Court ruling and these legal commitments, India’s Law Commission, legal advocates, social movements and lawmakers should make appropriate changes to the IPC, incorporating the criminalisation of mass crimes including genocide, crime against humanity and the legal principle of non-applicability of statutory limitations under the 1968 Convention.

It is rare that a single case can accomplish so much: The Sajjan Kumar verdict promises to be a locus classicus in an evolving Indian law of accountability. But even this victory cannot blind us to the fact that most of the guilty, including the ones at the top, remain free. If we take the Gujarat riots in 2002, while six out of the nine cases relating to that violence have resulted in convictions, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the most guilty have escaped punishment thus far. But the Sajjan Kumar verdict gives us hope that, as Martin Luther King said, while the arc of the moral universe is long, it bends towards justice.


The writer is associate professor of law and development at the department of urban studies and planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.

India: Invitation to Nayantara Sahgal revoked, she was to inaugurate the 92nd all-India All Marathi literary; several Marathi authors, journalists announce they would boycot the meet

a href="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/67424836.cms">The Times of India

Won't attend literary meet now: Nayantara Sahgal; CMO distances from row
PTI | Jan 7, 2019, 09.16 PM IST


MUMBAI: Amid flak by opposition leaders and authors over rescinding the invitation to author Nayantara Sahgal to inaugurate the 92nd all-India All Marathi literary meet this week, the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) on Monday distanced itself from the controversy.

Soon after the CMO clarification, Sahgal said she won't attend the meet now even if a fresh invite were to be sent to her.

"I am not reconsidering my visit to the literary meet in Maharashtra," Sahgal, 91, told PTI on Monday night.

In a statement, the CMO said the decision on whom to invite for the meet is taken by the organisers and the state government has no role in it.

The CMO statement came after the organisers invited Sahgal, 91, to attend the meet, scheduled this week at Yavatmal, and later cancelled it, citing law and order issues.

Opposition leaders like Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam alleged the invitation was cancelled at the behest of the ruling BJP.

The CMO statement said a section of media is dragging the state government's name in the controversy. The Akhil Bharatiya Sahitya Mahamandal (which organises the meet), is an autonomous body and neither the CM nor the state government interfere in its functioning, it said.

The Sharad Pawar-led NCP was not impressed by the government's statement and said the invitation was cancelled "out of fear that Prime Minister Narendra Modi" would not like if Sahgal, niece of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, attended the literary meet.

The NCP said Modi always speaks against Nehru and asked Fadnavis to re-invite Sahgal for the meeting.

The noted English-language author who was at the forefront of the 'award-wapsi' (returning of awards) campaign, was to inaugurate the meet on January 11 in the presence of Fadnavis.

In 2015, several writers returned their awards to protest against what they described as "rising intolerance and growing assault on free speech" under the Narendra Modi government.

NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, "The way Sahagal's invitation was cancelled by the organisers of the meet, the government's hand is there somewhere (in this)."

"Modi always speaks against Nehru. Sahgal belongs to Nehru's family. There is a fear in the mind of the Maharashtra BJP and the chief minister of Maharashtra that if Nayantara Sahgal attends the meeting, Modi won't be happy," Malik said.

The invitation was cancelled after a member of the MNS threatened to disrupt the meeting opposing Sahgal's presence, the NCP leader said.

"If the invitation was cancelled in the name of law and order, it is the responsibility of the chief minister, who is also home minister of the state, to convince Sahgal to attend the function," Malik said.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray issued a statement on Monday, admitting that one of his local party workers had opposed Sahgal's presence at the literary meet. "As the party chief, I am not against inviting her," Thackeray said.

"If Sahgal's presence at the All India Literary Meet is transcending into a cultural exchange, I or my party will not oppose it," Thackeray said, adding that he "deeply regretted' the inconvenience caused to supporters of such literary events by the action of a few of his men.

Nirupam said the decision of the organisers to rescind the invite to Sahgal was taken at BJP's behest. The MNS is just a front, he added.

"Literature should not surrender before politics. If a government is scared of writers, it means that its days are over," he said.

The rescinding of the invitation to Sahgal has exposed the "intolerant" face of the BJP government led by Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan said.

The invitation was cancelled to ensure "political security" of the chief minister, he said and attacked Fadnavis for issuing a clarification on the issue but not condemning the meet organisers' decision to cancel the invitation to Sahgal.

Chavan asked Fadnavis to invite Sahgal afresh if the meet organisers did not cancel the invitation to her "under his pressure".

"This episode has exposed the intolerant face of the Fadnavis government. Fadnavis conveniently distanced himself by issuing a clarification but didn't condemn the organisers," a statement quoted Chavan as saying.

"Are these not double standards? This shows what the organisers did (cancel the invite) was at the behest of the chief minister," Chavan said.

Maharashtra's cultural affairs minister Vinod Tawde, however, said the state welcomed everyone.

"If someone had opposed Sahgal after her speech at the meet, then it could have been understood. It is not fair to oppose her completely. Maharashtra is a state that welcomes everyone to present their work," he said.

Noted Marathi author Aruna Dhere, who will preside over the event, also criticised the organisers for cancelling Sahgal's invitation.

"It is shocking that you respectfully invite someone and later back out. Sahgal should be invited (again) with respect," she said.

Laxmikant Deshmukh, the outgoing chairman of the literary meet, said the organisers should have thought before inviting Sahgal, as her line of thinking was well-known.

The literary meet's reception committee said the organisers had decided to revoke Sahgal's invitation, "as a controversy has cropped up against her name and to avoid any untoward incident from those who threatened to derail the literary meet".

Meanwhile, several Marathi authors and journalists Monday announced they would be boycotting the meet to mark their protests over the Sahgal's 'insult' by the meet's organisers.

Historian Ramachandra Guha tweeted, "The Maharashtra that fears the words of a ninety one year old woman writer is the Maharashtra of Godse and his mentors, not the Maharashtra of Ambedkar, Phule, Gokhale or Tilak."

India: How to bring diversity in children’s literature | Mathangi Subramanian

Hindustan Times

How to bring diversity in children’s literature
Agents, editors, authors and illustrators need to seek out and nurture underrepresented talent through commissioning books, providing editorial support, and being generous with our contacts.
2019 the year that will be Updated: Jan 03, 2019 07:51 IST

Mathangi Subramanian

India’s diversity is described as our greatest liability, when in reality, it is our greatest strength. Our children deserve to know this truth.(Sunil Ghosh / Hindustan Times)

After years of writing personal essays, editorials and books, I have recently started calling myself a professional writer and have come to the realisation that my favourite genre is writing for children and teens. Despite this, my literary wish for 2019 is that as much as I love books for children and teens, I hope that in India, I will not be the one writing it.

In the US, where I grew up, I am a woman of colour and a member of a minority religion. Stories like mine are often untold and so, sharing my words feels like a radical act. In India, where I am a member of the privileged majority, I am no longer starved for visions of my life. Instead, I am starved for visions of the lives of others.

Generating material for the world’s youngest readers brings with it a specific kind of joy. It is powerful to realise that a picture book could be the first piece of literature a child ever encounters, and could therefore be the start of their literary taste. To know that my middle grades novel might contain the language an adolescent needs to describe his or her burgeoning identities. To imagine that the bio printed on the back of my book for young adults might make a teenage think, “This writer is not so different than me. Writing is something that I could do, too.”

All over the world, children’s literature has a diversity problem. In the US, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center reported in 2017 that only 6% of published books for children were penned by black, Latino, or native American authors. Regardless of authorship, only 4% of books for children and teens had LGBTQ+ content. The same year in the UK, only 4% of books for children and teens featured a black, Asian or minority ethnic character. In Australia, a recent study by Victoria University found that books for children and teens almost exclusively star middle class, heterosexual, white families, and most protagonists are male.

India doesn’t yet have a diversity count, but if it did, I suspect the results would be equally troubling. Many of the authors and illustrators whose books fill my three-year-old daughter’s bookshelf are friends of mine, artists whose work I adore. Most are also caste Hindus. Many are wealthy, just like me.

The uniformity of those of us producing children’s books translates into a uniformity in their themes. Even though most of the Indian picture books my daughter reads are written and illustrated by women, the stories star light-skinned, straight haired boys — something my dark skinned, curly haired daughter has started to notice. Her books by and about Adivasis and Dalits are often folktales or historical, as though these groups existed only in the past. The books that we have dealing with issues like poverty, disability, queerness, adoption, and loss are all titles I purchased abroad — as are all the titles that feature Muslim, queer, and Sikh characters.

As a writer myself, this pattern is disturbing, but logical: I tend to write about what I know, and here in India, what I know is privilege. Even writing a 20-page picture book about the experiences of those with less power than me requires in-depth research; something which, now that I’ve become a mother, I have less and less time to do. It is easier, not to mention more authentic, for me to write about my own life. I’m sure many other authors feel the same.

Indian children’s publishers are aware of this lack of diversity and many are taking steps to address it. But in order to be truly inclusive, the industry must undergo radical changes. Children’s publishers — and publishers in general — must pay book artists a living wage. Writing is difficult, skilled work, and I would not be able to do it without the women who help clean my house, cook my food, and care for my child, luxuries I can afford because of my husband’s financial support. Agents, editors, authors and illustrators need to seek out and nurture underrepresented talent through commissioning books, providing editorial support, and being generous with our contacts. Festival organisers must consciously feature diverse speakers. Readers must demand diverse titles, thereby proving that there is a market for all kinds of stories.

So often, India’s diversity is described as our greatest liability, when in reality, it is our greatest strength. Our children deserve to know this truth. There is no better way to show them than through stories.

Mathangi Subramanian is a writer and educator. Her novel, A People’s History of Heaven, will be published later this year

The views expressed are personal

Anti Sikh Pogrom: Who all were involved


Anti Sikh Pogrom 1984: Righting the Wrongs Ram Puniyani Sajjan Kumar, a Congress leader finally surrendered on 31 December 2018 the deadline set by the Delhi Court, which gave the verdict about his involvement in the 1984 anti Sikh massacre. This anti Sikh pogrom had taken place in the aftermath of the assassination of the then Prime Minster of India Indira Gandhi (1984). Several commissions of inquiry later in 2005 Kumar was finally implicated by Nanavati Commission investigating this massacre. Justices Muralidhar and Goel who gave this verdict; hit the nail on the head when they observed in their judgment; “There has been a familiar pattern of mass killings since the Partition, including Mumbai in 1993, Gujarat in 2002, and Muzaffarnagar in 2013 … Common to these mass crimes were the targeting of minorities and attacks spearheaded by dominant political actors facilitated by law enforcement agencies. The criminals responsible for the mass crimes have enjoyed political patronage and managed to evade prosecution and punishment.” The tragedy of rising communal violence has been due to the communal forces, the apathetic political leadership, which is either promoting or letting it happen, the biased administration police apparatus and the loopholes in the justice delivery system. All this has led to the impunity being enjoyed by leaders and foot soldiers involved in violence. The violence against the religious minorities can be broadly categorized into two groups. One is the anti Sikh violence, which was one go event and came up as a sort of insane political revenge against the hapless Sikh community. The other is a regular repetitive violence against Muslims and Christians, which is part of the Hindu Nationalist agenda. While Congress led the violence against the Sikh minority, it is the Hindu communal groups who have been orchestrating the violence against Muslims and Christians. One interesting observation backed up by research of scholars of ethnic violence is that the forces which orchestrate the violence become electorally stronger in the region. While in the aftermath of anti Sikh pogrom Congress emerged as more powerful in Delhi, in case of Mumbai 1992-1993, Gujarat 2002 BJP emerged stronger. and planted its roots even in areas where it was earlier miniscule in its strength. The most significant such study is that coming from Yale University, which demonstrates that the BJP’s electoral strength goes up in the post violence scenario. In contrast; in Delhi where in the post pogrom phase Congress emerged stronger, it gradually came down. As far as anti Sikh pogrom is concerned, the exclusive blame is put on Congress. No doubt it has most of truth, but there is another aspect which has been conveniently put under the carpet, and that is the support-involvement of RSS-BJP in this tragic incident. Hindustan Times of 2nd February 2002 reports that in this violence names from BJP are also there in those involved in violence. Pioneer of 11th April 1994 reported “BJP move to shield cadre’s involved 1984 violence. News portal Khabar Bar, reports that Captain Amrinder Singh reported in 2014 that a total of 14 FIRs that were registered “against 49 BJP-RSS leaders for their role in anti-Sikh riots of 1984”. He had also named many BJP and RSS leaders like Ram Kumar Jain, Pritam Singh, Ram Chander Gupta to name a few, who were involved in riots, and questioned Sukhbir Singh Badal for maintaining a sheepish silence about their involvement, just because they belonged to his alliance party.” Contrary to Shiromani Akali Dal’s Sukhbir Singh Badal’s claims that the BJP members courageously saved lives of the Sikhs in 1984, records as per Jain-Aggarwal committee included several names of prominent Delhi and RSS workers being a part of the massacre. The bigger revelation has been the article by a major RSS ideologue Nanaji Deshmukh. In an article in Pratipaksh (25th November 1984) he goes on to say that the anti Sikh violence has been due to ‘a genuine feeling of anger among Hindus of India’ and that Sikh community should bear it silently. He also says that Rajiv Gandhi needs all the support in this hour of national crisis. As such the document was circulated on 5th November 1984 when peak of violence was underway. George Fernandes the editor of Pratipaksh published it with an editorial comment, “The author of the following document is known as an ideologue and policy formulator of the RSS. After the killing of Prime Minister (Indira Gandhi) he distributed this document among prominent politicians. It has a historical significance that is why we have decided to publish it, violating policy of our Weekly. This document highlights the new affinities developing between the Indira Congress and the RSS. We produce here the Hindi translation of the document.” While Congress complicity has been criticized times and over again, and correctly so, the aspect of RSS-BJP attitude to this religious minority has been hidden from popular understanding. BJP and Akali Dal allied in Punjab to be in power for long time, despite their ideological differences, but why Akali Dal has has maintained silence of RSS role in 1984 massacre is a matter of deep concern. This document coming from RSS ideologue puts the blame of violence on Sikhs themselves, while the assassins in no way represented the whole community. The major flaws in the post Anti Sikh violence has been failure of justice delivery. It’s true that major Congress leaders like Sonia Gandhi and Dr. Manmohan Singh have expressed deep remorse and regret over the 1984, but one is yet to hear any pain and anguish from RSS-BJP circles over the regularly occurring anti Muslim and anti Christian violence. One hopes that the phase of anti-Sikh has passed never to repeat, the violence against Muslims and Christians is on the rise and assuming more horrid forms. While feeling some relief that Sajjan Kumar is in jail, where he should have been years ago, the wish is that all those involved in the massacres of Mumbai 1992-93, Gujarat 2002, Kandhamal 2008 and Muzaaafarnagar 2013 among others are given punishment as per the law and we rid our society of the ill of impunity enjoyed by the planers and executers of these dastardly acts.

January 06, 2019

Book Review: Revati Laul's 'The Anatomy of Hate'

The Hindu, January 05, 2019


‘The Anatomy of Hate’ review: Life after violence
Harsh Mander


A journalist traces the stories of three very different men who participated in the mass hate crimes of 2002

India has been the site of recurring episodes of horrific hate violence, which target people disadvantaged by caste, religious identity and gender. In all such episodes — of Dalit atrocities, communal killings, lynching, gang-rapes — we tend to imagine the perpetrators of these crimes who rape, murder and loot in frenzies of hate and bigotry, as faceless homogenous blurs of unmitigated evil. [. . .]



https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/the-anatomy-of-hate-review-life-after-violence/article25911256.ece