American Turban

A survivor of the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom reflects

"A witness of the 1984 pogrom. More than 10 members of her family were killed before her eyes. She testified in a court that the Congress leader Jagdish Tytler was present at the site of the killings in 1984. Her lawyer was shot at in the very first hearing. She withdrew the case. The aftermath of the violence has left her numb." (Credit: Gauri Gill | The New York Times)

“A witness of the 1984 pogrom. More than 10 members of her family were killed before her eyes. She testified in a court that the Congress leader Jagdish Tytler was present at the site of the killings in 1984. Her lawyer was shot at in the very first hearing. She withdrew the case. The aftermath of the violence has left her numb.” (Credit: Gauri Gill | The New York Times)

In India InkThe New York Times blog about India, a survivor of the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom in New Delhi writes of the experience during the carnage, and of the attempts by the Indian state to erase the history of its own participation. Most recently, Jaspreet Singh describes the efforts by government officials to prevent Sikhs from raising a memorial in tribute to the victims of the pogrom:

Such control over sites of traumatic memory suggests the state is deeply anxious about restoration of forgotten histories, especially the crimes it committed against its own citizens in the recent past. The memorial will necessarily question the official narrative around ‘what to remember’ and ‘how to remember’. In India, it seems, only the party in power has the supreme right to build memorials, and the ones it keeps constructing with obsessive zeal are around the lives and deaths of so-called great leaders. Yet India has no memorials for around 1.5 million people killed and over 12 million displaced during the violent Partition, accompanying the birth of India and Pakistan in 1947.

To date, the Indian state has by-and-large failed to administer justice for the organized massacre of Sikhs in Delhi and beyond that followed the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the end of October, 1984.

Read more of the impactful piece by Jaspreet Singh at The New York Times.

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  1. Pingback: The Veep visits India | American Turban

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