The Bold Voice of J&K

Riot politics

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It is over three decades when the country saw one of the worst communal riots for which no political accountability has been made till date. The November 1984 anti-Sikh riots following Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination on 31st October, 1984 has turned out to be one of the worst human tragedy that maligned the political system. The worst affected was the northern part of the country especially in the Hindi belt where the rioters enjoyed political blessing and backing of the ruling party at that time.  The involvement of senior Congress leaders like H. K. L Bhagat and Sajjan Kumar have allegedly shown to have the political patronage at highest level. This became more evident with the setting up of Judicial Commission under Ranganath Mishra and subsequent commissions which have failed to bring forth the actual culprits. The sordid episode showed killings were one sided attack and police remained a tacit partner in the whole game by refusing any protection to the targeted groups.  It does not take much to recognise several or all the symptoms in communal killings that have followed since; whether it is Godara in Gujarat or Muzzfarnagar or Baduan in Uttar Pradesh or recently in Trilokpuri of Delhi area.  In Muzzfarnagar the aftermath of communal riots which witnessed displacement of about fifty thousand members of minority community and politics over rehabilitation of the victims was a potent and potential weapon – especially in the polarised Lok sabha poll pitch in May, which Muslim politicians and candidates of the Samajwadi Party and the BSP in western UP exploited to galvanise Muslim votes. Indira Gandhi’s death gave Congress one of largest victories at the elections in which Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister. The State has a lot to answer and now with a new political strategy of the BJP in Punjab becoming palpable, one can hope for political initiative from the government to ensure that justice is meted out to the survivors of the 1984 riots.

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