Speak: your lips are free Speak: your tongue is still yours Speak: this lissome body is yours Speak: this life is yours Speak: so that the truth can prevail ….
The secular brigade, which works itself up into just the right kind of outrage after every such carnage, could do with soul-searching on these allied issues.
But can we afford to forget the Delhi riots? Can we afford to forget the way the government in power allowed the killings to continue for days on end? Can we afford to forget the way people were roasted alive or butchered by armed gangs that walked the streets of Delhi openly and defiantly, unafraid of forces of law and order? Or, were they protected, aided and abetted by these same forces? Is there any hope that we can ever solve this problem of communal and caste violence? I don’t think so. Unless we have the will to do so. And not unless we can use every moral weapon in our armoury to make our governments more accountable, our law enforcing agencies more responsible.
Slogans and pretexts have been the secret arms of a callous elite, which has rarely been seriously concerned about the welfare of those over whom it lords. It is this callousness we must fight. Otherwise, many more Delhi will keep occurring. (Haven’t they already occurred during the last 21 years – Gujarat and Marad, for example?) Many, many more people will be killed on the pretext of religion, caste, and community. The violence will grow all around us, while its perpetrators walk the streets as free men, their chests puffed out, and their heads held high.
It is time for us to be ashamed of our silence. It is also time for us to be angry. Angry with the men who commit such heinous crimes. And also with those who stand by and watch them. Watch them maim, murder, loot, burn, destroy. Only our anger may scare them. Only our anger may force the authorities to act. To see that such terrible things are not allowed to happen, again and again.
Time has no discriminatory qualities. It heals even those wounds, which should not be healed. The tears of victims may have dried up with time, even though the residual hurt must have remained. At any rate Sikhs are a phlegmatic enough community that, has taken several hurts and prejudices in its stride. But this particular hurt is too hard to live down.
Even if all the earthly courts or commissions of inquiry were to find these monsters not guilty of any crime and set them free, we can be assured, now and always, that the heavenly court will brand them forever with the curse of God. In case they are still alive, we can be sure, theirs is a life so-called that is a million times worse than death. "There is a higher court than the courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts"( Mahatma Gandhi).