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The ‘falling tree’ of 1984 Sikh Riot

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New Delhi: At a time when 1984 Sikh riot is still haunting the Congress party and creating quite a flutter in the capital, political majors have pounced on the issue of riots to garner political mileage out of it.

The political parties don’t appear to ever miss an opportunity to use riots for channelizing support in their favor. For instance, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently lamented that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a victim of political intolerance since the Gujarat riots.

In order to silence the opposition chorus on the intolerance tune, Modi took a swipe at Sonia Gandhi for her party’s role in the Sikh riots. The Congress too, in order to gain some lost ground, lambasted the government’s inability in containing the ongoing unbridled religious intolerance across India.

Amid the furore, the Delhi government on Sunday initiated the process of disbursing compensation cheques to the victims of the 1984 Sikh riots. Around 3200 victimized families would be compensated. This too appears to be a political move rather than humanitarian, given the present situation where every media house and political party is engaged in making the other look communal.

But have the moves or mud throwing among the political parties provided any solace to the riot victims?

“When a big tree falls, earth around it shakes a bit.” The historic comment by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi still revitalises horrendous memories among the victims. While the victims of violence are still waiting for justice, the political parties seem to rake up the issue for their personal vendetta. Victims of the massacre have obvious reasons to consider Rajiv’s statement as a prophecy that Sikhs would not get justice. Indeed, 30 years have passed and Sikhs continue to await justice.

Despite Rajiv Gandhi’s statement drawing flak, a faction still considers the statement as a natural reaction of a son who lost a mother who was a colossal leader. But isn’t it the time to forget and forgive?

No! For the riot-ravaged Sikhs, it was a strategic speech that nearly wiped out the Sikh community from the capital.

The “falling tree” legitimized violence against the religious minorities by a government who asserts the claims of being secular.

It is difficult to comment on whether the candle light marches, the sit-in protests, the fiery speeches of the ministers will wipe the tears of the victims. But yes, these incidents and their justifications would definitely remind the world that India has always been a Hindu state under the mask of a secular nation.

The pangs of violence and sufferings of riots will always haunt the Indian psyche despite the relentless efforts by the power-hungry politicians to hush up things.

(Picture Courtesy: www.indianexpress.com)

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Karnataka Polls: BJP On The Way to Win, Congress May Get Hard Defeat

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

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A state of 60 million people, Karnataka is home to the Information Technology hub of Benguluru and was ruled by the BJP once before.
Congress may have to taste defeat in Karnataka, VOA

The BJP was on Tuesday set to return to power in its southern bastion Karnataka as its candidates crossed the half-way mark in vote count, stunning and ousting the ruling Congress and leaving the JD-S at the third spot.

Noisy celebrations broke out in party offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi and across Karnataka as Bharatiya Janata Party nominees were on the victory lap in 118 of the 222 constituencies which voted on Saturday.

This was a dramatic jump from the 40 seats the BJP won five years ago.

The Congress, desperate to retain power in the state amid shrinking appeal nationally, suffered major blows and was ahead only in 62 seats, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trailing in both the constituencies he contested: Badami and Chamundeshwari.

The Congress leader was way behind G.T Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular in Chamundeshwari, Election Commission officials said. And after leading initially, Siddaramaiah fell behind B.R. Sriramulu of the BJP in Badami.

In contrast, the BJP’s Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was ahead of his Congress rival by more than 11,000 votes in Shikaripura.

Energy Minister and Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar said that the numbers indicated that his party was on the way out after five years in power.

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

The BJP was overjoyed. “We are in a jubilant mood because we have crossed the half-way mark. We are confident of winning,” spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS.

BJP activists and leaders celebrated noisily in both Bengaluru and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and party President Amit Shah.

There were also celebrations outside the residence of Yeddyurappa, who has been Chief Minister earlier too.

Of the 2,654 candidates in the fray for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections, at least 883 are crorepatis and 645 have criminal cases against them, said two watchdogs after analysing their affidavits filed with the Election Commission (EC).
Karnataka Polls counting suggests big win for BJP, wikimedia commons

The Janata Dal-Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 40 seats — the same number it won five years ago.

As the vote count progressed, BJP leaders became assertive, saying they were confident of taking power again in Karnataka while Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S.

BJP leader and Union Minister Sadanand Gowda said that there was no question of any alliance.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi.

Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas.

Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday.

Modi’s Performance: Survey Reports That Significant Number of People Rate Performance of Modi Government as Below Expectations

According to market observers, broadly subdued Asian indices and disappointing macro-economic inflation data points released on Monday capped some gains.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in banking, capital goods, metals, consumer durables and automobile stocks.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,993.53 points and a low of 35,498.83 points during the intra-day trade. (IANS)