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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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More Power Given to Congress State Units For 2019 Battle

The source also said that the state units have been asked to prepare a "charge-sheet" about the Modi government and its policies, particularly issues affecting the economy

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Congress on Friday promised to create one crore jobs across the southern state
Congress state units given more power for 2019 battle- wikimedia commons

Bracing up for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress has accorded more powers and autonomy to its state units in deciding candidates as well as strategising for publicity and coordination.

According to informed sources, in a meeting of the Congress core committee with state presidents held on Thursday in the national capital, the central leadership asked the state units to fill up vacancies in block and district committees at the earliest besides identifying probable candidates for the 2019 mega battle in the respective states.

“Keeping in view that there will be state-specific alliances and electoral understandings, the state units have been asked to identify potential seats that can be spare for the allies. The emphasis is also on reaching out to the grassroots and build connect with the masses at booth levels,” said a party source.

The source also said that the central leadership harped on finalising the candidate lists providing ample time for discussions on seat sharing with probable allies.

Besides the national issues including the Rafale deal, agrarian distress and unemployment, the state units have also been given a say to have local issues accommodated in the party manifesto for 2019.

credit: www.indiawires.com

Congress President Rahul Gandhi has constituted a 19-member Manifesto Committee to chalk out the manifesto for the general elections.

The source also said that the state units have been asked to prepare a “charge-sheet” about the Modi government and its policies, particularly issues affecting the economy.

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Gandhi has already constituted a nine-member “core committee” to supervise and organise the party’s preparations for general elections that includes party veterans like A.K. Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, P. Chidambaram and Mallikarjun Kharge.

With the party persistently raising the issue of tampering of electronic voting machines (EVMs), state units have also been asked to organise workshops to educate the party workers about the functioning of the machines and guard against any malpractices. (IANS)