Towards a new state that ensures prosperity and protection for all!
Statement of the Central Committee of Communist Ghadar Party of India, 28th October, 2014
Thirty years after the gruesome massacre of an estimated 10,000 people of the Sikh faith in Delhi, Kanpur, Bokaro and other places, the truth about that genocide remains hidden and the guilty remain unpunished. The rulers are free to commit more such crimes.
This 1st of November is the 30th anniversary of that horrific crime committed by Bharat Sarkar against its own citizens. Thousands of people will march in central Delhi to mark this occasion and demand justice. Representatives of the victims will be joined by a wide range of parties, including Communist Ghadar Party, and numerous other political organisations fighting for human rights and people’s empowerment, and justice loving personalities.
Faced with the demand for truth and justice, the official response is to say that we must “forgive and forget”. There are some voices calling for “Truth and Reconciliation”. Reconciliation means that once the truth is established, we must give up the demand for justice.
How can people accept that once guilt is established, the guilty must be forgiven? How can we accept that it is fine for the State, which is supposed to protect all citizens, to kill them instead? No, such an idea is unacceptable. There can be no reconciliation with the adharma of a State that kills its own citizens, instead of protecting them.
The facts about the massacre of Sikhs in November 1984, as well as the facts about the assassination of Indira Gandhi, which supposedly triggered the massacre, have been deliberately distorted in the official accounts. People continue to be fed with a pack of lies.
All official documents continue to refer to the “anti-Sikh riots” of 1984. The word riot means a spontaneous and violent outburst of anger by a large group of people. Rajiv Gandhi, who became the acting Prime Minister following the assassination of his mother, promoted this big lie by publicly saying, “When a big tree falls, the earth will shake!”
There is ample evidence, including what our Party members and supporters saw with their own eyes and heard from the thousands of victims in relief camps in the Gurudwaras of Delhi in November 1984, which prove that the attack on Sikhs was not spontaneous at all. It was not a mass reaction to the killing of the then Prime Minister, as was implied by Rajiv Gandhi. It was pre-planned and overseen by the leaders of the ruling party, with full complicity of the security forces. It was a blatant act of state terrorism, targeted at people of a particular community, with no justification whatsoever. Every Sikh whose family had suffered inhuman atrocities said not a single word against Hindus. All their anger was directed against the Authority, the Sarkar.
It is by now a well-known and established fact that the assailants in all parts of Delhi had been supplied with voter lists, school registration forms and ration card lists, by which to locate Sikh homes and shops. It is also an established fact that the security forces stood by watching the killing and looting, and in some cases intervened to disarm the Sikhs before they were attacked.
Communist Ghadar Party and other progressive forces in the country have been pointing out repeatedly, for the past 30 years, that it was not a riot. Calling it a riot means to turn the truth on its head. It creates the impression that it is the people on the streets who were to blame, not the authority. The truth is however the exact opposite. It is the State that organised the massacre. People tried their best to protect their neighbours from the assailants. It is the State that violated the rights of citizens and unleashed terror against innocent people.
The call to attack all Sikhs was given on 1st November, 1984, by political leaders of the ruling party, on the basis of propagating the lie that “Sikhs have killed Indira Gandhi”. It was a convenient fabrication, an assertion with no proof.
It was reported that the Prime Minister had been shot dead by one of her own personal bodyguards, in front of her house. The two personal bodyguards were immediately arrested and disarmed. Then one of them was killed in captivity, a suspicious act that remains a mystery till today. The motive for such an act was obviously to cover up the truth.
There are unofficial reports that the bullet which killed Indira Gandhi entered her body from behind and not from the front, where the two bodyguards were standing. Is it possible that one of the security men saw who actually shot her? Could that be the reason why he was killed after having been arrested? There are no answers to any of these questions. The assassination of Indira Gandhi is shrouded in mystery, as is the killing of her bodyguard in captivity.
A Prime Minister being shot dead by her bodyguard is a sign of serious crisis within the State machinery. It indicates the hand of some powerful interest. It ought to have prompted a serious investigation to find out which domestic or international force had masterminded this assassination, and to achieve what political end.
Without investigating who really was behind the conspiracy to kill Indira Gandhi, those in power started spreading the word that “Sikhs have killed Indira Gandhi”. They openly called for revenge, blood for blood, against the entire Sikh community.
A crisis within the state administration was deliberately presented in communal colours. The fact that the two bodyguards were Sikhs was used to blame an entire community and make them the target of an organised massacre.
The fact that the truth remains hidden even after 30 years shows that the ruling class does not want it to be revealed. It shows that the existing political system in our country is based on deceiving the people and keeping the truth hidden.
In response to the people’s continuing struggle for justice, several investigation commissions have been constituted. While exposing the involvement of individual political leaders, such official investigations failed to reveal what was going on at the top, such as in the Cabinet and in the Home Ministry, during those dark days of 1st to 3rd November. The official investigations have suffered from the fundamental flaw that the genocide is treated as a riot, and not as a politically motivated crime in which the party in power and the entire state machinery is guilty.
Since 1984, Congress Party has been replaced by different coalitions of parties, including the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. Parties have replaced one another but justice has not been done about the crime committed in 1984. On the contrary, many more targeted killings by the state security forces have taken place, in many parts of the country. What does this show? It shows that periodically changing the party in power is not going to fulfill the demand for justice. The problem is deeper than just the party in power.
Considering the entire experience of the past 67 years since the end of British colonial rule, it is clear that no matter how many times parties change places in this system, the violence of the State against citizens has only grown from bad to worse. From the Hindus and Muslims of Punjab, Bengal and Kashmir during the Partition, to the Nagas, Manipuris, Mizos and Kashmiris for decades on end, the list of the victims of state terror has expanded to include the Sikhs in Punjab, Delhi and elsewhere, Muslims in Gujarat, UP and elsewhere, Christians and adivasis in various regions. This shows that the root of the problem lies in the very foundation of the State we inherited in 1947.
The existing State is a continuation and further evolution of the colonial state. It is an instrument of divide and rule, an organ of oppression and terror, of rule by an exploiting minority class through the ballot and the bullet, and through the organising of diversions and periodic massacres of this or that section of the people.
From ancient times, people in this subcontinent have upheld the political principle that it is the duty of the raja to ensure prosperity and protection for the praja. Without protection, or raksha, prosperity is not possible. If a raja fails in this duty, if he oppresses the praja instead of providing raksha, it was considered to be the right and duty of the praja to get rid of such a raja.
Life experience has shown that the existing State is an instrument of oppression and terror. It will never ensure the protection of all citizens. We therefore have the right and the duty to get rid of this State and replace it with a new State that would guarantee prosperity and protection for all.
We need to make a clean break with the colonial and imperialist institutions and theories implanted by the British. We must draw on the best of Indian political theory and the most advanced scientific thought on the world scale.
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the gruesome massacre of Sikhs organised by the Indian Republic, let us pledge to escalate the struggle for truth and justice, with the perspective of establishing a civilised Indian State committed to ensure prosperity and protection for all.