Monday, August 08, 2005

Anti-Sikh riots and lessons for Muslims: Community, Communal riots & Compensation

Do we feel to raise our issues properly?
The report of the second commission on the anti-Sikh riots* is out and has been tabled in the Parliament.

It is a lesson for the Muslims who constitute 15% of Indian population and have also endured horrific riots but compensation remains a dream for them. 

Far from compensation, umpteen reports on anti-Muslim riots have never seen light of the day. Compensation to the tune of lakhs was received by each victim of Sikh riot in compensation but Muslims in the most gruesome riots never received a penny. 

Except Mumbai riots all other anti-Muslim pogroms saw the reports of the commissions go to dustbins. In fact, there was hardly any commission of inquiry instituted in the most riots that were directed against Muslims. 

The brutal killings of Muslims in Hashimpura and Maliana by PAC, the Bhagalpur, Ferozabad, Muradabad, Meerut, Ahmedabad (1969) and Surat riots saw no inquiries. The lack of interest of the Muslims in taking up the case of riot victims and the shameless apathy of the Muslim MPs have been responsible for the gross violation of the human rights of Muslims.

Muslims were targeted again and again because there was no effective opposition. Neither courts were approached, nor social crusades launched. The leadership was either asleep or busy in individual gains at the cost of community.

The Muslim MPs of the Congress are the worst traitors of the community because they never raised the issues of the Muslims, particularly regarding the riots and carnages. The Sikhs have not been content with one Commission and compensation and then the second commission, they still want more.

That is a slap on the face of the Muslim leadership. Sikhs constitute less than 2% of India's population and except Punjab and to an extent in Delhi and Haryana, the community has no electoral importance but they have got justice for them.

[After Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's death in 1984, mobs had targeted Sikhs across the country. Nearly 3,000 Sikhs were killed in the national capital, Delhi, alone]