Kids Corner


Rajiv Gandhi:
He Who Shall Not Be Named?!





While there has been due (even if not sufficient) protest (even if not with results) against the current ‘Pogrom Prime Minister‘, Narendra Modi, this week's posts and analysis about 1984 are conspicuously silent on that heir-of-violence: Rajiv Gandhi.

Neither the recent Human Rights Watch statement about the impunity around 1984, nor the considerably weaker statement by the once more radical Amnesty International, even elude to the command responsibility for 1984.

Facebook warriors are similarly quite stifled in their reaction. While seldom limiting themselves to saying “Amit Shah should be re-investigated,” the same brave voices end at the names of HKL Bhagat, Arun Nehru, Sajjan Kumar, Kamal Nath, and Jagdish Tytler … and, of course, the likes of Amitabh Bachchan … when speaking about 1984.

It's no wonder the lower rung of politicians were rewarded by the Congress party with coveted political portfolios and constant shielding: in the imaginary of even the most outspoken justice-loving Indian, their names have foreshadowed Rajiv's for the last three decades.

During this 30th anniversary, Sikhs themselves across the world are engaged in memory efforts, including days of remembrance (the “Yaad” Project), videos of 1984 voices seldom heard, art and poetry , and some are more bravely calling a spade a spade and  saying that Narendra Modi's electoral victories are simply a reflection of Rajiv Gandhi's precedent.

One effort by Sikhs on the 25th anniversary went further:

    We, the undersigned, call for

    An independent international inquiry into Rajiv Gandhi and the Congress party's role …


    The immediate removal of the name of former Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, from all public monuments, airports, roads, stadia, parks, sports awards, and professorships.

While this petition didn't get as wide traction, it did make an obvious point:

The age-old Indian tendency of servility to those in power is thwarting actual demands of justice and non-repetition of violence.

International criminal law recognizes the primacy of holding the one with the maximum responsibility most guilty in order to break cycles of impunity.

“Command responsibility” holds a superior legally responsible for human rights violations by subordinates if the official knew or should have known about these violations but failed to prevent them or punish those who committed them.

Failure to prevent or punish is firstly evidenced in Rajiv's notorious dismissal of the murders as “When a big tree falls, the earth does shake a little.”

The petition's related website also points out how a 2014 PIL asking for revocation of honors to Rajiv Gandhi was immediately shot down by the esteemed Supreme Court of India with an explanation that the petitioner “may become too emotional.”

Emotions indeed continue to run high particularly because the plain truth is seldom spoken, even by the best of advocates.

When writer Manoj Mitta recently testified on the 1984 pogroms at a US Congressional hearing last month, he said, “When the two Houses of Parliament passed resolutions condoling the death of Indira Gandhi, they steered clear of any reference to the thousands of innocent Sikhs who had been killed to avenge her murder.”

Mitta himself steered clear from the obvious point that Rajiv Gandhi must be named for the killings that happened under Rajiv's watch.

As Arundhati Roy summed up years ago, standing for victims cannot be party-dependent:

Take any politically volatile issue and you see the Congress has been there before. (But) it has done by night what the BJP does by day. It has done hypocritically, covertly what the BJP does with pride.”

The author is an activist, accountant, reader, mother, and Punjabi, who spends her time between Punjab and Canada.

[Courtesy: Counter Currents. Edited for]
November 6, 2014

Conversation about this article

1: Sunny Grewal (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada), November 06, 2014, 11:24 AM.

I personally do not care about Rajiv Gandhi and the inability to link him to the '84 pogroms. The entire point of naming people is to get some kind of justice. Rajiv Gandhi was blown sky high by his co-religionists, the only thing left of this monster was his Italian made shoes. I am content with that cosmic judgement.

2: Kaala Singh (Punjab), November 06, 2014, 11:34 AM.

Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler, HKL Bhagat, Lalit Maken, Arjun Dass ... are all henchmen, the chief architect of the 1984 anti-Sikh genocide was Rajiv Gandhi, a person whose moral compass was completely undeveloped, just like his mother Indira Gandhi and his brother Sanjay Gandhi. There was a time when Sajjan Kumar and Tytler were about to be convicted under pressure from Sikh and human rights organizations, they publicly threatened to reveal "everything" about 1984 which meant that they would blow the lid off on the involvement of Rajiv Gandhi and then began the process of saving these guys from the gallows which continues till today. Only yesterday, Shiela Dixit, the former Chief Minister of Delhi and a Sikh by birth, married to a Hindu, and a Sonia Gandhi stooge, publicly talked about the political rehabilitation of Tytler and Sajjan Kumar. As I have written earlier, it does not matter who is in power. As far as the Sikhs are concerned, there is a tacit agreement between Congress and BJP that nobody will be touched. Instead of wasting time and money in Indian courts the Sikhs should build international pressure and concentrate on building a deterrent capability if they don't want a repeat of 1984.

3: Kaala Singh (Punjab), November 06, 2014, 12:36 PM.

Shiela Dixit is calling for the political rehabilitation of Sajjan Kumar and Tytler and I know what is cooking. Sajjan and Tytler are saying to the Congress-wallahs - "We did this for you and now we want our share of the looted pie". And I suspect Congress has been paying them and all other goons to keep their mouths shut. The street urchins the Congress used in 1984 have got nothing to lose when revealing the facts and more to gain by milking the Congress. You think this is crazy, consider the the recent revelation of the Punjab Police officer who publicly admitted recently that he had killed 81 innocent people on the orders of his superiors and he suddenly vanished when his dues were paid.

4: G C Singh (USA), November 06, 2014, 12:39 PM.

As I have mentioned here on this forum many times, it was Rajiv Gandhi and his cousin Arun Nehru who were the masterminds of the state-sponsored pogrom against the Sikhs. Bhagat, Tytler, Sajan Kumar, Bhajan Lal, Maken, Dharam Das, etc were field commanders overlooking the implementation. In fact the meticulous planning for the massacre of tens of thousands of Sikhs all over India was planned much before Operation Blue Star. Even our own Sikh organizations, political parties, clergy and Sardar HS Phoolka have, sadly, refrained from naming Rajiv Gandhi as the chief culprit. It is as abhorrent as not naming Hitler for the Jewish holocaust. After a miraculous escape from the mobs on the evening/night of 31st October 1984, I returned to my home on 1st November and searched the phone number of the Associated Press office which was near Connaught Place and called them on 2nd November. I spoke to an AP reporter that the massacre of Sikhs has been ordered by Rajiv Gandhi. If the Indian Government and Hindu establishment have an iota of fairness and justice left in their veins, they should do the right thing and remove Rajiv Gandhi's name from all the above named places the author has mentioned. At the site "Vir Sthal" where Rajiv Gandhi was cremated, a fitting memorial be built in memory of his victims whom he mercilessly had brutalized, raped, burnt and murdered. All his wealth in India and abroad should be attached and distributed to the kin of all those Sikhs who have suffered at his hands.

5: Rup Singh (Canada), November 07, 2014, 8:51 PM.

I believe we forgive and forget very easily. Remember not too long ago Rahul Gandhi came to Darbar Sahib. Shouldn't such scoundrels be banned? I mean, a few Sikhs got excommunicated over tables and chairs (not the issue here, just an example), but the likes of Gen. Brar, KPS Gill, among others, were never summoned to The Akal Takht or excommunicated or simply banned from all gurdwaras for their atrocities against Sikhs. I just say, please stop filling the coffers, donate where it's needed, that's the only way to get rid of these incompetent jathedaars and the likes of the SAD party. In a way, aren't we are funding our own destruction?

6: Kaala Singh (Punjab), November 07, 2014, 11:22 PM.

The planning for November 1984 was done months in advance. A massacre of this scale cannot be planned in a day. This suggests that November 1984 would have happened even if Indira Gandhi had not been executed for her crimes. Has anybody heard of a so-called "democracy" planning the genocide of its own innocent citizens with tax-payer money and the money made through scams in Government contracts? Nobody will be touched for this carnage because the trail will lead right to Rajiv Gandhi and Arun Nehru, and Sonia Gandhi who has been shielding the culprits all these years. A lot of people in the Congress, including our own stooges in that party, has been telling the Sikhs to "forgive and forget" because it hurts their image. Imagine a country and a political party that goes around the world beating the drums of democracy being exposed to be worse than the "Taliban". A political party that derives its inspiration from the "apostle of peace and non-violence" Mohandas Gandhi, is exposed in front of the world as a bunch of genocidal killers and thugs. What the Sikhs must do is to raise this issue at every forum, in every country and everywhere possible and increase the "cost" of covering up these crimes. You can imagine the kind of money the Congress must have paid to the Government officials who conducted the "enquiry" and the police officials who conducted the "investigations" and the judges who ruled that the accused were "not guilty" and not to forget the small time criminals and street urchins they used who would regularly demand money to keep their mouths shut. Let us drain these guys of their ill-gotten wealth. It is good to see what Sikhs in the US are doing. Let us keep doing this in India and abroad. These scoundrels should know no peace.

Comment on "Rajiv Gandhi:
He Who Shall Not Be Named?! "

To help us distinguish between comments submitted by individuals and those automatically entered by software robots, please complete the following.

Please note: your email address will not be shown on the site, this is for contact and follow-up purposes only. All information will be handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Sikhchic reserves the right to edit or remove content at any time.