Remembering the Sikh genocide of 1984 on its 31st anniversary, a massive rally and public meeting took place in Delhi on November 1, 2015. The rally was organized by Association for Protection of Civil Rights along with several other social organisations. Hundreds marched from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar demanding that the guilty of 1984 massacre must be punished and calling on the people to unite to defend the right to conscience and to end state-organised communal and fascist terror.
The people of our country, belonging to all faiths and all regions, have been fighting ceaselessly for more than thirty years to ensure that the truth behind the carnage of 1984 be placed by the government of India before the people of our country, and those guilty of organizing it be punished. We have been demanding that mechanisms be established to ensure that such acts of state terrorism can never again be organised.
However, ten governments have come and gone in this period. Ten Commissions of Enquiry have submitted their reports. Till today, no government has accepted that it was the Indian state that organized the genocide. No one has been punished for the brutal murder in broad daylight of over 10,000 innocent people, the rape of women and girls, and the widespread destruction of property.
Entire experience since the end of British colonial rule, proved 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. This shows that the root of the problem lies in the very foundation of the State we inherited in 1947.
More than 30 organisations participated in the rally. These were Association for Protection of Civil Rights, Lok Raj Sangathan, Social Democratic Party of India, Sikh Forum, Communist Ghadar Party of India, Delhi Shramik Singh, INSAF, Naya Daur Party, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha, Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign, Sikhi Sidak, Citizens for Democracy, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, United Muslims Front, Mazdoor Ekta Committee, Student Islamic Organisation, Nishant Natya Manch, Sikh Youth Forum, CPI-ML (New Proletarian), Rashtriya Ulama Council, Bibek Trust, Delhi Shramik Sangathan, All-India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushwarat, Nagarik Parishad, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations, National Christian Forum, United Sikh Mission, and others.
Many prominent personalities from all over the country who have been fighting for human rights, against state terrorism and state organized genocides addressed the meeting at Jantar Mantar at the conclusion of the March from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar. They included Shri S. Raghavan of Lok Raj Sangathan, Shri Sarfuddin Ahmed of Social Democratic Party of India, Comrade Prakash Rao of Communist Ghadar Party of India, Shri Gurlab Singh of Punjabi Bagh Gurudwara, Shri Intezaar Naeem of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Advocate H S Phoolka of Sikh Forum, Dr Sanjeev Chhiber of Naya Daur Party, Advocate Shahid Ali of United Muslims Front, Comrade Narendar of ICTU, Shri Mohammed Anwar of ACPR, Comrade Poonam of Purogami Mahila Sangathan, Shri Mohan Singh of United Sikh Mission, Shri Kailash of Delhi Shramik Sangh, Shri Laeeq Ahmed of Student Islamic Organisation, and Advocate Sanjay of National Christian Forum.
Speakers hailed the people from all walks of life who had marched from Mandi House to the site of the meeting at Jantar Mantar in such large numbers. This is clear evidence that people are not ready to put up with this injustice and that we will not rest till justice is obtained.
31 years ago the genocide was carried out not by Hindus, not by goondas, but carried out by the Indian state, which planned it meticulously. It cannot be called a riot but a genocide planned by the state. According to all laws – Indian and international, those guilty of such heinous crimes should be punished. But the murderers are roaming free. This is not a system where there is justice – Yahaankanoon ka raj nahin hai. It is a rule where communal terror and suppression is used to silence the voices of the people. There is urgent need for justice and peace.
Our experience of the last 31 years tells us that it is not possible that those guilty can be punished within this system or the victims get justice within this system. This is because this State and all its institutions are founded on communal basis; our very Constitution is communal. The political parties which are part of this state may call themselves communal, secular or by whatever other name but they create communal tension and enmity and maintain it in order to preserve this state. We have to seriously question whether there is at all a democratic process or a secular foundation of the state that needs to be strengthened?
The speakers spoke passionately of the unity of all working people notwithstanding their personal religious faith. They condemned these most criminal attacks that are unleashed again and again on the working people. They pointed out that had the guilty of 1984 been punished, then communal genocides of 1992-93 would not have happened, nor 2002 nor 2013 or any other communal genocide.
The call from the speakers was that time had come for all Hindustanis to come out on the streets to oppose this fascist state.
Along with the speakers, all those who were gathered, militantly endorsed their vow to fight for justice till the end just like our revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh and Karatar Singh Sarabha and our revolutionaries of 1857 did earlier. We will not bow our heads. Irrespective of our religious or political belief, we citizens of this country will remain united to build a new India – an India that will provide justice, peace and prosperity to all our people.