Fifteen years ago, on November 1-3, 1984, the rulers of India carried out the cold blooded slaughter of thousands of innocent people belonging to the Sikh faith, in Delhi, Kanpur and other places, following the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
Fifteen years ago, on November 1-3, 1984, the rulers of India carried out the cold blooded slaughter of thousands of innocent people belonging to the Sikh faith, in Delhi, Kanpur and other places, following the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Well known leaders of the then ruling Congress Party led armed gangs to loot and plunder the property of the Sikhs, with the backing of the police, for three full days. They burnt men alive, raped and mutilated women. And this inhuman crime was justified by the then new Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who said, "When a big tree falls, the earth will shake"!
For full fifteen years, the people have been demanding justice – that the guilty of November 1984 must be punished. When the BJP assumed power in the Delhi administration, it was expected that they would punish those leaders of the Congress Party who were clearly identified in the eyes of the people as the criminals who organised the communal violence. But nobody was convicted. Today the BJP has again assumed the position of supreme power at the head of the Central Government, but still the guilty of November 1984 are not only free, they continue to contest elections as the "representatives" of the people! Why is this the case? Why has not a single guilty neta been punished so far?
The answer to this question was revealed by the veteran politician and ex-Prime Minister Chandrasekhar during a parliamentary debate last year. He advised all the parliamentarians to quietly bury this issue for the sake of "stability". If the issue of punishing the guilty of November 1984 is pursued, then the issue of punishing the guilty of December 1992 and January 1993, those responsible for the communal violence following the destruction of Babri Masjid, will also have to be addressed. If both the major parties in parliament get exposed for their communal and criminal acts and their leaders get convicted, then the rule of the bourgeoisie will not be safe. "So let us all agree to forget about November 1984". This was the advice which Chandrasekhar offered and which Vajpayee accepted in the Parliament.
Maybe Mr. Vajpayee can forget but the Indian people cannot forget those black days of November 1984. Those who lost their near and dear ones, killed brutally in front of their eyes, cannot forget. Those who were reduced to abysmal poverty overnight with the loss of all earning members of the family will obviously never forget that event. Nor can the broad masses of workers, peasants, women and youth of India afford to forget the lessons of this gruesome experience.
Lessons of November 1984
The first lesson, which the people drew right at the time it happened, is that it is the rulers who are responsible for communal violence, not the people or their religious beliefs. The victims, those members of the affected families who took shelter in various gurudwaras and makeshift camps, squarely laid the blame on the ruling party and the State. "We do not blame Hindus, we blame the Sarkar", they all said without exception.
Second, although the Constitution declares India to be a "secular" Republic, the Indian State permits political parties to organise communal violence and the police acts to facilitate such criminal acts. The Indian Republic is a communal state. In other words, the "secularism" of the Indian State is a fig leaf, a fraudulent mask that hides the communal face of this State inherited from the colonisers.
Third, the fact that not a single individual leader, not to speak of the party as a whole, has been convicted for his crimes has confirmed that there is no justice under the existing political system. The rulers can commit the most monstrous crimes against the people and the people have no power to stop them, nor even to punish them after the crime has been committed. Far from being convicted or punished, the leading organisers of communal violence can continue to contest elections and become "people's representatives". What exists in the name of the "rule of law" is in fact the rule of arbitrariness, a system where power is concentrated exclusively in the hands of a small minority in societywhich enjoys unlimited powers to do what it pleases.
Fourth, the developments over the past 15 years have shown that what took place in 1984 was the beginning of an epoch in the history of India in which state terrorism, including state-organised violence, became the preferred policy of the ruling class to suppress, divert and divide the opposition to its rule. The policy that had been followed in Kashmir, Manipur and Nagaland for many decades, which had become the policy in Punjab, was now to become the preferred policy of dealing with dissent all over the country. In Uttar Pradesh as well as in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, and all over the country, people have been slaughtered in the name of "law and order" or in the name of "anti-terrorism" or in the name of defending "unity and integrity". Mr. Vajpayee speaks about protecting the life of every citizen of India, but what is the meaning of protection when the Sarkar itself is the biggest threat to the personal security of the majority of citizens?
Empowerment of the People
Drawing all of the above lessons together, it is clear that only the empowerment of the people can establish justice in India. The existing political system and process of parliamentary democracy has to be replaced from top to bottom and from the bottom to the top. Fifty years of this Republic are enough! It is time for the people – the workers, peasants, women and youth of all nationalities and regions of India – to demand and fight for the renewal of democracy so as to empower the people.
When the rulers are the criminals and the criminals control the judges, what must the people do? They must organise to replace the rule of arbitrariness with a new political power where the people themselves will be both the rulers and the ruled.
Workers, peasants, women and youth! It is we who constitute India! We are her masters! Let us unite to affirm our collective and individual rights over this society which belongs to us. Let us take the struggle for justice to its logical conclusion.
On the 15th anniversary of the genocide of November 1984, the Communist Ghadar Party of India calls on all the working and oppressed masses of Indian people to step up the struggle for justice. Let all those who desire justice unite! Let us demand an immediate repudiation of the policy of state terrorism, which means an immediate end to the use of force to settle political and economic problems. Let us fight for the renewal of democracy so as to empower the people. Let us work to reconstitute the Indian Union so as to respect the national rights of all the constituents. Let us affirm the human rights of all members of society and the rights of all minorities, thereby putting an end to national and caste based oppression, religious persecution and discrimination of all kinds.
Punish the Guilty of November 1984!
Repudiate the Policy of State Terrorism!
Make both Congress(I) and BJP Answer for their Crimes!
Fifty Years of this Republic are Enough!
Justice Requires the Renewal of Indian Democracy!
Justice Demands the Reconstitution of the Indian Union on a Voluntary Basis!