From: Satbir Singh < >
Thousands of memorial and govt. schemes in honor of killer of sikhs, Rajiv Gandhi
A cat has nine lives. I have more than nine lives. I have been saved many times by the Creator from the clutches of death. However, once death stared right into my eyes and that of my family as well as that of a Sikh family whom I had given protection in 1984. On 31st October, 1984, I learnt the sad news of the death of our Late Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi at the hands of her fanatic Sikh body guards. I expressed my shock to all my colleagues. In the evening, I took my Chartered Bus and went to my home. Nothing had happened in Shalimar Bagh where I was living and even now am living.
But on 1st Nov., 1984, my brother-in-law came informing me that Sikhs are mercilessly being killed at the orders of the current Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi whose mother had been killed by two fanatic Sikhs. He break my name plate into many pieces and threw it away and then covered the empty space with a Chaddar. He warned me not to go outside and then quietly went away. Of course, he was a Hindu. However, a Sikh family who lived behind our home, requested me to give them shelter as death stared me into my eyes. I could not say “No” to that family and gave them shelter in my home.
I was, of course, a clean shaven Sikh and used to smoke cigarettes like anything. So, hiding the Sikh family in the rear room of my home, I opened the front room of my home and sat in my verandah smoking cigarettes after cigarettes. I saw a Sikh who had been badly beaten being led by the Police. Soon, a mob came but seeing me smoking, ignored my house and went away.
Far away, I saw fire rising in the sky as the petrol pumps and houses belonging to Sikhs were being burnt. I took courage and with cigarette in my mouth went into the street right into the mob. The mob consisted of plebian elements and they were cutting the hair of a Sikh with a sickle who was crying mercilessly, but there was no one to listen to his cries.
Arson, burning and looting continued for the two days of 1st and 2nd Nov., 1984 and I read it in newspapers that about 10,000 Sikhs had been killed. All this stopped when Army of Gorkhas arrived on 3rd Nov., 1984 and we heaved a sigh of relief. After that nothing happened; but a few years later, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi who had ordered the killing of Sikhs was killed in a suicide bomb attack by a Tamilian, but no Tamilian was killed in retaliation. However, so many memorials were built in his honor and so many schemes; all Govt. welfare schemes were named after him. This was the treatment given to the killer of Sikhs.
I was 39 years old then. Now I am 67 years old but even after 28 years I get scared whenever I remember the Sikh massacre of 1984. I call it massacre because no Non-Sikh had died. Is it justifiable that so many memorials should be built for the lone killer of Sikhs, Rajiv Gandhi, who ordered the killing of Sikhs?
Satbir Singh Bedi