Apropos The Martyrdom Wait (Apr 2), get out and smell the sarson. Over 10,000 people were killed by Beant Singh in false encounters and thousands more are still unaccounted for. The law needs to work for everyone. That is what Rajoana fought for.
Kabir Inder, London
No one disputes that Balwant Rajoana brutally killed Beant and many others. So why are some Sikh organisations supporting this thug?
Gurudev Shorey, Houston, US
>> Yes, the events of Nov 1984 were very bad, but the Sikhs have to bear a huge share of the responsibility.
The Sikh community can be criticized for not only letting the extremist grow and develop, but also openly or tacitly supporting them (to a large extent). I'm sure that some of them (if not many) also tacitly endorsed the murder of Indira, Gen Vaidya or Beant Singh; not to talk of thousands of innocents killed in the name of religion.
That still doesn't make them responsible for the events of 84. That's the basis of a law based society we live in.
Yes, the events of Nov 1984 were very bad, but the Sikhs have to bear a huge share of the responsibility. Remember that a democratically elected PM was killed by her own bodyguards, persons who are supposed to be above, way above, sectarian and political considerations. So you can imagine what the perception of Sikhs was, that too in a very heated environment with terrorism in Punjab- and one is not justifying those killings in Delhi.
Just what was that whole nonsense with Bhindranwale, Khalistan and the Golden Temple all about? Tens of thousands of people lost their lives because of the diktats of insecure, brutal, violent individuals and organisations, like the Babbar Khalsa. And for what?
India is a highly diverse country with many religions and languages, and the freedom NOT to believe in a religion. Asserting that a people or state is "unique' simply won't do. There has to be something visionary and progressive that inspires not only the majority of the people of that state, but of the world in general. Not something like "Hey those guys wear turbans and speak Punjabi, while the rest of India doesn't" or "Them thar Nagas pray to Jesus and have different facial features"
I mean, come on.
Sikhs have no problem with hanging Rajoana as long as the Indian judiciary is seen as impartial and the law would seem to take its natural course, regardless of the accused in question. However what an average Sikh sees is that, on the one hand, judiciary is so eager to hang Rajoana for the conspiracy to commit a political murder ( and important to note, NOT for any murder itself) and yet no one has been hanged for the gruesome butchery of 10000 Sikhs in the streets of the capital of India in open daylight. It is this glaring contrast that drives the turmoil. As for giving it a communal twist, that is deplorable and unpardonable. I am not aware of any Sikh that has made any derogatory references to Hindus during this episode. Some of the Hindu commentators online here could not restrain themselves from casting aspersion on the character of the Sikhs though. This broad smearing and communal bias on their part will not win them many friends in the Sikhs.
Was Balwant Singh Rajoana a follower of one of the greatest killers ever produced , Mr Bhinderawale ? Bhinderawale was worse than Bin Laden. For 7 years , 1977 through 1984, Mr Bhinderwale , hid in Gurudawars and his goons went about murdering punjabis ( Hindus and Sikhs who disagreed with him ) , all over Punjab. Often, they would stop buses and trains, make punjabis stand in a line, and shoot them dead. Millions of Hindu Punjabis, left punjab during that period. I have no doubt , if Guru Govind Singh was alive, he would have personally taken up the sword against that coward killer Bhinderawale, who hid in Gurudwaras, and would have given him justice. Its sad, that some Gurudwaras in England and elsewhere, have pictures of that killer on their premises. There cannot be a greater sacrilege than that.
The 1992 elections did not have a big turn out( incidentally, why not, did the Khalistani militants have something to do with that? ) but the 1993 did, right at the village level.
The point is that the democratic, multi party system was very much in place, and Beant Singh came to office in that system. He was not appointed, nor did grab power in a coup, or military take over, or by assassinating a previous leader.
What was the alternative to wiping out militancy in Punjab, do nothing? Or perhaps negotiate with the likes of the Babbar Khalsa, Khalistan Commando Force and Bhindranwale Tigers?
That whole Khalistan movement, as also the Kashmir movement today, and the insurgencies in the Northeast, were/are so bogus, repellent and regressive. They are not moving toward more democracy, pluralism, secularism and liberalism than the entity against which they are struggling. Rather, less, far, far less. They are essentially extremely parochial, fanatically intolerant expression of religious hatred and ethno-chauvinism, employing enormous amounts of violence and coercion against even their own people, or the people they claim to represent.
If Beant Singh was so bad, and as you imply, got what he deserved, was the entire Punjab, India and the rest of world marking the death of a hated, discredited tyrant? As they would for Idi Amin, Kim Jong Ill or Mullah Omar?
If you are ignorent about a situation , dont comment or at least take the time to research the subject. Fair and free elections in a multiparty system.....get out of your corner shop and smell the sarson...only 5% people voted in that election and it was conducted under military rule. Over 10000 innocent people were killed in false encounters by Beanta Singh and thoiusands are still unaccounted for. This is conservative figures according to independent reports. Law needs to work for every one, and that is precisely what Rajoana is arguing. India media coverage of this incident shows that it is not willing to be objective or independent and takes govt line when Kasmir,North east or Sikhs are in question. Take note of Pakistani media and perhaps even follow them!
>> Rajoana, who pleaded guilty.
In many American jurisdictions, a guilty plea means no death penalty.
>> "When we executed the plan for Beant Singh’s death, we did not have faith in the Indian judiciary since it had done nothing to book the perpetrators of the 1984 Sikh riots."
Booking high level perpetrators of massacres seems to be an impossibilty in India.
"Agree totally with Varun and Kishor Dasmunshi."
It's really incredible. Today, the Tibetan who immolated himself died. He was protesting, desperately, the Chines communist occupation of Tibet, and the total absence of local freedom and democracy in Tibet.
Meanwhile, the Akalis are seeking pardon for an assassin who brutally murdered a democratically elected( in free and fair multi-party elections) chief minister.
The contrast is mind boggling.
Beant Singh and many others were brutally killed by Balwant Singh. No one disputes that. So why are some Sikh organizations supporting this murderer and a cheap thug ? Remember, the grand killer Bhinderwale also used similar logic and his story ended with many thousand innocents losing their lives and property. Its almost incomprehensible that Punjab that had seen so much violence unleashed by the Khalistanis would find people who still support those marauding murderers.
>> In fact BJP shd come out strongly against SAD stand on this matter, otherwise they have no right to demand Afzal Guru's hanging.
Agree totally with Varun and Kishor Dasmunshi. SAD is wrong to suggest that Balwant should not be hanged. BJP is in a bind. They are keeping mum. One odd BJP leader said something like "we shd follow the rule of law" but it is clear that they dont want to stick their neck out and jeopardise their relation with SAD. truly SAD.
In fact BJP shd come out strongly against SAD stand on this matter, otherwise they have no right to demand Afzal Guru's hanging.
Beant Singh is a martyr in the fight against the separatists. It is a shame that his cold blooded killers should be treated as martyrs and their death sentence should be refused by the jail authorities, there is seriously something wrong.
It is equally shameful for bjp to be in comapny of such ppl while claiming to be nationalists and carry as much responsibility by keeping silent
Fine. Then, let's pardon Afzal Guru also.
"Sikhs the world over are proud..."
What the hell is the matter with Sikhs, or these Sikhs who are 'proud' of Rajona? He was a conspirator in the sick, brutal murder of a democratically elected and respected chief minister, Beant Singh. Beant Singh was not Kim Jong Ill, Mullah Omar, Idi Amin, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin or Chairman Mao. Not even Wen Jibao. Popular, democratically elected, and progressive. And you have Sikhs 'proud' of the would be assassin.
There are some real issues regarding the community's nature, when such killers are the objects of pride, and their impending execution( which they themselves desire!) is projected to hurt the cummunity's sentiments. Repulsive.
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