A day after JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar stoked controversy claiming that there was a difference between the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and the 2002 Gujarat riots, his colleagues in the larger Left movement —including JNUSU vice president Shehla Rashid Shore — have expressed their disagreement.
“Why should a left leader try to defend the Congress government’s role in the anti-Sikh riots, something that even Rahul Gandhi and his party cannot defend?” AISA president Sucheta De, said.
“To say that 1984 riots were mob frenzy and not state sponsored would only justify the ‘big tree falls’ theory regarding sikh massacre,” she added.
Shehla Rashid, also of AISA, chose to steer clear of Kanhaiya’s remarks saying that while she wasn’t present at the event where the remarks were made, “both 1984 and 2002 were acts of state sponsored violence and we must not draw contrasts between two human tragedies.”
“The survivors of 1984 state sponsored communal pogrom deserve all our support and we must refrain from making any statement that undermines their struggle for justice. In 1984 also, the JNU campus not only opposed the violence, but even sheltered some of the Sikhs who were running for cover. We have spoken out against Gujarat as vocally as against Hashimpura and Singur-Nandigram. We cannot prejudge the case and give a clean chit to the state, when there has been no credible investigation into the whole affair,” Rashid said, on her Facebook page.
“We must not be apologetic about 1984 massacre, but must unequivocally condemn it.”
Kanhaiya, during a panel discussion on “Voices of Azaadi” at the “Jashne-e-azaadi” festival, said “there’s a difference between Emergency and fascism. During Emergency, goons of only one party were engaged into goondaism, in this (fascism) entire state machinery is resorting to goondaism. There is a difference between riots of 2002 and 1984 Sikh riots.