In the wake of many mob lynching incidents and communal tension in the country, people have come forward to protest and try and put an end to it. After Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer from Jaisinghpur in Mewat, was killed by ‘gau rakshaks’ and then Junaid Khan, a young Muslim boy was killed on a train day before Eid, the conscience of many was triggered resulting in widespread protests across the country under the banner #NotInMyName. Now, it is a Facebook user’s post that is going viral on the Internet and moving thousands.
Facebook user Sam Ish, shared an anecdote from her parents’ life, which is now being reshared by many on social media. The incident is from November 1984, when Operation Blue Star in June 1984 led to then prime minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination — resulting in complete mayhem and chaos in the country. The atrocity and hostile behaviour towards Sikhs had no bounds. “Mum and dad were one of the two young couples in that carriage (of train). They had celebrated an anniversary. The other was a Sardar couple married barely a month ago. Who were scared and very worried,” she wrote in her Facebook post.
She goes on to narrate how nobody on the rain betrayed the Sikh man, because if they had he would have been killed. “But that was then. And this is now. Somewhere between 1984 and 2014, Indians lost that spine,” she wrote, as she observed about the current situation when, say for instance, Junaid was getting killed, people around Ramesh was reportedly egging him on.
“On November 1st 1984, my parents were travelling to Delhi from Mughalsarai. News hadn’t reached them that widespread riots had broken out across the country, post the assassination of Indira Gandhi. They just knew that Delhi was tense.
Mum and dad were one of the two young couples in that carriage. They had celebrated an anniversary. The other was a Sardar couple married barely a month ago. Who were scared and very worried.
A little distance after Banaras the train was stopped by a mob and they started checking each compartment. Like Muslims of today the Sikhs that day were suddenly enemies.
The Sardar boy’s wife broke down. But the India of 1984 was not as impotent as the India of 2017. Everyone sprung into action. They closed the compartment door. Since the girl was very nearly hysterical with fear, an old lady, who perhaps had never shown her face in public, took off her burqa in that crowded compartment and quickly hid her. Sikh men are bound by religion to keep their hair long. Those were to be cut. And fast.
Someone handed him scissors.
That is a scene that my father never forgot. As the Sikh boy took off his turban and started to cut his hair- a part of his identity- his hands started shaking so badly, he just couldn’t. He froze. Dad and one other man helped cut it. And cut his beard. While tears fell down his set-as-stone face. Mum, the lady who had given her burqa and the now-hidden Sikh girl sat huddled. They were surrounded by the men in the compartment and the Sikh boy sat on the top berth.
When the rioters entered the compartment a few men went ahead and argued with them. Some professed that they’d themselves kill a Sikh had there been one. They lied and argued until the bunch of a**holes moved on ahead.
No one, NOT a single person in that compartment, either by word or action betrayed the Sikh couple.
But that was then. And this is now. Somewhere between 1984 and 2014, Indians lost that spine.
Now they bow and scrape and are ready to kill a Muslim, any Muslim, justify rapes of Muslim children and clap and cheer at the horrors Indian citizens face in Kashmir or Chattisgarh, and hack down fig trees if their favourite saffron-clad mob-leader tells them to. It is heartbreaking to see such dimwitted and spineless humans.