View from the right: Justice for ’84 victimshttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/1984-anti-sikh-riots-sajjan-kumar-atal-bihari-vajpayee-5509273/

View from the right: Justice for ’84 victims

An editorial in Organiser also argues that the Congress strategy of fostering divisive tendencies for petty political gains has led to the emergence of many regional and violent movements, which, in turn, led to the party’s decline.

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The conviction of Sajjan Kumar is a major victory for the victims who have been fighting for justice since the massacre of Sikhs in 1984. (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)

The editorial in Organiser notes that the conviction of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar is a major victory for the victims who have been fighting for justice since the massacre of Sikhs in 1984 in the aftermath of the assassination of the-then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The editorial says that the decision should have been welcomed unanimously and the role of the Congress leaders in perpetrating the violence against the Sikh community condemned. “Instead,” the editorial notes, “we find strange responses from the eminent people who said things like ‘Congress has already apologised’, ‘What about the post-Godhra riots’ and ‘it was basically a Hindu-Sikh issue’”. It takes up former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s apology to the Sikh community and Sonia Gandhi’s expression of grief over Operation Bluestar, and then asks: “Why then the Court’s observation that ‘the worst genocide had the political backing’?” “Why was Sajjan Kumar allowed to test his political fortunes by entering the electoral fray?” “The stoic silence of the recently grown up party leadership on the issue and appointing Kamal Nath who faces allegations of instigating the mob in an incident of burning Sikhs in Delhi as CM of Madhya Pradesh further expose the hollowness of apology claims,” the editorial says.

The editorial also argues that the Congress strategy of fostering divisive tendencies for petty political gains has led to the emergence of many regional and violent movements, which, in turn, led to the party’s decline. “Unfortunately, the Congress under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi is feeding the same tendencies that would weaken national integration either on regional identity or ideology of violence. Can Congress own up responsibility beyond the resignation of Sajjan Kumar and emerge as a true ‘national’ party? Or is it too much to expect from the dynastic party?” the editorial asks.

Remembering Atal Ji

December 25 was the first birth anniversary of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee after his death. Both Organiser and Panchjanya have carried articles that pay tribute to the former prime minister. One article in Organiser says that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is carrying forward Vajpayee’s legacy. It adds that like Vajpayee, Modi also believes in democracy and holds that those who govern are not rulers, they are servants. The article highlights initiatives of the Modi government like Digital India, MyGov.in, Jeevan Pramaan, e-Bhasha, e-Sampark, e-Greetings, GST and says that the core idea behind such initiatives is that technology should be a tool to bridge the gap between the government and the citizens. “The idea is to root out corruption by middlemen and facilitate convenient payments and receipts. Prime Minister Modi has expanded the good governance path laid out by Vajpayee,” the article points out. Shiv Kumar, personal assistant of Vajpayee for 50 years, notes in another article that today’s political leaders have a lot to learn from Atal ji. Meeting people, hearing their problems and addressing them immediately should be the top priority of a leader in any party, the article points out and adds that disconnecting oneself from the roots will prove disastrous for the party. The editorial in Panchjanya describes Atal as “Ajaatshatru Atal” and says that he was not just a politician, poet, good administrator and Sangh worker but an institution in himself.

Pulwama Attack

An article in Organiser says that Jammu and Kashmir is passing through a crucial phase. While government agencies are working diligently to restore normalcy in the state, vested interests which include pro-Pak elements, separatists, Pakistan sympathisers and moderates are determined to keep the state in perpetual turmoil, the article argues. It adds that the modus operandi of the miscreants is to create a situation that leads to the alienation of people. “In other words, an anti-government perception is being built among the public to promote their narrative of the government being anti-Kashmiri,” it points out. Referring to the recent incident in Pulwama, the article says that it was a brazen attempt by separatists to derail the process begun by the Governor’s administration to win over the youth and restore normalcy in trouble-torn South Kashmir. The article raises objections on the headlines in several newspapers: “Seven civilians, three militants, one jawan killed in Pulwama gunfight.” This the article contends is factually incorrect. It adds that the headlines should have read, “Seven stone-pelters and three terrorists killed and one jawan attained martyrdom in the Pulwama encounter.” It notes that the use of correct phraseology helps in building correct perceptions and the media needs to realise that.