Thanks – Hon. Chidambram by Jasbir Singh Sethi
By Jasbir Singh Sethi
Hon. P. Chidambram, currently the Indian Finance Minister and earlier the Home Minister, recently has invited SIKHS to be part of rebuilding of a new India, by forgetting the painful memories of 1984. This is no doubt a profoundly serious offer to Sikhs and deserves a serious consideration, not just the emotional outburst of negative reaction by Sikh leaders. The extreme emotional outburst by Sikhs all over does prove that “1984” is a blistering wound.
Hon. Chidambram is a polished politician. Most politicians will promise the sky and certainly in sync with the aspirations and feelings of the people. Their track record, however is that promises seldom are fulfilled. But it is very rare that a politician will ever say, “I cannot do it.”
Firstly, Hon. Chidambram recognizes the great patriotic and constructive potential of Sikhs in rebuilding a Great and New India. That prompted him to extend the “invitation.” Secondly, he must also have noticed that somehow the Sikhs are not yet part of this rebuilding process and are on side lines, hence this invitation. Thirdly, he has also perceived that the tragedy of 1984 has caused such deep wounds that are still agonizing the Sikh psyche, hence a direct reference to 1984.
Fourthly, he asks the Sikhs to “Forget” it. Alternative to forgetting is giving the Sikhs, the “Justice” they have been demanding for at least 27 years.
Is it that his choice of “forgetting”, rather than promising “justice”, as explicit as possible (in political jargon), implies that, “He does not have Justice in his forte?” If he had it, then as a generous person and as admirer of Sikhs, he would have given it to the Sikhs.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji also tells us,
“Jo Bhande wich vast so nikalae, kiya koyee karae veechaara”. “Sahib jiska bhukha nanga howe, tis da nafar kithun ruj khae, je Sahib ke ghar vast howe, anhhondi kithu pae.”
A person can offer only what he has, how can the poor fellow give, what he does not have. So why don’t the Sikhs understand once and for all that there is no use of crying “Justice, Justice”, because the type of Justice they are demanding is just not there.
“Forgive and Forget” is a well known phrase. This means you forgive thereby let go of the Bitterness and move on. Simply “forgetting” is just never possible. Nobody ever forgets such happenings. Of course, a “Closure” is definitely required to move on. Most of the modern world techniques are: build memorials, memorial walls, monuments, museums, research centers, etc. This outward expression brings a closure, and normal life can begin. These Memorials serve as constant reminders to future generations to learn and probably avoid such mistakes.
From this point of view, should not Hon. Chidambram, also not forget 1984, because, those four days, all over the country and particularly in the country’s capital – DELHI, their was a virtual death of Indian Administrative/ Law and Order Services; State Terrorism was let loose and thousands of innocent men, women, children, old men and women were brutally murdered, raped, killed with tires burning around their necks, properties looted and torched. The fires were seen on TV all over the world. Police and Military proved completely incompetent, the politicians and journalists became impotent; Justice Organizations not only put on black blind folds but also had ear plugs so that they could not hear the shrieks of victims. Hon. Chidambran, Sir, you better create an appropriate memorial, for the sake of future generations of INDIANS, to warn them to stay vigilant and let not India lapse into such dreadful well. (1) (2)
Strangely, this aspect of “not forgetting”, the Sikhs have already FORGOTTEN. Have they built any monument, museum to commemorate 1984? No. rather they have themselves obliterated any markers or reminders. The posterity will never know about 1984.
Sikhs, however, have internalized the trauma of this horrific tragedy. That has become an unhealed wound. This pain caused an emotional outburst of reactions all over. A closure is needed, as this unhealed wound is sapping all the creative energies. (3)
“Outburst” however, smells heavy of “revenge”. A feeling of revenge is extremely negative and destructive feeling. Why can’t it be replaced by “FORGIVENESS”. Forgiveness is a DIVINE Quality. We say, “To err is human, to FORGIVE divine.”
Guru Gobind Singh Ji has given us even a still better closure in the form of “ZAFARNAMA” (A Declaration of Moral Victory). Why not the Sikhs issue a collective ZAFARNAMA and declare their Moral Victory? We claim that our father is Guru Gobind Singh Ji. We also regard Him as King of Kings. Does it behoove Sikhs (Sons of a King of Kings) to become beggars?
“The Time and tide wait for none.” Precious time is passing fast. The lofty ideals of Khalsa, our destiny, to bring peace, dignity, equality and freedom to humanity, is a long way to be achieved. Declare your moral victory by issuing another Zafarnama. For Guru Ji’s sake stop the irreparable damage already fast eroding the Sikhism. Indira’s real plan to reduce Sikhs to insignificance is close to completion. 1984 has caused a chasm in Sikh Psyche and created a Spiritual Vacuum. This vacuum has been deliberately filled by proliferation of Sants, Babas, Deras and even with the liquor (the sixth river in Punjab). (4) (5)
Jasbir Singh Sethi Houston
(1) Additional Sessions Judge Rajendra Prasad in his March 2009 Judgment in the 1984 lynching case of Head Constable, Niranjan Singh, “ Killing of innocent persons due to communal reasons is an indelible blot in the history of human civilization…We will hardly be pardoned by the generations to come for such a carnage.” (Ref: VIEWS AND REVIEWS by Jasbir Singh Sethi ; 1984: recent judgment page 82)
(2) “India though is emerging as a country to be reckoned with, but this prominence may not last long, unless the whole moral structure both at individual as well as at national level is not overhauled” (paraphrase, page 39; FALL AND COLORED LAVES by Jasbir Singh Sethi – Chapter 5 – Nanavati Report.
(3) Ibid Chapter 3 – CLOSURE
(4) Ibid Page 40 – paraphrase
(5) IN 1945 UNDER THE SHADOWS OF THE OCCUPATION: The Ashlar and The Cross. By Eiichiro Tokumoto (A Japanese Investigative Journalist). This new book on post-war Japan says Gen. Douglas MacArthur sought to fill the country’s “Spiritual Vacuum” with religious and quasi-religious beliefs. He flooded Japan with Religion. (Sikhs have been flooded with Babas and Derawalas – and numerous quasi religionists, like Pirs and Pandits.)