“Amu” : India’s Wakeup Call to the 1984 #Rapes and Killings of #Sikhs

THE 50 MILLION MISSING CAMPAIGN BLOG ON INDIA'S FEMALE GENDERCIDE

by Rita Banerji

In December 2012, when the social media was abuzz with news of the Delhi rape protests, our campaign received several messages asking why India had been totally silent on the 1984 mass rapes and killings of Sikhs in Delhi.

This is a reference to an episode in 1984, when following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh bodyguards, for four days there were unchecked and organized attacks on Sikhs in Delhi and other parts of India.  Since the Sikhs are a tiny community, 2% of the population and easily identified by the turbans and other clothing, they became an easy target.  More than 4000 Sikhs were killed, hundreds of women were gang-raped, and homes and businesses burnt down.

A report from the CBI, (India’s Central Bureau of Investigation) shows the massacre was sanctioned and organized by the police and the…

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My Memory of An Assassination

It is strange, how sometimes our memory of a public tragedy is sustained by a totally unconnected personal experience.  So it has been for me with Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination by a suicide bomber 20 years ago.

At the time I lived in Washington DC, and shared an apartment with a Taiwanese friend in the suave Foggy Bottom neighbourhood. Every morning at 7, I would sit at the breakfast table and watch people stream into the city to work in stiff grey and black suits, striding briskly, decisively, towards their destination. Each strider maintained an impervious bubble of personal space, taking care never to collide bubbles or intrude into another. And in-between the bubbles was the city’s uninhabited space: organised, methodical, clinically sterile….

Early morning on 21 May in 1991, my roommate, came rushing to my bed, newspaper in hand. “Look, an African woman has killed your prime minister!” Still disoriented, I scanned the front page trying to avoid the gory photo there. “He was not our current PM and she is not African…”  Read the whole article here in The Times of India

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