Sikhs want justice, not compensation

    It is too late and too little. The Sikh community, seething with anger at not being done justice is further enraged at the government grant of a paltry sum of INR 500,000 as compensation for the riot victims, 30 years after the mayhem. No amount of financial assistance can satisfy the families who lost their family members in the demonic violence against the innocent Sikhs in Delhi and elsewhere. In fact, some times I think the successive governments have only been making fun of the Sikh community by doling out paltry sums as compensation and denying them the satisfaction of seeing the persecutors being punished.

    Modi government, probably with an eye on Delhi elections, decided to give an additional compensation of INR 500,000 to the families of each of the 3,325 persons identified as killed in the riots against the Sikhs in the wake of Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984. Earlier, a compensation of INR 350,000 was given by the UPA government in 2006. But where is justice? Where is punishment for the perpetrators of violence? Citizens of the largest democracy of the world need ask themselves how democracy can flourish when democratic values are trampled under foot. Where is equality, a basic feature of democracy? Law has to be the same for all.

    Why the same law is not being applied to those who committed the worst and the most heinous crime of killing innocent citizens of India? Is it not the failure of our democracy? The worst part is the government of the time failed to do its duty. In stead of punishing the guilty, it protected them. And by now there is enough evidence, too, to prove without a shadow of doubt, complicity of some big wigs in the then ruling party who joined the guilty in protecting them.

    Will the Modi government go the way of its predecessor or uphold democracy and justice and punish the guilty-that is the question. If Modi government also fails to do justice to the Sikh community, it may well be concluded that minorities will never ever get justice in India. It is time for Modi government to clearly state in its actions whether or not minorities can expect to be treated as equals and given benefit of justice which in any way is their right. Prosecute those who committed violence. And remember justice delayed is justice denied. The ball is in Modi government’s court.

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