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1984 Sikh genocide and what it means to me today

Indira Gandhi, the prime minister of India, was just killed and there was a curfew in Bombay.  Shops were closed, no traffic on the street, not much was going on.  Most of the kids were playing cricket on the streets as there was no traffic.   What do 10-14 year old kids know about the killing of the prime minister and how does it impact us.

I clearly remember playing cricket with my friends in Bandra, Bombay and my mother getting worried sick.  There were no cell phones then, and waiting is what a mother can do.  My younger brother was in Delhi visiting my grandparents for a reason I don’t recall.

We did not have direct truck dialing to Delhi, we had to book a call, calls used to be expensive those days.  My mother learned about what happened in Delhi, a day or two after the genocide.  Our family in Delhi was renting a 2nd floor of someone’s bungalow, while their bungalow was being built.   The family living below them on ground floor is Hindu family.  The information I have is, that a bunch of thugs (no religious denomination stated here) came to the bungalow knowing that there was a Sikh family living upstairs.  The Hindu family below had gathered some of their family members and armed themselves with Talwars (swords) and were ready to give up their lives for the Sikhs living upstairs.

This story resonated in many parts of India, many families were spared their lives because of people of other faiths.  However, Thousands of Sikh men, young and old died the days following Mrs. Gandhi’s death.

The Genocide that occurred was purely a political event, Hindu’s did not wake up suddenly and start hating Sikhs.  Politicians in India, until today, have not bought the instigators of the Genocide to justice.  Even with a Sikh Prime Minister at the helm of India, Sikh women, wives, daughters, sisters and friends have not got any justice.

It is true that I think about the Genocide around October and November of every year.  None of my family members were hurt or killed in 1984, which is a blessing, and it is due to this fact alone that I really don’t know the pain that Sikh women who lost their family member, go through.

The arrival of Diwali and then X’mas holidays quickly blankets/covers the Sikh Genocide and it is quick forgotten, until the next year and the cycle continues.

The Genocide that occurred in 1984 in Delhi and other parts of India, shortly after the death of Indira Gandhi needs to be identified by the world, including India as a Genocide.  The rules and laws of India need to be changed and followed to the “T” and all those who took part in the genocide and all those who instigated others to kill Sikhs need to be bought to justice.

That includes Jagdish Tytler ( and Amitabh Bachchan (

The sad reality is that the Indian Government failed not only Sikhs but most of the minority groups in India.  No one is safe there, certainly not the Sikhs.  If a government can let politicians responsible for instigating Sikh Genocide walk free, then there is no HOPE left for the Sikhs in India.

Every October & November, I will remember the pictures and the documentaries I have seen.  I will also remember how I went from an innocent Sikh boy playing cricket to one that absolutely detests the Indian government and system for helping those that caused the Sikh Genocide to get away.

My hands are not tied, I will continue to voice my opinion on blogs, through newsletters and someday, the truth shall prevail and justice will be served, sadly the day might come very late.

I am proud of my Sikh sisters and brothers who use the power of words and pictures to create awareness of what happened in 1984.  To many this is a forgotten and forgiven event, but to the 1000s that are widows and daughters without fathers and brothers, they cannot forget.

The Sikh Women who continue to suffer want justice for the Genocide in 1984.

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