by P.S. Sahni & Shobha Aggarwal
Presently India is fast galloping towards a fascist Hindu state. The Muslim, Sikh, Christian minorities as also the Tribals and Dalits in India are facing threats to their very existence and don’t feel safe anymore.
The dilemma in which middle class Hindus find themselves today is no different from the predicament faced by the same class of Sikhs during the height of militancy in Punjab in 1980s when demand for a theocratic state pushed aside urge for a genuine Federal setup. The Sikh professionals, retired and serving army personnel, religious/spiritual leaders, politicians and other opinion makers were afraid to take a public stance on the issue. True, there were exceptions and some of them paid with their lives. The Sikh community as a whole got labelled as ‘Khalistanis’ by the corporate press leading to its alienation. In a few instances Hindus were selectively targeted by the militants in Punjab. It resulted in simmering anger in the majority community all over India. This got capitalized by the political class to consolidate majority community votes. Rajiv Gandhi government got elected with over 400 seats in parliament. The Sikhs paid a heavy price by way of Operation Blue Star and genocide of Sikhs in 1984 – a term used by the Delhi High Court in its judgement sentencing senior Indian National Congress leader, Sajjan Kumar to life imprisonment.
Indeed there is a lesson to be learnt from the silence of the opinion makers amongst the Sikh community in 1980s. Even though the vast majority of Hindus are peace loving and tolerant; but their failure to take a stance on the process of converting India into a theocratic state needs to be reversed. The opinion makers amongst the majority community will have to stick their necks out. Also, its high time ordinary members of this community muse over the adage:
“Is Chuppi Ko Todo” (Break this silence).
[P.S. Sahni & Shobha Aggarwal are concerned citizens of India. Email: [email protected]]