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101

There have been reports pouring in that the physical condition of the hunger strikers sitting on fast unto death in GAIRSAIN in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand is deteriorating after four hunger strikers have considerably lost their weight leading to anger and outrage amongst the Gairsain movement activists demanding outright declaration of Gaisain as Uttarakhand’s capital which has been intentionally delayed by the current and the successive governments of the Himalayan state for the last 18 years ruled turn by turn by the BJP and the Congress.

The movement activists are sitting on hunger strike for the last 52 days and the three hunger strikers namely Birendra Arya, Gambhir Singh Negi and Dhyan Singh have lost about six kilograms of weight respectively as per this reporter’s telephonic conversation with MM Dhaundiyal, currently stationed there.

Their blood pressure and suger levels have also gone awry. The weather too is extremely chilly cold and has added further to their miseries. A prominent leader of the left movement having quite a good reputation amongst the local populace who is backing and supporting the movement since the beginning Indresh Maikhuri has identified the Gairsain movement as the war against the system for employment and reverse migration in the hills and questioned the integrity of those who ruled the state during the last 18 years for not accepting the peoples’ demand of Gairsain capital which is technically equidistance from Kumaon and Garhwal regions and symbol of decentralised socio economic, agricultural, educational, industrial and environment friendly development of the state achieved after several years of relentless struggles and loss of 43 precious lives of youths, students, women and sr citizens.

According to the new development the prominent regional party of Uttarakhand which played a key role in the formation of separate Uttarakhand State called the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal has now also actively joined the Gairsain capital movement with former MLA and UKD leader Bipin Tripathi energising the movement in the Kumaon division appealing the youths, students and women to join him in large numbers.

It may be recalled that the movement for declaring Gairsain as Uttarakhand’s capital has started primarily from Rudraprayag by young journalists like Mohit Dimri and others and now it has spread like wild fire in the valleys, cities, towns and the interiors of entire Uttarakhand including in metropolitan cities like Delhi etc. The deteriorating health condition of these hunger strikers have further given new momentum to this on going movement in the hills of Uttarakhand.

The BJP government is having a historic majority of 57 lawmakers out of total 70 in the Uttarakhand Assembly but is still adamant not to declare Gairsain as the permanent capital of Uttarakhand despite the fact that a magnificient assembly building and the secretariat has already been build at Gairsain worth 500 crores during the previous Congress era and some of the assembly sessions have also been conducted here.

Whether its declared a permanent capital or not but news analysts say that even if it is for the time being declared a partial or summer capital, it may perhaps soothe/ bring down the soaring temperature of angered movement activists who are currently up in arms against the ruling political dispensation of Uttarakhand enjoying historic majority but not agreeing to the demand of Gairsain being declared as a permanent capital.

130

A new political tremor has erupted in the politics of Delhi with the ruling party AAP, the direct victim of this tremor and the BJP and the Congress becoming more and more offensive. The election commission of India has declared all the 20 MLAs of AAP as illegal and unconstitutional for arbitrarily and illegally holding the posts of the Parliamentary secretaries and has recommended their case for disqualification to the President.

It may be recalled that the honourable high court has already in its verdict of 12th September 2012 had declared the posts of parliamentary secretaries of 20 AAP lawmakers as illegal, arbitrary and unconstitutional terming the posts as office of comfort or profits as in the constitution there is no such provision of the posts of parliamenatry secretaries and that too to the tune of 21 in a state assembly of merely seventy MLAs.

The election commision has send its recommendations to the President of India for final approval asking for theirabrupt disqualification as MLAs and as per the constitutional experts the president usually gives his or her consent on such recommendations of EC, particularly when there is no stay in the matter from any court of law in the country.

Meanwhile the Delhi high court has also refused the petitions of 6 MLAs who’d approached the court for relief today. The court said since the lawmakers have not been officially declared unlawful and unconstitutional, except recommended to the president there is no case to be addmitted for now. Hence is turned away.

However, the actual position in the matter would be known by Monday and as such, till then things have been kept in abeyance. Political analysts say that in case the president acts on the advice of the Election Commision and dittoes’ the EC’s decision of disqualification of the assembly membership of 20 AAP lawmakers, the strength of the AAP in Delhi assembly would recede to 46.

Presently the AAP has the strength of 66 MLAs in Delhi Assembly. The chief minister Arvind Kejrival and the AAP leaders are badly furious and annoyed over this decision terming it a conspiracy to destabilise the Delhi government by misusing the power and position of the election commision. They emphatically argue that when not a single MLA out of the 20 parliamentary secretaries have not taken a single rupee as a salary that how can they be termed as holding the office of profit whereas the Congress and BJP charge them of incessant corruption and misusing of the official machinery under the guise of holding the post of parliamentary secretaries.

The chief minister Arvind Kejrival said this is the result of his government’s pro people actions and being honest on all counts. When you do good works honestly for the welfare and well being of the poor, down troddens and the people of the lowest ebb of the society you are met with such conspiraorial actions by the ruling party at the centre and the PM says Arvind Kejrival.

Kejrival said: there are always bottlenecks in the way of honesty.
SUNIL NEGI

120

The world famous environmentalist and receipient of several national and international coveted awards and recognitions for his exemplary contribution in the field of environment protection and creating global awareness through his and Gaura Devi’s Chipko movement ensuring end to the arbitrary practice of the mass and indiscrimate felling of trees by the forest mafia in the cohesive green jungles of the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand in 1973 and thereafter, Dr. Sunder Lal Bahuguna turns 92 having taken birth in a tiny village of Garhwal Uttarakhand on 8th January 1927.

A Gandhian by thought, philosophy and actions, Sunder Lal Bahuguna’s protracted career of 70 long years as a freedom fighter, the Congressman, a renowned social activist , a relentless fighter for socio cultural and environmental causes and as a vivacious reader and a prolific writer on environmental and ecological issues starts from his age of just 13 years when he was an adoloscent and actively participated in freedom movement and also against the tyrannical rule of the then Tehri Kingdom having been jailed number of times under the leadership of the then freedom fighter, a social reformer and leader of the masses Sridev Suman.

Recipient of several prestigious awards to name a few – Padma Vibhushan, Padma Shree, Megsaysay and Right lively hood award including scores of other honours Sunder Lal Bahuguna refused the Noble Peace Prize on environment in view of and as a mark of protest against the incessant degradation of global ecology and increasing green house emmisions . Immensely supported and assisted by his better half and herself a Sarvodayi woman leader Vimla Devi having worked with Gandhiji for several years , the latter, while marrying to Sunder Lal Bahuguna has put a condition that if Bahuguna would agree to live in the villages and work for the environmental protection and help the rural people, then only will she tie a knot with him. And Sunderlalji readily agreed.

They both served the masses while living in villages and formed an Ashram providing free lodging, boarding and education to the local youths for decades known as Thakker Baba Ashram. Having visited almost the entire world in world environment conferences on the invitation of various green organisations, and governments, Sunder Lal Bahuguna made a special mark by his eloquent speeches by educating the people of the world on discouraging indiscrimate felling of trees, encouraging more and more plantations and emphasising the dire need for cohesive and dense forests with clean flawless rivers considered to be the lungs and the major life line of the societies.

Bahuguna made history when he first undertook 47 days hunger strike at the site of the Tehri Dam stopping its work and lateron 74 days hungerstrike at Rajghat under the tenures of Prime ministers Narsimha Rao and HD Devegowda. An ardent proponent of small and run of the riven dams, author of several books and hundreds of articles and papers on environment, Sunder Lal Bahuguna is a globally popular and widely recognised environmentalist who made the entire world aware and mobilised by his internationaly known CHIPKO MOVEMENT alongwith Gaura Devi, the founder and her co villagers ( all women) against the rampant and indiscrimate felling of trees not only in the Uttarakhand hills but also in various countries of the world. I was also fortunate to interview him in detail at his Dehradun house twice and also present my book Havoc in Heaven to him. He too presented his one of the books with his affectionate hand written remarks.
SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM

262

UTTARAKHAND is already under the grip of the terror of noctural animals like tigers and leopards and incidents of these predators killing children, women and the villagers are on the rise with the forest department of the himalayan state doing very little or negligible to safeguard the lives of the citizens. Recently few days before a tiger entered a house in a densely populated state capital Dehradun who later on betrayed the forest officials who reached the terror stricken locality and house after four hours devoid of the tranquiliser gun, posing further danger to the populace where the horrible cat must have eloped.

Similarly, these days the inhabitants of the Uttarkashi district of the Himalayan state Garhwal, Uttarakhand are in the horrifying grip of Himalayan wild bear terror where from October 2016 to December 2017 about more than fifteen incidents of wild bear attacks have taken place rendering the local inhabitants and women working in the agricultural fields badly exposed to high risks due to incessant wild bear attacks.

Just two days ago two women who had gone in the jungle of GAJOLI VILLAGE under Usi Ganga Valley for cutting grass for the cows and buffaloes were brutally attacked by the wild bear and had to be addmitted in the district hospital of Uttar Kashi with several grievous wounds.

These two women of Gajoli village situated about 18 kilometre away from the district head quarter in Uttarakashi namely Mashanti and Surja Devi had gone to the jungle that is two kilometre away to cut the grass for pet animals during the noon. The wild bear pounced on them while they were cutting grass and injured them grievously.

On desperately retaliating and making tremendouse noice, the bear went inside the bushes and the injured profusely bleeding women came back running. They were later on ferried to the district hospital by the forest officials on 108 ambulance. During the cool winters when the high peaks of the mountains are covered by snow these wild bears don’t get green vegetation to fulfil their hunger and are therefore constrained to come in the down stream areas near the human hamlets for food.

And in order to protect themselves they get provoked and attack the human beings. In Uttarakhand majority of the children, old aged and women are their victims. Sounds shocking that tiger and wild bear sighting’s have become common in Uttarakhand’s villages and even towns and cities posing grave danger to human lives, these days.

Till now just in a year’s time there have been 15 incidents of attacks in Garhwal, Uttarakhand, majority of them in the villages under the jurisdiction of Bhatwari Block followed by Naugaon and Badkot blocks of Uttarkashi districts in Garhwal Himalayas.

SUNIL NEGI, President, Uttarakhand Journalists Forum

118

The Press Club Of India has expressed its serious concern and reservation over the process of retrenchment and massive reduction and lay off of employees working with NDTV in various capacities since long and has asked its proprietor, the veteren journalist Prannoy Roy to unambiguously explain his view point to the Press Club Of India members and the entire media fraternity.

In a letter addressed to Prannoy Roy already acknowleged by him, the president and general secretary Gautam Lahiri and Vinay Kumar has said: as this year comes to an end, there are disturbing reports emanating from the NDTV which refer to massive reduction and lay-offs of employees connected with the news operations of your organisation.

The letter adds: the Press Club of India has been in the lead role of organising protest meets whenever NDTV was targeted by the government or curbs were sought to be put on it. The PCI has led the struggle for upholding the freedom of the press and expression. There is considerable concern among journalistic community over the current reported move of your organisation which might have been taken considering economic viability of running the news channel.
It further says that the PCI would like to invite you over to the Press Club of India to address a meet and make the stance of NDTV clear so that the journalistic community can understand the logic and reason behind any such move of large scale retrenchment. As you have been forthcoming in your approach, the PCI management is sure that you would accept our invitation to address a meet at PCI which we plan to hold over the next few days.

It may be recalled that the PCI has always been in the forefront when there were attempts to scuttle media freedom and in the case of NDTV as well it hald several protest meets and demonstrations at the PCI precincts few months ago.
SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM

Interview
SURESH NAUTIYAL, Board Member of the Democracy International from Asia, believes that the direct democracy alone will sustain the Democracies all over the world. Here are the excerpts of his conversation with SUNIL NEGI:
Q: In your life, what triggered your activism for more democracy and citizen-participation? Was there a key moment in your life?
I do not remember whether there was a key moment is my life that brought me into activism. However, the disparity, inequality, social injustice and caste system, racial discrimination, gender bias, violation of human rights and marginalisation of certain sections of society like Dalits (the so-called lowest people on the social ladder), Adivasis (indigenous people) and mountain people, women, etc., were reasons enough to push me into the struggles against all these injustices.
In a nutshell, I would say that there obviously was a boiling point in my life that pushed me into activism for more democracy and citizen-participation. To be specific, mid-seventies was the period that brought me into the mainstream of activism. That was the time when I was completing my secondary education. As I entered the college-life, my consciousness had a higher and expanded level of understanding and within next ten years I was into the thick of the peoples’ struggles. One thing I knew from the very beginning was that the injustices would be done away with only if our struggles stuck to the tenets of democracy and philosophy of non-violence. Also, I believed that citizens’ active participation was very essential to fight against the uneven situations. Later, I made my profession, journalism, the weapon of my activism.
Right now, talking about more democracy in a country like India is a misnomer right now because even after several decades of Independence, most parts and most societies in the country remain on the socio-economic and political margins and they still feel not only neglected and deprived but also humiliated. Neglect and humiliation, deprivation and ignorance, nepotism and injustice, poverty and illiteracy, and inadequacy of potable water, healthcare, housing and good education are the lethal ingredients that obstruct the growth of democracy in India or any other similar part of the world.
This is evident in the fact that most people in the southern world still have to struggle to have two-square-meals-a-day. This kind of struggle for the very survival does not allow them to even think about the basic democratic threads, not to talk about the kind of developed democracy we have in the western world. The feudal system still haunts us in the southern part and remains heavily overshadowed by stale bureaucracy and stinking nepotism. These profane elements hardly leave space for the marginalised to overcome and sustain like independent and free citizens. But, there is always hope and good people, who willingly want to carry the hope to the culminating point!
Q: In your opinion, why do we need to democratise the world?
It is not that democracy is the best form of governance; but for obvious reasons, it is the best available form of governance in any part of the world. Another thing is that it is not about deprivation of several and plenty for a few!
In other words, democracy is about real freedom from all forms of slavery and bondages at social, cultural, geographical, economic, political, ecological and other levels. It is not about mere intellectual orgasm. It is a very serious business and it has the capability to maintain human dignity with a sense of sustainability and capacity to neutralise all authoritarian forms of governance.
I do believe that the humans have the perennially incessant desire to live in a free and independent world and such a system can easily be identified as democratic world. The silver-line is that all humans want to live in democracy. However, over the space of time, several political systems in different parts of the world have existed and sustained — yielding distinct results as different geographical regions and their people reacted to them differently. This also led to different economic and political systems.
However, today, most modern societies prefer democracy with variable degrees because this political system has proved to be the best available system of governance over the centuries be it Gondwana in ancient India or in any other democratic part of the world!
We have no choice but to accept the diversity of the world but why is it that the world still remains largely uneven and unequal at almost all levels? Therefore, there is an urgent need to democratise the whole world. We claim to be very developed, civilised and cultured human beings, but the most societies in the world still are trying to wriggle out of poverty, inequality and injustice. They have little access to the life-saving support systems like water, food and housing – not to talk of the basic facilities like healthcare, good education, bare-minimum form of democracy, and adequate economic and political opportunities!
The point here is that if the world is democratised, a sense of equality, brother/sisterhood, peace, justice and ecological wisdom will prevail without any discrimination on the basis of geography, race/caste, ethnicity, belief and colour of skin, etc. As a result, the societies the world over will move forward with symbiotic efforts, collective wisdom and homogenous goals in mind.
And, one thing is very clear that only green direct democracy will sustain the humanity and the world in future! There will be no place for capitalist or liberalised democracies! I’m saying this because only the green values and principles can ensure balanced, equal, judicious and righteous distribution of resources available at any point of time in future!
Q: The gap between the rich and the poor is increasing. Do you see a connection between the socio-economic crisis and citizens’ participation? What should be done to fight this development?
I do agree that the gap between the rich and the poor is increasing – the fact that the gap has ever since widened and it looks impossible to fill the gap. MK Gandhi rightly said that there was enough for the human needs, but not enough for the greed. The Earth is still capable to produce enough for the human needs, but the greed has overtaken tragically and thus aggravated the situation. Secondly, the unequal and discriminatory distribution of resources has widened the divide between the rich and the poor. An example of the greed is that those who have already exhausted the resources in their neighbourhood are eying on the resources of those neighbourhoods who have not exploited them so far for various reasons. The onus is on those who have exhausted their most resources with the purpose to develop them only and continue to consume and exhaust mindlessly the lion’s share of the depleting resources.
And yes, there is a connection between the socio-economic crisis and citizens’ participation in the political processes. If the citizens’ participation in their political processes is not enthusiastic, the socio-economic gap tends to widen further and this we have seen already in the weak democracies or in the countries where there is no democracy.
And now the last part of this question. Yes, we have to fight against all this in a democratic manner and globally. Today, the world has shrunk dramatically and only the direct democratic actions will bring more and more people into the struggles against economic or political crisis. There is more crisis where citizens’ participation is inadequate. Therefore, we have no option but to increase citizens’ participation against injustices. That is the key to success of true democracy.
Q: What is the next political goal you want to achieve?
It is not about my next political goal, but about the long cherished political dream! That cherished political goal is to found a green party at the national level in my country, India and make this party the vehicle of more democracy and change in the long run and in an organic and ecological manner.
Let me also reiterate here that it is not important to get elected to the state assembly or the national parliament but it is important and relevant to bring in a change in the political system which will create space for democratic struggles and movements. And, this can happen only if we wish to dedicate or rededicate ourselves!
Q: What should Democracy International do to realise more democracy and citizen-participation in the world?
Right now, the Democracy International is concentrating its energies on Europe only. This has to change if we really want to change the whole world and democratise it in the manner we want to. The whole world is like a human body. If any part of it is afflicted, the whole body will ache or suffer. The point is that we cannot change the world by changing Europe only! We need to consider the whole world as a single organic unit that needs complete and absolute healthcare!
Also, there has to be local actions with regard to the global issues. Bringing in or reinforcing democracy is a big global issue taking into view the real political scenarios the world over! The Democracy International has no choice but to democratise those parts of the world where the rays of democracy have yet to enlighten and strengthen democracy where it exists already.
The point is that only Europe is not the whole world. We have to nurture democracy in each and every part of the world. Only this way, the goal of democratising the world will be achieved. Also, we cannot rule the world with one stick! We have to devise and customise the concepts on the basis of local needs and requirements and on the basis of local understanding of democracy. We need to take certain steps to enlighten those societies who live without democracy. For example, we have democracy constitutionally in India but for all practical considerations, there is hardly any democracy.
I believe that there cannot be true democracy if poverty, discrimination, social injustice, caste system and feudalism continue to prevail. It also cannot flourish where the society is divided into regions, religions and castes and classes. Actually, we need democracy at several levels — political, social, cultural, linguistic, religious, ecological, et al!
*****

150

A trend is gaining ground in Uttarakhand that its politicians at the helm of affairs like the chief minister and minister at the centre hailing from Uttarakhand are now endeavoring to seek the knowledge and expertise support from the Uttarakhand origin bureaucrats and senior officers working at the centre and in the states so as to ensure their active participation in the development of the 17 year old state.

Though the general perception about the people, intellectuals and media of Uttarakhand is that the state has despite witnessing development has failed on several fronts thus not able to deliver during the last more than one and a half decade. However, despite a whopping fiscal deficit of about 42 thousand crores and migration of 32 lakh people in the absense of the decentralised socio economic development a recent report of the Niti Ayog etc has painted a very rosy picture of the state recognising it touching develoomental heights on various fronts including the per capita income going to 1 lakh 42 thousand quite ahead of many developed states.

However, the report despite having been claimed as extremely authentic could not prove successful in convincing the general masses of the grass roots who are still devoid of good education, basic health facilities, agricultural upgradation and employment avenues. On several other fronts like industrial and agricultural development the state still lacks behind despite the rosy pictures of the central agency’s report. There had been voices raised time and again that the successive governments have never taken the experts, specialists, scientists, bureaucrats and technological hands of Uttarakhand working elsewhere to shape the destiny of the Himalayan state.

As such now a trend is on the move under which the state chief minister, MPs anf minister at the centre from Uttarakhand are calling meetings of such personalities and seriously deliberating on variius aspects of the develooment of the hill state. Recently two weeks ago the state chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has convened an ostentacious even at his official residence in Dehradun in which several luminiaries like PM’s Secretary Mr. Khulbe, Chairman Railway Board Ashwani Lohani, Coast Guard Chief Rajendra Singh, the Chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification Punya Prasun Joshi, the India Army Chief General Vipin Rawat and several other senior bureaucrats participated and addressed the august gathering accquainting them of their pivotal views and suggestions as to how could the 17 year old state prosper economically and migration from villages to cities stopped forthwith.

Similarly, today the union minister of state for textiles Ajay Tamta and the former Chief minister of Uttarakhand Bhagat Singh Koshiyari convened a meeting of the senior bureaucrats and experts at his official residence 1, Jantar Mantar Road and deliberated upon various burning issues of significance pertaining to Uttarakhand’s development. The Secretary to Prime Minister Modi Bhaskar Khulbe presided over the meet. The meeting which laster for more than two hours deliberated in depth and resolved to meet repeatedly with more participation of senior officers, experts of various fields and bureaucrats whose valuable suggestions and inputs can help in the over all development of the state and improving the lot of the people through socio economic, agricultural, industrial development and providing employment to the educated and illeterate youth including improvisibg the lot of women who is the most suffering section of the society. While the initiatives of UK CM Trivendra Rawat , union minister Ajay Tamta and member of Parliament Ajay Tamta deserves to be lauded and complimented but it still remains to be seen whether such parleys and interactions really accompany fruits of development and employment generation to the Himalayan state or just used to derive political benefit for their governments at the centre and the state.

However, let’s hope for the best and be positive to foresee constructive credible outcomes of such moves. RAIBAAR though a great event was criticized by the media of Uttarakhand terming it as an ostantacious show organised to derive merely political advantage for the party and the government as bureaucrats in the ruling party at the centre were called and prominent social, sr journalists, thinkers, social scientists and environmentalists of repute having diverse but healthy views on the subject that dosen’t suit the state government were pre strategically left out revealed the sources. What do you say friends?

SUNIL NEGI

 

117

It’s very easy to write on issues of dastardly murders as its definitely an incident that would invite everybody’s attention but if it’s a gruesome or dastardly murder of a seven year old child just imagine what would be the traumatic condition of his or her parents.

The very purpose to exist in life for them actully becomes meaningless as nothing is more precious, invaluable and of infinite significance than a son or daughter for parents. The grusome murder of 7 year old Pradyuman reminds me of the most dastardly and despicable murder of Geeta and Sanjay Chopra at Budha Jayanti Park near Dhaula Kuan after being raped and kidnapped, both, the only children of their parents who finally shifted to Canada in 1982, as India for them sounded in the aftermath of this unforgettable tragedy as the no men’s land where for them living was literally of no meaning.

Choudhary Charan Singh was then the prime prime minister of India during 1979 to 1980. This brutal murder of these adolocent brother and sister was the banner news of every leading newspaper of the country with the then Chowdhary Charan Singh’s government in a dock. There was national outrage and finally the hardened criminals and killers were hanged to death on extreme public pressure.

But in the present case of seven year old Pradyuman of Ryan International School and the murderer, the situation is just different. While the murderers in the school children, Geeta and Sanjay Chopra’s case were hardened criminals and professionals who were finally hanged to death to calm down the national and international outrage, in the 16 year old killer delinquent in Pradyman’s murder’s case there is every possibility of the 11th class adolocent going scot free after the maximum three year old sentence in the reformation centre with no fool proof guarantee whether he will be reformed or come out becoming a more hardened criminal as several past examples of delinquent criminals show.

It may be recalled that the reformation centres in a way give these delinquent criminals more opportunity to become hardened criminals than getting reformed as they think that they have neither been given rigorous punishment nor the sentence is long as in the case of adult criminals who get complete term or even capital punishments, in rarest f the rare matters like Nirbhaya and the above Sanjay and Geeta Chopra case.

But when we talk of the shoddy investigation of the Gurgaon police in the matter, unjustfiably involving the bus driver Ashok Kumar as the killer and publicly making him agreeable out of duress and pressure. Such ridiculous investigation in an outrageous murder of a 7 year old child keeping the real culprit at bay reminds us of the much hyped AARUSHI TALWAR case in which the parents had to undergo 4 years of rigorous imprisonment to be finally released by the Allahabad High Court.

SUNIL NEGI

207

31st October 1984 was the most tragic day from both the points of view. One, the most dastardly assasination of the most loved and respected leader of the country of international eminence late Indira Gandhi who ruled India with guts, determination and wisdom for more than one and a half decade and created history of sorts by dividing Pakistan, creating Bangladesh and the second one was the horrendous riots committed thereafter for three, four days killing over four thousand Sikhs in Delhi and thousands in other parts of India in spontaneous retaliation as well as the managed operation, never ever witnessed in the aftermath of the assasination of any leader post independence.

Late Mrs Indira Gandhi was killed by her own two sikh body guards Beant Singh and Satwant Singh in the prime minister’s residence 3 Safdarjung Road, New Delhi sending shock waves like wild fire in Delhi and rest of India. They were later on hanged to death gallows after a long trial. Delhi was literally on fire all around with houses of Sikhs in posh as well as the resettlement colonies of Delhi burning with highly surcharged mobs killing sikhs where ever they were spotted.

The areas of Punjabi Bagh, Rajauri Garden, Safdarjung Enclave, Lajpat Nagar, Jangpura, Jahagir puri, Trilokpuri, Khichripur, Najafgarh, Palam, Suktanpuri, Mangolpuri, Kingway camp, etc were the worst victims of anti Sikh riots with Sikhs and even those wearing turbans n having beard hailing from lowest ebb of the society like petty carpenters and cot weavers were killed in abudance and women shockingly raped as well.

Several members of the sikh community were tortured to death by these hooligans and professional anti social elements in broad day light by throwing them on fire and throwing burnt tyred around their necks. It took four days for these messacres to end. Hundreds of thousands of women became widow, children orphaned and several families having been wiped out. Several parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir too witnessed such dastardly anti sikh riots.

The mobs looted shops, showrooms and factories owned the Sikh proprietors. Delhi looked like a towering inferno with black smoke and fire blaze being witnessed all over Delhi with sky becoming literally dark with excessive black fumes and smog. After the tragic death of Indira Gandhi, the then prime minister, the anti sikh riots’ and its provocation was so widespread and terrorising that there was literally no rule of law in Delhi and elsewhere with rioters , looters and professional hooligans in mobs having their fullest say, for three to four days in a sequence and police not to be found at the rescue of the victims.

After the silence and lull, several commission of enquiries were instituted and several of the indicted and convicted politicians have either died or have gone into political oblivion but the victims and the sufferers of these most despicable and horrendous riots have still not been delivered justice even after more than 32 years as claimed by several Sikh organisations fighting a protracted battle in various courts of the country, since then.

SUNIL NEGI

In a Diwali Milan celebration today at Bhartiya Janata Party’s Ashok Road headquarter in New Delhi while the prime minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah have exhibited a grand gesture to merrily mix with the journalists of the national media, electronics as well as print including its photographers, particularly those covering the the BJP and government affairs for a long time on the other hand at the Press club of India several journalist organisations were vociferously deploring the arrest of the former BBC journalist Vinod Verma terming it as arbitrary and attack on the freedom of the press.

It was just a coincidence that while a section of the media men and photo journalists were busy interacting, merrily shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries with prime minister Modi who voluntarily mixed with journalists at BJP headquarter, another section of media men were worried and concerned over the arrest of one of the scribe of their fraternity from Delhi yesterday on allegedly false and fabricated charges as pronounced by them in the protest meeting at Press Club of India, Raisina Road just less than a half a kilometer away from the BJP’s national headquarter. Sounds interesting.

Prime Minister Modi while addressing the leaders , workers of BJP before posing for photographs with the media men and photographers, majority of whom he knew personally said the internal democracy in political parties is utmost essential to strengthen democratic values. He spoke extempore and also remembered his old days when he functioned from the BJP headquarter and looked for journalists for the political briefs and publication of his point of view.

He spoke at length on strengthen the inner party democracy in political parties and praised the media for outrightly supporting his flagship initiative on Swach Bharat Abhiyan and stressed the need for maintaining better, cordial and trustful relations between the fourth estate and political parties despite differences in opinion. He also touched several other significant issues particularly how the BJP has accorded bright opportunities to young party cadre in the oganisational hierarchy as compared to the dynastic promotion in rival political party without naming the Congress.

Prime minister Modi merrily mixed, interacted and shook hands with journalists and press photographers and also posed with them for pictures. Some journalists and press photographers seemed to quite happy and eager to pose with the most popular prime minister of the largest democracy of the world while at the press club of India the senior journalists held a protest meeting against the arrest of the former digital editor of Amar Ujala and BBC terming it arbitrary and on fabricated and concocted grounds to stifle the free voice.

SUNIL NEGI