Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Terror Revisited

Today is the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Her death, as is well known, unleashed one of the bloodiest chapters of hate in Indian history, whose political repercussions are being felt to this day. This was 21 years ago. Payal Singh Mohanka, a Sikh journalist, was traveling in a train with her family that day. She presents an account of the horrors she witnessed that day.

There was a glint of madness in their eyes and murder etched across their faces. Ominous shouts and cries of "Koi Sardar hai? Goli se maar dalenge" (Is there any Sikh? We will shoot him) followed.

Not one anticipated the disaster that awaited us at Ghaziabad. A bloodthirsty mob, almost like a pack of hungry wolves hunting for prey, went from coach to coach in search of Sikhs. In a frenzy of madness the mob, armed with iron rods and knives, brutally dragged out Sikhs, burnt their turbans, hacked them to death and threw them across the tracks.

It is an impactful piece which brings the terror of those days alive. What makes one shudder is the thought that these crazy mobs, so bloodthirsty, still manage the level of discernment to choose their prey. How they come to exercise that discretion when they are baying for blood is something that confounds me no end.

Full text here.


aparna said...

Amitav Ghosh did a piece on this in tehelka a few days back. This was after the nanavati commission report created a furore in parliament. That essay too was very hard hitting and brought as you say those horrors alive. Great blog otherwise. Soni told me about it......I’m preparing forUPSC and have added this to my list of everyday sites:) Thanks....

cut2cut said...

Did you guys check out the delhi govt.'s ad on Indira Gandhi today. It’s a throw back to the "India is Indira and Indira India" slogan of yester years. I thought the congress had abandoned this after receiving this after receiving a lot of flak but old habits die hard, I guess.