Some of you might think that we should by now give up dragging up these old stories from 24 years ago. India is shining, India is booming and the bad old days should be forgotten.
There were some young people at the 30 October meeting in the Jubilee Room of the Houses of Parliament who wanted to keep the issue alive, but who were asking why it was that nothing had been achieved, that nobody was punished in spite of 24 years of campaigning.
India is indeed shining, although the wide gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening even further. Real shine will depend on all sharing in the new found wealth, and on real democracy and real justice for all.
Real democracy requires people with a democratic mindset, and those are very rare in the Union of India. Real justice is still not happening in India, you do not have to dig very deep to find the serious flaws in the system. Justice in India comes, if at all, agonisingly slow. Justice in India is for sale.
A friend of mine intervened in a village dispute, arranged a settlement that everybody seemed to agree to, but then behind his back one of the parties involved bribed the police, had the settlement overturned and managed to hold my friend here in Southall as the Indian authorities revoked his perfectly valid visa.
Another more recent example was the peaceful meeting arranged in Amritsar between Kashmiri and Sikh activists, when the authorities prevented the Kashmiris from travelling within their own country. Anybody in India who wants to campaign peacefully for autonomy or independence for her/his part of the Union will be thrown into prison repeatedly, and more than like be beaten up (or worse) in the process.
Back to the 1984 Pogrom in Delhi and in other cities in Congress ruled states. There are leading Congress politicians who were present at these events, who encouraged and led the attacks on the Sikhs and who have still not been prosecuted.
If India really wants to become a ‘shining’ country, these people should be punished. If this does not happen we can try to have them prosecuted when they come to visit the UK, or have them banned from visiting the UK.
No doubt the Sikh Federation will publish a report on the meeting, which I will post on this blog. But what we are talking about is cooperation between Human Rights activists in India, the Sikhs in the UK and in other European countries and British and international Human Rights organisations like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Redress.