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1984

A Stain On A Nation & Its People:
Family Of Three in India Leaves Home For First Time After 1984 Pogrom

DIVYA GOYAL

 

 

 



"Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand?
No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red."

[Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act II, scene II]




A family, consisting of a mother and her two children, who witnessed the anti-Sikh pogrom of 1984, stepped out of their house in Moga, Punjab, for the first time in 30 years.

The trio - identified as Nirmal Kaur, her daughter Kamaljeet and son Inderpal Singh - were forcibly removed from their home and taken to a mental asylum in Amritsar by the local police after Nirmal Kaur's husband - Joginder Singh Bedi - filed a petition in a local court, The Indian Express reported.

Joginder Singh, a retired railways employee, wrote in his petition that he was posted in Allahabad when the riots broke out in 1984, and that he had left his family at his brother-in-law's home.

He said that the 1984 massacres had so traumatised the three that they feared that they would be killed if they stepped out of the house.

“In the initial years after the 1984 pogrom, my wife used to at least talk normally but her condition deteriorated. She refused to move out of our home. At that time I used to visit them once a month from Allahabad. But when I returned for good, I was shocked that she did not allow me to live with them. I moved to another house but visited them once a week with rations and other items they asked for,” said Joginder Singh, now in his 70s.

He says he was forced to rent another house to live in and would on a weekly basis visit his family and provide them rations. He also revealed that the power connection to the house where the trio were staying had been disconnected four years ago since he never got the bills for the house and so couldn't pay them.

Following Joginder Singh's petition, the police, acting on Chief Judicial Magistrate Puja Agnihotri orders, has moved the trio to Amritsar based on recommendations from doctors at the local civil hospital.

When the trio were being moved out of their house, Joginder Singh's daughter, Kamaljeet had a kirpan in her hand and warned the police that she would kill them if they touched her.

Joginder Singh broke down as he watched his wife and children being taken away by the police.


[Courtesy: Indian Express. Edited for sikhchic.com]

March 12, 2015

Conversation about this article

1: Harsaran Singh (Indonesia), March 12, 2015, 7:51 AM.

Extremely sad and heart-rending report. Instead of delving on the circumstances behind the plight of this family, let us understand that mental illness is still treated as a stigma in Indian society. Mental asylums are nothing but lock-ups for patients instead of treatment centres. In India, the rulers of the day are in constant denial, be it proper healthcare or the rampant drug abuse which has almost destroyed the new generation. And, believe me, all this is music to the ears of the government in Delhi; what centuries of oppression could not achieve, is being done at the cost of a few cents.

2: N Singh (Canada), March 12, 2015, 8:38 AM.

More casualties of the anti-Sikh pogroms ... minds and hearts broken by trauma inflicted on her and her children for no other reason than that they were Sikhs. Another family we have failed to save despite our mantra of helping and saving others. I hang my head in shame. I hope and pray that her relocation will bring some solace to this lady and her family, and finally they'll feel some peace.

3: Jaskiran Kaur (Connecticut, USA), March 12, 2015, 9:04 AM.

India's daughter? India's children?

4: Sunny Grewal (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada), March 12, 2015, 9:12 AM.

@3: We Sikhs are neither.

5: Kulvinder Jit Kaur (Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada), March 12, 2015, 10:07 AM.

The suffering of Sikhs 1984 onwards is all encompassing. Mental, emotional, physical and financial. The bottom line is that no one will ever take care of the Sikhs in any way in India. We have to find ways to strengthen ourselves and flourish. I hope the "think tanks" of our quom will pay immediate and serious attention towards this. This is yet another very sad story, common to hundreds of thousands of others.

6: Kaala Singh (Punjab), March 12, 2015, 11:57 AM.

@3: "India's daughter" and "India's children" are not appropriate words when describing India. It is a debased society not fit to be called a mother to anyone.

7: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), March 12, 2015, 8:16 PM.

All this happened for no other reason than to keep Indira Gandhi and the Gandhi dynasty in power! It's called blood for votes! After the pogroms, the Sikhs should have marched en masse to Delhi to ask for the whole of Punjab back to the boundaries of Sarkar-e-Khalsa of Ranjit Singh, The Lion Of Punjab.

8: Jasvir Kaur (Calgary, Alberta, Canada), March 12, 2015, 9:48 PM.

30 years. As the richest of communities on the subcontinent, we waited for the 'others' to take care of our own. I think all us Sikhs have to examine ourselves deeply (myself included).

9: Gurjender Singh (Maryland, USA), March 13, 2015, 5:23 AM.

This real-life story is also a stain on the Sikh leadership and our ruling parties who failed to fulfill their duties for the sake of political power. This is also a stain on Sikhs not helping other Sikhs who had suffered in the 1984 pogroms.

10: Kaala Singh (Punjab), March 13, 2015, 9:04 AM.

@7: Indira Gandhi and her bunch tried every trick in the trade to stay in power -- Genocide, dictatorship, false propaganda, buying votes with money obtained from massive scams, subverting all institutions in the country to suit her needs. It took 60 years for Indians to realize that the Congress was nothing but a bunch of crooks and now they're gone for good.

11: Sunny Grewal (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada), March 13, 2015, 1:36 PM.

I just read an article in the Tribune claiming that the family remained in the home because of threats against the father after he revealed a big scam in the railroads. There is something very fishy. In the article on sikhchic.com, the statement comes directly from the father that the condition of the family was the result of the 1984 pogroms. The article in the Tribune does not have the father making the same statements directly. Either the journalist lied in one of these articles or the father did. Or maybe it's something else. A quick white-wash? Cover-up? Damage-control? By whom? Is the Indian media being an accomplice, rather than checking out the discrepancies, asking piercing questions, seeking answers?

12: Sunny Grewal (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada), March 13, 2015, 1:46 PM.

@10: You are giving Indians much more credit than they deserve. We are talking about the same psychopathic citizenry that was impressed by Congress' genocidal capability which resulted in Congress' greatest victory, in 1984. Indians have absolutely no problem with voting in crooks, none at all. The only reason that the BJP trumped the Congress was because of the ability of the party's young blood to campaign effectively in an organized manner at the grassroots level. Indians would vote Congress back in a heartbeat if they switched their leader from Rahul to Priyanka Gandhi. The average voter of India, an illiterate nitwit, has no problem with giving political power to a single family regardless of the outcome and of the impact it has on his life.

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Family Of Three in India Leaves Home For First Time After 1984 Pogrom"









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