An ‘eye-opener’ and a ‘relic’ - a shoe that said it all!

April 7th, 2009 - 8:02 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram Chandigarh, April 7 (IANS) The live shoe tossing by a journalist towards Home Minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi Tuesday brought varied reactions from the Sikh leadership in Punjab - the only state where the community is in majority in the country.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal described the shoe-throwing by journalist Jarnail Singh as an “eye-opener” for the Congress and its government at the centre.

“This incident should serve as an eye opener for the centre, especially for the Congress, about the depth and magnitude of pain and angst over clean chits given to those guilty of the unspeakable horror of the 1984 massacre of thousands of innocent Sikhs by Congress goons.”

“This pain is not confined merely to the Sikh community but is shared by all right-thinking people in the country and all over the world,” Badal said in a statement here.

“The horrendous and brutal genocide of innocents was a crime not just against the Sikh community but an outrage against humanity, of which the Congress at the centre and the states should be permanently ashamed.”

“The victims have been awaiting justice for nearly 25 years. What has rubbed salt into their wounds now is the unabashed clean chit given to Mr. Jagdish Tytler,” Badal said.

Radical Sikh organisation Panch Pradhani called for preserving the shoe that was hurled at Chidambaram at a press conference in New Delhi.

“The shoe should be accorded relic status and be kept in a museum. It is the new weapon of modern times,” organisation president Sandeep Singh said.

Chandigarh-based young author of “Sikhs Unlimited”, Khushwant Singh said, “When legitimate grievances will not be addressed people will resort to taking such steps.”

“In Jarnail Singh’s reaction manifests the frustration of the entire Sikh community that has been struggling to get justice for the past 25 years against the perpetrators of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots,” Khushwant Singh told IANS.

“The CBI’s clean chit to Jagdish Tytler notwithstanding, the fact that Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar were allotted Congress tickets, since they still remain accused, itself is serious breach of natural justice.”

“And now the question whether hurling a shoe at the home minister was civil behaviour or not, Jarnail has himself answered it - the method was wrong, the issue is right,” Khushwant Singh said.

Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikh religion based at the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar, neither condemned nor approved the reaction from the journalist in hurling the shoe.

“He could not keep control on his emotions after he did not get a satisfactory response from the home minister. But his action makes out no offence,” Akal Takht jathedar (chief) Gurbachan Singh said.

Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), the mini-parliament of Sikh religious affairs, linked the incident to the injustice meted out to Sikhs.

“There was no pre-planning of this incident. The journalist reacted spontaneously after not getting a satisfactory reply about victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Even after the carnage, Congress tickets are being allotted to killers of Sikhs,” SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said.

“The Sikh journalist, Jarnail Singh, has exhibited the resentment and anguish prevailing within the community. It’s almost 25 years and no justice has been delivered. Rather every government has added insult to Sikh injury,” radical Sikh organisation Dal Khalsa’s convener Kanwarpal Singh said.

“The act of Jarnail Singh is not just against P. Chidambaram but it is more a slap on the face of the Indian justice system. Jarnail Singh is a product of the times when justice has come to naught and ’secularism’ is almost dead,” Kanwarpal Singh added.

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