Shoe throwing reflected views of community, say Sikh youth

April 7th, 2009 - 5:16 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) Many of them were not even born during the 1984 riots but the hurt still ran deep with many Sikh youth introspecting on events of 25 years ago and empathising with journalist Jarnail Singh for throwing a shoe at Home Minister P. Chidambaram.
“I think it was a very bold and strong step. It not only showed the anguish and frustration of an individual but voiced the sentiments of the entire Sikh community against the judgment regarding the 1984 Sikh riots,” Arshdeep Singh, a college student, said.

As the anti-Sikh riots came back in the reckoning with the Delhi journalist hurling his shoe at Chidambaram over his response to the clean chit given by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to Congress leader Jagdish Tytler for his involvement in the riots, everyone agreed that the issue was right.

Balwinder Singh, a young priest, said the patience of the Sikh community had been wearing thin.

“Do not try our patience any more. We have been waiting for justice the past 25 years. Whatever has happened is just a mere reflection of the community’s views. If the government does not take any action, we will see to this on our own.”

Added another student, Tanvir Singh Sandhu.

“The incident has moved me very strongly. Even though the method used by the journalist was very immature, the message he wanted to convey was very right. At least now the government knows that ordinary people are not sleeping and they know how to voice their opinions.”

According to Saaghar Singh Sachdev, an assistant manager with an insurance company, Jarnail Singh’s action was a “a method to attract the attention of the people on the issue”.

“Though he tried to ape the Iraqi journalist who the a shoe at Bush, still he has given light to the fire within us against the recent developments in the 1984 Sikh riots case.”

HR professional Tajinder Singh said the Sikh community was deeply pained and anguished. “For the past 25 years we have been waiting for justice and the accused are not only moving freely but enjoying all sorts of protection.”

“The act may not be justified, but people are finding ways to fetch attention towards injustice to Sikhs. The government must brought the accused to book before the common men take law in their own hands,” he said.

And businessman Manjeet Singh felt such actions were necessary to make their “grievances audible to a deaf government”.

More than 3,000 people, including more than 2,000 in Delhi alone, were killed in the immediate aftermath of prime minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination in October 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards.

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