Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Dehli; Punjab is asking about 1984

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh


Charanjeet Singh was four years old when rioters broke into their home and killed his parents. Hiding under the bed with his brother, sisters and grandmother, he saw his father and mother being beaten mercilessly and burned alive. Today, 19 years later, Charanjeet, 23, and his siblings continue to fight for a normal life in spite of the social, financial and emotional handicaps that life has dealt them

I was just four at the time. We had a large plot of land in Baljeet Nagar, a Sikh colony, and a comfortable house. There was a gurdwara some distance from our house. Most Sikhs in the area lived near it. My earliest memory is of an announcement over loudspeakers: there was trouble in town, those who wanted shelter should rush to the gurdwara. By the time we understood, it was too late to make it to the gurdwara. We were not close enough. The loudspeaker continued to blare out news that Sikhs were being killed. In a panic, my father bolted the door and shut all the windows. He pushed me and my siblings — my elder brother and sister and my infant sister — under the cot. He then tried to fit my mother and grandmother in there as well.

By this time, the rioters had reached our door. Some of them banged violently at the door. Some others, meanwhile, had climbed onto our roof. They broke into our house through the roof. I am not sure, but I think there were four or five of them. They unbolted the door and dragged my father out. We were frozen under the bed, unable to even scream. From where we were, we could see them thrashing him mercilessly, hitting him with stones, and as he lay there bleeding profusely, they poured kerosene on him and set him on fire. He didn’t stand a chance. He was burned alive. I can still see it all as if it had happened just a few hours ago. His blue clothes. The fire. The screaming. My younger sister, mercifully, was too young to know what was happening. But for the rest of us there was no respite. And nothing has changed.

I remember my mother starting to scream from her hiding place. She could not take it any more. The rioters, finished with my father, turned their attention to her. They pulled my mother out by her hair. They beat her and kicked her, and pulled out her hair. Then they set her on fire as well.

Even today, in spite of our best attempts, we have no idea what happened to my parents’ bodies. We do not know if they were cremated or buried.

The world has never been the same for me since. People I trusted, people I called ‘uncle’ or ‘aunt’, were either actively inciting the attackers or were silent spectators. Once our parents were dead, they ransacked our house and took everything we had. We waited under the bed till things went quiet. A long while later, we left the house, trying to stay out of sight, went to the gurdwara and hid there.

Eventually, my grandmother brought us here after many days in hiding. She never entirely recovered from the shock. Most of the money we got as compensation was spent on her treatment. She was our only surrogate parent, and we don’t know what we would have done without her. She finally passed away in 1998. As long as she was alive, we used to get a pension of Rs 1,000. When she died, even that stopped.

Now, it’s just the four of us. The three of us, actually. We got my elder sister married earlier this year. It was not easy to find a groom who would marry her without a dowry. Finally, we met my brother-in-law and he agreed to marry her, expecting nothing more than the ‘three clothes’ she wore.

The irony of the situation is that all prospective bridegrooms seem to think we have a lot of money. They say, "You got a compensation of Rs 3 lakh. Where is that? We want our wife’s share of that as dowry." They demand refrigerators and motorbikes. Even without a dowry, arranging a marriage is expensive business. We have taken loans of almost Rs 50,000. How are we ever going to pay it back? And there’s still our younger sister, who is now 19. We have to get her married too.

Then there is the cost of our own education. My brother and I have always been reasonably good students and took up private tuition for children when we were very young ourselves so that we could continue our education. I am now a final year undergraduate, and my brother has finished his graduation. Our younger sister is in class twelve. I say this with pride because I see other young men and women our age. They have not been able to cope with what they had to go through. Drug abuse is rampant in our colony. Most young people are not interested in an education. Our elders are all out of home, eking out whatever meagre living they can manage, and most youngsters turn into wastrels.

At the end of the day, we have no guarantee that our education will give us better lives. I cannot escape the feeling that we are branded in some manner, living as we do in Tilak Vihar.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

12 comments:

Raminder Kaur said...

And Punjab's inquiries keep falling on deaf ears.

Sad thing is, there are thousands of stories like this :(

Mr Singh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mr Singh said...

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Waheguru Ji...it's kaljug. But no matter how many stories like this they are, it's ok, because guru gobind singh ji's beloved khalsa was made through sacrifice and it will live through sacrifice.

Each singh/singhni who gave their lives but not their sikhi lit a flame in thousands of people.

Sikh Veer Jawano Gabru'o Sikh Ton Jaan Vaar Dayo
My young Sikh brothers sacrifice your life for your faith

Aaj Panth Warda Karjaeeae Sirr Dehkay Karj Uttar Dayo
The panth is in debt, give yourself up to pay off this debt.

Jo Zulam Koum Te Ho Rehay Nay, Kadd Takk Bhravo Sehnay Nay
Brothers how long will we have to bear these injustices?

Ki Khoon Ehda Hee Wagg Day Rehnay Ah
How long will our blood flow?

The saddest thing Raminder Kaur Ji, is not that they are thousands of stories like this, the saddest thing is that our hearts have become so cold that we read it, shed a tear and then forget it.

When will we wake up?

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Raminder Kaur said...

You're absolutely right.

It hurts me these days that there are some Sikhs who, due to whatever propoganda, are unable to see the past and present plight of their brothers and sisters and can calmly justify and "understand" the slaughter of thousands of innocent men, women and children.

It hurts me to see people who go crazy on India's Independence Day celebrating the democracy that does not exist.

And then there are those who just don't know.

We can't forget. EVER. And its each one of our duty to raise awareness, to AT LEAST start by telling our friends, or family members, etc. It really works.

Raj Karega Khalsa. We will wake up.

Anonymous said...

KHALISTAN ZINDABA!

DEATH TO THE HINDUS

Anonymous said...

I am ashamed of my Hindu identity

Anonymous said...

revenge is not the way
you shouldn't say death to hindus

many hindus hid sikhs in their homes at risk to themselves

even muslims did

but i say death to jagdish tytler, saajan kumar, k.p.s.gill etc

simranjit singh khalsa said...

khalistan jindabad

Anonymous said...

Sat Sri Akaal

Don't feel hate against hindus in delhi at the time of the riots.
i have relatives who wher in delhi at the time they state that the general hindu populace was confused as to what was goin on at the beggining.
they observed rioters coming in gangs from states outside of delhi, led by the police force to sikh areas.
hindus wher also killed by the rioters especialy people who worked in sikh owned shops.
one journalist stated that 93 hindus where maasacred by rioters in and around a gurdwara premise.

we must also take note of the heroic stories alot written by the media stating few sikhs who managed to defend againt marauding rioters led by the police.
"I have a couple of mine, too. One is of defiance. A group of Sikh taxi drivers outside Imperial Hotel on Janpath decided to protect themselves as the state — South and North Blocks, Rashtrapati Bhavan and Parliament are less than a kilometre away — had chosen to abdicate all responsibility. They picked up chains, sticks, iron-rods, just stones and decided to take on the mobs. On the afternoon of November 2, I was with a small group of reporters that witnessed this remarkable incident. A mob of several hundred would converge on the taxi stand shouting the by-now-familiar slogan: khoon ka badla khoon, Indiraji hum sharminda hain, tere qatil jinda hain (blood for blood, Indira we are ashamed, your killers are alive). But the small group of taxi drivers, instead of fleeing, challenged them with what looked like a whole motor workshop converted into an armoury — they had even plucked out fenders from their Ambassadors. A dozen assaults were mounted, each was beaten back and soon enough many helpless bystanders, including us reporters, were cheering. All it took were a few brave men to keep at bay a mob of the kind that was looting, pillaging and killing in many parts of the city, unquestioned, unchallenged and often helped by a police force that looked more complicit than even Modi’s in Gujarat, 2001. In Gujarat at least the police opened fire several times, killing Hindus and Muslims. Here you found Delhi policemen openly talk of the need to teach the Sikhs a lesson. Only in Paharganj did we see some police firing. But, as it turned out, the story here was that some armed Sikhs (“Khalistani sympathisers”) were apparently hiding in a house. So two groups of Delhi policemen and one of CRPF were firing at it. It was so farcical, entirely comical — except there was a real fear of some reward-seeking policemen getting caught in this competitive friendly fire."

remember the true khalsa took on the marauding cockroaches.
the other so called sikh cut their hair to escape, though its understandable in the given situation, a true sikh would never do so, they'd laugh at deaths face.
it important to read and recite gurbaani, follow rehit and to le\arn martial arts and use of all types of weaponary.

the whole riot was organised and executed by the government.only 20 years.
the brahmanistic forces have harmed us before.
some sikhs need to take their heads outta the sand and get on the program.

Anonymous said...

KHALISTANNNNNNNNNNNNNNN ZINDAAAAAAABADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

KHALISTAN; ONLY SOLUTION.

WJKK WJKF

JATHEBANDIS JOIN TOGETHER

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
KHALISTAN ZINDABA!

DEATH TO THE HINDUS

21/3/06 3:03 PM "
-----------------------------------
Oh yeah! Bring it on. I'd like to see your khalistani arse try.

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