Time to build bridges of understanding

The best way to assuage the Sikhs’ hurt feelings over the 1984 riots in Delhi and elsewhere is by highlighting the noble work done by many Hindus during those dark days. The Hindus helped thousands of Sikhs by giving them shelter in their houses for many days at the risk of their own lives. Many Sikhs living in Delhi or other places will hold testimony to this fact.

In spite of the militants’ activities in Punjab for a long time, the Punjabi Hindus were in the forefront in saving the lives of their Sikh neighbours everywhere. These facts clearly show that there was no animosity among Hindus and Sikhs.

During those days, journalist Satinder Singh wrote how a Hindu school teacher saved his life when he was going to be killed by the mob. He wrote that when his car was surrounded by the mob at a crossing in Delhi, a young man approached him and put him on the back seat of his moped and drove him to safety. There were numerous such examples.

There is need to cover more and more stories about those who did good work. This is how bridges of understanding can be built between different communities.

V.P. MEHTA, Chandigarh




The guilty need to be punished forthwith for the 1984 riots. The murky happenings before and after the Operation Bluestar were precipitated by the power-hungry politicians who vitiated the social and political spectrum.

Now that the Prime Minister has offered apology on behalf of his government and the nation, the same should pacify. Time is a great healer. The leadership of all hues should lead towards the path of forget and forgiveness heralding a new era. Adequate compensation should be given to the victims. Let there be resurrection of communal harmony for futurity. The nation should take a vow never to allow such gruesome events to recur again. May sanity and peace prevail in the land of the great Gurus!

V.I.K. SHARMA, Jalandhar City


The Nanavati Commission report says that “but for the backing and help of influential and resourceful persons, killing of Sikhs so swiftly and in large number could not have happened”. It found “credible evidence” about the involvement of some Congress leaders. But the Home Ministry’s action taken report says that its conclusions are in the realm of probabilities.

I am reminded of the verse: Gar na beenad ba-roz shappra-chashm/ Chashma-e-aaftaab ra cheh gunaah (If a bat-blind person cannot see during the day, what is the fault of the sun?)

Dr Singh’s apology has heightened his respect and dignity. But it would have been better if the government had denounced the pogrom, mourned the deaths of its victims and apologised through a resolution in the Lok Sabha.



In his article, “Put the past behind” (Aug 18), S.S. Dhanoa has put things in the right perspective. The need of the hour is to apply balm to the victims of the 1984 riots and help rehabilitate them. Admittedly, experienced administrators can prevent such crisis situations. It is they who should be on such commissions so that they can examine the issues properly and suggest corrective actions in future.

Let us develop a catholicity of approach and outlook. Our President, the Prime Minister and the Chief of Army Staff have never identified themselves with one religion. The same is the case with Mohd Rafi, Talat Mehmood and Shah Rukh Khan. Let us try to be broadminded. Let us put the past behind us and march ahead with maturity and responsibility.


Tackle violence firmly

The editorial, “Not through violence, please!” (Sept 3), though sincere and well meaning, would fall on the deaf ears of those who initiate such violent protests for political profit. Hence, these should be tackled not through wasteful appeals but with an iron hand so that the common man should not lose his faith in the system.

Instead of putting the blame for such sad happenings on others, the media, print and electronic, should also play its dutiful role. Is it mandatory for the media to publicise the calls for bandhs and protest marches?

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Punjab accord

In his article, S.S. Dhanoa said that Sant Harcharan Singh Longowal got the best deal for Punjab, by illustrating the views of the Centre and his assessment of the Akali leaders. Being a former Chief Secretary of Punjab at the crucial period, he should give details of the benefits (clauses implemented) that Punjab has achieved by the above agreement since it is believed that no clause of the accord has been implemented sincerely.


Travel concession

The travel concession equal to one basic pension is being paid to Punjab Government pensioners after every two years. The basic pension of retirees from April 2004 has been raised by merging 50 per cent DA. As such, they are entitled to travel concession 50 per cent more than the pensioners who retired prior to April 2004. This disparity should end.

Such pensioners may be allowed travel concession by adding dearness pension in the basic pension as fixed from April 1, 2004.

SHAMSHER SINGH, Kurali (Ropar)

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