New Delhi: At the interactive session held towards the end of the two-day Congress workshop for party spokespersons here today, a delegate from Punjab posed a mighty query to party stalwarts: “How should we defend ourselves in the matter of the 1984 Sikh genocide?”
The question by Congress spokesperson from Punjab Sukhpal Khaira was posed to Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, Lok Sabha MP from Ludhiana.
Khaira openly questioned the party strategists on why there could not be a tangible and permanent solution to the lingering issue. He is reported to have told Tewari that the party continued to bear the brunt for the “actions of a few”, even asking as to why “some black sheep could not be sacrificed in the larger interest of the party”.
He was referring to Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar who are facing trial for their role in the 1984 genocide.
The Punjab Congress spokesperson said that the Congress role in the riots was being repeatedly equated to that of the BJP in the 2002 anti-Muslim genocide in Gujarat.
Tewari is reported to have emphasised that while the Sikh genocide were unfortunate, there was no parallel between these and the Gujarat genocide. “Whereas the Congress leadership has regretted the Sikh genocide, the BJP leadership has consistently remained arrogant regarding the 2002 genocide against Muslims with its leaders going on to equate the genocide victims with puppies.
Asked if he was satisfied with Tewari’s response, Khaira said: “He (Tewari) was correct in saying there was no equating Gujarat riots and the 1984 genocide. But the Congress continues to be in the dock over the 1984 riots and our adversaries use it against us all the time.”
Source: The Tribune