New Delhi, India: Moved by renowned journalist Rahul Bedi’s recent recollection of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, internationally acclaimed Indian filmmaker Shekhar Kapur has come out with his own memories of the ’savagery’. ‘How does a city descend into savagery? A city I was brought up in – my own Sikh friends hiding with their families in safe houses to save themselves from the mad slaughter frenzy that was spreading so fast through the city,’ Kapur posted on his blog www.shekharkapur.com/blog, after reading Bedi’s account of the incident, as told to IANS.
‘The police and the government stood by either helplessly or completely complicit in the gruesome killing. I have to keep reminding myself this was 1984 – not a moment in bygone history,’ he added.
Kapur recalled an experience and posted an entry dated Nov 2, 1984.
‘I am editing my film. My assistant keenly looking over my shoulder… Another assistant walks in. Whispers in the boy’s ears, and the boy looks a little startled and walks out… 20 minutes later I walk out to get some fresh air. Raj (the first assistant) was sitting on a parapet with a completely blank look on his face,’ posted the 63-year-old.
‘Raj has been told that most of his extended family had just died – killed in the riots following the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Not just killed, the women dragged out and forced to watch the men folk being burned alive, and then the women and children slaughtered. Raj just sat there. Non-comprehending,’ he added.
‘I read today the following account by a very respected journalist called Rahul Bedi and the memories flooded back. Please brace yourself before reading it, and if any of you have memories of that event, please write in. It’s important we remember,’ he wrote.