That is my earliest political memory. A sad fact, that it is a political assassination, which remains etched in my memory to this day.
“Sikhs everywhere were outraged at the perceived desecration of their holiest shrine: on October 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards, Beant Singh and Satwant Singh. She was cremated on 3 November, near Raj Ghat and the place was called Shakti Sthal. After her death, anti-Sikh riots engulfed New Delhi and spread across the country, killing more than 1,000 and leaving tens of thousands homeless.” – wiki
“No school today! Indira Gandhi is dead.(why is she dead?) Her own bodyguard killed her. (Is that bad?!) What on earth is playing on the television? (Some boring guy playing the shennai. Now another playing the sitar…. State mourning… great! Can I have some cartoons back?… Well, at least, they don’t have cricket on!)” – my first thoughts.
Slowly, reality kicks in.
Our neighbor, X Singh uncle, who hosted the most wonderful satsangs at his place, every week (I was sure, everyone thought it was wonderful, mostly because of the amazing pooris they made.) It was at his home, that I ate my first roti-sized pooris, fried for everyone who attended the satsang. Made by anyone, willing to help make them.
And now, his son, Y bhaiya, who started college a couple of months back, is in danger. His parents and everyone around, suggest that he go and register himself at the nearest police station. Maybe he should spend the night there. Jails are the safest place for a Sikh to be, you know – they say. Maybe he should be clean-shaven. Maybe he should… (Why should Y bhaiya go to jail? What has he done? What harm have the colourful turbans on his head caused – to anyone? No one answers.)
Honestly, how does killing people, solve the world’s problems? (Thanks falstaff! – for the c&h story)
Reading Veena‘s first, brought back these memories.