ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Contradictions with a Purpose

Contradictions with a Purpose Sumanta Banerjee WHAT happened in Delhi and several other parts of the country in the first week of November, epitomised in an exacerbated form the all too familiar record of brutalisation of the political system and corruption of civil society which marked Indira Gandhi's regime. We found the incinerator's love of bride burning escalating to mass burning of living beings. The brigandage of Congress(I) students at Nagpur in September graduated to the organised slaughter of Sikhs in Delhi in November. While the callousness of the administration and the police towards the security needs of the citizens sank to the level of utter immobility when Sikh houses and shops were in flames, their communal partisanship reached the climax with their active particiption in looting of Sikh shops and killing of Sikh youth. Even after her death, the tradition of ostentatious display of pomp, set by her, continued to hold sway: The clamour of grandiose international gatherings like ASIAD, NAM and CHOGM, found a magnified echo in the demonstrative arrangements for the foreign dignitaries at Teen Murti house, where the nation's entire security force was being concentrated to protect a single dead body, while thousands of living beings were being allowed to be butchered. The flourish of protocol at Shantivan was as irrelevant for the widows and children of the slaughtered Sikhs as the pomp of ASIAD was for the bonded labourers who built the stadia and hotels in Delhi.

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