32 Years of Impunity
On the 32nd anniversary of the November 1984 pogroms of Sikhs in India, Ensaaf shares news footage of interviews with survivors of the violence. During the first week of November 1984, police, politicians, and government leaders organized and implemented pogroms against Sikhs throughout India. These massacres occurred ostensibly in response to the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.
Recorded by the Movement Against State Repression, this video footage takes us to the refugee camps where survivors display raw wounds, search for missing loved ones, and share accounts of the killings. The reporter discusses how Sikhs themselves had to arrange for food provisions and were living in squalor, bathing in gutters, and lacking medical care at the camps. “We are homeless. We are family-less. And moreover, above all, no safety. We can’t imagine how we’ll survive ourselves in this India,” recounts one survivor to reporter Ken Rees.
Three decades later, none of the architects of these killings have been held accountable for these gross human rights violations. The Indian government continues to deny survivors their rights to truth, justice, and reparations. On this anniversary, inform yourself by watching this video and reading Ensaaf’s report from 2004, Twenty Years of Impunity. This report analyzes thousands of pages of previously unavailable affidavits, government records, and arguments submitted to the 1985 Misra Commission, established to examine the massacres. The report reveals the systematic and organized manner in which state institutions perpetrated mass murder in November 1984 and later justified the violence in inquiry proceedings.