Genocides may vary in magnitude and scale but one thing that remains common is the vulnerability of women and children to sexual violence and 1984 Sikh genocide was no different on that. 1984 India’s secret guilty a book by Pav Singh pour some light on Mass rapes that were committed by organized killers in an organized manner with intent to humiliate and demoralize, which were either ignored due to the social stigma attached to it or were efficiently suppressed by state machinery due to national shame.
Testimonies from survivors speak unimaginable horrors, women and girl children were stripped and gang-raped while their husbands and sons were forced to watch.One testimony from a forty-five-year-old woman describes that horror, On Nov 1, a group of teenagers no older than fourteen or fifteen entered their house murdered her husband and gang-raped her in front of her son and later her son was burnt alive by sprinkling kerosene on it and setting him on fire. Journalist Pranay Gupta reported some Sikh children were castrated and their genitals were stuffed into the mouths of their mothers and sisters.
In Trilokpuri where no Sikh men were left alive, around thirty women including girls were abducted and taken to nearby village Chilla where they were gang-raped for days, only a few came back and the fate of others remains unknown. In Sulatanpuri, a woman in an affidavit claimed, after killing her husband they abducted her daughter and raped her for three days and this took place on eve of her wedding day. One survivor testified that girls as young as nine or ten were raped. In another case two sisters, one of whom was pregnant were raped on streets and later acid was poured on them. One woman whose family had moved to Delhi from newly created Pakistan recounted her ordeal that women were hoarded in a room and were raped. The killers asked each other to select whomsoever they choose. All of them were stripped and raped and told that she herself was raped by around ten people. After their savagery was satisfied, women were asked to leave but not to wear clothes.
Elderly women were too subjected to sexual assaults in front of their families. An eighty-year-old woman from Nand Nagri told social workers that she was raped. The murders, rapes were so organized that Govt provided no protection and made sure that victims could not record their ordeal and testify, as many cases remain unreported and a culture of intergenerational suffering had been born.
This organized genocide and sexual violence committed against the tiny minority is not only a national shame but a shame for rest of world who preferred trade against human right abuses.
By – Gagandeep Singh
(Excerpts from the book – 1984 India’s Secret Guilty)
Image credit – Sikh24