New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday said justice to the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, which were “politically motivated”, started being delivered only after the Narendra Modi government assumed office in 2014.
Addressing a programme of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee here, Shah said 300 cases related to the 1984 riots were reopened and compensation of Rs 5 lakh was given to the family of each of the victims after 2014.
“No one can forget the riots of 1984 and such heinous killings were politically motivated. No one was punished in those riots until the Modi government assumed office. No one was arrested and no one spent a single day in jail till 2014,” he said.
Shah said probe commissions were set up, but no concrete results ever came from them.
Prime Minister Modi established an SIT and re-opened 300 cases, leading to the imprisonment of the guilty, he said.
The home minister said cases are still ongoing and the Modi government will ensure justice for the victims.
The home minister said that after so many years, the process of giving compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of the 3,328 victims was done by the Modi government.
He also said that the Modi government opened the way to give citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act to Sikh sisters and brothers who were tortured in neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Paying glowing tributes to the Sikh gurus and the Sikh community, he said the Sikhs move forward taking both religion and karma equally and when it is an issue of sacrificing one’s life for religion, a true Sikh never looks back.
He said that from the days of independence struggle to the security of the country now, the sacrifice of Sikh brothers is unparalleled.
Shah paid tributes to the Sikh gurus and said: “I bow my head to the Guru tradition of the Sikh religion. Guru tradition of 10 generations of Sikh Panth has set before the world an excellent example of struggle and sacrifice against injustice and barbarity before the invaders.” He said the contribution of the 9th Guru Teg Bahadur to the country can never be forgotten.
His supreme sacrifice against the atrocities of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb on the people in Kashmir shows his greatness, Shah said.
The home minister said when Prime Minister Narendra Modi had decided to celebrate a festival in memory of Guru Teg Bahadur, then it was decided that his admiration will begin from the same spot of the Red Fort from where his martyrdom was announced. On the founder of the Sikh religion Guru Nanak Dev, he said Guru Nanak Dev preached equality of all religions in many countries through ‘Char Udasiyaan’.
The home minister said no one in the whole world can match the sacrifices made by Sikh Gurus for humanity and the country.
He said when every religion in the world was fighting a war for its own ideas, at that time from Guru Nanak Dev Ji to the tenth Guru everyone gave the message of equality of all religions to the world, which the whole world is following till today and this is a matter of pride for entire India.
He said Guru Nanak Dev also spread the message of love throughout the world without any self interest.
He said the Guru Granth Sahib imbibes all good teachings and there can be no greater message of equality of all religions than the holy book.
The home minister said whether it is the freedom struggle of India, the fight against the Mughals and the British, the horrors of partition, or securing the borders of the country after independence, the Sikh community has always been at the forefront.
The history of freedom struggle is full of sacrifices of brave Sikhs, and after the independence of the country, the Sikhs have made the maximum sacrifices for national security, he said.
He said that apart from the Sikh community, there would rarely be any other community which would have such a long tradition of struggle and sacrifice against the injustice of the invaders for 10 generations.
Shah said Prime Minister Modi has provided 33 per cent reservation for women in the legislatures of states and Parliament for a women-led development.
He said the tradition of women empowerment started years ago in the Sikh panth with the teachings of Mata Khivi’s langar. He said history showcases that Sikh community women have made significant contributions in the freedom struggle as well in the nation’s progress.
Shah said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi in the last nine years, several significant initiatives have been taken such as the 400th Prakash Parv of Guru Teg Bahadur, the 550th Prakash Parv of Guru Nanak Dev, the 350th Prakash Parv of Guru Gobind Singh, exempting GST on langar, constructing the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, making Sultanpur Lodhi a heritage city, establishing a chair in the name of Guru Nanak Dev at a British university, and providing facilities to Sikh pilgrims to travel to Pakistan.