While remembering Rajiv Gandhi, let’s remember the forgotten victims of Hashimpura massacre too

Hashimpura Rajiv Gandhi Worst Prime Minister
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The past of Congress has been tainted by many sins, some willful, others out of their sheer incompetency. In 1984, with the willful collusion of many Congress leaders, the anti-Sikh riots were perpetrated which were later justified by the then PM Rajiv Gandhi, stating that “when a big tree falls, the earth shakes.” Salman Khurshid in his book, At Home in India, writes on the 1984 Sikh genocide: “There was also a terrible satisfaction amongst Muslims, who had not completely forgotten the partition’s unpleasant aftermath. Hindus and Sikhs were alike paying for their ‘sins’.” 

A train carrying Hindu Kar Sevaks returning from Ayodhya was burnt by Muslims in Godhra, Gujarat and Congress labeled that ghastly massacre as ‘an accident.’ Not only this, numerous riots under the nose of Congress happened in Assam state in which Hindu community was targeted. But the Congress government remained mum. On May 22, 1987, Hashimpura, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, 19 police personnel from the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary (UP-PAC) rounded up 42 Muslim youths from the Hashimpura locality and took them to the outskirts of the city, shot them in cold blood and dumped their bodies in a nearby irrigation canal.

Rajiv Gandhi took eight days to visit the city and the riot affected areas. Rajiv Gandhi’s government was both at the centre and in the state during the riots and the subsequent massacre. Still his government failed to ensure quick justice to the victims. The UP government ordered inquiry in 1988. The Crime Branch Central Investigation Department (CBCID) of Uttar Pradesh Police took six years to submit its report to the state government. The inquiry report was never made public. After the inquiry, it took two more years to file the charge sheet in 1996. After the 19 years of the killings, in 2006 the first witness testimony in the case was recorded. Huge laxity and neglect followed the investigation process. Allegedly, efforts were also made to shield the accused.  The first FIR was destroyed. The weapons were given back to the PAC and they continued to use it. Some of the important witnesses were ignored and not questioned. Many of the Policemen were suspended but they were quickly reinstated to the service and no senior officer was booked for the massacre. Despite the ‘pro-minority’ façade of Rajiv Gandhi and the Congress, the criminal justice system failed completely in one of the most gruesome massacres committed against minority population in India. It took a BJP leader to ensure that justice is delivered to the grieving families. Subramanian Swamy , on 16 October 2012  moved to the Delhi court seeking a probe into the alleged role of Union Minister of State for Home at the time, P. Chidambaram in the Hashmipura massacre.  Delhi Tees Hazari Court, on 21 March 2015 acquitted all 16 of the accused in the Hashimpura massacre case of 1987, due to lack of evidence.

The victims of Hashimpura were ignored by the media as well which was not interested to hold responsible its ‘secular’ poster-boy and his conduct during and after the Hashimpura massacre.

Despite the fact that numerous communal riots happened under the nose and patronage of Congress party, still, it is presented as the most secular party of India by propaganda machinery masquerading as ‘liberal, ‘neutral’ media. Articles are written, TV shows are made to send the message that how much secular Congress is and the party is the sole savior of the minorities. Numerous precious innocent lives of Indian citizens have been lost because of this party but still this party has been shameless enough to blame others for spreading communal disharmony in the country.

Hashimpura massacre is just a tip of the iceberg of the incompetency of Rajiv Gandhi. He committed blunders after blunders. List of blunders committed by him is very long. To begin with, He sent Indian Peace Keeping Force to Sri Lanka without even consulting his cabinet. Because of his folly 1200 armed men lost their lives. 

He did not ensure free and fair elections in Kashmir. The Congress was involved in rigging of elections in Kashmir in order to favor its coalition partner National Conference. Even separatists were part of the election process. Unfair elections fueled militancy in Kashmir which persists to this day. Exodus of Kashmiri Pundits happened because of the rise of militancy in Kashmir. And who can forget the notorious Bofors scandal in which many big fishes of Congress were involved. 

His mishandling of Shahbano case changed the Indian politics forever. On his watch, the main accused of Union Carbide disaster, Warren Anderson, flew from the country after killing thousands of people in Bhopal and was never brought to justice. 

Clearly, Rajiv Gandhi’s rule had been a total disaster for India but still he is one of the most celebrated PM. Rajiv’s blunder played a decisive role in giving rise to terrorism in Kashmir, Sri Lanka and Punjab. But he was presented as youth icon at that time and that myth is continuously perpetuated by the ‘liberal’ and ‘secular’ media thriving under the patronage of the dynasty.


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Shubham Singh

21, (BA) Political Science Hons, PG Diploma in RTV, Learner.

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