Sunday, May 22, 2022

Hua Toh Hua: Sam Pitroda Makes Insensitive Remark About 1984 Anti-Sikh Massacre, Apologizes, Says 'I Meant Move On'

Darpan News Desk IANS, 10 May, 2019 06:04 PM

    The BJP on Friday demanded an apology from UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi over Indian Oversees Congress chief Sam Pitroda's remarks on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.


    "We demand that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi must apologise for the worst comments made by Sam Pitroda which has hurt the people of the country," Union Minister Prakash Javadekar told the media here at his residence.


    Pitroda had on Thursday brushed off the 1984 anti-Sikh riots saying, "It happened in 1984, so what?"


    After a controversy erupted over his remarks, Pitroda on Friday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of twisting and distorting facts from his comments to divide the people and hide its failures.


    "I acknowledged the pain of my Sikh brothers and sisters during difficult times in 1984 and deeply feel for the atrocities that happened. But these are things from past that are not really relevant to this election which is all about what did Modi government do for the last five years. Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi will never target a group of people based on creed," he said in a series of tweets.


    Reacting to the controversy, Pitroda further told: “The statement I made was completely twisted, taken out of context because my Hindi isn’t good, what I meant was ‘jo hua vo bura hua,’ I couldn’t translate ‘bura‘ in my mind.


    What I meant was move on. We have other issues to discuss as to what BJP govt did and what it delivered. I feel sorry that my remark was misrepresented, I apologise. This has been blown out of proportion,” Pitroda said.


    Reacting to his clarification, Javadekar said that Pitroda's explanation was even more dangerous as he acknowledged the pain of the Sikh community while saying that it was not relevant today.


    "When Sikhs have not got justice how it is not relevant today? It is relevant today because it is an unsolved saga of atrocities and if atrocities and genocide against Sikhs are not relevant than tomorrow Sam Pitroda will say partition is not relevant, ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits is not relevant.


    "He will say communal politics in Shah Bano case is also not relevant today. It is relevant because these are issues faced by the nation and nation has to debate it during elections," Javadekar added.


    Slamming Pitroda for his remarks that late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi will never target a group of people based on creed, the Union Minister asked will he explain the justification of genocide by Rajiv Gandhi when he said when "big tree falls, earth trembles".


    "Is this not supporting genocide?" he asked.




    Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday attacked the Congress and its leader Sam Pitroda for the latter's remarks on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.


    Earlier on Thursday, Indian Oversees Congress chief Pitroda brushed off the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, saying, "It happened in 1984, so what?"


    Reacting to the comment, SAD leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa said that Congress' anti-Sikh mentality was clearly visible in Pitroda's remark.


    BJP leader Prakash Javadekar demanded that Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi should apologise for Pitroda's remarks.


    Javdekar said: "Today Pitroda said a shocking thing which nobody could expect. It is absolutely unacceptable and we, as a country, can not accept it. Sonia and Rahul should apologise for his remarks."


    Sirsa, on the other hand, said that Congress' mentality has not changed even after 35 years.


    "The Congress has yet again proved that its mentality against the Sikhs has not changed. Today Pitroda said '1984 has happened, so what?' He must have not lost anyone from his family."


    Sirsa further said, "He (Rahul Gandhi) keeps on saying that his father (Rajiv Gandhi) and grandmother (Indira Gandhi) were assassinated. And Pitroda is saying so what if the riots happened. Six thousand people were killed in the anti-Sikh riots. Our daughters and sisters were raped.


    And now, instead of giving us justice, you have kept the culprits with you. Pitroda has proved today that Gandhi family's heart is full of hatred against the Sikhs."




    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday hit out at the Congress over its leader Sam Pitroda's reported remarks "Hua to hua" (it just happened)on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, saying the "genocide" was stain that the opposition party can never clean.


    Addressing his first election rally in Punjab ahead of the May 19 polls, the Prime Minister also said that Punjab can never forget the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.


    "See the arrogance of Congress that one of its leader said 'hua toh hua' to such a genocide. This is such a stain in the neck of the Congress which it can never clean. Can Punjab forget the 1984 riots," Modi said as he asked the crowd who was responsible for what happened in 1984.


    He said that for three decades, injustice was meted out to the Sikhs and now the Congress was saying "hua to hua".


    "After three decades of making excuses and commissions, injustice was done to my Sikh brothers and sisters. Sometimes the Congress sprinkled salt on their wounds and sometimes it committed the sin of sprinkling acid. Now, they are saying 'hua toh hua'," the Prime Minister said.


    Modi further said that Sikhs would get justice till the time he is the 'chowkidar' (watchman).


    "In 2014, I had promised justice to the victims of 1984 riots. I had said that the murderers of Sikhs will not be spared. As soon as we came to power, we dug out the files. Today I am satisfied that those whom the 'namdars' tried to save have been sent to jail," he said.


    The Prime Minister said that the Congress always took the people of the country for granted, while the NDA led by the BJP understood the basic needs of the common people.


    "Be it the farmers or the youth, opportunities are being created for everyone," he said.


    The Prime Minister also took a dig at Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu over his prise for Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and slammed the Congress over its Pakistan policy.


    "When we were trying to find a solution to the Kartarpur Corridor issue, one of the Congress leaders started praising Pakistan. This is the politics of Congress which has promoted terrorism spread by Pakistan," Modi said.




    The Congress on Friday distanced itself from party leader Sam Pitordas "hua to hua" remarks in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, saying that it was not the party's opinion and all leaders should be careful and sensitive in their remarks.


    In a statement, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala also raised the issue of the 2002 Gujarat riots when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was Chief Minister and said the party continues to support the quest for justice and punishment for those responsible for all the riots.


    "Indian National Congress and its leadership have striven to ensure justice for 1984 riot victims. We continue to support the quest for justice and stern punishment for those found guilty of 1984 riots as also the subsequent acts of violence including the 2002 Gujarat riots.


    "Any opinion or remark made by any individual to the contrary including Sam Pitroda is not the opinion of the Congress party. We advise all leaders to be careful and sensitive," he said.


    Surjewala alleged that riots were "vote-garnering exercise" in every election for the BJP which did not work for "ensuring justice and closure" and people "should see through this Machiavellian game of deception, distraction and distortion by Narendra Modi".


    Surjewala said Congress believes that justice should be done to 1984 riots victims as also to 2002 Gujarat riots victims.


    "We abhor violence of any kind, against any person or a group of people based on their caste, colour, region or religion. This is the essence of India," he said.


    Referring to Sadhvi Pragya who has been fielded by the BJP from Bhopal, Surjewala said that unlike the BJP, which has decided to field a candidate charged with terror crimes and is being lauded by none less than Modi himself, Congress has "shown the moral and political courage to punish people and leaders accused of violence/role in 1984".


    "This is the yardstick of self-imposed accountability and sense of justice to people followed by the Congress unlike the BJP," he said


    Pitroda had, on Thursday, made a controversial remark about the 1984 anti-Sikh riots saying, "84 mein hua to hua (it happened in 1984, so what)".



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