The Blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine – we DISSENT

Thoughts on Sikh Genocide in 1984

Photo: Affairs Today

By Faiq Faizan

It was June 2015. I don’t remember the day exactly but it was a bad one. I had not managed to get proper sleep after a long day of boring, sedentary work. I was doing my internship in Gurgaon at the time.

I was praying late night Taraweehs at my local masjid (Taraweehs are an hour or longer prayers held in masjids during Ramadan).

In the chaos that ensued the following morning, I missed my shuttle to work. What followed was long hours of travel aboard the Delhi Metro. All this when I was still fasting for more than 15 hours a day.

As I did reach my destined metro station, I put my hand in my pocket and, to my surprise, I found that I left my wallet at home.

Now I had to walk about 1.2 Kms in the sun to reach my office.

The day, however, went by. Due to traffic snarls on the M.G. Road, I reached my drop-off point, the Green Park Metro Station, just in time for Iftaar. Now I had no money to get back home. I was exhausted, worn out, and I could really kill for a glass of water.

Amidst all this commotion in my mind, I finally did find water. At a public tap put out by a Gurudwara in Green Park. Doubtful at first, I proceeded with caution. A guy outside re-assured me that the water was indeed safe.

I went on to gulp some. I sat down, recited some verses and, voila, my long day felt rewarded after timely water. As is my habit, I gushed out loudly, “Alhamdullilah”.

Right then I turned to see two people waiting for their turn. I felt their eyes pouncing upon me.

As I got up to leave, one person held me gently and said, “Beta aap Muslim ho? Roza hai?” (Son, are you Muslim? Are you fasting?) I replied with an affirmative nod. “Chalo, meri shop hai aage, kuch kha ke jaoo” (I have a shop nearby. Come, do eat something there.)

I tried to convince him that I had a home in Delhi and, indeed, it wasn’t far off and that my family members would be waiting for me.

Why I am writing this is because now people are remembering the Genocide against the Sikhs in Delhi in 1984.

And I am sharing this because their example really teaches us how love can overcome hate.

It would have been easier for the Sikhs to decide that only their community will be served Langar in the Gurudwaras. But they chose otherwise. Even today the gates are open to everyone. In my personal experience, I have yet to witness any other religious place that follows this practice.

Be open to all.

Bio:
Faiq Faizan is a graduate from Jamia Milia Islamia.

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Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine, based in New York City, USA. All materials on the site are protected under Creative Commons License.

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Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine on ‘The Idea of the University’, edited by Dr. Debaditya Bhattacharya, University of Calcutta, India.

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