Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A different kind of 1984

This comes via Indianwriting - Siddharth Varadarajan's comment on the Nanavati inquiry into the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, following the assassination of Indira Gandhi: 'In an essay on the challenges posed by the Holocaust to philosophy, the German sociologist Rainer C. Baum described moral indifference as the definitive form of modern evil. Even if Mr. Justice Nanavati is correct in saying there is no evidence connecting Rajiv Gandhi or other senior leaders to the killings, their moral guilt is manifest from their behaviour both during the violence and after. At no time did either Rajiv Gandhi or any other senior Minister display the slightest interest in understanding how such a terrible crime could have been committed on their watch, in ordering an inquiry, in ensuring that forensic and other forms of evidence were collected in a timely fashion so that the guilt of the perpetrators could be established swiftly. This is the way a leadership that was genuinely unaware of what was going on would have acted after the event. Conversely, it is only a government that knew it had something dreadful to hide that could behave the way the Rajiv Gandhi Government did in the weeks, months, and even years following November 1984.'

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