"if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen
the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu.

Open letter to the Indian Home Minister Featured

It’s you who needs to repent, Mr. Amit Shah


Hello Mr. Shah,

I was amused to see your video the other day, in which you were telling an Akali Dal MP from Punjab that Balwant Singh Rajoana, a jailed Sikh militant, does not deserve amnesty.

You were apparently outraged at her statement asking to free him and other Sikh political prisoners who have already served their time. Your anger might be also because Akali Dal once used to be the alliance partner of your party in power, before they fell apart when your own government brought a bill that was anti-farmer. Only you would know the real source of your annoyance.

Your piece of advice, that Rajoana should not expect any compassion or leniency, as he doesn’t regret his action of being involved in terrorism and the assassination of Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, left me laughing.

First of all, you have no moral right to make that kind of suggestion to any political extremist, considering that your party has itself been involved in terrorism.

We can begin with the murder of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948. His killer was a part of RSS, the mother organization of Hindu supremacy to which you and your Prime Minister belong. The story does not end there. You have MPs who glorify his murderer, one of whom, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, had been involved in bombings in a Muslim locality. You yourself had once mocked Gandhi by calling him a cunning Baania.

Let’s fast forward to December 6, 1992 when your party folks razed an ancient mosque in Ayodhya, after which you targeted Muslims for years through mob violence, including the one in Gujarat in 2002. Modi and you were the leaders of Gujarat back then, and we all know about your complicity. Then you both allowed Muslims to be killed in staged police shootouts in the name of war on terror.

Ever since you both formed a majority government in New Delhi, Hindu extremism has become a new norm and attacks on religious minorities have grown. All those self-styled cow vigilantes going after beef-eating Muslims are no less than Taliban.

Even a child can make out that the Supreme Court under your government humiliated Muslims by allowing the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Modi, who has inaugurated the temple just now, has marked another black day in our history. Until now you have been claiming that the Muslim rulers destroyed the birthplace of Lord Ram to build the mosque in Ayodhya. For the sake  of argument, if one believes what you have been saying, your party in power is a mirror image of those Muslim emperors who have already gone down in history as tyrants.

With so much baggage of your own, how can you single out Rajoana and others like him?

Rajoana was responsible for the death of a controversial political figure who had given a free hand to the Punjab police to crush an insurgency for Khalistan, as a result of which many innocent Sikhs were also abducted and killed in state violence. This is not to defend the wrongdoings of the supporters of Khalistan, but to be fair, most of them were killed through extra-judicial means, even while your party people continued to indulge in terrorism with impunity. Unfortunately, the majoritarian media did not even dare to call you terrorists, and neither were your men tried and convicted under anti terror laws.

Just because you are in power does not make you a lesser evil. If asking for Khalistan is a crime, so is turning India into a Hindu state which you have already done.

Lastly, today is the 25th anniversary of the gruesome murders of Australian Christian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons, who were burnt to death in 1999 by the right-wing Hindu goons who have been getting their oxygen from hate-mongers like you.

It’s time that you repent your actions and do some penance, instead of lecturing others.

May Lord Ram bless you.


Gurpreet Singh

An independent Canadian journalist of Indian heritage

January 23, 2024.    

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