Courtesy the Delhi tragedy, Congressman HKL Bhagat slipped quietly away on Saturday Oct 29th. I've never had much use for that simple-minded exhortation not to speak ill of the dead, and in Bhagat's case I have even less use for it. At one level, I'm glad my world is free of this creep; at another, I am angry that he never faced justice for his role in the 1984 massacres of Sikhs -- documented in inquiry after inquiry, case after futile suppressed case.
Nevertheless, his death on that sad Saturday was a good reminder of those massacres from 21 years ago this week. Not Bhagat and not anyone else of any consequence has ever been punished for them, and you can bet your last anna that nobody ever will.
And I was reminded particularly of Bhagat when I read headlines about the Saturday blasts in the papers the next day. For example, the Indian Express called the blasts "New Delhi's worst terror strike."
I have personal experience of the horror and sorrow of that evening, and mourn each of those nearly 60 dead Indians. But I would like to know how Saturday qualifies as a worse "terror strike" than what we remember Bhagat for: almost 3000 dead Indians over a few days in November 1984. How is a count of 60 worse than one of 3000? Why does any recounting of terrorist incidents always omit that horrible one, besides others?
I'll have more on this soon. Meantime, never RIP, HKL Bhagat. Good riddance, but your evasion of justice for 21 years is a blot on us all.