ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Lessons from History

The follow-up report on the Hashimpura killings (1987) (Hashimpura Killings by Iqbal Ansari, EPW, December 30, 2000) reflects the apathy of our rulers towards the masses. Down memory lane, I recollect today that at the time of the brutal killings, the late Bir Bahadur Singh was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. He had been accused of following a pro-Hindutva line. The chief ministers leaning naturally affected and poisoned the UP administration. The then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi visited riot-torn Ahmedabad but delayed going to Meerut. The killings of Hashimpura and Maliana by PAC personnel were not the result of just another riot but the end product of communalism creeping into the administration.

But the PAC brutality was not the only element that cast its deathly pall over Meerut in those days. In many ways Meerut resembled what many Delhi localities looked in the aftermath of the November 1984 riots against the Sikhs. There were clear signs that some organisation and preparation had gone into fuelling the uncontrollable communal frenzy which swept the town. But when compared to the Delhi riots of 1984, there was one significant difference. In Meerut, the administration and PAC personnel were clearly siding with the majority community. This was unpardonable. It is a matter of grave concern for all law-abiding citizens that today, after 13 years, the PAC personnel who have been charged with the murder are yet to face the courts. This is not justice at all in a democratic and civilised country.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

INR 59

(Readers in India)

$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.