Recently, the video clip of Rajiv Gandhi’s notorious “big tree” comment was released. And it is worse than you thought.
The power of the visuals of an event can often get underestimated. Most people who are aware of the anti-Sikh pogrom of 1984 probably know about Rajiv Gandhi’s shameful comment about it: “When a big tree falls, the earth shakes”. Now that so many people know about such utterances of India’s former PM, one would expect that the video of him saying that would only be taken as yet another vindication of the truths of ‘84.
Yet, seeing Rajiv Gandhi utter those lines, hearing him speak those words in his semi-nasal voice would probably come across as more than just a vindication of what you already knew. It would seem like a whole new story. Most readers would know what was said, but the sheer hate inherent in the words seems to get amplified in audio-visual form.
A brief background to the clip: Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her security guards in her residence on October 31, 1984. The assassins were both Sikhs, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh. Earlier in the year, Indira Gandhi had authorised military action on the Golden Temple in Amritsar to drive out the Sikh militants hiding inside.
The five days after her death saw a pogrom unleashed at the Sikhs in Delhi. Many victims claim that the mobs were led by Congress leaders. Although, any prominent leader of the party is yet to be brought to book.
Later, In a public meeting held in the memory of Indira Gandhi, her son uttered these words:
Jab Indira ji ki hatya hui thi, to humare desh mein kucch dange-phasaad hue the. Humein maalum hai ki Bharat ki janta ke dil mein kitna krodh aaya, kitna gussa aaya, aur kucch din ko duniya. . kucch din ke liye logon ko laga ki Bharat hil raha hai. Lekin jab bhi koi bada ped girta hai, to dharti thodi hilti hai.
(When Indira ji was killed, then there were a few riots in our country. We know how much rage filled the hearts of the people of India, how much anger, and for some days the world. . .for some days people thought that India is shaking. But, when a big tree falls, the earth shakes a bit).
Given below is the video of this frightening speech. The video was released in a press conference by HS Phoolka—who has been fighting for justice for ‘84 pogrom victims—and BJP’s RP Singh.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.