Though the state-sponsored anti-Sikh program of 1984 in North India is one of the darkest chapters in the history of Independent India, not much has been done for the victims and their families even after more than three decades. It has only been exploited as an election issue time and again.
HS Phoolka, a Punjab-based lawyer of the Delhi HC, has been fighting cases since the last three decades against the accused from the Congress Party but justice hasn’t been delivered. He has often faced life-threats for the same.
People, especially the youth, in most other parts of the country are still oblivious to the brutality of the occurrence, courtesy the ‘stepmotherly treatment’ meted out to the event by both the media and the politicians. Bollywood can play a significant role in re-initiating discussion about the issue; just like biopics off late have pulled many historically relevant people into popular awareness.
The hindrances being created in the release of the ‘31 October‘ movie are proof enough of the misdoings of politically-backed criminals who don’t want their electoral prospects to be hurt. Such has been the role of the political leaders in dismissing the issue that The Asian Age ran a front-page story about the carnage in 2005 calling it the “Mother of all cover-ups”.
The movie, as expected, has ruffled a few feathers with the political class that was involved in the savage religious massacre.
The movie will hopefully provide much needed acknowledgement to the forgotten victims of the riots who are even today struggling to make ends meet, as the influential perpetrators are still on the loose with files being opened and closed by successive governments but nothing substantial coming out of it, except for dwindling faith in the system.
One hopes that this movie brings in much more solidarity with the victims that have so far eluded them. The hard-hitting trailer of the movie has already struck a chord with the audience.