New Delhi: Seeking to put behind memories
of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday
said the country has moved on since the "tragic incident" and
that it was time to "forgive" and build a new India.
"It is time that we forgive and move on to build a new
India where every citizen irrespective of faith has equal
place," he said, addressing a function to felicitate him for
his role in removing names of 142 Sikhs from a `Black list`.
Recalling the tragic incidents in 1984 after the then
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was shot dead by her Sikh
bodyguards, Chidambaram said the country has moved on since
then and one small step of removing names of large number
Sikhs from the `Black list` was left which has been addressed
to by the government recently.
"We have moved on when Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime
Minister, we have moved on subsequently, we have moved on when
Manmohan Singh made that poignant speech asking for
forgiveness, we moved on since Sonia Gandhi became Congress
president," he said.
The Home Minister was referring to Singh`s speech in
Parliament in 2005 where he apologised to the Sikh community
for the incident.
"One small step had remained and that is to remove the
names of large number of names from what is called Black List.
I am happy that I played a small and humble part in removing
142 names from the Black List," the Home Minister said.
In a significant decision, the government had removed
from its "blacklist" the names of 142 wanted terrorists and
their associates, including the heads of various Sikh
Noting that government was would initiate all possible
steps to address grievances of the Sikh community, Chidambaram
said government would issue orders "shortly" to help the Sikhs
who have returned from Afghanistan following violence in the