THERE comes another book on the killing of Sikhs in Delhi and in the north following Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her two Sikh bodyguards. This book is a knitting together of stories of the victims of the riots that followed and focuses mainly on the first refugee colony at Tilak Vihar which was set up for rehabilitating the riot-affected victims by the Congress government. The young girls orphaned during the riots have now grown into young women whose characters have been dealt with individually and interwoven with their lifestyle, their hopes and disappointments to constitute this book. Though ordinary women found in the lower income group, they were different because they carried deep scars and unpleasant memories of ’84 and post-’84 with them. The author through her book gives vent to the emotions of these adopted girls for whom life ceased to be a long-term planning on “that dark and fateful night of October 31, 1984. Since then their lives have become one of daily survival, of toiling for their daily bread” – one that denotes existential living.
The author harbours the dream of one day getting hold of a “road roller and wiping Tilak Vihar off the face of Delhi” to replace it with a well-planned colony.
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