Kamal Nath at Northwestern — Oops!

On Saturday May 10, 2008, accused murderous mob leader Kamal Nath spoke at Northwestern University.

The nationally renowned Sikh Coalition notified its members and encouraged them to write to Northwestern’s administration (which I did). Sikhtoons posted this take on the situation.

So what’s the deal? How did we get here? Various human rights organizations report Kamal Nath as being a key facilitator in the 1984 pogroms, where thousands of innocent Sikhs were killed. Sanjay Suri, a journalist, reported Kamal Nath’s presence controlling the crowd that attacked Gurudwara Rakab Ganj. You can see the details in a report produced by Ensaaf. Click here for the report, and just search it for Kamal Nath (pages 54, 72, 104, 127).

So why isn’t Kamal Nath behind bars? This case reminded me of a NYTimes article I read 8 years ago. Read it!

In India the Wheels of Justice Hardly Move
By BARRY BEARAK
Published: June 1, 2000
Way back when or, to be more precise, way, way, way back when — an illiterate meat cutter, Abdul Waheed, filed a lawsuit against his next-door-neighbor, a stubborn milk merchant named Mohammad Nanhe.

The article talks about how tiny cases take many decades to resolve. Just imagine how long it would take to resolve a case involving a powerful politician!

Organizations like Ensaaf (the word translates to Justice) are doing everything in their power to make sure justice is served. That’s all we as citizens of the world can want — a justice system that works. And of course, it is our duty to protect “justice for all,” which is what makes America so great.

For more information, I encourage you to see the movie Amu. The Indian censor board cut 6 lines of dialog from the film, saying, “Why should young people know a history that is best forgotten?”

Finally, the Chicago Tribune’s Mandy Brachear has this post on the story.

Amu: “A fantastic film.”

Amu DVD Cover The AMU DVD has been released, get your copy at AmuDVD.com. The film is eye-opening, thought-provoking, and engaging. It’s the work of a talented director named Shonali Bose, who I had the opportunity to meet in Seattle. All I can say is we need more people like Shonali in this world–people that are passionate, driven, and pursuing a higher cause: the cause of justice, rights, and freedom for all.

Here are some great links:
Main Site
IMDB Page

To my surprise, when the film was screened in India, it had to be first reviewed by a censorship board. Can you believe that? The world’s largest democracy has a censorship board! That doesn’t sound very democratic. The censor board recommended the deletion of several ‘controversial’ lines of dialog from the film. Instead of removing these scenes, they merely muted the audio when the film was shown, prompting the immediate question in the post-film Q&A — “What were they saying?” Read the details here!
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November 3, 2007
6:00 pmto9:30 pm

Vigil Flyer If you’re in the Boston area, head out to BU to remember the thousands of innocent lives that were lost in this tragic military attack on the center of Sikh authority.

HRW and Ensaaf have released a report called “Protecting the Killers: A policy of impunity in Punjab, India.” That’s a pretty powerful and self-explanatory title. I’ll let you read the summary of the report below. More information can be found at Ensaaf’s web site.