When former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in a suicide bomb attack on 21 May, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu, 13 other people had lost their lives. When Rajiv Gandhi’s family, including Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi, chose to ‘forgive’ the convicts and said they had no objection if the killers are released, the kin of those who had died along with Rajiv Gandhi were not too happy with the move. How could Sonia Gandhi or her children decide on behalf of family members of 13 others who lost their lives along with Rajiv Gandhi?
When the Tamil Nadu government recommended release of seven life convicts in the case in 2018, the family members had met Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit and urged him to not give consent to the same. “All we received of my mother were pieces wrapped in a blood-stained blanket. The attack on Rajiv Gandhi, orphaned me and my siblings. 12 other families suffered because of it. But politicians don’t seem to consider the trauma we have been through. They want to release the murderers for their own political gains and we all condemn this,” S Abbas, whose mother died along with Rajiv Gandhi in the blast had told The News Minute in 2018.
Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination could not have been seen in isolation. Sonia Gandhi or family members of Rajiv Gandhi taking decision on killers of former Prime Minister who also killed other people in the same blast, just show how for the Nehru-Gandhi family members, the sentiments of common man do not matter. They may have forgiven the killers of former Prime Minister, but what about the kin of those who also lost their lives? The ones who had to struggle for years after having lost their loved ones in the blast?
Now, Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising has suggested that December 16, 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim Nirbhaya’s mother should also follow footsteps of Sonia Gandhi and forgive the rapists who brutally raped her daughter. The hanging of the four rapists was again delayed and postponed from 22nd January to 1st February after two convicts filed a mercy plea. An exasperated Asha Devi had said how her daughter’s brutal rape has become a political tool for politicians. However, Jaising, took this opportunity to give moral science lecture to Asha Devi instead.