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“When a big tree falls, the ground shakes”: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury pays tribute to Rajiv Gandhi, later distances himself from his own tweet

On the 31st death anniversary of former PM Rajiv Gandhi, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury shared an infographic quoting Rajiv Gandhi's infamous words "when the big tree falls, the earth shakes", made in the wake of Indira Gandhi's assassination that triggered a violent bout of Sikh Genocide, allegedly carried out by Congress supporters and workers.

On 21 May 2022, the 31st death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury paid tribute to the former PM by sharing his infamous words “when a big tree falls, the ground shakes”, made by him in the wake of the Sikh pogrom that ensued in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984.

Sharing an infographic with pictures of Rajiv Gandhi, the image read “Remembering Rajiv Gandhi on his death anniversary” along with the contentious comment that was seen as a brazen justification of the horrifying spate of violence unleashed against the Sikhs after two Sikh bodyguards assassinated the then PM Indira Gandhi.

Source: Twitter

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury deletes the contentious tweet, distances himself from the infamous quote made by Rajiv Gandhi

However, shortly after sharing the picture, Chowdhury pulled down his tweet and shared another to mark his respect for the former PM on his death anniversary. This time around, Chowdhury shared another quote by Rajiv Gandhi, apparently in a bid to cover up for the faux pas that preceded it.

Furthermore, Chowdhury posted another tweet distancing himself from the infographic that quoted Rajiv Gandhi’s infamous comment after the Sikh genocide. “The tweet against my name in the tweeter account has nothing to do with my own observation,” Chowdhury tweeted.

Source: Twitter

In a subsequent tweet, the Congress leader alleged that “a malicious campaign is propagated by forces inimical to him.” However, he did not elaborate on how those forces got access to his Twitter account and shared an infographic of Rajiv Gandhi’s comment, which also bore his image and the logo of the Congress party.

Rajiv Gandhi’s callous remarks justifying the 1984 Sikh genocide

It is notable to mention that Rajiv Gandhi’s callous remark justifying the Sikh pogrom came in the wake of India’s Gandhi’s assassination by her Sikh bodyguards on 31st October 1984 as an act of revenge for Operation Blue Star. From 1st November to 4th November, Sikhs across the country were killed. The government figures suggest the angry mobs, many of which were led by Congress leaders, brutally murdered 3350 Sikhs.

On 19th November 1984, while giving a speech in front of thousands of people, then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi justified the violence that took place after Gandhi’s assassination. He had said, “Jab bhi koi bada ped girta hai, to dharti thodi hilti hai. (When a big tree falls, the earth shakes.)”

Towards the end of his speech Rajiv Gandhi said, “Hamein Indira ji ka yaad rakhna hai. Hamein yaad rakhna hai ki unki hatya kyun hui. Hamein yaad rakhna hai ki kaun kaun log iske peeche ho sakte hain. Jab Indira ji ki hatya hui thi, to haamre desh mein kuch dange fasaad hue the. Hamein maloom hai ki bharat ki janta ke dil mein kitna krodh aaya, kitna gussa aaya. Aur kuch din ke liye, logon ko laga ki bharat hil raha hai. Lekin jab bhi koi bada ped girta hai to dharti thodi hilti hai. (We should remember Indira Gandhi. We should remember why she was killed. We should remember who can be behind her assassination. When Indira ji was killed, there were some riots in the country. We know how angry the people of India were. And for a few days, people thought that India is shaking. However, whenever a big tree falls, the earth shakes.)”

In 2019, Senior Advocate HS Phoolka said that the instruction to kill Sikhs came directly from Rajiv Gandhi’s office.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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