From Children to Adults-1984 Anti-Sikh Riots Victims

m.jpgI was just forwarded thelink to a photo essay which speaks volumes for children who grew up in the shadows of the 1984 riots in Delhi. Photographer Sanjay Austa has shared pictures and stories of young men and womenwhose fathers and husbands were killed during 1984 and how the eventsof that yeartransformed their lives.

They were in their mothers stomach, just delivered, toddlers or school going children in 1984 when their fathers, uncles or siblings were butchered in the anti-sikh riots in Delhi which left almost 3000 sikhs dead. These children were suddenly wrenched out from their cosy family life and hurled into the world of neglect, apathy and abuse. They grew up in the shadow of the riots, struggling between going to school and making a living. Their fathers were killed and their mothers either remarried or were so busy working to eek out a living that the kids were virtually forgotten. 25 years on they have grown up into young men. Some wayward due to the neglect , others unemployed due to lack education, and yet few others transformed their lives by sheer grit and determination. These are their stories. [link]

Manjeet’s mother , Harjinder Kaur had four children during the riots. Her daughter was only 10 days old. But after the riots she could not take care of her baby and she died. Every year during the anniversary of the riots gloom descends over her. She cannot believe the perpetrators of such violence still roam free.


Rajinder Singh was 10 years old when his father was killed in the 1984 anti-sikh riots in New Delhi. Rajinder was hiding in his neighbour’s house with his six siblings. His father was advised to cut of his hair but he refused. He hid in his house in Nandnagri but the mob found and killed him on Nov 1. He was also a ricksha-puller.


Paramjit Kaur’s mother was 7 months pregnant with her when her father was killed in Sultanpuri. She says she cant see her mother grieving so never asked her about her father. Her mother was newly married and with their son dead her in-laws didn’t want her. However her grandparents have been fighting with her mother for their share in the governments compensation after her father’s murder.


Interjeet Singh was 7 years old when his father was killed. He along with his two brothers and two sisters hid in their neighbors house. His father and mother stayed in the home thinking the sikhs were being butchered in the streets only. But on November 2 a mob attached their house in Raghu Nagar and killed his father. His father was an ironsmith and they destroyed his shop along with his house.


To view more of this photo essay, click here.

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88 Responses to “From Children to Adults-1984 Anti-Sikh Riots Victims”

  1. Janpreet says:

    bro pls try and update your knowledge.. sikh were the one during mughal empire who would save hindu girls from being raped and they would plan and execute the same at 12 midnight. Shame on your pathetic say.. bhindrawala never raped anyone.. i pity on guys like you.. who don't even know that hinduism was saved by our 9th guru,, guru tegh bahadur ji.. otherwise there would have been only 2 religion in ths world.. 1 muslim and 2 christianity..

  2. amitdewanji says:

    these riots were long term political motivated to destroy india . Hindus have never ruled for 1200 years so their gentics have bended to slavery and appesment of power directly or indirectly(voting culture) chamchagiri etc etc muslims will have to be taught lessons today they are 22% and hindus are 65% 1947 figures were different check it hindu is a weak religion they are divided in caste any muslim wants to become hindu no one is sure what caste he or she will get best way to be indian is to be sikh but understand difference between sikh and khalsa CALL ME ?

  3. Ravi Raghav says:

    Janpreet Bro, Yes I agreed with you that Bhindrawala did not raped any girl but I want to tell you one thing "Ek Machli Poore Talab Ko Ganda Kar Deti Hai", We all show peace and love to each oher. Sikh are the part of Hindu.

  4. Soumyajit Thakur says:

    these events are so unfortunate. it would bring tears in the eyes of any human being. heartless politicians hell bent on seizing political power by playing one community against another engineer these riots and the sufferers are the common people. Like most Indians, I too am grateful to the Sikhs for their immense contribution to the country. I would add that my father sheltered some of his Sikh friends during the riots which saved their lives.

  5. Sivaramakrishnan says:

    My heart goes out to these families. It's heart breaking to read the stories. Even after 25 years it still seems so raw. The Congress-Indian Govt who organized and perpetrated this heinous crime are the criminals. The Sikh community is shameless as it is still going after Congress and its Single family ruining of the country. It is also pathetic that such a dynamic community is not able to muster amount for the rehabilitation of the 3000 or 4000 families. It is shame on the community. The Great Freedom Fighter Subramanya Bharathi started wearing Turban only after seeing the braveness of the Sikh Community.

  6. Paramjeet singh says:

    MY name is paramjeet singh and i m also a 1984 riots vicitms . when i was just 4 year old than my father was burnt in front of me. i did nothing on that time .me and my mom migrate to patiala with two more younger brother who was 2 and 6 month .
    but now i m studing well and my brother also with my mother hard work
    but i always miss my dad who is very nice person i forgot his face and i forgot dad name what is dad and dad values .
    i m marreid and i have two childern one is doughter and second son
    i still waiting for justice
    parmajeet singh