The scars of 84 can heal
Communal riots leave a deep scar on the psyche of the victims. The hatred and mistrust between the communities breeds hatred and mistrust which is very harmful for the unity of the nation. The commissions, which are set up to investigate communal riots are generally not able to provide concrete measures to punish the victims nor it does any good to the victims. Mahatma Gandhi was against such commissions instead he emphasized the need of bridging the gulf of mistrust between the victims and the accused instead of just punishing the accused. He was of the view of organizing programs where both the victims and the accused would come together and sort out their differences. In such programs the accused would voluntarily accept all the crimes committed by him and would be ready to accept any punishment given to him. Not only this he would voluntarily repent his mistakes. The victims too are required to respect the genuine repentance of the accused.
African President Nelson Mandela adopted such a policy. At the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) set up by him the survivors and victims of apartheid regime came face to face with those who were responsible for their humiliation and sufferings. There was hatred and mistrust in the beginning but at the end there were tears on both the sides, as well as true repentance and change of heart. At the end both the sides hugged and kissed each other. Such a policy helped in preventing the nation from being torn apart; the venom of hate was siphoned out.
In a cultural diverse country like India such a policy would go a long way in bridging the gap between different communities especially Hindus And Muslims. It would prove quite effective in healing the wounds of 84 Sikh victims and also of Kashmiri Pandits who were forced to leave their own homes.