Will never do charity again, says Sikh man assaulted by mob
‘Charity is a coat you wear twice a year’, says the lyrics of Praying for Time, a famous 1990 song written and performed by George Michael.
But for Nirmal Singh, once was enough. The 54-year-old’s only tryst with charity ended in such a nightmarish way that he feels that he will never try to help anyone in the rest of his life.
“We begged and pleaded but they continued to thrash us mercilessly. We simply couldn’t understand why the villagers were assaulting us, though we had gone there to collect alms for a charitable organization,” Singh Told HT.
Singh was one of the four Sikh men who were assaulted by a mob at Chainpura village in Ajmer district of Rajasthan on April 24. The matter came to light when a video of the act went viral on the social media, causing national outrage.
An electronic equipment repairman and a father of four children, Singh had gone to the village to collect donations.
“Two of my acquaintances, Harpal and Kuldip Singh, are engaged in charitable work for an organisation called Annakshetra. We went to the village to collect rice from households for being served to the poor. As a general rule, we didn’t ask for money,” he said.
Singh still can’t grasp how the behaviour of the villagers changed drastically.
“During the first few days, the villagers were very helpful and we collected a substantial amount of rice. But suddenly on day 3, we noticed that the general mood was different after going to Chainpura,” said Singh.
The men were waylaid by the mob that started abusing them before they were thrashed.
“We heard one of the policemen telling the mob not to hit us on the face and asked them to hit us elsewhere in the body. By the time the cops came and took us to the police station, we were severely injured,” said Singh.
He says his faith in charity has faltered after the incident.
“I will never ever try to do charity again. We went to do good to people but what has come out of it? Scriptures tell us to help people; the reality is contrastingly different,” Singh said.
Singh’s family members say they feared the worst when they came to know about the incident.
“We won’t let my father go for charitable work anymore. Once he came back from Ajmer, we were shocked to see his injuries and still fail to understand why would someone try to assault an elderly person trying to help people,” said Goldy Singh, his son.