The story of Sri Lanka’s Tamils is a lesson for India

Rajiv Gandhi’s killers did grievous wrong, but they are also victims of an ethno-religious regime that regards them as less than human.

“The people of north India should see us as victims,” R.P. Ravichandran, one of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins set free by the Supreme Court, said last week.

Few things are fouler than picking piously on those who have done grievous wrong and have had everything taken from them. Ravichandran and his co-convicts are responsible for their murderous choices. This fact exists alongside another: they are also casualties of a convergence of circumstance and history. Only those bereft of intelligence, imagination and compassion would struggle to recognize the equal validity of these two conflicting truths.

There is nothing to envy about Rajiv …


Kapil Komireddi

Kapil is a journalist, book critic and author. His first book, Malevolent Republic: A Short History of the New India (2019), was published to critical and commercial acclaim in India, the UK and the US. He has written from South Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East—including Syria, Pakistan and Palestine—and his work appears, among other publications, in The New York Times, The Critic, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, The Economist, TIME, CNN, The Guardian and Le Monde diplomatique. He is a frequent contributor to The Spectator and an international affairs panellist on Monocle24 radio.