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Operation Bluestar 1984

Lets see what lead to it .

Contents
Preface .................................................................................................................................................... 2 Punjabi identity ....................................................................................................................................... 3 Punjabi Hindus ........................................................................................................................................ 3 British, Sikhs and Indian struggle for independence .............................................................................. 4 Role of Sikhs in freedom struggle of India : ............................................................................................ 4 Promises Broken ..................................................................................................................................... 9 Linguistic states and Punjabi suba .......................................................................................................... 9 River waters dispute.............................................................................................................................. 10 Akali Dal's demands .............................................................................................................................. 10 Emergency and role of Sikhs : ............................................................................................................... 11 Nirankari Kaand :................................................................................................................................... 12 Rise and role of Jarnail Singh Bhindrawala .......................................................................................... 13 Operation Blue star ............................................................................................................................... 15 Other gurudwaras attacked .................................................................................................................. 22 Indira Gandhi killed ............................................................................................................................... 22 1984 roits .............................................................................................................................................. 22 Repression continued ........................................................................................................................... 22

Disclaimer: This article was written as many of my friends Sikhs and non-Sikhs wanted to know the reasons for attack on Harmandir sahib (Golden Temple) in1984 I have extensively used material of other writers available on net as the aim was to present the topic in simple and easy to understand manner .

Preface
Until Lions tell their own history, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. African proverb.

And as a member of pride it becomes my responsibility to tell the unheard story of lions .In the present context we will focus from 10 or so years before the independence continuing through partition ,betrayal of Sikhs by politicains , the struggle for Punjabi suba ,Nirankari Kaand in Amritsar , Emergency and role of Sikhs ,Rise of Jarnail Singh Bhindrawala , Operation Blue star, 1984 roits ,Propaganda of Indian government and how it led to the destruction of social fabric of Punjab and finally what the future holds for Punjab . A little bit of history : Sikhism founded by Guru Nanak in 1469 is a revolutionary religion based on its teachings and attacked the basic premise of the religions present in India at that time namely , Hinduism ,Islam and yogis . 1. All people of the world are equal 2. Women are equal to men (why call her bad who has given birth to even the kings of the
land ..)

3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

One God for all Speak and live truthfully Control the five vices Live in God's hukam (will/order) Practice Humility, Kindness, Compassion, Love, etc.

By stressing equality of all mankind and oneness of God Sikhism came into direct conflict with the caste system principle of Brahman propagated Hinduism and opposition of rituals further gave a blow to the income stream of Brahman .All this led to an inherent hatred towards Sikhism from Brahman. Islam at that time was being propagated by the rulers by sword and Sikh gurus vehemently opposed use of force for religious conversion .The humanitarian teachings of Sikh gurus attracted many a Muslims to Sikhism so Muslim ruling class also inhabited hatred towards Sikhs .Moreover ruling class always prefers people who agree with their ideology whereas Sikh gurus opposed the wrong practices of Mughal rulers. Was this anti Sikh thinking among Brahmans and ruling class anything new? I would say no. Because from time immemorial there has been a fight between the darkness and light, between the truth and false dogmas and this anti Sikh thinking was manifestation of the struggle between wellbeing of mankind and suppression of mankind. This struggle between darkness and light was manifested many times during the life time of ten Sikh gurus .To mention a few instances guru Nanak Dev ji was imprisoned by first Mughal ruler Babar when Guru ji opposed his indiscriminate killing of the people . Fifth guru, Guru Arjan Dev ji was burnt alive by the Mughal ruler Jahangir, sixth guru ,Guru Hargobind ji had many a battles with Mughal rulers and ninth guru ,Guru Teg Bhadur ji was beheaded at Sis Ganj in Delhi by Aurangzeb at site of chandni chok . This tendency of Sikhs to oppose the tyranny of oppressor and their honest nature did not win them favour with ruling class. After the period of ten gurus, guru Granth Sahib ji, the holy scripture was regarded as spiritual guide of Sikhs. Beginning from 1704 Sikh waged many a battles in Punjab against

the rulers of Delhi and their agents in Punjab and had to suffer many a oppressions but eventually then succeeded in establishing a Sikh rule in Punjab first under Banda Singh Bhadur in 1710 and then again after an intervening period under maharaja Ranjit Singh . By the time of maharaja Ranjit Singh British have capture whole of India and were keenly watching the Lahore darbaar under maharaja Ranjit Singh so as to make the rich Punjab a part of their empire but the bravery of Sikhs forced them to remain away from Punjab .The death of maharaja Ranjit Singh and presence of treacherous Dogra brothers of Kashmir in Lahore darbaar who had converted to Sikhism to please maharaja Ranjit Singh but were in reality the snakes of mattress provided British an opportunity . They connived with British to plot the defeat of Sikh forces and finally Punjab came under the British rule Punjabi identity : As I google searched(googled) Punjabi identity I got this About 18,100,000 results (0.24 seconds) "Punjabiyat", which means authentic Punjabihood, has directly to do with the common threads uniting the desires, needs, qualities, interests, aspirations, instincts, temperament, thoughts, emotions, imaginings, sympathies, and likes and dislikes of all Punjabis. And these commonalities surpass the religious boundaries as religious beliefs on Hindus , Sikhs and Muslims differ widely . In the early 20th century communal revivals resulted in the Punjabi language being communalised too. Thus Punjabi Muslims returned Urdu as their mother tongue in the censuses, Hindus Hindi and only the valiant Sikhs acknowledged Punjabi as their mothertongue. Leading to the division of Punjab into eastern and western Punjab . The Punjabi identity was primarily cultural and linguistic, with Punjabis being those who considered the Punjabi language their first language. However, in recent times, the definition has been broadened to include emigrants of Punjabi descent who maintain Punjabi cultural traditions, even when they no longer speak the language. It also refers to people of nonPunjabi descent but have adopted Punjabi language and culture such as people of Rajasthani descent. Almost all Sikhs were ethnically Punjabi, leading to confusion as to the distinction between religion and culture. So for Sikhs the line dividing religious practices as distinct from Punjabi cultural practices was many of the times ambiguous .Also the holy scripture of Sikhs being in Gurmukhi their love for language and script was more.

Punjabi Hindus
Punjabi Hindus are a group of people that follow the Hindu religion and have their roots in the erstwhile joint Punjab of greater Panjab (West Punjab /East Punjab ). Today they are distributed in most parts of the northern India and in some parts of western India like Mumbai. In India, most of the Punjabi Hindus are concentrated in Indian states of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. There has also been continuous migration of Punjabi Hindus to western world countries like USA, Canada and UK.

The oldest Hindu texts such as the Vedas, Upanishads and Mahabharata were composed in Punjab or nearby region. Many Punjabi hindus would later convert into Sikh ism to fight the Mughals. Hindu Punjabi's used to send their oldest son to become a Sikh this was mostly seen in the Khatri and Arora communities and is still practiced today. Punjabi Hindus have their unique culture which resembles in some ways very closely to the culture of Sikhs and also differs in lot of other ways. The Punjabi Hindus usually have a very liberal lifestyle .Like other Hindus,and Sikhs they are also divided into castes. The most common castes are Khatri (Kshatriya in Hindi), Jatt or Jat, Brahman, Baniya, Rajput etc. Punjabi Hindus go to Hindu temples for worship.

British, Sikhs and Indian struggle for independence


No doubt British had succeeded in defeating Sikhs before capturing Punjab but they realised that this was made possible only by the treachery of Dogra generals of Lahore darbaar . British were highly impressed by the valour and courage of Sikhs .British took various measures to win over the hearts of Punjabi people 1. Being impressed by their valour Lord Dalhousie ordered formation of two Sikh battalions, after first Anglo Sikh war. After the annexation and disbandment of the Sikh army three services were formed in the Punjab - - the Punjab irregular frontier force, the corps of guides and the military police and in each the Sikhs were recruited .After mutiny of 1857, the percentage of Sikhs in the British Indian army was raised. 2. The Jagirs attached to Sikh gurudwaras which had been confiscated were restored. Begar (forced labour ) and Sati were abolished and widow remarriage was legalised . Primary education spread widely at state expense .Old madrasas and mahtiks were continued and endowed .A civil procedure code (CPC)was first evolved during this period in Punjab and later applied to other provinces .The rule of law was established 3. To assuage further the Sikh feelings British made it necessarily for Sikh recruits of army to be keshadhari as well as amritdhari. 4. New canals (bari Doab) rebuilding grand trunk road introduction of railways and postal and telegraphic services. It was marked contrast to the anarchy period after the death of Ranjit Singh; all these measures converted the masses in favour of British.

Role of Sikhs in freedom struggle of India :


Before partition what I would like to focus are two facts first the participation of Sikhs and Punjabis in the freedom struggle of India .Secondly the trust the British imposed in Sikhs as individuals due to their chivalric nature .Though detailed discussion of above two aspects may fall outside the present paper but few facts need to be highlighted Prior to independence Sikhs were less than 1.5% of the population, but their contribution to the freedom struggle was immense:

1. 77% of those sent to the gallows were Sikh as were 81% of those sentenced to life imprisonment. 2. During the Quit India Movement many indiscriminate arrests were made and Sikhs contributed 70% of the total Punjabis arrested. 3. More than 60% of the 20,000 who joined the Indian National Army were Sikhs. Ina was established by a Sikh general Mohan Singh whose command was later handed to Subhash Chandra Bose 4. 100-150 million refugees resulted from partition in August 1947 with 40% of all Sikhs becoming refugees. 5. Partition resulted in up to 2 million people being murdered and another 10-50 million being injured. To summarise: total 121 2626 1300 113 91 500 Sikhs 93 2147 799 67 91 500 Non Sikhs 28 494 501 46 0 0

Hanged Life imprisonment Jallianwala bagh Baj baj ghat kolkata Kukaa lehar Misc (different morchas)

However following books written on the Indian independence do not contain any mention of the Sikhs contribution to Indian independence struggle: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. MK Gandhi : My experiments with Truth Pandit Nehru : Discovery of India B C roy Chaudhary : Gandhi and His Contemporaries A C guha : story of Indian revolution B shiva rao : Indias freedom movement Maulana Azad : India wins freedom

The Sikhs, who had thrown themselves, heart and soul, into the Indian independence struggle, were the third party with whom the British negotiated for the transfer of power. However, due to inadequacy of Sikh leadership, misplaced trust and false promises made by Gandhi and Nehru, the Sikhs lost their claim to power. The British accepted the concept of the third quom but its leaders were unable to put forth what this third quom wanted. The high dignity of political place that we have fallen from can be estimated from the fact that the three Indian representatives were called by the Labour party to England - J.L Nehru, Jinnah and Baldev Singh. But unfortunately for the Sikhs, Sardar Baldev Singh kept telling the British that J.L Nehru was his leader and Atlee also said that when the representative of the Sikhs was not conscious about his separate identity, there seemed to be no need to recognize their separate representation.

Very few people know what Baldev Singh said in his lecture at the Shimla Boat Club shortly before his death. He said that the British and Jinnah were ready to give the Sikhs such areas where they were to enjoy full autonomy. But it was he who refused to accept this demand. Mountbatten had also realized that without creating Pakistan, no fruitful outcome could be expected. Campbell Johnson, when collecting the doodles after a meeting, found that Jinnah had drawn a palace and upon it a flag and had written the words: "Pakistan Zindabad".

In 1929, following a huge peaceful Independence rally was held by Sikhs in Lahore; in the words of The Times, the 500,000 strong procession "put the Congress show into shame and shadow," Gandhi and Nehru met the Sikh leaders and put forward the notion of Sikh -Hindu unity, a unified India where all Sikh sentiments (social, economical and religious) would be catered for. The following solemn assurances were made:

"Let God be the witness of the bond that binds me and the Congress to you. Our Sikhs friends have no reason to fear that it would betray them. For, the moment it does so, the Congress would not only thereby seal its own doom but that of the country too. Moreover, the Sikhs are brave people. They know how to safeguard their rights, by the exercise of arms, with perfect justification before God and man, if it should ever come to that" (Young India 19 March 1931) "No Constitution would be acceptable to the Congress which did not satisfy the Sikhs." (Collected works of M K Gandhi Vol.58. p. 192) "The brave Sikhs of Panjab are entitled to special consideration. I see nothing wrong in an area and a set up in the North wherein the Sikhs can also experience the glow of freedom. (Jawaharlal Nehru, Congress meeting: Calcutta - July, 1944) The all India National Congress met Lahore in the year 1929 and fixed complete independence as its political goal. One day prior to the meeting of the National Congress, the Sikhs had taken out a 500,000 strong procession with veteran Baba Kharak Singh leading on elephant back. It was most impressive spectacle of human congregation that put the Congress show into shame and shade. It was on this occasion that Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Motilal Nehru and Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru went to meet Baba Khark Singh at his place on the Chauburji Road and gave the Sikhs a solemn assurance that after India achieves political freedom no constitution shall be framed by the majority community unless it is freely acceptable to the Sikhs. This promise was then reduced into a formal Policy Resolution of the All India Congress Committee. Afterwards this policy resolution was repeatedly reiterated, officially and demi-officially, throughout the period upto August 1947, and it was never officially repudiated till 1950 when the present constitution was framed.

In the year 1932, at the time of the second Round Table Conference, the British Government through Sardar Bahadur Shivdev Singh, then a member of the Indian Secretary of State's Council, made an informal proposal to the Sikhs that if they dissociate finally with the Congress movement, they would be given such a decisive political weightage in Punjab , as would lead to their emerging a third independent element in India and the British transfer power to inhabitants of this subcontinent. Master Tara Singh promptly rejected the tempting offer.

The trusting Sikhs, who in their daily prayer, extoll keeping faith as the noblest of human virtues, placing complete reliance in this solemn undertaking given to them by the majority community, resisted and refused all offers and proposals made to them by the British and the other people - the Muslims, whom we now prefer to call the Muslim League - proposing to accord the Sikhs a sovereign or autonomous status in the areas constituting their ancestral homeland between the River Ghaggar and the River Chenab. In the month of July, 1946, the India Congress Working Committee met Calcutta, which reaffirmed the assurance already given to the Sikhs, and in Press Conference held on the 6th Jult there, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru spelt the concrete content of this solemn under-taking in the following flowery words "The brave Sikhs of the Punjab entitled to special consideration. I nothing wrong in an area and a set up in the North wherein the Sikhs can experience the glow of freedom." In these words, an autonomous state to the Sikhs, within India, was promised. In the early winter of 1946, Cabinet Mission, while at Delhi communicated to the Sikhs through the Sardar Baldev Singh that if the Sikhs determined not to part company with India, the British Parliament, in their solicitude for the Sikh people, prepared to so frame the Independence Act of India, that in respect of the Sikh Homeland, wherever these areas might eventually go, in Pakistan or India, no Constitution shall be formed such as does not have the concurrence of the Sikhs. But Sardar Baldev Singh, in consultation with the Congress leaders, summarily rejected this offer, which went even beyond assurances given by the majority community in 1929 and in 1946 by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in Calcutta. In April 1947, Mr. Jinnah, in consultation with certain most powerful leaders of the British Cabinet in London, offered to the Sikhs, first through Master Tara Singh and then through the Maharaja of Patiala, a sovereign Sikh state comprising areas lying in the west of Panipat and east of the left bank of the Ravi river on the understanding that this State then confederates with Pakistan on very advantageous terms to the Sikhs. But Master Tara Singh summarily rejected this attractive offer. The Maharaja of Patiala declined to accept it in consultation with Sardar Patel and Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. In the month of May, 1947, precisely on the 17th May, Lord Mountbatten, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Nawab Liaqat Ali Khan and Sardar Baldev Singh, flew to London on the invitation of the British Cabinet, in search of final solution of the Indian communal problem. When the Congress and the Muslim League failed to strike any mutual understanding and Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru decided to return to India, the British Cabinet leaders conveyed to Sardar Baldev Singh that if he stays behind, arrangements might be made: "So as to enable the Sikhs to have political feet of their own on which they may walk into the current of World History." Sardar Baldev Singh promtly divulged the contents of this confidential offer to

Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru and in compliance with the latter's wishes, declined to stay back and flew back to India after giving the following brave message to the Press: "The Sikhs have no demands to make on the British except the demand that they should quit India. Whatever political rights and aspirations the Sikhs have, they shall have them satisfied through the goodwil of the Congress and the majority community." The British leaders had asked Sardar Baldev Singh to stay behind because the wanted to propose to him that if Sikhs were not ready to enter into the agreement with Muslims, then the Sikhs could be given an independent state which extended from Panipat to Nanakana Sahib with extended excess upto the seashore. The Britishers were ready to station 25,000 British troops and war equipment for ten years and provide help in the administration provided the Sikhs agreed to provide 50,000 soldiers be stationed at Singapore and other colonies to help the Britishers for the next ten years. After ten years the agreement could be reconsidered. Through this agreement the administration and defence of independent Sikh nation would have been ensured and there would have been no need to enter into an agreement with either India or Pakistan for the purposes of their administration and defence. Even Muslim League had agreed this proposal because it would give then strong buffer state between Pakistan and India. It was also in the interest British empire as they would still have their feet in this sub-continent. But was unfortunate that there was no leader among the Sikhs with political vision foresight who could see the benefits such an arrangement and demand independent Homeland for the Sikhs. But after Independence, the Congress leaders forgot their promises given to Sikh people. These very Congress lead adopted every conceivable posture and shrank from no stratagem to keep Sikhs permanently under their political heel, first, by refusing to form a Punjabi speaking state in which the Sikhs might acquire political effectiveness, and second, by not giving Sikhs and Punjab a special status in the Constitution Act of India.

Partition :
Sikh leadership was against partition but congress had bowed down to Muslim Leagues demand for partition and British also seemed to be of the opinion that granting of independence could not be achieved without partition. Sikh leaders on the other hand opposed two nation theory and were for united India .But at the same time they kept saying that if Pakistan is created a sovereign Sikh state should also be created .Instead of putting their demand for a sovereign Sikh state in straight terms they presented it only as an argument against the formation of Pakistan . Population of Sikhs was scattered so that they hardly formed majority in any of the areas of British ruled Punjab. On June 14, 1947, the press attach of Lord Mountbatten stated: "The Sikhs see that the partition of India means substantially and irrevocably the partition of Sikhs and they feel themselves to be sacrificed on the altars of Muslim ambition and Hindu opportunism. No juggling of the boundary commission can prevent their bisection. They react accordingly and the leaders haplessly outmanoeuvred in the political struggle." (Campbell Johnson, Mission with Mountbatten, p. 118) July 15, 1947. R.A. Butler said in the House of Commons: "The British had the happiest possible relations with the Sikh community and of all the martial races

of the world the Sikhs probably had built up the greatest reputation. The only situation which could mitigate the plight of Sikhs was that the boundary commission should so define the boundary that the maximum portion of the Sikhs should be included within one conglomerate." The Sikhs lost everything they valued their historical religious places , their homes and lands apart from large scale loss of life.

Promises Broken
When the Constitution Act of India was declared in 1950, it declared Sikh ism to be a sect of Hinduism and offered no safeguards to the Sikh community. Both Sikh members of the Constituent Assembly refused to sign the document. They declared vehemently that: The Sikhs do not accept this Constitution. The Sikhs reject this Constitution Act. In subsequent years, all the personal laws of the Sikhs were abolished and replaced by Hindu statutes, such as the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, the Hindu Succession Act 1956, etc. When in 1954 Jawaharlal Nehru was reminded of the solemn promises made to Sikhs and other minorities by the Hindu-dominated Congress party, he replied, The circumstances have now changed.

Linguistic states and Punjabi suba


In December 1953, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru appointed the States Reorganisation Commission to prepare for the creation of states on linguistic lines , Maharashtra based on Marathi ,Gujarat based on Guajarati but no state of Punjabi was to be formed /reorganised based on the Punjabi as its language .This led to widespread discontentment among the Sikhs and Punjabis .During this time J L Nehru asked Hukam Singh speaker of Lok Sabha if he supports the concept of linguistic states .To this he replied that he does not support the concept of linguistic states but if you go for creating linguistic states based on other languages then I will support the creation of a state based on Punjabi . While other linguistic states were formed in 1956 But Punjabis succeeded in getting Punjab state which is at times referred to as Lagda or lame Punjab as the one third Punjab left after partition of 1947 was further trifurcated into Haryana , Himachal and present day Punjab on 1 novemeber 1966 .The main reason for this was threatening present day Hindus living in Haryana that they will not be treated equally in Punjabi speaking Punjab .So when plebiscite for creation of new state was conducted most of the Punjabi speaking Hindus of present day Haryana and Himachal wrote their mother tongue as Hindi and not Punjabi . After this ill-conceived campaign of threatening Punjabi Hindus which was spearheaded by Hind Samachar group of Jalandhar many Punjabi speaking districts like Ganganagar , Ambala , Karnal were kept out of Punjab and Chandigarh which was constructed on land taken from Punjabi farmers was declared as joint capital /UT. The Akal Takht played a vital role in organizing Sikhs to campaign for the Punjabi suba. During the course of the campaign, twelve thousand Sikhs were arrested for their peaceful demonstrations in 1955 and twenty-six thousand in 1960-61.

Again on September 1, 1965 when Pakistani forces crossed the international border at Chhamb Jaurian in Jammu and Kashmir ,the akali leaders immediately declared their unconditional support to the government .Once again Sikh soldiers crossed swords with the Pakistanis and Sikh peasantry rallied to the support of their fighting forces carrying food and help to the battle front .In 22 days war, the most distinguished record of bravery was set by Sikh officer Lt General Harbakhsh Singh who had the sole credit of halting the Pakistani tanks. At one time during 1965 war there was panic at Army Headquarters that Pakistan might break through Indian defences. Harbakhsh Singhs finest moment came when the Army Chief, General Choudhary, ordered him "to abandon Amritsar and set-up a defence line behind the river Beas." Rightly, General Harbakhsh Singh refused to follow such an order, and the threat to Amritsar never developed. This makes one thing clear Sikhs were not against unity and sovereignty of India but against the denial of their just demands.

River waters dispute


Punjab has the exclusive right to Punjab river waters on the basis of riparian law. The other states to which these waters have been distributed are non-riparian, having no valid claim to it. The riparian law is based upon justice and equity, having international acceptance. It has been approved by United Nations. In India it has been followed in all other states and Punjab has been made the only exception Read more: http://www.unp.me/f15/Punjab -river-waters-unlawful-and-unjust-distributions77338/#ixzz1XYMl6UHv The 1976 distribution of Punjab river waters, was award of Prime minister Indira Gandhi vide which Rajasthan was allocated 8.6 maf, Haryana 3.5 maf, Delhi 0.2 maf and Punjab 3.5 maf out of 15.8 maf which was declared as surplus, though there was no surplus water and this entire water was much less than the needs of Punjab . The central governmentagainst the provisions of the Indian constitution introduced sections 78 to 80 in the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, under which the central government assumed the powers of control, maintenance, distribution and development of the waters and the hydel power of the Punjab rivers. It must be remembered here that as per Indian constitution river water distribution falls under the state list . Many Sikhs perceived this division as unfair and as an anti-Sikh measure, since the vast majority of the people of Punjab are dependent on agriculture.

Akali Dal's demands


The Akali Dal led a series of peaceful mass demonstrations to present its grievances to the central government. The demands of the Akali Dal were based on the Anandpur Sahib Resolution, which was adopted by the party in October 1973 to raise specific political, economic and social issues. The major motivation behind the resolution was the safeguarding of the Sikh identity by securing a state structure that was decentralised, with non-interference from the central government. The Resolution outlines seven objectives.

1. The transfer of the federally administered city of Chandigarh to Punjab . 2. The transfer of Punjabi speaking and contiguous areas to Punjab . 3. Decentralisation of states under the existing constitution, limiting the central governments role. 4. The call for land reforms and industrialisation of Punjab , along with safeguarding the rights of the weaker sections of the population. 5. The enactment of an all-India gurdwara (Sikh house of worship) act. 6. Protection for minorities residing outside Punjab , but within India. 7. Revision of governments recruitment quota restricting the number of Sikhs in armed forces. The Wall Street Journal noted: "The Akali Dal is in the hands of moderate and sensible leadership...but giving anyone a fair share of power is unthinkable politics of Mrs. Gandhi [the then Prime Minister of India]...Many Hindus in Punjab privately concede that there isn't much wrong with these demands. But every time the ball goes to the Congress court, it is kicked out one way or another because Mrs. Gandhi considers it a good electoral calculation.

Emergency and role of Sikhs :


Shortly after the declaration of the Emergency, the Sikh leadership convened meetings in Amritsar where they resolved to oppose the "fascist tendency of the Congress". The first mass protest in the country, known as the "Campaign to Save Democracy" was organized by the Akali Dal and launched in Amritsar, 9 July. A statement to the press recalled the historic Sikh struggle for freedom under the Mughals, then under the British, and voiced concern that what had been fought for and achieved was being lost. The police were out in force for the demonstration and arrested all those who raised the Sikh call of "Jo Bole So Nihaal, Sat Sri Akal" (Whoever speaks, shall be fulfilled, Truth is Undying), including the Shiromani Akali Dal and Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) leaders. The Prime Minister seemed genuinely surprised at the strength of the response from the Sikhs. Fearing their defiance might inspire civil disobedience in other parts of the county, she offered to negotiate a deal with the Shiromani Akal Dal that would give it joint control of the Punjab Legislative Assembly. The leader of the protests, Sant Harcharan Singh Longowal refused to meet with government representatives so long as the Emergency was in effect. In a press interview, he made clear the grounds of the Save Democracy campaign.
"The question before us is not whether Indira Gandhi should continue to be prime minister or not. The point is whether democracy in this country is to survive or not. The democratic structure stands on three pillars, namely a strong opposition, independent judiciary and free press. Emergency has destroyed all these essentials."

While the civil disobedience campaign caught on in some parts of the country, especially at Delhi University, the government's tactics of mass arrests, censorship and intimidation curtailed the oppositions popularity. After January, the Sikhs remained virtually alone in their active resistance to the regime. Hailed by opposition leaders as "the last bastion of

democracy",they continued to come out in large numbers each month on the day of the new moon, symbolizing the dark night of Indian democracy, to court arrest. When attempts at pacifying the Akalis failed, Prime Minister Gandhi took the opportunity of the dictatorship to deal the Sikhs of her country two stunning blows. One was an award of Punjab waters which gave 75% of the river flow to neighboring non-riparian states, at great cost to the farmers of Punjab and in violation of international law on such rights. The second blow was a ruling from the Defence Ministry that future enrollment in the armed forces of Sikhs should be proportional to their percentage of the population of India. Whereas Sikhs had traditionally constituted 11% of the country's armed forces from a population of only 2%, this was another assault on the Sikhs of India. The prime minister's days of dictatorship came to an unexpected end when she called elections for March 1977. With their voices returned to them, the people of India trounced Indira Gandhi at the polls. According to Amnesty International, 140,000 people had been detained without trial during the twenty months of Mrs. Gandhi's emergency. Of them, 40,000 were Sikhs. Indira Gandhi would never forget. When she returned to power in 1980, she would come down hard on the Sikhs

According to Amnesty International, 140,000 people had been arrested without trial during the twenty months of Indira Gandhi's Emergency. Of them, 40,000 had come from India's two percent Sikh minority

Nirankari Kaand :
Till now we saw partition and betrayal of promises made during independence, struggle to get Punjabi suba , emergency atrocities and sustained opposition to emergency by Sikhs . As a result of opposition to the biased government policies a strong feeling of antipathy developed between central government on one side and Sikhs and Punjab on the other side . So the central government through its various agencies tried to modulate the social opinions .For this purpose it set up and encouraged various anti Sikh sects (schools of thoughts ) this included Nakli nirankaris (sometimes referred to as just nirankaris but they are different from asli or the real nirankaris) and Radha saomi . apart from financing these two pre existing sects in their anti Sikh activites .Central government agencies also encouraged the penetration of new saints and holymen .This encouragement of sects who openly preached against Sikh ism and /or tried to to wane away Sikhs from Guru Granth sahib gave the Sikhs an impression that government is against Sikhs .In the coming days this proved disastrous , as these sects and their heads starting taking liberty with law . It should be noted that although Gurbachan Singh's movement call themselves Nirankaris, they do not have anything in common with the original Nirankari movement that made enormous sacrifices and significant contributions for Gur Panths reform. With increasing encouragement from government in 1978 nirankari sect head gurbachan Singh decided to imitate Guru Gobind Singh ji .The Nirankari leader is on record as saying that Guru Gobind Singh had made only Panj Pyare (Five Beloved) and that he would make Saat Sitaare (seven stars). He had even dared to place his foot upon Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

On 13 th April 1978 Nirankaris took out a procession in Amritsar and held a big congregation ,In this procession anti Sikh slogans were shouted and in the congregation inflammatory remarks were made to protest this A group of unarmed Sikhs went to the site of the congregation .But Nirankari saint in collusion with police had armed people who attacked these unarmed Sikhs leading to death of 13 Sikhs and many more injured . The astonishing thing is that the gathering of the Nirankaris continued for three-and-a-half hours after this bloody massacre had occurred. It has also become known that the D.C of Gurdaspur, Naranjan Singh I.A.S, and other senior officers were present in the gathering during the massacre. It is clear that the authorities of the Amritsar district allowed the Nirankaris to hold their procession in the Sikhs main city of Amritsar during Vaisakhi. The Police authorities are guilty of colluding with and allowing the Nirankaris complete freedom to kill at will, and not dealing with them properly at the right time. The Nirankaris were the creation of the democratic Government of India.The sect was created to divide the Sikhs and produce infighting within the Panth.The Indian Express (Chandigarh Edition) featured a report by Sat Pal Baghi in late April 1978. He felt that the Indira Gandhi actively supported the Nirankaris saying: The genesis of the real trouble between the Nirankaris and the Akalis goes back to the years when Indira Gandhi headed the Union Government. She wanted to weaken the Shiromani Akali Dal, but found that the Akalis could not be brought to heel. She thought of an elaborate plan to strengthen the Nirankari sect not only in Punjab , but throughout the country and abroad also. Official patronage was extended to the Nirankaris much to the anger of the Akalis/Sikhs who have always considered the Nirankaris as heretics. Kanpur massacre : Agitation was started against the Nirankaris. Wherever they held their meetings, Sikhs would go and strongly protest. Thus Gurbachan Singh was unable to address the meetings held at Varanasi,Azamgarh and Allahbad. On 25th September 1978, Gurbachan Singh reached Kanpur at 9.30pm flanked by police officers ordered to provide protection. The news soon leaked out and Sikhs started a protest march from Gurdwara Gobindpuri Sahib Ji, which is three kilometres away from the Nirankari Bhawan in Kanpur. Women and children were also amongst the protesters. The Nirankari chief had again made full preparations for the Sikhs. When the Sikh protesters reached the Nirankari Bhawan, the Nirankaris attacked them with brickbats and shotguns.An armed volunteer of the Nirankaris attacked Jathedar Kishan Singh with a spear, piercing his stomach.A fight ensued, and it was then that the police officers started to shoot at the Sikh protesters. As a result, thirteen Sikhs were martyred while a further seventy-four were injured.

Rise and role of Jarnail Singh Bhindrawala


Bhindraale can at best be described as a religious preacher who played an important role in 1) Awakening the Sikh youth about the ill effects of drugs and bringing them back to religious fold 2) Opposing the unjust policies of central government targeted towards Punjab . He learned principles of Sikh ism at Damdami Taksal of Bhinder Kalan village and eventually went on to become its head. There he used to tour villages to spread the teachings of ten Sikh gurus and to organise Amrit Sanchar (the Sikh baptism ceremony ) He was very strict with people who used to shun the Sikh discipline after taking baptism.

He vehemently denounced drugs, alcoholic drinks and trimming of hair. He took special notice of the Nirankari heresy which was undermining the Sikh Structure. Opposition to the Nirankaris had started during the time of his predecessor, Sant Kartar Singh Khalsa. Matters came to a head on the Baisakhi day of 1978 when Nirankaris held a convention at Amritsar. The Damdami Taksal under Sant Jarnal Singh Bhindrenwale and the Akhand Kirtani Jatha, (another purely religious organization), protested against government allowing the Nirankaris to hold their convention at a time the Sikhs were celebrating the birth anniverssary of the Khalsa. Some of them who marched to the site of the convention were fired upon by Nirankari guardsmen killing 13 of them on the spot and wounding 78 others. The episode brought Sant Bhindrenwale into the political arena. To understand bhindrawale phenomenon one has to understand two extremely important facts.The first is the position of the use of force for a righteous cause in Sikh ideology and that nothing was unusual or abnormal in the context of Sikh ism and its history . Second, a continuous attempt by government to communalise the atmosphere so as to lead to incidents of violence . In one of the interviews Bhindrawale said You asked me about Khalistan. I neither support it, nor am I against it .We want to stay with Hindustan , it is for central governent to decide whether they want us with them or not .Yes if they give us khalistan we will take it . We wont make the mistake of 1947.We are not asking for it but well take it if they give it to us . Apart from the Nirankari incident mentioned in previous paragraph the other purely regional incidents were given the guise of religious demand by central government and denied this led to strong resentment not only in bhindrawale but also in Sikh and Punjabi youth .There was let loose a reign of terror and exploitation of Sikhs in Punjab and verbal war was fought by press against Sikhs with Lala Jagat Narain the owner of hind samachar leading the fight against Sikhs .He used to publish inflammatory articles instigating Hindus against Sikhs .Lala Jagat Narain had appeared as witness in case of Nirankaris and had ensured release of culprits .

Meanwhile., the Shiromai Akali Dal had been conducting a morcha since April 1982 against the digging of Satluj-Yamuna Link (S.Y.L.) canal which would divert part of Punjab 's river waters to Haryana. The agitation inspite of immense support from the Sikh peasantry was not bearing any tangible fruit because the site (Kapori village on the Haryana-Punjab border where the Indian Prime minister had inaugurated the digging of the canal on 6 April 1982 was in a remote corner away from the Dal's headquarters. The Dal now decided to transfer the agitation, now designated Dharam Yuddh or religious war, to Amritsar from 4 August 1982. Sant Jarnail Singh merged his own morcha with it, and thus became in a way the joint dictator of the entire Panth though he still swore loyalty to the former dictator of the Akali morcha, Sant Harchand Singh Longowal. A further provocation to the Sikhs came from the behaviour of the Haryana government and police during the Asian Games held at Delhi in November 1982. Sikhs travelling from Punjab to Delhi or back were indiscriminately stopped, searched and humiliated. Violence in the Punjab was on the increase. It was becoming more and more clear that the government would seek a military Solution of the situation in Punjab rather than a political one. Sant Bhindranwale exhorted the people to be prepared for a showdown. On 15 December 1983, he with his men entered the Akal Takht and With the help of a former major general of the Indian

Army, Shahbeg Singh, prepared a network of defensive fortifications inside the complex collecting in the meanwhile a large stock of arms, ammunition and rations anticipating the possibility of a prolonged siege. The government on its part made elaborate plans for all army action while pretending all along its readiness for negotiations and denying any intention of sending armed forces inside the Darbar Sahib complex. The Punjab was placed Under the President's rule on 6 October 1983. A ordinance declaring parts of the state a disturbed area was promulgated, and the police was given power to search, arrest or even shoot whom they will with immunity from legal action. Six additional divisions of the army including especially trained para commandos were inducted into Punjab by the end of May 1984. On 1 June, while the Sikhs had started preparations in the Golden Temple for the observation of the martyrdom anniversary of Guru Arjan, the fifth Sikh guru ,which fell on the 3rd of June, strict curfew was clamped on Amritsar and surrounding districts. The actual assault of the army's operation nicknamed Blue Star took place on the night of 5-6 June 1984. A pitched battle ensued in which the army also used tanks and artillery. On the 7 Of June the dead body of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was located in the basement of the Akal Takht.

Operation Blue star


Real Aim : A human rights activist Ram Narayan Kumar notes, Operation Blue Star was not only envisioned and rehearsed in advance, meticulously and in total secrecy, it also aimed at obtaining the maximum number of Sikh victims, largely devout pilgrims unconnected with the political agitation. Stated aim : "checking and controlling extermist, terrorist and communal vioulence in Punjab , providing security to the people and restore normalcy." Advertised targets: Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale living in akal Takhat and his disciples numbering 100-150 Actual target/victims: Sangat /visitors gathered to celebrate the martyrdom day of fifth Sikh guru , Guru Arjan Dev ji numbering more than 10,000 in number Forces employed: All three wings of the defence : army , navy and airforce were employed in this operation . Extent of Damages:

May 1984: "By the end of May, it was widely known that the Army is going to attack the Golden Temple, and on that account there was tremendous tension in the entire city and its surrounding area 1,June 1984: the worst fears of the people came to the surface when on 1st June, the security forces (CRPF)which had beseiged the Golden Temple for months together and had made strong fortification on the multi-storey buildings all around it, suddenly started firing in side

the Golden Temple. The firing sarted at 12.30 p.m. and continued for a full 7 hours. What was worse was that Harmandir Sahib was made the main target of this firing. Not a single shot was fired from inside the complex. When It was asked from some of the boys as to why they did not answer the firing, they replied that they were under strict orders of the bhindrawale not to fire a single shot unless and untill the security forces or the Army entered the holy Golden Temple. In the evening, the news bulletin said that there was unprovoked firing from inside the Temple, but that the security forces showed extreme restrain and did not fire a single shot, it was a naked lie. The very fact that as many as eight persons, includeing a woman and a child had been killed inside the Golden Temple complex and there were as many as 34 big bullet wounds on all sides of the Harmandir Sahib completely belied the Government's version. Nothing could be done to deny this because all links with the outside world had been snapped. Curfew was clamped soon after the firing started. Authorities had said none had died, but a girl dressed the wounds of 3 men who died later in front of her in Guru Nanak Nivas." the cur few was lifted soon after the firing stopped .The news over the A.I.R. that there was unprovoked firing from inside was a blatant lie. However, most official versions maintain a meaningful silence about the happenings of June 1. 2,June 1984: fortunately, on 2nd June a team of five reporters including Mark Tully of B.B.C. came there (Golden Temple) and were told the truth . They were taken around the Golden Temple and shown 34 big wounds caused by the bullets on all sides of the Harmandir Sahib, some of them as big as almost 3" in diameter." The 2nd June passed off peacefully, because there was no firing and no curfew.A large number of Sikhs came to the Golden Temple from the surrounding areas along with their familie s as the next day, June 3, was shaheedi purab/Guru Parb or the martyrdom day of Shri Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth holy Guru of the Sikhs. The peace and quiet was only on the surface, because active preparations were afoot to break the peace. Visitors visiting/coming on June 2 found that there there was no restriction for pilgrims to enter Amritsar or even the Temple. But the exit doors out of Amritsar were being closed. After visiting the Temple, some visitors went at noon to the Amritsar Railway Station to catch a train for Delhi, they were told that the last train had already left and that the Flying Mail in the evening would not be leaving. In fact they were told all outgoing trains had been cancelled. So visitors were forced to return to the Golden Temple and put up in the Guru Ram Das Serai for the night. The C.R.P., outside the Golden Temple was replaced by Army on the night of June 2. Although there was no formal curfew, and all visitors entering the Temple were allowed to come in without any ado, all those who left the Golden Temple on the night of June 2 were being taken into custody. So many did not therefore leave the Golden Temple complex. 3,June 1984: Guru Parb was on June 3. About 10,000 people had come from outside including many women and 4000 of them were young people. Those who were inside were not allowed to go out on June 3. On June 3, at 6 o'clock in the evening visitors/sangat came to know that Punjab had been sealed for 48 hours and that even cycles would not be allowed on the streets.

No one inside the Golden Temple had yet realised the sinister plan of the authorities. Punjab had been sealed. Thousands of pilgrims and hundreds of Akali workers had been allowed to collect inside the Temple complex. They had been given no inkling or warning either of the sudden curfew or of the imminent Army attack. It was to be a Black Hole-type of tragedy, not out of forgetfulness but out of deliberate planning and design. 4,June 1984: At about 4 a.m. in the early hours of the morning of June 4, the regular Army attack on the temple started with a 25-pounder which fell in the ramparts of the Deori to the left of Akal Takht Sahib with such a thunder that for a few moments people thought that the whole complex had collapsed. Therafter, every second the ferocity of firing increased and it continued unabated till the evening of the 6th June. Very early on June 4, while it was dark, there was cannon fire from outside the Golden Temple without any warning. Shots were fired from all sides. No warning was given, no public announcement was made by the Army before the shelling of the Golden Temple started on June 4 - "had the army given a warning at least those pilgrims who had come for the GuruParb(festive congregation ) could go out and then those person who were simply here to participate in the Dharam Yudh Morcha could go out. But no warning was given to the people. The firing was started from all around the complex with vengeance, as if they were attacking on alien, enemy country.". The Army fired from all sides and did not spare any target in the Temple complex which seemed to shelter people. Akal Rest House, deep inside the Guru Ram Das Serai, the Akal Rest House was shelled from the side of Gali Bagh Wali (to the left of the main entrance from the side on chowk Ghanta Ghar) at 5 a.m. on June 4. The bullet marks on the walls, the doors and windows of the side rooms of the Akal Rest House bore silent testimony to the Sevadars s tory, as we listened to him in May, 1985, almost one year after the shooting. The Harmandir Sahib was not spared by the Army on June 4, just as it had not been by the C.R.P. on June 1., There was no immediate counter-fire from inside the Golden Temple complex. There was some stray firing from inside the Golden Temple before the Army's entry into the complex. The helicopter hovered above and continued to fire from above. Some of these helicopters also guided the firing squads of the Army by making circle of light around the targets. Immediately after these circles, the cannon bell would land on the target causing havoc. A large number of boys were seen blown to pieces. The Army treated the inmates of the Complex as enemies and whenever there was any person wounded on account of the firing, no Red Cross people were allowed to enter, rather the Red Cross personnel had been detained beyond the Jallianwallah Bagh," - more that a kilometre away from the main entrance to the Golden Temple from the Chowk Ghanta Ghar side. In accordance with the U.N. Charter of Human Rights, the Red Cross is permitted to go in aid of the wounded rig ht inside the enemy territory, but in Amritsar in June 1984 the Red Cross was not allowed to enter the Golden Temple - a respected and hallowed part of our countryin aid of Indians under attack from the Indian army. It only means that the attack was so brutal and the battle scene so grisly, that there was much to hide from the public scrutiny, even if it be that of a neutral agency called the Red Cross. This also explains perhaps why Press Censorship had already been imposed, the last of the journalists were hounded away

and the Press was not allowed inside the Golden Temple upto June 10 when they were taken on a guided tour of the Complex for the first time since the Army Operations began almost a week before.

5,June 1984: The firing and counter-firing continued. Harcharan Singh Ragi saw his guardian and mentor - the old completely blind Head Ragi of the Golden Temple, Amrik Singh being shot by a bullet and dying inside the Harmandir Sahib at about 6.30 a.m . on June 5. Helicopters were encircling the Temple from above. After the helicopters completed their circle, at about 11:30 a.m. on June 5, the huge water tank inside the Temple complex was fired at. The tank could not be broken even after the initial 10 shells hit the tank. Then one bomb hit the tank after which it burst and all the water gushed out. The fighters who had taken their positons beneath the tank were killed. Army continued the firing till the evening of June 5 and then it was about 8.30 p.m. It was completly dark when they entered accompanied by very heavy firing. The upper protion of the Akal Takht had been fired at by the Army and completely destroyed. Pieces of the Guru Granth Sahib were flying in the air and littering the ground. The place seemed to have been transformed into a haunted house. Then the tank entered. It had powerful searchlights. It seemed that ambulance had come to attend to the dead and injured. But it had turned out the opposite. From the tanks the announcement came, loud and clear Please come out, God's blessings are with you. We will reach you home absolutely safe and sound," There were some among visitors who were frantic for some water, they came out in the open. In the morning the dead bodies of those who came out were seen lying on the Parikrama. This was the worst kind of treachery. There was some stray firing from inside the Golden Temple before the Army entry into the Complex. But the real resistance began only after the Army entered the Temple. The order from Bhindranwale was to use limited firearms with discretion. There were only about 100 people to fight and there were less that 100 arms consisting mostly of 303 rifles used in the World War II, 315 guns and a few sten guns 6,June 1984 On the 6th morning when hundreds of people were killed or wounded, everywhere there were cries of those people who were wounded and injured but there was no provisions for their dressings and there were no Red Cross people w ithin the complex... Many young people aged between 18 and 22 years were killed and so were some ladies. A lady carrying a child of only a few months saw her husband lying before her. The child was also killed on account of the firing. It was a very touch ing scene when she placed the dead body of the child alongside her husband's body. Many people were crying for drinking water, but they were not provided any. Some had to take water out of the drains where dead bodies were lying and the water was red with blood. The way the injured were quenching their thirst was an awful sight which could not be tolerated. The Army people were there, moving about mercilessly without showing any sign of sympathy with those injured or wounded. Those who were under arrest were not provided any facility of water or food or any other thing of that sort. The clothes of

those who were arrested were removed and they were only left with shorts-their turbans, shirts, etc. were all removed and heaped together. Such a brute treatment was given to them, as if they were aliens and not the citizens of the country to which the forces belonged. "There were about 27-28 persons with us, 5 of them ladies, some elderly men, the rest young boys. The Army made all of us stand in queue. There were 13 boys out of which three I clained to be my brothers. I did not know them from before. I merely wanted to save them. I don't know why, perhaps because they thought the 3 boys were part of our family but the Army released these three boys. They went away. Out of the remainging male youths, they picked out four and took off their turbans with which th ey tied their hands behind their backs. Then the Army men beat these 4 Sikh boys with the butts of their rifles till they fell on the ground and started bleeding. They kept telling the boys all along, "you are terrorists. You were coming from inside. You were taking part in the action. You will be shot." These boys were shot dead right in front of me. They looked completely innocent. Neither they seemed to know how to use a rifle, nor they seemed to know the meaning of 'terrorism'. They were sho t before my eyes. Their age was between 18 and 20 years. I did not know who they were - circumstances had brought us together by chance. Whenever I recollect that scene, I seem to lose my bearings. "Then they (the Army people) surrounded me and started questioning me. I told my granmother not to speak a word to them as they were speaking only with bullets. I asked them whether they had come to protect us or to finish us. I said my grandfathe r was a colonel in the Army... The Army man... in charge then asked his colleagues to leave me and my family members. He told me to go away quickly. And so we were saved." June 7, 1984 -

The White Paper's figures of the casualties on account of the Operation Blue star alone are: 1. Own troops 2. Own troops 3. Civilians/terrorist 4. Terrorists and 5. Civilians/terrorists apprehended 592 killed wounded killed injured 83 249 493 86

other

Our eye-witness accounts point out two unmistakable facts: (a) There were thousands, perhaps ten thousand people, consisting of pilgrims, S.G.P.C. employees, Akali volunteers came to court arrest, and terrorists present inside the Golden Temple complex when the Army started firing at the Golden Temple from all sides on the dawn of June 4. (b) The battle lasted nearly 56 to 60 hours from 4 a.m. on June 4 to about 4 p.m. on June 6. The firing was almost incessant and continuous and, despite the White Paper's several claims, had no constraints. It was a most fierce battle. Therefore, not hundreds but thousands could well have died during the operations, and thousands maimed or injured. The girl student had seen stacks and stacks of dead bodies piled

up all over the parikrama very early on the morning of June 6. Joginder Singh estimates that at least 1500 dead bodies were lying on the parikrama. Bhan Singh saw hundreds of people dying before him on June 6. Harcharan Singh Ragi saw hundreds of people including women and children, being shot down by Army commandos, as they came out to surrender on the afternoon of June 6 outside the Golden Temple on the Ghanta Ghar side. We may hesitate to accept exact figures such as A.F.D.R. Vice President S. S. Bahagawalia'a estimate of 2009 killed including about 400 Hindu Bhaiyyas or t he AISSF members estimate "that 7 to 8 thousand people were killed" or Surinder Singh Ragi's confident assertions that 'during the Army operation at least 7000 people were killed on the parikrama and another 1000 dead bodies were recovered from various rooms." These are all impressions. There is no reliable estimate because the Press was not allowed. Nevertheless the clear conclusion emerges that hundreds and hundreds of people were killed during the Army Action on Golden Temple in June 1984 most brutally. It was indeed a mass massacre mostly of innocents. Army's brutatlities in very clear terms- Most of the dead bodies had their hands tied behind their backs implying that they had not died during the action, lined up before th e firing squad to be shot dead. Authors/Officials Casualties

Indian Government white paper category civilian/terrorist 493 AP, Reuter and New York Times (11 June 1984) 1,000

Author Mark Tully's (Amritsar, Mrs. Gandhi's last battle) 2,093 Amritsar crematorium worker Author Chand Joshi (Bhindranwale: Myth and Reality) Eyewitnesses 3,300 5,000 8,000

Combatants killed Source Government White Paper 200, 35 bodies in Akal Takht A.I.S.S.F. Member 100 fighters 5 June Casualties 200 100

S.S. Bhagowalia, V.P. Association for Democratic Rights 140-150

7,June 1984 According to Duggal who was in incharge of the Sikh Reference Library and who cared for it, the Library was intact when he last saw it on June 6, evening while leaving the Temple

Complex. However, he was in for a terrible shock when he was brought back to the Temple complex by the Army on June 14. Let us listen to Duggal's tale of sorrow as well as courage: "On 14th June 1984 I was arrested by the Army and taken inside the Golden Temple, where I was shocked to see that the Sikh Reference Libra ry had been burnt. The entire Golden Temple Complex presented a very, very painful look. It bore at least 3 lakhs of bullet marks. The Akal Takht was in shambles. Guru Nanak Nivas, Teja Singh Samundri Hall, Guru Ram Das Serai and the langar buildings had been burnt. When I left the Complex on 6th all those buildings were in good shape in spite of the Army Attack, Taken to the Library's ruins, I was asked by the Army Col. to take charge of the Library. I asked him as to were is the Library. He said that I had no option but to sign a typed receipt to the effect that I have taken over the charge of the Library. I refused to oblige him saying that I would not tell such a big lie." History of Sikh Reference Library (Destroyed on June 7, 84) The destruction of the Sikh Reference Library is a loss that can never be fulfilled. No wealth in the world can ever restore what was destroyed during the Operation Blue Star by the Hindu government.The Sikh Reference Library was fine until the evening of June 6, 1984. This has been verified by the in charge of the Library S. Devender Singh Duggal. The library was set ablaze on June 7, 84 in the early hours of the morning.S. Karam Singh Historian had sown the seed of scientific reasearch in Sikhism. Later Bawa Budh Singh took the initiative and established the Sikh Historical Society in Lahore in 1930. It did not flourish after his death, but his legacy lived on. On February 10, 1945 fans of Punjabi history and literature gathered at Amritsar under the leadership of Princess Bamba, daughter of Maharaja Dalip Singh and laid a foundation stone of the Sikh History Society.The main goal of this society was to present the history of the Sikh Gurus in its true form. The Sikh History Society decided to establish a Central Sikh Library on January 12, 1946. After being acquired by SGPC it received full financial support of the SGPC. On February 8, 1947 the Sikh Reference Library was established. It housed some rare source documents on Sikh ism, the origin of Khalsa, hand-written manuscripts, Hukamnamas, Leases, Certificates, ancient pictures, etc.The Sikh History Society published its catalog of books according to which the library had 2335 Punjabi books and hand-written manuscripts. Several of them were also in Assamese, Bengali, and Sindhi, etc. It also had 1047 English books.According to a publication by Shamsher Singh Ashok (Historian and research scholar of SGPC) called "Sada Hath Likhat Sahit" (our hand-written literature) published in 1968, there were 383 volumes in this library which dealt with 980 different topics. In addition, there were many Hukamnamas by the Sikh Gurus, 2500 hand-written copies of Guru Granth Sahib, a Bir (of Guru Granth Sahib) of Bhai Hardas which bore a handwritten Mul Mantar page by Guru Teg Bahadar Ji. There were many illustrated Birs, Janamsakhis, and rare Sikhscriptures. Among many other it had "Kavendar Parkash by sant Nihal Singh; Ajit Sagar by Surjan Singh, Bhagat Sudhasar by Bhai Bidhi Das, Bhagat Premakar by poet Jassa Singh, Bansavalinama by Kesar Singh Chhibar and many more such historical books. The library had about 20,000 such books in June 1984 according to the Library officials. There were many copies of Guru Granth Sahib which were extremely valuable. There also was a manuscript which was prepared by Guru Gobind Singh five years after the martyrdom of Guru Teh Bahadar Ji. He himself added the

Bani of the Ninth Guru in that manuscript at Damdama Sahib. The date of this copy of Guru Granth Sahib was 1739 Bikrami. In addition there was rare copy of Guru Granth Sahib that was obtained with great difficulty by S. Gian Singh, Chief Minister of Patiala from Damadama, Talwandi Sabo. This version of Guru Granth Sahib did not have Ragmala at the end.All of this was reduced to ashes in Operation Blue Star.

Other gurudwaras attacked :


Indian army simultaneously attacked 40 other historical Gurdwaras all over Punjab, further clarifying that aim was to attack the sikhi spirit rather than a particular person or group. Prominent gurudwaras attacked included Dukh nivaran sahib Patiala , Fatehgarh sahib , Taran Taran sahib .

Operation Blue Star Aftermath


About 5000 soldiers of Sikh regiment of Indian army as well as other institutions rebelled against Government of India. Many prominent sikh leaders and theologians who had been honoured by Indian government returned their medals and certificates this included Padma Shri and other awards as well as resignations by administrative and foreign service officials. This attack only alleviated the secessionist movement and overnight Bhindranwale became a folk hero. It is a known fact that more people died after this attack in next two years then from 1977-1984 while the attack on golden temple was to curb the "secessionist movement".

Indira Gandhi killed and 1984 roits:


It was obvious that sooner or later Indira Gandhi will have to suffer for this destruction. In November of same year, two devoted Sikhs named Beant Singh and Satwant Singh in Delhi police who were posted at Indira Gandhi's residence in New Delhi, killed her. Then riots against Sikhs followed in Delhi, Kanpur, and other cities in all over India in which more then 15,000 Sikhs were murdered in broad daylight by the supporters of Indira Gandhi while police watched, all this when India had a Sikh president but without any power. Of these 6000-7000 died on Delhi roads in broad daylight and after a score of commissions and enquiry committees justice has still eluded the Sikhs as the killers continue to walk on Delhi roads.

Repression continued:
A series of repressive operations were launched one after the other in Punjab forcing the Justice Krishna Iyer, retired judge of Supreme Court to lament Justice in Punjab has been crucified on the cross of the law. Immediately after operation blue star, Operation Wood rose was launched under which thousands of innocent Sikh youths were picked from villages and mercilessly killed. Right to life was curtailed by enacting the national security act 1980.After Nov 84 riots and operation wood rose symbolic elections were held in Punjab to

install a puppet government .but this government was also removed in 1987 and president rule was imposed giving free reign to Director general of Police Mr J.F.Riberio. He embarked upon a reign of terror direct killings and introduction of criminal groups to commit murders, loot and crime .Criminals were recruited into police to carry out these terrorist activities. Riberio was followed by KPS gill who continued the policy of bullet for bullet killing thousands of Sikh youths in encounters .A detailed study of these repressive measures is beyond the scope of this writing.

False propaganda and Kanishka


In June 1985, Indian Intelligence Agents blew Air India's Plane in the skies, off the coast of Ireland and blamed it on the Sikhs. This truth and harsh reality is revealed in the book Soft Target, which has been banned in India for obvious reasons. "Soft target" is an espionage term used to describe a country, institution or group of people that is easy to penetrate and manipulate for subversive purposes.. For several years, India has been engaged in a devious and ruthless operation to manipulate and destabilize the Sikh population. The operation has been orchestrated by India's intelligence service and has left the Sikh community estranged from Canadian society. Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) eventually woke up just after the tragic AirIndia bombing that left 329 people, mostly Canadians, dead in June 1985. It chased the culprits right to the Indian embassy and consulates. If the Indian Government could sink as low as killing its own people just so the blame could be pointed at the terrorist Sikhs, then as the film shows, would it really be a big deal if these government officials tied turbans and killed a few Hindus, just so Sikh militants could be blamed? The fact of the matter is that these Khalistani militants never advocated or even perpetrated these acts of blunder.

Last Point:
1. While there is ample evidence to show that Bhindranwale was fighting for the demands articulated in the Anandpur Sahib Resolution and not for the separate state of Khalistan, the Indian armys invasion was not seen by the Sikhs as a security operation but a clash between two nations 2. The day of attack was deliberately selected to coincide with important sikh festival so as to kill large number of Sikhs who were not concerned with politics and policy issues 3. No warning was given to visitors to come out of complex, incoming trains were allowed but outgoing traffic was stopped from Amritsar 4. Preparation for attack was started months in advance by building a model of Harmandir sahib in a village near Saharnpur and training the commandoes.

5. Red cross volunteers were not allowed to enter the Harmandir sahib complex to administer first aid relief 6. General Brar had remarked that when the sound of tanks resonates big generals turn into rats and surrender and I am sure bhindrawale will surrender in 4 hours the same Bhindrawale faced the attack bravely from 1 June to 6 th June. 7. Not only Harmandir sahib but 40 other gurudwaras were also attacked. 8. This was followed by mass killings of Sikh youth in all the villages of Punjab 9. Much later when a human right activist, Jaswant Singh Khalra released the list of innocent Sikh youth killed in fake encounters in Amritsar district, he was also picked from his home and killed.

Bibliography/references:
1.The Sikhs in 20th century and vision beyond by Bhupinder Singh by God Grace Publishers