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1984 Diabolic Political Plan to kill Sikhs

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by satnamr46, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. satnamr46

    satnamr46 Canada
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    Diabolic Political Plan to kill Sikhs
    Revisiting India of November 1984
    Har Jagmandar Singh
    The author provides a fresh look into the genesis of the November 1984 Anti-Sikh pogrom. The author is definite that it was the fundamental hostility of one religion towards another which was the root cause of the gigantic mayhem, death and destruction.

    World Sikh News presents relevant edited extracts from the book, A Story of the Sikhs –A pursuit of Sovereignty by the author in this special issue commemorating the memories of those killed 25 years ago.


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    The government had under-estimated the pain of the wound they had inflicted on the Sikh psyche. They thought that the Sikhs had absorbed the shock treatment and according to their calculation “learnt” the necessary lesson. However, the Sikh anger made a historic manifestation on 31 October, 84. Beant Singh and Satwant Singh, guards of Indira Gandhi, pumped 24 bullets to kill her. After shooting her they surrendered to the police and were taken to a police post. There they were sprayed with bullets. Beant Singh was killed but Satwant Singh survived in spite of several bullets in his body.


    According to the writer, the two Sikh guards took the extreme step to take revenge for the holocaust committed at Darbar Sahib in June 1984.


    They took revenge upon her for the holocaust committed at the Golden
    Temple. Such retributive killings are common in the Sikh tradition. The Sikhs tortured Chandu to death for his role in the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev. Banda Bahadur punished Sucha Nand mercilessly for having a hand in the execution of the younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh. Sukha Singh and Mehtab Singh cut off the head of Massa Ranghar for defiling Harmandar Sahib, Amritsar. Such acts of vengeance raise the morale of the community and serve as a warning to its would-be oppressors.

    In October 1984, there was a massive deployment of army at the border and war with Pakistan looked imminent. There was a rumour that the Centre had conceived a genocidal intention towards the Sikhs ----- the plan was like this: large scale clashes would be raised all along the Punjab border with Pakistan; it would be publicised that the Sikhs had revolted and joined hands with the Pak forces, and then they would be slaughtered and bombed by the Indian army and subjected to loot and massacre all over India.

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    After Indira Gandhi’s assassination, it was rumoured that Beant Singh who was Indira Gandhi’s security had got wind of the plan and, assisted by Satwant Singh, killed her about a week before its implementation. It seemed to be just a product of the traumatised imagination of the Sikhs. But then, President Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan stated, at Indira’s funeral, that it was with great difficulty that he had been able to avert a war with India. Nine years later, Gulam Ishaq Khan, who was President of Pakistan at the time in question, disclosed that Indira had planned to attack
    Pakistan but was shot dead some ten days before the date fixed for the action.

    Nevertheless, one cannot lightly dismiss what P.C. Alenxander, the principal secretary of Indira Gandhi, has written in ‘My Years with Indira Gandhi’. According to him, Mrs. Gandhi visited Kashmir
    on 27th October, and on the next day “she sent for General Vaidya (Chief of Indian army) and asked him in my presence about the preparedness of the Indian army to meet any unexpected outbreak of trouble in Jammu and Kashmir. General Vaidya assured her that the army was well prepared for any eventuality and there was no danger of it being taken unaware by the Pakistanis. After General Vaidya left, she asked me to remain in close contact with Vice-President Venktaraman and apprise him of her concern at the recent developments in Punjab and Kashmir. (Significantly the Sikh President was to be kept out). She said that it would be helpful to keep him fully informed of all the developments and get his views on them. I do not know what prompted her to give me these instructions at that time………” How much substance was there in this rumour cannot be stated for sure, but as subsequent events have shown, there was certainly more to it than meets the eye. It is a pointed to the genocidal intention of a despot in a hurry.

    “It was clear from the behaviour of the rampaging mobs that they were not acting out of grief or anguish at the death of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister. They were laughing away and enjoying their looting and burning spree. They jeered, abused and made all kinds of obscene gestures while they went on a rampage. Watching them, one saw no evidence or sign of any sadness or grief whatsoever.” –Women’s Rights activist -Madhu Kishwar, in an affidavit to Nanavati Commission.


    “I do not find any reason for the lowering of my grade by the honourable high court except the reason that I took the initiative in putting to trial the old 1984 riot cases and bringing them to a logical conclusion ---- the honourable high court has punished me for the same.” -Complain to Chief Justice of Supreme Court of India by Justice S.N. Dhingra, a special judge of a T.A.D.A. court, who tried to bring the guilty to book was transferred from the court and downgraded.


    Immediately after the death of Indira Gandhi anti-Sikh carnage started in Delhi and many other cities. The Sikhs were massacred by Hindu mobs. The rioters put burning tires around the necks of the Sikhs and then said, “see how the Sikh dances.” Their properties were looted and burnt on a massive scale. Mobs were organised and incited by Hindu Congressmen. The police and the civil administration helped the rioters or looked the other way. The carnage continued for 3-4 days.

    Lt. General Jagjit Singh Aurora, writer-activist late Patwant Singh and some other eminent Sikhs approached President Giani Zail Singh and asked him to take some urgent measures like calling in the army to stop the holocaust. His reply was that he would wait for four days for the government to control the situation and would act after that if the violence continued.

    According to the government figures 2733 Sikhs were killed in the capital. Sikhs were also killed in Bokaro, Dhanbad, Hazaribag,
    Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Muzaffar Nagar, Bhagalpur, Lucknow, Kanpur, Ghaziabad and many other places. Even in the remote villages of Kerala they were subjected to violence. According to intelligence sources, the number of the killed could be between 12 and 20 thousand.

    The statement of Madhu Kishwar, a social activist, who visited different parts of the capital during the three days of the carnage, throws some light on the situation. In her affidavit before the G.T. Nanavati Commission she stated, “Numerous victims I interviewed gave graphic accounts of the atrocities committed on their husbands, their young sons and brothers, which they were compelled to witness before being sexually assaulted in full public view. Most of them saw their loved ones attacked grievously, wounded and burnt while still alive. In some cases, their men folk were roasted alive, with burning tyres put around their necks by the miscreants.” Ms. Kishwar continues, “It was clear from the behaviour of the rampaging mobs that they were not acting out of grief or anguish at the death of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister. They were laughing away and enjoying their looting and burning spree. They jeered, abused and made all kinds of obscene gestures while they went on a rampage. Watching them, one saw no evidence or sign of any sadness or grief whatsoever.”


    The police, when asked by Jaya Jaitly, an eminent politician, to do something, replied, “they are out only after the Sardars (Sikhs).”

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    Rajiv Gandhi explained it by saying, “When a great tree falls, the earth shakes.” But he was mistaken. The earth was shaken not by his mother’s death but by the communal emotions. It did not shake when Mahatma Gandhi was killed by a Hindu. And, later when Rajiv was himself killed by Hindus, there was no such shaking. The death of Indira Gandhi only acted as the ignition switch to the natural hostility of one religious community towards another religious community. All the leaders, newspapers, inquiry commissions, writers and others- --- the Sikh opinion-makers included ---- have tried to conceal this truth. They did not answer the questions: why were there no Muslims or Christians among the rampaging rioters and arsonists? Why were only the Sikhs killed ? If looting was the purpose of these men, why did no Hindu lose his life or property? A senior police officer, testifying before the Misra Commission, stated, “The riots were organised to teach the Sikhs a lesson.”


    There is no doubt that there were some Hindus who really felt perturbed at this carnage. But on the whole it received a general approval of the Hindus, some of whom even acclaimed it as an “upsurge of Hindu spirit.” They chanted, “Yaad Karega Khalsa” (Khalsa will remember this treatment) --- a parody of “Raj Karega Khalsa” (Khalsa shall rule).


    All news of the killings was blacked out. Train services and other transportation to the Punjab
    were stopped for three months so that the Sikhs should not migrate to the state. Still thousands of Sikhs did reach the Punjab. Various government agencies pursued them and pressured them to return from there. About a year later, one of the Akali leaders disclosed that the Centre had secretly instructed them not to help the refugees; and the Akalis had complied with the instruction. It is another matter that the Akali politicians were glad at this migration because it would increase their vote bank and help them to win elections. One Akali leader of Bathinda discussed the matter with me and expressed confidence that they would fare much better in future elections due to the increased Sikh votes. His was not an individual view.

    The death of Indira Gandhi only acted as the ignition switch to the natural hostility of one religious community towards another religious community. All the leaders, newspapers, inquiry commissions, writers and others- --- the Sikh opinion-makers included ---- have tried to conceal this truth. They did not answer the questions: why were there no Muslims or Christians among the rampaging rioters and arsonists? Why were only the Sikhs killed?


    As many as nine commissions were set up, one after the other, to probe the antiSikh violence. But all these commissions only served to suppress the truth; actually, this was the motive behind them. The rioters were given protection at various levels. Even charges were not framed against them for ten years. Cases were filed against some of the worst offenders, but the politicians, the police and the judiciary protected them.
    Even some Sikhs allied with them. Certain Sikhs of Delhi broke the limbs of one the victims to prevent her from giving court evidence against H.K.L. Bhagat, a Congress minister and one of the main accused. Five or six men were given life imprisonment. One Kishori, a butcher, who had cut down many Sikhs with his cleaver, was sentenced to death but later his sentence was reduced to life. Only one policeman was punished for dereliction of duty, and he was a Muslim.

    Justice S.N. Dhingra, a special judge of a T.A.D.A. court, who tried to bring the guilty to book was transferred from the court and downgraded. He complained, as reported in newspapers, to the Chief Justice of India, “I do not find any reason for the lowering of my grade by the honourable high court except the reason that I took the initiative in putting to trial the old 1984 riot cases and bringing them to a logical conclusion ---- the honourable high court has punished me for the same.”


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    In the general elections, held in the wake of the anti-Sikh killings, the Congress led by Rajiv Gandhi won an unprecedented 75 per cent of the seats of Parliament. H.K.L. Bhagat, whose constituency in East Delhi had seen more thorough destruction of Sikh life and property, won with the greatest margin of 5 lakh votes.

    The majority community had given its verdict in support of brutal genocide of innocent Sikhs.

    Prof. Har Jagmandar Singh was born in his maternal village

    Tharajwala, district Faridkot, Panjab, in 1939. His paternal family
    migrated, during Partition,from Pakistan to village Faridke in Mansa district. He He taught English in government colleges at Hissar, Bathinda and Ropar.
    He may be contacted at harjagmandarsingh@gmail.com.

    The book, A Story of the Sikhs –A pursuit of sovereignty is available from Singh Brothers, Amritsar.

    28 October 2009
     

    Attached Files:

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