S. S. Dhanoa’s Remembering of Operation Bluestar. Baldev Singh 316 R Glad Way, Collegeville, PA 19426, USA Let me briefly highlight Dhanoa’s background before responding to his “Remembering Operation Bluestar.” He is a retied IAS officer who was advisor to Indra Gandhi on Punjab and Sikhs. Since 1984 he has been defaming the Sikhs and blaming them for the attack on the Golden Temple and what happened to them in its aftermath over the last two decades. He is a vigorous defender of Indra Gandhi and the Congress Party. His favorite Chief Minister is Beant Singh, favorite cop is KPS Gill and favorite historian is Khushwant Singh, son of Sir Sobha Singh. His venom is directed only against the Akalis, although, there is no difference between Punjab politicians, as they are one and the same representing two sides of a counterfeit coin. Besides, the dominant politicians are interrelated.1 He is a vociferous critic of Bhindranwala, but is silent about his successor, Baba Thakur Singh who still insists that Bhindanwala is well and alive and will appear at the appropriate time! What is the reason? Is it because both Dhaona and Baba Thakur Singh report to the same boss? WhenKPS Gill took journalist Khushwant Singh on a tour of Punjab for propaganda, they stopped at the Dera of Baba Thakur Singh. Dhanoa is a very harsh critic of Khalistanis, but he does not utter a word against their leaders like Jagjit Singh Chauhan, Sohan Singh Boparai and others, why? Is it because it was Indra Gandhi who created the fake Khalistan movement to destroy the vibrant, entrepreneurial and enterprising Sikh community? Is it not a fact that Indian intelligence services recruited criminal and depraved elements within the Sikh community to do the dirty work? Is not it true that it was Jagjit Singh Chauhan who conspired with Lachman Singh Gill at the behest of Congress party to sabotage the Akali ministry headed by Gurnam Singh?2 Both Chauhan and Boparai are physicians. But who recruited whom and the connection between the two remains to be discovered? Both Chauhan and Boparai are living comfortably in India whereas the murderous regime killed thousands of innocent, ignorant and gullible Sikh youth, who were misled and incited by them. Boparai has been handsomely rewarded for his work¾ his son, Swaran Singh Boparai, an IAS officer¾with no academic experience has been appointed Vice Chancellor of Punjabi University. Swaran Singh Boparai’s father-in-law, the late congressman Swaran Singh held several high rank cabinet positions in the central government. He earned quite a reputation by leading a Muslim delegation to the Conference of Islamic Countries like Omar Abdullah who was the head of Indian delegation to the Conference on Racism and Casteism held in South Africa, two years back. Sohan Singh Boparai’s other son was a prominent Khailstani 3 in California and his wife used to eulogise the sacrifices made by her father-in-law and their family for Khalistan in the now defunct World Sikh News. The first editor of this weekly newsletter was Professor Manjit Singh Sidhu, kuram (in-law) of KPS Gill. It is well known that Indian government agents sabotaged the World Sikh Conference held in New York, July 31, 1984 to denounce and expose the heinous crime¾Operation Bluestar. 4 While the stage was occupied by General Bhullar, Professor Manjit Singh Sidhu, Saran Singh¾editor of the Sikh Review and former IAS officer and advisor to the Governor of Assam and others, the floor was manned by criminals holding naked swords. Others like Professor Pritam Singh of Guru Nanak Dev University were sitting in the audience. It is a mystery how Dr. Gurinder Singh Grewal, a man of few words, all of a sudden decided to publish a Sikh newsletter? After murdering thousands of innocent men, women and children on June 4, 1984 by attacking Golden Temple and numerous other gurdwaras (place of Sikh worship), the murderous regime turned on the propaganda machine to blame the victims for the attack and what happened to them in its aftermath over the last two decades. June 3rd being a gurpurab (a religious festival), a large number of pilgrims, nearly 10000, had come to stay in the Golden temple complex. Many of them appear to have been killed in army action. 5 The actual number of Sikhs who were killed in fake encounters and in police custody and in jails is not known, as the murderous regime through its machinations has frustrated and thwarted the efforts of human rights organisations to collect the data.6 May be as many as 200,000 Sikhs have been killed in India during the last two decades. 7 Here is a point by point response to Dhanoa’s malicious propaganda. “The Sikh community led by Jathedars would be observing 6th of June as the ‘Ghalughara divas’ all over the world. My estimate, after collecting all information that I could as Chief Secretary, Punjab, is that about 1000-1200 persons lost their lives at the hands of Indian military. It is bit intriguing that the Jathedars started observance of the day really from last year when officially Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was declared dead and a martyr. It is said that seven to eight thousands Sikhs were killed in what is known as ‘chota ghalughara’ at the hand s of Lakhpat Rai Kapur and the Sikhs lost about thirty thousands lives in February 1762 in what is known as ‘wada ghalughara’ perpetrated by Ahmad Shah Abdali. I am not aware of any observance of these days at the collective community level.” The exploitation of the blood of the innocent Sikhs by Akalis, SGPC and Jathedars (leader, head of one the five seats of religious authority of the Sikhs) or anybody else is despicable and must be denounced. However, Dhanoa’s comparison of the massacre of Sikhs on June 4, 1984 to ‘chota ghalughara (small holocaust)’ and ‘wada ghalughara (big holocaust)’ is unconscionable. Lakhpat Rai was an avowed foe of the Sikhs, who has taken a vow to eliminate the Sikhs from the face of the earth 8 and Ahmad Shah Abdali was a foreign invader. Moreover, the Sikhs fought against both Lakhpat Rai and Ahmad Shah Abdali. On the other hand the massacre of Sikh men women and children (pilgrims) on June 4, 1984 at the Golden temple and other gurdwaras was carried out by their own government¾the world’s so-called biggest democracy headed by Indra Gandhi¾who in Dhanoa’s words was “sympathetic towards the Sikhs.” Sikhs do remember not only ‘chota ghalughara’ and ‘wada ghalughara’ but also all others who fought against oppression and injustice and for freedom of conscience and religion throughout Sikh history in their daily prayer¾Ardas (Sikh congregational prayer). Why the observation of 6th of June as “ghalughara divas (holocaust day” by the Sikh community worldwide upset Dhanoa so much that he was forced to publish malicious proapganda? Is it the evil deeds¾mass murder of the innocent Sikhs and the diabolical campaign to cover the heinous crimes in which Dhanoa participated¾that haunt him? Second, even the Indian government’s own “White Paper” on Operation Bluestar puts the number of killed at 4712 and arrested at 10000 whereas the Human Rights Group’s figure for the killed is 10000. 9 If Indra Gandhi were sympathetic to the Sikhs then why did she 9a order the attack on June 4th knowing fully well that on that day Golden Temple and other gurdwaras would be filled with pilgrims¾ men, women and children? Couldn’t she order the attack few days earlier or later? Was it Dhanoa’ s advice to her to kill large number of innocent Sikhs to bloody the nose of Sikhs so that they would forget their “bol bale (freedom-consciousness)?” If Indra Gandhi was anxious to resolve the issue peacefully through Harkishan Singh Surjit, Swaran Singh, Raghunandan Lal Bhatia and many others until 3rd of June then why did she ask General Sunderji to make preparation for attack on the Golden Temple in January 1984.10 Why had the army built replicas of Golden Temple at Chakrata and Sarasawa to train commandos? 11 Who created the Bhindranwala phenomenon? Giani Zail Singh and Sajay Gandhi with the blessing of Indra Gandhi created Dal Khalsa by recruiting Naxalites (communists). 12 Indra Gandhi, Giani Zail Singh and Sanjay Gandhi promoted and projected Bhindranwala as a great spiritual figure and foisted him on the Sikh community. 13 He was installed in the Golden Temple complex by the Indian Intelligence services with the connivance of Tohra and Longowal, who were trying to outsmart each other. 14 How did Bhindranwala stockpile weapons when devotees who visited the Golden Temple to pay obeisance were searched and even striped by a cordon of police and security forces?15 If Bhindarwala was a dangerous man then why wasn’t he arrested? 16 Why Indra Gandhi ordered Chief Minster Darbara Singh to release Bhindranwala when he was put behind bars by the Punjab police? 17 Why President Zail Singh and Buta Singh bowed at Bhindarwala’s feet in public at the bhog ceremony of Jathedar Santokh Singh? Why did not Indra Gandhi fire them? 18 It is well known that Jathedar Santokh Singh was Indra Gandhi’s man. She got rid of him when she found no use for him. He was killed by his security guards from the police department! 18 Why Rajiv Gandhi on a visit to Chandhigarh on May 5, 1984 called Bhindranwale “a saintly man with out political ambition?”19 Indra Gandhi never criticized Bhindranwala till he was dead. 20 Bhindranwala campaigned for Congress-I candidate in Gurdaspur constituency. He delivered a speech before a meeting, which Indra Gandhi also addressed. 20 He also campaigned for other Congress-I candidates including Raghunandan Lal Bhatia. 21 Why did the government use such a large number of troops with tanks and helicopters to capture or kill “a saintly man without political ambition ” and his forty associates? 22 Was there no other way? After all it was the government which put the “holy man” in that situation! Why seventy-four other gurdwaras were also attacked simultaneously when Bhindranwala and his band were encamped in the Golden Temple complex? 23 Why Baba Thakur Thakur Singh, the successor of Bhindarwala still insists that Bhindranwala is well and alive and will appear at the appropriate time? Was there an understanding between Damdami Taksal and Indra Gandhi that no harm would come to Bhindarnwala during Operation Bluestar? Dhanoa says that he approached the Patna Takhat urging them to distance from Bhindranwala. It is more likely that he was exchanging information with them as they too like Dhanoa were working for the same cause¾for the success of Operation Bluestar! For whom was Bhai Kanwar Singh working? Why any Sikh in his right mind would have made outrageous statements: they were at war and gurdwaras were their forts? Wasn’t Kanwar Singh providing justification for the attack on Golden Temple and other gurdwaras? What happened to Kanwar Singh? What is he doing nowadays? Dhanoa says that Sardar Manmohan Singh has been appointed as the Prime Minister of India on being elected by the Congress Parliamentary Party as their leader. But Dhanoa forgets is that Sardar Manmohan Singh is also the man, who was sent by the Congress government in 1993 to Vienna to represent India at the Human Rights Conference where he made the following statements without blinking an eye: There are no ethnic people in India. My government recognises no such category. India has only backward sections. India is an open book and there are no violations of human rights in India. 24 It must be pointed out that Indian political parties, whether it is Congress or BJP or Communist or any other, have no qualm spilling minority blood to advance there political objectives. And the Akalis, SGPC, Jathedars and the clergy have no remorse exploiting the spilled blood of innocent Sikhs for their own selfish interests. Moreover, the Akalis, SGPC members, Jathedars and the clergy, who hold no bar while slinging mud at each other, have not uttered a word on record against Jagjit Singh Chauhan, Sohan Singh Boparai, Surain Singh Dhanoa and their ilk, why? Because people like Dhanoa know too much about the Akalis, SGPC and the clergy. The Jathedar of Akal Takhat and the clergy, who refused to give siropa (robe of honor) to Chief Minster Arminder Singh because he dyes his beard, had no compunction to give it to Jagjit Singh Chauhan when he went to the Golden Temple (Tribune, Chandigarh). Let me add how Sikh leaders have been created since 1947. References 1 Parkash Singh Badal is related to the Kairons, Braras and Ravi Inder Singh. Simranjit Singh Maan and Captain Arminder Singh are brother-in-laws. 2 Singh, S. The Sikhs in History, 4th ed., 2001, p 345. 3 Ibid., p 452. 4 Singh, B. Deep penetration of Criminals into Sikh Institutions, The Sikh Bulletin, 2002, 4 (5), 12-15;Singh, S. Spokesman, November 2002, p. 14. 5 Jaijee, I. S. Politics of Genocide: Punjab 1984-1998, 1999, p 49. 6 Singh, S. The Sikhs in History, 4th ed., 2001, p 553- 558. 7 Jaijee, I. S. Politics of Genocide: Punjab 1984-1998, 1999, p 103-104. 8 Bhangu, R. S., Prachin Panth Parkash (Punjabi), edited by Bhai Vir Singh, 4th ed., 1962, p 321-322. 9 Jaijee, I. S. Politics of Genocide: Punjab 1984-1998, 1999, p 103-104. 9a Ibid., p 50. 10 Ibid., p 43-46. 11 Ibid., p 43. 12 Singh, S. The Sikhs in History, 4th ed., 2001, p 364, 370-371; Sinha, S, Singh, J. Sunil, Reddy, G.K.C. Army Action In Punjab: Prelude And Aftermath, 1984, p 28. 13 Singh, S. The Sikhs in History, 4th ed., 2001, p 364,., p 364. 14 Jaije, I. S. Politics of Genocide: Punjab 1984-1998, 1999, p 33-34, 42. 15 Ibid., p 35-37. 16 Ibid., p 34. 17 Ibid., p 35. 18 Singh, S. The Sikhs in History, 4th ed., 2001, p 383. 19 Jaijee, I. S. Politics of Genocide: Punjab 1984-1998, 1999, p 40. 20 Sinha, S, Singh, J. Sunil, Reddy, G.K.C. Army Action In Punjab: Prelude And Aftermath, 1984, p 28- 29. 21 Singh, S. The Sikhs in History, 4th ed., 2001, p 371. 22 Singh, S. The Sikhs in History, 4th ed., 2001, p 364,., p 364; Jaije, I. S. Politics of Genocide: Punjab 1948-1998, 1999, p 33-34, 42, 56. 23 Jaijee, I. S. Politics of Genocide: Punjab 1984-1998, 1999, p 42. 24 Ibid., p 222.