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Canada How About Memorial For Secularist Martyrs?

Jan 7, 2005
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3,760
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
How about memorial for secularist martyrs?

Gurpreet Singh - South Asia Post - July 15, 2012

Not only has the political environment of Punjab, India heated up ever since the ruling Akali Dal and the Sikh hardliners started raising a demand for monument in memory of those who died fighting against the Indian army during the Operation Bluestar. It has also stirred a heated debate within the Indian Diaspora in Vancouver.

The army operation was launched in June, 1984 to flush out the religious militants who had fortified the Golden Temple Complex in Amritsar, the holiest shrine of the Sikhs. The operation left many people dead and the buildings inside the shrine damaged, sparking angry protests across the world. The Indian Consulate office in Vancouver was vandalized. As a result of this operation, the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards. This was followed by anti Sikh pogrom in different parts of India by the goons belonging to Indira Gandhi's Congress party. These ugly events culminated into the Air India bombings in 1985. The terrorist attack was blamed on the Canada based Sikh separatists.

A campaign in support of the militants who died during the Operation Bluestar is gaining momentum both in India and Vancouver. The issue is being hotly debated on Punjabi radio stations. Ironically, the Sikh dominated Akali Dal which is now governing Punjab in alliance with the Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) supports the idea, whereas the BJP is advocating for a monument in memory of the Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting against the militants. Obviously, this has sent conflicting signals to everyone. Although the two parties claim to represent the "Hindu-Sikh unity", practically speaking the Akali Dal - BJP combine is trying to please both the Hindu and Sikh fundamentalists who have been feeding on each other since early 1980s when the Hindu - Sikh hostilities grew with Sikh militants threatening Hindu minority in Punjab and Hindu extremists targeting Sikh minority in other provinces of India.

Both the foreign powers including the Pakistani spy agency ISI and the opportunistic Indian leadership tried to gain advantage of the situation by resorting to "Divide and Rule" politics. Not to be left behind the so called secularist Congress party tried to give legitimacy to the Sikh fundamentalists to weaken the Akali Dal and at the same time tried to capitalize anti Sikh sentiments outside Punjab. The Hindus started migrating to other provinces while the Sikhs started migrating to Punjab from other states. This had suited the ISI who wanted Khalistan, a theocratic Sikh state to be carved out of Punjab. Some believe it was a part of its game plan to create a buffer state between India and Pakistan for strategic reasons as it would have weaken India's position on Kashmir.

In the meantime, those representing the civil society in Punjab came up with a much more progressive idea of building a monument in memory of all the Punjabis killed during the bloody conflict for a theocratic Sikh homeland to bring a dignified closure. But the mainstream media in Punjab and the Vancouver based Punjabi radio stations largely ignored this idea and the debate mainly revolved around angry reactions coming from the Sikh and Hindu leaders. Thus, a polarization of Hindus and Sikhs has once again become visible.

Sensibilities demand that a monument which would be more acceptable to everyone should be raised by the government of the day. Though it seems to be unrealistic with two theocratic parties being in power, it can still be considered to ensure communal harmony and peace. There were many unsung humanists and secularist activists who laid their lives while opposing both Hindu and Sikh fundamentalists during the conflict. They sincerely tried to avert sectarian violence by offering protection to the Hindus from the Sikh extremists and innocent Sikhs from the Hindu chauvinists outside Punjab. Among them were nearly 300 communists who were killed by the Sikh separatists in Punjab. They included Darshan Singh Canadian who spent ten years in Canada and then retuned to India to become a towering Communist leader. He was gunned down in 1986 by the pro Khalistan extremists. Likewise,it is pertinent to mention here that a Communist government in West Bengal state had resolutely protected the Sikhs from the mobs during the anti Sikh pogrom.

If Punjab needs a memorial it needs to be dedicated to these true defenders of secularism and people's unity and not the forces inimical to peace and harmony.

source:
http://www.southasiapost.org/world.htm#4
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Mentor
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Jul 4, 2004
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KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA
Is there a rajiv Gandhi memeorial in Chennai ? I believe there should be several Rajiv gandhi Statues all over Chennai and Tamil Nadu to REMIND the Tamilindians of the Beloved PM blown up to defend India..and balanced by statues of the Tamil Tigress who performed the deed.:swordfight-kudiyan:
 

Seeker9

Cleverness is not wisdom
SPNer
May 3, 2010
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UK
Lets build a memorial

And then let it potentially lead to further conflict if anyone desecrates it .... which is a possibility I think............

Also, I wonder if it would have a calming influence or stoke a fire....I'm just thinking of tensions that still exist in Northern Ireland and how the Nationalists would react to a Unionist memorial or how the Unionists would react to a Nationalist memorial

All very sad
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Mentor
Writer
SPNer
Jul 4, 2004
7,689
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KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA
Seeker Ji,
My sentiments exactly. The Sikh ARDASS is already a Memorial to sikh shaheeds...IF Sikhs were to erect a memorial to each and every shaheed we have had...there would be no place left for the living population...IN Mughal Time it was not politically correct to call them "shaheeds"..in Brtish Govt time ..it was ok to call the Mughal Time martyrs "shaheed"..BUT not those in Bitish Time...after 1947 its OK to Call those shaheed who were Martyred in Mughal time or Briiths Time..BUT NOT those martyrs after 1947..unless the GOI approves !! So this question is PRICKY...it will NEVER be POLITICALLY CORRECT for any martyrs post 1947...unless APPROVED BY DELHI because that would be slapping ones own face...in fact even Martyrs of British Time are TOO CLOSE to 1947...BUT MUGHAL TIME MARTYRS are FAR BACK IN TIME and Perfectly SAFE and can be extolled in books, vaars, dhadee vaaran, films etc etc..NO OBJECTION from DELHI at all. Every Govt feels that way..Delhi is not alone...
 

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Shabad Vichaar by SPN'ers

The shabd under discussion in this article is composed by bhagat Dhanna Ji – ਆਸਾ ਬਾਣੀ ਭਗਤ ਧੰਨੇ ਜੀ ਕੀ॥ Asa bani Bhagat Dhanney Ji Ki – and is contained on Page 487 of the SGGS...

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