Sikh News The 1984 Anti Sikh Pogroms - Part 1

Jul 10, 2006
The 1984 Anti Sikh Pogroms - Part 1
By SSNews, V. Sundaram, newstodaynet
Nov 8, 2006, 17:21

"The man who questions opinion is wise; the man who quarrels with facts is a fool." - Frank A Garbutt

Facts that are not frankly faced have a habit of stabbing us in the back. Get the facts, or the facts will get you. And when you get them, get them right, or they will get you wrong. We should not keep our mouths shut and our pens dry when we know the solidly sordid and brutal facts. Facts mean nothing unless they are rightly understood, rightly related and rightly interpreted. The greatest tragedy in our national public life after independence is that it is not the facts which guide the conduct of our public men at the highest level, but their prejudiced opinion about facts which may be entirely wrong or are generally wrong most of the time. It is the bounden public duty of all enlightened citizens and fearless journalists to endeavour to make them right by discussion. Facts when combined with ideas constitute the greatest force in the world. They are greater than armaments, greater than finance, greater than science, business and law because they constitute the common denominator of all of them. That is why Walter Lippman, one of the greatest names in the history of fearless journalism, observed with clinching conviction: 'True opinions can prevail only if the facts to which they refer are known ; if they are not known, false ideas are just as effective as true ones, if not a little more effective'. Facts ought to be the basis of all Governmental policies but they by themselves do not or cannot create policies. They are only the stuff of which policies are made. Here is where synthesis comes in to build up the facts into useful knowledge which is wisdom, and it is wisdom that alone can give meaning and direction to life. I know all this has been totally irrelevant to the dastardly India - a purposeless and nebulous NOTION and not a sacred NATION - created by the Nehru family and the Congress party for themselves and themselves alone after 15 August, 1947.

When the Sikhs under the leadership of Master Tara Singh demanded greater autonomy for the Sikhs after independence, Jawaharlal Nehru tried to weaken the Sikh community by merging PEPSU with other areas (today's Haryana and parts of Himachal Pradesh) to create the larger State of Punjab. The government also declared that Punjab was a bilingual State with both Punjabi and Hindi being designated as official languages. In the merged state, Sikhs made up only 35 per cent of the population and thus lost the majority status they had held in PEPSU.

This unilateral action wounded the feelings and sentiments of many Sikhs at that time. I am mentioning this only to show that Jawaharlal Nehru and his Congress Party always treated the Sikhs and the Hindus after our independence with indivisible contempt bordering on hatred. On the contrary they treated the so called minorities, more particularly the Muslims, with unrequited romantic love and infatuation. Today State-sponsored secularism and State-abetted terrorism have become two sides of the same political coin. Likewise, State-abetted proselytism and Church-sponsored harvesting of heathen souls have become two sides of another political coin. Consequently, the Sikhs have been reduced to the status of KAFIRS during the days of Aurangazeb.

Against this background, I am not surprised to see from the mainline print media in English that one Sikh citizen called Babu Singh Dukhia, a resident of Tilka Vihar in New Delhi, which was one of the worst affected areas during the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, is a very angry man today. Last week Dukhia said: 'The CBI had proof even then as it has now, but has done nothing so far. Twenty-two years after the anti-Sikh riots, the CBI is throwing its hands up saying it has little proof to pursue the case against Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, the two men against whom the Nanavati Commission had found credible evidence'. As usual, the BJP Party is accusing the CBI of acting to promote the political interests of the Congress party. BJP spokesperson Prakash Javdekar has said: 'This is the delaying tactics of the CBI. What does the Congress mean by compensation? There will be no compensation till there is justice'. At the same time, it will be readily conceded that the dismal professional record of the CBI during the last 30 years and its exemplary political record (!!) as a hired mouthpiece and hatchet of the political party in power in New Delhi are all established facts in the public mind. In actual practice, CBI whatever be its official nomenclature on paper only for ensuring a smooth and un-interrupted disbursement of salaries to its officers and staff on the 1st of every month with unfailing regularity, has functioned only in a disgraceful manner after independence as a Criminal Bureau of Insinuation (CBI!), Criminal Bureau of Instigation (CBI!!), Criminal Bureau of Infliction (CBI!!!) and Criminal Bureau of Intimidation (CBI !!!!). The Director of the CBI ever looks up to the Government in power to identify its targeted political enemy so that he can swing into immediate action to instantaneously convert that chosen victim into an offender and transgressor in servile obedience to the unwritten Law of Lawlessness in our accursed land. Its daily working principle can be put in simple mathematical terms : Known and old cases against well known political criminals who have held very high public offices can be closed with electronic impunity; new and abominably impossible cases can be foisted with cataclysmic force upon honourable citizens with a proven track record of unimpeachable integrity and selfless public service. I am not therefore surprised that many surviving relatives of innocent Sikh citizens who got massacred in New Delhi told me that they can never hope to get justice from the CBI or the Congress directed UPA Government in New Delhi.

Thus the embers of the great conflagration planned, organized and launched by the Congress party in New Delhi in which more than 3000 innocent Sikhs were killed in a matter of two days after the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on 31 October, 1984 are refusing to die down even 22 years after the barbarous massacre.

In order to understand the pogrom let loose by the Congress party against the innocent Sikhs in New Delhi in 1984 in proper perspective, we have to go back to the emergency that was wickedly imposed upon the nation by Indira Gandhi just to protect her office and the commercial interests of her family flowing from The Private Limited Company called the Congress party. During the dark days of emergency from 1975 to 1977, Indira Gandhi functioned like a supreme dictator, very much like Hitler in Nazi Germany, Stalin in Soviet Russia and Mao tse Tung in China. She used the might of the Government of India to arrest and incarcerate all the opposition leaders like Jayaprakash Narayan, Morarji Desai, Attal Bihai Vajpayee, L K Advani, George Fernandes and many others without a trial. All civil liberties of the Indian people as a whole were crushed by Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay Gandhi. The masses of India rose as one man and threw her and her party out of office after the General Elections in 1977.

When Indira Gandhi came back to power with a thumping majority after the 1980 General Elections, she turned her guns against the Sikh community. Zail Singh was rewarded out of turn, like an obedient and ever-servile Mansabdar in the days of Aurangazeb, by Indira Gandhi when he was elevated as Union Home Minister and later installed as President of India.

In a series of events that that shocked the nation, the Congress government led by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi sent troops into the Sikhs' sacred shrine in 1984 - the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar - to flush out the militants holed up there. Any fact is better established by two or three good testimonies than by a thousand arguments. In their joint Investigation Report titled OPERATION BLUESTAR : The untold story, Amiya Rao, Aurbindo Ghose, Sunil Bhattacharya, Tejinder Ahuja and N D Pancholi, came to this conclusion : 'OPERATION BLUESTAR and GHALLUGHARA. Two different terms for the same episode - the Army action on the Golden Temple in June 1984. Two different meanings given to the same unprecedented event. 'Operation Bluestar' is the Government's term, connoting a necessary military operation to flush out militants and recover arms from the Golden Temple, the implication being that it was an unavoidable cleansing act of purification. Where as 'Ghallughara' is how the Sikhs of Punjab remember the episode, connoting aggression, massacre and religious persecution. The unmistakable allusion is to the killing in Punjab of tens of thousands of Sikhs by the Afgan raider, Ahmed Shah Abdali in 1762, after which the word 'Ghallughara' was coined to become an integral part of the Punjabi folklore in song, story and legend'.

'The contrast between 'Operation Blue Star' and 'Ghallughara' as two different perceptions of the same reality is symptomatic of the wide gap between the official version and the people's recollections of what really happened at the Golden Temple when the army attacked it in June 1984. Listening to the gripping eye-witness accounts of those who were inside Golden Temple at that time, we felt the need to tell the truth, the as-yet untold story and in the process to correct the Government's version as put out by the Army, the Press, the Radio, the TV and the White Paper'.

We the citizens of India should realize that our war for freedom will never really be won till we are willing to pay the full price for that freedom - constant vigilance over ourselves and over our Government.

(To be continued...)

(The writer is a retired IAS officer)



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