Sukha & Jinda

Guest blogged by: Amol Singh

Harinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha were hanged to death in Pune Jail for the assassination of General Arun Vaidya, the architect of Operation Blue Star. In the wake of their impending hangings, Sukha and Jinda sent an open letter to the President of India in which they documented their justifications for Sikh militancy and demonstrated how their actions were placed inside a global sphere of justice and necessity.

Bhai_Jinda_Sukha3.jpgSukha & Jindas letter contextualized Sikh militancy inside of a broader sphere of global defiance against outdated and arbitrary power structures.

When nations wake up, even history begins to shiver. During such momentous moments a Banda Bahadur bids farewell to his peace-dwelling and destroys a State of oppression like Sirhind, a Che Guevera turns down a ministership of Cuba, loads a gun on his breast and entrenches against the enemies in the forest of Bolivia, a Nelson Mendela rejects the ideology of apartheid and prefers to spend his life in a dark prison cell.

Their justifications for the actions of militancy rested on the need for political, economic and religious sovereignty and the ways and means by which the center had subjugated Punjab.

There is hardly any Agro Industry in the Punjab.Heavy industry is totally non-existent. We want to keep our capital safe for our development, but you are exploiting us as if we are your colony.

Many critiques of Sikh militancy have rested on militancys retributive attacks on helpless victims throughout India. While commenting on the failures that militants themselves have also committed, Sukha & Jinda maintain,

In no way it is just to accuse us of an unheroic act in attacking an unarmed man. We wish to remind you that by misusing your vast resources you have tried your utmost to humiliate us as a nation. In every field you have tried to make us helpless. You are empowered with your massive armed force and equipped with the most advanced military arsenal of our times. You have made us inadequate to fight you in the open battlefield. In the present situation there is no other alternative with us except to use the kind of method that we employed on General Vaidya to punish the tyrants for their evil deeds. When you are already waging an undeclared war on our nation, guerrilla attacks are not our pleasure but an historical compulsion. Please do not forget this fact of history that during the 18th Century when robbers like Abdali and Nadarshah were driving your daughters to Kabul like enroped flocks of animals, our brave Sikh brethren from their jungle and desert hideouts fiercely attacked the robbers. Even the frightened enemies had to praise our courage. We are fired with a generous humanism. Our grip extends to the entire life with its beat and vibration.

In their quest for justice, they articulated a continuous narrative of Sikh resistance resulting from suppression. For Sukha & Jinda, in the aftermath of an atrocity committed on the Panth, there exists no alternative but to aid the lives of those victimized by the oppressors actions and thereafter assert the Khalsas sovereignty to rectify whatever harm has been committed. At the point where Sikhs living under the existent political structure of India cannot expect any semblance of justice, it becomes imperative for Sukha and Jinda to assert the autonomy of the Panth and assert their form of justice. With this mentality, attacking those who have harmed the Panth is not only a justified action, but an empirical necessity. For Sukha & Jinda, the Khalsa advocated a way of life that ascended the oppressive structure and arbitrary limitations of a Brahmanical power structure and advocated the establishment for this sovereign and just reality.

Because the new Sikh doctrine not only awakened the people, it also inspired them to organize themselves for an armed struggle under the leadership of the Akal Takhat by shattering falsehood of Brahmanical thought. The Masters of Centralism at once came into action. They began to repeat the well-designed danger to the “unity and integrity of the country” to retain power and encouraged the rise of “Personal Gurus” in the arena of religion.

Sukha Singh Mehtab SinghThese were the same underlying hesitancies that had prompted such a fierce backlash against Sikh autonomy not only by the Indian Center in the 1980s, but also the British Raj and an unrelenting stream of 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th century Islamic invaders. For Sukha and Jinda, they were playing established roles in a well defined historical game.

We are tiny particles of dust of the numberless heroic jewels of the Sikh nation who walked on the sharp edge of the Dagger, the Khanda, given to us by Guru Gobind Singh. Only the chosen few get the honor of laying down their lives for the nation. We are proud of this honor.

The Massa Ranghas of the 1980s had held their court at Harimander Sahib. On the eve of June 4th, 1984, Massas dancing girls and tobacco pipes had been became Vijayanta Tanks and Russian artillery. On September 17th, 1986, Sukha and Jinda headed to Pune. Embodying the chardikala of Bhai Methab and Bhai Sukha Singh, they rushed to place their supposed bounties in front of their modern-day Massa. And on Oct 9th— 1992 Pune became 1745 Lahore, and just like Bhai Methab Singh, they began their walk on the planks of Yerewada Jail in order to hang atop their own charkhas.

In no way is it just to accuse us of an unheroic act in attacking an unarmed man. We wish to

remind you that by misusing your vast resources you have tried your utmost to humiliate us

as a nation. In every field you have tried to make us helpless. You are empowered with your

massive armed force and equipped with the most advanced military arsenal of our times. You

have made us inadequate to fight you in the open battlefield. In the present situation there is

no other alternative with us except to use the kind of method that we employed on General

Vaidya to punish the tyrants for their evil deeds. When you are already waging an undeclared

war on our nation, guerilla attacks are not our pleasure but an historical compulsion. Please do

not forget this fact of history that during the 18th century when robbers like Abdalis and

Nadarshah were driving your daughters to Kabul like enroped flocks of animals, our brave Sikh

brethren from their jungle and desert hideouts fiercely attacked the robbers. Even the

frightened enemies had to praise our courage. We are fired with a generous humanism. Our

grip extends to the entire life with its beat and vibration.


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25 Responses to “Sukha & Jinda”

  1. Ravi says:

    LOL at fighting the "Brahmanical power structure."

  2. Ranik says:

    Thank you…very well written and empowering piece. We must not be brainwashed in to thinking that what Sukha and Jinda did was wrong…Art struggle is a legal and acceptable concept:

    Retired Justice Ajit Singh Bains observes:

    Armed struggle by large or small sections of the people against governments which are either colonial or totalitarian in essence, or oblivious to the desires and wishes of the populace, cannot be included in the definition of terrorism. When every recourse to justice is exhausted, the people are compelled to take the road of armed struggle and this measure is applauded and broadly supported.

    Armed struggle is nothing new and there are so many such struggles recorded in modern history, from the American War of Independence in 1776 and the French Revolution in 1789 to the anti-fascist world war of liberation and the struggle of the Vietnamese and Indochinese people and others since then.

    To equate this means to liberation with terrorism will not hold…Terrorism, strictly speaking, is an act of intimidation of innocent people, threatening their lives, destroying their property, depriving them of their liberty and creating tension amongst them….It is to sabotage a just struggle and make the people vulnerable to the attacks of the state….

    If a state gives rise to a cult of violence and …it is universally recognised that people have no other recourse…….

    Taken from Lost In History 1984 Reconstructed – Gunisha Kaur.

    The only people guilty of terrorism is KPS Gill and the Punjab Police, the Central Government of India and its agencies – RAW, Intelligence Bureau and Black Cat commando!!!!!!!!!

  3. Ravi says:

    LOL at fighting the "Brahmanical power structure."

  4. innerstanc says:

    Ravi ‘The brahmanical power structure’ is like a bloody boil expelled off the outer most interior lining of the british excretory sysem, before they left it was carved out with a serated butter knife and discarded into a pile of their last great defecation, it now sits their sunken in a latrine embedded somewhere in the subcontinent, everybody needs to know theres something worse there than just the stink.

  5. lolthis says:

    Ravi ‘The brahmanical power structure’ is like a bloody boil expelled off the outer most interior lining of the british excretory sysem, before they left it was carved out with a serated butter knife and discarded into a pile of their last great defecation, it now sits their sunken in a latrine embedded somewhere in the subcontinent, everybody needs to know theres something worse there than just the stink.

  6. Ranik says:

    Thank you…very well written and empowering piece. We must not be brainwashed in to thinking that what Sukha and Jinda did was wrong…Art struggle is a legal and acceptable concept:

    Retired Justice Ajit Singh Bains observes:

    Armed struggle by large or small sections of the people against governments which are either colonial or totalitarian in essence, or oblivious to the desires and wishes of the populace, cannot be included in the definition of terrorism. When every recourse to justice is exhausted, the people are compelled to take the road of armed struggle and this measure is applauded and broadly supported.

    Armed struggle is nothing new and there are so many such struggles recorded in modern history, from the American War of Independence in 1776 and the French Revolution in 1789 to the anti-fascist world war of liberation and the struggle of the Vietnamese and Indochinese people and others since then.

    To equate this means to liberation with terrorism will not hold…Terrorism, strictly speaking, is an act of intimidation of innocent people, threatening their lives, destroying their property, depriving them of their liberty and creating tension amongst them….It is to sabotage a just struggle and make the people vulnerable to the attacks of the state….

    If a state gives rise to a cult of violence and …it is universally recognised that people have no other recourse…….

    Taken from Lost In History 1984 Reconstructed – Gunisha Kaur.

    The only people guilty of terrorism is KPS Gill and the Punjab Police, the Central Government of India and its agencies – RAW, Intelligence Bureau and Black Cat commando!!!!!!!!!

  7. Singh Soorma says:

    Such a well written article! Sukha and Jinda exhibited a degree of brotherhood and humility that we should all strive for; they had no harmful intentions whatsoever. They were simply two like-minded people who saw the injustices being done to not only Sikhs, but other minority groups as well. I love it.

  8. lolthis says:

    Ravi ‘The brahmanical power structure’ is like a bloody boil expelled off the outer most interior lining of the british excretory sysem, before they left it was carved out with a serated butter knife and discarded into a pile of their last great defecation, it now sits their sunken in a latrine embedded somewhere in the subcontinent, everybody needs to know theres something worse there than just the stink.

  9. Singh Soorma says:

    Such a well written article! Sukha and Jinda exhibited a degree of brotherhood and humility that we should all strive for; they had no harmful intentions whatsoever. They were simply two like-minded people who saw the injustices being done to not only Sikhs, but other minority groups as well. I love it.

  10. Sacha Sikh says:

    My tributes to Bhai sukha ji and bhai jinda ji, who were great sikhs and killed TYRANT Gen.VAIDYA who was responsible for cutting off punjab from the rest of world and then killing thousands of sikhs in 40 gurudwaras, where sangat had gathered to celebrate the martydm day of Guru Arjan Dev ji.
    After commiting atrocities on sikhs and getting awards from central gov.t for his actions, Vaidya was hinding somewhere near bombay (with Govt. given security) that Bhai Sukha ji and Bhai jinda ji found out his hidout and killed him, upholding the great sikh traditions
    Long live Bhai Sukha Ji and Bhai Jinda ji.

  11. Sacha Sikh says:

    My tributes to Bhai sukha ji and bhai jinda ji, who were great sikhs and killed TYRANT Gen.VAIDYA who was responsible for cutting off punjab from the rest of world and then killing thousands of sikhs in 40 gurudwaras, where sangat had gathered to celebrate the martydm day of Guru Arjan Dev ji.
    After commiting atrocities on sikhs and getting awards from central gov.t for his actions, Vaidya was hinding somewhere near bombay (with Govt. given security) that Bhai Sukha ji and Bhai jinda ji found out his hidout and killed him, upholding the great sikh traditions
    Long live Bhai Sukha Ji and Bhai Jinda ji.

  12. Sikhgal says:

    Sukha and Jinda MURDERED somebody, how can we glorify that? In today's civilized society if we follow the "eye for an eye" rule, then will anyone be left alive?? Today Al Queda is a terrorist outfit in the world's eyes and so were Sikh terrorists in the 80's. Dialogue and talk is the only way to solve complicated issues.

    The perpetrators of the Sikh riots are being brought to justice slowly and today the PM of the country is a progressive modern Sikh. We should not cling to the past and move forward in the Charhdi Kala tradition …..

  13. Sikhgal says:

    Sukha and Jinda MURDERED somebody, how can we glorify that? In today's civilized society if we follow the "eye for an eye" rule, then will anyone be left alive?? Today Al Queda is a terrorist outfit in the world's eyes and so were Sikh terrorists in the 80's. Dialogue and talk is the only way to solve complicated issues.

    The perpetrators of the Sikh riots are being brought to justice slowly and today the PM of the country is a progressive modern Sikh. We should not cling to the past and move forward in the Charhdi Kala tradition …..

  14. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh|

    As per my knowledge, Jinda & Sukha were Martyrs of Sikh Panth. They didn't fought against India or any particular sect rather they fought against injustice done with Sikhs in 1984. If nobody is giving us [Sikhs] justice, then we haven't put bangles in our hands, its the right of Sikh to fight for justice.
    That's a tradition of Sikhs, Charhdi Kala tradition ….. !!

    Salute to Shaheed Jinda-Sukha !!!

  15. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh|

    As per my knowledge, Jinda & Sukha were Martyrs of Sikh Panth. They didn't fought against India or any particular sect rather they fought against injustice done with Sikhs in 1984. If nobody is giving us [Sikhs] justice, then we haven't put bangles in our hands, its the right of Sikh to fight for justice.
    That's a tradition of Sikhs, Charhdi Kala tradition ….. !!

    Salute to Shaheed Jinda-Sukha !!!

  16. Charanjeet says:

    ONE thing that always annoys me is when people compare Al-queda to Sikh freedom movement. Comparing al queda to sikh freedom movement is a huge FALLACY. Sikhs have their own unique history, indentity, culture, religion, struggles, customs, etc, etc, ….comparing Sikh movement with another is complicated since they happened in different parts of the world, one in the middle east and one in india, and there are so many political, cultural, social, economical differences with countries in the middle east and india. even within india itself,no one can ever be an "Expert" on india since theres too many different religions, cultures, ethnicties, tribes, castes, languages, so one can never fully understand the various struggles. In countries such as India, it uses western terms and ideologies, such a "democracy" and portrays itself as a "democratic nation" but everyone in reality knows that INDIA is one of the MOST UNETHICAL, INHUMANE, DISCRIMINATORY, RACIST,OVER- POPULATED, CORRUPT, DIRTY, POLLUTED, SMELLY, LAWLESS, UNJUST, AND DANGEROUS TO LIVE IN, COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

  17. Charanjeet says:

    ONE thing that always annoys me is when people compare Al-queda to Sikh freedom movement. Comparing al queda to sikh freedom movement is a huge FALLACY. Sikhs have their own unique history, indentity, culture, religion, struggles, customs, etc, etc, ….comparing Sikh movement with another is complicated since they happened in different parts of the world, one in the middle east and one in india, and there are so many political, cultural, social, economical differences with countries in the middle east and india. even within india itself,no one can ever be an "Expert" on india since theres too many different religions, cultures, ethnicties, tribes, castes, languages, so one can never fully understand the various struggles. In countries such as India, it uses western terms and ideologies, such a "democracy" and portrays itself as a "democratic nation" but everyone in reality knows that INDIA is one of the MOST UNETHICAL, INHUMANE, DISCRIMINATORY, RACIST,OVER- POPULATED, CORRUPT, DIRTY, POLLUTED, SMELLY, LAWLESS, UNJUST, AND DANGEROUS TO LIVE IN, COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

  18. A-ro says:

    India is a horrible place to live. Crime, corruption, and yes even the smell makes me wonder what happened to the country my ancestors and the gurus came from. I'm Sikh, but I'm also Canadian, and I find India a totally disgusting country. When my Uncle and his family came here from Ludhiana, all he could talk about was how great a country India was. All I wanted to say, but I didn't, was "Why did you come here, than?"

  19. A-ro says:

    India is a horrible place to live. Crime, corruption, and yes even the smell makes me wonder what happened to the country my ancestors and the gurus came from. I'm Sikh, but I'm also Canadian, and I find India a totally disgusting country. When my Uncle and his family came here from Ludhiana, all he could talk about was how great a country India was. All I wanted to say, but I didn't, was "Why did you come here, than?"

  20. Harmanjit Singh says:

    India is the birthplace for our gurus, yes I know the birth place of Guru Nanak is out of the country but at one point it was all one country, India being the birthplace of our gurus makes it not a disgusting country but a great one, yes the government might be screwed up, and a whole lot of corruption but that is why us Sikhs fight against the injustice.

  21. Harmanjit Singh says:

    India is the birthplace for our gurus, yes I know the birth place of Guru Nanak is out of the country but at one point it was all one country, India being the birthplace of our gurus makes it not a disgusting country but a great one, yes the government might be screwed up, and a whole lot of corruption but that is why us Sikhs fight against the injustice.