Fuss of a Sikh Calendar and Badal in 1984

1984_akal_takht.jpgIn time for the beginning of the Sikh New Year according to our own Nanakshahi calendar, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) has released its annual calendar.  In this 25th year of remembering the events of 1984, it is a moment for Sikhs to reflect and take lesson as well as maybe something for India to reflect and takes lesson as well (hopefully not the so-called morally-bankrupt, heinous ‘Punjab lesson.’)

This year’s calendar includes a picture of the Akal Takht, bullet-ridden and tank-bombed, after the Battle of Amritsar.  The call for SGPC recognition has been long overdue.  Activists within the Sikh community have been calling for official recognition of the Third Sikh Genocide (Third Ghallughara) for years.  Finally the SGPC has taken action.

Unfortunately, the SGPC does not act at the behest of the community, but only at the behest of Badal.  In an election year, many are seeing the picture’s inclusion as an attempt by the Akali Dal (Badal) to play upon Sikh public sentiments against the Congress Party in Punjab.

The usual suspects have raised their hue and cry:

…local Congress chief SRS Lalli Majithia has objected to the calendar ‘‘showing the razed structure’’. Claiming that people have forgotten the incident, he said…. [link]

No Lalli, people have not forgotten. This blog is proof that many will not allow the community to forget.

Even some ominous ‘Sahajdhari Sikh Students Federation’ has lodged their protest:

“These type of photographs will hurt the religious sentiments of the Sikh community”, stated Parmjit Singh Ranu.[link]

No Parmjit, the ‘religious sentiments’ of the Sikh Qaum are more hurt by the muzzling, enforced silence, broken promises, and continued impunity.

More important than these jokers, the BJP, the Akali Dal’s masters, stated:

The BJP finds the release of the calendar “unfortunate and not in good taste”.[link]

Still the BJP is firmly in control as, while they may not have been able to control a calendar, they have vetoed an extremely important endeavor:

The SGPC had earlier withdrawn its own resolution passed by its general house to raise a memorial commemorating Operation Blue Star in the Golden Temple due to pressure from the BJP.[link]

While I do believe that the calendar has great remembrance value – the calendar, from my experience, is probably the single most popular calendar in Punjab – and one hopes will spark conversations by youth seeing the calendar in their homes, still to completely forget Badal’s power move cannot be left uncommented.

In a previous post, I described the nexus that holds the SGPC subservient to the political interests of Badal, in another post I highlighted Badal’s crowning of his son kaka as the next chief-minister-in-the-making, creating to a new feudal dynasty in the land of Punjab.  So while Badal may wish to whitewash his own role in 1984 and Operation Bluestar, even old newspapers have cemented his duplicitous role:

On the eve of Operation Blue Star, Badal’s only concern was for his kursi, not Sikh interests.

Even as late as April, Badal’s motives were known:

Its chief minister, P.S. Badal pledged Sikh support to the prime minister [Indira Gandhi] if she left the party in power. [UPI, April 8, 1984,Sunday, AM cycle]

Shortly after:

The former Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Prakas Singh Badal, and the former Union Minister, Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, were detained in Chandigarh this morning [12th June] [from BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, June 13, 1984, Wednesday]

What is left out is that Badal asked to be detained for protective custody.

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7 Responses to “Fuss of a Sikh Calendar and Badal in 1984”

  1. karan says:

    please don't call it battle of amritsar it was a racial attack on sikh community.

  2. Sher says:

    what was "racial" in Op Blue Star? I hope you know the definition of the term 'race'.

  3. Sher says:

    Keeping "Genocide" out for now, do you think Punjabi Sikhs are a RACE?

  4. pnrk says:

    Yes of course Punjabi Sikhs are a race.

  5. Sher says:

    pnrk, i do not want to cast aspersions on your intellect so would let you have a read of the dictionary meaning and then reconsider your reply:

    1. (Social Science / Anthropology & Ethnology) a group of people of common ancestry, distinguished from others by physical characteristics, such as hair type, colour of eyes and skin, stature, etc. Principal races are Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid


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