Punjab Bandh – A Nation Never Forgets – 1984

sikhbandh.pngOn Tuesday (November 3rd, 2009), various Panthic groups (‘radical’ Sikh organizations, if you follow Indian newspapers) called for a peaceful shutdown of stores, businesses, and state services to protest the continued impunity in which the perpetrators of the Indian Government-orchestrated pogroms in 1984 still roam free today.

The ‘bandh’ was an overwhelming success in terms of its immediate call to action, although the larger purpose of its calling will probably continue to yield little results.

The strike call was given by the Dal Khalsa and was supported by the Khalsa Action Committee (KAC), Damdami Taksal, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (DSGPC), All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) and Shiromani Panthic Council.

We have not got justice for Sikhs in the last 25 years. We want the deaf government in the centre to listen to our demands. We will ask the UN to intervene and seek justice for Sikhs, Dal Khalsa leader Kanwarpal Singh said.

The KAC and AISSF later claimed that the strike was complete in Punjab and thanked people for it.[link]

It is a matter of particular shame that supposed “Sikh bodies” such as the Akali Dal (Badal) and the SGPC callously paid no attention to the bandh. The SGPC even issued orders to its various schools and offices to remain open, despite the call for the bandh. Such orders could only have emanated from Badal and his cronies. The two tails of Sikh politics have now belatedly called for akhand paaths to be held this weekend. Even Indian newspapers understand this exercise as little more than ‘damage control’. This is how Badal will attempt to play his magical trick of placating Sikh sentiment in order to gain the upperhand for his political gain.

Thus despite Indian Government propagandists and even other apologists continued claims that Sikhs in Punjab and throughout South Asia have ‘forgotten’ or ‘moved on’ since 1984, the success of the bandh belies these falsities. Still others in our own community will bemoan that the bandh is little more than ‘low-level activism’, not realizing that supposed ‘low-level’ is ‘grassroots’ activism. Despite both complaints, such mass actions show that yes, even 25 years later, the Sikhs stand proud and are still calling for justice. A Nation Never Forgets – Remember 1984.


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17 Responses to “Punjab Bandh – A Nation Never Forgets – 1984”

  1. randip says:

    Jodha,

    I would like to thank you for your extremely _journalistic_ report.

    This blog, and your posts, always tend to align themselves in the framework of nationhood and reactionary politics. For instance, your Blog's title is "The Langar Hall – Progressive Sikh Blog". What is a _Progressive_ Sikh? What is the difference between a Progressive Sikh and being a Guru ka Sikh? It seems that you think that there is a difference here, and that being a Progressive Sikh adds something important. I ask because being progressive is a historical, and very recent political development.

    In the last twenty years, American progressives have defined themselves in reaction to the Evangelical movement and its tangential allegiance to free market economics. However, I am hesitant to bind this recent political movement to the discipleship to the Guru. It seems that the prior arises out of Americans' political tensions, whereas the latter is unexplainable.

    –Sincerely, Randip.

  2. randip says:

    Jodha,

    I would like to thank you for your extremely _journalistic_ report.

    This blog, and your posts, always tend to align themselves in the framework of nationhood and reactionary politics. For instance, your Blog's title is "The Langar Hall – Progressive Sikh Blog". What is a _Progressive_ Sikh? What is the difference between a Progressive Sikh and being a Guru ka Sikh? It seems that you think that there is a difference here, and that being a Progressive Sikh adds something important. I ask because being progressive is a historical, and very recent political development.

    In the last twenty years, American progressives have defined themselves in reaction to the Evangelical movement and its tangential allegiance to free market economics. However, I am hesitant to bind this recent political movement to the discipleship to the Guru. It seems that the prior arises out of Americans' political tensions, whereas the latter is unexplainable.

    –Sincerely, Randip.

  3. P.Singh says:

    Randip,

    I appreciate what you're saying, but not so sure the word "progressive", in the title of this blog, needs to be defined purely in the context of political movements/historical development, or even if it requires a narrow, explicit and limiting definition.

    In the context of this blog, I have always read the word "progressive" to mean an advancement, a moving forward to something positive. Of course, I am only speaking as a visitor/guest on this site, and do not presume to speak for TLH's administrators or to know their intent in choosing the name for the blog. However, I would be very surprised if the "recent political movement" you have referenced was an inspiration for the name.

  4. P.Singh says:

    Randip,

    I appreciate what you're saying, but not so sure the word "progressive", in the title of this blog, needs to be defined purely in the context of political movements/historical development, or even if it requires a narrow, explicit and limiting definition.

    In the context of this blog, I have always read the word "progressive" to mean an advancement, a moving forward to something positive. Of course, I am only speaking as a visitor/guest on this site, and do not presume to speak for TLH's administrators or to know their intent in choosing the name for the blog. However, I would be very surprised if the "recent political movement" you have referenced was an inspiration for the name.

  5. randip says:

    P. Singh,

    I thank you for your thoughtful reply. If I understand you correctly, you are pointing to the progressive ideal apart from its political roots. This would presumably allow one to be as you say – thinking towards advancement and something positive – without committing oneself to any policies or political movements. I just guess I'm a little suspicious about this, because believing in progress and advancement seems to involve a normative view about where people need to be (mentally, spiritually, politically, etc.)

    For instance, it seems awfully hard to imagine being 'conservative' without generally being in line with various particular American/Christian moral and political views. Certainly, advancement and positivity would be conceived by conservatives differently. Similarly, it's hard to conceive of the _Progressive_ apart from a reactionary politics, or a national identity politics.

  6. randip says:

    P. Singh,

    I thank you for your thoughtful reply. If I understand you correctly, you are pointing to the progressive ideal apart from its political roots. This would presumably allow one to be as you say – thinking towards advancement and something positive – without committing oneself to any policies or political movements. I just guess I'm a little suspicious about this, because believing in progress and advancement seems to involve a normative view about where people need to be (mentally, spiritually, politically, etc.)

    For instance, it seems awfully hard to imagine being 'conservative' without generally being in line with various particular American/Christian moral and political views. Certainly, advancement and positivity would be conceived by conservatives differently. Similarly, it's hard to conceive of the _Progressive_ apart from a reactionary politics, or a national identity politics.

  7. Harinder says:

    Langar hall will always have few comments than site

    "Topix Sikh "
    http://www.topix.com/forum/religion/sikh
    where comments run into thousands .

    Why ?

  8. Harinder says:

    Langar hall will always have few comments than site
    “Topix Sikh ”
    http://www.topix.com/forum/religion/sikh
    where comments run into thousands .
    Why ?

  9. KDS says:

    Harinder

    Are you kidding.Is Topix a site worth even reading.On topix people just create fake profile's and insult each other's religion,women culture.There is hardly any moderators their.

  10. KDS says:

    Harinder

    Are you kidding.Is Topix a site worth even reading.On topix people just create fake profile's and insult each other's religion,women culture.There is hardly any moderators their.

  11. Harinder says:

    I feel that the 1984 period be put through the microscope of

    "Principle of sufficient reason"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_suffici

    and then discussed :–

    The principle of sufficient reason states that anything that happens does so for a definite reason. In virtue of which no fact can be real or no statement true unless it has sufficient reason why it should not be otherwise. It is usually attributed to Gottfried Leibniz,

    If we dont give reasons to 1984 it runs the risk of being not real.

  12. Harinder says:

    I feel that the 1984 period be put through the microscope of

    "Principle of sufficient reason"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_suffici

    and then discussed :–

    The principle of sufficient reason states that anything that happens does so for a definite reason. In virtue of which no fact can be real or no statement true unless it has sufficient reason why it should not be otherwise. It is usually attributed to Gottfried Leibniz,

    If we dont give reasons to 1984 it runs the risk of being not real.

  13. BSingh says:

    I was in the punjab during the period of the bandh and this article sums up the feelings of the people and the situation on the ground perfectly, thankyou. Also, the non-sikh residents of the punjab whom i spoke to were sympathetc to the reasons of the bandh and agreed with the feeilings of injustice felt by the sikh community. It was not just an act of radical sikh organisations.

  14. BSingh says:

    I was in the punjab during the period of the bandh and this article sums up the feelings of the people and the situation on the ground perfectly, thankyou. Also, the non-sikh residents of the punjab whom i spoke to were sympathetc to the reasons of the bandh and agreed with the feeilings of injustice felt by the sikh community. It was not just an act of radical sikh organisations.

  15. manvinder singh kohl says:

    never forget 1984

  16. manvinder singh kohli says:

    never forget 1984

  17. Sridhar says:

    Good work brothers…. I live in Tamilnadu (and I am a Tamilian)… and when the Sikh Journalist (Jarnail Singh) shoed P Chidambaram…. I eagerly asked my dad… with a sad face he said "the politicians hired some goondas and killed nearly 5000s or more Sikhs in Delhi…". "The politicians did not even allow the Media or Press in Delhi" he added. I was shocked…. then after doing some research in Internet, I realized how things were hidden from a common man's sight. We must surley fight against these corrupt politicians… God be with you.-Sridhar Krishnan