Why We Remember 1984

Joint post by Mapleleaf Sikh, Sundari, Jodha, Camille, Phulkari, RP Singh, Reema

It has been 25 years and we remember.sikh_sangat_at_akal_takht_after_1984.jpg

On this day we remember; in this week we remember; in this month we remember; in this year we remember. On June 6th we stopped to remember the recent chapter in the history of the Sikhs.

When the topic of 1984 is brought up, most Sikhs have one of two reactions. For many, it strikes a deep chord. It awakens a memory of what Professor Tatla calls a “critical” event, one of those rare instances that shapes lives far beyond the incident’s physical reach. It is an event that every Sikh knew, even at the time, had marked the fabric of Sikhs’ history and set off a sequence of events that would stay with us indefinitely.

For others, it involves resurrecting the tragic shadow from the past that they would much rather leave behind and forget. They say, “Let’s focus on the future.” “What’s done is done, and we must live in the present and look forward. Memories of the event only serve to create additional hatred and anger.”

We, at TheLangarHall, choose to remember.

We do not hold onto fear, anger, or hatred. We understand that time does not stop. Guru Gobind Singh Ji often spoke in the future tense. We look to the future as well.

However, to look forward, we do not need to forget the past. In Ardaas, along with Asa di Vaar that is to be done as a “community,” we share and take inspiration from Sikh sheroes and heroes.

In order to move forward with dignity, we seek justice and truth, to expose the events of 1984 and state-terrorism in the subsequent decade. We criticize and scrutinize our own roles and failings so that we may learn a lesson from this chapter of our history. We celebrate and decide our own heroes and sheroes, without seeking approval from anyone else.

This is our history. This is our truth. It must be recorded. Atonements and reparations must be made. We will write our own history, unlike many Sikhs in the past. We hold pens and no longer are forced to live in the Lakhi Jungle. We will not let others write our history. It is our history; it is about us, by us, and our perspectives will be heard.

[For background information on events leading up to Operation Bluestar, see chronology and resources on Ensaaf‘s site.]

Below, we share with you, why each of us individually remembers.

::

Thomas Friedman writes about judging a community or nation not by its economic output but rather its quotient of dreams versus memories. For the Sikh nation, our memories have cut so deep, it has been difficult to focus on the future as we have not yet reconciled the past. Let there be no doubt that we must document and honour the past. We must continue fighting to rectify past injustices. However, with a new generation of Sikh youth born after 1984 quickly finding a foothold in the dynamics of the diaspora, fixating exclusively on 1984 will not move the panth forward. We must learn to dream again. What do we as leaders of the panth want to be when we grow up? What are our hopes and dreams for Sikhs around the world? What is our vision for the panth in 2034? 2084? How will we get there? Where do we begin?

It’s questions like these that has led to the creation of The Langar Hall. The best way for us, the TLH bloggers, to honour the memory of 1984, will be to continue inspiring the Sikh panth to dream, discuss and take collective action.

::

I remember 84 as a catalyst and a source of inspiration. It caused my parents to move to the US, shaped my intellectual/professional ambitions, and continues to remind me of the urgency that moves many lives today, even if I have since become insulated. I was three in ’84, and still living in East Delhi. I don’t remember the disaster of November as it unfolded (either I was too young, or my memory has decided to let it go) but the details that my parents have shared since are deeply embedded. My dad’s colleagues told him in the late morning that he should leave work early and go home to safety, that they had heard rumors that Sikhs weren’t safe in Delhi that day. My chachaji, who lived with us at the time, was also out that day with friends when he heard rumors of the same. Both made their way home on motorcycles. After finally confronting his own memories not too long ago, my dad admitted the horrors he saw on the streets that still make him as angry as if they happened yesterday. My chachaji was chased by a “mob.” Luckily, both escaped and made it home safely. Our neighbors, who were Hindu and close friends, hid us. When the mobs came to our enclave, inquiring about Sikhs, they were sent away, keeping our secret safe.

When we moved to the US, we never discussed it. I only learned about it in college through research- conversations that pointed to books, news reports, and conferences. Through academic pursuits and internships, I learned about my own history along with more widely studied incidents of mass violence. Realizing that the benevolence of neighbors and initiative of my parents were all that separated my childhood luxury and privilege from an entirely different and far more difficult life, I felt incapable of inaction.

Today, it stands as a reminder that minorities must develop skills to become self-reliant, and come to the aid of other similarly situated communities. “A tiny two-percent minority like the Sikhs are the proverbial canary in the coal mine, the bellweather that can point to how the winds of Indian democracy are blowing.” [Cynthia Kepply Mahmood, Sikhchic] The systematic abuse of human rights that violently began with Operation Bluestar in Punjab has become a model for the Indian state’s handling of national security issues decades later and emboldened nationalist organizations that deprive religious minorities of equal protection.

What the Indian government of ’84 sought to destroy, it only inflamed. Today ’84 is a reminder to stand up for the rights of others, as well as my own community.

::

As with any tragedy, injustice to one group is an injustice to all of humanity. Guru Nanak Dev Ji said, “Truth is high, but higher still is truthful living.” We are living the truth and as defenders of humanity, we stand up and choose to be heard.

My first memory of 1984 is Mark Tully’s voice. As a BBC correspondent, Mark Tully reported on the Indian army’s storming of the Darbar Sahib. I remember listening to his reports as a young child and simultaneously viewing the growing apprehension on my parents’ faces. My father had always had a strong interest in the politics of Punjab and often hosted Sikh leaders from Punjab at our home. However, after 1984, my mother also transformed into an activist. They joined with their friends and participated in marches and protests which were organized all across the UK. Sikh women stood alongside their husbands, many of them pushing strollers or holding the hands of their young children. This was an issue that affected the Qaum and one thing was clear, the events of 1984 mobilized two generations – our parents and in turn, their children.

One of my most inspiring memories was learning about human rights activist, Jaswant Singh Khalra. Jaswant Singh Khalra did not only continue to remember the events of 1984 while he was alive but he stood up and defended the rights of all. If there is anything that resonates with me about the post-1984 events, it’s the need to not only hold onto memory but to act upon it. Something he said in one of his final speeches still resonates with me today, “the khalsa was inaugurated to protect the human rights, the human rights of the world. And if you cannot protect your own human rights, you will not be able to give any definition of the Khalsa in the world. I request you, please don’t just learn how to take from the Guru, learn how to fulfill the instructions given to you by the Guru also.” With young Sikhs only beginning to learn about these tragic events – the seed has been planted, the activism is growing, and it is now clear that we will continue to remember and act for generations to come.

::

The first memory I have of my father may seem rather strange.

I was 3 at the time. My mother, someone else (dont remember who), and I went for a mulaqat at Central Jail.

Moments later my father walked into the neighboring room. We were separated by bars (unlike the clear glass in US jails, in Punjab, bars separate you) that were meant to keep us apart.

I wish I could tell you I remember the entire conversation, but I dont. I do remember my mother taking me to the main gate and handing me to a police guard. I had no idea, where he was taking me. I was whisked into the jail facilities. Even at that age, I had expected to see a dark room, but literally it looked like a pind.

I remember it was hugethere were manjas all over the place. The flowers and trees raced past my eyes and finally I was handed to a man. The man was my father. He immediately put me on his shoulders and with a bright smile and a gait in-between a walk and dance, walked towards other people. From that vantage point, all I could see was a sea of kesri parne. My eyes shifted lower and I noticed almost all were wearing white kurta pajamas.

After the hamla at Darbar Sahib in 1984, orders to arrest my dad were issued as part of part of Operation Woodrose. My father and our family were amongst the lucky; many others in our pind and in neighboring areas were executed and murdered at point-blank range; my father would later only be mercilessly tortured. All Amritdharis were labeled as terrorists. My father escaped this first round of executions as he had gone underground. He was arrested, sometime in 1984 or early 1985.

My dad had been actively involved with the Sikh Student Federation and was studying in Batala, during those days. To make a long story short, he was charged under the National Security Act (NSA) and jailed for a year and half without a trial or hearing. Still, our family, comparatively, was extremely fortunate, because while most that were apprehended were either murdered or languished in jail, personally we know some that are still caged even after 25 years in places like Jodhpur, my fathers case was taken before the Justice Ajit Singh Bains committee and he was released.

His release wasnt the end of his story. Often randomly, but very repeatedly, he was picked up by the police and taken to jail. Our family or the Panchayat would often intervene to get him released. Sometimes they met immediate success; often they didnt. My fathers activism didnt stop. He spoke at the bhogs of Shaheeds and lauded their bravery. When my father would disappear for a few days, my dhadhi always worried that he had been eliminated by the police or army.

The second episode is a little clearer in my mind. Now I was four and we were celebrating the birth of my baby brother. We were in my nankays pind and my dad joined the festivities after having been “underground” for a few months. We were all surprised and happy to see him. Our joy was to be cut short.

At 4am, just before the granthi at the pind Gurdwara could begin the mornings Japji Sahib, I was woken by the sound of stomping on the roof. My fear was steadily rising, when all of a sudden the Border Security Force (BSF) burst into the home, after having surrounded and cordoned off the entire area. This was October 1987. He was arrested this time, because in democratic India he had spoken at the bhogs of Shaheeds. Although he had been tortured many times, he would later admit to me that this was the worst. He never revealed to me what exactly he went through, but even at that age I remember his return with two men supporting him on both sides, because he couldnt walk.

Despite torture, threats, and torment, my fathers Sikh spirit never diminished and he continued to reveal the truth and celebrate the Qaums heroes; the quote I’ve heard him use all the time is Panth Vase Main Ujran, Man Ka Chao Mera…He is my hero; my mother and grandmother that aided and supported him are my sheroesand this is why I remember 84.

::

Hearing my father say, “Indria Gandhi is dead … come watch the TV” are my first memories. As a young child, I see this woman with yellow garlands around her neck and she looks like she is sleeping. Next I hear about the violence in Punjab, see men arriving in the U.S. as asylum seekers, pro-Khalistan bumper stickers, and Gurdwara fights between the “better” Sikhs and monaa. My mother tells me the story of family members housing freedom fighters in their homes, while other male relatives all of sudden become keshdari because they fear being killed. “You see him over there … your Chachji knows a Punjabi Hindu couple who he called family when he came illegally to the US, but after 1984 they have never spoken to each other”. A professor in college asks me what I think about the “terrorists” in Punjab as a Sikh. You see she had done research on “communal violence”. All these stories and contradictions in feelings never made sense to me until I learned my history- the details of 1984. These details where the threads that helped bring together all the contradictions. By remaining open to hearing both sides and everything in-between, I see how 1984 both brought Sikhs together as a community; but also immediately disjointed us. I see the fire and passion- the spirit of Sikhi, as well as lack of unity in our community. How do we move forward as a Sikh community that is united- either by accepting our differences or working together to see our similarities. I fear Operation Bluestar was an effort by the Indian state to “divide and conquer” us. It was an effort as Joyce Pettigrew writes: … not to eliminate a political figure or a political movement but to suppress the culture of a people to attack their hearts, and to strike a blow to their spirit and self confidence. I am doubtful it will accomplish its mission despite my fears, because our history has shown us that the spirit of Sikhs rises above such attacks. This spirit is deeply and initimately bound to our souls despite whatever label of “Sikh” we want to attach to each other. We will move forward without forgetting our history as a community.

::

There are many pictures and images we’ve seen this week or we think about when we reflect on June 1984. For me, it is one we keep in our home, where days before the attack, a handful of Singhs were gathered atop of the Harmandir Sahib, all with their pothis and gutkas, engrossed in Gurbani Veechar. Every time I look at this picture, I thinkwhat inspired them? What inspired them to fight a battle they knew they would not live through? What inspired the Singhs and Kaurs before them? What inspired Banda Singh Bahadur to drop everything and march toward Sirhind? What inspired Mai Bhago to ride in to battle when others were running away? What inspired two young boys at the age of 7 and 9, to hold true to their faith and give their lives, when the fate of Sikhi rested on their shoulders? What inspired them? It was all the sameit was the Guru.Many Sikhs buy the Indian Government’s story of attacking the Darbar Sahib for the purpose of “flushing out terrorists.” If that was in fact the case, why was the Sikh Reference Library ransacked and set afire? Why were precious artifacts from our history stolen and destroyed????

Truth is, the 1984 attacks were not designed to just kill Sikhs. They were designed to kill Sikhi. To attack our history, our culture…to break our spirit.

But as we reflect on different ways to remember 1984, let us not forget…if it was our Sikhi they tried to destroy…if it was our spirit they tried to breakthen it is our spirit we must preserve, it is our Sikhi that we must strengthen. Now is the time to re-enforce our relationship with the Guru.

There is nothing a tyrant fears morethere is nothing an oppressor fears morethan a Guru inspired Sikh!

Guru Sahib has said

gurbani84.jpg

With the Guru by our side guidewe will always be victorious. With the Guru as our guidewe can never be defeated.

::

I remember 1984 as the year my family stopped being Indian. After participation in the independence movement, and after years of hoping for a multiethnic, multireligious state, my nanaji withdrew completely from the notion of a new India.

I was less than a year old when Harmandar Sahib was attacked, but I spent a childhood living with ghosts. My parents faces would go white at any mention of Punjab, Indira Gandhi, or India. Their mouths would tense almost imperceptibly. With each interaction, I could see rivers of deep red blood reflected in the irises of their eyes.

My parents did not return to India for over 20 years, losing a lifetime of waking years along with all the lives of rishtay slaughtered in the ’84 ghallughara. My mother hung a sign on our fridge: “There can be no peace without justice.”

This is why, 25 years later, there can never truly be peace within the Sikh qaum or in Punjab. There has been no real justice for the victims of 1984, and there has been no apology or admission of wrong-doing for the disgusting violence against innocents. Instead, Sikhs have heard excuses, justifications, and the droning reminder to “get over it,” as though we had been jilted in a lovers’ quarrel, not massacred at the hands of a morally bankrupt State.

In the wake of 1984, government-backed propaganda has driven a deep rift between members of our community. Some view 1984 as an egregious crime against humanity perpetrated by a corrupt State. Others have processed 1984 as retribution for a wrong — that somehow, as a community we deserved collective punishment because we were wrong, or members of our Panth were wrong.

I remember 1984 because “I am not wrong/ Wrong is not my name” (June Jordan, 1992). Like other peoples who have been oppressed, slaughtered, degraded, or disempowered, we are not wrong. I remember 1984 because no one else will, and when we die, I do not want the stories and lives of my parents to die a third time. I remember because to be a Sikh requires this collective consciousness / memory.


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93 Responses to “Why We Remember 1984”

  1. Harinder says:

    Keep a steady eye
    On what lies ahead;
    Waste no time
    On what is past!

    GGS, M5, 1096:12

  2. Jagga says:

    To Admin:

    Why is exposing Hindutva-Brahminist terror in India and the communities (e.g. “Brahminists”) sponsoring it a “conspiracy theory”? It more like “connecting the dots”.

    When did it become a conspiracy theory (CT) to state a simple fact that “Nazi-Germans killed Jews”? Neither is it a CT to state that “fascist Brahminists” have been behind the 1984 Sikh killings (Amritsar, Delhi), Muslim killings (Kashmir, Babri Masjid, Mumbai, Gujarat), Christian killings, etc.

    Then, we find over the past 5 decades Brahminist leaders amd politicians in India repeatedly sending armies to attack and crush “Indians” in Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Kashmir, Punjab instead of addressing their legitimate concerns and rights!

    There is a pattern, a fascist supremacist mindset, dillusional historical fantasies, racist doctrines, violence . . . behind their actions and behaviors. To understand the output, you have to understand the code.

  3. JP Singh says:

    Harinder

    Live the life like Guru and Guru Ke Sikh. If you Sikh read history so far, you will find that 1984 is not the only one time that this happened with Sikhs. Every time, Sikhs have come out of the troubled times with WaheGuru jee's Kirpa and with a Valor much stronger than before. The times have changed now, the physical oppression is not where the war is these days but it is here, on blogs, internet, Gurudwaras, Deras, social places…

    Your listing "out the other Genocides across the Globe followed by

    Welcome to the planet EARTH my brother SIKHS.“JUSTICE IS A DISTANT DREAM”"

    doesn't justify or give enough reason why Your Sikh Brothers should accept it and not do anything to obtain the Justice

    It should be the other way around – Learn as much as you can from the mistakes that were made during that time, and do everything in your power to make sure that it doesn't happen again. Tell your kids about the wrongs that were done to Sikhs so they can tell their kids. Teach them not only about 1984 but also about other Ghallugharas, and every atrocity that has ever taken place against Sikhs.

    I was listening to Bhai Pinderpal Singh jee's Katha and one of the thing that he said that stuck with me. He said

    "When you are walking around the PariKrama of the Darbar Sahib on the beautiful marble floor, you have to stop and think about innumerable Sikhs had sarcifised their heads (that formed the foundation of the marble floor). Sikhism has just not evolved but unimaginable Sikhs have given their lives as the foundation for the existence of GuruDwaras"

    Now think about this…

    The Sikhs belong to the religion that was formed to save India and Hinduism was attacked by Indians (no one from outside India attacked Sikhs or Darbar Sahib). Harinder Singh, What are you doing to make sure that it doesn't happen again to every other Sikh that is currently living in India?

  4. JP Singh says:

    Harinder

    Live the life like Guru and Guru Ke Sikh. If you Sikh read history so far, you will find that 1984 is not the only one time that this happened with Sikhs. Every time, Sikhs have come out of the troubled times with WaheGuru jee’s Kirpa and with a Valor much stronger than before. The times have changed now, the physical oppression is not where the war is these days but it is here, on blogs, internet, Gurudwaras, Deras, social places…

    Your listing “out the other Genocides across the Globe followed by

    Welcome to the planet EARTH my brother SIKHS.JUSTICE IS A DISTANT DREAM”

    doesn’t justify or give enough reason why Your Sikh Brothers should accept it and not do anything to obtain the Justice

    It should be the other way around – Learn as much as you can from the mistakes that were made during that time, and do everything in your power to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. Tell your kids about the wrongs that were done to Sikhs so they can tell their kids. Teach them not only about 1984 but also about other Ghallugharas, and every atrocity that has ever taken place against Sikhs.

    I was listening to Bhai Pinderpal Singh jee’s Katha and one of the thing that he said that stuck with me. He said

    “When you are walking around the PariKrama of the Darbar Sahib on the beautiful marble floor, you have to stop and think about innumerable Sikhs had sarcifised their heads (that formed the foundation of the marble floor). Sikhism has just not evolved but unimaginable Sikhs have given their lives as the foundation for the existence of GuruDwaras”

    Now think about this…

    The Sikhs belong to the religion that was formed to save India and Hinduism was attacked by Indians (no one from outside India attacked Sikhs or Darbar Sahib). Harinder Singh, What are you doing to make sure that it doesn’t happen again to every other Sikh that is currently living in India?

  5. Harinder says:

    As per me

    Justice is an illusion sort by the weak .

    Those who love life dont go begging for justice but get it.

    In the mean while they accept it as will of GOD and move on taking life as a package deal.

    I am not sure that even the mighteiest of empire say like USA can guarantee that no harm will come to its ciitzens.

    Life and death are dept of GODS and we mortal have little say in it.

  6. Harinder says:

    As per me
    Justice is an illusion sort by the weak .
    Those who love life dont go begging for justice but get it.
    In the mean while they accept it as will of GOD and move on taking life as a package deal.
    I am not sure that even the mighteiest of empire say like USA can guarantee that no harm will come to its ciitzens.
    Life and death are dept of GODS and we mortal have little say in it.

  7. JP Singh says:

    Harinder – Here is the problem… What happened to your Sikh Brothers and Sisters during that time, you are not feeling the pain or taking it personally/ seriously.

    Even though I agree that everything happens in the will of almighty… but there is an element of Uddam (effort) that everyone need to do to shape the future and make sure that you put enough means and measures in place to prevent the same injustice doesn't happen again.

    Let me ask you another question – If your dad was visiting Darbar Sahib while there was an attack on Darbar Sahib in 1984 or if he was out shopping groceries in Delhi during the mob roits in Delhi and your whole family had gotten impacted, would you still feel the same way that you do now? Would you still think that "Life and death are dept of GODS and we mortal have little say in it." or would you do something to make sure that the injustice is not again? Please answer…

    About your comment "Justice is an illusion sort by the weak .", you just threw the whole Justice system based on illusion to support the week people :-).

  8. JP Singh says:

    Harinder – Here is the problem… What happened to your Sikh Brothers and Sisters during that time, you are not feeling the pain or taking it personally/ seriously.

    Even though I agree that everything happens in the will of almighty… but there is an element of Uddam (effort) that everyone need to do to shape the future and make sure that you put enough means and measures in place to prevent the same injustice doesn’t happen again.

    Let me ask you another question – If your dad was visiting Darbar Sahib while there was an attack on Darbar Sahib in 1984 or if he was out shopping groceries in Delhi during the mob roits in Delhi and your whole family had gotten impacted, would you still feel the same way that you do now? Would you still think that “Life and death are dept of GODS and we mortal have little say in it.” or would you do something to make sure that the injustice is not again? Please answer…

    About your comment “Justice is an illusion sort by the weak .”, you just threw the whole Justice system based on illusion to support the week people :-).

  9. Harinder says:

    Dear JP let me accept I lost no near dear one in 80's problem so probably my pain is a shade less than many of my SIKH brothers who lost near dear ones.

    As for Justice we must not try to get itif possible ;

    but not feel bad or disheartened if we dont get it.

    Justice as per me is to protect the interest of todays rich and powerful.

    eg Orissa and Gujrats riots the Justice has already started moving for them as they happened to the powerful communities.

    All new communities when they begin their journey on this planet have to go thru this process of what i would say bullying by the senior or bigger communties.

    The christians, The muslims have all gone thru it .

    It is our turn now.

  10. Harinder says:

    Sorry I meant try to get justice if possible.

    In all probabilty we will not be able to get it as it will hurt the interest of the powerful people.

    So I suggest take life as a

    'package deal"

    and move on

  11. Harinder says:

    Dear JP let me accept I lost no near dear one in 80’s problem so probably my pain is a shade less than many of my SIKH brothers who lost near dear ones.
    As for Justice we must not try to get itif possible ;
    but not feel bad or disheartened if we dont get it.
    Justice as per me is to protect the interest of todays rich and powerful.
    eg Orissa and Gujrats riots the Justice has already started moving for them as they happened to the powerful communities.
    All new communities when they begin their journey on this planet have to go thru this process of what i would say bullying by the senior or bigger communties.
    The christians, The muslims have all gone thru it .
    It is our turn now.

  12. Harinder says:

    Sorry I meant try to get justice if possible.
    In all probabilty we will not be able to get it as it will hurt the interest of the powerful people.
    So I suggest take life as a
    ‘package deal”
    and move on

  13. JP Singh says:

    Let me get this right… Harinder is saying… whatever atrocities happen to the Sikhs, we should take it like as the package deal. Not fight, and not protest or do anything to prevent it.

    And iIf it does happen again after the first time, then accept it again as a part of package deal (as a part of living in India) and don't do anything to prevent it again.

    Is it me or there is something wrong with Harinder's approach here…

  14. JP Singh says:

    Let me get this right… Harinder is saying… whatever atrocities happen to the Sikhs, we should take it like as the package deal. Not fight, and not protest or do anything to prevent it.

    And iIf it does happen again after the first time, then accept it again as a part of package deal (as a part of living in India) and don’t do anything to prevent it again.

    Is it me or there is something wrong with Harinder’s approach here…

  15. Harinder says:

    JP say what u may like

    few things u got to lump in life!

    We all lumped the

    British rule

    Mughal rule ( only in fag end did we summon courage to fight it)

    so in all probability u will have to lump 84 too that is my prediction.

    Their will be no justice u are looking for.

    For the divine justice u seek does not exist on this planet earth.

  16. JP Singh says:

    Well… I cannot agree with your reponse as we are neither under the British Rule nor under Mugal and it is only because people decided to get justice. I am very glad that not a lot of people think like you or else, this world would be run around by bullies and there would be a dictatorship everywhere.

    It is not only about Justice but also to make sure that you do everything in your power so it doesn't repeat. One doesn't have to fight violently to get justice for Sikhs but to work within the realm of justice system in India to get justice. If that doesn't work then opt for other options. Pretty Simple really…

  17. Harinder says:

    JP say what u may like
    few things u got to lump in life!
    We all lumped the

    British rule
    Mughal rule ( only in fag end did we summon courage to fight it)

    so in all probability u will have to lump 84 too that is my prediction.

    Their will be no justice u are looking for.
    For the divine justice u seek does not exist on this planet earth.

  18. JP Singh says:

    Well… I cannot agree with your reponse as we are neither under the British Rule nor under Mugal and it is only because people decided to get justice. I am very glad that not a lot of people think like you or else, this world would be run around by bullies and there would be a dictatorship everywhere.

    It is not only about Justice but also to make sure that you do everything in your power so it doesn’t repeat. One doesn’t have to fight violently to get justice for Sikhs but to work within the realm of justice system in India to get justice. If that doesn’t work then opt for other options. Pretty Simple really…

  19. Harinder says:

    1) The lesser Holocaust, Chhota Ghalughara :—– To avenge the death of his brother Diwan Lakhpat Rai had got all the Sikhs of Lahore executed by scavengers . Year : 1 May 1746. Toll: 7000.

    2) The Greater Holocaust Vadda Ghalughara :—- Ahmad Shah Abdali, Year : 5 February 1762 ; Toll: 10000.

    3) Jalianwala Bagh Massacre :—- 13 April 1919; Michael Francis O'Dwyer Toll: 1300.

    4) Saka Gangsar Sahib :— 21st February 1924 Toll: 100.

    5) 1984

    i guess will say because it happened in our life time.

  20. Harinder says:

    The question is that of the 5 massacres which SIKHS have under gone since they arrived on this planet 'EARTH" why is 1984 the most painful for all of us?

    Is it because it happened in our life time ?

  21. Harinder says:

    1) The lesser Holocaust, Chhota Ghalughara :—– To avenge the death of his brother Diwan Lakhpat Rai had got all the Sikhs of Lahore executed by scavengers . Year : 1 May 1746. Toll: 7000.
    2) The Greater Holocaust Vadda Ghalughara :—- Ahmad Shah Abdali, Year : 5 February 1762 ; Toll: 10000.
    3) Jalianwala Bagh Massacre :—- 13 April 1919; Michael Francis O’Dwyer Toll: 1300.
    4) Saka Gangsar Sahib :— 21st February 1924 Toll: 100.
    5) 1984

    i guess will say because it happened in our life time.

  22. Harinder says:

    The question is that of the 5 massacres which SIKHS have under gone since they arrived on this planet ‘EARTH” why is 1984 the most painful for all of us?
    Is it because it happened in our life time ?

  23. JP Singh says:

    1) The lesser Holocaust, Chhota Ghalughara :—– To avenge the death of his brother Diwan Lakhpat Rai had got all the Sikhs of Lahore executed by scavengers . Year : 1 May 1746. Toll: 7000.

    I see you have gotten the data from Wiki – Good at least you did some research.

    2) The Greater Holocaust Vadda Ghalughara :—- Ahmad Shah Abdali, Year : 5 February 1762 ; Toll: 10000.

    You got the numbers incorrect. Since Wiki is your source… the number there is between 20,000 to 50,000

    3) Jalianwala Bagh Massacre :—- 13 April 1919; Michael Francis O’Dwyer Toll: 1300.

    4) Saka Gangsar Sahib :— 21st February 1924 Toll: 100.

    5) 1984

    To answer your question… all the instances where your Sikh Brothers and Sisters were killed are painful but 1984 more so because it happened during our time and in my life time. Now think about this… The same religion for which Guru Tegh Bhadur had given his Sees and the same country that Dasam Pitta (along with countless other sikhs) fought for is the same folks that were involved in killing of the Sikhs during 1984.

    If corrective/ protective measures are not taken, and it is taken upon as a package deal, Harinder; this will become a norm. It is really sad that Sikhs like you and the ones living in India are getting so used to the fact that this happened (take it as a package deal) and not much is being done to put the preventive measures in place so it doesn't happen again.

  24. JP Singh says:

    1) The lesser Holocaust, Chhota Ghalughara : To avenge the death of his brother Diwan Lakhpat Rai had got all the Sikhs of Lahore executed by scavengers . Year : 1 May 1746. Toll: 7000.

    I see you have gotten the data from Wiki – Good at least you did some research.

    2) The Greater Holocaust Vadda Ghalughara :- Ahmad Shah Abdali, Year : 5 February 1762 ; Toll: 10000.

    You got the numbers incorrect. Since Wiki is your source… the number there is between 20,000 to 50,000

    3) Jalianwala Bagh Massacre :- 13 April 1919; Michael Francis ODwyer Toll: 1300.
    4) Saka Gangsar Sahib : 21st February 1924 Toll: 100.
    5) 1984

    To answer your question… all the instances where your Sikh Brothers and Sisters were killed are painful but 1984 more so because it happened during our time and in my life time. Now think about this… The same religion for which Guru Tegh Bhadur had given his Sees and the same country that Dasam Pitta (along with countless other sikhs) fought for is the same folks that were involved in killing of the Sikhs during 1984.

    If corrective/ protective measures are not taken, and it is taken upon as a package deal, Harinder; this will become a norm. It is really sad that Sikhs like you and the ones living in India are getting so used to the fact that this happened (take it as a package deal) and not much is being done to put the preventive measures in place so it doesn’t happen again.

  25. Harinder says:

    The source is 'SIKH HISTORY "

    http://www.sikh-history.com/art_index.html
    a very informative site.

    The sad part of this site is that it was

    Last updated on: 07/16/2006.

  26. Harinder says:

    The source is ‘SIKH HISTORY ”

    http://www.sikh-history.com/art_index.html
    a very informative site.
    The sad part of this site is that it was
    Last updated on: 07/16/2006.

  27. Rani says:

    I am a little concerned about the comments made by Admin reprimanding Tej on putting forward conspiracy theories. This shows a lack of understanding and appreciation on the subject.

    Please read "Open Secrets: India's Intelligence Unveiled" by Maloy Krishna Dar, who was joint Director of the Intelligence Bureau in India during the 80s and 90s. He writes openly about how they recruited young Sikhs to pose as terrorists and smuggle arms into the Golden Temple, as well as how they wooed the media and infiltrated gurdwaras in Canada. Dar was an high level operative at the time, having direct access to Indira Gandhi.

    Also read Bullet for Bullet by Julio Ribeiro, Director General of Punjab in 1986. He writes about how after the killing of Hindus in buses the police discovered fake beards and turbans.

    Such practices are standard operating procedures by intelligence agencies across the world. In 1997 the Washington Post blew open a story on how Canadian passports were being using by Mossad (Israeli intelligence agency) to send operatives to kill Hamas members. This issue went as far as Parliament in Canada. So lets start looking at the facts and asking the hard questions instead of trying to be 'nice' and placating everyone.

  28. Rani says:

    I am a little concerned about the comments made by Admin reprimanding Tej on putting forward conspiracy theories. This shows a lack of understanding and appreciation on the subject.

    Please read "Open Secrets: India's Intelligence Unveiled" by Maloy Krishna Dar, who was joint Director of the Intelligence Bureau in India during the 80s and 90s. He writes openly about how they recruited young Sikhs to pose as terrorists and smuggle arms into the Golden Temple, as well as how they wooed the media and infiltrated gurdwaras in Canada. Dar was an high level operative at the time, having direct access to Indira Gandhi.

    Also read Bullet for Bullet by Julio Ribeiro, Director General of Punjab in 1986. He writes about how after the killing of Hindus in buses the police discovered fake beards and turbans.

    Such practices are standard operating procedures by intelligence agencies across the world. In 1997 the Washington Post blew open a story on how Canadian passports were being using by Mossad (Israeli intelligence agency) to send operatives to kill Hamas members. This issue went as far as Parliament in Canada. So lets start looking at the facts and asking the hard questions instead of trying to be 'nice' and placating everyone.

  29. Sher says:

    Really disappointed to note that word 'KANISHKA' has not been mentioned in this joint post and comments even once. 329 absolutely innocent people were massacred by 'freedom fighters' you eulogize without any remorse so often. the known perpetrators have made fortunes out of this atrocity no sikh commentator want to mentioned anywhere.

    Also, there is no mention of thousands massacred by Sikh terrorists in Punjab and else where. why? their lives were not worth living as they happened to be Hindus? Khalra disappearance/killing is worth condemning but how about selective killing of Hindu leaders and intellectuals by heavily-armed khalistanis? Once again justified as the assassinated luminaries belonged to 'wrong' faith?

    why cowardly attacks on sacha sauda head, Nirankari Guru, Pyara singh Bhaniara or Ravidassia saint (Vienna killing) can be justified, i fail to fathom.

    Thousands had to flee Punjab and thousands had to 'convert' to (shall i say) Khalsaism save their lives in the troubled 1980s and 1990s. no word for such atrocities either? Would zealots among you need a list or the murders committed by sikh terrorists for two decades to admit that Bhindran was a twisted mind who knew nothing but the language of hatred. The fellow who translated his venom-spewing speeches is lying that Bhindran never said anything against Hindus.

    to give you few samples:

    "If the vehicle is not released by 5 P.M. and unconditionally I will slaughter 5000 Hindus in just one hour."

    "If a Hindu dies, the centre is shaken to its very roots. One must strike where it pinches most. Why to strike at a place where it hardly pinches?"

    "I humbly requested and got this detail from an educated person. Each one of us (Sikhs-edit) is upto 35 (Hindus). Just 35 and not a hundred. They are mere 66 crore. Each sikh has to take upon just 35 and no more, not even 36."

    These samples of sant-vaani can be located by simple 'googling'. A (partial) list of those killed by khalistanis and Bhindran followers can be found here:
    http://iref.homestead.com/Khalistan.html

    Also, Hindus are always blamed for 1984 'anti-sikh' riots in some northern Indian cities. But if you go through the list of the accused you would note that quite a few Muslims were involved too. So?

    I fail to understand why this systematic campaign of hatred against Hindus by their own brethren?

    Few books have been mentioned by a Rani to prove whatever point but I can list 100 where Bhindranwala and his ilk have been condemned or plainly called 'terrorists'.

    As my comment is growing a bit too long, I better conclude.

    Anti-Sikh riots in 1984 are a dark blemish on the Indian polity and cannot be removed whatever gesture the current and future generations of Hindus express. But Sikhs would also do well if they do some introspection. They would also do much better if they research contemporary history … the recent past instead of accumulating angst by surfing anti-Hindu, anti-India websites.

    Lastly, i ask for kheema if i have offended someone with my counterpoint. and also for my plain, rustic English.

  30. Sher says:

    Really disappointed to note that word 'KANISHKA' has not been mentioned in this joint post and comments even once. 329 absolutely innocent people were massacred by 'freedom fighters' you eulogize without any remorse so often. the known perpetrators have made fortunes out of this atrocity no sikh commentator want to mentioned anywhere.

    Also, there is no mention of thousands massacred by Sikh terrorists in Punjab and else where. why? their lives were not worth living as they happened to be Hindus? Khalra disappearance/killing is worth condemning but how about selective killing of Hindu leaders and intellectuals by heavily-armed khalistanis? Once again justified as the assassinated luminaries belonged to 'wrong' faith?

    why cowardly attacks on sacha sauda head, Nirankari Guru, Pyara singh Bhaniara or Ravidassia saint (Vienna killing) can be justified, i fail to fathom.

    Thousands had to flee Punjab and thousands had to 'convert' to (shall i say) Khalsaism save their lives in the troubled 1980s and 1990s. no word for such atrocities either? Would zealots among you need a list or the murders committed by sikh terrorists for two decades to admit that Bhindran was a twisted mind who knew nothing but the language of hatred. The fellow who translated his venom-spewing speeches is lying that Bhindran never said anything against Hindus.

    to give you few samples:

    "If the vehicle is not released by 5 P.M. and unconditionally I will slaughter 5000 Hindus in just one hour."

    "If a Hindu dies, the centre is shaken to its very roots. One must strike where it pinches most. Why to strike at a place where it hardly pinches?"

    "I humbly requested and got this detail from an educated person. Each one of us (Sikhs-edit) is upto 35 (Hindus). Just 35 and not a hundred. They are mere 66 crore. Each sikh has to take upon just 35 and no more, not even 36."

    These samples of sant-vaani can be located by simple 'googling'. A (partial) list of those killed by khalistanis and Bhindran followers can be found here:
    http://iref.homestead.com/Khalistan.html

    Also, Hindus are always blamed for 1984 'anti-sikh' riots in some northern Indian cities. But if you go through the list of the accused you would note that quite a few Muslims were involved too. So?

    I fail to understand why this systematic campaign of hatred against Hindus by their own brethren?

    Few books have been mentioned by a Rani to prove whatever point but I can list 100 where Bhindranwala and his ilk have been condemned or plainly called 'terrorists'.

    As my comment is growing a bit too long, I better conclude.

    Anti-Sikh riots in 1984 are a dark blemish on the Indian polity and cannot be removed whatever gesture the current and future generations of Hindus express. But Sikhs would also do well if they do some introspection. They would also do much better if they research contemporary history … the recent past instead of accumulating angst by surfing anti-Hindu, anti-India websites.

    Lastly, i ask for kheema if i have offended someone with my counterpoint. and also for my plain, rustic English.

  31. […] Also for some general information about Sikhs and 1984 – follow this link. […]