Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale

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Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale

Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale (2 June 1947) –(6 June 1984) (Punjabi: ਜਰਨੈਲ ਸਿੰਘ ਭਿੰਡਰਾਂਵਾਲੇ) was the leader of the Damdami Taksal, a Sikh religious group based in Punjab India during the late 1970's and early 1980's. Sant Bhindranwale carried heavy influence among many Sikh youth in Punjab during this time as the leader of the Taksal.

He spread the original values of Sikhism and persuaded people young and old to follow the original rules and tenets of the religion. He was known for his support for the creation of the Sikh-based theocratic state of Khalistan.

In 1981, Sant Bhidranwale was arrested for his suspected involvement in the murder of Jagat Narain, the proprietor of the Hind Samachar Group. Although he willingly surrendered to police (he was later released due to lack of evidence) Sant Bhindranwale was kept on close watch by Indian police officials.

Stand against the Indian Government

Sant Bhindranwale is more notable for his involvement in Operation Bluestar in which he and other freedom fighters occupied the Akal Takht complex, including the Golden Temple, in Amritsar. For years it was maintained that he had survived the attack and was in seclusion, but many people stated that they had seen his body among the dead martyrs.

In the days before the attack he had denied the wishes of one of the later martyrs in the skirmishes with the police and Indian army across Punjab, who had asked to stay and die as a martyr in the coming battle. In the same way that the Sikhs in the Haveli at Chamkaur had 'voted' to press a reluctant Guru Gobind Singh to escape and live to fight another day, he told his friend that he had to live to fight and organize later battles, because all that had chosen to stay with him to defend the Akal Takhat and the Harmandir Sahib had taken an oath to die as martrys in the manner of Baba Deep Singh Shaheed fighting to the last drop of their blood.

Since his death, Bhindranwale has remained a controversial figure in Indian history. Most view him as a freedom fighter who was fighting for the best interests of Sikhs, while some others see him as a terrorist and extremist.

Early Life

Sant Bhindranwale was born in the village of Rode, in the Faridkot District of Punjab. His father, Joginder Singh, was a farmer and a local Sikh leader who had one daughter Manjeet Kaur and seven sons, of which Jarnail Singh was the youngest. Jarnail Singh was brought up as a strict vegetarian. His six brothers were Jagir Singh, Jagjit Singh, Jugraj Singh, Harjeet Singh, Veer Singh and Captain Harcharan Singh.

Sant Bhindranwale took Amrit (Khande ka Pahul) at the age of five years. His early education was in goverment primary school, where he studied until the fifth grade. Bhindranwale took up farming until 1964. When in those days Sant Gurbachan Singh Bindranwale came to village Rode, where Sant Jarnail Singh joined the Damdami Taksal (Jatha Bindran), based in the village of Mehta Chownk. The Damdami Taksal is a traveling Sikh university that originated in the times of Guru Gobind Singh. The first Jathedar (head/leader) of the Taksal was Shaheed Baba Deep Singh.

Sant Gurbachan Singh Khalsa Bindrawale was the 12th Jathedar of the Taksal. Under his guidance, Sant Jarnail Singh began a year long course in spirtual, scriptual, theological and Sikh historical studies. A year later, Sant Jarnail Singh went back to his village and returned to farming. In 1966 he was married to Bibi Pritam Kaur, daughter of Bhai Sucha Singh of Bilaspur. His wife bore him two sons, Ishar Singh and Inderjit Singh, in 1971 and 1975, respectively.

Rise to Fame

The successor to Gurbachan Singh Khalsa, Kartar Singh Khalsa, who died in a road accident on August 16, 1977, mentioned Bhidranwale as being the new leader of the Damdami Taksal. Sant Bhidranwale was formally elected at a bhog ceremony at Mehta Chowk on August 25, 1977.

In Punjab, Sant Bhindranwale went from village to village as a religious missionary talking with Sikhs. He asked them to live according to the rules and tenets of Sikhism. He would give long speeches and encourage numerous youths to take Amrit, the holy nectar. Bhindranwale preached to the young Sikhs who had lost their path, encouraging them to return to the path of the Khalsa by giving up vices like alcohol, tobbacco, drugs, prostitution or any other addictions which would effect them mentally or physically. His focus on fighting beside the then akali party under Sant Harchand singh Longowal for the Anandpur Sahib Resolution (see contents, Proof of Discrimination against Sikhs).

The Anandpur Sahib Resolution

On October 16, 1973 the Akali Dal, when it was not in power, passed "The Anandpur Sahib Resolution." The major provisions of this resolution were;

  • regional autonomy for punjab
  • return of Chandigarh to Punjab
  • special status for Sikhs in the Indian union
  • a supreme court review of Punjab river waters
  • return of the Punjabi speaking areas to Punjab
  • return of the administration of the Punjab Electric Board
as well as the three thermal headworks to Punjab
  • provision of a fare share of electricity to Punjab
  • and some minor religious demands.

Additional demands that were put forward to the indian goverment, which came to be known as the Dharmjudh Morcha , made him a hero in the eyes of young Sikhs. (In August 1982 the 'Dharam Yudh' agitation was started under the dictatorship of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, to whom all Akali Dal members of the Legislative Assembly and Parliament had submitted their resignations).

Politics and the Movement for Khalistan

Sant Bhindranwale first participated in politics in 1979 putting up forty candidates in the SGPC elections for a total of 140 seats, of which only four were elected. A year later, he campaigned actively supporting candidates for Congress in three constituencies during the general elections, but he did not seek any political office for himself. In response to questions asked about his political ambitions he replied: "If I ever became president of the Shiromani Akali Dal or the S.G.P.C. [Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee], an M.L.A., a government minister, or a member of parliament… …I shall deserve a shoe-beating from the sikh panth".

By 1982-83 Sant Bindranwale had become so popular with the Sikhs of Punjab that the people came to him for justice, side-stepping the usual arbitrators. As stated in a 1984 Time Magazine article, Sant Bhindranwale had become so popular that he had usurped the authority of the Shiromani Akali Dal, a Punjab-based Sikh political party. Sant Bhindranwale wielded a great deal of power and the political factions in Punjab did not commit any major action without thinking about what his response might be.

Sant Bhindranwale was widely perceived to be a supporter for the creation of a proposed Sikhism-based theocratic state of Khalistan. However, in a BBC interview, he stated that if the government agreed to the creation of such a state, he would not refuse, reflecting deliberate ambiguity. Other quotes attributed to Bhindranwale include, "we are not in favour of Khalistan nor are we against it." Responding to the formation of Khalistan he is quoted as saying, "We won't reject it. We shall not repeat 1947." To which he added, "…if the Indian Government invaded the Darbar Sahib complex, the foundation for an independent Sikh state will have been laid."

He told them, "I am her father, take what ever you want!"

One day a young Hindu wife came to see Bhindranwale. She bowed and clutched at his feet (this is an old and honoured tradition of India done to show respect to ones elders) and sobbed out her story of how she was being maltreated by her husband's family, for failing to extract more money from her parents. She also complained of her husband's unwillingness to take her side. Bhindranwale asked her name and where she lived. "So you are a daughter of the Hindus," he said.

"Are you willing to become the daughter of a Sikh?" She nodded (approval). Bhindranwale sent a couple of his armed guards to fetch the girl's family. An hour later a very frightened trio consisting of the girl's husband and his parents were brought before him. "Is this girl a daughter of your household?", he demanded. They admitted she was. "She tells me that you want money from her father. I am her father." He placed a tray full of currency notes before them and told them: "take whatever you want". The three fell at his feet asking forgiveness.'

The betrayal of the Sikhs (1947-1984)

After Independence, the Congress leaders of India forgot their promises, given to the Sikhs to secure their support in backing the partition of Punjab. These very same Congress leaders were later to adopt every conceivable posture, shrinking from no stratagem to keep the Sikhs stateless and not allowing Punjabi to be recognized as an official language of India. At the time the former colonial kingdoms and Princely States were being divided along language differences. The Sikhs and Punjab were denied any special status in the Constitution Act of India.

In 1954, when Master Tara Singh reminded Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru of the solemn understanding given to Sikhs many times on behalf of the majority Hindu community, that after Independence the Sikhs would be given an autonomous state, he coolly replied, the circumstances have now changed.

After eighteen years of agitation and suffering, creation of a Punjabi speaking state was announced. But the commission which demarcated the boundaries on the impugned and tainted 1961 census left some of the Punjabi speaking areas out of Punjab state and gave them over to Haryana which was created out of residuary areas. The commission even allocated Chandigarh to Haryana. The problem of getting Punjabi speaking areas and Chandigarh restored to the Punjab became a major issue. Many fasts and counter fasts were kept by Sikhs and Hindus on this issue. Sardar Darshan Singh Pheruman courted martyrdom by fasting unto death on October 27, 1969.

He died on the 74th day of his fast, renewing the Sikh tradition of sacrifice and martyrdom. On January 26, 1970 Sant Fateh Singh, President of Shiromani Akali Dal went on a fast declaring that if the demand for restoring Chandigarh to Punjab is not met, he would burn himself alive. On February 1, 1970 the Government announced its decision to hand over Chandigarh to Punjab, in lieu of areas of Fazilka and Abohar Tehsil to Haryana.

Due to the split in the Sikh leadership which started showing on the surface in 1960 onwards two factions in the Akal Dal were created: one led by Master Tara Singh and the other by Sant Fateh Singh. The result of these divisions among the Sikhs was that Akali Dal was never able to form a pure Sikh Government in Punjab. In 1967 Akali Dal formed the first non-Congress Government in Punjab with the support of Jan Sangh and the Communist party. After that Akali Dal formed the non-Congress Government twice, but both times it was with the help of Jan Sangh or Janata Party. It speaks poorly of the Sikh leadership and politics that even in a state in which they have majority they could not form a government, run purely by their political wing, Akali Dal.

On October 16, 1973 the Akali Dal, when it was not in power, passed "The Anandpur Sahib Resolution." The major provisions this resolution were; regional autonomy for Punjab, return of Chandigarh to Punjab, special status for Sikhs in the Indian union, a supreme court review of Punjab river waters, return of the Punjabi speaking areas to Punjab, return of the administration of the Punjab Electric Board as well as the three thermal headworks to Punjab, provision of a fare share of electricity to Punjab, and some minor religious demands. During the 1970's and till the 1980'S the Akali Dal and Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee leaders has been centering around the following leaders: Prakash Singh Badal, Gurcharn Singh Tohra, Jagdev Singh Talwandi, Sujit Singh Barnala, Balwant Singh and Harchand Singh Longowal. But these leaders did not do much to get the Anandpur Sahib Resolution implemented in Punjab. Even when the Akalis formed their Government supported by Janata Party in 1977 in Punjab, they did nothing outstanding to ensure that the provisions of Anandpur Sahib Resolution were implemented.

They {clarification needed, who went out of their way} went out of their way to discourage and crush the anti-Sant Nirankari movement started by Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and the Babbar Khalsa as a result of the April 13, 1978 incident, in which thirteen devout Amritdhari Gursikhs were shot dead by the Sant Nirankaris in Amritsar.

Particularly, the behaviour of Jiwan Singh Umranangal and P.S.Badal, who were keen to win over Hindus even if it meant harming the interests of Sikhs, was most deplorable. By the time Congress (I) Government came into power again in 1980, the gap between the Akali leaders and Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale had widened.

With a view to win over Hindu majority of North India and Punjab, Mrs. Indira Gandhi mischievously exploited the anti-Nirankari movement in Punjab to create communal antagonism between Sikhs and Hindus in 1980. State errorism against devout Amritdhari Sikhs was started in Punjab through her stooge Chief Minister of Punjab, Darbara Singh, during 1982. As a reaction to the Police terrorism on Sikhs, the devout Sikhs started taking revenge on Police and officials who ordered persecution of Sikhs in 1982-83.

In August 1982 the 'Dharam Yudh' agitation was started under the dictatorship of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, to whom all Akali Dal members of Legislative Assembly and Parliament had submitted their resignations. In October 1983, the Centre Government imposed President's Rule in Punjab.

From October 1983 to June 1984, is a story of political manipulations and mischievous designs on the part of Indira Gandhi to destroy the Sikh faith and exterminate the Sikh people with a view to win over Hindu votes in India.

Indira Gandhi throughout negotiations between Akali Dal and Centre never let the negotiations reach finalization or settlement because she had an ulterior motive. She let the Punjab crisis drag on in order to rally the state's Hindus behind her and in order unify the Hindu majority of North Indian states, all of whom were concerned about the growing shrillness of the Sikh agitation. The Hindu psyche had been poisoned so much against the Sikhs through communication media and mischievous political manipulations that they wanted the Delhi Government to deal more forcefully with Sikhs. By stone-walling the Sikhs, Gandhi was consolidating her position with the Hindu majority , particularly of North India, whose support she considered necessary to win in national elections that were to be held January 1985.

Sant Jarnail Singh Ji, Khalsa, Bhindranwale was one man who had the political foresight and vision and who knew that Indira Gandhi was not finalizing the negotiation because she wanted to derive the political advantage out of it. He also knew that all the Akali Dal leaders stood fast supported the Sikh masses of Punjab, could not damage the Sikhs. On contrary, if the Akali Dal leader show split, and entered into underhand negotiations with her, she would not only out-manoeuvre them, but would also defeat the joint efforts put in by all Sikhs in Dharam Yudh agitation for acceptance of Anandpur Sahib Resolution.

It was the saddest thing for the Sikhs to happen: Almost all the Akali leaders betrayed the Sikhs and Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale for their selfish ends and had secret meetings with representatives of Mrs.Indira Gandhi. They reached a secret understanding with her; they would not stand in her way if she used armed forces to attack Golden Temple complex and destroy Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his associates. All that they wanted in return were minister and chief minister positions for themselves.

As a result of such underhand negotiations and understanding, Mrs. Gandhi gathered the courage to launch Operation Bluestar. The Sikhs know very well the details of the desecration and destruction caused to the Golden Temple complex, as well as the massacre of thousands of innocent Sikh pilgrims in Golden Temple.

But strangely enough H.S. Longowal and G.S.Tohra were safely escorted to the Government Guest houses! The developments, after they were released from their sanctuaries, clearly show as to what sort of loyalty these leaders had to the Sikh Panth. After playing their political gimmicks, they were again back in their saddles of President Akali Dal and President SGPC.

They shamelessly built their palaces of power positions on the graveyards of tens of thousands of innocent Sikhs and on the rubble of the Akal Takhat and other historic shrines. Tens of thousands of Sikhs were massacred, even burnt alive all over India after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, because there was no Sikh leader like Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, whom the Hindu leaders feared.

Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was a Sikh leader, whom the Delhi rulers feared. For they knew that the Sikh masses were behind him and he could not be bought at any cost; He was a selfless servant of the Khalsa, for, he had transcended all earthly temptations which enslave mortal beings. He was an example of the true Khalsa, who lived for Truth and died fighting for Truth.

[Courtesy : Bhai Santokh Singh Ji]

Timeline

1. [1950] The Indian Constitution was adopted. The Sikh leaders did not endorse it because all promises and assurances previously made were ignored.

2. [1954] When Nehru was reminded of past promises, he answered, "The circumstances have now changed"

3. [1956] Indian States were reorganized on language basis. Only Punjab is left out

4. [1966] After a prolonged struggle and peaceful agitation, a Punjabi speaking state was created by dividing Punjab further into three states.

5. [1975] Indira Gandhi was found guilty of election fraud by the Indian courts. She suspended the constitution to stay in office. The Sikhs spearheaded a non violent protest against this blow to democracy. 50,000 Sikhs went to jail. Indira Gandhi never forgot that the Sikhs had opposed her one person rule.

6. [1981-1984] More than 250 Sikhs were butchered by Indian security forces in fake encounters. More than 250,000 were arrested during this period while peacefully demanding state autonomy for Punjab and the rest of the state in India and their just share of Punjab waters as envisaged by international riparian laws.

7. [1984] Indira Gandhi's response to the Sikhs was uniquely senseless. From June 5-7 a full scale army attack was launched on the Golden Temple and 40 other temples, killing thousands of innocent Sikhs - men, women and children. Many of the dead have never been accounted for.

Move to install Bhindranwale as Akal Takht jathedar was scuttled?

Date: Mar 18, 2008

Amritsar: Damdami Taksal spokesman and convener of the Khalsa Action Committee Bhai Mohkam Singh has revealed that there was a move to install firebrand Sikh leader Sant Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwale as the jathedar of Akal Takht, which was scuttled at the behest of the central government.

This startling revelation was made by the Damdami Taksal spokesman, which was headed by Sant Bhindranwale, while addressing a Sikh conclave.

Giving details, Mohkam Singh said after the death of Jathedar Gurdial Singh Ajnoha, a congregation attended by prominent scholars, retired civil as well as army officers at langar hall within the Darbar Sahib complex, passed a resolution proposing the name of Sant Bhinderanwale for the post in 1983, a year before Operation Bluestar.

He said within no time the Delhi rulers, through the Akali leadership, engineered the appointment of Gaini Kirpal Singh for the top seat. His views were also corroborated by Kulwant Singh, a leader of the All-India Sikh Students Federation. Sikh scholars expressed concern that the merit had been ignored while appointing the jathedars since 1983, which allegedly denigrated the institution of Akal Takht.

Sikh scholars, legal brains and heads of Sikh socio-religious organisations unanimously passed a resolution reiterating that Akal Takht was supreme and its supremacy and sovereignty could not be challenged, compromised and questioned as was being done by certain vested interests.

At the same time, they expressed their desire to free jathedars of all five Takhts from all political and legal bindings.

The occasion was a seminar organised by the Dal Khalsa to discuss the role, working sphere, status and appointments of the Takht jathedars. The speakers said the incumbents used and misused the authority vested in them. The political leadership manoeuvred the religious heads calling them head priests and employees of the SGPC.

They observed that the concepts of sandesh, gurmata and hukamnama have become cloudy because of the manner in which edicts had been handed over in recent years - from the blatant interventionist to the utterly ridiculous and the politically motivated. Delivering the keynote address, party president Satnam Singh said the seminar was the first in the series of six seminars proposed to be held over the next year to go into the entire gamut of issues relating to the institution of Akal Takht and its jathedar.

One of the resolutions read by H.S. Dhami stated that the institution of Akal Takht is the highest temporal authority of the Sikh nation and the devout Sikhs who, irrespective of political leanings, revere the institution. The gathering passed another resolution empowering the organisers to constitute a drafting committee of Sikh scholars, experts and thinkers to fix norms for the post of the jathedar of the Takhts.

Role in the militancy

On April 13, 1978, GurSikhs of Akhand Kirtani Jatha went to protest against Nirankaris who were preaching against the sikh Gurus.The march was lead by Bhai Fauja Singh of the Akhand Kirtni Jatha, this was a peaceful protest. Before reaching the place where the Nirankari Gurbachan Singh was preaching the protesters were fired upon.

The confrontation led to the murder of thirteen members of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha and 3 Nirankaris.In this comotion Gurbachan singh was wisked away under the protection of the police to the state border and into Haryana state.The FIR (first incident report) named twenty-two persons, several of whom were known associates of Bhindranwale.The victims were implicated. This infuriated Sikhs further.

The FIR filed against Gurbachan Singh amounted to nothing except, him being aquited of all the cases which were registered against him at the Karnal high court. On April 24, 1980, the leader of Nirankaris, Gurbachan Singh, was killed.

The FIR named nearly 20 people involved in the murder, most of whom had ties to Sant Bhindranwale. Sant Bhindranwale was subsequently implicated in ordering the assassination. A carpenter from Dehli, Ranjit Singh, surrendered himself to the police for committing the assassination three years later, and he was sentenced to serve 13 years at the Tihar Jail. Bhidranwale was later released as he could not be charged by the police due to lack of evidence.

On September 9, 1981, Lala Jagat Narain, the proprietor of the Hind Samachar Group, was shot dead near the Amaltas Motel.[5] Lala Jagat Narain was a prominent opponent of Sant Bhindranwale. Two days after the assassination, police issued warrants for the arrest of Sant Bhidranwale. Under the command of the then DIG MANGAT the police reached Chando Kalan, a Haryana village, failed to produce any arrest,and because of this the police burned two buses in which the Guru Granth Sahib lay. Upon seeing this, Sant Bhidranwale publicly announced that he would surrender on September 20 1981.

On September 20, 1981, Sant Bhindranwale was arrested on charges of orchestrating Lala Jagat Narain's murder. After the arrest the public was outraged,there were clashes between the young sikhs and the police, the police, trying to bring the crowd under control opened fire into the crowd, as a result, 18 people were dead and score left injured.Over the next 25 days while Bhindranwale was held in custody, sporadic fights erupted in areas where Bhindranwale's accomplices had gathered.

Bhindranwale was released on bail on October 15 as India's Home Minister, Giani Zail Singh announced in the Parliament that there was no evidence against Bhindrawale. In a public statement issued soon after, Bhindranwale expressed his approval for Lala Jagat Narain's murder.In this statement he accused Narain of writing distastefully about the lives of the sikh Gurus.

In his paper Narain wrote in his editorial that the tenth Guru of the Sikh Guru Gobind Singh used to live like prince and he had other vices. The Sikhs of Punjab wrote to Lala Jagat Narain about the article expressing their anger but instead of apologising for the article Narain spewed more venom at the Sikhs by accusing them of being traitors to India. The staff of Narain's newspaper, the Punjab Kesri, and its distributors were targeted for some months and 62 people linked to the paper were murdered.

Legacy

Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale

Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was praised by many Sikhs as a hero of common time. Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale is hailed by some for his efforts to preach the philosophy of the Guru Granth Sahib to the Sikh people. In 2003, at a function arranged by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, Joginder Singh Vedanti, the present jathedar of the Akal Takht made a formal declaration that Bhindranwale was a "martyr" and awarded his son, Ishar Singh, a robe of honor. Harbans Singh's The Encyclopedia of Sikhism describes Bhindranwale as "a phenomenal figure of modern Sikhism."

Famous Quotations

"If I ever become the Jathedar of Akal Takht, SGPC pardan, MLA, MP, or wazir, I will deserve a shoe beating by the Sikh panth."

"I am not for or against Khalistan, but if we are given a separate Sikh nation we will not make the same mistake as '47, we will certainly take it."

"Indira and Congress have labelled me a terrorist. If getting Sikhs to take amrit and stay away from drugs, alcohol, meat, abstain from trimming their hair and beards, defending the honor of our sisters and the spilling blood of the shaheeds is the work of a terrorist then yes I am a terrorist."

"I am a slave of the panth. This is not my taksal, by the grace of the Guru and Sant Kartar Singh I was given the seva of running this taksal. This is not my taksal, it was started by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji."

'My mission is to administer Amrit, to explain the meanings of Gurbani and to teach Gurbani to those around me; ... and (to tell people) that a Hindu should be a firm Hindu, a Muslim should be a firm Muslim, and a Sikh should be a firm Sikh'. His preaching was based on love. He said: 'If we speak to someone with hatred and try to assert our superiority, it will create hatred in the minds of everyone. So long as we have the spirit of love, so long as we have the support of Satguru Hargobind Sahib, the Master of Miri and Piri, is there any power on earth that can subdue us?'

'Nashey chaddo, Amrit chhako, Gursikh bano (Give up addictions, Take Amrit, Become good Sikhs)'.

"I am not opposed to Khalistan, nor am I for it, I seek only equal rights for Sikhs."

'if the Indian Government invaded the Darbar Sahib complex, the foundation for an independent Sikh state will have been laid.'

'We are firm extremists but of what type? Those who act the way Government says an extremist does. Whom does the Government call extremists? A person who takes Amrit (is formally initiated into the Sikh Faith) and administers it to others; who reads Baani (Siri Guru Granth Sahib) and teaches others to read it; who preaches unity and exhorts people to work together; who turns people towards cooperation; who unites them under the saffron Nishaan Sahib (the Sikh religious flag); who unites them with Akal Takhat Sahib and Harmandar Sahib; who is desirous of seeking justice (retribution) for the dishonor to our daughters and sisters, for the spilt blood of innocent people, for the irreverence shown towards Siri Guru Granth Sahib, the True King, and exhorts others to do the same - and we have to get these rights - the present Government has started calling such people extremists. Only Sikhs Of The Guru Have Volunteered. They Are More Than A Fistful.

I had said these things when I asked people to raise their arms. He who is a Sikh of the spinning wheel and the goat, a Sikh of the Radhaswamis and Narkdharias (Nirankaris), a Sikh who waters the pipal tree and sprinkles sandhoor on the Jand tree, should not raise his arm in the presence of our Master (Siri Guru Granth Sahib). He who is a Sikh of Satguru Granth Sahib, is a friend of the Panth (the Khalsa Brotherhood), has respect for the honor of daughters and sisters, has respect for the spilt blood of the innocent and the brave, should raise his arms. This was the pledge I got from the stage. They were 115,000. She should think it over. They were 115,000. (One might say to her): "You are not the form of Guru Nanak that you can include all of them in your fist. Your fist could not even contain Jagjiwan Ram (a former Minister in the Government of India), not even Bajpai (a Hindu leader) and others. They left you and departed. How will you hold 115,000 Sikhs in your fist through mere talk?" She says there is only a handful! From one point of view it is even a good thing. So long as the fist is closed the fist is formed, it is there. When we open the hand, it becomes a slap. Fingers cannot hurt as much as a fist can. When the fingers are closed they call it a fist. You know, in our language, what the fist can do. So, Khalsa Ji, so long as our fist is closed, we are together. We desist from mutual criticism. We are Guru's Singhs and work together. Let us stop saying "I am a Congressite, I am an Akali, I am Bhindranwala, I am so and so." Giving these up, one thing should penetrate the Sikh's mind: "I am a Sikh, I want to live in Hindostan as a Sikh and not as a kesdhari Hindu (Hindu with uncut hair)." When this thing enters our mind (we shall succeed). She says "they are a handful." One hundred and fifteen thousand have made the pledge here. Some friends have registered their names with me too. Some say: "Why have they registered their names with you?" Some brothers talk like this too. I do not wish to name them, may God give them good sense. I pray to the Guru. I am not angry with them. That's all the wisdom they have. Friends have registered their names with me too. Who are the people who have done so? These were those who said: "We are not going anywhere without you." The President, Sant Baba Harchand Singh Ji Longowal, was asked. A request was made to him: "Baba Ji, some Singhs think like this. You should tell us (what to do). If tomorrow there is going to be a talk that (Bhindranwale is) forming his own Akali Dal, then I shall request these people to go home. But if you so order, I can register them." He said: "Get them registered." Persons between sixteen and forty years of age have been registered. We have registered older persons as well but that (list) is separate. In this age group, the count with me is thirty thousand. She says they are a handful! Garja Singh and Bota Singh (Sikh heroes from 18th century who defied the Imperial rulers) were two. It will be good if the Guru has mercy, the Satguru is benevolent, and the job gets completed in peace. We definitely are supporters of peace, but if the train once starts then it will be known whether they are a mere handful or too many even for (enclosing in a blanket) wrap.'

Proof of Discrimination against Sikhs

  • "To preserve the unity of India, if we have to eradicate 2-karor (20 million) sikhs, we will do so" (Balram Jhakhar, friend of former Prime Minister Narsimharao)
  • "The Sikhs are lawless people and a menace to the law abiding Hindus. The governement should take strict action against them" (Pandit Nehru, Indian Prime Minister, on Sikhs.
  • "Kya main taqat dushman" (the enemy-the Sikhs)ke haath main de dun" (How can I entrust power into the hands of the enemies). (Jawahar Lal Nehru, 1961)
  • "I hate the very physique of a Sikh because of the turban and beard" (Vallabh Bhai Patel, Late Top Indian Politician)
  • "I don't give a damn if the Golden Temple and the whole of Amritsar is destroyed, I want Bhindranwale dead" (Indira Gandhi, communicating to General Vaidya during operation Bluestar)
  • "We have broken the backs of the Sikhs and we will get them elsewhere" (M.M.K Wali, Indian Foreign Secretary, June 7th on the radio)
  • "Let us teach these bastards (the sikhs) a lesson" (Rajiv Gandhi, October 31 (1984). This was said to instigate the riots following Indira Gandh'is death which killed 20,000 sikhs.)
  • "You do not know the might of our armed forces. We will eliminate 10,000 sikh youths and the world will know nothing of it" (Chander Shekhar, former Prime Minister of India, 1991)
  • Betrayal of the sikh people.

After Independence, the Congress leaders of India forgot their promises given to Sikh people. These very Congress lead adopted every conceivable postureand shrank from no stratagem to keep Sikhs permanently under their political heel, first, by refusing to form a Punjabi speaking state in which the Sikhs might acquire political effectiveness, and second, by not giving Sikhs and Punjab a special status in the Constitution Act of India.

In 1954, when Master Tara Singh reminded Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru of the solemn undertaking given to Sikhs many times on behalf of the majority community that after Independence Sikhs will be given an autonomous state, he coolly replied, "the circumstances have now changed "

After eighteen years of agitation and suffering, creation of a Punjabi speaking state was announced. But the commission which demarcated the boundaries on the impugned and tainted 1961 census left some of the Punjabi speaking areas out of Punjab state and gave them over to Haryana which was created out of residuary areas. The commission even allocated Chandigarh to Haryana. The problem of getting Punjabi speaking areas and Chandigarh restored to the Punjab became a major issue. Many fasts and counter fasts were kept by Sikhs and Hindus on this issue. Sardar Darshan Singh Pheruman courted martyrdom by fasting unto death on October 27, 1969. He died on 74th day of his fast, renewing the Sikh tradition of sacrifice and martyrdom. On January 26, 1970 Sant Fateh Singh, President of Shiromani Akali Dal went on fast declaring that if demand for restoring Chandigarh to Punjab is not met, he would burn himself alive On February 1, 1970 the Government announced its decision to hand over Chandigarh to Punjab, in lieu of areas of Fazilka and Abohar Tehsil to Haryana.

Due to the split in the Sikh leadership which started showing on the surface in 1960 onwards two factions in the Akal Dal were created: one led by Master Tara Singh and the other by Sant Fateh Singh. The result of these divisions among the Sikhs was that Akali Dal was never able to form a pure Sikh Government in Punjab. In 1967 Akali Dal formed the first non-Congress Government in Punjab with the support of Jan Sangh and the Communist party. After that Akali Dal formed the non-Congress Government twice, but both the times it was with the help of Jan Sangh or Janata Party. It speaks poorly of the Sikh ieadership and politics that even in a state in which they have majority they could not form a government, run purely by their political wing, Akali Dal.

On October 16, 1973 the Akali Dal, when it was not in power, passed "The Anandpur Sahib Resolution." The major provisions this resolution were;

  1. regional autonomy for punjab,
  2. return of Chandigarh to Punjab,
  3. special status for Sikhs in the Indian union,
  4. a supreme court review of Punjab river waters,
  5. return of the Punjabi speaking areas to Punjab,
  6. return of the administration of the Punjab Electric Board as well as #the three thermal headworks to Punjab,
  7. provision of a fare share of electricity to Punjab, and some minor religious demands.

During the 1970's and till the 1980'S the Akali Dal and Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee leaders has been centering around the following leaders: Prakash Singh Badal, Gurcharn Singh Tohra, Jagdev Singh Talwandi, Sujit Singh Barnala, Balwant Singh and Harchand Singh Longowal. But these leaders did not do much to get the Anandpur Sahib Resolution implemented in Punjab. Even when Akalis formed their Government supported by Janata Party in 1977 in Punjab, they did nothing outstanding to ensure that the provisions of Anandpur Sahib Resolution were implemented

They went out of their way to discourage and crush the anti-Nirankari movement started by Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and the Babbar Khalsa as a result of April 13, 1978 incident, in which thirteen devout Amritdhari Gursikhs were shot dead by the Nirankaris in Amritsar.

Particularly, the behaviour of Jiwan Singh Umranangal and P.S.Badal, who were keen to win over [[Hindu]s even if it meant harming the interests of Sikhs, was most deplorable. By the time Congress (I) Government came into power again in 1980, the gap between the Akali leaders and Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale had widened

With a view to win over Hindu majority of North India and Punjab, Mrs. Indira Gandhi mischievously exploited the anti-Nirankari movement in Punjab to create communal antagonism between Sikhs and Hindus in 1980. State terrorism against devout Amritdhari Sikhs was started in Punjab through her stooge Chief Minister of Punjab, Darbara Singh, during 1982. As a reaction to the Police terrorism on Sikhs, the devout Sikhs started taking revenge on Police and officials who ordered persecution of Sikhs in 1982-83.

In August 1982 the Dharam Yudh Agitation was started under the dictatorship of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, to whom all Akali Dal members of Legislative Assembly and Parliament had submitted the resignation. In October 1983, the Centre Government imposed President's Rule Punjab.

From October 1983 to June 1984, is a story of political manipulations and mischievous designs on the part of Indira Gandhi to destroy the Sikh faith and exterminate the Sikh people with a view to win over Hindu votes in India.

Indira Gandhi throughout negotiations between Akali Dal and Centre never let the negotiations reach finalization or settlement because she had an ulterior motive. She let the Punjab crisis drag on in order to rally the state's Hindus behind her and in order unify the Hindu majority of North Indian states, all of whom were concerned about the growing shrillness of the Sikh agitation. The Hindu psyche had been poisoned so much against the Sikhs through communication media and mischievous political manipulations that they wanted the Delhi Government to deal more forcefully with Sikhs. By stone-walling the Sikhs, Gandhi was consolidating her position with the Hindu majority , particularly of North India, whose support she considered necessary to win in national elections that were to be held January 1985.

Sant Jarnail Singh Ji, Khalsa, Bhindranwale was one man who had the political foresight and vision and who knew that Indira Gandhi was not finalizing the negotiation because she wanted to derive the politcal advantage out of it. He also knew that all the Akali Dal leaders stood fast supported the Sikh masses of Punjab, could not damage the Sikhs. On contrary, if the Akali Dal leader show split, and entered into underhand negotiations with her, she will not only outmaneuver them, but also defeat the efforts jointly put in by all Sikhs in Dharam Yudh agitation for acceptance of Anandpur Sahib Resolution.

It was the saddest thing for the Sikhs to happen: Almost all the Akali leaders betrayed the Sikhs and Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale for their selfish ends and had secret meetings with representatives of Mrs.Indira Gandhi. They reached a secret understanding with her; they would not stand in her way if she used armed forces to attack Golden Temple complex and destroy Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his associates. All that they wanted in return were minister and chiefminister positions for themselves.

As a result of such underhand negotiations and understanding, Mrs. Gandhi gathered the courage for launching of Operation Bluestar. The Sikhs know very well the details of desecration and destruction caused to Golden Temple complex, as also the massacre of thousands of innocent Sikh pilgrims in Golden Temple. But strangely enough H.S.Longowal and G.S.Tohra were safely escorted to the Government Guest houses! The developments, after they were released from their sanctuaries, clearly show as to what sort of loyalty these leaders had to the Sikh Panth. After playing their political gimmicks, they were again back in their saddles of President Akali Dal and President SGPC. They shamelessly built their palaces of power positions on the graveyards of tens of thousands of innocent Sikhs and on rubbles of the Akal Takhat and other historic shrines. Tens thousands of Sikhs were massacred burnt alive all over India after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, because there was no Sikh leader like Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, whom the Hidhu leaders feared.

Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was a Sikh leader, whom the Delhi rulers feared. For they knew that the Sikh masses were behind him and he could not be bought on any cost; He was a selfless servant of the Khalsa, for, he had transcended all earthly temptations which enslave the mortal beings. He was an example of the true Khalsa, who lived for Truth and died fighting for Truth.


  • Anandpur Sahib Resolution

Passed by the Working Committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal Ludhiana, Punjab, October 17, 1973 NOTE:- document that some say, started the 1984 ghalughaara of the Sikhs

A. The political objective of the Akali Dal has been laid down by the 10th Guru and is inscribed in the minds of the Sikhs ever since that time. The Sikhs have been invested with the eternal spirit of ascendancy (Khalsa Ji Ka Bol Bala) which is the birth right of the Khalsa and the Shiromani Akali Dal stands committed to achieve this objective.

B. The Akali Dal shall strive for the incorporation of those Punjabi-speaking areas which have been kept out of the new Punjab, namely Dalhousie from the Gurdaspur district, Chandigarh, Pinjore, Kalka and Ambala Sadar from the Ambala district, the area of Nalagarh called Desh from district Nalagarh, Shahabad block and Goohla block from the Karnal district, Tohana Sub-Tehsil, Ratia block and Sirsa Tehsil of Hissar district. Six tehsils of Ganga Nagar district and other Punjabi speaking areas of Rajasthan.

C. The Central Government should confine its authority only to defence, foreign affairs, general communications and currency and rest of the subjects should be handed over to the States and in this case particularly to Punjab. The Punjab should have the right to frame its own constitution and for procuring the necessary finance, Punjab should send its own representatives to the Parliament.

D. The Punjab Government shall protect the interests of the Sikhs settled in other parts of the country.

E. The Akali Dal shall try that India should be made a federal State in the real sense and that all the States should have equal representation in the Centre.

F. The Shiromani Akali Dal disapproves vehemently the foreign policy of the Congress Government and will strive to frame such a foreign policy which should be friendly towards the neighbouring countries specially those countries in which Sikh religious institutions are situated. That the country should follow an independent and impartial foreign policy and should not be tied down with any other power.

G. The Akali Dal will see that no discrimination is shown towards the Sikhs in the services of other States and shall protect their interests. It will also try to see that the Sikhs are given ample representation in all wings of the armed forces as they were given earlier. The Dal will also protect the interests of the Sikhs in the defence services as also of those retiring from the defence services. It will also lay maximum emphasis on giving proper facilities for the ex-soldiers.

H. The Akal Dal is of the view that any man or woman who is not convicted of moral turpitude should be authorized to wear arms without any licence and only registration should be sufficient.

I. The Dal is in favour of prohibition and is also opposed to the use of other intoxicants including tobacco which should be banned.

  • Few speeches Jarnail Singh Bindranwale translated into english.

Death

On June 3, 1984 Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi initiated Operation Bluestar and ordered the Indian Army to surround the Golden Temple complex to kill the militants in the complex. It was widely reported that Bhindranwale did not survive the operation and is thus regarded as a "Martyr" by Sikhs.


According to Lieutenant General Kuldip Singh Brar, who commanded the operation, the body of Bhindranwale was identified by a number of agencies, including the police, the Intelligence Bureau and Sikh fighters in the Army's custody. Bhindranwale's brother is also reported to have identified Bhindranwale's body. Pictures of what appear to be Bhindranwale's body have been published in at least two widely circulated books, Tragedy of Punjab: Operation Bluestar and After and Amritsar: Mrs Gandhi's Last Battle. BBC correspondent Mark Tully also reported seeing Bhindranwale's body during his funeral.


According to Joyce Pettigrew, in her 1995 book, The Sikhs of the Punjab: Unheard Voices of State and Guerrilla Violence:

  • “The army went into the Darbar Sahib not to eliminate a political figure or a political movement but to suppress the culture of a people, to attack their heart, to strike a blow at their spirit and self-confidence.”

External links

For further information please visit these sites:

See also: Misrepresentation and vilification of Sant Bhindranwale

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Jathedars Of Damdami Taksaal

Guru Gobind Singh ◄ ► Baba Deep Singh ◄ ► Bhai Mani Singh ◄ ► Bhai Gurbax Singh ◄ ► Giani Bhai Soorat Singh ◄ ► Jathedar Bhai Gurdas Singh ◄ ► Giani Bhai Sant Singh ◄ ► Sant Daya Singh ◄ ► Sant Giani Bhagvan Singh ◄ ► Sant Harnam Singh Bedi ◄ ► Sant Bishan Singh ◄ ► Sant Giani Sundar Singh Bhindranwale ◄ ► Sant Giani Gurbachan Singh Bhindranwale ◄ ► Sant Giani Kartar Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale ◄ ► Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale


Jathedars Of Damdami Taksaal

Guru Gobind Singh ◄ ► Baba Deep Singh ◄ ► Bhai Mani Singh ◄ ► Bhai Gurbax Singh ◄ ► Giani Bhai Soorat Singh ◄ ► Jathedar Bhai Gurdas Singh ◄ ► Giani Bhai Sant Singh ◄ ► Sant Daya Singh ◄ ► Sant Giani Bhagvan Singh ◄ ► Sant Harnam Singh Bedi ◄ ► Sant Bishan Singh ◄ ► Sant Giani Sundar Singh Bhindranwale ◄ ► Sant Giani Gurbachan Singh Bhindranwale ◄ ► Sant Giani Kartar Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale ◄ ► Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale