Sikh Holocaust of 1980s

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The Sikh Holocaust of 1980s and 90s in India, which reached its zenith in 1984 with the attack on the Golden Temple complex (during the rule of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi) saw not only the martyrdom of the Sikh militants that had taken control of the Akal Takht, but the deaths of thousands of innocent Sikh pilgrims (it was only days before the annual commemoration of Guru Arjan's Martyrdom) who were not allowed to leave the complex before Operation Bluestar began. The attacks continued for several years thereafter.

This period should be distinguished from two earlier events also designated Ghallooghaaraa or “holocaust” in Sikh historiography. They are the The First Sikh Holocaust (1746) and The Second Sikh Holocaust (1762).

The Sikh holocausts were not pogroms in the sense of the killing of masses of defenseless people. Since the martyrdom of the fifth Sikh Master, Guru Arjun in 1606, Sikhs have known the use of arms and the need of self-defense. They are called Ghallooghaaraa because of the wholesale slaughter of the innocent with the intention of genocide.

Why the period should be remembered as a Holocaust

While the numbers (40-60,000) killed in the Third Sikh Holocaust pale in comparison with the millions who died in the holocausts that occurred in Germany and Russia during WWII and the more recent one in Rwandan, eight distinctive characteristics qualify including the massacres of Sikhs during the 1980s for inclusion in the holocaust 'hall of infamy'.

1) The event occurred in India, a democracy with apparent freedom of the press and a supposedly independent judiciary.
2) The Third Sikh Holocaust involved the use of a national army against its own citizenry.
3) The event involved the destruction of a significant holy site, the Akal Takhat and the desecration of the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar.
4) The Third Sikh Holocaust originally centered on the Golden Temple complex began on a religious holiday, endangering the lives of an estimated 5,000 pilgrims in attendance.
5) The cultural genocide perpetrated through the destruction and disappearance of priceless Sikh artifacts from the Golden Temple complex during the army assault.
6) The pervasive and poisonous media attacks on the national character and motivations of the Sikh people in light of the Sikh people's sacrifices to gain the independence of a homeland, while ignoring the valiant role of Sikh soldiery and citizenry in keeping India sovereign and free in three wars, the continuing labor of Sikh farmers in the bread basket of Punjab (India) to feed the people of India, and centuries of amity and intermarriage between Sikhs and Hindus.
7) The judicial immunity of the perpetrators. Although at least 40,000 Sikhs are estimated to have been killed and countless human rights abuses committed between 1984 and 1997, only a handful of cases have been successfully prosecuted.
8) The international campaign of disinformation, expelling foreign journalists and human rights organizations from Punjab, discounting legitimate Sikh complaints, and branding many Sikhs as terrorists.

Origins of the Sikh Nation

Sikhism began in the days of Guru Nanak (1469-1539) and grew to be a distinctive social force especially after the formation of the Order of Khalsa in 1699. The Khalsa was designated to oppose the tyranny of the Mughal Empire and any other form of injustice. Through much of the early eighteenth century, the Khalsa were outlawed by the government and survived in the safety of remote forests, deserts, and swamplands of the Punjab region and neighbouring Kashmir and Rajasthan. [1]

In the face of nine consecutive invasions from Afghanistan, the crumbling of Mughal authority in Delhi, and decades of anarchy and instability that ensued, the Sikhs grew and became a significant, and later the dominant, political force in Punjab, J & K and the Northwest Frontier. In 1799, most of the clans of the Sikh confederacy united and a kingdom was established under Maharaja Ranjit Singh that lasted to the middle of the 19th century.

The Sikh Role in the Indian Freedom Movement

After Ranjeet Singh's death in 1839, several years of political intrigue and two wars with the British (1845-46, 1848-49), the Sikh kingdom became the last part of the Indian subcontinent to fall to the British empire. Although many Sikhs meekly offered their services to the colonial authority as soldiers or police, some Sikhs organized resistance against the British.

Years before Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's efforts, the Namdhari Sikhs boycotted British textiles and systemically made their own homespun cotton garments. The holy city of Amritsar was the site of the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre, that caused a paradigm-shift in the winning of India's freedom by exposing to the world the brutality of the British General Reginald Dyer (ironically born in the Punjab) and the contempt of the British Nation who saw him as a hero and rewarded him with a small fortune after the British Army dismissed him because of the outrage caused by the massacre. During the nonviolent campaign of the Sikhs to regain control of their places of worship from control of the British in the 1920s, 100,000s of Sikh men and women filled the jails of Punjab. Their stoic resolution captured the imagination of India and the world.

On January 9, 1922, when the Sikhs had regained the right to manage their foremost shrine, the Golden Temple after a peaceful mass campaign lasting several months, Baba Kharak Singh, the Sikh leader, received a telegram from the Hindu lawyer who had assumed the moral leadership of India's independence movement. It read: “FIRST DECISIVE BATTLE FOR INDIA'S FREEDOM WON. CONGRATULATIONS. M K GANDHI”

One witness to the sufferings endured by the Sikhs had originally come to serve as a missionary in India. The Reverend Charles Freer Andrews declared on September 12, 1922 that he had seen “hundreds of Christs being crucified” in the ongoing struggle against the British.[2] In a detailed report he sent to the press, Reverend Andrews continued, “A new heroism, learned through suffering, has arisen in the land. A new lesson in moral warfare has been taught to the world.”[3]

During the peaceful campaign at Jaito in 1923, the future prime minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, along with two Congress party colleagues arrived in a bullock cart behind a contingent of Akali volunteers to see for themselves what was going on. They were arrested on September 21, charged with conspiracy, given a suspended sentence of two years' imprisonment. [4]

Though Sikhs constituted less than 2% of India's total population (70% of whom were Hindu, 25% Muslim), the freedom-loving Sikhs offered up a disproportionate sacrifice to liberate their country from the shackles of colonial rule. Of the 4,771 activists hanged or sentenced to life imprisonment by the British in India, 3,697 (77.5%) were Sikhs. [5]

Promises Made to the Sikhs

In response to the inspiring sacrifices of the Sikhs, the leaders of the Hindu-dominated Congress party promised them due consideration in a free and reconstituted Indian republic. At the 1929 session of the Congress party held in Lahore the traditional Sikh colour of saffron was incorporated into the Indian national flag and the resolution made: “The Congress assures the Sikhs... that no solution thereof in any future Constitution will be acceptable to the Congress that does not give them (Sikhs) full satisfaction.”

On March 16, 1931, Mahatma Gandhi was asked at Sisganj Gurdwara in Delhi what assurances he might offer the Sikhs that the resolution of 1929 would be enacted by his Indian National Congress. His reply, published in Young India of March 19, 1931, reads: “Sardar Madhusudan Singh has asked for an assurance that the Congress would do nothing that might alienate sympathies of the Sikhs from Congress. Well, Congress in its Lahore session passed a resolution that it would not enter into or be a party to any settlement with regard to the minority question that failed to satisfy any of the minorities concerned. What further assurances the Congress can give to you Sikhs, I fail to understand. I ask you to accept my word and the resolution of the Congress that it will not betray a single individual much less a community. It is ever thinks of doing so, it will only hasten its doom... Let God be witness of the bond that binds me and the Congress with you.”

In July, 1946, while the British cabinet was debating the issue of giving the Sikhs their due in the coming political settlement, Jawaharlal Nehru declared at the Congress meeting held in Kolkata: “The brave Sikhs of Punjab are entitled to special consideration. I see nothing wrong in an area and a setup in the North wherein the Sikhs can also experience the glow of freedom.”

On January 5, 1947, the Congress Committee adopted another resolution that declared: “By British Cabinet Scheme of May 16, 1946, the rights of the Sikhs should not be jeopardized.”

In June, 1947, Hindu and Sikh members of the Punjab Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a resolution that: “in the divided Punjab, special constitutional means are imperative to meet the just aspirations and rights of the Sikhs.” [6]

The Proposed Constitution of States in Independent India

As early as 1920, at the Nagpur session of the Congress, it was decided to reconstitute India on the basis of its linguistic cultural groupings – Bengal for Bengali-speakers, Tamil Nadu for Tamil-speakers, Punjab for Punjabi-speakers, and so on. This became the official Congress policy and was confirmed in every session held in 1921, 1927, 1928, 1937, 1938, and 1945-46.

Moreover, these states were promised considerable autonomy within a federal system. In Nehru's words from the first session of the Constituent Assembly, held on December 9, 1946: “...the various territories of the Union of India would be autonomous units with residuary powers.”

As for Punjab, to compensate for the loss of its capital of Lahore, the Indian half of the bifurcated state was awarded a new model capital to be built and named Chandigarh. [7]

Promises Broken

When the Constitution Act of India was declared in 1950, it declared Sikhism to be “a sect of Hinduism” and offered no safeguards to the Sikh community. Both Sikh members of the Constituent Assembly refused to sign the document. They declared vehemently that: “The Sikhs do not accept this Constitution. The Sikhs reject this Constitution Act.”

In subsequent years, all the personal laws of the Sikhs were abolished and replaced by Hindu statutes, such as the “Hindu Marriage Act 1955,” the “Hindu Succession Act 1956,” etc.

When in 1954 Jawaharlal Nehru was reminded of the solemn promises made to Sikhs and other minorities by the Hindu-dominated Congress party, he replied, “The circumstances have now changed.” [8]

The Struggle for a Punjabi-speaking State

With the Congress party turned against them, Sikhs began to take action to realize the promise of a Punjabi-speaking state. In 1952, the Congress lost its first election in the young country's history in the Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU). In PEPSU, a jurisdiction with a slim Sikh majority, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Akali party) of the Sikhs formed a coalition government.

After years of fruitless talks with Congress representatives in the capital of New Delhi, Sikhs filled the streets in nonviolent protests to pressure the government in 1955 and 1956. Conventions, protests, hunger fasts, and more fruitless negotiations followed. It was not until 1966, after Punjabi farmers had shown remarkable mettle and patriotism in helping repulse the Pakistani army during the war that year, that the national government agreed to create a Punjabi-speaking state.[9]

The award however left a number of issues unresolved. In granting a Punjabi-speaking jurisdiction, the government also broke the state into three: Haryana in the east, Himachal Pradesh in the north, and Punjab (India) in the south-west. Chandigarh, the capital specially built to serve Punjab, was to be shared with Haryana. The allocation of river waters flowing through the Punjab to neighbouring states also remained a point of contention.[10]

Anandpur Sahib Resolution

According to Maharaja Amarinder Singh of Patiala's extensive article on it in the Encyclopedia of Sikhism, the Anandpur Sahib Resolution is a landmark statement of the needs and aspirations of Punjab, and especially the Sikhs of Punjab. The document also made a bold case for more state independence from the highly centralized style of India's Central Government. It commissioned by the Akali party at an ebb in its electoral popularity. The twelve-member committee selected to pen a visionary document included Surjit Singh Barnala who would eventually become Chief Minister of Punjab and Gurcharan Singh Tohra, the President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee. The members took counsel from the eminent scholar Sirdar Kapur Singh over the course of their eleven meetings in 1973. The resolution was presented in October of that year at the holy city of Anandpur Sahib in October of that year adopted unanimously by the working committee of the Akali party.

Framed in a detailed historic, geographic and religious context, the first resolutions of the document call for the purification of Sikh practices and a consolidation of Sikh administrations world-wide. The next resolutions are political in nature. They call for: 1) the reintegration of contiguous Punjabi-speaking districts, including the capital of Chandigarh, within the current state of Punjab; 2) increased regional autonomy and the decentralization of India's government, with the centre's jurisdiction limited to defence, foreign relations, currency and communication; 3) adequate protection of Sikhs and other minorities outside Punjab; 4) a recasting of the balance of power between the states and federal authority in New Delhi; 5) a foreign policy based on peace and national self-interest; 6) non-discrimination in any government or defence services; 7) the rehabilitation of ex-servicemen; 8) the right of anyone without a criminal record to bear arms that have been registered; 9) a ban on the sale of alcohol and other intoxicants, and a ban on the consumption of intoxicants and smoking in public places. [11]

At the time of its passage at a national conference held in Ludiana, Punjab in 1978, Congress leaders gave it no response. Neither did the leader of the Janata Party, who was present. The ruling party in West Bengal state, which had been clamoring for more autonomy, saw nothing wrong with the Akalis making similar demands for Punjab, as did the ADMK party of the state of Tamil Nadu. Only later on would the Resolution be loudly decried by Congress leaders as proof positive of “Sikh separatist aspirations”. [12][13] In a thoughtful analysis of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution, R.S. Narula, retired Chief Justice of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, concluded in 1985, “The only way to save the country from disintegration is to accept and adopt the Anandpur Sahib Resolution for the entire country for every State unit of India.”[14]

The 1975-77 Save Democracy Campaign

When in June 1975 a high court ruled that Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was guilty of corrupt election practices and should be barred from holding office, Ms. Gandhi preempted public protests by declaring a national emergency. Under her enhanced powers, the prime minister had the leaders of the opposition parties and other outspoken critics jailed. She also imposed stringent censorship on the media. [15]

The first mass protest under the new emergency regime was organized by the Akali party and took place in Amritsar July 9. A statement to the press recalled the Sikh struggle for freedom under the Mughals, then under the British, and voiced concern whatever had been fought for and achieved was being lost. [16]

This period of dictatorship saw countless abuses of authority by the government. Perhaps the most outrageous infringement of human rights was the forced sterilization of millions of citizens in the name of “family planning”. [17] Publications that criticized the abuses were shut down, their editors sent to jail. Mass arrests, censorship and intimidation curtailed the opposition's popularity. After January 1976, the Sikhs remained virtually alone in their active resistance to the regime. Hailed by imprisoned opposition leaders as the “the vanguard of the Freedom Movement in the country”, they continued to come out in large numbers each month on the day of the new moon, symbolizing the dark night of Indian democracy, to court arrest. [18]

When attempts at pacifying the Akalis failed, Prime Minister Gandhi took the opportunity of the dictatorship to deal the Sikhs of her country two stunning blows. One was an award of Punjab waters which gave 75% of the river flow to neighboring non-riparian states, at great cost to the farmers of Punjab and in violation of international law on such rights. The second blow was a ruling from the Defence Ministry that future enrollment in the armed forces of Sikhs should be proportional to their percentage of the population of India. Whereas Sikhs had traditionally constituted 11% of the country's armed forces from a population of only 2%, this was another assault on the Sikhs of India. [19]

The prime minister's days of dictatorship came to an unexpected end when she called elections for March 1977. With their voices returned to them, the people of India trounced Indira Gandhi at the polls. According to Amnesty International, 140,000 people had been detained without trial during the twenty months of Mrs. Gandhi's emergency.[20] Of them, 40,000 were Sikhs. [21] Indira Gandhi would never forget. When she returned to power in 1980, she would come down hard on the Sikhs. [22]

The 1978 Martyrs of Amritsar

On April 13, 1978, a religious holiday, a group of Sikhs in Amritsar was fired upon as they conducted a peaceful demonstration against the defamation of their religion by Baba Gurbachan Singh, the leader of a government-supported sect called the “Nirankaris”. Thirteen of the protesters died. [23]

This was a disturbing indication that even in their holiest of cities, even in an independent and secular Indian democracy, with the Akali party, ostensibly the political party of the Sikhs in power in Punjab, the security of Sikhs and the integrity of their religion was under threat. Gurbachan Singh was escorted to the safety of his home in Delhi by the Punjab police. When a criminal case was filed against him, the Baba had his case transferred to neighbouring Haryana state, where he was acquited the following year. The Punjab government of Akali Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal decided not to appeal the decision. [24]

The significance of the killings in the Hindu media and among Hindu political parties was an outpouring of sentiment for the Nirankaris' freedom to worship or vilify Sikhism as they pleased. Among Sikhs there was a great frustration at this perceived sacrilege and the legal immunity of the perpetrators. This gave rise to new organizational expressions of Sikh aspirations outside the Akali party. It also created a sentiment that if the government and judiciary would not prosecute enemies of Sikhism, taking extrajudical measures could be justified. [25]

The chief proponents of this attitude were the Babbar Khalsa founded by the widow, Bibi Amarjit Kaur of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha, whose husband Fauja Singh had been at the head of the march in Amritsar; the Damdami Taksal led by the outspoken preacher Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale who had also been in Amritsar on the day of the outrage; the Dal Khalsa, formed with the object of demanding a sovereign Sikh state; and the All India Sikh Students Federation, which was banned by the government. [26]

The PM Stonewalls

A government-issued “White Paper on the Punjab Agitation” issued in 1984 to put the blame for the escalating tensions on the Akali party, cited 26 meetings between Akali leaders and the Central Government between November 16, 1981 and February 2, 1984. While the government accused the Akalis of thwarting progress at each step by shifting their stand and coming up with new demands, other, non-governmental sources maintained that on five occasions the terms of a settlement were almost finalized and it was not the Akalis, but Mrs. Gandhi who reneged on her commitments.

One such agreement was arrived at by Akali leaders and Mrs. Gandhi's representatives on November 2, 1982. It was agreed that the settlement would be announced the next day in Parliament. The announcement made in Parliament turned out to be different from the agreement reached the day before. Akali leaders denounced it and complained of a betrayal of trust. Swaran Singh, a respected Congress party stalwart and negotiator on behalf of Mrs. Gandhi, commented, “This is neither the language of the statement nor the spirit.” Swaran Singh the statesman refused to partake in future negotiations.

At the insistence of opposition leaders, negotiations resumed early in 1983, with more breakdowns. This pattern continued up to February 1984. [27]

The Peaceful Campaign for Justice

The campaign to achieve justice from the central Indian government began August 4, 1982 under the leadership of the Akali party president, Sant Harchand Singh Longowal. All in all, it endured some twenty-two months and saw the arrest of more than 200,000 demonstrators in Amritsar. [28]

The overall campaign was marked by several individual demonstrations. One of the earliest had an unexpected outcome. When Sant Longowal declared that Sikhs would demonstrate against the Central Government's injustices at the opening of the Asian Games scheduled to begin in Delhi on November 19, 1982, the Prime Minister called on her ally, the Chief Minister of Haryana to harrass and prevent Sikhs traveling by road or rail from neighbouring Punjab to Delhi. This the Haryana police did with great zeal and in the process humiliated and radicalized many distinguished and highly decorated Sikh civilians and army officers coming to the games. [29]

On January 4, 1983 there was a mass stoppage of traffic on the major highways. On June 17, 1983 rail traffic was halted by large-scale protests. A state-wide work stoppage was held on August 29, 1983. On January 26, 1984 article 25(a) of the constitution indicating Sikhs are Hindus was publicly burned. [30] Finally, Sant Longowal announced that as of June 3, 1984 would practice civil disobedience by refusing to pay land revenue, water and electricity bills, and block the flow of grain out of Punjab. [31]

Principal Characters

Harchand Singh Longowal

The modest and soft-spoken priest of his village Gurdwara, Sant Longowal was called on in 1975 to lead the Sikh opposition to Indira Gandhi's martial law regime. Afterwards, he retired from public life, only to be called back in 1980 to preside over the Akali party. In this role, he organized large-scale campaigns of civil disobedience to win concessions from India's Central Government on the longstanding grievances of Punjab, and especially the Sikhs of Punjab. Sant Longowal also led the Akali side in years of frustrating negotiations with Mrs. Gandhi, talks that served to undermine public faith in the course of peaceful dialogue with the government. This, in turn strengthened the hand of extremists and separatists. [32]

During the Central Government's ongoing campaign to discredit the Sikhs and paint them as seditious and bad for the country, Sant Longowal was several times called on to explain his vision of the aspirations of Sikhs in India: “Let me make it clear once and for all that the Sikhs have no designs to get away from India in any manner. What they want simply is that they should be allowed to live in India as Sikhs, free from all direct and indirect interference and tampering with their religious way of life. Undoubtedly the Sikhs have the same nationality as other Indians.” 11/10/82 [33]

In July of 1982, Sant Longowal invited Jarnail Singh Bindranwale to take up residence at the Golden Temple compound. He called the tough-minded Sant “our stave to beat the government.” [34]

Indira Gandhi

The daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister, and herself a formidable politician, Indira Gandhi won three elections and herself served as leader of the country from 1966-1977 and from 1980 until her assassination in 1984.

Mrs. Gandhi's rule had four distinctive characteristics. First was her renown and success on the international stage as a leader of the so-called “Non-aligned Movement,” as a war prime minister in the 1971 conflict with Pakistan that resulted in the independence of Bangladesh, and as a voice for nuclear disarmament.

The prime minister's second notable characteristic was her unwillingness to allow the existence of any potential rival in her government or her party. She constantly used her executive authority to transfer or simply dismiss politicians of ability and perceived popularity. Only her own sons, first Sanjay, and then Rajiv, were spared this treatment.

The third quality of Prime Minister Gandhi's administration was the constant political conflict, the virtual chaos which she engendered, usually to her advantage. State ministries were dismissed and ministers appointed and reappointed at her pleasure. At various times, she played the poor against the rich, low castes against high castes, Muslims against Hindus, and Hindus against everybody else, for their electoral votes. In Assam, she set the migrant Bengalis against the Assamese. And she played the Sikhs very well, the moderates against the radicals, and of course, against her majority Hindu government. [35] Indira Gandhi's political behavior could by turns be paranoid, utterly vindictive, or in her later years, simply out of touch. [36] This high wire pandemonium was a winning political formula for her, if not for the country. By August of 1984, a sober political commentator had no hesitation in writing that never since India's independence had there “been a time when it has been so widely feared, and so openly said by so many, that the Prime Minister of the country has become a dange to national unity.” [37]

The fourth characteristic of Prime Minister Gandhi's regime was her laudable support of science and technology. This resulted in the advent of Indian nuclear power, as well as nuclear military capability. It was also during her time in office that India saw its first man in space about a Soviet space station, and launched its own satellites, singly and in cooperation with France. [38]

Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale

Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale inherited his “Sant” moniker from the leader of the Damdami religious college, Sant Kartar Singh, when the respected teacher died in a car crash and Jarnail Singh took his place. Opinions of his role in the Punjab conflict vary considerably from the urbane Khushwant Singh who considered Bhindranwale uncouth and simple-minded, [39] to Harbans Singh, editor of the Encyclopedia of Sikhism, who in his entry described him as “a phenomenal figure of modern Sikhism who within his seven brief years of a total of 37, marked by a precipitous course, emerged as a man of extraordinary grit and charisma.” [40] Yet even Khushwant Singh, who believed he had been on Bhindranwale's hit list, allowed that the Sikh preacher-become-activist genuinely made no distinction between higher and lower castes, and that he had restored thousands of drunken or doped Sikh men, innured to porno films, to their families. [41]

Sant Bhindranwale was in Amritsar urging demonstrators on before the deadly protest against the defamation of their religion by Baba Gurbachan Singh that resulted in the martyrdom of thirteen Sikhs. Afterwards, he criticized the Akali government in Punjab for its complicity in the event. [42]

Jarnail Singh was a charismatic religious reformer. His basic credo was, “Give up intoxicants. Take Khalsa baptism. Become a good Sikh.” Through his influences, many people did leave their old ways and enter the path of Khalsa – out of inspiration or fear of a beating. [43]

When the Nirankari Baba who responsible for the thirteen Sikh martyrs in Amritsar was himself shot to death on April 24, 1980, Bhindranwale openly celebrated the development, which put him under suspicion. Lala Jagat Narain was a Hindu, a supporter of the Nirankaris, the editor of a widely circulated paper in which he had campaigned against Punjabi being adopted as a medium of instruction in Hindu schools, urged Hindus of Punjab to reply to government census that Hindi and not Punjabi was their mother tongue, decried the Anandpur Sahib Resolution, and cast aspersions on the patriotism of most Sikhs. Jarnail Singh had often spoken against him, so when the well-known editor was found killed on September 9, once again, his involvement was suspected. Bhindranwale gave a empowered speech at a large Gurdwara assembly before giving himself up to arrest eleven days later. Less than a month later, he was released. Home Minister Giani Zail Singh told Parliament Bhindranwale was innocent. He left the Ferozepur jail a hero. [44]

The law and order situation started to deteriorate. While the Akalis pressed on with their two-pronged strategy of negotiations and massive campaigns of civil disobedience directed at the Central Government, others were not so enamoured of nonviolence. Communists known as “Naxalites”, armed Sikh groups – the “Babbar Khalsa” and “Dal Khalsa (International)”, criminal gangs and the police clashed, and sometimes worked hand in hand. A covert government group known as the Third Agency was also engaged in dividing and destabilizing the Sikh movement through the use of undercover officers, paid informants and agents provocateurs. [45] Bhindranwale himself always wore a pistol belt and encouraged his followers to be armed. [46]

In late July 1983, finding an increasing number of his followers arrested day by day, Sant Bhindranwale left his base in Chowk Mehta to start a peaceful campaign for their release from the Golden Temple complex. From there, he joined his campaign to the Akali campaign for their political, economic, cultural, and religious demands. [47]

In the chaos of Punjab, Sant Bhindranwale developed a reputation as a man of principle who could settle people's problems about land, property or any other matter without needless formality or delay. The judgement would be accepted by both parties and carried out. This added to his popularity. [48]

In December 1983, finding himself in danger of being arrested for threats he had made against chauvinist Hindu organizations, Jarnail Singh and his entourage moved to the holy Akal Takhat over the objections of Giani Kirpal Singh, the Jathedar of the Akal Takhat. Bhindranwale used his political connection with Gurcharan Singh Tohra, president of the Gurdwara committee and the man responsible for keeping the peace in the Golden Temple complex, to overrule the indignant Jathedar. [49] As negotiations with the Central Government increasingly went nowhere, Bhindranwale became bitterly critical of Sant Longowal's non-violent tactics. [50] By March, Bhindranwale was having the Golden Temple complex secured with sandbag emplacements and other fortifications in preparation of an attack. [51]

Yogi Bhajan

Yogi Bhajan played a unique role in the unfolding cataclysm. He was familiar with people on both sides of the conflict. Through his time in Delhi, teaching at the Vishwayatan Yoga Ashram of Swami Dhirendra Acharya, he had come to know the ruling Nehru family who were patrons and students of the swami. [52] He was also well-connected with Sikhs, holy men and politicians alike.

Yogi Bhajan, given the unique spiritual designation “Siri Singh Sahib” by the elected leaders of the SGPC and Akali party in 1971 for his work spreading Sikh teachings in the west, also brought a visionary sense and a global perspective to the situation. In the first month of 1980, Yogi Bhajan was visited by a terrible vision of destruction at the Golden Temple. In response, he had 250 letters sent to Sikh leaders in India urging them to unite in order to avoid a tidal wave of destruction within two years. Yogi Bhajan also spent January and February of that year in India meeting with leaders on all sides with a view to preventing that outcome. [53] This effort continued in his annual visits to India through 1984. [54] [55]

In early 1982, Yogi Bhajan met with the Akali high command in Teja Singh Samundri Hall at the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar. On that occasion, he warned them of the danger in the international community of Sikhs being labelled as terrorists. Yogi Bhajan also advised the Sikh leaders that in Indira Gandhi's gambit to win popular support she could either send the Indian army into Sri Lanka to protect the Tamil minority there or she could target the Sikhs. Either way, she could come out as “saviour of the Hindus”. According to Yogi Bhajan, the choice belonged to the Sikh leaders. He advised they conduct an information campaign using the Sikh President of India, Giani Zail Singh as a symbol to show the world Sikhs are peaceful people. The leaders, all of them members of the Akali party, however could not fathom using their long-time political foe as a positive instrument for peace and self-preservation. Yogi Bhajan also suggested highlighting the tradition of Bhai Khanaiya as the first Red Cross Society in history and the tradition of Guru Gobind Singh whose arrows were embedded with gold so even enemies who died could have their last rites done gracefully. He proposed that Baba Nihal Singh, the leader of the Taruna Dal of Nihung Sikhs based in Harianbela be made the head priest of the Akal Takhat, the Sikh seat of temporal authority. Yogi Bhajan promised that if they did this and afterwards anything untoward happened to the Nation of Khalsa, he would present himself before them to receive any punishment they would like to award. Rather, he promised that if Baba Nihal Singh were made Jathedar of the Akal Takhat, Sikhs would come through their trial with victory and grace. This proposal was also unacceptable to the political leadership. For all Yogi Bhajan's advice and consideration, the leaders did not alter their tactics. [56]

When the mobilization against India's Central Government turned ugly with the targeted killing of six Hindu bus passengers at Dhilwan, Punjab on October 5, 1983, he sent money to the victims' families and a telegram to the Sant Longowal to call a halt to the campaign for a few weeks, until peace returned. When the Golden Temple complex was then attacked and overrun by the Indian army, Yogi Bhajan proclaimed that the event marked the end of a dynasty.[57]

On Yogi Bhajan's visit to Amritsar in 1983, he was summoned by Baba Kharak Singh, the elderly and widely respected builder and maintainer of holy places. Then, in the presence of Sant Harchand Singh, Sant Jarnail Singh, and Abhinashi Singh, the SGPC Secretary, Baba Kharak Singh gave Yogi Bhajan two blankets, four embroidered sheets, and 800 rupees as an offering of appreciation. He then predicted that there would be a time of great pain in the west and the east. As a remedy, Baba Kharak Singh dispensed a mantra for Yogi Bhajan to recite: “Aap sahaa-ee ho-aa, sachay daa, sachaa DHo-aa.” [58]

Yogi Bhajan's contact with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in the summer of 1983 may have instrumental in the pontiff's awareness of Sikhs and his timely proclamation of goodwill at the time of the Golden Temple attack and massacre. [59] He was also persuasive in keeping India's Sikh President, Giani Zail Singh from resigning his position in protest, a move that he anticipated would bring on even greater disunity and bloodshed. [60]

Unlike many Sikh leaders in the west, Yogi Bhajan was cool to the idea of a small separatist homeland where Sikhs might find security. He pointed out that whenever Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister, the so-called “President of Khalistan” would be at his post in London, but when she was out of power, he would come to India. Why, Yogi Bhajan asked, was this? [61] Yogi Bhajan's vision was vast, global, and inclusive. Rather than Khalistan, he vouched for “Duniastan” - the World as our Homeland [62]. Yogi Bhajan convened a conference in New Mexico, June 23-25, 1984 to chart a response to events in India. The outcome of the gathering was an agreement on a series of objectives including an international investigation of the disaster, free media access to Punjab, proper medical care to the wounded, the return of Sikh temples to Sikh control, the release of Sikh prisoners, withdrawal of the army, police and paramilitaries from Punjab, and restoration of civil rights to Sikhs throughout India. [63]

Yogi Bhajan suspected a larger Soviet agenda behind the humiliating destruction, which he termed the “martyrdom of the Akal Takhat”. The Soviets and their influential Marxist allies in India needed to eliminate or demoralize the Sikhs in order to achieve their objective of a secular, Communist state in south Asia. The plucky Sikhs were targeted because they were found to be prosperous, essential to India's agriculture and to its armed forces, and were proven opponents of political oppression. The first objective of the Soviet plan was to discredit Sikhs as violent terrorists. In a November 1984 interview, he described Jarnail Singh Bindranwala as an “armed plant”. He also accused the KGB of involvement in Mrs. Gandhi's assassination, saying the Soviet Union prefered a weaker Rajiv as Prime Minister over his powerful, independently-minded mother. [64]

Zail Singh

Zail Singh was the Chief Minister of Punjab from 1972-77, and the President of India 1982-87. He served his entire political career as a member of the Congress party, not the traditional Sikh party, the Akali party. As such, he managed to “out-Sikh” the Akalis during his tenure as chief minister. He arranged massive religious gatherings, started public functions with a traditional Sikh prayer, inaugurated a highway named after Guru Gobind Singh, and named a township after the Guru's son. [65]

In 1980, Zail Singh won a seat in national elections and was chosen to join Indira Gandhi's cabinet as Home Minister. In 1982, he was chosen to serve as President of India by an almost unanimous vote of all parties. [66] President Zail Singh served in a largely ceremonial capacity beside the shrewdly political Prime Minister Gandhi, though protocol dictated that he should be briefed every week by the prime minister on affairs of state. The day before the army was sent into Amritsar, Mrs. Gandhi and the president met for more than an hour, but she omitted even sharing a word about her plan to attack the temple. [67]

The 1984 Holocaust

The violent government oppression and genocide of Sikhs particularly in Punjab, but also in Delhi, Kanpur, Bokaro and elsewhere in India, began with the army assault on the Golden Temple in June of 1984, ostensibly to remove militants ensconced therein. It then continued with a massive paramilitary and police presence in Punjab, and systematic killings and human rights abuses that continued into the mid 1990s. Soon, turbaned youths aged 15-25 years became a rarity since so many of them had been picked up or killed by the authorities. [68]

The holocaust is widely considered to have half its roots in grievances, most of them dating since the creation of the Republic of India, of the Sikhs of Punjab. There were issues of greater autonomy, water rights, local control over agricultural production and prices, and then there were issues fundamental to their identity, such as the Constitution which defines Sikhs as Hindus and thus denies the existence of the Sikh religion. More recent hardships were experienced when the army systematically reduced the proportion of Sikhs in uniform, thereby causing a dramatic rise in educated unemployed in Punjab and depriving many families of a traditional source of income. Investment in Punjab through the centrally planned economy also lagged, falling from 2% to 0.8%, placing further financial burdens on the state. [69]

For Prime Minister Gandhi, there was also the dual motivation of settling a score with the Sikhs who had been her relentless foe during her Emergency - and political opportunism, playing the role of the great vanquisher of Sikh separatists with an eye to winning the majority Hindu vote. [70]

According to Yogi Bhajan, there was also a larger geopolitical agenda at play with India's important ally and advisor, the USSR seeking to diminish the influence of the prosperous and politically engaged Sikh community in order to usher in an era of sovietization in south Asia. [71] The significance of the Communist Party was considerable and not to be underestimated. Many of Indira Gandhi's own Congress party members were strategic Communists set on achieving their agenda from within her party. [72] Even Sikh temples in Punjab were said to have been infiltrated with bearded, beturbaned Communists. [73] Moreover, Harkishan Singh Surjeet, a member of the Communist Party (Marxist) of India politburo, was close enough to Mrs. Gandhi to be entrusted with negotiating with the Akalis on her behalf. [74]

After the attack on the Golden Temple, Yogi Bhajan explained there was also another reason for the tragedy. Nothing else, he said, would have awakened the mass of Sikhs from their complacency about their identity. So while identifiable Sikhs in Punjab bore the brunt of army and police violence, shaven and short-haired Sikhs abroad began to re-examine their lives and religious priorities. Thousands returned to wearing their distinctive turbans. Some of these went beyond mere ostentation and began to live piously as a Sikhs. [75]

The Army Attack

Preparations for the attack on the Golden Temple complex dated back to January 15, 1984, when the Prime Minister gave instructions to her Defence Minister. A large replica of the complex at Chakrata and Sarasawa near Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh was used for practical exercises. Army men began to make reconnaissance of the the actual site. [76] Even as Mrs. Gandhi reinterated in Parliament that she would not send police into the Golden Temple, by mid-April the Central Government had made arrangements with Punjab's state government for the army's arrival on the scene. [77]

Details of the Attack

The following quotes are from a witness to the events named Bhan Singh, as quoted by Khushwant Singh in his, “Genesis of the Hindu-Sikh Divide, The Punjab Story” .

“On the morning of 1 June 1984, CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) began to fire on the Golden Temple from different directions. The firing continued all day. As a result of this firing one Kulwant Singh was killed in Gurdwara Baba Atal and five men were killed in the Akal Takht. The firing was reckless and 32 bullet marks were seen on the walls of the Harimandir (Golden Temple).

“On June 3, curfew was imposed on the entire State; all manner of traffic was stopped and communication including telephones was cut off. Sunday 3 June was the anniversary of the martyrdom of Guru Arjun. Because of the relaxation in the curfew pilgrims had been able to enter the Parikarma (marble walkway around the pool surrounding the Golden Temple). A large number of them slept the night in the Parikarma. So did many sevadars (temple volunteers), paathis (scripture readers) and the devout who normally clean temple premises at night. Volunteers numbering between 1800 and 1900 who had come to participate in the dharamyudh morcha (civil disobedience campaign) to offer themselves for arrest were in Teja Samundari Hall and Guru Ram Das Nivas. Amongst them were 1300 Akali workers under the leadership of Jathedar Nacchattar Singh including 200 women and 18 children.

“On the morning of 4 June at 4:40 a.m. army cannons and machine guns began to fire. There was no kind of notice or warning given. The firing went on all day into the night. I spent the night in my office in Teja Singh Samundari Hall. Most of the shells fell on the Akal Takhat, Baba Atal, the Water Tower, Guru Nanak Niwas, Guru Ram Das Langar, and buildings behind the Akal Takhat. Firing continued till five o'clock on the evening of 5 June. At 5:15 p.m. Two Sikhs came from the Baghwali Gali (alley) which runs behind Guru Ram Das Niwas with the message that Sardar Abhashi Singh was wanted outside by Sardar Apar Singh Bajwa, DSP with the news that the army would stop firing from 4 to 5:30 p.m., so that anyone who wanted to come out could do so. I and Abhashi Singh conveyed the information to Sant Longowal and Sardar Gurcharan Singh Tohra. They asked me, S Balwant Singh Ramoowalia and Abhashi Singh to go out and persuade the DSP to extend the time by an hour so that women, children and other helpless people could get out. However, when we were still at the Gali, the firing was resumed with even greater intensity. During the interval about 40 to 50 armed Sikhs came from the Parikarma to Guru Ram Das Niwas and took positions on the roof-tops and began to return the army's fire. With this the army bombardment came to be directed towards Guru Ram Das Niwas, Teja Singh Samundari Hall and rooms of the Dharam Parchar Committee. We sat down in the middle room of Teja Singh Samundari Hall while Sant Longowal and Tohra along with ten Sikhs went into the president's room. We spent the entire night awake because of the firing.

“On the morning of 6 June, the army came inside Guru Ram Das Niwas and entered Teja Singh Samundari Hall. Sant Longowal, Tohra, Bibi Amarjit Kaur and other Sikhs with them were taken into custody by the jawans (soldiers) led by two officers and escorted away. We followed them from Teja Singh Samundari Hall towards Ram Das Niwas. In this time about 200 to 250 Sikhs had collected, of which many sat down in the courtyard of the Niwas. From the upper story of the Niwas a grenade fell on them. Jathedar Bagga Singh, a soldier and some Sikhs were killed. Nacchatar Singh's leg was blown off. He did not receive medical attention and succumbed to his injuries after four hours. When the grenade fell it was still somewhat dark. Soldiers lost their tempers and began to fire wildly killing between 30 and 35 people including women, children and aged people. Amongst the many who were injured were committee employees Raj Singh, Dayal Singh and Gurubachan Singh. The injured men came to me and asked for medical help. I spoke to a subedar (sergeant) who sent a soldier to escort me to his major. When I got to the major I saw about 35 or 36 young Sikhs lined up with their hands raised above their heads and the major about to order them to be shot. When I asked him for medical aid he got up into a rage, tore my turban off my head and ordered his men to shoot me. I turned back and fled jumping over bodies of the dead and injured and saved my life crawling along the walls. I got to the room where Tohra and Sant Longowal were sitting and told them of what I had seen. S Karnail Singh Nag who had followed me also narrated what he had seen as well as the killing of 35 to 36 young Sikhs by cannon fire. All these youngsters were villagers of which about 20 to 21 wore long darhi (beards) and others were mona (shaven). All of them had been hauled out of the Guru Ram Das Sarai. The incident took place around 8:30 p.m.

“We had nothing to eat or drink the day earlier. This day also we went hungry and thirsty. At about 4 o'clock, Tohra, Longowal and their companions were taken out. People were crying for water. Some slaked their thirst with dirty water which had run down the damaged water tank and was mixed with blood and dirt of the courtyard. Of them nearly 120 were injured. There was no Red Cross or medical aid of any kind available for them. At 7 o'clock they began to remove the corpses and by 9 we were taken to military camps... Signed, Bhan Singh, 23 June 1984” [78]

The army had in fact achieved the objective set out for it. It had captured the Golden Temple complex and killed Sant Bhindranwale. By this time, only sporadic sniper fire rained on the troops from hidden implacements, here and there in the complex. [79]

Elsewhere in Punjab, forty-two other Gurdwaras were also attacked and taken over by the army, with many resulting deaths and wholesale rounding up of Sikhs, innocent ot not. [80]

That evening between 10:30 and midnight, the people from the surrounding countryside began to converge on Amritsar, hoping to reach the Golden Temple. According to a lone reporter who was able to hear them, they came chanting in three waves from three directions. In each case, their chanting was met with rapid army machinegun fire and dispersed. [81]

Since early that day, garbage trucks had been busy around the clock, and would remain busy for several days and nights, hauling the bodies of men, women and children from the Harimandir to the crematorium. There, the corpses were burned in heaps of twenty with no thought of identification, the only concern being the preservation of scarce firewood. [82]

International Response to the Attack

Pope John Paul II took time from a tour in Switzerland to comment on the terrible hardship in Punjab:

“In recent days there has been news of ever more serious happenings in the State of Punjab in India, tragic events that have registered the sad total of several hundreds of victims and tha unfortunately do not yet appear to have ended. It is not my wish to go into the delicate and complex reasons that are at the root of these disturbances in a great country that is a crucible of races and ancient cultures and, what's more, enlivened by a keen religious sense. But it is a saddening fact that the place where so many people met a tragic death is in a temple where people are accustomed to gather for prayer. May a sentiment of human pity arise immediately for all victims, accompanied by that prayer that in mutual understanding the way to settle the present conflict may be found.” (June 10, 1984) [83]

Excerpt from The New Yorker Magazine:

A Military Solution

...Mrs. Gandhi was, of course, fully aware of the distinctive character of the Sikhs. (A grandfather of her younger daughter-in-law, Maneka, was a prominent Sikh.) Two years ago, she could almost certainly have defused the extremist movement by engaging in negotiation and making some strategic concessions to the moderates. Failing that, she could have forcibly cleared Bhindranwale and his followers out of the Golden Temple before they had a chance to amass arms and, with the collusion of Sikh police in Punjab, turn it into a virtual fortress. Even at the eleventh hour, she could have instructed her troops not to shoot their way into the temple, but to lay seige to it – cut off supplies of food and water ans starve the extremists out. But that would have taken weeks and given the extremists a chance to publicize their demands, and might have left her with the embarassment of making them political prisoners. (Jails in India have proved even better political platforms than temples.) Anyway, as she had often done before, she chose a military solution to a political problem – this time perhaps because she calculated that her crackdown on the Sikhs would win her more Hindu votes in the next general election, which she is constitutionally required to hold by January, 1985... (June 25, 1984) [84]

Medals Returned, Sikh Troops Mutiny

After the attack, the Maharaja of Patiala, Amarinder Singh gave up his membership in the Congress party and his seat in the Indian Parliament. Khushwant Singh, author and journalist and Member of Parliament condemned the attack in the country's legislative assembly. He also resigned from the Parliament and the Congress party, returned his prestigious Padma Shri medal. Several members of the Punjab legislature also resigned. Historian Ganda Singh, Sadhu Singh Hamdard – editor of the Ajit newpaper, and Bhagat Puran Singh – known for his selfless service of lepers and destitutes, all returned honours the government has bestowed on them. [85]

Of the 120,000 Sikh soldiers in the Indian army, about 4,000 deserted their regiments. At eight cantonments in different parts of the country, begrieved troops slew their officers and attempted to reach Amritsar. They were intercepted on the way by local police and the army. In the clashes, scores of men were killed on either side and the remaining deserters captured. [86]

Disinformation in India

While the growth of the Indian print media, which unlike radio was not government-run, was directly related to the growth of political consciousness during people's the struggle for their country's independence, during and after Indira Gandhi's Emergency of 1975-77, the media of India have shown themselves to be less critical than they used to be. [87] In the case of the Central Government's debacle with the Sikhs, the censorship practices of the Emergency were replaced by self-censorship, and for good reason. Patronage (in the form of lucrative advertising, access to government ministers, and timely government interventions) and punishment (through the denial of newsprint quotas and advertising) were still alive and well in the Indian media. While the media could be highly critical about a broad range of subjects, an editor would be most diligent in avoiding criticism of the government on others. The government's policy toward Punjab was one of the short list of subjects that was off limits for criticism. [88]

So it was that the newspapers of Delhi and most of the country presented a united front, almost daily attacking, underming, and questioning the very patriotism of the country's Sikhs, not just a few of them, but generally all of the en masse. From the beginning of the Akali movement to win justice from the Central Government, the media collectively misrepresented and maligned it. Reporters and their editors failed to distinguish between the moderates aligned with the Akali party, and extremists aligned with Bhindranwale. In this view, all Sikhs were terrorists. All Sikhs were to be condemned and “taught a lesson.” [89]

In effect, any crime commited by someone with a turban was now glibly attributed to Sikh extremists, but without any investigative reporting as to who exactly was behind it. Other kinds of terror, those committed by the police, paramilitaries, and later the army, generally merited no mention whatsoever in the media. [90] Moreover, the media gave up its role as a court of open debate and discussion of important government policies. All the major papers were of one mind – Sikhs were advocating the disintegration of the country and Indira Gandhi was going to save the country from the seditionist Sikhs. As one slogan put it: “Indira is India!” [91]

So it was that when Akalis ceremonially burned the section of the Indian constitution that denied the very existence of the Sikh faith, headlines presented that they were going to burn the entire constitution, an act of treason! Few thought to consider the merit of the Akali demand or that if they were asking for a change in a section of the constitution, they must be having faith in the rest of the document. [92]

While television and radio were already directly controlled by India's Central Government, one month before the army was set on the Golden Temple, the Broadcasting Minister, H.K.L. Bhagat individually called on all the editors of Delhi newpapers to seek their assurance they would support the government should “strong action” be taken. The support, in fact, was overwhelming. Many wrote front page editorials congratulating the Prime Minister and saluting the Indian army for its “successful operation.” Not a word of sober reflection was printed. The treatment of the press in Punjab itself was forceful and intimidating. For several days, no papers were allowed to publish, and then only under strict censorship. [93]

It is not surprising then that all journalists were expelled from Punjab before the army's onslaught and that select groups of reporters were only allowed to tour the Golden Temple complex afterwards in tightly shepherded tours. [94] Neither should it be surprising that the campaign to discredit Sikhs continued with headline stories, later to be retracted but in small paragraphs tucked away on the inside pages. Front pages shouted of a large quantity of heroin, hashish and foreign currency found in searches of the Golden Temple complex. Others proclaimed that women had been forcibly kept there. Retired Major-General Shahbeg Singh, who had won honours for his role in the liberation of Bangladesh, was repeatedly tarred with the brush that he had been dismissed from the army on corruption charges, the press neglecting in their smear campaign to mention that Shahbeg Singh had subsequently been acquited of all charges. As for Bhindranwale's death, an early report indicated he had committed suicide, that he had been killed by his own men, then finally that he had been killed in battle. [95]

Another aspect of the government's campaign of blatant obfuscation was its constant repetition that the attack on the Golden Temple had been necessary, and the operation had been conducted with due reverence and respect of the holy sanctuary. This view was published in detail in a government document called the White Paper on the Punjab Agitation issued July 10, 1984. Other reports however indicate the conduct of the troops was less than respectful. After original reports that the Golden Temple had been unscathed the eminent author and Member of the Indian Parliament, Khushwant Singh reported in that legislature that he himself had gone to Amritsar and seen fresh bullet marks by the score, a hand-written copy of the holy Sikh scripture pierced by a bullet, and that he had been informed a blind minstrel was killed inside while singing hymns. [96] Other reports at first told anyone willing to believe them that the second holiest shrine, the Akal Takhat, had been undamaged. The reports indicated the damage had been only slight. Finally, we were told it had in fact been devastated and needed to be rebuilt. [97] Moreover, the archivist D.S. Duggal was categorical that thousands of artifacts were set on fire after the fight for the Golden Temple was over. Large chests filled with donations and priceless historic relics also disappeared with the army. [98] As for the deaths of innocent Sikh pilgrims men, women and children at the holy shrine on a festive holy day, these were occasion for some creative arithmetic. Most eye-witness accounts reckon somewhere between 1,500 and 5,000 mostly innocent pilgrims, including women and children as casualties of the army attack. The army admits of only 554 “civilian-terrorists” killed and 121 injured. [99]

Despite all the incendiary media, longstanding relations between Hindus and Sikhs in Punjab remained largely amicable. Even in Delhi, when the Prime Minister was killed by her Sikh bodyguards, and hooligans began a blood-thirsty anti-Sikh pogrom, many Sikhs found themselves and their property protected by their Hindu neighbours. [100] But in the heat of vengeance, anti-Sikh reports abounded and stirred up new hatreds. Rumours were set afloat that Sikhs in India were celebrating the killing of the Prime Minister by dancing bhangra in the streets and distributing sweets. Other stories spread that trainloads of Hindus murdered by Sikhs had arrived in Delhi. By midnight, a new rumour abounded that Sikhs had poisoned Delhi's drinking water. All the while, the government-controlled TV showed continuous pictures of Mrs. Gandhi's body lying in state, with occasional shots of crowds shouting “Blood for blood!” and “Long live Indira Gandhi!” The stage was set for a bloodbath. [101]

In the aftermath, there was more government cooking of figures. government-controlled media put the fatalities from the three days of violence at just 400. It turned out that the Sikh widows from the first two days of killing in Delhi alone numbered more than 1,000. Added to this, pogroms in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar created a figure of around 10,000. [102]

The next and final grand piece of anti-Sikh propaganda came out during Rajiv Gandhi's election campaign shortly after his mother's assassination. The campaign played aggressively on the so-called Sikh threat to national unity. Sensational life-size posters of Mrs. Gandhi's assassination were plastered all over the country. Provocation slogans included the likes of: “Will the country's border finally be moved to your doorstep?” and “Why should you feel uncomfortable riding in a taxi driven by a driver who belongs to another state?” Rajiv Gandhi and his Congress (I) party won by a landslide with one sole Sikh on their ticket. [103]

Events in 1985 showed the Indian government could be inimicable to narratives of the army attack on the Golden Temple and subsequent repression in Punjab that did not correspond with its own. When a team of five researchers led by Mrs. Amiya Rao interviewed eye-witnesses to the army attack and published it with a forward by Justice V.M. Tarkunde under the title To The Nation: Oppression in Punjab, the book was promptly seized and banned by the government. Shortly thereafter, all five researchers were arrested and charged with terror-related offences. The book was subsequently printed secretly in India and abroad, and widely circulated. [104]

Author Patwant Singh in The Sikhs critiques the Indian government's tendency to “cloud the issues and to distract public attention from them.” This involved Indian prime ministers from Indira Gandhi to Inder Kumar Gujral "launching a worldwide diatribe against 'terrorism' through a series of joint communiques with every conceivable head of state. Sikhs were made to appear as disturbers of the peace, the Indian state as the victim."[105] Another aspect of the disinformation strategy in the case of the Sikhs, continues Patwant Singh, was to project neighbouring Pakistan as “the arch-villain; the abettor, instigator and even motivator of the Sikh struggle.” Problems with the Sikhs, he continues, “Were created by New Delhi, not Islamabad. Pakistan had nothing to do with the campaign to persuade the state's non-Sikhs to disown their own language, or the assault on the Golden Temple complex, or the 1984 massacre, or rewarding instigators of those killings with parliamentary tickets and ministerial berths, or stonewalling the attempts to punish them, or refusing to make Chandigarh Punjab's capital, or taking away Punjab's territories and river waters.” [106]

Disinformation in Canada

By Canadian standards, the handful of Sikhs in Canada in the early 1980s who were promoting Khalistan were involved in legitimate dissent. But for the Indian government, this dissent amounted to sedition. The only way India could disrupt support for the Khalistan movement in Canada was by disgracing Sikhs in the minds of other Canadians. On April 9, 1981, Zail Singh, then India's home (justice) minister, announced that his government was launching a surveillance operation against expatriate Sikhs involved in the Khalistan movement. [107] That operation turned out to be more than an intelligence operation. According to a report in India Today, the plan was to hijack the Sikh separatist movement abroad. [108]

With military precision, at the onset of the invasion of the Golden Temple, every Sikh society and Sikh temple was proffered a glossy magazine called The Sikhs in their Homeland – India, featuring the “good Sikhs” in India and villifying the “bad separatists” outside of India. It should be noted that such a magazine would have taken several weeks to design, publish and then send abroad, an indication of the Prime Minister Gandhi's real time frame in her debacle with the Sikhs. Public relations videos were also widely distributed. And subscriptions to the government-censored Punjab Tribune mysteriously found themselves to societies and temples outside India. [109]

By 1985, the government of India was faced with a big public relations problem. The assault on the Golden Temple had galvanized the Sikh separatist movement as never before. Moreover, Canadian Members of Parliament and American Congressmen were raising questions about the human rights abuses of the Sikhs in India. But as Vijay Kumar, an intelligence operative at India's Washington embassy, remarked, “The Sikhs are fooling these Senators... But the U.S. public stand is against terrorism and we'll see how far they'll go. The one thing that Senators and others cannot condone is terrorism.” [110]

One form the Indian government's efforts to discredit Sikhs overseas by connecting them with terrorism was the “creation” of a Sikh terrorist training camp outside Prince George, British Columbia. Though the much-touted camp was featured in an article of the respected India Today and a 1985 book by Lyndon LaRouche, in fact the camp never existed. It was nothing more than an imaginative ploy in the Indian government's anti-Sikh campaign. [111]

The most significant events to smear the reputation of Sikhs outside India and brand them as terrorists were the simultaneous bombing at the Narita Airport, Tokyo and the downing of Air India flight 182 over the Sea of Ireland. While no one has been finally found guilty of the crimes, reporters Zuhair Kashmeri (Globe and Mail) and Brian McAndrew (Toronto Star) found circumstantial evidence implicating Indian involvement in the bombings. Evidence uncovered by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) included mysterious cancelations by Indian government staff and their relations of tickets on the ill-fated flight, and a hauntingly similar bombing of a passenger jet in India in 1984, this one linked to Tamil separatist groups trained by Indian intelligence. Moreover, the Canadian government was again and again shown to be unwillling to offend a potentially lucrative trading partner the size of India. [112]

In the words of Kashmeri and Mc Andrew: “The CSIS theory may seem far-fetched, but the record of the Indian government shows that it will use both legitimate and illegitimate means to strengthen its hold on a country the Western media calls “the world's largest democracy.” The disinformation campaign made the public look upon the Sikhs as a menace and the separatist groups as the obvious culprits responsible for the bombings. And first impressions are hard to change. On all counts, the Indian disinformation campaign was a success.” [113]

PM's Assassination and Aftermath

On October 31, 1984 Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India was shot by her two Sikh bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh. After three years of bloody strife between Hindus and Sikhs, the killing of Mrs. Gandhi was certain to have violent repercussions. Although the victims of killings in the Punjab included as many Sikhs as Hindus, since the killers were usually assumed to be Sikhs, it was thought the whole community was to blame and needed to be punished. Khushwant Singh speculates that what fueled this anti-Sikh feeling was “that hardly any Sikh leader of consequence” had boldly spoken out against Bhindranwale or the killings of innocent Hindus by terrorist gangs. [114]

Violent repercussions there were. On November 2, when Delhi's Lt. Governor P. G. Gavai stated that the situation was “under control,” he was right. It was under mob control. [115] For four days and nights, the pillaging of Sikhs homes and properties, killing and raping of their occupants went on with government, and often police, connivance and support. [116] The havoc also spread through other cities. In Bombay and Calcutta, the police easily brought the rioters under control, but pogroms did take place in Kanpur, Lucknow, Ranchi, Rourkela and in various towns of north India. [117]

Khushwant Singh, a resident of Delhi, told a foreign journalist that he felt like a Jew in Nazi Germany. Subsequent reports by the People's Union for Civil Liberties and the People's Union for Democratic Rights confirmed that in many localities Sikh homes and shops had been marked, Sikh vehicles taken note of, and that the gangs of lumpen class looters and murderers from outside Delhi knew exactly where to go, or were guided by authorities with voters lists. Sometimes the police would helpfully disarm the Sikhs before setting the mobs on them. This was the height of the Sikh Holocaust in Delhi. [118] According to John Fraser of Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper, by November 4, 50,000 Sikhs were homeless, 600 vehicles had been burned, and of the 450 Gurdwaras, three quarters were seriously damaged or destroyed. [119]

The Justice Thakkar Commission of Inquiry into the Indira Gandhi assassination recommended a separate probe for the conspiracy angle behind the assassination. No less than ten committees and commissions of inquiry probed the massacre of Sikhs. The final inquiry into the 1984 Anti-Sikh massacre in Delhi headed by Justice G.T. Nanavati, retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India, submitted its report in February 2004. It claimed there was evidence against three members of the Congress party – Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar, and H.K.L. Bhagat - for instigating mobs to violence. The commission also held then police commissioner S.C. Tandon directly responsible for the riots. There was widespread protest against the report as it did not mention clearly the roles of Tytler and the other politicians in the riots. Nonetheless, the report led to the resignation of Jagdish Tytler from the Cabinet. The Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (who ironically is a Sikh himself) apologized to the Sikh victims for the riots a few days after the report was tabled in Parliament.

Rajiv-Longowal Accord

With a successful election behind him, Rajiv Gandhi, Indira's son and the new Prime Minister of India began the hard job of making peace in Punjab. In March of 1985, he appointed his confidente, Arjun Singh, himself a Punjabi, as the Governor of the state, began releasing the imprisoned leadership of the Akali party in batches, relaxed the censorship on the Punjabi press, withdrew army control over certain districts, announced his willingness to institute a judicial enquiry into the November 1984 killings, lifted the ban on the All India Sikh Students Federation and agreed to review the cases of thousands of Sikhs imprisoned since the army's arrival in Punjab the previous June. Within a few days, the first 53 were released. A few days later, Rajiv made an effort to address the economic woes of Punjab, with its diminishing acreages and burgeoning unemployment by announcing the establishment of a rail coach factory at Kapurthala, Punjab which would need about 20,000 skilled hands. [120]

Then, after weeks of secret negotiations, Sant Harchand Singh Longowal met the Prime Minister in Delhi and on July 23, 1985 signed an eleven-point memorandum covering all the major issues which had defied resolution since the Akalis had first presented their list of demands. [121] The items agreed upon were: 1) monetary compensation for innocents killed and properties damaged in civil disobedience, army or police actions since August 1, 1982; 2) affirmation that merit shall remain the sole criterion for recruitment into the army; 3) the jurisdiction of the enquiry into the November killings in Delhi to be extended to cover the havoc in Bokaro and Kanpur as well; 4) all those discharged from the army to be rehabilitated and provided gainful employment; 5) the government's consideration of the formulation of a bill to cover the administration of Gurdwaras throughout India; 6) withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from Punjab except in cases of waging war and hijacking; 7) transfer of the capital Chandigarh to Punjab and simultaneous transfer of territory in lieu to the state of Haryana on January 26, 1986; 8) submission of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution on Centre-State relations to the Sarkaria Commission for study and evaluation; 9) referral of the claims of Punjab and Haryana regarding their shares of river waters to a Supreme Court judges and a binding decision to be arrived at within six months; 10) Prime Minister to write all Chief Ministers regarding protection of minority interests; 11) the possibility of the Central Government taking some steps to promote useage of the Punjabi language. [122]

The Punjab Accord provided the possibility of an end to the confrontation between the Central Government and the Akali party. It also showed the Akali party demands were never secessionist. They also proved unworkable. Those Sikh leaders, from both the Akali and Congress parties, left out of the negotiations showed their resentment. Moreover, within a month of the signing of the memorandun, Sant Harchand Singh Longowal was shot and killed, thereby removing much of the authority of the agreement. Rajiv Gandhi's advisors, for their part, seemed more interested in undoing the Punjab Accord than having it succeed and the Prime Minister proved unable to maintain the momentum of the initiative. The date of the supposed transfer of the capital to Punjab came and went with no effect. Soon, the credibility and goodwill of the agreement lay in ruins. [123]

Sikh Armed Resistance 1984-93

In the wake of the Indian government's repression of Sikhs, some Sikhs formed guerrilla bands to take on the marauding police. At the height of the Sikh resistence movement, hundreds of men fought the so-called security forces in Punjab. Some also engaged in targeted assassinations elsewhere in India, the best known being the killing of General Vaidya, who had led the Indian army in the attack on the Golden Temple. [124] The main groups were the Babbar Khalsa, the Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan, Khalistan Commando Force, the Khalistan Liberation Force and the All India Sikh Students Federation. [125]

Many members joined the resistance after being radicalized by the army dragnet of the summer of 1984, designated Operation Woodrose, in which youths aged 15-24 were taken away from their homes in large numbers. Most had lost relatives or friends to army or police. Others had witnessed womenfolk being picked up by the police for torture and abuse. Many had been personally tortured before taking up arms against the state. [126]

Targets of the fighters included police, informers and banks. The Babbars managed to alienate the population by killing people for what they considered moral offences, such as alcohol use. [127] At first, the resistance movement enjoyed widespread support throughout the countryside, with families offering them food, shelter and intelligence as needed. After 1992, however, with an increase in dacoitry and anarchy, support for the Sikh guerrillas became less. [128]

Horrors in the Police State

The Sikhs of the state of Punjab endured a state of chaos and intimidation through the mid to late 1980s and 1990s. This may be attributed to five factors: lack of constitutional protections, extra-judicial executions of Sikhs, covert government terrorism, and a biased judiciary.

Withdrawal of Constitutional Protections

Thirty Punjab-related Acts and Constitutional Amendments – specifically aimed at the Sikhs – were enacted between 1983 and 1989. The National Security Act of 1980, amended in 1984 and 1987, authorized detention of suspected terrorists without trial for two years in Punjab. The 59th Constitutional Amendment operative from 30 March 1981 to 1990, suspended the fundamental right to life and liberty and was virtually confined to Punjab. The Armed Forced (Punjab and Chandigarh) Special Powers Act, 1983 gives any member of the army the right to destroy shelters from where attacks are 'likely' to be made, and to arrest a person on suspicion that he is 'about' to commit an offence. A home, for example, could be demolished because it 'might be' used for an attack against the state. The Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA), in force from 1985 to 1995, posed a grave threat to everyone with its provisions for police arresting, detaining indefinitely, and even killing of citizens. Section 21 of the Act placed the assumption of guilt on anyone accused of any offence by security forces. Between 1985 and 1995, the police registered 17,529 TADA cases in Punjab. Only one person was eventually convicted. [129]

Extrajudicial Executions of Sikhs

The 1980s and 90s, the Punjab was racked by disappearances, torture and extra-judicial killings. According to the Punjab Human Rights Organization, during 1987 and 1988 hit squads with authorization from the highest levels of government were organized to kill suspected Sikh activists. [130] The police of Punjab were well rewarded for their work. The Chief Minister of Punjab stated in the legislature that 41,684 policemen had received monetary awards from 1991 to 1992. A Human Rights Watch report specifies that the reward for each person abducted or killed was about Rs. 50,000 (US$1,670). [131] A Hindu doctor working in the rural areas of Amritsar described seeing 50 to 100 obviously tortured bodies each year. In 1989, even the governor of Punjab, S.S. Ray admitted that some of the police had turned sadistic. [132] Kidnapping was also a lucrative form of income for the police. [133]

Covert Government Terrorism

Acts of terror commited by, or contributed to by, the covert Third Agency of the government added to the mix of anarchy and insecurity in Punjab. Leading up to the attack on the Golden Temple, agents themselves would sometimes commit outrages in the guise of Sikhs. At other times, they would act as provocateurs encouraging and facilitating acts of violence. [134] Afterwards, when guerrilla groups began to operate, the agency was known to control their flow of armaments, without which they could not exist, and to play one group off against another. When a guerrilla leader ceased to serve the agenda of the agency, he could be cut off or killed. [135]

Biased Judiciary

Obtaining justice through the police and judiciary under these circumstances could prove very difficult indeed. Jaskaran Kaur, in her report for the Harvard Human Rights Journal, observed that in contravention of required procedures, Punjab police would fail to register complaints or acknowledge detentions, influence police inquiries by having police from the same branch conduct them, and falsify judicial records. Police would also rely on medical doctors, executive magistrates, and other officials to help them perform perfuctory post mortems, cremate bodies in secret, and suppress evidence of torture. They also failed to produce detainees before a magistrate within twenty-four hours of their arrest. [136]

The police were also not above delaying procedures, threatening and even “disappearing” complainants. The best known case is that of Jaswant Singh Khalra, Chairman of the Human Rights Wing of the Akali party, who had discovered 2,094 illegal cremations conducted by Punjab Police between 1984 and 1994. While the case was pending before the Supreme Court, in September 1995 police abducted Khalra from outside his house. He was never seen again. [137]

According to Jaskaran Kaur's observations, judges in Punjab were often the second level of impunity before justice. Since judges of the lower courts depended on the police to protect them, they were especially prone to a “pro-police attitude.” Even in the High Court, judges often ignored the police's ability to manipulate evidence and witnesses, and told petitioners to approach the lower courts, well aware of the futility of that option. The justices' refusal to distinguish between innocent Sikhs and militants, the religious bias on the bench, and the justices' desire to protect police morale led them to deny or minimize the human rights abuses that had occured in Punjab, and to conduct their business accordingly. [138]

Summary

When the world's sixth biggest army takes on its sixth largest religion, it is a matter of interest, if not outright concern. The story begun in 1978 and carried through to its terrible denouement in 1984, continues today. Human rights workers, some from the US, are still picking up the pieces, seeking justice and retribution for the tens of thousands of victims and the families of the disappeared. [139]

The situation has changed some since the terrible days of Indira Gandhi. A Sikh is now Prime Minister of India and Sikh culture and commentary is readily available worldwide on the internet. But Punjab remains without a capital, many farmers without adequate water, and India remains a country of great hope, great challenges and great illusions.

As the motto of the Indian republic says, Satyameva Jayate – “Truth Alone Shall Triumph”.

Films Based on the Third Sikh Holocaust

Shonali Bose - Amu (2005) Based on her novel by the same name. http://www.amuthefilm.com/sonali.htm

Sashi Kumar - Kaya Taran / Chrysalis (2004) Based on the Malayalam short story When Big Tree Falls by N.S. Madhava. http://www.kayataran.com

Steven Spielberg - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) is vaguely analogous to the attack in Amritsar. There is a lot of death and horror at a temple in India. http://www.theraider.net/films/todoom/index.php

References

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  2. ^ Rajinder Singh, “Guru ka Bagh Morcha”, The Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Volume II, ed. Harbans Singh, Patiala, University of Punjab, 1996, pp. 205-06.
  3. ^ Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs, Delhi, Manohar Books, 1983, pp. 274-76.
  4. ^ Michael Edwardes, Nehru: A Political Biography, London, Allen Lane – The Penguin Press, 1971, pp.51-52; Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs, Delhi, Manohar Books, 1983, p. 277
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  6. ^ Sikhs Fighting for Justice: A Factual Report, brochure, Los Angeles, Sikh Dharma Secretariat, 1984, p. 6.
  7. ^ Sikhs Fighting for Justice: A Factual Report, brochure, Los Angeles, Sikh Dharma Secretariat, 1984, pp. 6-7.
  8. ^ Sikhs Fighting for Justice: A Factual Report, brochure, Los Angeles, Sikh Dharma Secretariat, 1984, p. 7.
  9. ^ Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs, Delhi, Manohar Books, 1983, pp. 335-74.
  10. ^ Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs, Delhi, Manohar Books, 1983, pp. 335-74.
  11. ^ Maharaja Amarinder Singh of Patiala, “Anandpur Sahib Resolution”, The Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Volume I, ed. Harbans Singh, Patiala, Punjabi University, 1995, pp.133-41; Gurmit Singh, History of Sikh Struggles, Volume II, New Delhi, Atlantic Publishers and Distributers, 1991, p. 266.
  12. ^ B.S. Nijjar, “Anandpur Sahib Resolution”, The Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Volume I, ed. Harbans Singh, Patiala, University of Punjab, 1995, pp. 133-41.
  13. ^ Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 342-56.
  14. ^ R.S Narula, “Anandpur Saheb Resolution,” Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1985, p. 77
  15. ^ Inder Malhotra, Indira Gandhi: A Personal and Political Biography, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1989, pp. 168-69
  16. ^ For a view of how the Akali consensus to rally together as a force against Indira Gandhi's emergency regime, see: Kuldeep Kaur, Akali Party in Punjab Politics: Splits and Mergers, New Delhi: Deep and Deep Publications Pvt. Ltd., 1999, pp. 61-62; Gurmit Singh, History of Sikh Struggles, Volume II, New Delhi, Atlantic Publishers and Distributers, 1991, p. 38.
  17. ^ Stephen Trombley, The Right to Reproduce: A History of Coercive Sterilization, London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1988, pp. 218-22
  18. ^ Gurmit Singh, History of Sikh Struggles, Volume II, New Delhi, Atlantic Publishers and Distributers, 1991, p. 38; Mark Tully and Satish Jacob, Amritsar: Mrs. Gandhi's Last Battle, London, Jonathan Cape, 1985, pp. 74-75.
  19. ^ Gurmit Singh, History of Sikh Struggles, Volume II, New Delhi, Atlantic Publishers and Distributers, 1991, p. 38.
  20. ^ Inder Malhotra, Indira Gandhi: A Personal and Political Biography, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1989, p. 178.
  21. ^ J.S. Grewal, “The Sikhs of Punjab”, The New Cambridge History of India, Cambridge, 1998, pp. 84-92.
  22. ^ Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 349.
  23. ^ Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs, New Delhi, Ajay Kumar Jain, 1994, p. 344-48; Tavleen Singh, “Terrorists in the Temple, “ The Punjab Story, New Delhi, Roli Books, 1984, pp. 32-33.
  24. ^ Cynthia Keppley Mahmood, Fighting for Faith and Nation: Dialogues with Sikh Militants, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996, pp. 58-60; Gopal Singh, A History of the Sikh People, New Delhi, World Book Center, 1988, p. 739.
  25. ^ Sangat Singh, The Sikhs in History, New Delhi, Uncommon Books, 1999, pp. 365-66.
  26. ^ For a detailed study of the ideals and practices of the Babbar Khalsa, see: Joyce J M Pettigrew, The Sikhs of the Punjab: Unheard Voices of State and Guerrilla Warfare, London, Zed Books, 1995, pp. 70-78. For a description of the Dal Khalsa, see: Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs, New Delhi, Ajay Kumar Jain, 1994, p. 351-52; Cynthia Keppley Mahmood, Fighting for Faith and Nation: Dialogues with Sikh Militants, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996, pp. 82, 158; Gopal Singh, A History of the Sikh People, New Delhi, World Book Center, 1988, p. 739-40.
  27. ^ Dipankar Gupta, “The Communalising of Punjab, 1980-1985”, Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, eds., New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1985, pp. 221-22; Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 352-56.
  28. ^ Khushwant Singh, “The Genesis”, The Punjab Crisis: Challenge and Response, Abida Samiuddin, ed., Delhi, K.M. Mittal, 1985, p. 97.
  29. ^ Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs, Delhi, Manohar Books, 1983, pp. 356-59.
  30. ^ Devdutt, “A Counter Paper on Punjab”, The Punjab Crisis: Challenge and Response, Abida Samiuddin, ed., Delhi, K.M. Mittal, 1985, p. 242.
  31. ^ Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 341.
  32. ^ Harji Malik, “The Politics of Alienation,” Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, eds. Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1984, pp. 36, 38-39; Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 355.
  33. ^ A.G. Noorani, “A White Paper on a Black Accord,” The Punjab Crisis: Challenge and Response, Abida Samiuddin, ed., Delhi, K.M. Mittal, 1985, p. 231
  34. ^ Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 337.
  35. ^ Inder Malhotra, Indira Gandhi: A Personal and Political Biography, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1989, pp. 231, 246, 257-59.
  36. ^ Inder Malhotra, Indira Gandhi: A Personal and Political Biography, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1989, pp. 246, 284-5.
  37. ^ Pran Chopra, former editor of The Statesman, in the Far Eastern Economic Review, August 11, 1984, quoted in Inder Malhotra, Indira Gandhi: A Personal and Political Biography, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1989, pp. 298-99
  38. ^ Inder Malhotra, Indira Gandhi: A Personal and Political Biography, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1989, pp. 159-60, 262.
  39. ^ Khushwant Singh, “The Genesis,” The Punjab Crisis: Challenge and Response, Abida Samiuddin, ed., Delhi, K.M. Mittal, 1985, pp. 96-98; Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 330-32, 336.
  40. ^ Major Gurmukh Singh, “Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranvale,” The Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Volume II, ed. Harbans Singh, Patiala, University of Punjab, 1996, pp. 205-06; Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs, Delhi, Manohar Books, 1983, pp. 348-49, 353-54, 361-62, 371.
  41. ^ Khushwant Singh, “I Felt I Should Reaffirm My Identity as a Sikh,” The Punjab Crisis: Challenge and Response, Abida Samiuddin, ed., Delhi, K.M. Mittal, 1985, p. 320; Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 329-30.
  42. ^ Gopal Singh, A History of the Sikh People, New Delhi, World Book Center, 1988, p. 742.
  43. ^ Tavleen Singh, “Terrorists in the Temple, “ The Punjab Story, New Delhi, Roli Books, 1984, p. 33.
  44. ^ Gopal Singh, A History of the Sikh People, New Delhi, World Book Center, 1988, pp. 742-44.
  45. ^ Zuhair Kashmiri and Brian McAndrew, Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated Canada, Toronto, James Lorimer and Company, 1989, pp. 93, 130; Sangat Singh, The Sikhs in History, New Delhi, Uncommon Books, 1999, p. 373.
  46. ^ Sangat Singh, The Sikhs in History, New Delhi, Uncommon Books, 1999, p. 380-81, 387-88.
  47. ^ J.S. Grewal, “The Sikhs of Punjab”, The New Cambridge History of India, Cambridge, 1998, p. 222.
  48. ^ Khushwant Singh, “The Genesis,” The Punjab Crisis: Challenge and Response, Abida Samiuddin, ed., Delhi, K.M. Mittal, 1985, p. 98; Lt. Gen. J.S. Aurora, “If Khalistan Comes – The Sikhs will be the Losers”, Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, eds. Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1984, p. 140;
  49. ^ Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 339-40; Gopal Singh, A History of the Sikh People, New Delhi, World Book Center, 1988, p. 753.
  50. ^ Mark Tully and Satish Jacob, Amritsar: Mrs. Gandhi's Last Battle, London, Jonathan Cape, 1985, p. 91.
  51. ^ A.G. Noorani, “A White Paper on a Black Accord,” The Punjab Crisis: Challenge and Response, Abida Samiuddin, ed., Delhi, K.M. Mittal, 1985, p. 230-31.
  52. ^ Singh Sahib Gurcharn Singh Khalsa, “The Torch Bearer of Sikhism,” Messenger from the Guru's House, ed. Mukhia Sardarni Premka Kaur Khalsa and Sardarni Sahiba Sat Kirpal Kaur Khalsa, Los Angeles, Sikh Dharma, 1979, p. 36; Inder Malhotra, Indira Gandhi: A Personal and Political Biography, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1989, pp. 187-89
  53. ^ Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, “The Voice of Prophesy”, Beads of Truth Magazine, Winter 1984, II:14, pp. 5; Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, “High Times,” Beads of Truth Magazine, Fall, 1980, II:5, pp. 18-21; Yogi Bhajan taped lecture, January 6, 1985, Golden Temple Recording #G176.
  54. ^ Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, “High Times,” Beads of Truth Magazine, Summer, 1980, II:5, pp. 17-21; M.S.S. Gurutej Singh Khalsa, “When I Touched the Heart of Mother India,” Beads of Truth Magazine, Fall, 1981, II:8, pp. 4-20; Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, “High Times,” Beads of Truth Magazine, Fall, 1981, II:8, p. 27; Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, “High Times,” Beads of Truth Magazine, Summer, 1982, II:9, pp. 18-21; Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, “High Times,” Beads of Truth Magazine, Summer, 1983, II:10, pp. 27-28; Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, “High Times,” Beads of Truth Magazine, Summer, 1984, II:13, pp. 22, 24-25.
  55. ^ As it turned out, the Sikhs belonging to the Congress party, namely the Giani Zail Singh the Home Minister, Darbara Singh the Chief Minister in Punjab, the Maharaja of Patiala - Amarinder Singh, and Buta Singh kept apart from their Akali party counterparts until June 1984 when Amarinder Singh turned in his party membership and, for a time joined the Akali party. On the Akali side, by August of 1980, it was by a rift between two factions. That rift endured for two years, until the two factions joined with the group led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale to prosecute the civil disobedience campaign against the Central Government under the leadership of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal and six other members of a designated high command, namely Parkash Singh Badal – former Chief Minister of Punjab, Gurcharan Singh Tohra – President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Jagdev Singh Talwandi, Surjit Singh Barnala – former Union Agriculture Minister, Sukhjinder Singh – former Punjab Minister, and Ravi Inder Singh – former Speaker of the Punjab Legislature. This coalition held together until September 1983, when the increasing frustrations of negotiating with the Prime Minister began to take its toll in a growing division between hardliners led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and Jagdev Singh Talwandi and the moderates led by Harchand Singh Longowal. Kuldeep Kaur, Akali Party in Punjab Politics: Splits and Mergers, New Delhi: Deep and Deep Publications Pvt. Ltd., 1999, pp. 81-85, 90.
  56. ^ Yogi Bhajan taped lecture, January 6, 1985, Golden Temple Recording #G176; Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, “High Times,” Beads of Truth Magazine, Summer, 1982, II:9, pp. 18-21.
  57. ^ Yogi Bhajan taped lecture, June 19, 1984, Golden Temple Recording #G149
  58. ^ Baba Kharak Singh to Yogi Bhajan: “In the west, you are going to be hit with a lot of pain, and so all these people, but these Sikhs may not be ready to take that pain. Therefore, chant this mantra: 'Aap sahaa-ee ho-aa, sachay daa, sachaa Dho-aa.'” Yogi Bhajan took it and then he said: “Don't doubt me. You think I am an old man? I don't know anything?” Yogi Bhajan said: “No, no, no. I don't doubt you. It's alright. What kind of hurt?” Baba Kharak Singh said: “None of your business! Don't ask questions. But I will tell you a story. In such-and-such a Gurdwara there was a man who made our life miserable and I went to Santji (my respected teacher). I told him, this man is making our life miserable, teasing us, beating us, and trying to do all kinds of treacheries. And then he said, “Chant this verse: 'Aap sahaa-ee ho-aa, sachay daa, sachaa Dho-aa' and the enemy dissolves.”” - Yogi Bhajan taped lecture, June 24,1984, Golden Temple Recording, #G151
  59. ^ Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, “High Times,” Beads of Truth Magazine, Winter, 1983, II:12, pp. 30-31.
  60. ^ Yogi Bhajan encouraged his students to send telegrams to the President, urging him to stay on. Some of these and several urging Zail Singh to step down, are published here. Gurmit Singh, History of Sikh Struggles, Vol. III, New Delhi, Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, 1991, pp. 191-92.
  61. ^ Yogi Bhajan taped lecture, January 6, 1985, Golden Temple Recording #G176.
  62. ^ Yogi Bhajan taped lecture, July 1, 1984, Golden Temple Recording tape #G152
  63. ^ Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, “The Voice of Prophesy”, Beads of Truth Magazine, Winter 1984, II:14, pp. 5-6.
  64. ^ Yogi Bhajan, C-SPAN interview, November 15, 1984; Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, “The Story Behind the Story”, Beads of Truth Magazine, Winter 1984, II:14, pp. 7-9
  65. ^ Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 355.
  66. ^ B.S. Nijjar, “Anandpur Sahib Resolution”, The Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Volume I, ed. Harbans Singh, Patiala, University of Punjab, 1995, pp. 133-41.
  67. ^ Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 359-60.
  68. ^ Joyce J M Pettigrew, The Sikhs of the Punjab: Unheard Voices of State and Guerrilla Warfare, London, Zed Books, 1995, p. 8; Harji Malik, “The Politics of Alienation,” Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, Eds. Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1985, p. 47.
  69. ^ Jaskaran Kaur, “A Judicial Blackout: Judicial Impunity for Disappearances in Punjab, India,” Harvard Human Rights Journal, 2002, Vol. 15, p. 269
  70. ^ Harji Malik, “The Politics of Alienation,” Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, eds. Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1984, pp. 36, 38-39; Inder Malhotra, Indira Gandhi: A Personal and Political Biography, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1989, pp. 230-31
  71. ^ Yogi Bhajan, C-SPAN interview, November 15, 1984;
  72. ^ Inder Malhotra, Indira Gandhi: A Personal and Political Biography, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1989, pp. 148-49
  73. ^ Sangat Singh, The Sikhs in History, New Delhi, Uncommon Books, 1999, p. 355, 366-67.
  74. ^ Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 353.
  75. ^ Yogi Bhajan taped lecture, July 1, 1984, Golden Temple Recording tape #G152
  76. ^ Sangat Singh, The Sikhs in History, New Delhi, Uncommon Books, 1999, p. 395
  77. ^ Jagtar Singh, “Chronology of Events,” The Punjab Crisis: Challenge and Response, Abida Samiuddin, ed., Delhi, K.M. Mittal, 1985, p. 710.
  78. ^ Khushwant Singh, “Genesis of the Hindu-Sikh Divide,” The Punjab Story, New Delhi, Roli Books, 1984, pp. 11-13.
  79. ^ Khushwant Singh, An Illustrated History of the Sikhs, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 235.
  80. ^ Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, eds. Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1984, p. 43; Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 365.
  81. ^ Brahma Chellaney, “An Eye Account”, The Punjab Crisis: Challenge and Response, Abida Samiuddin, ed., Delhi, K.M. Mittal, 1985, p. 181; Khushwant Singh, An Illustrated History of the Sikhs, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 233.
  82. ^ Brahma Chellaney, “An Eye Account”, The Punjab Crisis: Challenge and Response, Abida Samiuddin, ed., Delhi, K.M. Mittal, 1985, p. 182.
  83. ^ Regina Caeli of 10 June: “For peace in Punjab,” L'Osservatore Romano, June 18, 1984, p. 2
  84. ^ Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, eds. Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1984, pp. 125-26;
  85. ^ Khushwant Singh, An Illustrated History of the Sikhs, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 235.
  86. ^ Khushwant Singh, An Illustrated History of the Sikhs, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 235; Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora, “Assault on the Golden Temple Complex,” The Punjab Story, New Delhi, Roli Books International, 1984, p. 99.
  87. ^ Vijay Sanghvi, “Operation Bluestar: How government Mishandled the Media,” The Punjab Crisis: Challenge and Response, Abida Samiuddin, ed., Delhi, K.M. Mittal, 1985, pp. 464-65.
  88. ^ Patwant Singh, “The Distorting Mirror,” Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, Eds. Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1985, pp. 9-10.
  89. ^ Patwant Singh, “The Distorting Mirror,” Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, Eds. Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1985, p. 11 . Girilal Jain's editorial in the March 7, 1984 issue of The Times of India serves as an example of this sort of hectoring: “It is 11 p.m. in the history of the Sikh community,” he wrote. “It must reverse the clock. It is still possible to do so. But time is running out. The community must demand that the agitation be called off. The Sikhs must heed the warning before it strikes midnight.”
  90. ^ “army Action in Punjab: Prelude and Aftermath,” The Punjab Crisis: Challenge and Response, Abida Samiuddin, ed., Delhi, K.M. Mittal, 1985, p. 473.
  91. ^ Patwant Singh, “The Distorting Mirror,” Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, Eds. Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1985, p. 13.
  92. ^ “Army Action in Punjab: Prelude and Aftermath,” The Punjab Crisis: Challenge and Response, Abida Samiuddin, ed., Delhi, K.M. Mittal, 1985, pp. 472-73.
  93. ^ “army Action in Punjab: Prelude and Aftermath,” The Punjab Crisis: Challenge and Response, Abida Samiuddin, ed., Delhi, K.M. Mittal, 1985, pp. 469-70.
  94. ^ Harji Malik, “The Politics of Alienation,” Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, Eds. Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1985, p. 44
  95. ^ “army Action in Punjab: Prelude and Aftermath,” The Punjab Crisis: Challenge and Response, Abida Samiuddin, ed., Delhi, K.M. Mittal, 1985, pp. 473-74; Harji Malik, “The Politics of Alienation,” Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, Eds. Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1985, p. 45;
  96. ^ Khushwant Singh, “The Brink of the Abyss,” Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, Eds. Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1985, p. 131.
  97. ^ “army Action in Punjab: Prelude and Aftermath,” The Punjab Crisis: Challenge and Response, Abida Samiuddin, ed., Delhi, K.M. Mittal, 1985, pp. 473-74.
  98. ^ Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 371-72.
  99. ^ Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 370-71.
  100. ^ Madhu Kishwar, “Gangster Rule,” Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, Eds. Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1985, p. 131.
  101. ^ Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 383.
  102. ^ Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 384-85.
  103. ^ Harji Malik, “The Politics of Alienation,” Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, Eds. Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1985, pp. 56-7;
  104. ^ Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, fn. 21, pp. 365-66.
  105. ^ Patwant Singh, The Sikhs, London, John Murray, 1999, p. 248.
  106. ^ Patwant Singh, The Sikhs, London, John Murray, 1999, p. 250.
  107. ^ Zuhair Kashmiri and Brian McAndrew, Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated Canada, Toronto, James Lorimer and Company, 1989, pp. 8-9.
  108. ^ Zuhair Kashmiri and Brian McAndrew, Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated Canada, Toronto, James Lorimer and Company, 1989, p. 45.
  109. ^ Zuhair Kashmiri and Brian McAndrew, Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated Canada, Toronto, James Lorimer and Company, 1989, p. 49; Author's observation
  110. ^ Zuhair Kashmiri and Brian McAndrew, Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated Canada, Toronto, James Lorimer and Company, 1989, pp. 52-3.
  111. ^ Zuhair Kashmiri and Brian McAndrew, Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated Canada, Toronto, James Lorimer and Company, 1989, pp. 54-55.
  112. ^ Zuhair Kashmiri and Brian McAndrew, Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated Canada, Toronto, James Lorimer and Company, 1989, pp. 87-88, 91-93, 126-28.
  113. ^ Zuhair Kashmiri and Brian McAndrew, Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated Canada, Toronto, James Lorimer and Company, 1989, p. 94. As proof of the success of the anti-Sikh campaign, Kashmeri and Mc Andrew cite a poll taken in 1988 of the attitudes of 250 Montrealers. When asked “What comes to your mind when you hear the word Sikhs?” 43% used terms such as “revolt,” “conflict,” “riots in India,” “troublemakers,” “bringing trouble here,” “bombings,” “terrorism.” Only 14% saw the Sikhs as a group suffering oppression in their own country. Kashmiri and McAndrew, pp. 149-50.
  114. ^ Khushwant Singh, An Illustrated History of the Sikhs, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 241-42.
  115. ^ Harji Malik, “The Politics of Alienation,” Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, Eds. Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1985, p. 49.
  116. ^ Patwant Singh, The Sikhs, London, John Murray, 1999, pp. 233-42.
  117. ^ Khushwant Singh, An Illustrated History of the Sikhs, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 243.
  118. ^ Harji Malik, “The Politics of Alienation,” Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, Eds. Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1985, p. 49; Patwant Singh, The Sikhs, London, John Murray, 1999, pp. 236-37.
  119. ^ John Fraser, “Sifting the Ashes of India's Shame,” Punjab - The Fatal Miscalculation: Perspectives on Unprincipled Politics, Eds. Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, New Delhi, Patwant Singh, 1985, p. 49.
  120. ^ Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 394.
  121. ^ Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 395.
  122. ^ Kuldeep Kaur, Akali Party in Punjab Politics: Splits and Mergers, New Delhi: Deep and Deep Publications Pvt. Ltd., 1999, pp. 168-70.
  123. ^ Patwant Singh, The Sikhs, London, John Murray, 1999, pp. 243-44; Gopal Singh, A History of the Sikh People, New Delhi, World Book Center, 1988, p. 777-78; Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 398-99.
  124. ^ Cynthia Keppley Mahmood, Fighting for Faith and Nation: Dialogues with Sikh Militants, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996, p. 155.
  125. ^ Patwant Singh, The Sikhs, London, John Murray, 1999, p. 250; Cynthia Keppley Mahmood, Fighting for Faith and Nation: Dialogues with Sikh Militants, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996, p. 158.
  126. ^ Joyce J M Pettigrew, The Sikhs of the Punjab: Unheard Voices of State and Guerrilla Warfare, London, Zed Books, 1995, pp. 139-40.
  127. ^ Joyce J M Pettigrew, The Sikhs of the Punjab: Unheard Voices of State and Guerrilla Warfare, London, Zed Books, 1995, p. 163.
  128. ^ Joyce J M Pettigrew, The Sikhs of the Punjab: Unheard Voices of State and Guerrilla Warfare, London, Zed Books, 1995, p. 141-42, 187-88.
  129. ^ Patwant Singh, The Sikhs, London, John Murray, 1999, pp. 251-52; Jaskaran Kaur, “A Judicial Blackout: Judicial Impunity for Disappearances in Punjab, India,” Harvard Human Rights Journal, 2002, Vol. 15, p. 271.
  130. ^ Cynthia Keppley Mahmood, Fighting for Faith and Nation: Dialogues with Sikh Militants, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996, p. 158.
  131. ^ Jaskaran Kaur, “A Judicial Blackout: Judicial Impunity for Disappearances in Punjab, India,” Harvard Human Rights Journal, 2002, Vol. 15, p. 271.
  132. ^ Patwant Singh, The Sikhs, London, John Murray, 1999, pp. 245-46;
  133. ^ Joyce J M Pettigrew, The Sikhs of the Punjab: Unheard Voices of State and Guerrilla Warfare, London, Zed Books, 1995, pp. 68-9; Jaskaran Kaur, “A Judicial Blackout: Judicial Impunity for Disappearances in Punjab, India,” Harvard Human Rights Journal, 2002, Vol. 15, p. 277.
  134. ^ Patwant Singh, The Sikhs, London, John Murray, 1999, p. 246; Zuhair Kashmiri and Brian McAndrew, Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated Canada, Toronto, James Lorimer and Company, 1989, pp. 93, 130; Gurmit Singh, History of Sikh Struggles, Vol. II, New Delhi, Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, 1991, pp. 316-23.
  135. ^ Joyce J M Pettigrew, The Sikhs of the Punjab: Unheard Voices of State and Guerrilla Warfare, London, Zed Books, 1995, pp. 86-7; Sushil Muni, a Jain monk who had been serving as an intermediary between the government and Sikh fighters, said outright that the government itself was fomenting violence in Punjab. fn 26: Sampat Singh, the home minister of Haryana, was among government officials at high levels who accused ministers at the national level of patronizing Sikh militants in Punjab. Cynthia Keppley Mahmood, Fighting for Faith and Nation: Dialogues with Sikh Militants, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996, p. 158.
  136. ^ Jaskaran Kaur, “A Judicial Blackout: Judicial Impunity for Disappearances in Punjab, India,” Harvard Human Rights Journal, 2002, Vol. 15, p. 275. http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/hrj/iss15/kaur.shtml
  137. ^ Jaskaran Kaur, “A Judicial Blackout: Judicial Impunity for Disappearances in Punjab, India,” Harvard Human Rights Journal, 2002, Vol. 15, p. 272-73, 278-79. http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/hrj/iss15/kaur.shtml
  138. ^ Jaskaran Kaur, “A Judicial Blackout: Judicial Impunity for Disappearances in Punjab, India,” Harvard Human Rights Journal, 2002, Vol. 15, p. 283-85, 296. http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/hrj/iss15/kaur.shtml
  139. ^ www.ensaaf.org

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