Part of the following article was taken from a page on the internet by the World Muslim-Sikh Federation, 90-A, The Broadway, Southall, Middlesex, England. The article outlines some of the atrocities of an operation called Operation Wood Rose carried out by the Indian Army in the days and months after the attack on the Harmandar Sahib in 1984.
After many on their lists escaped their dragnet the army was left with only the relatives of those who they wished to capture. The relatives mostly old men, women and children were used as bait to tempt their relatives out of hiding. The following sentences describe some of the atrocities unleased on those who stayed behind.
Apparently the Indian army, composed of soldiers from across India; Muslims, Hindus (in the majority) and Sikhs (many of whom resigned or deserted in the days after 'Operation Blue Star' had taken to heart the old practices first used against the Sikhs and the Hindus themselves by the Many Islamic invaders of India. The Indian Police also participated with many seeing the policies of the RSS and other 'Hindutva' organizations clearly involved behind the scene.
With all of the targeted men, often boys, either already under arrest or finding places to hide, Sikh women became the target of the 'bloody thirsty' Hindu Indian Security forces. Sikh women were ruthlessly tortured, not only physically but also mentally. They were used as tools to force the surrender of Sikh fighters who were their relatives and also as a means of humiliating families, even whole villages. Often Sikh women arrested with their husbands, were raped while their husbands were forced to watch. Rape was also used as an interrogation tool.
Humiliation; rape; trimming of hair, even circumcision for men, were common forms of torture used on the Sikhs for hundreds of years. Now those who believed in Hindutva used the very same tortures once (still) used by the Mughals and Afganis who had ruled India while the Gurus were alive. These practises long used by the Ghaznis or selafists of Islam well before Babur's invasion, continued by the Durranis and seen very much still alive during the Partition of India when women were raped or forced into marriages as it was well known that their Hindu families would not take them back easily. For those women lucky enough to have been saved from being sold as slaves in a Muslim market by the heroic bands of Sikhs, in the days when prices placed on their heads forced the Sikhs to live in forests, there was the Hindu ritual ceremony of ``purification`` called (Shuddhikaran) which though often expensive allowed their return into the Hindu fold. For the men who were often circumcised there was also an expensive ceremony, usually involving five products of the cow which many men could not afford, which was also said to return one to the fold of Hinduism. It seemed the Priests of Hinduism there was always a ritual ceremony requiring a fee.
Indian Police forces, including local and special units also got involved
The Indian Forces also began a program of “shudhee karan”, which was now a code name for the rape of Sikh women. They joked that the offspring of their rapes would change the genetic makeup of the Sikh community and they would kill the Resistance in this way. Many rape victims took their own lives, unable to live with the ongoing humiliation at the hands of the Indian police. (How stupid would men have to be to believe that one could change genetic makeup by rape, unless of course you were of a completely different race.)
When the Moghuls and the Afganis ruled the Punjab and India they (when they weren't offering prices on the Sikhs heads) would capture Sikhs and Hindus often raping the women, figuring that the Hindu parents would prefer they die rather than raise a child born of a Musalman. The Sikh women would often kill themselves by taking an overdose of afim, or asking their Jeth to shoot them, they would even jump down wells to their death. Women would also be forced into marriages. For the girls who were lucky enough to be accepted by their parents (the Sikhs in many recorded instances rescued hundreds of Hindu women returning them safely to their families) the Hindu priests had a ritual ceremony of ``purification`` called (Shuddhikaran). For the Hindu men who were circumcised by force the Hindu priests also had an expensive ritual that was suspposed to restore them to the Hindu fold. Of course as many of the poorer men could not afford the ritual the state government sometimes covered the cost.
In the case of Operation Wood Rose it was very easy to see the policies of the RSS and other Hindutvists behind these operations. How strange that these organizations had now come to use the same sort of tortures used on them and their Sikh defenders for centuries by the Muslims in the days of the Gurus; the days of Banda Singh Bahadur; the days of the Khalsa kingdom of Maharaja Ranjit Singh ; the Partition of India and the invasion of Jammu and Kashmir.
These groups now toouting ' Hindutva' had now come to adopt the same belief that the radical Muslims of the past and today still hold - that all of India must be of only their religion.
In the days of the Gurus
Guru Gobind Singh ji had famously said, that when all other methods of redress had been tried and exhausted with no results it was proper, as he said, "to take sword in hand". Aurangzeb was at the time trying to change India into a country devoid of any Hindus or Sikhs, into a nation of only Muslims under Sharia Laws. It was the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb who in order to assure his place in Heaven had listened to the Ulama, the educated elders of India's Islam, as they called it Hindustan, who were bent on clearing India of all competing religions. He had abandoned all of the tenets of the Prophet of Islam turning to wanton murder of men women and children. He had restored the hated jizia, the protection tax that since ancient time had protected those of other religions which had once allowed some of the greatest advances of the Middle Ages across the Muslim world.
Lies at Anandpur
Guru Gobind Singh ji had thought that the Hindu Hill chiefs of the surrounding Rajput Kingdoms would rally to his creation of the Khalsa, which was formed largely to protect not only the Sikhs but also the Hindus against the ever increasing atrocities of the Mughals. But as history has shown us, greed, ego and wealth can overcome men who can't, as we say see the forest for the trees. Rather than joining with the Sikhs in driving out the foreign invaders the Rajas saw Guru Gobind Singh ji's Khalsa as the bigger threat - to their good times, than that posed by the Mughals. After all, some of their fellow Rajputs had married their daughters with the Mughal rulers. Shah Jahan and Jahangir were born of Hindu mothers who had even been allowed to keep their shrines to their Hindu Gods inside the Mughal forts.
But Aurangzeb who had imprisoned his own father hastening his death; had his brother Dara Shikoh hunted down and killed, later proudly displaying his brother's detached head and executed Guru Tegh Bahadur was a Muslim of another sort, an enemy who it turned out could not be trusted. Under his and his Rajput allies sacred oath of free passage for the Sikhs of Anandpur, the Guru chose to leave the city of Bliss. In just a few days he lost his whole family, save his wife who Bhai Mani Singh, later to become one of Sikhi's greatest, boldest Shaheeds, was able to escort to safety.
The atrocities continued at the Sirsa, at Chamkaur and Sirhind, yet weeks later the Guru was able to offer, after strongly condemning Aurangzeb as a Godless liar in his famous Zafarnama, an offer of reconciliation. But that was never to happen, for Aurangzeb, perhaps broken by reading the Zafarnama, was soon to die as would Guru Gobind Singh ji who would die days after being wounded by agents of the Muslim who had the Guru's youngest sons killed. Also responsible for the death of the Guru's mother, who died as his prisoner after hearing of her grandsons' deaths, Wazir Khan met his death as his city was sacked by the Sikhs under the command of Banda Bhahadur.
A young Sikh Kaur living in England, a contributer here, recently spoke of some Muslim Men who pretended to be Sikhs tricking young Kaurs into a relationship. Others would get them drunk, possibly by using a rufi, and seduce them it seemed, if one is to believe what she was reporting, that some were even admiting to be in competition with each other in winning conversions by dishonesty including blackmail. The more things change the more they seem to be the same.
World Muslim-Sikh Federation