Saturday, 29 June 2013

Operation Bluestar - 10 days. June 1984 timeline.

Day 1, 1st June 1984.

The Indian Army surrounds the Golden Temple complex. Without provocation, they start firing upon the complex, killing at least 8 people.

Day 2, 2nd June 1984.

At least seven divisions of the army are deployed in villages of Punjab. By nightfall the media and the press are gagged; the rail, road and air services in Punjab are suspended. Foreigners' and NRIs' entry is banned. The water and electricity supply is cut off.  

Day 3, 3rd June 1984.

There is a complete curfew, with the army and paramilitary patrolling the whole of Punjab. The army seals off all routes of exit around the temple complex. Thousands of worshippers and pilgrims are trapped inside, having come to commemorate the martyrdom of the 5th Sikh Guru. There is an incessant exchange of fire during the night between 3 and 4 June.

Thousands went to the Golden Temple to commemorate the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Jee. Thousands of innocent men, women and children were stuck inside the Temple. This was to become a bloodbath. The Army operation commenced without warning or call for surrender:

“No one inside the Golden Temple had yet realised the sinister plan of the authorities. Punjab had been sealed. Amritsar had been sealed. The Golden Temple had been sealed. Thousands of pilgrims and hundreds of Akali workers had been allowed to collect inside the Temple complex. They had been given no inkling or warning either of the sudden curfew or of the imminent Army attack. It was to be a black hole-type of tragedy, not out of forgetfulness but out of deliberate planning and design.”

~ Citizens for Democracy; Report to the Nation: Oppression in Punjab. Bombay, 1985. A day after publication of the report it was banned and confiscated, the authors were arrested and charged with “sedition” (incitement of rebellion against the government).

In his memoirs (Memoirs of Giani Zail Singh, Har-Anand Publications, New Delhi, 1996) the President of India confirms that no warnings were given; “I pointed out to her [Mrs Indira Gandhi] that military action was taken on a day when the Temple complex was full of pilgrims – men, women and children – assembled to observe the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev, most of whom perished in the cross firing… I told her that if notice had been given to these pilgrims over radio and television and loudspeakers, a majority of them would have come out… I had asked the government whether they had issued a warning on the loudspeakers to the people inside the complex to come out, to which they replied in the affirmative. Later, I came to know that no such warning had been issued and the operation had been suddenly launched.”

Day 4, 4th June 1984.

At 4am, the army shells the Gurdwara Complex... without warning. Thousands of innocent worshippers - men, women, and children - are still trapped inside. The army bombard the historic Ramgarhia Bungas, the water tank, and other fortified positions. They destroy the outer defences laid by General Shabeg Singh. The army then place tanks and APCs on the road separating the Guru Nanak niwas building, thus forming a wall of iron. About 100 die in pitched battles from both sides. The firing continues.

Day 5, 5th June 1984.

Shelling starts on the buildings within the temple complex in the morning. The 9th division launch a frontal attack, but are unable to secure the Akaal Takht. At 10pm, the generals decide to launch a simultaneous attack from 3 sides. 13 army tanks smash their way into the complex. The army simultaneously attacks various other Gurdwaras (the White Paper mentions 42, but other accounts mention 74). Amongst those who are killed, the head musician of the Golden Temple, 65 year old blind Ragi Amrik Singh, is shot dead. He is killed within the Golden Temple itself.

Day 6, 6th June 1984.

By 5am, due to firing from the army tanks, the Akaal Takht, the Sikh equivalent of the Vatican, is destroyed. The neighbouring structures of the Akaal Takht continue to be attacked. At 11am, a group of innocent people trying to escape is mowed down by machine gun fire.

“Grenades and poisonous gas shells were thrown at the men, women and children, who had locked themselves in the rooms, bathrooms and toilets of Guru Nanak Niwas, Guru Ram Das serai and Taja Singh Samundri Hall. Those who tried to come out were pierced with bayonets and shot dead. Some soldiers caught hold of small babies and children by their feet, lifted them up in the air and then smashed them against the walls and thus breaking their skulls.” ~ Harvinder Kaur; Blue Star Over Amritsar (Delhi, 1990) ”It was a virtual massacre. A large number of women, children and pilgrims were gunned down.” ~ As reported by The Guardian on 13th June 1984.

Day 7, 7th June 1984.

The army gains effective control of the Golden Temple Complex. An eyewitness details how the army had treated the pilgrims who had survived the bombardment:

"[The army] took off their [the Sikhs'] turbans with which they tied their hands behind their backs. Then the Army men beat these Sikh boys with the butts of their rifles until they fell on the ground and were shot dead right in front of me."

After the resistance is broken, the army has free reign. After the rapes and murders of innocent pilgrims, "the most distressing and inexcusable act was the torching of the Sikh Reference Library."

"Any army which wants to destroy a nation destroys its culture. That is why the Indian army burnt the library." ~ Mrs. Gandhi's Last Battle, Tully, Mark and Jacob, (New Delhi, 1985).

The Sikh reference library is burnt. Its priceless collection of 20,000 incrediby rare and valuable historic documents are reduced to ashes. Amongst these, irreplaceable documents regularly referred to for research are destroyed, and above all, 2500 handwritten saroops of Dhan Guru Granth Sahib Jee Maharaaj are desecrated.

Soldiers celebrate the thousands of cold-blooded murders and the desecration of the Sikhs' holiest shrine by drinking and smoking within the complex.

"Although the Sri Harmandir Sahib was riddled with bullets, the Akaal Takhat destroyed with cannon fire, and thousands of pilgrims massacred, the army were celebrating, people were seen carrying buckets of beer to the main gates of the temple where they jubilantly served the soldiers. The soldiers freely drank and smoked inside the complex. They certainly had plenty to drink, a notification of the Government of Punjab's Department of Excise and Taxation allowed for the provision of 700,000 quart bottles of rum, 30,000 quart bottles of whiskey, 60,000 quart bottles of brandy and 160,000 bottles of beer all for 'consumption by the Armed Forces Personnel deployed in Operation Blue Star'." ~ "Mrs. Gandhi's Last Battle", p203 (Ninth Ed. 1991).

Day 8, 8th June 1984.

All forms of aid are denied to the surviving victims. The Red Cross is refused permission to enter the Temple complex and the wounded are left to suffer for days. Many people die of dehydration as they are refused water. The Christian Science Monitor reported on the 8th June 1984:

"On Saturday, medical workers in Amritsar said soldiers had threatened to shoot them if they gave food or water to Sikh pilgrims wounded in the attack and lying in the hospital." The CFD report, 'Oppression in Punjab' remarks: "In accordance with the UN Charter of Human Rights, the Red Cross is permitted to go in aid of the wounded right inside the enemy territory, but in Amritsar in June, 1984, the Red Cross was not allowed to enter the Golden Temple - a respected and hallowed part of our country - in aid of Indians underattack from the Indian Army. It only means that the attack was so brutal and the battle scene so grisly, that there was much to hide from public scrutiny, even if it be that of a neutral agency called the Red Cross. This also explains perhaps why Press censorship had already been imposed, the last of the journalists were hounded away and the Press was not allowed to go inside the Golden Temple up to June 10, when they were taken on a guided tour of the complex for the first time since the Army operation began almost a week before."

An article that was published in India Today (30/9/84) details the most vulnerable of the 18,000 "suspected terrorists" arrested in June 1984 and detained in maximum security prisons:

"These were the other victims of Operation Bluestar, little children, some only two years old, who got rounded up. Since then, 39 children have been languishing in two Ludhiana jails. The youngest of these children, Jasbir Kaur, is only two years old, her sister Charanjit Kaur is four, and her brothers, Harinder and Balwinder, are six and twelve. There is four-year old Rinku whose father died during the army operation and whose mother has been missing since. Like the rest of the 'infant terrorists', Rinku had to go through gruelling interrogation. When asked where his mother was he replied, "I don't know". Asked where his father was, he said, "Killed with a gun". Why his stomach was so big; "Because I eat clay". Their ordeal began in early June when they were picked up around the Temple and packed into camps in Amritsar and Jalandhar. Two central agencies, the Central Bureau of lnvestigation (CBI) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) began their questioning. There were long, intimidating sessions. The children cried and begged to be sent home. But it went on for days. Their little finger prints were taken and IB sleuths set about verifying their bonafides. One interrogating officer admitted that officials were not moved by the children's cries.

Day 9, 9th June 1984.

Following the execution of surviving pilgrims within the Golden Temple complex, the rest that survived are rounded up, detained by the Army and charged as terrorists:

“379 of the alleged ‘most dangerous terrorists’ were forced to sign a common confessional statement and thereafter served a common charge sheet that they were all Bhindranwale’s closest associates and comrades-in-arms engaged in ‘waging war against the State’."

"The evidence collected established beyond doubt that none of the Jodhpur detainees we succeeded in profiling are ‘terrorists’ but rather all of them are completely innocent, ordinary persons, whose only crime was that they had all gone to or were coming from the Golden Temple as devotees or pilgrims visiting the Golden Temple for the Gurpurab on June 3, 1984 or farmers gone to the Temple to deliver village donations of grain to the S.G.P.C. or students gone to pay obeisance at their holiest religious shrine, the Harmandir Sahib.”

Source; Citizens for Democracy; Report to the Nation: Oppression in Punjab (Bombay, 1985).

These detainees were detained for up to 5 years, before in the face of worldwide condemnation and protest they were finally released. The government orders the shooting of unarmed protesters in New Delhi, Sri Nagar (Kashmir) and Punjab.

Some firing still continues within the Golden Temple Complex. 

Day 10, 10th June 1984.

The guns finally fall silent. Operation Bluestar is concluded.

The number of people who lost their lives will never be known. The Army cremated the dead before the bodies could be identified or claimed by their families. They piled the dead into garbage trucks and unceremoniously cremated them. Family members were not allowed by the army to claim the remains or perform any traditional funeral rites. It is clear that thousands lost their lives in the Temple complex.

The number of deaths was high. The Indian Government shockingly claims in their White Paper that only 439 Sikhs were killed. No other body agrees with this figure. The New York Times (June 11, 1984) put the figure at 1,000. Author Mark Tully's book claims that 2,093 Sikhs were killed. Amritsar crematorium workers put the figure at 3,300. Author Chand Joshi writes that 5,000 Sikhs were killed. However, eyewitnesses put the figure at 8,000 Sikhs having been killed during the ten days of terror.

The operation was supposed to have happened during a complete media blackout so that no one would know what happened between the inner walls of the complex. However, as the fighting lasted over a week, word began to spread, which resulted in a huge outpouring of grief and anger from Sikhs across the world.

Soon after the massacre, the government disinformation campaign went into overdrive to create legitimacy for the action. False claims were propagated. The Times of India (June 10, 1984) put forward a particularly disgusting, twisted version of events. They headlined on the front page a Press Trust of India report, saying, "Terrorists made a desperate attempt to blow up the Akal Takhat, killed a number of men, women and children, and unsuccessfully tried to escape with huge amounts of cash, jewellery and other valuables after their leaders were killed in the action on June 5. The Akal Takhat was not damaged in the Army action." The Government of India censored and persecuted any journalist or human rights organisation who tried to report the truth, and thus when Citizens for Democracy published a report detailing the "Oppression in Punjab" in 1985, it was banned and confiscated the next day, the authors were arrested and charged with "sedition" (incitement of rebellion against a government). Brahma Challeney of the Associated Press (AP) of USA was the only foreign correspondent who managed to stay in Amritsar during the attack, and was one of the first to publish reports that Sikh pilgrims were executed after the attack. For his troubles he was arrested and also charged with sedition.

Telegraph London (June 15, 1984) published the following report from David Graves: "The Akal Takhat looks like it has been bombed. It looks like a building in Berlin after the War. Every building in the complex had been riddled with bullets and there was still a stench of death in the air."

The Government Targeted Amritdhari Sikhs

The following quote is from an Indian Army circular which was distributed in June 1984. This excerpt from the official document exposes that in fact all practicing Sikhs were considered terrorists and were targeted by the government:

"Some of our innocent countrymen were administered an oath in the name of religion to support extremists and actively participated in the act of terrorism. These people wear a miniature kirpan round their neck and are called "Amritdharis". They have to be subdued to achieve the final aim of restoring peace in the country. Any knowledge of the "Amritdharis" who are dangerous people and pledged to commit murder, arson and acts of terrorism should be immediately brought to the notice of the authorities. These people may appear harmless from outside but they are basically committed to terrorism."

Dharmi Faujis

They are an amazing example of dedication and solidarity shown by Sikh soldiers in the Indian Army during the horrendous attack on the Golden Temple complex.

Every Sikh soldier swears an oath that he would not let any harm come to Sri Guru Granth Sahib first, before swearing an oath that he would not let any harm come to India.

Among the tragic outcome of the Blue Star attack, was the reaction and revolt of Sikh troops. Although there was a media blackout in Punjab, rumours of the assault on the Darbar Sahib managed to leak out and over 5000 Sikh soldiers spontaneously deserted their regiments in a bid to get to Amritsar. These soldiers are affectionately called Dharmi Faujis, which loosely translated means Soldiers of Faith. Had there not been a media blackout and false government propaganda, the scale of rebellion would have been even larger.

The Government initially did not publicly admit the revolt, and even later referred to the troops as having deserted rather mutinying (abandoning ones post as opposed to a mutiny or rebellion).

It is interesting to note that prior to the attack the Sikh Regimental Centre was purposefully shifted outside of Punjab to Uttar Pradesh. This clearly shows the intentions of the Government and their view of Sikhs. Military analysts have commented that although the Sikhs that defended the Golden Temple complex kept the army at bay for over a week, had the Sikh Regiment been stationed in Punjab, the outcome of the battle could have been very different. The Indian Government was well prepared and the Army had already been deployed to check the advances of the rebel Sikh troops who were travelling thousands of miles from 9 different States towards their ancestral homeland.

Although desperately outnumbered, the Sikh soldiers faced the Indian Army and fought gun battles in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat in which hundreds of Sikhs were killed by the military.

Those that survived or were captured, were dishonourably discharged from the army, stripped of all their privileges and pensions, and imprisoned for between 5-10 years. After leaving prison many had to work as manual labourers to support their families, whereas if they had still been in the army they would have enjoyed high ranking positions and state pensions.

Nonetheless, they are proud men and do not regret their decisions. The courage and dedication shown by the rebel Sikh troops is awe inspiring, facing impossible odds, they did not hesitate to stake everything in an attempt to protect their faith and nation.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

We should forget 1984, 'ey?

The people saying "forget 1984", "the constant reminders aren't helping anyone", and "the Sikh community should move on" are missing the point entirely.

When a major crime is committed, does the victim let the criminal get away with it, and let them walk free? Or does the victim seek justice?

When a child dies, does the mother seek comfort in her memories, and share her feelings, or does she throw all her photos away so she doesn't have to remember? Does she forget that her child ever existed, just so she can 'move on'?

Would anyone dare tell the Jewish to forget the holocaust, because it's stopping them from 'moving on'? Because the 'constant reminders aren't helping anyone'? Because 'it's a thing of the past'? Or will they help raise awareness so that it never happens again?

The Indian Government wants us to forget because they know they're guilty... they don't want to be known as the criminals that they are. Indians want us to forget because they don't like their country being criticised, and frankly, they don't care unless it happened to them.

If injustices are swept under the carpet, no one will know that injustice still exists. If no one knows it's happening, then it'll happen again. Fact.

And for the clueless idiots saying that the reminders are "reopening healed wounds", you make my blood boil. The wounds were never healed.

29 years on. Still no justice. Never forget 1984.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Bhagat Puran Singh Jee

109 years ago today, a humble, shabbily dressed man, who spent his entire life serving the outcasts of society, was born. A man who had very little, and left a behind a legacy. A man whose loving dedication to his service earned him the name ‘Bhagat’, meaning ‘devotee’. A man who is so incredibly inspirational, it’s beyond words.

In his early years, he would clear the streets of Lahore. Whenever he came across a dead body, human or animal, he would immediately prepare a grave or pyre by his own hand, and give the unclaimed dead a burial or cremation as a sign of respect. He came to the aid of the abandoned. He took care of the destitute and took the sick to hospitals.

He wrote, "From my childhood, my mother had asked me to do personal service to all the creations of God. This tender and distinct feelings of virtuous tasks was ingrained in my mind. My mother had taught me to provide water to the animals, plant trees and water newly planted saplings, offer feed to the sparrows, crows and mynahs, pick up thorns from the paths, and remove the stones from cart tracks. This had embedded the Name of the Almighty in my heart.”

He never finished his basic schooling, but would spend hours browsing books in the Dyal Singh Library in Lahore and try to gain as much knowledge as he could.

He was an early environmentalist, an advocate of what we now call the ‘Green Revolution’. He was spreading awareness about environmental pollution and increasing soil erosion long before such ideas became popular. He produced pamphlets of his writings, printed them on re-used paper, and distributed them freely.

After the partition of India in 1947, Bhagat Puran Singh reached a refugee camp in Amritsar which housed over 25,000 refugees with just 5 annas (0.3 rupees) in his pocket. The government didn't make any arrangements to take care of the critically wounded refugees. Bhagat Puran Singh took the initiative - he took some chloroform and Turpentine oil and started treating the wounds of the wounded. He would often go in the nearby colonies to get food for the hungry and medicine for the ill.

Against the ugly backdrop of violence and poverty of the partition of India, he founded Pingalwara in 1947. This was a home for abandoned, terminally sick, mentally ill, and disabled people. It began with only a few rejected and neglected patients from the streets of Amritsar. Now, almost 21 years after his death, Pingalwara is still tending to the castaways of society, caring for over 1000 patients.

He was honoured for his dedication in 1979 by the Indian Government with the Padma Shri award, given for exceptional and distinguished service in any field. However, after the Indian army's attack on the Golden Temple in 1984, because of his love for humanity, he chose to return this award.

This pure, beautiful, selfless soul was Bhagat Puran Singh Jee, 1904 – 1992. He was born into a Hindu family, and chose to become a Sikh after being affected by the culture of service he witnessed in a Gurdwara. A culture of service that we have come to shamelessy neglect. May we be inspired by him.

Dhan Dhan Bhagat Puran Singh Jee. ♥


"Bhagat Puran Singh was no ordinary mortal but undoubtedly the most loved and revered man in the world. I once described him as the bearded Mother Teresa of Punjab. Mother Teresa had the backing of the powerful Roman Catholic Church, the English press and innumerable foundations to give her money. Bhagat Ji had nothing except his single-minded dedication to serve the poor and the needy. And yet he was able to help thousands of lepers, mentally and physically handicapped and the dying. His name will be written in letters of gold in the history of the world".

Pingalwara. Please support this beautiful charity.


Friday, 12 April 2013

Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar - My Message to India.

Most of you will know of the case of Professor Davinderpal Singh Jee Bhullar, a Sikh political prisoner who today was moved from the hospital where he was staying to a jail in preparation to be hanged, after the Indian Supreme Court rejected his clemency appeal.

If you don't know about this innocent man who will be sent to the gallows, or if you want detailed information on what exactly Bhullar's case is, please visit this page and educate yourselves.

This is my message to the Indian Government.

How can you justify the death penalty for a man who has served a life sentence, the majority of which was spent in solitary confinement, whose confession was signed under torture and was later withdrawn, whose alleged crime is not supported by any solid eyewitness accounts or reliable evidence, whose case involved 133 witnesses, all of which could not identify him, who suffered a mental breakdown due to the atrocities committed against him, who, before being moved to a jail to be hanged, was residing in a hospital?

India, your legal system is a joke. The world's largest democracy? Hypocrisy more like... banning a film unveiling the truth about the government, and yet failing to ban the death penalty? You hang the man with a beard and a turban because he tried to expose the truth, and yet you let the killers and rapists who murdered minority groups run your government and walk free?

You're fuelling the revolution, India. You're digging your own grave. If we do celebrate Vaisakhi with a shaheedi this year, rest assured that when one Singh falls, thousands more rise in his place. You can kill the revolutionary, but you can't kill the revolution. The world is watching you... you lose your standing in the world bit by bit every time you commit an atrocity against your minorities.

Long Live the Revolution!!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Mata Bhaag Kaur and the Chaali Mukhte

If one woman could persuade 40 men, who had completely given up, to go back to a battle in which they knew they would die, and even lead them into that battle herself, and take the honour of becoming the bodyguard of the Tenth Master himself, then what is there that a Singhni cannot do?

If 40 Singhs could be so scared that they even wrote a letter to their Guru saying that they are no longer His Sikhs, be so desperate to give up, and yet still return to battle, fight courageously, redeem themselves by becoming Shaheeds, and with their final dying breath beg for forgiveness from their Guru, and be forgiven, then what is there that a Singh cannot overcome?

The Khalsa has no limits. Our history shows us that we have no limits. No matter how far we fall, we can be picked up. No matter what mistake we make, we can be redeemed. No matter how small we are, we can do great things.

Dhan Dhan Mata Bhaag Kaur Jee. A woman who inspired 40 Singhs who had deserted their Guru to return to battle. A woman who led 40 Singhs into battle herself. The female bodyguard of Dhan Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee Maharaaj Himself. A woman who could stand up to anyone.

Dhan Dhan Chaali Mukhte (Forty Liberated Ones) who redeemed themselves in the highest possible way by giving Shaheedi fighting for Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Gobind Singh Jee Maharaaj at the Battlefield of Muktsar. 


(1). Bhai Bhag Singh
(2). Bhai Dilbag Singh
(3). Bhai Mann Singh
(4). Bhai Nidhan Singh
(5). Bhai Kharbara Singh
(6). Bhai Darbara Singh
(7). Bhai Dyal Singh
(8). Bhai Nihal Singh
(9). Bhai Khushal Singh
(10). Bhai Ganda Singh
(11). Bhai Ishmer Singh
(12). Bhai Singha
(13). Bhai Bhalla Singh
(14). Bhai Suhel Singh
(15). Bhai Chamba Singh
(16). Bhai Ganga Singh
(17). Bhai Sumer Singh
(18). Bhai Sultan Singh
(19). Bhai Maya Singh
(20). Bhai Massa Singh
(21). Bhai Sarja Singh
(22). Bhai Sadhu Singh
(23). Bhai Gulab Singh
(24). Bhai Harsa Singh
(25). Bhai Sangat Singh
(26). Bhai Hari Singh
(27). Bhai Dhana Singh
(28). Bhai Karam Singh
(29). Bhai Kirt Singh
(30). Bhai Lachman Singh
(31). Bhai Buddha Singh
(32). Bhai Kesho Singh
(33). Bhai Jado Singh
(34). Bhai Sobha Singh
(35). Bhai Bhanga Singh
(36). Bhai Joga Singh
(37). Bhai Dharam Singh
(38). Bhai Karam Singh
(39). Bhai Kala Singh
(40). Bhai Mahan Singh

An Open Letter to the Citizens of New Dehli - Must Read


My heart bleeds over the brutalities suffered by Jyoti Pandey and her friend, and the suffering that their families are going through.

I also feel the pain of the women in your city and of their families: the terror of having to negotiate the world every time you step out of your home to go to work or school, to step out in your neighbourhood, or to move from one to another to shop or visit or play or merely enjoy the amenities of life in a city.

Your leaders, both political and religious, have already played their cards. They’re not about to let you change anything around you, because if they did, they’d be the first ones to be locked behind bars.

Your media has no interest in helping you change things for the better, because they represent corporate interests first and foremost. And those interests are now commingled with the interests of the political and religious hierarchy. Maintaining the status quo is seen to be best for them, even though it may not be for you.

But, unfortunately, you have an even bigger elephant in the room.

Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Yes, yes, I know. You want us Sikhs to move on and stop harping on 1984.

Well, we have moved on. We are forever in chardi kala — it’s in our DNA. We have forgiven, though not forgotten. We’ll pursue the culprits as long as they are alive, but we will never be their victims. Don’t forget, for better or worse, your country is being led by a Sardar who has dragged you all, kicking and screaming, into the 20th century. [No, this is not a typo … you have another century to go before you can lay claim to the 21st, I’m afraid.]

As I was saying, we’ve gotten over it.

But you haven’t.

You never will.


You can deny it, ignore it, pretend it never happened, whatever … but it will follow you wherever you go. It will haunt you in your sleep. It will be your nightmare day and night. And it will sit on your head, monkey-like, on the heads of your children, and the children of your children …


Given the thousands of innocent men, women and children killed in your streets and our homes in 1984 — in your city alone, without even getting into what happened in the villages, towns, cities, even moving trains, of your land — and the thousands of women who were raped then, it requires no complicated arithmetic to figure out that a hundred thousand and more of your city were involved — directly! — in the rape, murder and mayhem.

Remember the mobs, some in hundreds, some in thousands, that roamed the city for three days, unfettered, unchecked?

Well, they are all alive, free still, never charged, never tried, never punished, and they live amongst you. They are your fathers, your brothers, your husbands, your sons, your lovers. A hundred thousand of them.

One of your own religious leaders said the other day that your men need to have sex every 15 to 20 days, no matter where or how they get it. He must know his flock.

That’s why, isn’t it, that a rape occurs every 20 minutes in your land? That’s the official figure! Three every hour, 36 every day, 252 every week, 1080 every month, 12,960 every year … give or take a few. Now, please keep in mind that these figures, being ‘official’, are but the tip of the iceberg.

The terrible tragedy of December 16, 2012 will not change anything. Simply because those who are now raping you have nowhere else to go.

You are the true inheritors of 1984. And your inheritance is that your children and the children of your children will hound you. And stalk each other.

Because it is the law of nature.

As revealed by Krishna, and by Jesus. By Mohammed, Buddha, Moses, Mahavir. And Nanak.

As you sow, so shall you reap.

That’s the law.

And the law applies to individuals and it applies to communities, societies, and nations.

In case you think I’m making this up, here are a few reminders.

Pakistan was created through murder and mayhem. In the name of religion. Tens of millions of innocents suffered gravely because their leaders had no patience to try peaceful means.

Today: their own mullahs murder them. Every day. The country is a pariah of the world.

Israel. Walked roughshod over the lives of millions of innocent Palestinians, because it was able to buy the military might it needed to do it. To establish a state in the name of religion.

Today: missiles of modern fire and brimstone rain on them at regular intervals with biblical fury. Almost seven decades later, and there’s no peace to be had. Even in sleep.

Britain. And Europe. They raped and plundered the world for five centuries, each pretending to spread the word of God, but in reality pillaging the wealth of others and murdering their true owners.

Today: they are surprised to see that people of all the lands they brutalized have arrived in their homelands. There are no ifs and buts. Britain’s demographics is changing to make way for a new majority. And it won’t be Anglo-Saxon. The rest of Europe is not far behind. The colonies are knocking on the gates.

America. It has rained death on other nations, and has built its wealth on the corpses of countless children wherever they’ve gone to plunder.

Today: they simply don’t know how to prevent their own children from murdering them in their own homes. Every day, new barricades have to be raised … to defend against themselves. A nation … at war with itself.

There’s a reason why there’s no hope for peace on earth. Because we’ve all committed atrocities, we’ve outdone each other.

What you sow is what you reap.

So, remember 1984, as you lock yourselves up in your homes in New Delhi and get accustomed to moving around in human convoys.

I was at a party the other day. My hosts were Indian. And so were all the other guests.

I was the only Sikh-Canadian.

At one point, emboldened by liquor and the fact that he saw I was alone in a sea of desis, one of them cleared his throat and, in a raised voice, confronted me:

“So, Sher Singh ji,” he said, in feigned politeness, ”where are all the Sikhs and their kirpans now when we need them again to protect our daughters in India? Where were the saviour Sardars when the girl was being raped on a bus in Delhi the other day?”

He stood across the room, glowering at me, waiting for my response. The room turned quiet suddenly. They were all waiting for my answer.

I stood there, facing him. Seconds ticked by.

He stared at me. Others stared at me.

I stared at him.

Finally, I said: “Where do you think the Sikhs of Delhi have gone, and why do you think they are unable to save your women?”

I continued looking at him.

Gradually, ever so gradually, his eyelids fell. He looked at the floor. His shoulders slumped. His head sank, as if he was checking the polish on his shoes.

Quietly, ever so quietly, he shrugged his shoulders. Didn’t peep a word. Then slowly, ever so slowly, he turned around and staggered towards the bar.

In a room of almost 40 people, I swear I have never heard a louder silence than I did that night.

January 10, 2013

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas - Call me Scrooge

Call me Scrooge.

I'm not a Christian, and yet the idea of being bright-eyed and wide awake at midnight, on a quiet winter's night, in a church that has never felt so warm, holding a candle that has never seemed so bright, with a bunch of strangers who feel closer than family to me, and celebrating the birth of my Saviour gives me butterflies in my tummy. The idea of pouring my heart and soul into one day to make it so special, the idea of giving small and yet meaningful gifts simply to show that I care about someone, the idea of, as a form of celebration, going out of my way to show charity and generosity to those who rarely see it, and the idea of rejoicing in all that we have to be thankful for, is so so beautiful to me.

Too bad that that’s not what I see in Christmas around here, no matter how hard I try. For some reason we now think that happiness is associated with over-indulgence. Christmas is about excessive expenditure rather than real joy. There is a new Lord in town... Santa Claus is the new Jesus Christ. Over-eating and getting drunk is the new laughter and joy. Greed is the new charity. Selfishness is the new goodwill.

Commercialisation has convinced us that Christmas can't exist without mass expenditure. Christmas starts in August. As does the stress. Goodwill now doesn't involve giving to the less fortunate, but it involves satisfying your screaming spoiled little children by buying them something they neither need nor can afford simply because they demanded it. And you can't refuse their demands, because they believe in Santa. Our refusal to live in moderation always leaves us in a mild state of misery afterwards. Over the top consumerism and selfishness will only lead to empty wallets and depression, not happiness. This whole "Christmas is a good excuse to get together with the family" just says it all. We've lost our family values to the extent that we actually need an excuse to force us to get together... and then we spend the rest of the year neglecting each other. Is that all Christmas is? An excuse?

The complete and utter disregard of a religious festival upsets me. But the complete and utter disregard for traditional values—family, charity, thanksgiving, and in particular, contentment—upsets me more. These are the values that make Christmas so beautiful... and for some reason, they're rarely there. So when someone tries to knock me down with their stuck-up “well, THAT’S not very Christmassy!” comment, all I can reply with is “Neither are you”.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Bandi Chorr Divas

My warmest wishes go out to everyone celebrating Divali today. And may the Khalsa be blessed and learn from the message of Bandi Chhor Divas.

Sikhs often take this day as an opportunity to remember how the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib Jee, was released from jail and how, with his selflessness, perserverance and wit, Guru Jee had 52 persecuted Hindu rajas released with him. On Guru Jee's return, Divali was being celebrated. Although it didn't actually fall on the same day, we commemorate the day of Divali under the name Bandi Chhor Divas.

But in all honesty, how important in this day to the Sikh Panth? How much of a major part does it play in our history compared to everything else? Is it so important that it deserves more hype and celebration than the Prakash Purabs of all our Gurus, more remembrance than Guru Tegh Bahadur Jee's shaheedi where he gave his life to defend the persecuted Hindu and Sikh faiths alike, more remembrance than the countless lives lost in jangs and the countless lives saved by our Gurus? Do we celebrate Guru Nanak Dev Jee's release from jail? Do we celebrate anything, other than Vaisakhi and Guru Nanak Dev Jee's Prakash Purab, anywhere near as much as Bandi Chhor Divas?

In reality, we have shaped things to fit in with our own personal preferences. Over the years, because of our Indian heritage, Sikhs have adopted Divali as their own. Because we want to celebrate along with the rest of India, we have placed religious significance on this day. Despite it's relatively minor significance, we hold it to be more important than almost anything else.I am not trying to undermine this victory of our Guru.

I am not asking the Khalsa to stop their celebrations. However I do urge you to look into your history and to put it into perspective. I ask you to recognise all of the achievements, wisdom and courage of the Gurus. I ask your to recognise their blessings and their sacrifices. I ask you not to let your faith be clouded by cultural traditions. I ask you to take on board the beautiful message of Bandi Chhor and to apply this to yiur lives and your Sikhi. I ask you to be mindful of what you are celebrating. I ask you to be aware of the many things that we perhaps ought to be remembering and celebrating. Most importantly, I ask you to stay true to the teachings of your Guru. I ask you to celebrate your Guru, always, no matter what the day.

Bhul chuk maaf karna jee. Vaheguroo!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

When the clocks go back.

Warning: Before you read this, if you were expecting an intelligent analysis or opinion on something historical and Sikhi related, click your little 'back' arrow thingy in the left hand corner of your browser, because this is not the case. This is genuinely about British time change!
 So clocks are going back tonight. I'm trying to think about all the numerous various scenarios that could occur regarding Indian functions tommorrow, but it's all far too complicated! 
You have to consider old time, new time, AND Indian time! 
Most Indians will forget to change their clocks, so most functions will carry on at old time, so an hour early new time, but people show up an hour late anyway so they'll be an hour late old time, but on time for new time. Unless of course, someone remembers to change their clocks... then that'll mess everything up! :P Some not-so-Indian Indians may go by new time, but still be Indian enough to follow Indian timing, and end up being two hours late for functions that were held on old time! But at least they can argue that they're only an hour late new time, and therefore on time for new time Indian time ;] And if some clever bandar holds their function on new time, people who go by old time will actually turn up on time, or perhaps even an hour early if they choose not to follow Indian timing!
But of course, the real problem is when clocks go FORWARDS... then everyone shows up an hour late old time and two hours late new time, so if the function is held new time, and you are an average Indian, you are doomed. They might just go by new time and be an hour late due to Indian timing, or they'll go by old time and not stick to Indian timing so again only be an hour late, but face it, most will be two hours late. And mate, if you show up on time for new time, no Indian timing, I can guarantee no one will be there! :P I'd complain about the problems caused regarding getting one hour's extra sleep/ one hour's less sleep, but frankly, if you're Indian, you'll probably fall asleep at the function anyway...

I have just successfully given myself a headache! :P
I didn't even consider the fact that some people my think time is going FORWARDS! Oh gawddd! Then by some combination of the above factors some people may actually end up being THREE HOURS EARLY!! Or maybe three hours late? Honestly, I'm not so sure anymore :(
You need to put four timelines next to each other - old time & clocks going forwards & clocks going backwards & indian time. Then you can see how they work in relation to each other and in relation to REAL new time. That way all of this would probably make sense, and you'd be able to work out how many hours early/ late someone would be if they thought the clocks were going forwards lol.
If you do attempt this great feat, remember that as well as the confusion regarding what the actual time is, there's also always confusion regarding people predicting what time the function will be held with regards to time change... very complicated, I know!! Good luck!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

The Two Extremes - Set in Stone or Wishy Washy. Don't Lose Sight of the Truth.

There's two extremes when it comes to belief (in anything, any view, any religion, any whatever). The first extreme is when a person believes everything is black or white, right or wrong, undebatable, can't vary depending on perspectives or opinions or situations, completely set in stone. The other extreme is when a person believes that the grey area is so grey, so challengable, so open to interpretation, that they can't distinguish right from wrong anymore and they lose their direction in life, lose sight of their own standards and morality, and forget the truth.
Apply that to Sikhi.

The first type of extremists won't see that amongst the different beliefs and ways of life and amongst the different methods of following Sikhi, there are different paths to the ultimate truth. They won't accept that certain things aren't set in stone, that certain things are open to interpretation, and that in those cases a person has to follow what he or she genuinely believes will direct them closer to the truth. They deny that Sikhs can follow slightly different paths and still be Sikhs. They reject the idea of gradually becoming more and more absorbed with Sikhi and instead they jump into the rock solid stuff head on. The fact that even the most disciplined, most faithful and most devoted Sikhs have slightly differing views is not visible to them. They no longer are capable of forming their own opinions. They just regurgitate statements. They get so caught up in this black-and-white hype that they lose sight of what's important.

The second type of extremists start off normal enough, but then they get so scared about becoming the first type of extremist and get so determined not to become one that they reject the concept of right and wrong completely and become completely spineless and mushy. They open their minds so much that anyone can walk past and put any idea in them, and they'll just accept it without examining it or making the decision for themselves whether they agree with it or not. They become so wishy washy that they stop being able to have their own beliefs and opinions because they can no longer make up their minds. Because they're not willing to reject any ideas at all, they get so caught up in the whirlwind of interpretations that they lose themselves. They become so obsessed with the idea of 'the grey area' that they forget the truth.

The one thing that both of these extremists have in common is that they're too busy listening to other views (first extremist only listens to one type of view, other extremist listens to all of them) that they can't decide for themselves what's right or wrong for them. They can no longer form opinions. They can no longer make any necessary judgements. Extremist number one is scared of anything that isn't set in stone. Extremist number two is scared of anything that isn't set in stone. Extremist number one is too scared to challenge anything because they think everything is right or wrong, black or white. Extremist number two is too scared to challenge anything because they think nothing is right or wrong, everything is the same colour of grey. Both extremists are scared. Both lose sight of the truth... the teachings of Dhan Dhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee Maharaaj.

My point? Don't be either type of extremist, don't lose sight of the truth, and don't forget what's important - Vaheguroo.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

We all make mistakes.

When we see someone who has fallen, often due to their own choices and actions, we have the opportunity to either kick them down for the mistake they made, or offer them our hand and help pull them up and get them back on their feet.

Why is it that so many of us choose to kick them down? 
Don't you think they know they messed up? Don't you think they already regret it? Don't you think they wish it never happened? Don't you think they want to fix it, or recover from it?
What does kicking them down achieve? 
Does it make us feel better? Is it a 'punishment' for their mistake? Do we lack so much understanding that we can't forgive them? Do we think that, because of one mistake, that person deserves to live in misery?
Why do we tie them to their wrongdoings? Why can't we forgive them, and help them take the right path instead? Isn't this person worthy of a second chance? Can't they be given the opportunity to learn from their mistake? 
Why do we fill ourselves with so much hate that we forget about the lost, lonely, fallen person who just needs a helping hand?

We all make mistakes, and we all know that the last thing we want afterwards is to be kicked down and shunned by the very people who we would look to for forgiveness and for support. 
Everyone will lose their way. When they come back, they should be welcomed, not pushed away and told to get lost again.
 When you a tell a child, "Don't let go of my hand, or you'll get lost", that child may not understand why they shouldn't let go of your hand. They think they can let go, but still not get lost. Their friends tell them it's okay to let go. Slowly they start to think they can let go without getting lost. So the kid lets go of your hand, and they do get lost. But when that kid comes running back, do you push them away? Tell them "No, you made a mistake, now there's no going back, no chance to recover from it,  you have to live with the result of this mistake for the rest of your life"? No. You grab hold of ther hand again.  The kid was crying and helpless and learned their lesson and won't ever make that mistake again.
The mistake didn't hurt you. It hurt the one who made the mistake. And they need help to recover from it. They don't deserve to never recover from it just because they made the mistake in the first place. They need your help. Helping them could save them. Pushing them away could cause them to continue on the wrong path. A little bit of love goes a long way.
The biggest mistake of all is kicking a brother or sister back down when they're trying to get back up.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Wisconsin Gurdwara Shooting ~ Thoughts

On the 5th of August a Neo-Nazi Army veteran entered a Gurdwara in Wisconsin and shot and killed six innocent people.

If you don't know about this, look it up. There are numerous news articles about it. Here's a few random ones pulled out from google. I'm sure there's better ones. Educate yourselves.

  • The mother of the killer apologises:

Now, I don't want to go into the facts. That's what news articles are for. If you want to know the killer's name, or how the events unfolded, go and read a news article. I want to focus on the actions of the various communities affected by this sensless act of violence. This post is going to be quite bitsy. It won't flow well. It's not an essay or an article. It will just throw out some ideas, because right now, that's what my mind is doing.

Before all, may Maharaaj Jee bless all those who were afeected by this tragic event, and may They keep us all in chardikala.

Firstly, I want to make sure that everyone watches this video. It is truly beautiful. The short speeches are heart touching. The unity shown by the people is this video is so inspiring. It's unreal. In today's world, where we are so filled with divisions, boundaries and hate, this sort of thing is so rare. Please listen to the voices of America.

Most Sikhs will remember that, just after the shooting, their social networking sites and mobile phones were drowned with messages and posts about the shooting. There were moments or confusion and panic. There were constant updates as new information leaked out. But do you know what was so beautiful? Before anyone knew anything, when all we knew was that a gunman had entered a Gurdwara and shot at the sangat, before we learned about any deaths, we were already receiving text messages asking us to do Chaupai Sahib paaths and Ardaasa for the Panth. The entire Sikh population all around the world was united in their concern for their brothers and sisters abroad. I won't ever forget the feelings I felt during that time. It hit me hard, and showed me that, as Sikhs, we truly are one family. Even though I was sitting in a Gurdwara in the UK, my heart was in Wisconsin. A bullet in the heart of my brother is a bullet in my own heart.

But afterwards, the unity was not just shown by American Sikhs. It was shown by all Sikhs, all around the world. It was shown by all Americans, regardless of their faith or race. It was shown by non-American non-Sikhs who were horrified and saddened by this hate crime. There have been candlelight vigils everywhere, in every country. In America, all communities, regardless of their religion, have got together and held vigils. And these vigils have been interfaith events. All were united to support the Sikh community, and allto made it clear that no one will stand for hate crime.

The Muslim community, Christian community, Jewish community and undoubtedly many others have all made statements and speeches in support of the Sikh community, and sought ways to help and support the Sikh community. Jewish religious leaders were receiving phone calls from their congregations asking what they could do to help the Sikhs. Muslim leaders immediately jumped behind the Sikhs. In the video I posted above, a Muslim man tells a Sikh boy to wear his turban with pride. Christian leaders spoke out against the killer. Humanity, compassion and respect crosses all boundaries. They have all emphasised that this is not an issue for the Sikh community. It is an issue for humanity. It should touch the hearts of all of us.

Soon after the shootings, in a statement, the Washington-based Muslim civil rights organization CAIR said: 

"While details of the attack and the motivation of the attacker are still emerging, American Muslims stand with their Sikh brothers and sisters in this time of crisis and loss. We condemn this senseless act of violence, pray for those who were killed or injured and offer sincere condolences to their loved ones."

Needless to say, ignorance is an issue. It always has been. After 9/11 there have been many attacks on turban wearing Sikhs, because they have been mistaken for members of terrorist groups or organisations. Sikhs are not terrorists. Sikhs are peace loving people. This was an act of terrorism. The white supremacist was a terrorist. He killed people because of their skin colour.

I can't stress how important it is to realise that this is about humanity. Yes, Sikhs are often mistaken for Muslims, and we are attacked because of this. We are attacked because of our turbans and our beards. And it's a tragic thing. But let's make this clear - Muslims are innocent people too. Imagine if this shooting had taken place in a Mosque. It would still be wrong. We should still have united against it. This is why repeatedly stating that Sikhs are not Muslims will not solve the problem. People will then start attacking Muslims instead. It's important to make it clear that no group can be held responsible for the acts of a few individuals. Humanity is important. Don't forget about it.

I was incredibly touched by America's reaction to this act of domestic terrorism. Obama ordered that US flags should be lowered half way to show respect to those who were killed. America stood together and supported all those who were affected by the killings. The flags weren't lowered for six Sikhs - they were lowered for six Americans. Despite the ignorance which is still prevalent in America, Americans showed that they value the life of every American, regardless or race or religion. They all beat together as one heart, and they all mourn together.

President Obama issued a statement: 

“Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the shooting that tragically took so many lives in Wisconsin. At this difficult time, the people of Oak Creek must know that the American people have them in our thoughts and prayers, and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were killed and wounded. My Administration will provide whatever support is necessary to the officials who are responding to this tragic shooting and moving forward with an investigation. As we mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship, we are reminded how much our country has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our broader American family.”

Lieutenant Brian Murphy. The 51 year old man was shot 9 times, and he still waved off fellow officers who attempting to rescue him and indicated they should assist others who were still inside. He was critically injured. I have so much respect for him. This is love. This is compassion. Love for human life - willingly risking your own life to save someone else's.

Let's not forget the innocent victims of this sensless attack. My heart is with the friends and families of these innocent Sikhs. Every human life is valuable. I'll leave it to you to imagine how much sangat attended the funerals of these Sikhs.
Bhai Seeta Singh - Granthi/Gurdwara Priest
Bhai Parkash Singh - Granthi/Gurdwara Priest
Bhai Ranjit Singh - Raagee/ musician
Satwant Singh Kaleka - President of the Gurdwara 
Subegh Singh - Member of Sangat/ worshipper 
Parmjit Kaur  - Member or Sangat/ worshipper

I want to finish on this note - the Sikh community has been so strong and so SIKH during this time. By that I mean that they have not shown anger or hate. They have shown love and concern. They have not pushed anyone away. They have welcomed people with open arms. They have truly lived by the message of Guru nanak Dev Jee. In the wake of this senseless tragedy, the Wisconsin Sikh Sangat is teaching us an amazing lesson of strength, courage, compassion, and resilience.

Oak Creek police chief, John Edwards: 

"In 28 years of law enforcement, I have seen a lot of hate. I have seen a lot of revenge. I've seen a lot of anger. What I saw, particularly from the Sikh community this week was compassion, concern, support," he told the vigil standing in front a row of people holding signs that spelled out: practice peace. "What I didn't see was hate. I did not see revenge. I didn't see any of that. And in law enforcement that's unusual to not see that reaction to something like this. I want you all to understand how unique that is."

Finally, the Sikh community will never forget this tragedy. The gurdwara was repaired. They removed the bloodstained carpeting, repaired shattered windows and painted over gunfire-scarred walls. But Sikh Temple of Wisconsin members left a single bullet hole to mark the memory of a white supremacist’s deadly rampage.

As human beings, it's our job to make sure that hate is erased from our communities. It's our job to make sure that ignorance within our own communities is wiped out. We need to instill love in the hearts of our children. We need to go out and educate. We need to love. We can't just demand peace. It's our job to bring peace. Vaheguroo.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

1984 Attack On Harimandir Sahib - Western News Footage

Please please please watch. It's heartbreaking, reduced me to tears. This sums up the pain that the Sikhs have had to endure. It also reveals some truths that the Indian government denies. Even the Western media acknowledges our the truth in our cries. Please watch and share ♥

The Mothers, Daughters, Wives and Sisters of 1984.

I was a mother. I watched them cut my child's hair before they cut his throat. I was a sister. I watched them beat up and arrest my brothers. They never returned. I was a wife. I watched them torture my husband to death. I was a daughter. I cried as they tied up my father, poured kerosene on him and set him alight. I was beaten. I was raped. I was tortured. Everything I had was taken from me. I watch my oppressors walk freely every day. I have nothing. I live in poverty, in neglect. I'm alone, I'm afraid. No one hears me, no one listens. I want answers. I want freedom.
- Never forget the mothers, daughters, wives and sisters of 1984. ♥

Congress opposes Operation Bluestar memorial - THEY WANT US TO FORGET!

With a day to go for municipal corporation elections in the state, Congress on Wednesday took an aggressive stand opposing Bluestar memorial and honouring of Beant Singh's assassin Balwant Singh Rajoana at the Akal Takht. The party also said that there was no need for a memorial to the victims of anti-Sikh riots in Delhi.  


Opposing memorial to victims of Delhi anti-Sikh riots of November 1984, Amarinder Singh (state congress president) said it would be like opening up healed wounds.  


"Nobody ever justified these riots and people are leaving the tragic events behind, but Akali leaders are doing things to keep the old wounds festering to vitiate the atmosphere," he said.  


"These tragedies are part of history and it is absolutely foolish to make such a statement, which can disturb peace in Punjab," Amarinder said. 


"The memorial and Rajoana's felicitation are bad for Punjab and the country and are happening at a time when Punjab required focus on building its economy," Amarinder said.  



We are being oppressed. They are trying to silence us. They don't want to give us justice. They don't want to pay for their mistakes. They don't care. They're covering up their crimes. They're telling us to ignore the past. Get over it. Forget. They want us to forget the dead. They don't want any remainders of their mistakes to be seen. They'd rather focus on the economy. They won't even allow us to put up a memorial. They say there's no need to remember. They say we should forget. How can we forget? The victims are still dead. The killers still roam free. The mothers are still crying, suffering in poverty and neglect, insane with the trauma and their memories, still waiting for their sons to come back, still waiting for justice, still waiting for answers. Our wounds have been bleeding for 28 years, and they won't heal. We must remember our shaheeds and the innocent victims of the anti-Sikh genocide. We must remember what they did to us. We must remember that we never got justice. We must continue fighting. We must continue raising our voices, raising awareness. We musty continue the struggle for justice!


Lest We Forget

India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated on October 31, 1984 by two of her Sikh bodyguards acting in the aftermath of Operation Bluestar. Operation Blue Star was the brutal attack on the Holy Sikh shrines of the Akal Takhat and the Golden Temple during the period June 1 to 6, 1984. The Indian army invaded the Harmandir Sahib complex on the orders of Indira Gandhi, in order to remove the militant Sikh followers of Baba Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindranwale who were residing there. In the attack, around 1,600 innocent pilgrims - men, women and children - were killed. The operation saw the use of heavy artillery, rockets and tanks being employed. The attack was a massive, painful blow to the Sikh population. Gandhi paid for her crime. Over the next four days after Gandhi's assasination, thousands of innocent Sikhs were massacred in systematic riots planned and led by Congress activists and sympathizers. The Congress government was widely criticized for doing nothing to help, and for indeed inciting the violence and acting as a conspirator, especially since voting lists were used to identify Sikh families. On November 1, 1984, a huge mob from the suburbs of Delhi descended on various localities where mainly Sikh were concentrated. They were armed with iron rods, knives, clubs and some carried combustible materials, including kerosene. They had voters' lists of houses and business establishments belonging to Sikhs. The mobsters swarmed into Sikh homes brutally killing men, women and children. Their houses and shops were then ransacked and burned. Crazed mobs beat, tortured, raped and killed any Sikhs they could find. The most affected regions were neighbourhoods in Delhi, but in and out of Delhi, crazed mobs stopped buses and trains, pulling out Sikh passengers who were lynched or doused with kerosene and burned alive.

Never forget 1984.

Bleeding Wounds... 1984

My heart hurts at this time of the year. 28 years ago Harimandir Sahib (the Golden Temple) and Akaal Takht was desecrated by the Indian Army. They surrounded the complex, and no one was allowed in or out - no attempt was made to reduce the loss of innocent human life. The white marble floors were stained red, washed with blood, the sarovar (water tank) was coloured a deep crimson. The walls were embedded with bullets, the structures crumbled, dead bodies littered the complex. Innocent pilgrims - men, women and children - were shot and killed in cold blood. Their crime? Coming to remember the Martyrdom of the Fifth Sikh Guru, coming to worship, to love, to be at peace. The most beautiful, peaceful, holy place in Punjab was invaded by tanks and armed soldiers, it was showered with bullets and grenades, it was turned into a battlefield for the government to take out their fury... and hundreds of innocent Sikhs were mercilessly caught in the crossfire. Tell me, is a three year old child a terrorist? Is a 90 year old woman a terrorist? Is every man in a Turban a terrorist? Congratulations, India, for letting the real terrorists run free. Vaheguroo ♥

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Bhagat Puran Singh Jee's letter renouncing the Padam Shree award from the Indian Govt.

Bhagat Puran Singh Jee's rejection letter to the Indian Government renouncing the honour of Padam Shree (the fourth highest civilian award in India, awarded by the government) after Operation Bluestar:

The President of India,
Rashtrpati Bhavan,

Subject: Return of the award of Padam Shree against the in-human army action at Sri Darbar Sahib Sri Amritsar.

Shriman ji,

Sending the armed forces into Sri Darbar Sahib for military action has already produced countless painful results. As a result of this army action the Sikh world has been deeply hurt. You have seen how painful has been the effect of this army action on the Darshani Deodhi and the building of Sri Akal Takhat. Army has perpetrated acts, which you could not have known. Up to September 9, 1984, I have been investigating what I have heard from the people. I have exercised much restraint and have not rushed to conclusions. I will relate some of the happenings (that I have investigated).

1. Army-men arrested a scripture reader of Sri Darbar Sahib along with his family. The entire family was not given either food or water for the whole day. Rifle butts were administered on the scripture reader’s hands the whole day. Another scripture reader of the shrine was given the same treatment until his hands were swollen.

2. The sangat in Darbar Sahib complex consisting of women, men and children has been fired upon (and killed) as the mosquitoes are wiped out with poisonous spray.

3. The pilgrims who had been arrested in Sri Darbar Sahib and Teja Singh Samundari Hall around 12 noon on Tuesday were given water by the Sikh army-men after thirty hours on Wednesday. The children’s eyes were popping out with thirst and their mothers tried to moist their lips with sweat. When some women asked for water for the children the army-men told them that the children would grow up and kill the army-men so why should they be given water? On Tuesday the small quantity of water that was given to the children had cigarettes thrown into it. They were told that this is the prasad of their Guru. Army-men smoked cigarettes in Teja Singh Samundari Hall and kept on blowing the smoke at the Sikhs. The treatment meted out to the Sikhs in the name of army action has deeply hurt the feelings of the Sikh world. Hands of the young pilgrims, arrested from Darbar Sahib, were tied with their turbans, their hair were untied and used to cover their eyes with. They were forced to kneel down on the hot marble floor and to walk around on their knees. Hands of the boys were tied behind them and they were shot through their foreheads.

On the first of June 1984 the CRPF had commenced firing on Sri Darbar Sahib Amritsar. On the first of June before the arrival of the army, the CRPF had killed a scripture reader in attendance upon Guru Granth Sahib and the volume itself was shot at. After it was all over, the Sikh Reference Library and the Sikh Museum were set on fire out of enmity and in pursuance of predetermined action. On June 3, 1984, two Sikhs wearing yellow turbans and kirpans got off at Batala bus stand. They were asked by the army-men to take off their turbans. On their refusal to do so they were both shot dead. Another Nihang was shot at and killed near Gumtala jail because he had refused to surrender his kirpan. One Sikh in proper Sikh dress was standing on the roof of his house in an area of Amritsar called Kittas. Army-men killed him because he was wearing a yellow turban.

On the third of July a black turbaned and kirpan-wearing young Sikh of about 25 years of age was walking past the Kitchlew traffic island. The army arrived, handcuffed and arrested him although nothing incriminating was found on his person. When army-men went to arrest the President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee Sardar Gurcharan Singh Tohra from Teja Singh Samundari Hall, one of them was smoking a cigarette. When Sardar Tohra asked him not to smoke (in the holy precincts), his reply was, “shut up old-man or I will shoot you dead. Tohra said ‘I am the President of this place’ upon which the army-men became quiet.

Temple servants of Sri Darbar Sahib Mukatsar, were made to lie face downwards in the circumambulatory path around the sacred tank and beaten mercilessly. As a result of this one of them died. All those boys who had taken amrit were pulled out of their homes in the villages and were beaten severely.

I am compelled to observe that the army has displayed bankruptcy of character and has acted with hearts full of enmity and in a manner indicating that it wanted to wipe out the Sikhs. Young-men from villages have been troubled much after the army action. Apart from the truth depicted above, I have received information about such shameful incidents, to mention which is to violate the cultural norms.

After hearing of and seeing such happenings, I reject and return to you the award of Padam Shree conferred upon me.

Puran Singh Bhagat

 This is the HONOUR, LOVE and LOYALTY Bhagat Jee had for JUSTICE and for the PANTH!