The situation that we are likely to face in Punjab and Delhi in the coming months due to the attempts being made by some elements to revive anger in sections of the Sikh community in Punjab and abroad would be qualitatively different from the situation that we faced during the Khalistan movement between 1981 and 1995.
What we faced between 1981 and 1995 was a politico-religious movement claiming that the Sikhs were treated as second class citizens in India because of their religion and that the only way of redressing their grievances was through the creation of an independent Sikh state to be called Khalistan. We faced the entire gamut of classical terrorism such as hijackings and blowing-up of aircraft, planting improvised explosive devices in crowded places, indiscriminate use of hand-held weapons against soft targets and targeted assassinations of Hindu and pro-Government Sikh leaders and VIPs.
What we are seeing today is an attempt to create a revanchist movement by re-kindling the dormant feelings of anger, inner hurt and humiliation in sections of the Sikh community in order to motivate them to seek vengeance for the alleged desecration of their holy temple during the military action code-named OP Blue Star in June 1984.
Our success in bringing the movement under control was due to the fact that the terrorist organisations were not able to win many adherents for the cause of an independent Khalistan despite the widespread anger caused by OP Blue Star.
Today, the terrorist remnants of these organisations would face difficulty in using such political and economic arguments which would not make an impact on the Sikh community. They are, therefore, seeking to use revanchist arguments and symbols to persuade the people to support a neo terrorist movement.
The attempts of the SGPC to build a memorial inside the Golden Temple for those killed during OP Blue Star, to pay homage to the memories of the assassins of Gen.A.Vaidya, who was the Chief of the Army Staff during OP Blue Star, and Beant Singh, the former Chief Minister of Punjab, and to kill Lt.Gen (retd). K.S.Brar, who played a prominent role in OP Blue Star, during his recent visit to London are indicators of the revanchist thinking being encouraged by some elements in Punjab and abroad.
At least in the initial stages, a revanchist movement is likely to focus more on acts of revenge against political leaders, and military and police officers, who had played a prominent role during OP Blue Star and during the subsequent counter-terrorism operations. It is important to review the security already provided to them and further strengthen it in India and abroad.
How to deal with the activities of the SGPC in encouraging symbolic acts like the construction of a memorial for those killed during OP Blue Star and paying homage to the assassins and to prevent the new brand of terrorists from again establishing control over the Golden Temple? This is a tricky question calling for careful handling without over-reaction.
We have faced two tricky situations in the Golden Temple in 1984 and 1988. The occupation of the Golden Temple by some terrorists in 1984 was handled by the Army under OP Blue Star resulting in many fatalities on both sides and damages to the Akal Takht, the sanctum sanctorum. The re-occupation of the Golden Temple by another group of terrorists in 1988 was handled without the use of the Army by a group of police officers led jointly by Mr K.P.S. Gill, Mr Ved Marwah, Mr M.K. Narayanan and Mr Ajit Doval.
The government should consult these officers on the options available before deciding on a strategy. So far as attempts to revive terrorism outside the Golden Temple are concerned, the Akali Dal Government has been saying that it is all for strong action to curb them in the bud and claims that it is already doing so. But there is considerable ambivalence in its attitude to the revanchist activities of the SGPC inside the Golden Temple. This needs to be tackled without unwittingly aggravating the situation as these police officers successfully did in 1988 without unnecessary and unwise dramatization.
I saw a TV interview of Mr K.P.S. Gill after the attack on Lt Gen.Brar. I got the impression that he was also cautioning against over-dramatisation of the worrisome situation developing in Punjab and abroad. The government of India has a leadership role to play in this in consultation with the SAD and the BJP. It should not be self-complacent.
B. Raman is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies.
The militancy issues related to Sikhs must be handled carefully we must not give too much publicity and fan the small smoke into fire, Sikhs themselves are not interested except few fringe elements abroad in Canada & UK
Let's keep our heads firmly buried in sand like the last time. When it becomes out of control then start firefighting. SAD in connivance with its allies is playing with fire.
1. Beant Singh killer, a Babbar Khalsa terrorist was honored by clerics as a living martyr. Whole punjab came to stand still to oppose its hanging. This clearly shows head buried in sand syndrome.
2. An Abomination is coming up in Golden Temple to honor the terrorists killed in OP Blue Star. SAD is trying to justify the injustifyable.
3. Attack on Retd Col. Brar shows that terrorist elements are alive and kicking in the liberals democracies abroad. There was not a single condemnation from SAD( the political face of Sikh terrorism) about this heinous attack.
4. Every year SGPC honors the family members of terrorists who killed Gen. Vaidya.
5. All the slain terrorists find pride of place in the Gurudwaras abroad. Same gurudwaras collect money for the Cause. So much for the religion of peace.
6. Much breast beating goes on for apology and justice vis-a-vis 1984 riot, but neither SAD nor SGPC has offered apology to the innocent victims family killed by the sikh terrorists.
KishoreDasMunshi >> Let's keep our heads firmly buried in sand like the last time.
Use singular and not plural. You are a dynasty shill and you choose look every issue in the tinted glasses of your beloved ruling dynasty, but dont expect everyone to have same vision problem that you possess.
AGWAN: With all eyes on the commotion over the construction of a memorial, for those who lost their lives in Operation Bluestar in 1984, at the Golden Temple complex; a gurdwara in memory of Satwant Singh, one of the assassins of former prime minister Indira Gandhi hardly draws any attention at Agwan village in Gurdaspur district.
Situated in the middle of the village near the Indo-Pak border, the gurdwara is named after Satwant Singh, who remains the last man to be hanged to death on January 6, 1989 at Tihar Jail in Delhi.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) also observes the death anniversary of Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh, assassins of Indira Gandhi, on January 6. Sikhs' supreme temporal seat Akal Takht had bestowed upon them the title of 'martyrs of Sikh nation'.
I'm surprised he didn't mention the failure of the Indian Government to prosecute those involved (mostly government officials) in anti-Sikh criminal activities despite clear indications from the C.B.I. that said officials were indeed involved.
Of course when government officials are involved, the credibility of CBI (the equivalent of the FBI) which operates under the Government of India becomes questionable.
And so the Sikhs are yet again given false hope that they are on their way to finally getting due justice but court proceedings and appeals will let these criminals keep living a long and prosperous life with protection from the Government of India.
I am not surprised at the assassination attempts by Sikh extremists. This is exactly what the Government wants. It is very costly for the government to actually prosecute them as it will then lead these criminals to spill the beans. India will continue to protect them for as long as they can in order to keep the truth hidden, or until the Sikhs get them.
Perhaps you should read about the history of Sikhs and also the history as to what led to all of this. I suggest you start from the Sikh demands for greater autonomy not only for Punjab but for all the states of India as to give a balance of power. There's a reason why there is nationwide corruption and majority of the people in India still live in poverty. Don't be fooled by government propaganda. This is just a way to keep us all busy fighting with each other while the elite plunder the nations wealth by privatization and shady deals. Countless politicians in all states have become millionaires. What happened to the common person? Sonia Gandhi herself has become a billionaire but how?
The only way to overcome our problems is to stick together and address them. This will scare the shit out of the Government of India. Do not be fooled by it's unifying title. "Government of India" is just an illusion for the common man of Hindustan.
Yes there are some Sikhs who are at the extremes; this is due to negative feedback from people like you. But there are also many, a newer, more educated, and informed generation that knows what role they play in Hindustan. The sole purpose of the Sikh Nation was to protect the oppressed, hence 'Hind Ki Chadar'.
Read about Ram Narayan Kumar, the human rights activist. Maybe then everything will start making sense to you as to why Sikh extremists came to existence.
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