Recently, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh commented on the situation in Pakistan mainly of Sikh minority. He said “The minorities are facing problems in neighbouring Pakistan...Jazia (religious tax) is being imposed on minorities. We will take appropriate and necessary steps on the issue of imposition of jazia in neighbouring country on minorities”. Look who is talking. Congress Prime Minister is talking about the rights of minorities particularly Sikhs in Pakistan. This remark by the Indian Prime Minister accounts to interference into the internal affairs of Pakistan. It is also worth mentioning that he is talking about the area where the military operation is going on to flush out foreign militants and their local supporters to restore peace. So what is happening to minorities is not on the order of the government but of some extremist elements. Above all what is most important is that Indian Prime Minister has serious concerns about the minorities in Pakistan, which are Pakistanis. There are evidences about the violence and oppression against minorities in India. Indian government itself is a source of violence. May be Manmohan Singh forgot 6 June 1984 but not the Sikhs of Punjab who lost their loved ones. India in fact is a country of Hindus, caring only about their welfare even at the expense of other minorities. The government of India even involved in the organized killing of Minorities. As far as Sikhs are concerned they are never treated as patriotic citizens of India and always mistrusted.
Indian government tried several times to purge Sikh identity and merge them into Hinduism. Since independence Sikhs remained mistrusted and are being discriminated and treated as aliens. During British rule Gandhi and Nehru promised the Sikhs to have full rights and freedom over Punjab. They stated that Sikhs would have the rights to rule Punjab without any interference from the government and that no laws would be passed without discussing them with Sikhs. Gandhi said, “You (Sikhs) take my word that if ever Congress or I betray you, you will be justified to draw the sword as taught by Guru Gobind Singh”. As soon as the British left India Sikhs were fired from their jobs and declared as traitors of India. Even in the Indian constitution, Sikhs were declared ‘Hindus with long hair’. Gandhi betrayed Sikhs and told them that if they cut their hair and give up their faith and joined the Hindus, they would be given full right and hired at the jobs. After independence when Nehru was asked to fulfill his promise of creating a separate Punjabi state, he brushed it off by saying “circumstances have changed now”.
After independence the Indian government continued its efforts to wipe out Sikhism from Indian soil. For this purpose in 1978 it sent an agent, Nirankari Gurbachan to Punjab to destroy Sikhism. He spoke against Sikhism and insulted the Sikhs Holy Scripture Guru Granath. In retaliation Sikhs launched a peaceful march against him while Gurbachan who already had Indian troops with him ordered them to shoot Sikhs. Resultantly, 13 Sikhs were killed leaving many other injured. The Indian government instead of punishing the culprits put the blame of this occurrence on Sikhs. This angered Sikhs and they rebelled against the Indian government. At this time a religious leader, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, took power in Sikh nation and started a campaign of evangelizing Sikhism. He openly spoke against the Indian Government’s activities against Sikhism. As the people started supporting Bhindranwale and the freedom movement gained momentum many a people became Sikhs. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and many political leaders launched peaceful march and demanded full rights and status of first class citizens for Sikhs in India. An Anandpur Sahib resolution was brought to attention by Bhindranwale, which included many demands for Punjab and Sikhs such as: regional autonomy for Punjab; return of Chandigarh to Punjab; specials status for Sikhs in the Indian union; a supreme court review of Punjab river waters; return of Punjabi speaking areas to Punjab; provision of a fare share of electricity to Punjab and declaring Amritsar a holy city.
The Indian government rather than fulfilling the demands of Sikhs began arresting them blindly. At this stage Bhindranwale said, “There is no solution to Sikh’s problem without freedom”. Riots between Hindus and Sikhs broke out. In Haryana, Hindus were called from villages by beating drums to kill Sikhs. Under such circumstances Bhindranwale was sure of Indian government’s plans to attack the Golden Temple at Amritsar and he was not wrong in calculating the Indian government’s intentions. As Lt. Gen. K.S. Brar, who was in charge of operation stated that the Indian army planned and rehearsed an attack on Golden Temple 18 months before the attack itself happened. Bhindranwale addressed the Sikhs and advised them to be ready to defend the Golden Temple.
As the Sikh movement gained momentum, Punjab was handed over to Indian military. The Indian government and military, in order to hit the Sikhs below the belly, planned to attack Golden Temple in the first week of June that marks the martyr day of fifth Guru, Guru Arjun Dev, founder of Golden Temple, and hence there was going to be a big Sikh gathering. Indian government announced a curfew in Punjab, telephone lines were cut and all press reporters were asked to leave Punjab. Punjab was completely disconnected from the rest of the world. The entire state was surrounded by troops. All the Sikhs were being harassed all over India.
On 31st May a large contingent of Indian army launched an attack on Golden Temple. This operation was given the name of Blue Star. Sadly, there were only 251 Sikhs inside to protect the complex of the Golden Temple as compared to thousands of fully equipped Indian troops. The Indian government also brought tanks and destroyed Akaal Takhat, which is in the front of Golden Temple. On 6th June when all Sikh fighters became martyrs, the war was over and the Indian troops entered the temple.
They did not even respect the sanctity of the holy place and entered with their shoes on. When the Indian troops found that only 251 men had stopped them from entering the temple for 6 days they started killing innocent Sikhs who had come there to visit the Temple. This was to hide their humiliation. About 50,000 Sikhs were killed that day. Sikh artifacts were burnt. All the literature written by the Gurus was taken away by the army. The whole Amritsar city was burnt. Sikhs’ shops were looted and houses were set on fire. Hindu mobs went to every house and burnt Sikhs alive, women were dishonored. Most Sikhs between ages 5 to 40 were killed. The Indian government thought that if they kill young Sikh men then there would be no Sikh marriages and in the next 10 to 15 years the Sikh population would not increase and they would eventually die out. All the visitors of the Golden Temple were arrested and they all starved to death because they were not given any food to eat not even a single drop of water.
Indian government said that the operation was conducted to flush out Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his supporters from the Golden Temple. If the Golden Temple was attacked to drive out Bhindranwale then why were other more than 50 Sikh temples attacked on the same day in Punjab by the army? Why were thousands of innocent people, specifically Sikhs, killed? Why did the government have to use tanks and heavy artillery to drive out few Sikhs? The Indian government has no justification for 1984’s bloody massacre. However, the truth is that it was a grand and wicked plan of Hindu government to vanish Sikhism by merging it into Hinduism. Because if would have been only Bhindranwale then the Indian army could have leave Punjab after the operation was over. Else there is no reason for army to stay in Punjab, burn whole Amritsar city and the Sikh literature?
Ever since operation Blue Star, Sikh youngsters have been picked up by the police, tortured in custody and than murdered in fake encounters. In some places in Punjab, whole villages lost their young generations as a result of inflammatory action of Indian regime. To top it, Amnesty International is banned from carrying out human rights investigations in the Punjab. Operation Blue Star proved that India is a country of Hindus who are intolerable towards other communities and want either to banish them or to merge them into Hinduism. It also shows that freedom of religion which is provided under Indian constitution is nothing but reflection of a sham democracy. So it seems strange that while victims of Operation Blue Star are awaiting justice, Indian Prime Minister is very much concerned about the announcement of a dissident group of Swat about minorities. There is a need that India first brings its home in order and than talk about others and its political parties must stop using issues relating to Pakistan as election gimmicks.