Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sikhs will never forget June 1984‏

Vaheguruuu ji ka khalsa, Vaheguruuu ji ki fatehhh

The Indian army surrounded the Golden Temple complex and attacked without warning on June 3rd, a day that thousands of Sikhs were visiting the temple in memory of the Martyrdom anniversary of the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjun Dev.

Another fact often ignored by writers is the simultaneous attack of 40 or so other Gurudwaras in Punjab as well . Were there armed terrorists who posed a major threat in each of these locations? Or was this the attempt of a majority community and its government to assert its authority, and send a message of brutal repression to those who advocated self-determination?

The government forbade news coverage of the army attacks, expelled all foreign journalists, cut phone lines across Punjab, and banned all international human rights organisations . A claim often made is that there was a massive store of weapons in the temple. A question that arises is how did they get there? Why did the government not take appropriate measures earlier, when the armed forces had been stationed outside the temple for months prior to the attack? Or was there no such massive store in the first place? Could it have been brought in by Indian intelligence after the attack?

The army attacked with helicopters and tanks but met with fanatical resistance and were not able to gain control of the shrine until June 6th. The army reduced the Akal Takht, the ultimate seat of temporal power in Sikhism, to rubble; they burned down the Sikh Reference Library, and looted the treasury . The hands of Sikhs were tied behind their backs with their turbans and were shot point-blank range . It is estimated that the number of dead ranged between 4000 to 8000 civilians along with about 500 militants .

Sikhs around the world were outraged to hear that their holiest shrine had been attacked. Regardless of if one believed in independent Khalistan before or not, everyone questioned the future that Sikhs could have in India. Sikhs in the Indian army rebelled, Sikhs in the government resigned, and Sikhs who had received honours and medals from the Indian government returned them .

... we must NOT forget what happened in 1984....... please attend sikhi programs that are organized every year in rememberence of those shaheeds of 1984 in your local area or gurdwara ... or organize a program ... we must NOT forget ...... Vaheguruuuuu...

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