1984 anti-Sikh riots: Who was GUILTY...???

Happy Halloween Day everyone. 
By the way, today's there's also the DEATH ANNIVERSARY Indira Gandhi.

1984 anti-Sikh riots, well everyone(almost) knows what they were and there has been a lot of big debates on the topic "who all were guilty?" but no-one ever came up with any answer. The reason for that is these type of incidents are never the result of the errors by just one person, its always that multiple sides are responsible for contributing to it. This reminds me of a saying:

ताली कभी एक हाथ से नही बजती ।

translates as:
A clap is never made with just one hand.

So who were the different sides that different people say were guilty?

  • Was it the sikh bodyguards who shot Indira Gandhi after she almost completely destroyed the holiest shrine of sikhs?
  • Was it some renowned personalities who provoked mob against sikhs, which later became one of the biggest riots in the history of India?
(Hopefully I've didn't forget any eligible candidate)


Well, so lets start with whatever happened in a very brief manner and chronological order and then get to the debate of who's guilty and who's not?
  • Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who was accused of killing many prominent people like Gurbachan Singh, who was third guru of Nirankari Sect and A.S. Atwal, the Punjab Police Deputy Inspector General, went and hid inside Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar and brought machine guns and other deadly weapons in the compund.
  • Operation Blue Star was proposed by Indira Gandhi to eliminate Bhindranwale. She asked this operation to be executed under the Lt. Gen S.K. Sinha, who was supposed to be promoted as the Chief of Army for the same reason, but he refused to take any such step considering its sacrilegious nature. As a result, a controversial decision was taken and Sinha's promotion was stopped and General Arun Shridhar Vaidya replaced him as chief of army.
  • Then, the operation was planned and executed. It basically started on 1st June 1984 when CRPF open fired "Guru Ram Dam Langar" building.
  • By 7th June 1984, 6 days after the attack started, army gained effective control over the Harmandir Sahib Gurudwara compound.
  • By 10th June 1984, entire operation was completed by army.

The completion of the Operation Blue Star, resulted in:
  • Death of Bhindranwale and his accomplices,
  • Destruction of Gurudwara and other surrounding buildings,
  • 700+ soldiers died,
  • 500+ civilians died,
  • 5000 Sikh soldiers mutinied all over India,
  • Then Prime Minister, INDIRA GANDHI got assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards(Satwant Singh and Beant Singh),
  • Both of them dropped their weapons and surrendered, but then Beant Singh was taken in closed room and shot dead.
  • All India anit-Sikh riots were started and more than 3000 sikhs were killed,
  • Satwant Singh and Keher Singh(the third conspirator) were hanged in Tihar Jail.  

From here on, these are completely my views, if you want, then read, but don't get offended if you are a "Indira Gandhi Follower"

 Lets start with a few questions...
  • There came no support from the public when sikh mutinied for the destruction of their holy shrine, but just when indira gandhi got assassinated, nation level riots started, doesn't this sound more like a political stunt...???
  • Both the bodyguards dropped their weapons and surrendered themselves, then why was one of them(Beant Singh) taken to a closed room and shot dead...???
  • Just because Lt. Gen S.K. Sinha refused to attack on Harmandir Sahib, his promotion was stopped. Why...???
  • The holiest shrine of someone's is being destroyed and due to this when few soldiers refuse to work in protest(instead of revolt), a strict action was taken against them. Why...???
  • How does a small militant group gain so much power that whole army has to be called to control them...??? Well the answer lies in the same example like the when US helped Afghanistan build bunkers and attack USSR but later Bin-Laden and group took shelter in the same bunkers only and made the life of US a living HELL. In this case, government helped the same militant group to grow, and result you all know. At this point I'd like to quote:
    The consequences of a Big Mistake keep coming in small installments...!!!
    (I missed the above point, but was quoted by Inderdeep in the comment and I'm adding it now)
  • One question in bold:
Why no action was taken against prominent and renowned personalities, who instead of taking major steps to calm down the public, helped the riots with outrageous speeches in public...???

Obviously, the mistakes were there on the part Bhindranwale, who entered the holy place with weapons. But who'll answer the above questions...??? Who'll take the responsibilities for the same...???

When government says, that on the name of terrorist, Muslim community people should not be hurt, then why does justice hasn't been brought to the Sikh families who are still suffering because that day their family members were butchered even who were not part of Bhindranwale group...???


Anyways, as I mentioned in the beginning, such debates are never ending. The real reason why I brought this topic was because I wanted to send a message to Sikhs:

Till the time we keep conspiring among ourselves,
how can we expect other communities to support ourselves...???

Well, how and when, then its a long list. There has always been disputes between Gurudwara committee's of different regions over few issues. Most of the things were not questioned to SGPC, but most of the things were left without explanation also by SGPC, like few years back why the use of Nanak-shahi calendar was stopped suddenly...??? No-one knows the answer. What everyone knows is, it was done.

Recently, a plea was put forward to Akal Takht that thousands of Sikhs were killed in riots on 3rd Novemeber, 1984, so atleast for once, we can celebrate a cracker-less Diwali on their name. Sounds like a reasonable request, but was immediately refused. I don't know whether the reason was that the plea was made by the sister of Balwant Singh Rajoana, Kamaldeep Kaur, who was facing death sentence in the assassination case of former Punjab Chief Minister, Beant Singh or something else.

PS: Hope the last 3 paragraph's of this post reaches the right minds. And atleast a 2 minute silence for the innocent people who died that day in the riots.

PPS: Feel free to share your views.



  1. Firstly thanks again for writing such a post to bring awareness..
    I completely agree with you, that its never a single person who is responsible for such an event.. There is a trail of small (but not negligible) events which lead to such a situation. Same happened to Op. Blue Star and assassination of Indra Gandhi. I think the roots of this event go back to the period of Emergency in 1970's.. they also go back to the situation when Bhindranwala was encouraged for other interests.. and that the amount of power he had attained was due to the support of govt. as well.. the promises made by govt. regarding regarding Punjabi and other such things in Anandpur Sahib Resolution. Some of these issues have been very well covered in few episodes of Pradhanmantri (ABP News)..you may get them on youtube.

  2. Thanks for sharing the point...I'd like to quote one similar incident for those who are not familiar with Indian history:
    US helped Afghanistan build bunkers and attack USSR but later Bin-Laden and group took shelter in the same bunkers only and made the life of US a living HELL.

  3. Well analysed. A tragic event that the powers that be wish to sweep under the carpet for political expediency. Sad.

  4. A very analytical Post with the right questions, Sarabjeet.
    We had to lose Indira Gandhi and face the repercussions...
    Operation Blue Star was a black mark surely,

  5. To answer it in one line: We are guilty. Each one of us who did not wake up and protest when the militants were taking over Punjab, and who did nothing when Sikhs were massacred all over India in 1984 are guilty.

    Operation Blue Star and whatever happened in the aftermath should never have happened. The militants could have been taken out just by tiring them out with a months long siege, as it was done later. A botched up and ill planned operation which cost India a full decade and thousands of innocent lives.

    As for 1984, brother I am ashamed.


Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting and taking out time to comment. Your comment will be published after approval from the admin.

Popular posts from this blog

The Unposted Letters..!!

A Long and A Lone Run.. Few thoughts..!!

Lets see, What gonna happen...