Golden Temple massacre: 38 years of Sikh wounds that never heal

Careful estimates suggest 5,000 to 7,000 members of the community were killed during the operation

APP/News Desk June 02, 2022
Photo: Radio Pakistan

The 38th anniversary of the gory Operation Blue Star, also known as the Golden Temple massacre, has once again refreshed the pain of Sikhs in India.

The military action launched on June 2, 1984, at the holiest shrine of Sikhs in Amritsar has left a lasting impact on their many generations, who are still living with a painful past.

The Indian army also attacked other 41 Sikh temples across the province and killed thousands of Sikhs extra-judicially while no inquiries were ever held nor justice provided to the families of victims.

The then Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi’s political decision to use the ‘Hindu card’ to gain electoral victories led her to choose a dangerous path of confrontation with the entire Sikh community.

Also read: Claiming Kartarpur: Sikh community irked by Indian rhetoric

The most reliable estimates of the total number of deaths during the operation range from 5,000 to 7,000 and are remembered by Sikhs as the darkest time of their history.

Indian armed forces have a history of disrespecting religious sites of minorities in India and the military operation targeting the Golden Temple is its vivid manifestation.

Unfortunately, in their quest to rewrite history, Hindu fundamentalists in present day India are still stoking the fires of communal enmity.

Communal peace in India is on the brink of disaster where the attempts to mix history, religion, and politics is creating an incendiary situation with far-reaching consequences.

Also read: After hijab row, Sikhs with ‘Kirpan’ barred from voting in India

The mindset of the incumbent Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) has once again dominated the Indian polity and the establishment has been exposed to act as intolerant and tyrant towards minorities.

Other recent incidents include discriminatory legislation against Sikhs farmers in 2019, not heeding their demands during year-long protests, the killing of Sikh farmers by a BJP minister without any remorse, and opposition of the government to the Kartarpur corridor and the attempts to sabotage the project by levelling fake allegations against Pakistan.

The historical oppression has generated a strong reaction within the Sikh community. The idea of a separate piece of land in the name of Khalistan is rejuvenated every anniversary of the Golden Temple in June.

Security experts believe that the international community has a moral obligation to support Sikhs as it did in the case of East Timur and South Sudan.


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