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Fwd: On 28th Anniversary of Sikh Genocide of 1984

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  • shamsul islam
    ... From: shamsul islam Date: Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 4:52 PM Subject: On 28th Anniversary of Sikh Genocide of 1984 To: It only reflects
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2012
    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: shamsul islam <notoinjustice@...>
    Date: Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 4:52 PM
    Subject: On 28th Anniversary of Sikh Genocide of 1984

    It only reflects a shocking state of affairs about Indian secular
    state that whenever massacre/genocide of religious minorities has
    occurred in Independent India, the culprits either have not been found
    or even if identified have not been prosecuted. The 3 major carnage of
    minorities are living examples of this reality. On February 18, 1983,
    at Nellie (Naogaon District of Assam) 2191 Bengali speaking persons
    who all happened to be Muslims and included women and children were
    butchered on a single day. On May 22, 1987, a platoon of Uttar
    Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary picked up 42 Muslim youth from
    Hashimpura locality of Meerut (UP). All of them were shot dead and
    their bodies were dumped in the river. In October-November 1984 it was
    the turn of Sikh minority. Thousands of them were brutally killed and
    maimed in a fortnight. The search for culprits continues even today
    and Indian state finds itself helpless in providing justice to the
    victims. This week is the 28th anniversary of 1984 Genocide and I am
    reproducing my article which I wrote after its occurrence.
    Genocide 1984: Long Search For Culprits
    By Shamsul Islam
    It is generally believed that the Congress cadres were behind this
    genocide. This is true but there were other forces too which actively
    participated in this massacre and whose role has never been
    investigated. Those who were witness to the genocide of 1984 were
    stunned by the swiftness and military precision of the killer
    marauding gangs (later on witnessed during the Babri mosque
    demolition, burning alive of Dr. Graham Steins with his two sons and
    recent pogrom of the Muslims in Gujarat) who went on a burning spree
    of the innocent Sikhs. This was beyond the capacity of the Congress
    I have an important RSS document which may throw some light on the
    unhidden aspects of the genocide. It was authored and circulated by a
    veteran ideologue of the RSS, Nana Deshmukh on November 8, 1984.
    Interestingly, this document was published in the Hindi Weekly
    Pratipaksh edited by George Fernandes (Defence Minister of India
    1999-2004, and presently a great pal of the RSS) in its edition of
    November 25, 1984 titled ‘Indira Congress-RSS collusion’ with the
    following editorial comment:
    “The author of the following document is known as an ideologue and
    policy formulator of the RSS. After the killing of Prime Minister
    (Indira Gandhi) he distributed this document among prominent
    politicians. It has a historical significance that is why we have
    decided to publish it, violating policy of our Weekly. This document
    highlights the new affinities developing between the Indira Congress
    and the RSS. We produce here the Hindi translation of the document.”
    This document may help in unmasking the whole lot of criminals
    involved in the massacre of innocent Sikhs who had nothing to do with
    the killing of Indira Gandhi. This document may also throw light on
    where the cadres came from, who meticulously organized the killing of
    Sikhs. Nana Deshmukh in this document is seen outlining the
    justification of the massacre of the Sikh community in 1984. According
    to him the massacre of Sikhs was not the handiwork of any group or
    anti-social elements but the result of a genuine feeling of anger
    among Hindus of India.
    This document also shows the true degenerated and fascist attitude of
    the RSS towards all the minorities of India. The RSS has been arguing
    that they are against Muslims and Christians because they are the
    followers of foreign religions. Here we find them justifying the
    butchering of Sikhs who according to their own categorization happened
    to be the followers of an indigenous religion.
    The RSS often poses as a firm believer in Hindu-Sikh unity. But in
    this document we will hear from the horse’s mouth that the RSS like
    the then Congress leadership, believed that the massacre of the
    innocent Sikhs was justified. Nana Deshmukh in this document is seen
    outlining the justification of the massacre of the Sikh community in
    1984. His defence of the carnage can be summed up as in the following.
    1. The massacre of Sikhs was not the handiwork of any group or
    anti-social elements but the result of a genuine feeling of anger
    among Hindus of India.
    2. Deshmukh did not distinguish the action of the two security
    personnel of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, who happened to be Sikhs, from that
    of the whole Sikh community. From his document it emerges that the
    killers of Indira Gandhi were working under some kind of mandate of
    their community. Hence attacks on Sikhs were justified.
    3. Sikhs themselves invited these attacks, thus advancing the Congress
    theory of justifying the massacre of the Sikhs.
    4. He glorified the ‘Operation Blue Star’ and described any opposition
    to it as anti-national. When Sikhs were being killed in thousands he
    was warning the country of Sikh extremism, thus offering ideological
    defense of those killings.
    5. It was Sikh community as a whole which was responsible for violence
    in Punjab.
    6. Sikhs should have done nothing in self-defence but showed patience
    and tolerance against the killer mobs.
    7. These were Sikh intellectuals and not killer mobs which were
    responsible for the massacre. They had turned Sikhs into a militant
    community, cutting them off from their Hindu roots, thus inviting
    attacks from the nationalist Indians. Interestingly, Deshmukh would
    not mind having militant Hindus. Moreover, he treated all Sikhs as
    part of the same gang and defended attacks on them as a reaction of
    the nationalist Hindus.
    8. He described Indira Gandhi as the only leader who could keep the
    country united and on the killing of such a great leader such killings
    could not be avoided.
    9. Rajiv Gandhi who succeeded Mrs. Gandhi as the Prime Minister of
    India and justified the nation- wide killings of Sikhs by saying,
    “When a huge tree falls there are always tremors felt”, was lauded and
    blessed by Nana Deshmukh at the end of the document.
    10. Shockingly, the massacre of Sikhs was being equated with the
    attacks on the RSS cadres after the killing of Gandhiji and we find
    Deshmukh advising Sikhs to suffer silently. Everybody knows that the
    killing of Gandhiji was inspired by the RSS and the Hindutva Ideology
    whereas the common innocent Sikhs had nothing to do with the murder of
    Mrs. Indira Gandhi.
    11. There was not a single sentence in the Deshmukh document
    demanding, from the then Congress Government at the Centre, remedial
    measures for controlling the violence against the minority community.
    Mind this that Deshmukh circulated this document on November 8, 1984,
    and from October 31 to this date Sikhs were left alone to face the
    killing gangs. In fact November 5-10 was the period when the maximum
    killings of Sikhs took place. Deshmukh was just not bothered about all
    Deshmukh document did not happen in isolation. It represented the real
    RSS attitude towards Sikh genocide of 1984. The RSS is very fond of
    circulating publicity material, especially photographs of its khaki
    shorts- clad cadres doing social work. For the 1984 violence they have
    none. In fact, Deshmukh’s article also made no mention of the RSS
    cadres going to the rescue of Sikhs under siege. This shows up the
    real intentions of the RSS during the genocide.
    There is not a single sentence in the Deshmukh document demanding,
    from the then Congress Government at the Centre, remedial measures for
    controlling the violence against the minority community. Importantly,
    Deshmukh circulated this document on November 8, 1984, and from
    October 31 to this date Sikhs were left alone to face the killing
    gangs. George Fernandes while making this document public in 1984
    wrote that it showed ‘Indira Congress-RSS collusion’. Nanavati
    Commission must investigate whether this collusion was confined to
    political sphere or went beyond to killing fields.
    The Deshmukh document is reproduced below. It is translated here from Hindi

    Indira Gandhi ultimately did secure a permanent place at the doorstep
    of history as a great martyr. With her dynamism borne out of her
    fearlessness and dexterity, she was able to take the country forward
    like a colossus for over a decade and was able to build an opinion
    that she alone understood the realities of the country, that she alone
    had the ability to run the decadent political system of our corrupt
    and divided society, and probably that she alone could keep the
    country united. She was a great lady and her death as a brave leader
    had added to her greatness. She was killed by a person in whom she
    kept faith despite several complaints. Such an influential and busy
    personality was killed by a person who had the duty to protect her
    person. This act came as a blow not only to her admirers in the
    country and the world but also her critics. This cowardly and
    treacherous act of killing not only ended the life of a great leader
    but also killed, in the name of the Panth, the mutual faith of
    humanity. Explosion of sudden arson and violent hysteria throughout
    the country was probably a direction-less and improper expression of
    the hurt, anger and feeling of loss of her followers. Lakhs of her
    followers used to see her as the only defender, powerful protector,
    and a symbol of united India. It is a different matter whether this is
    right or wrong.
    For these innocent and uninformed followers, the treacherous murder of
    Indira Gandhi was the tragic culmination of the poisonous campaign of
    separatism, antagonism and violence conducted over the previous three
    years in which hundreds of innocents had to lose their invaluable
    lives and the sanctity of religious places was destroyed. This
    campaign assumed an ominous pace after the painful army action in June
    which, in the eyes of most of the people of the country, had become
    necessary to protect the sanctity of the religious places. Barring a
    few exceptions, the Sikh community observed silence for a long time on
    the barbaric massacres and heinous killings of innocent people, but
    they condemned the long-pending army action with anger and dangerous
    explosiveness. The country was stunned at their attitude. The army
    action was compared to the “gallu ghara” action of Ahmed Shah Abdali
    in 1762 to desecrate the Harmandir Sahib. Without going into the
    objectives of the two incidents, Mrs. Gandhi was pushed into the
    category of Ahmed Shah Abdali. She was termed the enemy of the Sikh
    panth and big prizes were announced on her head. On the other hand
    Bhindrawale who was guilty of heinous crimes against humanity in the
    name of religion was hailed as a martyr. Open display of such feelings
    in different parts of the country and abroad played a special role in
    increasing the distrust and alienation between the Sikhs and the rest
    of Indians. In the background of this distrust and alienation, stunned
    and bewildered people accepted the validity of the rumours of
    celebrations by the Sikhs at the heinous murder of Indira Gandhi by
    her Sikh bodyguards in retaliation of the army action. Of these the
    most hurting explanation was that of Giani Kripal Singh who being the
    Head Granthi considered himself to be the sole spokesman of the Sikh
    community. He said that he expressed no sorrow at the death of Indira
    Gandhi. This statement added fuel to the fire of boiling anger. No
    immediate and natural condemnation of this despicable statement by an
    important leader came from responsible Sikh leaders, intellectuals or
    organization. Therefore the already angered common and unimaginative
    people took it as correct that the Sikhs celebrated the death of
    Indira Gandhi. Because of this belief, selfish elements could succeed
    in making the common people become violent against the hapless Sikhs.
    This was a most explosive situation which needed utmost patience and
    skillful conduct on behalf of our Sikh brothers. I am saying this,
    being a life member of the RSS, because on January 30, 1948 a Hindu
    fanatic, who was a Marathi and had no relation with the RSS, rather
    was a bitter critic of the Sangh, committed unfortunate killing of
    Mahatma Gandhi. On this occasion we also suffered the sudden eruption
    of hysteria, loot and atrocities of misdirected people. We ourselves
    saw how selfish elements who were well acquainted with this incident,
    deliberately declared a murderer to be a member of the RSS and also
    spread the rumour that the RSS people were celebrating throughout the
    country death of Mahatma Gandhi, and thus they succeeded in diverting
    the love and the feeling of loss and hurt in the hearts of people for
    Gandhi. Such feelings were spread against Swayamsewaks and their
    families, particularly in Maharashtra.
    Having gone through such experiences myself, I can understand the
    strong reaction and feeling of innocent Sikh brothers who became of
    victims of sudden eruption of people’s violent hysteria. In fact, I
    would like to condemn in strongest words the inhuman barbarity and
    cruelty on Sikh brothers in Delhi and elsewhere. I feel proud of all
    those Hindu neighbours who protected lives and property of troubled
    Sikh brothers without caring for their lives. Such things one being
    heard from all over Delhi. These things have practically increased the
    faith in natural goodness of human behavior and particularly faith in
    Hindu nature.
    I am also worried at the Sikh reaction in such delicate and explosive
    situation. As an activist engaged in national reconstruction and unity
    for half a century and being a well-wisher of Sikh community I am
    hesitating in saying that if reactive armed action by Sikhs is even
    partly true then they have not been able to evaluate the situation
    correctly and comprehensively and as a result could not respond
    according to the situation. Here I wish to draw the attention of all
    my countrymen including Sikhs that in a similar difficult situation
    arising out of murder of Mahatma Gandhi when in the hysteria against
    the RSS crimes of destruction of property, heinous burning alive of
    children, inhuman cruelty etc. were being committed and the news was
    reaching Nagpur from all over India, then the ‘dictator’ of the RSS
    known as the so-called big private army, the then head of the Sangh
    late M.S. Golwalkar issued an appeal in Nagpur on February 1, 1948 to
    the lakhs of armed young followers throughout the country in the
    following unforgettable words:
    ‘I direct all my Swayamsewak brothers that despite spread of
    provocation due to lack of understanding, they should adopt cordial
    attitude towards all and remember that this mutual distrust and
    improper hysteria is the result of the love and respect that the whole
    country has for Mahatma who made the country great in the eyes of the
    world. We salute such great respected departed soul’.
    These were not empty words to hide cowardice and helplessness in the
    hopeless situation. In those life threatening serious moments he
    proved that every word of his appeal had a meaning. On the evening of
    February 1, hundreds of Swayamsewaks in Nagpur urged for armed
    resistance and resisting till the last drop of their blood to stop the
    probable attack on their leader the same night. And some associates of
    Guruji told him of a conspiracy against his life and requested to
    shift his residence to a safe place before the attack, Guruji told
    them in such a black moment also that if the same people whom he had
    truly and with full ability, served throughout his life wanted to take
    his life, then why and for whom he should save his life. Thereafter he
    cautioned them in stern voice that even if a drop of blood of his
    countrymen was shed in saving him, then such a life would be useless
    for him. History is a witness that lakhs of Swayamsewaks spread
    throughout the country followed this directive word by word. Though
    they had to digest vulgarities in exchange of their patience and
    tolerance but there was a faith to give them patience that whatever
    may happen to them in present condition, history will definitely prove
    them innocent.
    I hope that in present difficult situation my Sikh brothers will also
    show the above-referred patience and tolerance. But I am deeply pained
    to know that rather than displaying such tolerance and patience at
    some places they have retaliated against the crowd with arms and
    played into the hands of such selfish elements who were eager to
    spread the trouble. I am surprised how a section of our society
    considered to be most disciplined, organized and religious, adopted
    such a negative and self-defeating attitude. May be they could not get
    proper leadership at the moments of such a crisis. Through my scanty
    study and understanding of Sikh history I consider that such a
    nonpolitical reaction of Sikhs in moments of such a crisis came from
    their complete involvement with teachings of love, tolerance and
    sacrifice of Sikh nature. Warrior nature of Sikh religion was a short
    time provision against barbarity of foreign Mughals which was taught
    by tenth Guru. For him Khalsa was a relatively small part of a broad
    Hindu-Sikh brotherhood and was designed as an armed hand to defend
    Hindu community and its traditions. Guru Govind Singh laid down for
    Khalsa followers five KS (Kesh, Kripan, Kangha, Kara and Kachha) and
    ‘Singh’ in the name of Khalsas. This was a symbol of their being
    soldiers. But unfortunately today these only are being projected as
    basic and necessary forms of Sikh religion.
    I am sorry to say that Sikh intellectuals too have failed to
    understand that conversion of Sikh religion into Khalsaism is a much
    later event and this was due to deliberate plan of British
    imperialists to divide and rule in Punjab. Its aim was to cut the
    Sikhs off from their Hindu environ. Unfortunately, after independence
    power hungry politicians kept alive for their own interest the
    unnaturally born problems of separation and equal existence, and
    carried forward the game of imperialists to divide and rule by their
    vote bank politics. This improper equating of Sikhs with militant
    Khalsaism is not only the basic root of separatist tendencies in some
    parts of Sikh community, but it also raised militancy and faith in the
    power of weapons to the level of religious worship.
    This religious worship gave rise to terrorist movement like Babbar
    Khalsa in the second decade and recently Indira Gandhi was killed as a
    result of terrorist wave under the leadership of Bhindrawale and a
    long ‘hit list’ is yet to be executed.
    I used to imagine that Sikh community has freed itself totally from
    illiteracy, ignorance, frustration and defeatism in which it was in
    the fifth decade of 19th century after losing its freedom and which
    was exploited by cunning British imperialists and selfish Sikh elites
    for their selfish interests. It is clear that in eighth decade Sikhs
    adorning the places of high responsibility represent highly educated,
    laborious, vigilant, relatively rich, enlightened and active section
    of Indian society in every walk of life. In nineteenth century their
    experiences and vision was limited to the boundaries of the then
    Punjab but today they are spread not only throughout India but
    throughout the world, and they are in a situation to directly know the
    conspiracies of big powers which are being hatched against independent
    and united India rising strongly in the world. In such an advantageous
    situation they should know their historical development as an integral
    part of India.
    Such a revaluation of history will give them the opportunity to see
    many wrong formulations of their own religion and past which has been
    systematically drilled into their brains by wrong and distorted
    historical writings by British administrators and intellectuals about
    nature and development of their religion. Such an attempt will take
    them to their real roots.
    This is the time that our Sikh brothers should search their hearts so
    that they can get rid of the false description inserted by British
    imperialists and power greedy opportunist people into their basic
    religious nature. Removal of such false descriptions is necessary to
    bridge the gulf of distrust and alienation between two communities of
    similar destiny, nature and similar traditions. I am afraid that
    without such a self-introspection and revaluation of history they
    would not be able to live with peace among themselves and with other
    countrymen. A disinterested analysis of their own enlightened
    interests will be enough to make them understand that their fate is
    indivisibly linked with the destiny of India. Such an understanding
    will save them from falling prey to the disruptive and destructive
    interests of foreign powers.
    I disbelieve (sic) that my Sikh brothers will accept the cautious
    words of spiritual expression of a well-wisher.
    Lastly, it is not to deny the truth that sudden removal of Indira
    Gandhi from Indian political scene has created a dangerous void in the
    Indian common life. But India has always displayed a characteristic
    inner strength in the moments of such crisis and uncertainty.
    According to our traditions, responsibility of power has been placed
    on the inexperienced shoulders of relatively young person in a lively
    and peaceful manner. It will be hasty to judge the potentialities of
    his leadership at this time. We should give him some time to show his
    On such challenging juncture of the country, in the meanwhile he is
    entitled to get full cooperation and sympathy from the countrymen,
    though they may belong to any language, religion, caste or political
    In the capacity of a nonpolitical constructive worker I only hope and
    pray that God bless him with more mature, balanced, inner strength and
    ability to give an impartial Govt. to the people so that he can take
    the country to real prosperous unity and glory.
    Guru Nanak Divas
    November 8, 1984
    Nana Deshmukh

    Note: This article investigates to find out real culprits behind the
    massacre of Sikhs in 1984 who are yet to be brought to the book. It
    has been published in many English and Hindi magazines/journals and
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