After operation Blue Star and Blue fish Sikhs in Punjab and India feel betrayed and government of India also runs the country on two nation theory. To go to Punjab, Sikhs of foreign countries even though they were born in Punjab, have to obtain a special visa from the Home Ministry of India. As soon as they arrive at New Delhi airport their passports are subjected to elaborate computer check while non-Sikhs are allowed to go out without this checking. After initial computer checking they are sent to 2 to 3 other police officers and if cleared by them they are required to go to the Home Ministry in New Delhi which in itself is an experience to remember. A Sikh traveling by car to Punjab can be expected to be stopped at several places and asked to open his suitcases at all these places. In buses Hindus smoke arrogantly and purposely blow the smoke on Sikhs in order to irritate them and harass them. In Punjab Sikhs going on motorcycle or scooter are stopped by C.R.P. while no such restrictions is there on Hindus.
Anybody with kesari turban can be expected to be stopped and interrogated anytime by C.R.P. without any reason. Punjab police especially Sikhs in Punjab police are not trusted any more. Four hundred constables, two D.S.P.’s and one S.S.P. have been sent on forced retirement. Further overhauling of police is continuing. A special cell of police against terrorism has been created. In every city in Punjab there are 200-300 plain clothes police and intelligence men who create terror and have _ infiltrated into Sikh organizations.
Governor of Punjab (Arjan Singh) on his arrival called a special meeting of the representatives of all the newspapers and instructed them to give only the government version of news. All newspapers in Punjab appear only photocopies of one version. Although ban on Sikh Student Federations has been removed but indiscriminate killing of Sikh youth still continues.
A Sikh student is arrested in Chandigarh today but the next day newspapers report his death at Pakistan border in an encounter, sums up the situation.
Congress (I) is making every effort to rehabilitate Akali leaders like Longowal and Talwandi so that endorsement of preplanned compromise can be obtained.
Congress (I) is spending lakhs of Rupees to arrange conferences in villages. Singers are brought in; people are harassed and forced to attend. Even Congress (I) SarkariSikhs are seen with kesari turbans but it is not working as Sikh masses have out rightly rejected it.
Sikh youth is in a precarious situation. Not only they have fear from Congress (I) Government but they are also afraid of Akalis (Longowal and Co.). They feel if elections are held and Akalis happen to win they will persecute Sikh youth for joining Sant Jarnail Singh and none would, then, raise even an eyebrow against it. They are also afraid that Congress (I) may even make a deal with Akali’s and offer them chief Minister ship of Punjab in a coalition Government which Longowal and Badal will never refuse.
Sikh masses, young and old feel betrayed, over 90 percent of the Sikhs feel there is no way they can live with the majority community. They cannot swallow the insult and forget the sufferings inflicted upon them. They are all waiting for the proper circumstances.
Fewer than 10 percent of Sikhs are still with Congress (I). Some are Sarkari Sikhs. Some have criminal record; they can only survive by putting on a white Khaddi dress. And some have no soul left in them. Their God is money.
Hindus in Punjab are scared. They are realizing and repenting over the mistakes they made by saying that Punjabi was not their mother tongue. Wise Hindus are very upset with Congress (1) and feel their brotherly relationship with Sikhs has been destroyed. However, out of sense of insecurity, they are not able to come out and express their feelings in public. Some of the Hindus will do anything to keep the army in Punjab. They write threatening letters to each other and then take them to police. Some have already started moving to other states and have stopped making further investments in Punjab. Even children in schools sing Sare jahan se achha khalistan Hammara. Division between two communities has gone very deep now. Sikhs outside Punjab are feeling very insecure and are trying hard to sell or transfer their resources to Punjab but government of India is not allowing it and is putting hurdles. Sikhs who want to visit their families outside India are harassed for several months for police clearance for passports and have to bribe several officers.
Punjab, a land full of greenery and happiness, has been turned into a land of despair and uncertainty. While walking down the road one only can think of two alternatives. First is for the government of India to accept all Sikh demands and try to create a relationship of faith and brotherhood between the two communities; second is for the government to continue with its policy of suppression and force the Sikhs to fight for a sovereign Sikh State. Current circumstances point to the latter as inevitable.
Article extracted from this publication >> May 17, 1985