Like a woman of easy virtue, Congress (I) has specialized in the art of operating through a carefully contrived string of lies. To defame a perfectly peaceful and nonviolent Sikh agitation launched for the redress of constitutional grievances, the ruling party itself vitiated the atmosphere for narrow electoral gains by eliminating Sikh youth through false police encounters. The angry reaction to this State gangsterism was branded as “extremist” and “‘terrorist”’ activity to bring about Hindu Sikh conflict. The Gurdwaras were subjected to a relentless barrage of falsehood depicting them as sanctuaries harboring antinational and antisocial elements. Through subtle maneuvering of the events, the situation was forced to fulminate in the wanton destruction of the Akal Takht.
The alienation of the Sikhs from the Indian mainstream is the logical consequence of these ill-advised policies of the government and not the handiwork of any foreign power or agency. The sense of alienation has germinated in the soil of Punjab. It has not been planted there by the Sikhs living abroad. The truth on the other hand is quite contrary to the charge. Sikhs living abroad had consistently supported the Indian government and had invariably exhibited enthusiastic national fervor. Their joyous participation in the celebration of national days, in sports events and Indian exhibitions before June, 1984 serves as a clear rebuttal of the charge that they were instrumental in raising the slogan of a Sovereign Sikh State. The army attack on the Golden Temple and the antiskid riots have brought about a fundamental change in the perspective of the Sikhs everywhere. In fact Sikhs living abroad are only echoing the palpable aspirations of their brother back home that are being inhumanly and brutally suppressed by army bayonets and bullets.
When generally docile Parkash Singh Badal in angry protest against the “‘operation blue star’’ burst out, “it is not possible for Sikhs now to live with India,” he was not playing into any foreign hand Sikh or non-Sikh. He was only loudly proclaiming what every Sikh in Punjab has been forced to feel. As a politician he can resile from and even deny the statement, but the feelings of the Sikh masses would admit no change now.
Ever since Independence the Arya Samaj dominated government of India has been demonstrating in action after action, its inherent hostility towards Sikhs, beginning with the description of Sikhs as “criminal tribe” by Patel and the then Governor Trivedi to the destruction of Akal Takht. Government has all along arrogantly dismissed all Sikh protests against the patently manifest discrimination as antinational and secessionist. The direct involvement of ruling party functionaries in the November, 1984 holocaust and the degradation and barbarity to which innocent Sikhs were subjected all over India has left no Sikh in doubt about the real intentions of the Congress rulers.
Time for lies is over now. Sikhs can no longer be duped or divided through superimposed classifications like ‘‘moderates” and ‘‘extremists.”’ Every Sikh, except the handful of those who have bartered away their conscience for a few silver coins, is convinced that Sikh identity is at stake, Sikh integrity is at stake, Sikh existence is at stake. If the government of India has different illusions, let it hold a referendum. The result will abundantly show whether the demand for a Sovereign state has native character and com plexion or has been planted there by the Sikhs living abroad.
Article extracted from this publication >> March 29, 1985