The Golden Temple tragedy and the subsequent events have left no one in doubt that the specter of separatism and extremism supposedly haunting the land of green revolution in general and Sikh Gurdwaras in particular was nothing but mischievously fabricated figment to create the ground for the “‘operation Bluestar.” The ill-advised operation has proved a monumental disaster. It has generated problems larger in magnitude and more ominous in consequence than all the perils that India has faced since 1947. Given the multi-racial, multi-religious and multilingual complexion of her population, India could hardly afford such a suicidal adventurism. Yet neither the government nor the communally oriented media seem to have grown any wiser, even after paying so heavy a price. Once again the familiar pitch is being prepared to play the often repeated self-destructive game the time worn idiom of initiating dialogue with pseudo Sikhs, euphemistically termed as moderate Sikhs is again in currency. Though wisdom lies in dropping such repugnant appellatives and in approaching Sikhs as Sikhs without resorting to these unnecessary acrobatics that aim at creating imaginary divisions, yet the government insists on the appellatives, owning the counterfeit and ignoring the Sterling, knowing full well that the counterfeit never goes far. The intention is unmistakable and leaves no quarter for optimism.
This strategy has already proved counterproductive, exploding into catastrophe after catastrophe. It has practically pushed India to the brink of disintegration. The policy makers in Delhi will have to discard it and approach the problem in a mature and dispassionate manner rather than continuing with the usual cavalier tactics. They must recognize the reality that the Panjab problem is essentially a Sikh problem. Sikh faith in the ruling party’s solemn promises lies battered beyond recognition. Their sacred shrines bleed. They stand betrayed. In the land of their birth the land that they served with their blood they have been reduced to undesirable bandits, hunted and fie what is their faul Ahounded by ampaging mobs. i prerogatives as enjoye Seeking same privileges and by the majority community.
Proper and correct course would be to straightaway recognize their inherent right to justice, equality and freedom and to undo the fraud practiced against them ever since 1947.
The slow degeneration of Indian democracy into a virtual theocratic State as demonstrated by the total decimation of the opposition, wrought by the swelling Hindu fundamentalist upsurge, signals the breakup of the country. Once the body politic of a country is corrupted by the communal virus, its nobility and sanity go down the drain and internecine quarrels break out. The Brahaminical practices and prejudices, erroneously described as Hindu practices and prejudices, are so diverse and contradictory and vary So drastically from region to region that the infectious virus would in due course inevitably drive the country to disintegration through linguistic Chauvinism and regional parochialism. For lasting unity, truly democratic Secularism is imperative and is the only hope for India.
Article extracted from this publication >> January 18, 1985