Incorrect or imperfect diagnosis invariably results in complications. Delhi’s insistence on treating an essentially political problem as a mere law and order situation has gradually led Punjab to a state of virtual insurgency. Through a policy of thoughtless adventurism, a perfectly peaceful agitation has been forced to assume the character of a violent movement. With each passing day, the confrontation is growing more bitter and alarming. It has become abundantly clear that the special cell in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat was never interested in a solution. Rather it has been devising ways and means to exterminate the Sikhs. The belated realization that no solution within the farm work of the Indian Constitution is any longer acceptable to the Sikhs, has made Gandhi’s policy makers turn to desperate measures. They have been totally unnerved by the failure of the security forces in dealing with the freedom fighters and in sheer panic they have planned a brief IndoPak war to destroy the Sikhs.

To justify the attack, the situation in Punjab is being deliberately allowed to deteriorate and Pakistan is being blamed for it. Rajiv Gandhi and his cronies have started orchestrating a full throated chorus against Pakistan, charging it with complicity in providing Sikh freedom fighters both arms and training. Already the fear of war seems to have gripped the people as thousands of families are being evacuated from the border villages. There are reports of unusual troop movements on both sides of the border. Leave of the military personnel has been cancelled and those on leave have been asked to report back immediately. All this is being done to whip up war hysteria.

Why is India resorting to this course even though military experts have warned about the dangerous consequences involved in such an exercise? The experts argue that the Indian attack will not only prompt a powerful retaliation but will surely drag the superpowers into the conflict leading to a conflagration that will leave India scorched beyond recognition. It is not a very comfortable scenario.

Yet, every indication points to an imminent Indian attack. It is because India is not planning to teach Pakistan a lesson but is more concerned with destroying the Sikh population in Punjab. The attack would give it the opportunity to extensively bomb the Punjab villages and put the blame on Pakistan. The sinister plan involves razing to ground the Sikh holy places and destruction of the glorious Sikh traditions and cultural values. This plan was originally conceived during Indira Gandhi’s rule. It had to be abandoned as some senior Sikh army officers got wind of it, resulting in protests against the proposed genocide.

Now her son, Rajiv Gandhi, seems to have decided to revive that plan. Grim clouds are gathering over the horizon and the bell is about to toll an ominous toll not for Pakistan but for the Sikhs. The Sikhs all over the world must raise their voice against this diabolic design of Delhi. They must approach international forums and solicit their intervention. The world must be told that the evil spirit of Hitler has possessed the mind of Rajiv Gandhi and is hell bent upon improving its World War II performance by exterminating 16 million people belonging to a religious minority. It is a challenge that Sikhs must face with courage and unity. They must reconcile all internal contradictions at this crucial stage if they wish to survive the looming offensive.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 6, 1988