In an interview with the Editor of Saptahik Hindustan, published in the Republic day issue, The President reportedly said “People have been allowed to get enraged on small issues thereby driving them to terrorism. The Sikhs of Punjab are no enemies of the country”.

Referring to the Anandpur Sahib resolution, Giani Zail Singh said, “What is wrong with the resolution? They want the constitution amended so that States may get greater autonomy. The demand for greater rights cannot be considered as an act of treachery. Treachery was involved in the Mizoram insuring where they used to collect taxes from innocent people. Anandpur Sahib resolution neither carries the demand and for a separate nation nor the hated word Khalistan”.

Giani Zail Singh has been speaking not possibly because his Presidential tenure is fast draining to an end but the timing of the observations does not detract from their validity.

However, the Prime Minister got a massive mandate in the 1984 elections by maligning the Sikh community on this score and tarnishing their image as secessionists and against the unity and integrity of the country. One wonders why the Giani spoke out at that time.

Article extracted from this publication >>  March 6, 1987