Dear Mr. Editor:
Mr. Ved Mehta’s “Letter from Delhi (see page 61 of New Yorker of September 2, 1985 issue) is full of lies told by India’s Hindu Government concerning the Panjab problem and his own twists and distortions of facts and suppressing the truth. The “Letter” is, in fact, a mischievous attempt to malign the country’s brave minority community without whose contribution India’s political independence would have been delayed by decades and economic freedom virtually impossible.
In the “Letter” Mr. Mehta writes, “Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was perhaps the greatest exponent of Khalistan.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
During the period from August 1982 to the Blue Star Operation which lead to the uncalled for and avoidable massacre of thousands of innocent Sikh men, women, and children who came to the historical shrines for pilgrimage on that fateful day, I carefully followed Sant Bhindranwale’s speeches as reported in The Tribune, Northern India’s only daily English newspaper. I have also heard some of his speeches from the tapes which were subsequently banned by the Indian Government; I have also read his biography published in 1984 after his martyrdom. Nowhere did I find any reference to Sant Bhindranwale’s demand for Khalistan. In his speeches he always said, “We want to stay within India but as equal citizens with the majority community. It is for the Center to decide whether it wants to keep the Sikhs or not. WE DO NOT WANT KHALISTAN. However, if offered, we shall not refuse it and shall not repeat the mistake of 1947.” can document Sant Bhindranwale’s statement and furnish evidence in support of the above. I dare Mr. Mehta to document his aforementioned statement. If he cannot do so, he must retract the same. Not to do so will be an act of journalistic impropriety. I need not remind Mr. Mehta of his professional ethics in this regard.
Amarjit S. Buttar
Article extracted from this publication >> October 11, 1985