I feel that if we look dispassionately the basic reason for the present problems of India including threat to its unity lies in the use of Double Standards by the Indian Government. Take for example, the question of Indian Unity itself. Indian Govt. and the majority community condemn the Sikis for (asking for) a separate Independent State and for threatening the unity of India.
But the Indian Govt. felt nothing wrong when it openly incited, helped and then joined in military operation with Mukti Bahni to help them achieve their independent state Bangladesh and cut Pakistan into two pieces.
Even right now when Indian Govt. is crying wolf over threat to India’s unity by the Sikhs, it is brazen heartedly providing all kinds of political and financial help to Tamil separatists who want to destroy unity of Sri Lanka.
Another glaring example of Indian Govt’s use of Double Standard can be seen in the context of nuclear arms. When India developed its own nuclear capability it did not realize for a moment that it was posing a big threat to its neighbor Pakistan. But now when Pakistan has developed a similar capability, India has become so much nervous about its security that it is considering an attack on Pakistan to destroy their nuclear plant.
Coming back to the Internal Problems of India, the Indian Govt. justifies the attack on Golden Temple saying that armed terrorists were hiding in it. But then I may ask even if this was true. Why 40 other Sikh Gurdwaras were attacked along with Golden Temple, where according to Govt. of Indian’s own “White Paper’’ (actually white wash”) there were no arms recovered from any other Gurdwara?
Also if the Indian Govt. was justified in attacking Sikhs by calling them terrorists in Punjab, why it took absolutely no action against Hindus in Haryana who killed many Sikhs in daylight and Ha
ryana’s chief minister Bhajan lal openly endorsed this action of Hindu terrorists.
The double Standards used by the Indian Govt. became all the more evident when after the assassination of Indira Gandhi thousands of Sikhs men, women and children were lynched, hacked to death and burnt alive throughout India and right in front of the very eyes of the Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was duty bound to protect them. In this barbaric upsurge which surpasses the crimes of German Nazis, instead of providing protection to the innocent
Sikhs, Indian Govt. including MP’s like H. K. L. Bhagat, and D. D. Shastari and Indian Police openly helped the Hindu terrorists with money, material and information in burning the properties of Sikhs and killing them.
Many Hindus now try to console the Sikhs that these happenings were only an uncontrollable upsurge of passion by some irresponsible persons but the overall majority of Hindus does not endorse such actions and still considers Sikhs as their brothers.
I would like to ask them that if Sikhs are their brothers then how come they have not even asked for any action against the criminals who killed and burnt alive thousands of their Sikh brothers and gang raped thousands of their Sikh sisters in front of their very eyes? How come they voted back into power even those congress M.P.’s_ (like D. D. Shastari, H. K. L. Bhagat) and other Congress (I) workers who have been openly accused by the press of complicity in these hideous crimes against their brothers and sisters?
Is it not the use of Double Standards of lowest degree that the broad day murderers, arsonists, and rapists are roaming free on Indian streets without any trial and without an enquiry; while thousands of innocent Sikhs including small children are held up in Panjab jails either without any trial or after secret trials under Terrorist laws specially enacted against Sikhs. These laws contrary to norms of any civilized country presume the accused as guilty unless proven innocent rather than innocent unless proven guilty.
Even the struggle of Sikh’s before June attack on the Golden Temple was based on their complaint to the Indian Govt. against use of Double Standards. For example, they were complaining that when Mahrashtera and Gujrat were created, the capital Bombay was awarded to the parent state Mahrashtera and the newly created state Gujrat built its own capital. So why at the time of creation of Panjab and Haryana, Chandrigah was not given to the parent state Panjab? The other Sikh grievances can also be summarized and linked to the use of Double Standards by the Indian Govt.
Recently Rajiv Gandhi has asked Sikhs to forget and forgive the assassination of thousands of their relatives and friends. I want to ask him why he not starts with forgetting and forgiving the assassination of his own mother and set up a good example. In short, if Indian Govt. and majority community are really sincere about maintaining the unity of India and want to restore calm and peace in the country then they should shed the policy of Double Standards and practice what they preach.
Daljit Singh Jawa,
3543 Wood Valley
Topeka, Ks. 66614
Article extracted from this publication >> March 1, 1985