India’s Anti-Sikh Pogrom: Who Are the Guilty?

Written by Shamsul Islam | Published on: October 15, 2015
alone had the ability to run the decadent political system of our corrupt and divided society, and probably that she alone could keep the country united. She was a great lady and her death as a brave leader had added to her greatness. She was killed by a person in whom she kept faith despite several complaints. Such an influential and busy personality was killed by a person who had the duty to protect her person. This act came as a blow not only to her admirers in the country and the world but also her critics. This cowardly and treacherous act of killing not only ended the life of a great leader but also killed, in the name of the Panth, the mutual faith of humanity. Explosion of sudden arson and violent hysteria throughout the country was probably a direction-less and improper expression of the hurt, anger and feeling of loss of her followers. Lakhs of her followers used to see her as the only defender, powerful protector, and a symbol of united India. It is a different matter whether this is right or wrong.
 
For these innocent and uninformed followers, the treacherous murder of Indira Gandhi was the tragic culmination of the poisonous campaign of separatism, antagonism and violence conducted over the previous three years in which hundreds of innocents had to lose their invaluable lives and the sanctity of religious places was destroyed. This campaign assumed an ominous pace after the painful army action in June which, in the eyes of most of the people of the country, had become necessary to protect the sanctity of the religious places. Barring a few exceptions, the Sikh community observed silence for a long time on the barbaric massacres and heinous killings of innocent people, but they condemned the long-pending army action with anger and dangerous explosiveness. The country was stunned at their attitude. The army action was compared to the “gallu ghara” action of Ahmed Shah Abdali in 1762 to desecrate the Harmandir Sahib. Without going into the objectives of the two incidents, Mrs. Gandhi was pushed into the category of Ahmed Shah Abdali. She was termed the enemy of the Sikh panth and big prizes were announced on her head. On the other hand Bhindrawale who was guilty of heinous crimes against humanity in the name of religion was hailed as a martyr. Open display of such feelings in different parts of the country and abroad played a special role in increasing the distrust and alienation between the Sikhs and the rest of Indians. In the background of this distrust and alienation, stunned and bewildered people accepted the validity of the rumours of celebrations by the Sikhs at the heinous murder of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in retaliation of the army action. Of these the most hurting explanation was that of Giani Kripal Singh who being the Head Granthi considered himself to be the sole spokesman of the Sikh community. He said that he expressed no sorrow at the death of Indira Gandhi. This statement added fuel to the fire of boiling anger. No immediate and natural condemnation of this despicable statement by an important leader came from responsible Sikh leaders, intellectuals or organization. Therefore the already angered common and unimaginative people took it as correct that the Sikhs celebrated the death of Indira Gandhi. Because of this belief, selfish elements could succeed in making the common people become violent against the hapless Sikhs.
 
This document circulated by a prominent ideologue and luminary of RSS, Nana Deshmukh on November 8, 1984 may be of some help in unmasking the whole truth behind the massacres of innocent Sikhs, the motive behind which, had little to do with the killing of Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.

This was a most explosive situation which needed utmost patience and skillful conduct on behalf of our Sikh brothers. I am saying this, being a life member of the RSS, because on January 30, 1948 a Hindu fanatic, who was a Marathi and had no relation with the RSS, rather was a bitter critic of the Sangh, committed unfortunate killing of Mahatma Gandhi. On this occasion we also suffered