Bhindranwale, Golden temple, Amritsar, Operation Blue Star, Indira Gandhi

6th June 1984: The Incident At Golden Temple Made Amritsar The City Of Death

It was 6th June 1984 and most of the youth that were involved in the rescue of Bhindranwale were killed at Golden temple by the Indian Army in Amritsar. According to official figures, 300 to 400 people died in this operation while 90 soldiers were killed. But eyewitnesses and experts believe that about 1000 people were killed in this operation and 250 army men were killed. Bhindranwale and his companions were hiding in the basement of Akal Takht. Stan guns were constantly being fired. And on the night of June 6-7, the first stage of Operation Blue Star reached its peak, Bhindranwale was killed.

Not everyone in India knows about Operation Blue Star,Operation blue Star is remembered as one of the worst chapters in the history of Independent India. It was a time when India saw its own army against its own citizens. Punjab was restless. Punjab is the state which was divided two times in the history first time in 1947 and second time in 1966, but every time Punjab emerged from the wounds. But whatever happened in 1984 it created doubts in the mind of people in Punjab. It’s been thirty-four years and still nobody wants to recall that annihilation at Golden temple in Amritsar. It has its darkest history ever to tell. What was operation blue Star? Why did the country’s army had to run an operation for the first time in its own country? Did Indira Gandhi not have any choice left or was it a pre-planned activity? Why are only Congress party and Akali Dal responsible for operation blue Star? Why was Bhindranwale allowed to stay in the Akal Takht? Let’s see the site of all actions.

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What was operation Blue Star? Why the country’s army had to run an operation for its own country?

The roots of Operation Blue Star can be traced from the Khalistan Movement. The Khalistan Movement was a political Sikh nationalist movement that wanted to create an independent state for Sikh people, inside the current North-Western Republic of India.It all started in 1972 when Congress lost its base in Punjab and land reforms were pushed by Giani Zail Singh. Akali Dal had become more powerful and popular. Then Congress put up Bhindranwale to discredit them. The stooge became strong and was joined by a few Naxalites. He also started propagating the concept of Khalistan,this was also endorsed by some NRIs in UK and Canada. This was the time when people of Punjab were living in terror. By the time in 1984, things went wrong or must say shit had hit the fan when our friendly neighbor, Pakistan, started getting involved and was fomenting more trouble. The rebels even put out their own currency. There was a scary prospect of Punjab getting ripped from India. Things became out of control when Bhindranwale locked himself up in the sacred site while the Akalis went on a rampage outside. Riots and strikes had brought one of the richest Indian states down to its knees. The then Prime minister Indira Gandhi had to take this bold action.Indira Gandhi made her final decision to take out Bhidranwale and his followers from the Golden temple dead or alive. It is said that he had very good relations with Indira Gandhi but he left no option in front of her.

Bhindranwale, Golden temple, Amritsar, Operation Blue Star, Indira Gandhi

Who was  Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale?

Bhindranwale was a leader of Sikh community. Being a religious leader he advocated more orthodox rules for Sikhs. It is said that he was discovered by Sanjay Gandhi and made him center of attraction in 1977. he was elected to the leadership of a prestigious Sikh religious school, with the blessing of the Congress. Lately in 1978 to 1983, Bhindranwale created a strong-armed militia within the compounds of the Golden temple. Being a sacred religious site, Indian army and police could not interfere much. Machine guns, rocket launchers and deadly weapons were accumulated under the militant leader.

Why it was a black day for Media also?

Media faced black out during operation Blue Star. Journalists and reporters were filled in the bus of military and were abandoned at the border of Haryana. There was no transportation in the state because of curfew in the state. Media remained helpless and called it a black day in the history.

How Bhindranwale incited violence against Sikh as well?

It is said that Bhindranwale was  religiously hungry for the power, for that he became against some Sikhs.His popular enemy was Nirankaris which is another sect of Sikhs. He openly announced that his followers would cut Nirankaris in pieces. His terror reached to the extent that his people made an attempt on the life of the Nirankari’s propaganda secretary.

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Operation blue star was the most unfortunate incident. Bhindranwale was killed by the army but the way he was killed, he became the Sant for Sikhs. People believed he laid down his life to protect religion sanctity of Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple). It was one the toughest operation in the Indian military history due to religious importance of Harmandir Sahib and emotional attachment of Sikhs to it. But it was necessary since any long term standoff might have brought international community especially Pakistan into the scene. There are so many questions that remain unanswered and create sense of dissatisfaction among the people of Punjab even after thirty-four years of this incident. That was the darkest night for  Amritsar, indeed!

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Dhruvananda Singh

Dhruvananda Singh

Me and me who runs around me, Follow a sky, deep inside me!

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Dhruvananda Singh

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