Life, politics, religion, and culture are all normal topics that people love to converse about, but at times when there is enough emotion – passion can explosively react with anger to create conflict. My sister and I were talking to a fellow punjabi friend who felt strongly that Sikhs should not be Conservatives or Republicans no matter what the case. This friend strongly felt that Republicans were an inclusive party only welcoming White and Christian ideals. I begged to differ, but agreed with some of her views as she made them clear through a strong voice projected by an unshakable bias intertwined in a dogmatic perspective of the world. Basically her way or the highway, and with that we progressed to the relation of America with the rest of the world. Her being from Canada felt that America lacked too much to be so arrogant and in some ways I agreed with that point too, but not without a loud and intense argument about other issues. 

          Then came the topic of Khalistan and Operation Bluestar. According to this friend, Khalistan was now a lost opportunity which could have only been implemented after independence. Although Master Tara could have given the Sikhs sovereignty before the partition, I do understand the potential danger of doing so at the time. Secondly, Hindus and Sikhs had always been on good terms. It could only help when politicians like Nehru and Gandhi were promising Sikhs the ultimate glow of freedom. However, little did the Sikhs know that those promises were lies and the deception of a good relationship a faint ideal, when Nehru later said that the times had changed. Democracy has one huge flaw and that is the tyranny of the majority. The minority is silenced in a democracy by the majority which overpowers the minority in the might of numbers, hence oppression begins in the process.

            Operation Bluestar came up shortly after discussing our propositions and positions on Khalistan. By the way my opinion on Khalistan is a complex one, because I believe complex problems have complex solutions, and that is for another time. However, what this friend said later on blew my mind and made my head hurl with pain, while my sentiments got a good beating by the words she soon uttered. She started off by saying that her uncle was an eyewitness in the invasion of the Golden Temple in Amristar. In my mind I was preparing to hear about the atrocity, death, anguish, and grief he must have felt and witnessed. It must have been so unbearable to be there and survive. I was already getting emotional before she started to speak about how he actually witnessed Operation Bluestar in June of 84. 

              Then she said the unimaginable, my uncle was in the army. My heart stopped and my blood began to boil. The Indian army…really….is she saying what I think she is saying. I kept quit as the shock was apparent on my face. She elaborated that her uncle was a devout Sikh who was one of the most religious young Sikh men she had ever known. He was assigned to attack the Golden Temple that night, and from that day on he never visited the Darbar Sahib again. The reason he never revisited threw me into a state of anger, frustration, and utter disbelief. 

          The reason for his never going back and feeling no remorse was because he alleged that the Sikh “militants” or freedom fighters, as I like to call them, inside the Golden Temple were actually raping woman inside the complex. He said that he was sickened by what he saw inside the Golden Temple, and how these young men pretended to be Sikh. After hearing her tell her uncle’s account from an Indian army man’s perspective, I blew up. 

            How dare this man who walked into the Golden Temple with boots, armed with a gun, and ammunition call himself a Sikh? How dare he help destroy the most scared shrine of the Sikhs? How dare he kill other Sikhs? How dare he lie and cover up his trauma with propaganda to make himself feel better? How dare he belittle the Sikh Shaheeds who laid their very lives down for Sikhi? Shame on him and his fake facade of being a Sikh. Those men prevented the Indian army from coming into the complex for hours on end, and they showed their courage in front of grenades, tanks, and helicopters as they were lightly armed and prepared to die for the Khalsa Panth. The Indian army killed innocent people that day and purposely attacked on a Gurpur when the Darbar Sahib was filled with devotees. No help was allowed in the temple as people lay dying and bodies began to decompose. Anyone who managed to survive and asked for water were told by the army to drink the blood and urine liquid on the floor. 

          I yelled out immediately before I heard anymore. “How dare your uncle wear a pugh, and call himself a Sikh. He is not a true Sikh. He should take off his pugh, and he is a shame to the Sikh people of the world.” She was obviously insulted and told me that I had crossed the limit. I told her that it was not me that crossed the limit but it was her uncle who had crossed the limit the moment he walked into the Golden Temple with a gun in his hand. He has no right to defame the Sikh Shaheeds who put their lives on the line for a cause much greater than his. His army’s aim was to destroy a faith and an innocent justice thisty people. 

          God bless the Shaheeds, and I bow down in respect for them and all the sacrifices they have made for Sikhi, and I do not let others tell me otherwise. I believe I had to have spoken for those many who sacrificed themselves for the Almighty, because they do not have the opportunity to defend themselves, so I did not feel bad saying what I did. 

 

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahegure Ji Ke Fateh

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