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                     Revolutionaries have played a fundamental role in the progressive nature of politics by boldly standing against oppression and injustice, in order to bring about needed change. A revolutionary is defined as any person or group of people that bring about a complete or dramatic change by overthrowing existing establishments, ideas, or systems. Courageous men have fought against the unjust rule of power for centuries, hence emboldening the notion that revolution is a necessity in the evolutionary imbalance between strict laws and human rights.

                   The most powerful nation in history was resurrected by the revolutionary acts of everyday colonial citizens banding together to form resistance against an oppressive British rule. The colonists were unjustly taxed, regulated, and unrepresented in the English system. They were the slaves of a government ever so far away and aggressive. Men like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock and others adjourned in Philadelphia one fateful day to address the colonial grievances, but there pleas for justice fell on deaf ears. These men could have passively succumbed to the powerful empire, but instead they decided to fight for their rights. The Declaration of Independence was soon derived, and the fight for sovereignty became the last remaining resort for freedom and liberty. The men that formulated the United States constitution knew that their signatures on the document would result in potential treason and death if the uprising were to fail. Nevertheless, the colonists marched forward with the slogan, “Give me liberty or give me death!” When all other forms of peaceful resolution were dissolved, it became a moral duty of every colonist to fight the oppression of an unjust existence. Thomas Jefferson made this clear when he stated, “When wrongs are pressed because it is believed they will be borne, resistance becomes morality.” Heroic revolutionaries started the revolution that lead to the formation of the United States of America, the world’s beacon of freedom and liberty. 

                        Martin Luther King urged men to stand up for freedom, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.” He was a revolutionary clergyman who preached non-violence to spread the message of equality across a nation blind to acceptance and tolerance. He stood up with courage and charisma against the status quo in a dogmatic America hardened to rock with racism, discrimination, intolerance, and segregation. He refused to silence his voice when it was dangerous to speak, he refused to sit idle when it was dangerous to protest, he dared to demand equality when there was no light at the end of the tunnel, and he walked with his head high when some felt he had no right for equality. He could have just accepted the way life was and always had been, but instead he preached that those who stood silent in the face of oppression were just as evil as the oppressors. Change was no longer an option but a necessity for all free men to live a righteous life regardless of color. Countless were inspired to march to the drum of equality and humanity bound by love. The struggle was not easy as protestors were met with batons, tear gas, water hoses, lynching, and racism. The struggle to change minds that had been shaped by centuries of inhumane slavery and inferiority was a revolutionary act that defied all odds. Martin Luther King was assassinated for inciting energy into the civil rights movement by the far fringes of stagnant society unable to accept revolution and the change it brings forth. He sacrificed his life fighting against injustice, dying for the dream that soon became a reality due to his struggle, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

                   An unknown man stood alone against China and its army amidst a struggle for freedom. The Tiananmen protests of 1989 resulted in a horrific massacre of thousands of men and women seeking democratic reform in an authoritarian People’s Republic of China. The protestors wanted to live without fear, protest for their beliefs, express their thoughts freely, and live a life of freedom and liberty. All men have the right to live a free life instead of being mere economical subjects of powerful rulers. Life deteriorates as the human conscience is forced into repression. The protestors fatefully decided to stand up for justice by no longer concealing their frustrations with the oppressive government of China. Intellectuals, labor activists, civil rights reformers, and everyday Chinese men and women decided that change was dire, and the fight worth possible imprisonment and death. In response, the government of China sent the army to restore order in Tiananmen Square backed with a line of tanks to instill fear. The world watched in utter shock as a man carrying a briefcase fearlessly walked out into the middle of the street and stood before the line of tanks. He planted himself in front of the tanks – alone he stood. That decision was suicide as he sacrificed himself for the rest. He decided that he could no longer watch the injustice and stand silent. That unknown Chinese protestor, who was so sick of a life with no freedom, became a symbol to the rest of the world depicting man’s struggle with modern oppression. The revolutionary act of standing alone in front of a line of tanks in a time of civil disobedience for freedom signifies a power in all men to make a difference and stand against the powers of oppression. No one will ever know what happened to that man or his name. He died for his people and sparked courage in his society not for fame but for freedom. The massacre that ensued left thousands imprisoned and dead in Tiananmen Square. No one died in vain for the seed of revolution was firmly planted by all those courageous protestors, and one-day freedom will surely grow out of the oppressive soil of China.

                     Revolution is the act of man regaining a life of freedom and liberty from the oppressive systems that deem it necessary to strip them away for power. There is a constant struggle between the oppressor and the oppressed in organized society, because there has never existed a perfect equilibrium between righteous laws and human rights. The seats of power and position always seek to gain more control, while the people who are under the constant supervision of power always seek more freedom and liberty. When government and rule begin to fringe upon the very inalienable human rights provided by the sacred laws of nature and consciousness, mankind has an obligation to fight for freedom. Civil disobedience becomes a fundamental path to seek reform and revolution, a change worthy of uplifting humanity to its full potential. Revolutionaries are painted as terrorists in the eyes of the oppressors, and are unsuccessfully demoralized through propaganda. They become a threat to the oppressive powers that be. However, The strength and struggle of courageous revolutionaries have forced societies to evolve and progress through the long halls of history, and will continue to for centuries to come. Man’s struggle against oppression will be an endless one against many oppressors still to overcome, and many revolutionaries still to continue fighting. 

Comment posted by Abhay under Shaheed post,

“I am happy that you were not there during the days of Op. Bluestar, sounds like you are pretty trigger happy too.

Your blog post also gloats on how you stood up against sikh morality and what not in the face of your pal talking about his uncle’s being a part of the armed forces flusing militant elements out of the temple.

I am also pretty sure that apart from your forays into Punjab once every 3 years or so your connection to Punjab is through these blog posts only. Thats understandable, you know why….

Because no matter how or what you do, it takes more than a swashbuckler to do deeds that help your own people. You can prate about Operation Bluestar and all that, which even the hindus, muslims and sikhs know was a botched operation but you absolutely can’t come here and contribute to the development of Punjab.

I am a Hindu and a minority ethnic group from Kashmir, who were all on the run from internal strife there but I can’t blind myself with irrartional logic by going on a killing spree in my homeland. I have studied for a decade in Punjab, Chandigarh and then heartland of Punjab, Patiala. I graduated with wonderful sikh and non-sikh pals, discussed these very issues with them but I have never seen such venom spilled by them. you know why?

Because they all are in punjab and know that mistakes were committed from both sides post 84 and moreover it was a decadent political establishment that was at blame. No bosy passed a national consensus to persecute sikhs and neither could any group stop this on their own once it got mobilised by some depraved hindus.

On the contrary, you guys who plan to study in the Carribean and Grenada and yakety yak and very conveniently write about your allegiance to sikhi in your blog posts, do you ever plan to invest the time or resources to at least for god’s sake know what had happened by delving deep into the subject?

Ever heard of authors who wrote on all aspects of sikhism, and insurgency, and socio political conditions: like Pettigrew, Jurgensmeyer, Patwant singh, WH McLeod, Brar, Oberoi, Khuswant Singh etc.???

Its time you armed your spite and anger, some of which I can claim to understand, with some intellect.”

My humble response to Mr. Abhay,

Well first and foremost, I would like to thank you, Mr. Abhay, for discussing this matter properly instead of being extremely impolite and disconnected. Some of your points are relevant and taken to heart, but unfortunately you have mostly failed to see why so many Sikhs around the world are particularly hurt about the situation leading to the Sikh massacre during the 80s and mid 90s. We have falsely been targeted as being fanatics, radicals, and terrorists because we demand justice for the genocide in the fields of Punjab and other Indian states during this volatile time in Punjab’s history. I have learned being a Sikh that there are many routes and paths to God whether it be Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, or Hinduism. In a beautiful Sikh Shabad, the Guru uses a metaphor of a garden to explain how beautiful the diversity of people and faith are in the world in which we live. In our Ardas every night in all gurudwaras throughout the world, we ask for the well being of mankind before our own.

Sikhs have a long history of fighting injustice. Our founding Gurus died for righteousness and justice rather than convert or bow their heads to defeat. The Sikhs fought when the Mughal raj threatened both Sikhism and Hinduism while protecting the Hindu women from being picked up at night. We fought when the British invaded South Asia sacrificing the most shaheeds in India while being less than two percent of the population. In the battle of Kargil, Sikhs put down their lives more than any other religion in India once again. Why were we not labeled terrorists and “trigger happy” then Mr. Abhay? I will tell you why, because when we die for your rights and life we are heroes and shaheeds, but when we die for our own people for in the name of justice we become terrorists. Sant Jarnail Bhindranwale, president of Damdami Taksal, used to preach Sikhism throughout Punjab before he was raised by the Indian government in a political move to entice the parties. Thus you are right that it was a politically stirred event which cascaded into the mass murder of Sikhs throughout India.

We want the promised glow of liberty, justice, and freedom in India because we paid so heavily for its independence. We want our brothers and sisters in Punjab to be able to live without fear. Is that too much to ask Mr. Abhay? Let me put the Indian governments quotes directly in front of you so you can have a taste of our oppression in India.

BEFORE INDEPENDENCE DURING SIKH FREEDOM FIGHTERS IN INDIA

“…in future, the Congress shall accept no constitution which does not meet with the satisfaction of the Sikhs” (The Lahore session of the Congress Party. December 31, 1929)
________________________
“…the brave Sikhs of Punjab are entitled to special considerations. I see nothing wrong in an area set up in the North of India wherein, the Sikhs can also experience the glow of freedom.” (Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lahore Bulletin, January 9, 1930)
_______________________
“I ask you to accept my word and the Resolution of the Congress that it will not betray a single individual much less a community. Let God be the witness of the bond that binds me and the Congress with you (the Sikhs).
_______________________
When pressed further Gandhi said that Sikhs would be justified in drawing their swords out of the scabbards as Guru Gobind Singh had asked them to, if Congress would renege on its commitment.” (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Young India, March 19, 1931)
_______________________
“You (Sikhs) take my word that if ever the Congress or I betray you, you will be justified to draw the sword as taught by Guru Gobind Singh” (M. K. Gandhi).”

AFTER INDEPENDENCE THE SIKHS WERE LIED TO BY THE HINDU LEADERS

(TIMES HAD CHANGED)

To preserve the unity of India, if we have to eradicate 2-kror [ 20 millions ] Sikhs, we will do so. (Balram Jhakhar, a colleague of P.V. Narsimharao, the former Indian Prime Minister)

” The Sikhs are a lawless people and a menace to the law abiding Hindus … The [Government] should take strict measures against them.” (Pandit Nehru, Indian Prime Minister, on Sikhs)

“Kya main taqat dushman (the enemy -the Sikhs) ke haath main de dun (How can I entrust power into the hands of the enemies).” (Jawahar Lal Nehru, 1961)

” I hate the very physique of a Sikh because of the turban and beard. ” (Vallabh Bhai Patel, late Indian top politician)

“I don’t give a damn if the Golden Temple and whole of Amritsar are destroyed, I want Bhindranwale dead.” (Indira Gandhi, Indian Prime Minister, communicating with Gen. Vaidya during “Operation Blue Star”)

“We have broken the back of the Sikhs and we will get them elsewhere.” (M. M. K. Wali, Indian Foreign Secretary, June 7, 1984, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio 740, As It Happens)

“Let us teach these bastards (the Sikhs) a lesson.” (Rajiv Gandhi, October 31, 1984)

“… a threat to the villagers that all males would be killed and their women taken to army camps to breed a new race if there was any militant activity in their village.” (Brig. R. P. Sinha, Indian Army, March 8, 1991)

“You do not know the might of our armed forces. We will eliminate 10,000 Sikh youths and the world will know nothing about it.” (Chander Shekhar, former Prime Minister of India, CK, 21st October, 1991)

“Raj Bina Nahin Dharam Chale Hain, Dharam Bina Sab DalleMalle Hain” which literally means that sovereignty is a must in order for a religion to survive; otherwise religion perishes (Guru Nanak).

Mr. Abhay I cannot call India my home or Hindustan a secular country. There is hatred and terrorism in the central government against the Sikhs, Muslims, and other minorities. I urge you to ask the Jews of Nazi Germany to get over what happened? Sikhs have fought oppression and tyranny in the past and will continue to fight it today. Many Sikhs left India in the 1980s because living in India was no longer possible as blood was being split on the Guru’s dharti again, and this time by the country we fought for. Our own country became a foreign land of intolerance. The injustices continue in Punjab as the state has been refused equal state funding,  Chandigarh was split from Punjab, its water is being diverted to other states, its commerce is given less value, and suicide by Jatt Sikh farmers are going unnoticed. Cults like the Dera are being funded and let loose by the anti-Sikh elements in the Indian government. The RSS are adamant on distorting Sikhism as Hinduism with false brochures, posters, and books.

When India in June of 1984 decided to invade the Golden Temple on that fateful day when thousands of devotees were present, India made the mistake of turning its back on its must loyal constituents the – the Sikhs. The Sikh library was burned to the ground although there were no “militants” within it. Hundreds of other gurdwaras were invaded during that time also. Then during Operation Woodrose, over 250,000 Amrithari Sikhs were tortured and killed in fake encounters. The pure disgust by which this whole incident happened, is why India cannot be a true democracy. No human rights organization was allowed to enter nor was the media. In Delhi the government sponsored the killings of Sikhs on the streets.

“India is ablaze with hate and anger. In city after city from one corner of the country to the other enraged mobs have gone and are going about systematically burning and looting Sikh properties and assaulting Sikhs without discrimination.” 1The Times of India

“Sikhs were sought out and burned to death. Children were killed, shops looted, cars burnt, markets destroyed, houses gutted. Trains were stopped and Sikhs were picked out and murdered.” Akbar M.J.

“Around 300 Sikh officers and men in uniform were done to death in the presence of non-Sikh soldiers, who stood as silent spectators.” 2 Economic and Political Weekly

Police officers “stood by and watched arson, rape, looting and murder, without making any attempt to intervene to protect citizens brlonging to the Sikh minority, without attempting to dissuade the attackers to call for reinforcements or other support, or even to inform the fire brigade.” 3 Independent Report

“Many people complained that, in some cases, the police were not merely hanging back, but giving active support.” 4 The Times

Mr. Abhay erase your nationalistic feelings and bias against the movement for just a moment, and pretend if you will, that you were a Sikh in Delhi during the riots. You were born in Delhi, and lived there your whole life. You were visibly a Sikh as symbolized by your kara, kirpan, and turban. You also strongly disagreed with Bhindranwale and the Sikh movement in Punjab, because you believed it was political nonsense. Then suddenly after the assassination of Indira Ghandi the Delhi police promise to protect you, and order you to give up all your weapons including your kirpan. Your house and business location are given to the mob via the congress party of India. Soon after, mobs come into your home and force your whole family onto the street and you now have no weapons for self-defense. Your elderly father is taken into the street and doused in petrol with a tire around his neck. You watch him burn alive as the police and mob watch and laugh. Your son is cut into pieces and also lit on fire. Your wife raped in front of your eyes. Somehow you escape with all the trauma, and find yourself twenty years later without an ounce of justice and no longer the energy needed to live nor die. You have become a stone. Their voices have been suppressed Mr. Abhay, and there are only a select few voices in the world left that remember and try to tell their stories. If I am called a fanatic for telling their stories years later so be it. I will not be silenced like they once were.

No government of India or Punjab has ever apologized for the torture and genocide of the Sikhs. I understand that this happened about twenty years ago, but try telling that to a widow in Delhi who watched her family burnt alive and is still living with the trauma. Try telling a woman in Punjab that all her five sons, the youngest eight, were murdered only because they were Sikh, but it would be better if she got over it because it happened in the past, and India is getting better. Pictures speak a million words, and the pictures of Sikh youth killed and dogs eating their body parts says it all in India. I live in California and I am safe from rioting, killing, and government kidnappings but I am not safe from my guilty conscious of being a Sikh and accepting what happened.

I am glad that you reference Khushwant Singh, because he was one of the biggest critics of India during the Delhi riots and the attack on the Golden Temple. He even wrote about it. AR Darshi was a Hindu politician in Punjab who wrote about the incidents in favor of a simple and generous, Bhindranwale, in his book the Ghallant Defender. The other writers you have listed have been strong advocates against Sikhism from the beginning so please do try and be fair.

“Pug bunkay koi sardaar ne bundaa.” By wearing a turban on does not become a Sikh or a sardaar. A true sardaar is one who lives like the Gurus did before him and in their hukum, will, he lives. Very few are actually true Sikhs. KPS Gill is theoretically a visible Sikh, but the amount of torture and killings he prompted in Punjab equates him more with Hitler or Stalin than a servant of humanity and God. A man who has spilled so much Sikh blood is hailed a hero in Hindustan today, just as Aurangzeb was in the Mughal raj when he put a small bounty on a Sikh’s head. Sant Giani Maskeen Ji in his Japji Sahib Viakiyha explains the line, “Asunk jor haram kor, asunk papee…” (There are many cheats, many sinners…). Maskeen Ji states that circumstances given to men really indicate there inner desires unearthed and the malice within is truly revealed when given a chance to surface. Men like Hitler were given supreme power, hence they committed so many crimes for they were given the opportunity. KPS Gill was given the whole police force and directed it toward cruelty and inhumanity. He was not a Sikh, but instead a mass murderer. Even in the Sikh morcha and movement some Sikhs were probably not in the movement for the right reasons or intentions. Some just wanted to loot, steal, vandalize, and fluster circumstances.

However, the Sikhs in the Golden Temple and other dangerous locations that stayed and fought for hours on end despite impossible victory, are the true shaaheds and heroes of the modern Sikh struggle for justice. Those were the true Sikhs who lived out the history of the Gurus before them like Guru Arjan Dev who sat on a hot plate and burned to death, Guru Tegh Bahadur who fought until his head was torn off, and Bhai Mati Das Gur da pyaara who was split in half. Guru Gobhind Singh Ji lost his whole family and his own life while fighting for Sikhi and human justice. Although he lost so much to the Muslim raj he was still so Godly to exclaim, “Manas Ki Jaat Sabhe Ek Pehchanbo” (All humanity is the creation of one God). These are the true Sikhs who would rather shed their heads than suppress their voices and actions for righteousness and the truth, “Sirr Jaavey Taa Jaavey Meraa Sikhi Sidak Na Jaavey” (If my head goes so be it, but I will not leave my Sikhi).

This Shabad is by Guru Nanak Dev Ji in Salok Vaaraan Thay Vadheek on Ang 1410 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj:

jo tho praem khaelan kaa chaao ||
If you desire to play this game of love with Me,

sir dhhar thalee galee maeree aao ||
then step onto My Path with your head in hand.

eith maarag pair dhhareejai ||
When you place your feet on this Path,

sir dheejai kaan n keejai ||20||
give Me your head, and do not pay any attention to public opinion. ||20||

This Shabad is by Guru Arjan Dev Ji in Raag Maaroo on Ang 1102 of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj:

salok ma 5 ||
Salok, Fifth Mehla:

pehilaa maran kabool jeevan kee shhadd aas ||

First, accept death, and give up any hope of life.

Perhaps the most ironic twist in our history is that Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji died for both the protection of Sikhs and Hindus during the Muslim raj. The Hindu community that he sacrificed his life for was of Indira Ghandi’s direct ancestry. Our Gurus and Sikhs have sacrificed so much for humanity, but Mr. Abhay when we demand justice for those who were slaughtered by the government, our Hindu brothers and sisters turn the other way. If our Gurus had done the same to the Hindus during the Mughal raj we would all be living a Muslim lifestyle today.

Your rationale for Sikhs being too angry and radical is truly unwarranted. You will never understand our pain and anguish mainly because you are a Hindu living in Hindustan. We are Sikhs living in Hindustan, a country that denies us our religion in the Constitution and our very right to live. I live in America, because this is the true Khalistan where I can speak, write, and express myself on whatever I will. I have rights. I will not be killed for believing something that is against the majority. The government allows us to practice Sikhism in peace and we have no complaint. This is my new home, but Punjab will always be the dharti of my Gurus and my beliefs, hence I cannot forget about it either.

Milan Kundera, “The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent new history. Before long that nation will begin to forget what it was… The struggle of man against power is the struggle against forgetting.” I will never forget Mr. Abhay, and I plead for you to see the humanity in all of this terror, and deem whom the real terrorist entity was and is. Lets stop labeling men as Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims and just see for one moment humanity, because only then can we feel the hurt of death and despair. “Kudrat ke saab banday… Ek jot mai saab jugh objaiya (Men are all One, each with the light of the Lord). In a highly emotional and nationalistic song Rabbi Shegill asks Indians during the Gujarat riots, “Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan thay, Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain.” The Pope of Catholicism has also denounced the killings of Christians in India and Iraq. Nationalism becomes very dangerous and divisive when equated with the unwarranted murder of minorities.

I could write a million volumes if I were to give and rightfully so all the horrific accounts that occurred in Punjab and India in the last two decades. I move on with my life, but continue to remember and demand justice. I will surely write many books about the Sikh Struggle after finishing my MD degree. Mr. Abhay I do not have to live in Punjab to care, but I do agree instilling hate is not the solution but providing awareness is.

-God Bless

 

 

Youtube has become the main source of many videos regarding the Sikh revival movement in the early 1980s under the leadership of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in Punjab. I was supposed to be studying my biology tonight, but instead I decided to pay a visit to youtube to see if there were any new inspirational Sikh videos out. It soon lead me to watching a documentary on 1984 which once again opened up a Pandora’s box of anger, grief, and frustration. This was not my first Sikh grievance binge watching session, because I was first introduced to the Sikh genocide and injustice in Punjab through youtube many years ago. It made my blood boil back then, and I became a very angry and resentful young man. I read every possible book on the Sikh movement and became mesmerized by Sant Jarnail Singh’s charisma and devotion. I became what most moderates label as a “fanatic.” I could not get the whole situation that happened to the Sikhs out of my mind, and I felt so helpless being a Sikh. With that said, it also created a thirst to learn more about Sikhism, and Sikhi’s focus on an active and disciplined lifestyle rather than passive word.

Throughout the ensuing years my views mellowed out, and soon the movement began fading as our own leaders like Badal in Pujab began sucking the blood right out of it. Gurdwara brawls became the scene of my new found frustration, young Pujabi youth acting like gangsters was a new epidemic, and the obvious complacency and ignorance of our own Sikh people left me stranded with views incapable of coping. I was sick of caring for a cause that had died. Sikhs were now over it, and the movement and events in the eighties became an issue for wannabe terrorists or fanatics to discuss or feud about over gurdwara politics leading to conflict and drama. I did not want to be tangled in a mess of pointless political ideals nor did I want to keep living in the past. I decided after caring, worrying, and stressing over the injustice done to the Sikhs by the central government that all this extra worry was not worth it. My own people did not seem to want to hear about it anymore and my own mother told me that it was not to be discussed at any indian functions or parties, because it might hurt the sentiments of Hindu family friends. I told her repeatedly that the need for justice was not an anti-hindu cause but an anti-government one. “Stop talking like that, and no you are not going to the 1984 rally because you never know who will take your name. When you go back to Punjab they will arrest and torture you,” she would tell me in an alarmist voice. There was no solution to the problem, and no way for me to voice my opinion, so I just moved forward with my life by giving it a very small place in my heart.

I still deem Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale as one of the greatest martyrs of the Sikh panth. I know that this statement in itself is a controversial topic for many, but I am not going to get into the details of my arguement, because I am sure many have already heard why some Sikhs believe this. However, tonight as I began watching those Sikh genocide videos on youtube, I cried. I could not help it for the old wound was now opened once again and the pain came jolting back. The pain and grief of mothers watching their daughters get raped, sons torched alive, husbands burnt after their hair was cut, little babies being thrown on their heads, and countless families losing every single Sikh male in their families. This whole atrocity in Delhi happened as the police watched it all occur in plain daylight. What kind of democracy is this? Twenty years later no apology for the Delhi riots, Darbar Sahib attack, burning of the sacred library, killing of over a hundred thousand amrithari Sikhs in fake encounters. I remembered today why I am a Sikh, and never an Indian.

Some may argue that the movies and videos posted on youtube only instill hate in the youth, but I disagree by stating that they merely instill within the youth the truth of India’s fruitful injustice. Punjab bled heavily during the early 80s and into the late 90s, and no government of India or Punjab has ever apologized for the torture and genocide of Sikhs. I understand that this happened in the past, but try telling that to a widow in Delhi who watched her family burn and is still living with trauma. Try telling a woman in Punjab that all her five sons, the youngest eight, were murdered only because they were Sikh, but it would be better if she got over it because it happened in the past, and India is getting better. I live in California and I am safe from riots, killing, and government kidnappings but I am not safe from my guilty conscious of being a Sikh and accepting what happened.

The future of Sikhs in India may seem bright right now on the surface, but ask yourself why Ram Rahim is not in jail yet. Many Sikhs have died in clashes. Ask why the RSS is so easily infiltrating Sikhism with fake propaganda of the Gurus holding hands with Krishna in educational brochures teaching that Sikhi is under the umbrella of Hinduism. Ask yourself why the Khalsa Action Committee was unable to peacefully protest against Ram Rahim as opposed by Badal. Ask yourself if Badal or the Sikh panth has any leadership with Sikhism as its pillar. Why are Punjabi farmers irrigated without water when our rivers are being diverted by other states? Why are Punjabi farmers given less money for crop compared to other states? Why is not Punjabi an established language in Punjab? Why is Chandigarh not in Punjab? Why is the government afraid of Sikh autonomy in Punjab? Ask yourself how long Sikhism will survive. Finally ask yourself why Sikhism is doing better in pardesi countries like the UK and America instead of India. India is not the home of Sikhs after all the atrocities it has committed, hence I can never be an Indian while being a Sikh.

I am neither a separatist nor an Indian, I am merely a Sikh residing in a country that provides me a safe life of free expression and practice. I don’t want to hear politics anymore as long as I have the Shabad in my mind and Waheguru by my side. I pray just as Guru Gobhind Singh Ji did in the Chopai Sahib that all the Sikhs throughout the world find peace and prosperity. I am a lost soul with much anger and frustration without a place to go or a place to call home. I have the Guru and that is it. I pray for the shaheeds that died in India after the partition through countless acts of government lead genocides. Where is the glow of freedom and justice Nehru and Gandhi promised? I pray to Waheguru that he keeps Sikhi alive and the thirst for the word of the Guru ever present. We have survived the mughal raj when a Sikh’s head was exchanged for little rupees. However, today the khalsa seems to be broken and weak without leadership, a path, or allegiance but I am certain that Waheguru’s light will guide the way in the future, and in his mercy I trust.

I am sorry if I offended anyone or was out of line, but I feel compassionately about the topic of my fellow sisters and brothers being killed without an ounce of pity. Ignorance is bliss, but truth is infinite.

            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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