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November 27, 2018

 

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March 10, 2014

 

Authenticity of Shabad Guru: Historical Perspective - Was Guru Granth Sahib ever declared a Guru or given Gurgaddi? This article refutes the Namdhari theories.

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Seizure of the Golden Temple

After the carnage, it would seem that the Government itself started feeling the repulsive horror of the gory drama it had staged. For days, no one other than the occupation Army was allowed to enter the sacred pre­mises which lay spattered with blood, dead bodies and destruction.

The stink of decaying flesh and blood did not disappear for the corpses were too many to be cleared, disposed of and cremated in just a few days. The only visitors allowed were the President, on June 8, 1984, and the Prime Minister on June 23, 1984. Both of them, it is reported, were moved by the ghastly tragedy they had ordered. According to the Times, London,

“The President of India, Giani Zail Singh, himself a Sikh, went to the anguished city to see for himself the extent of the mayhem committed dur­ing the battle for control of its principal ornament, while Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister, made a personal expression of thanks to the men of the security forces who accomplished it.”219

Just as one lie leads to more lies to cover it, the Government’s anxiety increased to hide the truth of the plan they had executed. Accordingly they refused to vacate the premises and thought of clearing the place and reconstructing the demolished part of the Golden Temple and the Akal Takhat, so that the tragic scene and its evidence should not remain permanently recorded in public memory.

Accordingly, the Golden Temple, the heart of Sikh religious life which gave solace and peace to millions of Sikh souls was kept in military occupation. While it would seem that the Govern­ment felt the inevitable necessity of continuing the tragedy, few people realised the enormity of the pain and injury it was continu­ing to cause to the lacerated hearts of the entire Sikh community, especially when there was not a word of regret or protest from any notable public man of the other community. In fact, there were visible rejoicings, justification, approbation and the decoration of those who had staged the tragedy. It is during these months that every Sikh felt the contrast in the approach of the Indian Government and that of the British colonial Government after the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy. Even some Sikhs, who were later rewarded, were brought on the public platform to justify the attack. Subsequently, the Government brought one Santa Singh220 on the sacred premises and associated him with the reconstruction of the demolished building which the Government sought hurriedly to do through a Government contractor Tejwant Singh. Santa Singh was a person of known anti-Sikh and anti-SGPC antecedents. President Zail Singh when he was the Chief Minister of Punjab had associated him in a public procession which he had organised on the Guru Gobind Singh Marg. Santa Singh’s associates were released from the prison and he was presented an imported car and an escort to move about. Acknowledging this honour, Santa Singh called him a Param Sikh.221

The reconstructing of the Akal Takhat and other buildings of the Shrine was started by the Government through Santa Singh in violation of the Sikh tradition. Santa Singh was ex-communi­cated by the Jathedars.222 He received wide spread condemnation from the Sikh masses, who looked upon the ‘Kar Seva’ under him, without the involvement of Sikh Sangat, as 'Sarkar Seva’. The Sikh tradition is very clear on the subject. It records the story of the Mughal emperor Jahangir who first persecuted the Sikh Guru Hargobind but later tried to appease him. The Emperor is said to have offered to complete the building of the Akal Takhat. The Guru is reported to have declined the offer stating, “Let me and my Sikhs raise this throne of God with the labours of our own resources. I wish to make it a symbol of service and sacrifice done by my Sikhs and not a monument of king’s generosity.”223

Santa Singh defied the order of ex-communication and conti­nued the job at the Golden Temple which was under the possession of the army and where free entry to the pilgrims, as noted above, was not allowed.224 In fact, the very question of a pilgrim going there could not arise since the place had become just a reminder of a continuing tragedy and desecration. Santa Singh was paid Rupees one lac a day to keep himself and his men doing the allotted task assigned to him by the Government.225

In order to condemn the Government tactics, the Jathedars convened a World Conference of Sikhs on September 2, 1984.226 It evoked an overwhelming response from the Sikhs. Despite a ban lacs of Sikhs gathered to protest against the continued desecration and occupation of the Golden Temple. Giani Zail Singh and Buta Singh were ex-communicated and declared Tankhaiyas (religious offenders) by the Sarbat Khalsa.227 The Jathedars with the approval of the Sangat decided to undertake a people's March on October 1, in order to liberate the sacred Shrine from the control and possession of the Government228 and the torment which it was causing to the mind of every Sikh. On September 25, just six days before the proposed Sikh march, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi announced the withdrawal of the Army and handed over the control of the Shrine to the SGPC.229

In human affairs and affinities, the depth of the emotional wound is proportionate to the vengeful contempt and callousness with which injury is inflicted. For persons outside the community it is not easy to understand the almost irreversible gap between the communities and the injured alienation and deep disillusionment which the Blue Star, the Wood Rose and the subsequent events connected with the possession of Darbar Sahib have caused.