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Impartial Reports On Sikh Genocide '84 - Book By Baldev Singh
Editors Note Of 'Impartial Reports On Sikh Genocide '84' By Baldev Singh
Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975), the British historian, had propunded a theory of 'challenge and response'. This theory is applicable to individuals, communities-religious, social and political-, countries, nations and all other living beings all over the world. That there are challenges in life and survival depends upon the responses.The Sikhs are no exception to this theory. The present disposition is more challenging ever since they came into existence over five centuries ago. The chances of their assimilation into Hindu fold are more than ever before. Their survival depends upon their responses to the challenges thrown upon them.
Ever since, Nanak, the Guru (1469-1539) created Sikhs, they lived in difficulties with their rulers of the day. Raaje Sheenh Mukaddam Kutte. So far they have lived under the rules of Muslims, Christians and Hindus. For a brief period they had their own rule in Lahore ( Punjab; 1799-1849). They lived in peace and also provided peace and prosperity to its subjects irrespective of religious considerations. They also had their princely states of Patiala, Kapurthala, Nabha, Faridkot, Jind etc. They were also peaceful and communal harmony was complete.
Hinduism, which means Brahmanism, has four weaker points in its system which are caste-system, mythology, superstitions and corruption. The Sikh Guru's first message after enlightenment was, Na Ko Hindu, Na Musalmaan, yet he created another religion. Those who joined this religion were mostly Hindus. When they joined it they brought with them their rituals and beliefs. They did not go in for complete break from their past religion as did their Guru Gobind Rai in 1699 at the time of forming Khalsa clearly stated so. But his words and orders were obeyed for some time only. The Sikhs have lost sight of Guru's ethical and moral values, which they taught for over 200 years in ten incarnations. When Gobind Rai, the tenth and the last Guru, created Khalsa, he specially saw to it that these weaknesses were left away from his Khalsa Mero Roop Hai Khaais. To reassure his Khalsa the Guru bowed before his creation for the same discipline he had ordained for then and became Guru Gobind Singh from Guru Gobind Rai, and to maintain that discipline Sikhs had to pass through the valley of death several times, latest being 84.
The role of media is very crucial in present day world. Those who ignore it or those who do not get support of it are at a great disadvantage. The Sikhs are one such people. They have their own vernacular (Punjabi) papers to inform Sikhs but they are lacking English paper. Although The Tribune and Hindustan Times were founded by Sikhs but they are not in their hands nor they represent Sikh views. The English press is in the hands of top three slots of the Brahminical society because of education and money power. They did not present the case of Sikhs in its true perspectives before the Indian and world intelligentsia. When the Sikhs demanded their political, social, religious rights and agitated for it, to suppress it, it was called 'Operation Blue Star' a necessary surgery to remove the cancerious part of body and the Killing of thousands of innocent Sikhs and rape of women as 'riots'. The word 'riots' means, wild revelry; debauchery; loose living; unrestrained squandering or indulgence; a disturbance of peace by a crowd (legally three or more). In fact June and November' 84 were periods of genocide of the Sikhs. For June Operation my 'Fauji' brother told Yaad Karegaa Khalsa (Gen. Brar had prepared them for war against enemy) and for november killings of Sikhs by putting burning tyres around their neck and calling it Saalaa Sardar Naachtaa Hai. The Indian press called it at riots. I heard only one gentleman form electronic media telling on TV programme that it was 'Nasalkushi' or 'Genocide' and he is Mr. Vinod Dua from NDTV. God bless him for telling the Truth.
Media in third world countries, including India, is not free, independent and objective as compared to advanced countries. Media picks up hints from the Governments, political parties and influential people etc. Media has been following such a policy during militancy in Punjab 1978 to 1995 and even prior to that during Akali agitations for Punjabi Suba. It was jointly believed if Sikhs are given some concessions in Punjab it would be a beginning of break India process. But the Sikhs were asking for some concessions on the basis of promises of undisputed Congress leaders keeping in view their historical role in the sub-continent. Sikhs also felt that they would be assimilated and loose their cultural, religious identity, if not protected. However, to give proof of nexus between Government and the media I give one glaring example of a senior Central Intelligence Officer M.K. Dhar working for Hindustan Times as press reporter during militancy in Punjab. I have front page report of Hindustan Times of 19.6.1984. It says, "Tohra told Army of plan to blow up Akal Takht." The report further says," It can now be revealed that it was SGPC President G.S. Tohra who first conveyed to the Army the plan of Bhindranwale and Subeg Singh to blow up the Akal Takht." It proves three points : first, that of Tohra's complicity with the Army and the Government (in fact it was Sant Longowal's and Akali leadership's strategy to get rid of Bhindranwale menace); second, media and the Government Intelligence worked together and third, the plan to blame Bhindranwale and his men for destruction of holy Akal Takht.
During November '84, I alongwith my wife and one year old son were hiding for life in an influential Sikh's house in Patna. I alongwith others were watching live telecast on TV, the cremation of Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Khoon Kaa Badlaa Khoon was common and repeated slogans heard on DD TV. There were no efforts to conceal it and nobody condemned it or tried to stop it. After the cremation there was a public rally in Delhi. Rajiv Gandhi addressed it and it was here that he had said Jab baraa per girtaa hai to dhartee hiltee hai. At that time Mohinder Singh Sathi, a congressman was Mayor of Delhi, he got up to speak but public shouted him down because he was a Sikh. Rajiv Gandhi was watching but did not intervene to pacify the public.
Most of those butchered outside Punjab were not Akalis or Bhindranwale's supporters. They were Congressmen, Communists, Congress affiliated Akalis. Rajiv Gandhi had every right to kill or order killing of those who had killed his mother just as Sikhs had been avenging the destruction of their holy Harimandir, but as P.M. he has no right to watch killing of innocent Sikhs, rape of women who had nothing to do with killing of Mrs. Indira Gandhi for four days. Those believe in God have abiding faith in His justice system. Rajiv went the way innocent Sikhs were sent. Here I would like to admit that in Punjab on 31st October, 1984 most of the Sikhs, even baptised one, celebrated the day with drink. Liquor in Punjab was sold out. This must have sent out a wrong signal in Rajiv Gandhi's mind, therefore, must have acted in negligent way for four days.
Biologically all human beings are same but there is difference of soul in it. Some have bad soul, others have good soul in it. God blessed good souls had taken up the matter to find out, Who are the Guilty ?, Delhi : October 31st to November 4, '84 and Oppression in Punjab. These great men deserved community's gratitude but alas ! they have lost all the good things Guru had taught them for selfishness. These three historical documents deserved to be preserved for the future generations. The purpose is not to create bitterness, rift or politics but purely preservance of historical documents. There are some men of eminence who have expressed themselves on the subject matter. To understand why Sikhs erupted in this way, we have in the background Sirdar Kapur Singh's (National Professor of Sikhism, ICS and former MP) speech in the third Lok Sabha on 6th September, 1966 and also another article written by him entitled, 'They Massacre Sikhs'. I am presenting these documents to preserve them in the form of a book for future generations. History makes a man wise. When we read history and don't repeat mistakes we are bound to progress but if we repeat mistakes then it becomes blunder and our future is doomed and we are committing blunders.
Introduction To 'Impartial Reports On Sikh Genocide '84' By Baldev Singh
fact-finding team jointly organised by the People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) and People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in the course of investigations from November 1 to November 10, has come to the conclusion that the attacks on members of the Sikh Community on Delhi and its suburbs during the period, far from being a spontaneous expression of "madness" and popular "grief and anger" at Mrs. Indira Gandhi's assassination as made out to be by the authorities, were the outcome of a well-organised plan marked by acts of both deliberate commissions and omissions by important politicians of the Congress (I) at the top and by authorities in the administration. Although there was indeed popular shock, grief and anger, the violence that followed was the handiwork of a determined group which was inspired by different sentiments altogether.
Experiences of individual members of the team as well as their extensive interviews with the (i) victims of the riots; (ii) police officers who were expected to suppress the riots; (iii) neighbours of victims who tried to protect them; (iv) army personal; and (v) political leaders, suggest that the attacks on the Sikhs followed a common pattern, whether they took place in Munirka in the South, or Mangolpuri in the West in the East. The uniformity in the sequence of events at every spot in such far-flung places proves beyond doubt that the attacks were master-minded by some powerful organised groups. As a senior army officer deployed in Delhi during the recent riots said : "This arson is the work of an expert." Newspaper reports suggest that this pattern is similar in all Congress (I) ruled states.
There was also a definite pattern discernible in the choice of the victims made by the assailants. According to the 1971 census figures Sikh males in the age group of 20-25 number approximately 100,000. The Sikhs who were killed in the recent riots largely belonged to this age group. The official estimate of only 325 killed (including 46 Hindus) till November 7 (Hindustan Times,November 11) sounds ridiculously low compared to the magnitude of arson, lynching and burning alive of people in the resettlement colonies alone. On the basis of information gathered form various sources, include eye-witnesses, survivors and relatives of the dead, the team estimates that the number of those Killed is more than a thousand.
From our talks with the victims that their neighbours in almost every riot his spot, we could reconstruct the sequence of events, which followed a stereo-typed pattern everywhere. The first phase was marked by the floating of a set of rumours on the evening of October 31, following the announcement of Mrs. Gandhi's death. The rumours were three. First, Sikhs were distributing sweets and lighting lamps to celebrate Mrs. Gandhi's death. ( Later during over investigations when we asked the residents of the affected localities whether anyone form among them had actually seen such things, almost everyone admitted that they had not personally witnessed it, but had heared from someone else. We did however come across a few people who while expressing revulsion at the incidents of assaults on the Sikhs, added that they had seen in some places some Sikhs expressing their glee at Mrs. Gandhi's death by demonstrative gestures. We have reports that some isolated groups of non-Sikhs also exhibited similar behaviour. From the information that we have gathered from various sources, our impression is that such cases were few and isolated). The second rumour was that train-loads of hunderds of Hindu dead bodies had arrived at Old Delhi Station from Punjab. Third, water was poisoned by the Sikhs. As for the two latter rumours, we came across evidence of policemen in vans touring certain localities and announcing through loudspeakers the arrival of the train and the poisoning the water. In certain areas, we heard that police officials had rung up residents advising them not to drink water.These rumours ( the last two were officially repudiated later) contributed to the shaping of a public that mind that acquiesced in the attacks and murders that took place soon after.
The second phase began with the arrival of groups of armed young people in tempo vans, scooters,motorcycles or trucks from the night of October 31 and morning of November at various places like Munirka, Saket, South Extension, Lajpat Nagar, Bhogal, Jangpura and Ashram in the south and south-east; the Connaught Circus shopping area in the centre and later the trans-Jamuna colonies and resettlement colonies in other areas in the north. With cans of petrol they went round the localities and systematically set fire to Sikh houses, shops and Gurdwaras. We were told by the local eye-witness in all the areas we visited, that well known Congress (I) leaders and workers (their names are to found in Annexure-I) led and directed the arsonists and that local cadres of the Congress (I) identified the Sikh houses and shops. A senior police official who for understandable reason does not want to be named, pointed out: "The shop signs are either in Hindi or English. How do you expect the illiterate arsonists to know whether these shops belonged to Hindus or Sikhs, unless they were identified to them by someone, who is either educated or a local person?" In some areas, like Trilokpuri, Mangolpuri and the trans-Jamuna colonies, the arsonists consisted of Gujjar or Jat farmers form neighbouring villages, and were accompained by local residents, some of whom again were Congress (I) activists. In these areas, we were told Congress (I) followers of the Bhangi caste (belonging to the scheduled caste community) took part in the looting. In south Delhi, buses of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) were used by the miscreants to move from place to place in their murderous journey. How could the DTC allow its buses to be used by criminals?
The attacks in the resettlement colonies (e.q. Trilokpuri in the trans- Jamuna area and Mangolpuri in the west, where the maximum pattern. The targets were primarily young Sikhs. They were dragged out, beaten-up and then burnt alive. While old men, women and children were generally allowed to escape, their houses were set on fire after looting of valuables. Documents pertaining to their legal possessions of the houses were also burnt. In some areas of Mangolpuri we heard from the survivors that even children were not spared. We also came across reports of gang-rape of women. The orgy of destruction embraced a variety of property ranging from shops, factories, houses to Gurdwaras and schools belonging to the Sikhs. In all the affected spots, a calculated attempt to terrorise the people was evident in the common tendency among the assaults to burn alive the Sikhs on public roads. Even five days after the incidents, on November 6, in the course of one of our regular visits to Mangolpuri we found that although the ashes had been cleared, the pavement in front of the Congress (I) office was still blotched with burnt patches, which the local people had earlier pointed out to us as spots where four Sikhs were burnt alive.
Table Of Contents For 'Impartial Reports On Sikh Genocide '84' By Baldev Singh
|Book - 1|
WHO ARE THE GUILTY
|1.||Socio-Economic Composition of the Assailants||19|
|2.||Role of the Police||21|
|3.||Role of the Administration||25|
|4.||Role of the Army||29|
|5.||Role of Congress (I)||35|
|6.||Role of Media and Opposition||39|
|7.||Role of the Public||41|
|9.||Relief and Rehabilitation||56|
|I:||Chronology of Events||62|
|III:||Official Pronouncements and News Reports on the Events||73|
|IV:||List of People Identified by Survivors||80|
|V:||List of Relief Centres Recognised by Delhi Administration||89|
Book - 2
|DELHI : 31st October to 4th November '84||91-156|
|1.||Background and Sequence of Events||98|
|2.||Some Case Histories||104|
|A:||Letter to the Principle Secretary to the PM dated 5th December 1984, together with an enclosure||137|
|B:||Letter to the Principle Secretary dated 6th December 1984||140|
|C:||Letter from the Pinciple Secretary to the PM dated 19th December 1984||141|
|D:||Letter to the Union Home Minister dated 20th December 1984 together with an enclosure||142|
|E:||Letter from the Additional Private Secretary to the Union Home Minister dated 26th December 1984||146|
|F:||Letter to the Prime Minister dated 4th January 1985||147|
|G:||Letter to the Union Home Minister dated 4th January 1985||148|
Book - 3
|OPPRESSION IN PUNJAB||157-306|
|1.||Part I : Suppression of a Community||178|
|2.||Part II : 'Operation Blue Star' : The Untold Story||223|
|3.||Part III : The Black Laws : Charters of Slavery||262|
|I:||Statement of Baljinder Singh||286|
|II:||Statement of Amrik Singh||288|
|III:||Statement of Shri Narinder Singh||293|
|IV:||Statement of Shri Swarn Singh||295|
|V:||Reports of T.S. Cheema (District and Sessions Judge, Patiala)||297|
|VI:||Letter to the Home Secretary||300|
|VI-A:||Statements of Shri Boota Singh and Shri Sukhdev Singh||305|
|I:||Errors of Nanavati Commission -Khushwant Singh||307|
|II:||Slaughter of 1984 -Omkar Goswami||309|
|III:||When I Ran for Life -Harkishan Singh Surjit||311|
|IV:||Betrayal of the Sikhs -Kapur Singh||313|
|V:||They Massacre Sikhs -Kapur Singh||