Monday, June 2, 2014

THE SIKH TRAUMA OF 1984 - PART THREE - GENOCIDE IN DELHI


1984 – PART THREE
GENOCIDE IN DELHI

It was inevitable that the architect of this slaughter, Indira Gandhi, would be called to account by its victims. She was by no means a stupid person, in fact, she was brilliantly intelligent, so it remains a mystery as to why she employed two Sikh bodyguards, an act somewhat akin to hiring IRA supporters to guard the queen. Perhaps she had a death wish. In any case, on October 31, 1984, the inevitable happened. She was executed by Beant Singh and Satwant Singh, her two Sikh bodyguards.
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This opened the second phase of the Sikh trauma of 1984, often called “the Anti-Sikh Riots.” They were not riots; they were a well-planned pogrom against the Sikhs, with the worst casualties being in Delhi. In India, people are registered according to their religion, so making lists of Sikhs was not difficult. In fact, the lists were ready and waiting to be handed out by Congress Party officials to groups of thugs armed with lathis and metal rods and cans of kerosene. 


These thugs hunted down any and all Sikhs, murdering the males, often by dousing them with kerosene and setting them on fire, not sparing even young babies, raping and beating the females, and setting Sikh homes and businesses on fire. 




The police stood by and watched and in some cases, openly participated. This went on until the army was finally called in to quell the violence on November 3. 




At least 3,000 (the lowest estimate) were killed in Delhi, with thousands others killed in various locations around northern India. A very conservative estimate is about 8000 total killed. There have been recent discoveries of mass graves which would drive the figure higher.  (3)

So that is pretty much what happened to the Sikhs in 1984 and a summary of the causes behind it. I do not pretend to be a neutral observer, but I believe the facts as I present them to be accurate.


If you wonder why she had to be executed when she was, go to this link to read about Operation Shanti, her diabolical plan to rid India of the Sikhs. (A strange way to say “Thank you” for repeatedly saving them in times of crisis.) http://www.itukforum.co.uk/Thread-Operation-Shanti

(2) For an eyewitness account of the carnage, read The Stench of Death Was Overpowering, by a policeman who was not sympathetic to the Sikh separatist cause.

(3) There is a wealth of information on line about this.  This blogpost, Recalling Anti-Sikh Riots 1984, is pretty succinct and has some good pictures, not for those with weak stomachs. 

A very large collection of photographs can be found at Khalsanet Photo Gallery.     Again, some of these pictures are quite graphic.

(4) Chardi kala literally mean a rising spirit, a spirit of joy and optimism that all Sikhs are expected to maintain no matter whsat happens.  For more information go to the Sikhiwiki article Chardi kala.

THE SIKH TRAUMA OF 1984 - PART ONE
THE SIKH TRAUMA OF 1984 - PART TWO




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