Remembering one’s country’s history should be a crucial part and parcel of our earthly existence. We can thrive for the betterment of the world and our nation only when we know, acknowledge, and keep remembering the events of the past. The 1984 Operation Blue Star and the subsequent Anti-Sikh 1984 riots or what is known as the Sikh Massacre 1984 is one such page from our history that has a harrowing and tragic tale to tell. This particularly devastating instance scarred the Sikh population of India. Let’s have a closer inspection of this convoluted, complex incident of the Sikh 1984 riots and the complete 1984 riots story.
Sikh Massacre 1984
After the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards, there were several planned violent protests against Sikhs in India in 1984 known as the Sikh Massacre. The Sikh Massacre 1984 followed subsequently after the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated.
This tragic incident took place after she issued the directive for Operation Blue Star in June 1984, a covert operation to protect the Harmandir Sahib, otherwise known as the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab. This action was perceived as a defilement of the holy site. Therefore, as a form of revenge, Indira Gandhi’s two Sikh bodyguards assassinated her.
This particular moment in history is what triggered the shameful and horrific Sikh Massacre 1984.
What Was The 1984 Operation Blue Star?
The Damdami Taksal commander Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his supporters were forcefully evicted from the Golden Temple, the Sikhs’ sacred place, in Amritsar, Punjab, India, during the infamous and highly controversial covert operation known as the 1984 Operation Blue Star, which was conducted by Indian security forces starting June 1 and ended on June 10, 1984.
The then Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, was in charge of making the final decision to begin the procedure.
Why Did The 1984 Operation Blue Star Happen?
Following the growth of the Khalistan movement in India, Operation Blue Star was born. An ideological Sikh nationalist movement known as ‘Khalistan’ sought to establish an autonomous Sikh state within the boundaries of the present-day North-western Indian Republic.
1984 Operation Blue Star was mostly motivated by the previously mentioned Bhindranwale, the Damdami Taksal chief. Bhindranwale and followers of Khalistan seized control of the Akal Takht site in Amritsar’s Harmandir Sahib amid Operation Blue Star. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale’s removal from the complex and regaining the grasp over the Golden Temple were the particular goals of this military operation.
The Assassination of Indira Gandhi
On October 31, 1984, the Iron Lady of India, Indira Gandhi, passed away. Her bodyguards opened fire on her, killing her. The assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi occurred at 9:29 a.m. at her Safdarjung Road home in New Delhi.
The aftereffects of this revenge resulted in the devastatingly harrowing Sikh 1984 riots. The Sikh Massacre 1984 created a rift in India’s legacy that to date accounts for a deplorable and dishonourable violent aftermath.
Anti-Sikh 1984 Riots – The 1984 Riots Story
On Nov 3, 1984, 3,000 died in a 3-day anti-Sikh riot in India. The People’s Union for Civil Liberties roughly estimated that 1,000 people were uprooted after rioting but the authorities claimed 20,000 had left the city.
As per the 1984 riots story, the riots persisted for several days in some places. It resulted in death tolls ranging between 8,000 and 17,000 Sikhs throughout 40 Indian cities, including an estimated 3,000 and more in New Delhi.
The extent of the violence was terrifying. How the vicious acts were carried out revealed gruesome details. Sikhs were mercilessly murdered after being infiltrated into Sikh settlements. Residences were violently demolished. Violent crowds detained public buses in Delhi and the surrounding area, removing Sikh travellers for slaughter. Some were also burnt to death.
Therefore, the Anti-sikh 1984 riots story is a testament to human cruelty. It’s a page in India’s history that has traumatised many. It destroyed homes, uprooted civilians, and resulted in a tragic massacre that India, to date, bears the shame of.
Decades have passed since then. The wind of time has carried along with it a strive for tolerance and peaceful coexistence. Will we be answerable to the devastation of the past, while aiming to safeguard our future, remains a question for now.
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