By Parmjit Singh Sekhon, Dakha, MD
Over 20,000 Sikhs Murdered With Support of Indian Government in 1984
Saturday, November 1 marks the anniversary of the November 1984 massacre of Sikhs in Delhi in which over 20,000 Sikhs were killed while Sikh police officers were locked in their barracks and the state-run radio and TV called for more Sikh blood. The massacres followed the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, which took place after Mrs. Gandhi ordered the Indian military attack on the Golden Temple, the center and seat of the Sikh religion, in June 1984.
The Delhi massacres were a brutal chapter in India’s repression of the Sikhs, according to Dr. Gurmit Singh Aulakh, President of the Council of Khalistan. ‘This brutal, government-inspired massacre clarified that there is no place in India for Sikhs,’ Dr. Aulakh said. On October 7, 1987, the Sikh Nation declared its independence from India, naming its new country Khalistan. In more than twenty years since then, India has continued its illegal occupation of Khalistan and stepped up the repression of the Sikhs while the Sikh Nation has continued to work to achieve its birthright.
The Indian government has murdered over 250,000 Sikhs since 1984, more than 300,000 Christians since 1948, over 89,000 Muslims in Kashmir since 1988, and tens of thousands of Tamils, Assamese, Manipuris, Dalits, and others. The Indian Supreme Court called the Indian government’s murders of Sikhs “worse than a genocide.”
Indian police arrested human-rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra after he exposed their policy of mass cremation of Sikhs, in which over 50,000 Sikhs have been arrested, tortured, and murdered, and then their bodies were declared unidentified and secretly cremated. He was murdered in police custody. His body was not given to his family.
The police never released the body of former Jathedar of the Akal Takht Gurdev Singh Kaunke after SSP Swaran Singh Ghotna murdered him.
Ghotna has never been brought to trial for the Jathedar Kaunke murder. No one has been brought to justice for the kidnapping and murder of Jaswant Singh Khalra.
According to a report by the Movement Against State Repression (MASR), 52,268 Sikhs are being held as political prisoners in India without charge or trial. Some have been in illegal custody since 1984! Tens of thousands of other minorities are also being held as political prisoners, according to Amnesty International. We demand the immediate release of all these political prisoners. In 2005, several Sikh leaders were arrested for making speeches and raising the flag of Khalistan.
Christians in India are currently experiencing a similar repression. Militant Hindu nationalists affiliated with the militant, pro-Fascist Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), have called for a nun who was raped by their activists to be arrested and they have reportedly sought to wipe out all traces of Christianity from Orissa. On October 21, a group of Hindu women from the Rashtra Sevika Samiti – an outfit affiliated to the Sangh Parivar (an organization under the umbrella of the RSS) – demonstrated to demand the arrest of a nun who was raped during the violence that erupted in the area in August. Asia News reported that the Sangh Parivar, another Hindu fundamentalist group affiliated with the RSS, “[is] becoming more methodical. Sometimes with police assistance they prevent Christians from meeting to pray, try to murder new converts, and are trying to take over the land where churches and Christian homes once stood in order to wipe off the face of the earth any trace of Christian presence.”
In April, according to Compass Direct, about 70 violent Hindu nationalists chased and threatened two Christian women from a Gospel for Asia Bible college after a Christian worship service. They burned the church. All the Christians escaped except the two young women.
The Hindu militants threatened, “We will burn you like Graham Staines and his children!” A leader of the BJP was quoted as saying that everyone who lives in India must either be a Hindu or be subservient to Hindus.
History shows that multinational states such as India are doomed to failure. Countries like Austria-Hungary, India’s longtime friend the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and others prove this point. India is not one country; it is a polyglot like those countries, thrown together for the convenience of the British colonialists. It is doomed to break up as the others did.
“Only a sovereign, independent Khalistan will end the repression and lift the standard of living for the people of Punjab,” said Dr. Gurmit Singh Aulakh, President of the Council of Khalistan. “Democracies don’t commit genocide. As Professor Darshan Singh, a former Jathedar of the Akal Takht, said, “If a Sikh is not for Khalistan, he is not a Sikh”,” Dr. Aulakh noted. “We must continue to press for our God-given birthright of freedom,” he said. “Without political power, religions cannot flourish and nations perish.”
Parmjit Singh Sekhon, Dakha, MD. is President, Dal Khalsa Alliance
By Parmjit Singh Sekhon, Dakha, MD