The Sikhs are a vocal minority in India. They are the followers of the Sikh Guru Nanak (1469-1539) who founded this religion. It encompasses good points of both Islam and Hinduism. Sikhs believe in one god who is faceless and omnipresent and their holiest place is the Harmandir Sahib Gurudwara, popularly called the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
Sikhs in India are mainly concentrated in the Punjab, but they have a global presence and are important minorities in England and Canada.
Mrs. Gandhi and her Search for an Issue to Win Elections
Mrs. India Gandhi the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru became Prime Minister of India by virtue of leading the Congress party. She had a closed door confabulation with her advisors and it was decided that an issue was needed to win the next general election in 1985. The conclave decided that a bogey of Sikh nationalism be created so that the Hindu masses can be told that they were being saved from Sikh terrorism. It was a clever ploy to win the election.
Simultaneously it was decided that the Akali party in Punjab be” finished”. Thus she created a counterpoise against the Alkali’s in the form of a maverick religious man named Sant Bhindranwale. However the move backfired as Bhindranwale ensconced himself in the Golden Temple and began to issue his own edicts. He also built up a formidable arsenal of weaponry inside the temple complex.
Attack on Golden Temple
The buildup of weaponry inside the temple when it was surrounded by the Police and armed security force was with the connivance of the central government headed by Indira Gandhi. The aim was to allow the buildup of arms and ammunition inside the temple and then strike with the army and snuff out the terrorist movement and claim the halo of a ‘savoir’ of India and win the coming general election.
In mid-1984 she ordered the army to attack the golden temple. This was operation “Blue Star”. The army brought in tanks and heavy artillery. This was disproportionate use of force and many thousands of Sikh pilgrims died. The assault on the holiest Sikh shrine had a repercussion as Mrs. Gandhi was assassinated.
The Killing of Sikhs
The assassination was the handiwork of a few Sikhs, but the Congress party high command decided that the time had come to teach the Sikhs a lesson. A message was passed down to the rank and file to murder as many Sikhs as possible. The Congress party goons started a blood bath for over a week and more than 10000 Sikhs were butchered. It was the worst pogrom ever to take place. Even Hitler never murdered Jews in broad day light in Berlin. The hand of the Congress party and its leadership was exposed by many commissions of enquiry but not a single leader was punished.
Singh Joins Congress Party
Man Mohan Singh during this period was a pen pusher. He was a man who held various appointments under the aegis of the government. Man Mohan Singh is a Sikh and one wonders whether he was affected anyway with this carnage against the Sikhs who were his brethren.
Man Mohan Singh retired from the government job. He was the chairman of the University Grants Commission when he decided to join the Congress party. What was his compulsion to join a party who had butchered 10000 Sikhs is an enigma which may never be solved.
He first joined the cabinet of Narasimha Rao as Finance Minister and soon showed his loyalty to Sonia Gandhi. He was at the beck and call of the Italian lady and did all jobs and errands as directed by her. His servitude stood out a mile.
Loyalty to the Gandhi family earned him the Prime Ministers chair. Though he was a rubber stamp prime minister, he probably enjoyed himself. Perhaps his one desire was to ride around in a flag car and be hailed as a Prime Minister only. In the bargain he mortgaged his self-respect and was classified as Toady. The Daily mail labeled him a poodle of Mrs. Gandhi.
Singh and Killing of Sikhs
But Singh has to answer more serious charges. He sat and dined in the cabinet with the same ministers who had a hand in the killing of thousands of Sikhs. Thus Jadish Tytler, HKL Bhagat and Sajjan Kumar indicted by many as killers enjoyed the hospitality of Man Mohan Singh. One wonders whether this man, a Sikh had any conscience.
Singh allowed the inquiry reports indicting the killers to pile with dust. He took no action at all and went around with a bland expression. Despite the hue and cry about the killings of the Sikhs, Singh made no mention about it and sat impassively as the killers roamed free. For the killing of 10,000 Sikhs a mere 4 persons were convicted who were all small fry.
Singh was however vociferous about the killing of Muslims in the 2002 riots in Gujarat and went on trumpeting that he could not sleep when Muslims were killed. Fine, but one wonders how this man seemed to turn a Nelson eye to the killings of Sikhs
Many widows whose husbands had been knifed to death approached the Government and filed affidavits against the accused, but Singh took no action. In fact he actively tried a cover up. In the annals of history one cannot come across such a man who failed his own community and the oath to his Guru. Singh was defeated in the last elections and one hopes that a Special investigation Team (SIT) will be set up to give justice to the thousands of Sikhs who were murdered.