Dal Khalsa UK extends support to Sonia Deol - Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu on her Sikh 1984 Journey and does not hold her responsible for the inaccurate portrayal of
Shaheed Sant Jarnail Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale
Dal Khalsa UK extends support to Sonia Deol - Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu for her hard work and efforts in covering the issues of 1984 in the programme
called ' 1984 A Sikh Story’, which was aired on BBC 1 on Sunday the 10th of January 2010.
As we all know 1984 was the year of the Sikh Genocide carried out by the Indian Government and its ruthless terrorist military & government forces on the Sikh Nation to strike a blow at the self confidence of the Sikhs.Starting with the sealing off of Panjab the Sikh Homeland a media and telecommunications blackout to the Military assault on Sri Harmandar Sahib,Sri Akal Takht & 42 other Sikh Gurdwareh across Panjab,to the pre planned Delhi Genocide carried out by state sponsored Hindu extremist mobs and Government forces - which spread across India after the elimination of Indira Gandhi by Shaheed Satwant Singh & Shaheed Beant Singh.
The programme was watched by Sikhs and non Sikhs of all ages across the UK ,a special interest was taken by Sikh Youths in the UK as can be seen from the numerous text messages and facebook messages everyone received regarding the programme.
While the programme had positive aspects such as the segment on the Delhi Genocide it showed Shaheed Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale as a terrorist who was out of control.
We understand this was Jaswinder's personal journey on her discovery of the events of 1984 and DO NOT HOLD HER RESPONSIBLE for the inaccuracies in the programme such as the bad portrayal of Sant Bhindranwale to the reasons of the why the Sikhs were demanding more rights and why Harmandar Sahib was fortified.
We ask all people to stop their attacks on Jaswinder on the basis of her being the presenter ,it is the likes of Mark Tully and others such as the background researchers of the programme who are responsible for the inaccuracies.We understand the Sikh Nation is pained and hurt just like we are about the negative aspects of the programme but we will not tolerate attacks on Jaswinder who herself is a Sikh and has just started to look in to the events of 1984.Instead it is our duty as Sikhs to make sure the truth comes out about Sant Bhindranwale and other issues which were not covered or were inaccurate in the programme.
The programme started with Jaswinder exploring who Shaheed Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was ,she travelled to the Damdami Taksal where Sant Ji studied and got the views of the current students and teachers who were all in support of Sant Bhindranwale and saw him as an icon.The murder of Lala Jagat Narayan newspaper editor is then mentioned and how Sant Bhindranwale was arrested and then released without charge,no mention is made of the anti Sikh writing he(Lala Jagat Naryan) had made in his Newspaper such as 'Kach Kara Kirpan Ehnko Bhejo Pakistan' or his writings against the Sikh Gurus which angered the Sikhs & his support for Shiv Sena a right wing anti Sikh group.
Mark Tully a veteran BBC journalist then appeared with various inaccurate facts about Sant Bhindranwale from calling him a 'fanatical religious leader' which he was 'scared' of to describing him as an agent of the Congress Party & Sanjay Gandhi he claimed the Congress in effect told Sant Bhindranwale 'You come with us and we will make you ruler of Panjab'.This is factually incorrect neither was Sant Bhindranwale an agent of the Congress and nor did he have any Political links or aspirations for them or even himself - he mentions this himself in numerous video recordings which can be seen on Youtube.On the issue of Mark Tully being 'scared' of Sant Ji and Sant Ji 'looking' at him in a previous interview he said Shaheed General Subegh Singh looked at him this video can also be seen online,one questions the credibility of this story.
The second claim Mark Tully made was that the reason Sant Ji became anti Government was due to the reason that his 'Sermons' were burned,this is also untrue as his 'Sermons' were not burned but Saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj and Gutkeh were burned in a bus belonging to his Jatha by the Police.Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is the living Guru of the Sikhs and not a 'Sermon' which Sant Bhindranwale's secretary 'wrote' down as Tully claimed.
It is then mentioned that Sikhs hijacked buses and shot dead Hindus ,it is well documented that the Indian Intelligence services had criminals released from Jails and their agents dressed up as Sikhs and used to carry out random attacks on the public especially Hindus to stir up violence and decrease support for the Sant Bhindranwale and the Dharam Yudh Morcha.Julio Ribero Director General of the Panjab Police even admits to having a group called the '3rd agency' which carried these attacks out in his book 'Bullet for Bullet',they saw these attacks as vital to destroying any Sikh unrest or Civil rights movement.
The programme then talks about how Rajiv Gandhi wanted Sant Bhindranwale out of the Harmandar Sahib Complex and that Sant Bhindranwale was out of control as he had arms inside and was fortifying the complex.
The reason for fortifying the Harmandar Sahib Complex was due to the information that had come to light at that time to Sant Bhindranwale that a replica had been built of the Harmandar Sahib Complex in a remote secret location near the Doon Valley,S.K Sinha the General 1st chosen to lead Bluestar confirms this ,as Sinha refused to follow orders he was thrown out and replaced with A.S Vadiya alongside
Due to this information Sant Bhindranwale fortified the complex as he and his close associates knew about an impending attack he openly speaks about this in video recordings.Another reason for having arms and being 'defensive' was that Sikhs were being harassed and attacked daily along with women being raped by Government forces and their criminal agencies, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji's saroops were being burned and Sikhs were being murdered all over the place.As the Government was the ones organising and carrying out the attacks Sikhs had no choice but to be armed at the time - and this is recognised by the UN and International law.
On the 1st of June 1981 Bhai Mengha Singh Ji Babbar was shot down by a sniper of the CRPF and Indian Paramilitary forces,even then the Sikhs managed to hold back.Panjab was then cut off from the World all telecommunications and electric and water soon after,as Panjab was sealed the gathering Indian army of over 100,000 across Panjab with more arriving began to prepare for Operation Bluestar.
On June 3rd the Operation was launched - to cause maximum damage on the same day as the
Shaheedi martyrdom of the founder of the Golden Temple,
Sirtaj Shaheedan Deh Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj.No warning was given to the thousands of pilgrims as has been confirmed time after time and even by Jaswinder herself in the programme.All parts of the army were used from the airforce launching attacks from above to the navy - divers in the amrit sarovar surronding the Harmandar Sahib itself not only this the BSF - Border Security Force CRPF - Central Reserve Police Force and Special Forces - Black Cat Commandos were also called in on top of the army.
The Sikhs anticipating the attacks had already been prepared before hand as they had heard about the replica of Harmandar Sahib that the army had built around 2 years before to practice the attack on.Through the efforts of Shaheed General Subegh Singh - an ex Decorated
Army General who after seeing the injustice joined the Sikh Civil Rights movement and then Sant Bhindranwale ,the Harmandar Sahib Complex was fortified as much as it could to protect against an attack by the Indian Army.
The Tanks which rolled on to the Parkarama were already there outside the complex in and around Jallianwala Bagh they were not 'specially' called in, one can see this in pictures on sites like neverforget84.com and others.
It is then said that an armoured personnel carrier was blown up and tanks were ordered in , one asks what were tanks doing alongside hundreds of thousands of Military and Indian Forces to supposedly get one man?If they really wanted Sant Bhindranwale could they not have easily snipred him like they did to Shaheed Bhai Mengha Singh Ji Babbar on June 1st?
Pictures from Operation Bluestar also confirm that Chemical Gases were used which are illegal under international law ,gas masks can be seen on the armies faces as they smile over the bodies of innocent pilgrims and Sikhs.
It is then said Sant Bhindranwale was shot as he and other Sikhs ran from Sri Akal Takht Sahib ,this is very untrue fact and whoever researched this fact has deeply offended the Sikh Community ,similar claims have been made over the years by Indian officials
but all are untrue.
Why would Sant Bhindranwale hold out till the last minute and then run when there is no way out?He took an oath to defend Sri Harmandar Sahib and Sri Akal Takht Sahib until his last breath ,an oath on Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj - all Sikhs know for a fact that he did not run and nor did any of the 150 - 200 Sikh Warriors alongside him ,most were killed by chemical gas,bullets or tank shells.Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale gave his Shaheedi on June 6th 1984 fighting till his last breath alongside the Sikhs with him to defend the Sikhs' holiest shrine and honour of the Sikh Nation - for which he gave his life for and became Shaheed,our supreme authority Sri Akal Takht Sahib which all Sikhs are to abide by accepts him as a Shaheed Martyr and a Sikh Saint Solider.Alongside gross Human rights abuses and rape torture was also carried out like on the dead body of Shaheed General Subegh Singh his head was scalped and barbed wire and iron rods put through his body - this is just one example of torture which can be seen from pictures on Bluestar - they didn't even leave dead bodies.
Then the government estimates of casualties are given these are known to be greatly inaccurate and infact thousands of Sikhs lay dead.Jaswinder is clearly very upset when talking about the figures of dead and it is clear that the number did go in to the thousands.A snippet of an Indian Propaganda video was given to news agencies after Bluestar is then shown and Brar claimed weapons had come from Pakistan & China to the Sikhs.One has to look at footage from the BBC and ITN to see that the Sikhs weapons were limited in number and were not very modern most were post world war 2 and village rifles and shotguns.These weapons were planted in the Harmandar Sahib Complex by the Indian army as eye witnesses saw including Ex Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib Joginder Singh Vedanti.
He says 'Three army trucks rolled in full of ammunition, including rifles, swords and even spears. All these weapons were taken to Akal Takht Sahib. These were the weapons that were later shown to the people during various photo-ops. '
This clearly shows that the Indian Government wanted to defame Sikhs across India and the World and link them with Pakistan so they are seen as the enemies of India.Sikh armymen were ordered to clear up the blood and dead bodies to make it look like the attack was justified, Vaidya and Brar had no shame that their armies had urinated in the sarovar,smoked & drank ,raped women,blown up kids using tanks,shot sikhs dead at point blank range after tying their hands with their turbans.Nor did they have any shame that Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji the living Guru of Sikhs was shot with bullets - and all this in the Sikhs' holiest shrine.
No mention is made of the Sikh Reference library being burned down which contained the the original writings of the Gurus and historical artifacts from Sikh History.
Then pilgrims caught up are interviewed who describe how the army lobbed grenades and how their families were blown to bits in the hotels surrounding the complex.Jaswinder then asks was there any warning? the pilgrims say no ,then Jaswinder asks that General Brar said he gave a warning - the pilgrims say no,this helps further on in the programme when Brar is interviewed.
Jaswinder than interviews General Brar at a secret location ,only Jaswinder knows what emotions ran through her standing face to face with the man who took charge of and part in most the horrific attack on Sikhism's holiest shrine.It must have been a very difficult time for her and one can see the emotion on Jaswinder's face as she asks questions to Brar.
On why the attack took place on the Gurpurb - Shaheedi Divas of Guru Arjan Dev Ji when the complex was full of pilgrims ,Brar claims the orders were to go in as soon as possible.This cannot be true as they had planned for this attack around 2 years before on the replica of the complex as confirmed by General S.K Sinha, we believe this date was chosen on purpose to cause maximum casualties and damage.
Brar claims it was not about religious sentiments and that they let pilgirms out which is not true it also does not explain why the Army surrounded 42 other Gurdwareh including the birth place of the Khalsa Sri Anandpur Sahib and Damdama Sahib was Bhindranwale there as well? Jaswinder then goes on to say 'What about the eye witnesses who said they did not hear any of the announcements ?'
Brar replies in a blatant lie ' Thats not true.. thats not true..I mean there were loudspeakers blaring away all the time..the fact is it is very difficult to distinguish in the night who is a civilian and who is a militant the firing is coming and the firing is being returned and in cross fire some civilians die and some militants die its not easy to differentiate'.
Jaswinder then asks 'Why go in when you know there are pilgirms inside?'
Brar replies 'How long do you wait,you wait till the next day we won't be able to go in'
Jaswinder then says 'Where could Bhindranwale have gone if you had pretty much the whole place surrounded?'
Brar then says 'Oh no it was not a question about having the whole place surrounded..we would get surrounded in the next 24 hours..after all how long can you keep this away from travelling to the mainland of Panjab? you'd have a thousands of millions of Sikhs with spears guns everything rushing to Amritsar and that would be a very sad situation for a man in uniform'
Jaswinder then says 'So you went in at that point for the safety of your own army ?'
Brar replied 'Not only the safety of our own army we had to accomplish the task if we don't go in.. forget the safety of the army the task isn't going to get accomplished'
Jaswinder then asks 'What about your decision to make moral decisions ?this is the holiest..this is the centre of the Sikh faith'
sarcastically Brar replies 'Oh im very sad to tell you that it was no longer holy,so if you're saying that morally we should have thought differently,what about those people inside?was there any sanctity left inside the Golden Temple?where is the morality of the people who were building bunkers there and storing ammunition?im sorry I have to disagree with you'
Brar's justification of attacking on the Gurpurb day falls flat on its face he claims that all the Sikhs of Panjab would have rushed to Amritsar and his army would have been in danger,this is an army which is supposed to defend India's borders so why would Sikhs with 'Spears and Guns' as he put it be a threat to the Indian Army?
Brar and the Indian army lacks morality himself as can be seen from his sarcastic replies,the only reason the complex was fortified was due to knowledge of an impending attack by the Army.
He is then asked what he thinks of those who see Sant Bhindranwale as a Saint and not a terrorist Brar replies ' He may have started out as a saint but he didn't end as a saint let me tell you that,there was nothing saintliness about him at the time of Operation Bluestar'
A clip is then shown of the Indian Propaganda video showing so called weapons from Pakistan and China then the destroyed Sri Akal Takht Sahib and a picture of a saroop of Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj with a bullet inside it after being shot.After being questioned did he accept any responsibility for the damage done? Brar says the responsibility is collective and claims the army held back and the damage could have been more 'severe'- what more 'severe' damage do you need with thousands dead,Guru Granth Sahib Ji's saroop shot at Sri Akal Takht Sahib built by the Sixth Guru totally destroyed,women raped,men and kids shot dead and the Sikh reference library burned to ashes?
He claims he feels sorry for the people who lost their lives alongside the lives of 'militants' but he thinks his orders were 'legitimate’ his face shows no remorse.Jaswinder asks him was it a price worth paying ? and he says he does not know.
This was a very positive part in the programme as Jaswinder directly grilled the man behind the terror about his actions and justifications for it due to such a good interview Brar's claims fell flat on their face ie: about no warning being given to pilgrims,the 'safety' of his army and his moral decisions and so on.Never have Sikhs seen any presenter stand up to Brar like this and due to her questions and replies Brar tripped up and had to resort to being sarcastic and edgy at times.
After this segment Jaswinder meets shop owners selling posters of Sant Bhindranwale and sees Sikh Youths wearing t shirts just as they do here in the UK of Sant Ji and speaks to an 18 year old who sees Sant Bhindranwale as a great Saint & Soldier.He clearly misunderstands the question of when asked is anyone attacking his faith and replies with 'it happens in schools'.This leads Jaswinder to think things have changed a great deal and this is what most think when they go to the Panjab ,but one has to understand it is only recently that support for Sikh Freedom and Human Rights has returned after Panjab was put through a genocide lasting 10 years from rapes to false Police enconters.Even now people don't like to talk about 84 due to them being in fear.Not much has changed since the 1978 massacre of Vaisakhi in Amritsar by the Nirankaris as we saw on December 5th 2009 when Sikhs were shot dead in Ludhiana over the exact same issue of a Government supported cult 'Ashutosh DJJS' insulting Sikh tenents and in 2007 when Sacha Sauda another cult did the same.Not to mention the same issues of river water being diverted and other Sikh rights which were in the Anandpur Sahib resolution.
The story then goes on to Beant Singh visiting Amritsar and seeing the devastation himself and then on to the elimination of Indira Gandhi.The story of the Delhi Genocide then begins a very positive part of the programme such as the interview with Bibi Mohinder Kaur and her tragic story about her husband Gurmej Singh who was burned alive by Hindu mobs at a Delhi train station.It reveals the horrors of how Sikhs were hunted down and burned alive and raped,and how people such as Ashok Vahi helped Sikhs and photographed the Genocide of Sikhs being attacked and burned which made it to front pages.The story then moves on to a local Gurdwara in which Jaswinder is shown a painting of Sikhs being burned alive and attacked and raped,a reference is made to the Police and state being involved in the pre planned Genocide and about how Gurdwareh were burned and Sikhs burned alive.Although the reference is brief we understand that this section was about the victims and not the culprits such as the Congress leaders alongside Hindu fanatical groups and Government forces.
The Widow colony in Delhi is than shown in which widows describe how their kids and husbands were killed in front of their eyes as they stood helpless.Jaswinder is emotionally moved to tears as she hears about their stories and rightly so with the amount of horror and ethnic cleansing of all males that took place alongside the rape of Sikh girls and women.
Harvinder Singh Phoolka a well known lawyer and Human rights activist is then shown planting trees and asks Jaswinder to plant one as well she dedicates it to all the victims and Gurmej Singh husband of Bibi Mohinder Kaur who she met earlier.Jaswinder then reflects on her experiences while walking amongst the trees planted in memory of those who were killed in the Genocide.It then moves on to how India is more integrated - something which we do not agree with all one has to do is hear about the Genocide on Christians last year and the one before that on Muslims in 2002,Manmohan Singh told Sikhs a while back to forget 1984 which caused outrage and in the early 1990's denied any human rights abuses of Sikhs in the UN even though there was hardcore evidence to say so.Sikhs see Manmohan Singh as a puppet who has been put up to appease the Sikhs he has done nothing for Panjab or the Sikhs as most Sikhs in Panjab as well as abroad would agree.Our Gurdwareh may not be being destroyed but the silent terror and 'undercover attacks' just like in 1978 leading to 1984 remain as ever as we saw on December 5th 2009 and before that Panjab is in the same situation with the same problems as it was after 1978.
Jaswinder then goes back to the UK and meets Inderjit Singh (Network of Sikh Organisations) and Ravinder Kaur who practices Gatka and they discuss how 1984 has helped Sikhs rediscover their roots and heritage.We fully agree with this only last year around 30,000 Sikhs with the majority of them born here before and after 1984 took part in the biggest Sikh Justice and Freedom rally since 1984, one has only to go to their local Gurdwara and will see people wearing t shirts of Never Forget 1984 and jackets with pictures of Shaheed Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale,the awareness of 1984 is growing here and in Panjab at a rapid rate and the youth and indeed the entire Sikh nation are realising the truth of what happened in 1984.
While the programme had very positive parts after the segment on Bluestar it failed to mention the
*Nirankari 1978 massacre which led to the rise of Sant Bhindranwale.
*What Sant Bhindranwale and the Sikhs' demands were such as the Anandpur Sahib resolution.
*Econimic,Social,Political and religious rights being crushed.
*Insults to Sikhs and denial of religious freedom ie:Sikhs classed as Hindus in the constitution.
*Plight of Panjab and its people ie:Water being diverted illegally and so on
*Mass human rights abuses of Sikhs pre 1984 and during Bluestar.
These are just a few reasons of why there was Sikh unrest and we believe the researchers should have included these but none were instead Sant Bhindranwale and the Sikhs ,thanks to Mark Tully and the blunders of the researchers were made to look like fanatical terrorists who were out of control roaming around with guns.
No mention was made that when Bluestar was happening Sikhs trying to get to Amritsar were gunned down by helicopter gunships nor was any reference given to the Sikh reference library being burned or the human rights abuses within the Golden Temple Complex.Some of the facts should have been presented if not all as the programme was an hour only,we hold people such as Mark Tully and the research team responsible and not Jaswinder Kaur ,just because she presented the programme and it was her journey she only relayed back what she was told just like most Sikhs do on the issue of 1984,the truth is there we just have to expose it or people will follow the government version of lies.
It is up to us as the Sikh Nation not just in the UK but the across the World to educate everyone about what really happened and counter the likes of General Brar who fell flat on his face when questioned and grilled by Jaswinder on Operation Bluestar we praise Jaswinder on this for her courage in facing a man who shows no remorse or morality for his actions in 1984.We also thank her for showing the plight of Sikhs after the Delhi and Nationwide Genocide of Sikhs in November 1984.
Once again we would like to openly state to anyone attacking Jaswinder Kaur for the inaccurate portrayal by the researchers and Mark Tully of
Shaheed Sant Jarnail Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale.That we fully support her and DO NOT HOLD HER RESPONSIBLE IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM for this negative part of the programme she has proved herself as a Sikh by going on this journey and we will not sit back and tolerate abuse towards her by anyone or any group and will come to her defence.
It is our Sikh Nation which needs to expose the truth and Jaswinder has tried her best to do this even though she was given inaccurate information - we have to understand she is not an expert on the issue - the same as most Sikhs,so we ask all of you to unite under one Nishan Sahib to educate fellow Sikhs on the truth about 1984 and what happened.
We thank Jaswinder Kaur for going on this journey and greatly appreciate her efforts,thanks to her more people Sikh and Non Sikh now want to know what happened in 1984 and why?
We would also like to state that Dal Khalsa UK will honour Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu - Sonia Deol for her work and courage she has shown on the issue of 1984.
Dal Khalsa UK
Never Forget 1984