Stories from 1984 and Akal Takhat

Today we all remember the days around June 6th 1984 when thousands of innocent Sikhs were killed and the Akal Takhat was Martyred. Every 6th day of the month we gather in our sangat for a special Gurdwara to remember the sacrifices that were made during this time.

Tonight in Gurdwara Shanti Kaur told some inspiring and educational stories related to the events before, during, and after Operation Blue Star. As she told the stories I was transported to another time, and listened with all my full focus, trying to hear all the details. I was living in India at the time, but I was still young and didn’t understand the extent of what was going on.

 Luckily I had the computer at the SikhNet office already setup to record the Gurdwara, so I am able to share the recording of what we all listened to earlier tonight.

I think it is important that we remember this event and share the stories with our family and children who might not know about what happened. Though it is a terrible tragedy that these events even happened, it is important for us to move forward and not get stuck in the past. We need to lead our families forward to make a better world for tomorrow, to ensure that this never happens again. Many people look at having a homeland for the Sikhs (Khalistan) as the solution to all the problems, but I think that we need to look even wider and know that Khalistan is wherever a Sikh is, in his heart. Not on any one piece of soil. There is much work to be done, particularly in inspiring each other to live and experience this beautiful path of Sikhi. Let’s join together and share the love, and take a break from all the judging, criticizing and picking that so often just pushes people away and divides us all. Let us rise together as Khalsa; as sons and daughters of Guru Gobind Singh, as the peaceful, saintly warriors of tommorow.

Ps. I was just reading another article on SikhNet about 1984 and I think Prabhu Singh’s comment ("Playing politics") is so right on.

 Listen to the Audio Story below of Shanti Kaur
telling stories from 1984 and the Akal Takhat

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13 Responses to “Stories from 1984 and Akal Takhat”

  1. Gurumustuk Ji,
    I respect you very highly, but in this, I must disagree strongly with you.

    The idea that wherever a Khalsa is  Khalistan sounds fine, but is inadequate.

    Several of my family members – including my husband and my 13-year-old son – were killed in the Delhi pogrom of 1984.  If we had had our homeland, this could not have happened.

    Khalistan will by no means solve all our problems – it will even create new ones, I know – but as long as the Indian government and certain other elements in India such as the RSS have an antipathy toward us Sikhs, we can never live in that country in freedom and safety.  You are right, we need to look toward the future.  And that future is in the Republic of Khalistan.  There our broken hearts will be healed and, as a nation, we can recover the joyful spirit I remember from the years before the Bluestar Massacre,

    Our troubles are many, but I
    Remain in chardi kala!

    Mai Kaur, TINK

  2. Karandeep Singh says:

    Leaving Khalistan aside, GurumastakSingh do you not agree that we still need to lobby our own Governments to ensure organisations like Amnesty International are allowed full access into Punjab to investigate what really happened and to establish the real extent of the blood shed (as for the past 24 years they have not been allowed any access into Punjab after numerous attempts).  Do the families that lost their loved ones who had just gone to pay homemage and never to return home not knowing whats happened to them, not deserve to know the truth?  Do we not deserver to know the truth?  The people that committed the genocide of the Sikhs in Delhi (and nationwide) have been rewarded with high posts for their loyalty.  Just because India now has a Sikh Prime Minister, do those innocent Sikhs that survived that Genocide no longer deserver justice?

    I know that from your mothers side you come from a Jewinsh background and therefore the holocaust may be very dear to your heart.  This is what Rabbi Hugo Gryn (a Holocaust survivor) has to say:

    “I always think that the real offenders at the half way mark of the century were the bystanders, all those people who let things happen because it didn’t directly affect them”

    Are we not those bystanders if at the very least we can’t even be bothered to let the world know look what happened to us?

    I’m sorry Gurumustak Ji but i do not agree that just by telling stories of what happened in 1978 & 1984 is enough.  There is still evidence out there to convict the criminals but with each day more and more is being lost and as the decades pass  by more and more witnesses will leave this world…how much longer are we going to wait.  In 100 years time when kids are told these stories, they will most definately ask what did the Sikhs after do…just tell stories?  What answer will be given? 

    The most saddest part of the events that have past is that victims nolonger want justice for what happened…just ‘recognistion’.  We aren’t even able to let the world know what happened….justice is a far fetched dream for them.

    We are however each entitled to our own opinions and you are no exception and i’ve now just shared mine.  My brother if i have come across agressive in anyway i do whole heartedly appologise. 

    Karandeep Singh

  3. R Singh says:

    Sometimes the Sikh needs to be separated from the Punjabi. Punjab is a geographical area. Nobody needs me to tell them that its not a Sikh only land. If Punjabi’s don’t feel safe in there own land because of the influence of forces alien to Punjab, then I can’t tell them to have independance or not because its up to them. If they do feel safe, then theres no problem. But one thing I should state, Punjabi’s (not just Sikhs) agreed to join the union of India, under a federal system. It is a federal union with 28 states and 7 union territories. This means the union government of India was a system where most power would be controlled by state governments. The government of India, today, is not the political system Punjabi’s agreed too at independance from the British. Today, India is very much a centralized system, with most power controlled by the centre. Infact the Indian government, is today called the central government and not the union government. What this means, is in very real terms, the lives of the 3% Punjabi’s is controlled by the 97% of everyone else. The tangible affects of this control, is seen by looking where Punjab’s rivers are diverted too and restrictions on Punjabi agriculture. The arguement the central government give for these, is because it helps other, less developed states. But the fact remains, if India was the federal system (which Punjabi’s not just Sikhs agreed to) then these kind of policies, would never have been able to be implemented.
    The way I see it, Khalistan is more of question to Indians, than it is for Sikhs. If India sees Sikhs as Indians it will get justice for its own citizens who where murdered on the streets of Delhi and in the pinds of Punjab. Something that puts me off Khalistan, is the anger I see in people when they talk about it. Anger is a natural emotion, but I 100% hate the blood for blood mentality that does exist. That blood for blood mentality is drawn from anger, one of the five thieves. I also do question, how much has ego got to do with the desire for Khalistan. Type in Sikh on youtube and check the ratio of religious videos, with videos about khalistan, with shotgun sound affects, merged with gurbani. No pro-khalistani or anti-Khalistani outside of India can be sure independance is neccessary or not. Its for Sikhs in Punjab to decide. You could say they already have in the form of the ruling from when the Khalsa congreated in the form of the Sarbat Khalsa (though I don’t know much about it).
    The main thing I want to say to fellow Sikhs, is don’t let anger overwhelm us. Bentee Chaupai http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1Uw2FHZawA

  4. Karandeep Singh says:

    for got to say, thank you for sharing

  5. Harpal Singh Kahlon says:

    Wjkk Wjkf,
    The Ghalughara of 1984  was devastating, and still thinking about the Gursikhs who went celebrate the Shaheedi of Shaheeda de Sirtaj Dhan Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj, hurts and cant stop crying about what they all would have gon through. One thing we as a Panth don’t understand is that we have always as a nation been under opression fighting for freedom. Nothing changed after 1947, everything thing got considerably worse. Our oppressors want to see the demise of Sikhi. And currently they are succeeding as we not have the collective unity in our Panth. Before 1947, there was a sense of Khalsa Panjab, Panjabi Nationalsim. That was what the freedom stuggle had been for 300 yrs (exluding the Raj of Maharajah Ranjit Singh of 40yrs). Even then we had clever imperial intectuals trying to change what the Guru had told us. Where the Gurus’ went, they said they were from ‘Madhar Desh’, which meant Panjab. Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj writes this in his Bachitar Natak, saying ‘even though i’m born in Patna, my motherland is Panjab’. I have read above that having ‘Khalistan’ is in our hearts and not soil. But this concept is important, as we now have devious puppet individiuals sitting at our highest thrones, dictating to us what we can and we can’t do. They are telling us how many Bani’s we can read, they are changing the Nitnem by Dasmesh Pitta, they have changed the days we celebrate the Gurpurbs. If we call ourselves Gursikhs, we must listen to what the Guru states and not  some so called intellectual.
    When we read our history, we read that Guru Arjan Dev Ji’s happened in the month of Jeth. After Dhan Guru Arjan Dev Ji’s Shaheedi, SatGuru Hargobind Sahib Ji told the Sikh Sangat that Guru Arjan Dev Ji’s Shaheedi Purab will be celebrated on ‘Jeth Sudi Chauth (4th)’, so we as the Guru’s Sikh should acknowledge this. However since the introduction of the new calendar, which goes in parallel with the christian calndar, Guru Arjan Dev Ji’s shaheedi falls on the 16th June which goes into the next month of ‘HAARR’. So that means we have become false, in how we celebrate the GurPurubs.
    But because some POLITICAL and not Dharmic party sits at the Akal Takht, look the part of a Gursikh, we are apparently suppose to believe this. This is oppressin. Gur Amar Das Ji Maharaj writes in the Anand Sahib ‘Jee-onh Male, Baraoh Nirmal’, from the inside they are false, but on they outside they have donned the appearance of a Gursikh. Guru is teaching us to be careful. I know i have gone on, and i do apologise, but what is happening to Sikhi is because we do not have our own Raj. I’ll finish by stating a shabad from Guru Amar Das Ji, who clearly writes
    ‘Jis he ki sarkar hai, tis he ka sabh koi’
    He who is in power, dictates what happens in his kingdom’.

    But it our duty as written in Salok Mahalla 9
    ‘Beh kahoo ko det neh, neh bhe manat aan’
    we shall not opress, and we shall not be oppresed

    And as we as Gursikhs and Panjabi’s dont have either, that is the reason why our so called leaders are puppets of the Delhi government, and that is main reason why Sikhi is not flourshing.

    Gur Sikhi needs a Raj, otherwise GurSikhi will never flourish or become established. That is the main reason why other faiths have become strong accoss the world, becasue just as Guru Amar Das Ji says ‘Jis hee ki sarkar hai, tis he ka sabh koi’

    Bhul chuk maaf

    Wjkk Wjkf
    Harpal Singh

    p.s. Guru Arjan Dev Ji’s Shaheedi Purub is today, 7th June 2008 (in our Barah Mah calander, Jeth Sudhi Chauth is today) 

  6. Karandeep Singh, I just wanted to clarify that by moving forward and not getting stuck in the past I do not mean that we should forget the injustice and just move on. I agree that people should be held accountable for these actions and we should put pressure to make sure that human rights abuse such as this never happen again. I think some of what I was expressing about moving forward is in relation to the anger and hate that I see in people’s eyes and words in relation to these events. This appears to come out in what feels like violent, revengeful anger towards Hindus and the Indian Govt.

    Mai Harinder Kaur, I can only imagine the pain and loss you have suffered as a result of the events in 1984. So, I hope you don’t feel that my words are uncaring. Regarding Khalistan, I think in theory it would be great to have a state for Sikhs, but in reality I don’t see any peaceful and diplomatic way to achieve this. It is a very complicated thing and one has to look at the pros and cons to the existing environment and how things how they are can be improved without a “khalistan” and what potential consequences would be if Sikhs tried to get this with force. We have to be practical and real about what is the best way forward. I don’t have the answer, but I think to start we have to find a way to channel the pain and anger out of this, since these emotions cause us to act rashly and definitely have consequences.

  7. Harpal Singh Kahlon says:

    Wjkk Wjkf

    p.s i would also like to have a PANJAB, and not Khalisatn. As if we continue with this concept we alienate ourselves from everybody. And the Brahmin political masters will use this against us, as they did before. After 1947 we the Panjabis (Sikhs) were fighting for a Panjabi Suba,  however the Bramhin poltical masters Gandhi and Nehru told the world that Sikhs wanted Khalisatan, even though this had never been said by any Sikhs.  Because of this poltical genius, a social hatred and barrier was put up between the Hindus and Sikhs. Also, we can learn hugely from the mistakes of the middle east and Israel. I always get questioned by people by who am i? and i respnd by saying, well i am English as i am born and bred here, i have some panjabi culture as that is where my parents are from, but my FAITH is of a GurSikh. My nationality has nothing to do with my faith. And why should i define myself with religious category (rule and dive of imperialism), rather than my nationality.
    And phaji Gurmustuk Singh, we can achieve and we must achieve our independence as a Soverign Panjab, only then can we establish Guru Nanak’s Sikhi in the world. This is also the concept of Miri Piri, Harmandar Sahib (Spirtiual Dharam) and Akal Takht (Raj Niti). Only with permission of Dharam can we fight a righteous cause of freedom. (Thats why the dharam Kirpan is 2inches bigger than the raj niti one, and again the Nishan Sahib closer to Harmandar Sahib is 2ft bigger than the Akal Takht one. It’s fantastic and makes beautiful ideological sense.  

    Wjkk Wjkf

    Harpal Singh

  8. What should we do
    I also thought a lot about this problem. Actually what we need is that we all Gursikhs should come in politics with an agenda of welfare of all ( Sarbat da Bhala).  These Gursikhs should not be the so-called corrupts.  Policital power is very important to get your rights.
    Suppose we have Khalistan
    If we get Khalistan, if our rights are infringed outside Punjab, what we would do.   And do we have the leaders like Maharaja Ranjit Singh who would control that Khalistan.  We don’t want that Khalistan should be in the hands of these corrupt politicians. And what about Sikhs who live outside Punjab in India. Where would they live ? What is security of Sikhs outside that Khalistan. Where that Khalistan do its business ?  Bhai Gurumustuk Singh Ji is right. We should find out a practical solution.
    Political Say of Sikhs
    I understand importance of having a seperate state for Sikhs, but more important is our unity and political power whereever we live. To get into power, cooperation from Non-Sikhs is very important and we can get that only if we move forward with welfare of all.  I really liked the step of French Sikhs to open schools where students from all religions can come and study. This is what is required today. And the good thing about this is that its not something impossible.  We can make political parties and start doing it.
    Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa….Waheguru Ji ki Fateh…..Balbir Singh Khalsa. http://www.gurukhalsa.org

  9. Brillian Video. Thanks for sharing !
    And well said Balbir Singh Khalsa.

  10. harminder kaur says:

    wjkk wjkf! kanwardeep singh u hav a gr8 point…nd mai kaur ji, my heart goes out to u..
    Khalistaan has no boundaries…in theory, like bhai Gurumustuk singh said, “Khalistan, I think in theory it would be great to have a state for Sikhs, but in reality I don’t see any peaceful and diplomatic way to achieve this. It is a very complicated thing and one has to look at the pros and cons to the existing environment and how things how they are can be improved without a “khalistan” and what potential consequences would be if Sikhs tried to get this with force. We have to be practical and real about what is the best way forward…” yea that’s tru, it’s great thoretically but practically quite unfeasible..HOWEVER, if we Khalsas keep reciting Naam Simran then it IS POSSIBLE, it is feasible…just look, the Mughal rule was quite vast..it was almost inconceivable that it would fade away..however it did! the Khalsa actually ruled over the lands stretching all the way to Afghanistan…the mistake that the leaders made was: the gradual abandoning of Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s path and Naam..: (
    but we should look at our past and not make that mistake again.. Guru Gobind Singh ji didn’t say that force is bad..instead: it is righteous to draw the sword when all other means fail..
    im not saying to use force now! no no..not yet..all other means have not been exhausted yet…. we must focus on NAAM..
    hey, please read Bhai Rama Singh’s book, the section on Khalsa Raj…
    also, please read up on a true saint Sant Harnam Singh of Rampur Khera..if such a divine soul appreciated Sant Jarnail Singh then that shows us something about Sant Jarnail Singh…: ) and Yogi Bhajan also met with Sant Jarnail Singh..they were brotherly to each other and appreciative…Sant Jarnail Singh was NOT vying for Khalistan but for equal rights..he only said that if the Indian Army attacked Harmandir Sahib, THEN the foundation for Khalistan will be laid.. (but the dimwit tyrannical government still did it anyway–wat an ego! but not to worry, NAAM will help soothe away the hate they have against Sikhs…)
    india’s ego will break with the loving caress of NAAM and then Khalsa Raj will be ushered in..
    also, please check out the actual reason for Indira Gandhi’s dislike for the Sikhs (her pride was injured by Sant Kartar Singh when he refused to stand up when she arrived because Guru Granth Sahib was there…he didn’t want to disrespect Guru ji.. he said that no one stands up for anyone in the presence of the Guru..it is be-adbi to  the Guru.. but instead of being democratic and diplomatic and understanding about it she wanted revenge against this…. stinkin politics)
    Khalistan in Our Hearts:Zindabad
    Khalistan with No Boundaries: Zindabad
    : )

  11. Guru Sahib da Nimanaa Sikh says:

    WJKK WJKF,

    sadh sangat jee; I have noticed that we forget who or what the Damdami Taksal is. Before judging who Sant Jarnail Singh Ji is, please study what Damdami Taksal is. This is the same Taksal whose Jathedar lifted his head in one hand and a khanda in the other and fought for us. Many of us are in the view that he was a political figure; WAY WRONG. Sant ji from a young age did more than 100 Jap Ji Sahibs EVERYDAY. He is a Brahmgiani, Puran Purakh, and a True Gursikh. Not only was he fluent in Shri Guru Granth Sahibs, Shri Dasam Granths, and other Sikhi text; he also knew all the translations. To talk ill about Sant ji, is to talk ill about Sant Gurbachan Singh Ji (who brought him into the Taksal), Sant Kartar Singh Ji, Baba Thakur Singh Ji (who gave him the Jathedary), And Guru Sahib. This Taksal is Dasam Fathers anmol diamand; he controls it. I was born after 1984; and my dad always said wrong things about Sant Ji; how we was associated with the government and what not. And I just believed him at that time. But after studying everything (with Maharajs Kirpa) the truth came out. Many Gursikhs (whom were part of Sant Ji’s Jatha) have mentioned many experiences; like him having darshan of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Mata Sahib Kaur Ji.

    Like said in the article, we should do Naam Simran and also start keeping Rehat. But, sadh sangat ji PLS DONT FORGET what happened. These are poornay for us. When time comes (and it will), we will have to raise the sword again. After the fifth father gave shaheedi, time passed, but Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji took care of all the tyrants. And in the time to come Dasam Father took care of Eurangzeb. One day we will be put to the test also; with Dasam Fathers blessings the Khalsa will be victorious over this enemy too.

    WJKK WJKF

  12. Balbir says:

    Dear Sangat Jeo

    We should not forget 1984. But at the same time, we should get organized and take actions so that this kind of stuff does not occur again. Our enemies are not silent. They are preparing for another 1984 like episode. And this can happen anytime. Don’t think that we are safe. Whereever we live, we should learn some kind of self defence at individual level. At Panthic level we should get organized to have political say. Why only Punjab, we should make our hold on whole of India. Don’t think that we are minority in Inida and elsewhere; its the quality which matter not the quantity.

    Guru Fateh

    Balbir Singh