Modi with the RSS, the far-right Hindu nationalist organisation

Hindu Taliban Rule India – Guardian

By Anish Kapoor

The Hindu god Vishnu has several incarnations, many of them human. The latest of these appears to be Narendra Modi. All over India there are images of the man, right arm raised in the benevolent gesture of good fortune. But this strong-but-enlightened-man image hides the frightening and shrill reality of an increasingly Modi-led Hindu dominance of India.

The country’s openness to social and religious minorities (more than 500 million people) and regional differences is at serious risk. Of late, Modi’s regime has effectively tolerated – if not encouraged – a saffron-clad army of Hindu activists who monitor and violently discipline those suspected of eating beef, disobeying caste rules or betraying the “Hindu nation”.

In the UK, people might perhaps be familiar with India’s cricket prowess, atrocities in Kashmir or the recent horrific rape cases. But beyond that, many of us choose not to know. India’s global image now mimics China’s – a rising global economic power with attractive trade and investment opportunities. As a result, business trumps human rights, with little concern, especially on the part of David Cameron’s government, for the rising wave of Hindu tyranny.

All this is good news for Prime Minister Modi, who flew into London today. He won’t be seriously called to account for human rights abuses or systematic thuggery. If there is one thing that has marked the man’s first year and a half in power it is this: he is not a man who takes kindly to scrutiny or criticism. In fact, he has used the very economic agenda that causes Britain to turn a blind eye to his regime’s human rights abuses to muzzle dissent within India.

Modi’s latest move has been the strangulation of Greenpeace India, culminating last Friday with the organisation’s licence to operate being removed. Respect for human rights and environmental organisations is so often a litmus test for the democratic state of a country. Worryingly, the Indian government has been cracking down on all “foreign-funded” charities for the past year, claiming that the national economy is threatened by environmental restrictions and other “un-Indian” activities. Nine thousand NGOs have been “de-registered” in a concerted effort to force out these “nuisance” groups and cast them as foreign enemies.

Of late, many Indian journalists and human rights activists have been harassed and threatened with “sedition” charges: for example, Teesta Setalvad, who still seeks justice for the victims of communal violence in the state of Gujarat in 2002, when Modi was the state’s chief minister; and Santosh Yadav, arrested in September in the state of Chhattisgarh on what Amnesty International believes are fabricated charges resulting from his investigatory journalism exposing police brutality against Adivasis (indigenous people). A few weeks ago, even a musician who sang a satirical song criticising the state governor of Tamil Nadu over alcohol sales was charged with “anti-Indian activity”.

This alarming erosion of democracy is a slippery slope that may end up targeting not just minorities and “outsiders” but any dissenting “insiders”. What I’ve seen happening is a spirit of fear taking hold, which threatens to silence activists, artists and intellectuals alike. We’ve never known that before.

A Hindu version of the Taliban is asserting itself, in which Indians are being told: “It’s either this view – or else.” A friend told me: “There is huge oppression of anyone who’s different.” Last month, dozens of Indian writers handed back their literary awards in protest, following communal violence against Muslims and attacks on intellectuals.

India is a country of 1.25 billion people, including 965 million Hindus and 170 million Muslims. We have a long tradition of tolerance and, despite differences, have managed to pull our huge country together. But the government’s militant Hinduism risks marginalising other faiths and tearing apart these bonds. Many of us dread what might then happen.

We in Britain cannot bite our tongues any more; we have a responsibility to speak out. And we need to work on at least two fronts: demand that Cameron not make business deals at the cost of human rights, and press Modi to answer for the Indian government’s abysmal rights record; and recognise and support the many Indian citizens, journalists and organisations that are resisting growing Hindu fanaticism and state authoritarianism.

I’ll be joining protesters outside Downing Street today. Following the lead of India’s opposition groups, we have a duty to speak out for the people Modi is trying to silence, precisely because we are free to do so.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/12/india-hindu-taliban-narendra-modi

Gujarat Massacre

Indian Writers Return Awards due to Modi’s Intolerant India – Guardian

Dozens of Indian writers have returned top national awards in a protest against what they call a “climate of intolerance” in the emerging economic power.

The campaign, described as an “unprecedented rebellion by the cream of India’s literary talent” in the local Indian Express newspaper, follows a series of incidents of communal violence and attacks on intellectuals since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won power in a landslide election victory in India last year.

More than 40 novelists, essayists, playwrights and poets have now given back awards from the country’s most prestigious literary institution, the Sahitya Akademi.

One of the most prominent is the niece of Nehru, journalist and author Nayantara Sahgal, who claimed that “India’s culture of diversity and debate is now under vicious assault”.

The row took on an international dimension earlier this week when Salman Rushdie weighed in, telling a local television network that the failure of prime minister Narendra Modi and others to act was allowing a new “degree of thuggish violence” in India.

On Tuesday, 80-year-old novelist Dalip Kaur Tiwana said she was returning her Padma Shri, one of the most important national decorations, which she won in 2004.
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Tiwana, from the northwestern state of Punjab, said she was acting out of solidarity with those “protesting against the increasing communalisation of our society”.

The two incidents that have most angered the writers are the lynching of a Muslim labourer last month, and the murder of a rationalist thinker in August.

In the first, a mob in the village of Bisara on the outskirts of Delhi, the capital, believed their victim had eaten beef and beat him to death outside his home. Cows are sacred in Hinduism.

In the second incident, Malleshappa Kalburgi, an award-winning scholar whose frequent criticism of what he saw as superstition and false beliefs had angered Hindu extremists, was gunned down in the southern state of Karnataka.

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“To kill those who stand for truth and justice puts us to shame in the eyes of the world and God,” Tiwana said.

The authors, who write in English as well as regional languages, have called on the Sahitya Akademi, which was established nearly 60 years ago by India’s independence leader and prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, to publicly condemn the murder of Kalburgi.

The upsurges of sectarian tension in recent years have often coincided with elections. Currently, voting is underway in a key state-level election in the east of India.

Some analysts say rightwing groups allied to the BJP are pushing to see how far they can go under the Modi government.

Samir Saran, of the Observer Research Foundation, said that “louder and more rabid rightwing groups” in India felt emboldened by the mandate won by Narendra Modi, leader of the BJP, in last year’s poll and believed they now had more freedom of action.

Rushdie said: “What has crept into Indian life now is a degree of thuggish violence which is new. And it seems to be given permission by the silence of official bodies, the silence of the Sahitya Akademi … by the silence of the prime minister’s office.”

However, Saran said said the greater scrutiny and reporting of such incidents following Modi’s victory obscured how such incidents had happened under previous governments led by the centre-left Congress party too.

“It is definitely getting greater prominence now,” he said.

On Wednesday Modi spoke about the lynching last month, as well as the cancellation of a Pakistani Muslim musician’s concert in the commercial capital of Mumbai following threats from a rightwing group. The prime minister called the incidents “unfortunate” but said his government was not to blame.

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Senior BJP officials have dismissed the writers’ protests, accusing them of being politically motivated.

“If they say they are unable to write, let them stop writing,” Mahesh Sharma, India’s minister for culture, told reporters.

However, he also condemned the murders of Kalburgi and Mohammed Akhlaq, the labourer lynched by the mob last month.

The sectarian violence has had a significant impact on India’s image overseas and could undermine Modi’s drive to attract investors.

In one case earlier this year, a critically acclaimed Indian novelist announced his “death” as a creative artist following threats and protests by rightwing Hindu and caste groups prompted by his book about a woman’s efforts to get pregnant with a stranger through a religious ritual.

Perumal Murugan said he planned to stop writing and asked his publishers to withdraw all his works of fiction from sale.

In February last year, religious conservatives forced the removal from sale of a book on Hinduism by the US academic Wendy Doniger, claiming it was insulting to the faith.

An editorial in the Times of India newspaper at the time condemned “the growing power of bullying self-appointed censors” displaying “a Victorian hangover with a Taliban temperament”.

There is a long history of clashes over culture and effective censorship by parties and leaders from across the political spectrum in India.

The sale of Rushdie’s 1988 novel The Satanic Verses remains proscribed in India and its author was unable to appear at the Jaipur literary festival in 2012 after Muslim organisations protested.

Politicians have repeatedly sought to ban or restrict the sale or production of specific books. In 2010, MPs loyal to Sonia Gandhi threatened legal action to stop the sale of a “fictionalised biography” of the Congress party leader.

“It’s become a question of an individual’s right to speak, to think, to write, to eat, to dress, to debate,” said Maya Krishna Rao, a playwright and actor, who returned her award to the academy this week.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/oct/14/indian-writers-return-awards-in-protest-against-climate-of-intolerance

Modi with the RSS, the far-right Hindu nationalist organisation

Persecution of Minorities in Modi’s India – GMA Blog

The worldwide Sikh community is in anger and unrest ever since the recent desecration of Sikhs’ Holy Book Sri Guru Granth Sahib was discovered in the village of Bargari, near Kot Kapura in Faridkot district in Punjab, India. Subsequently, the Sikh community aired their concern and worry about their everyday persecution in protests, but the situation even worsened as police rather than guarding the protests opened fire and killed two protesters and left dozens of other left injured.

This tragic most recent incident is yet another episode of endless catalogue of Sikh persecution who feel alienated, disillusioned and abandoned in their own country. The police brutality, which included the use of water canons and even fire arms against the protesters, resurrected the memories of the 1984 Sikh genocide in the Golden Temple. Some members of the Sikh community believe state behavior has not changed in more than three decades. India, being one of the largest democracy in the world has failed to honour its international obligations to which it is the signatory countries where its own citizens are targeted by its own police.

Right to protest and peaceful assembly is the basic fundamental rights of every democratic country in the world. It is enshrined in the Article 20 of United Nations Declaration of Human Rights as well as in Article 21 in the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The signatory state is obliged by the UN treaties to honour its obligations towards its own citizens. The Indian government instead of looking into the case of the desecration of Sikh’s holy book rather targeted the protestors and ordered its policeto disperse the crowds through water cannons and batons. The misdirected state action lead to the killing of two Sikh members and left many injured.

This rigid, cold and indifferent state behavior is not alien to Sikh community. The police brutality of Sikh massacre which killed more than 3,000 sikhs in the Gold Temple still fresh in the members of Sikhs around the world. Some resonated their fear and concerns to this day as evidenced in the most recent police brutality.

Since the leader of the right-wing Indian People’s Party (BJP), Nerandera Modi came to power, the plight of minorities has worsened and calls for ‘Hindu India’ begin to grip minorities who have suffered persecutory events in the past. The Gujarat 2002 Massacre of Muslims, when Modi was the Chief Minister in the Gujarat State, and the 2008 persecution of Christians in Orissa are few to mention. The most recent state led oppresions include a ban on beef for Muslims and state violence against the Sikh.

While the Indian government claims the recent desecration of Sri Guru Grath Sahib has ‘clear and concrete evidence’ of foreign funding does not justify the questions of the state violence, while multiple arrests have been made in connection with the alleged desecration will the attempts suffice the institutionalised persecution minorities suffer in India?

Bio Shahid Khan

http://gmablog.org/2015/11/01/persecution-of-religious-minorities-in-modis-india/

Open Letter to British Indians – Daily O

Dear British Indians,

While some of you might be excited to welcome the Prime Minister of India to the United Kingdom, I would like to attract your attention to some of the recent unfortunate incidents that have raised serious questions on his government’s democratic commitment.

But before that, let me point out some of the things that have affected you in the past in the UK. You as a minority community in Britain have had bitter-sweet experiences historically. At times, your Chicken Tikka Masala is hailed as Britain’s true national dish, and at times your Diwali is snubbed as a non-British festival. At times, your contributions in this country are emphatically recognised, and at times you are blamed for living parallel lives, separate from the mainstream. At times, your presence in this country is celebrated, and there are days when you are considered a burden on welfare state in Britain.

You do remember Stephen Lawrence, don’t you? He was a member of a minority community like yours who was murdered in cold blood in a racial attack in London in 1993. Mindless racism did not only lead to his killing but also failed to give justice to his bereaved family. The Metropolitan police, which inquired into his murder, was found to be “institutionally racist”. You wouldn’t like to be a victim of such racism in the country you live, would you?

I am sure you are also aware of an openly xenophobic and ultranationalist party called British National Party (BNP), which calls for resettlement of migrant populations to their countries of ethnic origin. You wouldn’t like an idea like that to be translated into power, would you?

Now juxtapose these issues of the country you live in, that is UK, with some of the incidents that have happened in the country of your origin, that is India, under the watch of the prime minister you are excitedly waiting to welcome.

Think of two Muslim men being lynched by raging mobs in separate incidents in Dadri in the northern state of UP and in Imphal in the eastern state of Manipur. Politics of hatred caused the loss of two innocent lives. And also think of several leaders of the PM’s BJP, time and again, threatening to send Indian Muslims to Pakistan.

Do you find the lynching of the two men in India any different to the killing of Stephan Lawrence in the UK? And do you find the BJP leaders’ threats to send Indian Muslims to Pakistan any different to the BNP’s determination to send people like you to the countries of your origin?

In fact, if there is a difference between the Indian community in UK and the Muslim community in India, it is this that the Indian community in UK has indeed predominantly migrated in the recent memorable history, that is, after the Second World War, whereas Muslims in India have not. Muslims have been living in India for centuries.

So if, despite this fact, you find BNP’s ideology as racist, xenophobic and regressive -and rightly so – can those BJP leaders’ views be legitimate, tolerant and progressive? If not, then why not lodge your protest with the visiting leader of that party, who is also the prime minister of India?

Please remember, both in the UK and in India these horrific crimes and appalling threats are directed against the minorities by some fanatic nationalists. If you,as a minority in UK don’t approve of racist killing of Stephan Lawrence and the xenophobic views of BNP, then isn’t it your moral duty to raise your voice against similar things happening against your minority counterparts in India?

After all, you are some of the most privileged people on earth to straddle between the largest democracy and one of the oldest democracies of the world. You have inherited the democratic values like tolerance, respect, dignity and equal opportunities for all. You know what democracy means and how politicians should treat you.

So if you plan take a ride on the UK Welcomes Modi bus or decide to go to Wembley on Friday, please bear in mind that you might be turning a blind eye to what is happening in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming on a state visit. What transpires in his meetings with PM David Cameroon and the Queen will make the visit a success or a failure, not his photo op with you.

Yours truly,

Mohammad Behzad Fatmi

 

http://www.dailyo.in/politics/modi-not-welcome-parliament-in-uk-wembley-stadium-address-godhra-indian-muslims/story/1/7280.html

Modi Not Welcome - Modi with much maligned Punjab CM Badal

Modi the Manipulater – Guardian

In 2005, when Narendra Modi was the chief minister of the wealthy Indian state of Gujarat, local police murdered a criminal called Sheikh Sohrabuddin in cold blood. At an election rally in 2007 for the ruling Hindu nationalist BJP, Modi assured his citizens that Sohrabuddin “got what he deserved”. What should be done, he asked, to a man found possessing illegal arms? The pumped-up crowd shouted back: “Mari nakho-mari nakho!” (Kill him, kill him!)
The lynch mob’s cry was repeated in a village near Delhi last month as zealots beat to death a Muslim farmer they suspected – wrongly – of keeping beef in his house. While Modi makes a triumphant visit to the UK after more than a year as India’s prime minister, the Hindu supremacists are, as the novelist Mukul Kesavan wrote last month, in “full hunting mode, head up and howling”. In recent weeks, activists and scholars have been shot dead amid a nationwide campaign against “Hindu-baiters” that targets secular intellectuals and “westernised” women as well as public figures with Muslim and Christian names, and western NGOs such as Greenpeace. The assassinations follow months of violence and intimidating rhetoric by Hindu supremacists. A range of public figures, from Shah Rukh Khan, Bollywood’s biggest star, to India’s respected central banker, Raghuram Rajan, have spoken out against the rising tide of sectarian hatred. More than 40 of India’s most distinguished writers have returned their awards to the Sahitya Academy, the national literature academy. Many others, including artists, scholars, filmmakers and scientists, have since joined the protests, which reached boiling point after Hindu fanatics lynched at least four people in connection with beef-eating.
Modi turned beef into an incendiary issue during his run for India’s highest political office; he and his party colleagues reinfused it with anti-minorities venom during recent local elections in the state of Bihar. The chief minister of one of India’s richest states declared last month that Muslims could only live in the country if they stopped eating beef. The house magazine of the RSS, the parent outfit of Hindu nationalists, cited ancient scriptures to justify the killing of “sinners” who slaughter cows. The culture minister Mahesh Sharma said of protesting authors: “If they say they are unable to write, let them first stop writing. We will then see.” On Saturday, Modi hinted at his own views on the subject by posing for pictures with organisers of a Delhi demonstration against protesting writers, where slogans such as: “Hit the fraudulent literati with boots” and, “Presstitutes suck up to Europeans” had echoed.

On the day of Modi’s election last May, I wrote in the Guardian that India was entering its most sinister phase since independence. Those who had monitored Modi’s words and deeds, noted their consistency, and feared that Hindu supremacism could deliver a mortal blow to India’s already enfeebled democratic institutions and pluralist traditions had come to much the same conclusion. Modi is a stalwart member of the RSS, a paramilitary organisation explicitly modelled on European fascist parties, whose members have been found routinely guilty of violence against Indian minorities. A pogrom in Modi-ruled Gujarat in 2002 killed more than 1,000 Muslims and displaced tens of thousands. (It was what prompted the US and UK governments to impose a visa ban on Modi). Whether or not Modi was personally complicit in the murder and gang rapes, they had clearly been “planned in advance”, as Human Rights Watch said in the first of countless reports on the violence, “and organised with the extensive participation of the police and state government officials”. Among the few people convicted was Maya Kodnani, Modi’s ministerial colleague, and a fanatic called Babu Bajrangi, who crowed to a journalist that he had slashed open with his sword the womb of a heavily pregnant woman, and claimed that Modi sheltered him after the riots and even changed three judges in order for him to be released on bail (Modi has not responded to these allegations).
Though sentenced to dozens of years in prison, Kodnani and Bajrangi are frequently granted bail and allowed to roam free in Modi’s India. India’s foremost investigative body, the CBI, had accused Modi’s consigliere, Amit Shah, who is now president of the BJP, of ordering the execution of Sohrabuddin (among others), but withdrew its case against him last year, citing lack of evidence. Meanwhile, Teesta Setalvad, a human rights activist and one of Modi’s most persistent critics, is saved from arrest only by the interventions of the supreme court.

Modi conveyed early the audacity – and tawdriness – of power when in May 2014 he flew from Gujarat to the oath-taking ceremony on a private corporate jet emblazoned with the name of his closest corporate chum. In January this year he turned out in a $15,000 Savile Row suit with personalised pinstripes to hug Barack Obama. Launching Digital India (a programme to connect thousands of villages to the internet) in Silicon Valley last month, the eager new international player seemingly shoved Mark Zuckerburg aside to clear space for a photo-op for himself (the video has gone viral). One of his most fervent cheerleaders in India now complains that the prime minister is like a new bride remaking herself for her powerful and wealthy in-laws.
Consequently, many in his own neglected family are turning against him. On Sunday, his party’s vicious and lavishly funded campaign in elections in Bihar, one of India’s largest and poorest states, ended in humiliating defeat. But Modi’s glossy makeover seems to have seduced many in the west; Rupert Murdoch tweeted after a recent meeting that Modi is India’s “best leader with best policies since independence”. Sheryl Sandberg declared she was changing her Facebook profile in honour of Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley in September. His libertarian hosts did not seem to know or care that, just as Modi was arriving in California to promote Digital India, his factotums were shutting down the internet in Kashmir, or that earlier this year his government advocated a draconian law that the Indian police used repeatedly to arrest people posting opinions on Facebook and Twitter. Nor did the Bay area’s single-minded data-monetisers fuss about the fact that Modi had launched Digital India in India itself with a private party for his most fanatical troll-troopers – people who are, as the magazine Caravan put it, “a byword in online terror, hate and misogyny”. In a dog-eat-dog world primarily organised around lucrative deal-making, the only value seems to be economic growth – albeit, for a small minority.

 

Modi’s speeches about his country’s cruelly postponed and now imminent glory have packed stadiums around the world with ecstatic Indians. At Wembley this weekend, some more grownup men and women chanting “Modi, Modi!” will embarrass themselves in history. The seemingly unembarrassable Tory government discovered new muscles while kowtowing to Xi Jinping, and will no doubt find them useful for some Indian style-prostration, sashtanga pranam, before Modi.

Modi was always an odd choice to lead India into the 21st century. Meeting him early in his career, the distinguished social psychologist Ashis Nandy assessed Modi as a “classic, clinical case” of the “authoritarian personality”, with its “mix of puritanical rigidity, narrowing of emotional life” and “fantasies of violence”. Such a figure could describe refugee camps with tens of thousands of Muslim survivors of the 2002 pogrom as “child-breeding centres”. Asked repeatedly about his culpability in the killings, Modi insisted that his only mistake was bad media management. Pressed repeatedly over a decade about such extraordinary lack of remorse, he finally said that he regretted the killings as he would a “puppy being run over by a car”.
More importantly, Modi was a symptom, easily identified through his many European and Asian predecessors, of capitalism’s periodic and inevitable dysfunction: he was plainly the opportune manipulator of mass disaffection with uneven and unstable growth, who distracts a fearful and atomised citizenry with the demonisation of minorities, scapegoating of ostensibly liberal, cosmopolitan and “rootless” people, and promises of “development”, while facilitating crony capitalism. To aspiring but thwarted young Indians Modi presented himself as a social revolutionary, the son of a humble tea-seller challenging entrenched dynasties, as well as an economic moderniser. He promised to overturn an old social and political order that they saw, correctly, as dominated by a venal and unresponsive ruling class. His self-packaging as a pious and virtuous man of the people seemed especially persuasive as corruption scandals tainted the media as well as politicians and businessmen in the years leading up to 2014.

Modi’s earliest supporters in his bid for supreme power, however, were India’s richest people, lured by special favours of cheap land and tax concessions. Ratan Tata, the steel and car-making tycoon, was one of the first big industrialists to embrace him in the wake of the anti-Muslim pogrom. Mukesh Ambani, another business magnate and owner of a 27-storey home in the city of slums, Mumbai, soon hailed his “grand vision”. His brother declared Modi “king among kings”. Even the Economist, reporting on Modi-mania among “private-equity types, blue-chip executives and the chiefs of India’s big conglomerates” was startled by the “creepy sycophancy”. It shouldn’t have been: in Modi’s India the Ambanis are fast heading towards a Berlusconi-style domination of both news and entertainment content and delivery mechanisms.
Media management has ceased to be a problem for Modi; the television channels and press owned by loyal supporters hectically build him up as India’s saviour. Modi also attracted academics, writers and journalists who had failed to flourish in the old regime – the embittered pedantocrats and wannabes who traditionally serve in the intellectual rearguard of illiberal movements. Predictably, these victims of ressentiment – who languished, as Nietzsche wrote, in “a whole tremulous realm of subterranean revenge” – are now taking over Indian institutions, and filling the airwaves with their “rabid mendaciousness and rage”.

Many non-resident Indians, denied full dignity in the white man’s world, also hitched their low self-esteem to Modi’s hot-air balloons about the coming Indian Century. The Modi Toadies, as they are widely referred to on social media, have turned out to be an intriguingly diverse lot: they range from small-town zealots campaigning against romantic love between Muslim and Hindus to a publicist called Swapan Dasgupta, a former Trotskyite and self-proclaimed “anglophile”. But it should not be forgotten that a variety of global elite networks went to work strenuously on Modi’s behalf: the slick public-relations firm APCO that works with Central Asian despots and suave technocrats as much as the rented armies of cyberthugs rampaging through social media and the comment sections of online articles.
A former special adviser to Tony Blair authored a hagiography for English-speaking readers. The Labour peer Meghnad Desai helped alchemise Modi’s record of assisting big corporations into an electorally potent myth of “efficiency” and “rapid development”. Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya – two Ivy League Indian economists charged with “poverty-denialism” by the recent Nobel laureate Angus Deaton – said in a letter to the Economist that the anti-Muslim pogrom in Modi’s Gujarat was actually a “riot”. As Modi appeared likely to become prime minister, the intellectual grunts at American thinktanks churned out op-eds hailing Modi as the man to accelerate India’s neoliberalisation, and reorient its foreign policy towards America and Israel. Many foreign correspondents and “India hands” lost their intellectual confidence and judgement before such diligently manufactured consensus.

Thus, Modi rose frictionlessly and swiftly from disgrace to respectability in a world where money, power and status are the measure of everything, and where human beings, as Balzac bitterly wrote, are reduced to being either fools or knaves. He may be very far from fulfilling his electoral promise of creating adequate jobs for the one million Indians who enter the workforce every month. He still deals mostly in fantasy, gushing about “smart cities” and “bullet trains”, and a digital India in which fibre-optic cables will bring remote villages online. But among global elites who see India as a fast-growing economy and counterweight to China, poverty-denialism shades easily into pogrom-denialism. A tweet by a New-York-based venture capitalist responding to protests by Indian writers sums up the prevailing morality: “The icons of new India are the wealth creators. Nobody gives a rat’s ass anymore about the writers.”
Modi’s ascent through a variety of enablers, whitewashers and wealth-creators invites us to probe our own complicity as fools and knaves in increasingly everyday forms of violence and dispossession. For Modi’s ruthless economism is a commonplace phenomenon, marked everywhere by greed, sophistry and a contempt for human life and dignity – symptoms, as GN Devy, one of India’s most bracing thinkers, put it last month, of a worldwide transition into a “post-human” existence.

In India itself, the prostration before Mammon, bellicose nationalism, boorish anti-intellectualism, and fear and hatred of the weak predates Modi. It did not seem so brazen previously because the now supplanted Indian elite disguised their hegemony with what Edmund Burke called “pleasing illusions”: in this case, reverential invocations of Gandhi and Nehru, and of the noble “idea of India”. Thus, the Congress party, which first summoned the malign ghosts of Hindu supremacism in the 1980s and presided over the massacre of more than 3,000 Sikhs in 1984, could claim to represent secularism. And liberal intellectuals patronised by the regime could remain silent when Indian security forces in Kashmir filled up mass graves with dissenters to the idea of India, gang-raped with impunity, and stuck live wires into the penises of suspected militants. The rare protestor among Indian writers was scorned for straying from literature into political activism. TV anchors and columnists competed with each other in whipping up patriotic rage and hatred against various internal and external enemies of the idea of India. The “secular” nationalists of the ancient regime are now trying to disown their own legitimate children when they recoil fastidiously from the Hindu supremacists foaming at the mouth.

One can only hope that the barefaced viciousness of Hindu supremacists will jolt the old elites out of their shattered dogmas and pieties while politicising a cheated young generation. It is true that Modi and his Toadies embody without shame, ambivalence or euphemism the brutality of power; they don’t give a rat’s ass about pleasing illusions. Yet their assaults on the authorised idea of India are creating a fissure in the unfeeling monolith through which a humane politics and culture might flow. The alternative, as recent weeks show, is a post-human India, where lynch mobs roused by their great leader shout: “Kill him! Kill him!”

Modi Not Welcome - Sikh farmers of Gujarat protest, via MaliceThoughts

Sikh Farmers Flee Gujarat – Times of India

CHANDIGARH: Targeted by land mafia, attacked by goons and booked by cops, Sikh farmers who had made the inhospitable terrain in Bhuj area of Gujarat cultivable, are now forced to flee the land they had made their home.

The recent attack on farmers on January 25 has only reinforced their fears and they have no plans to return anytime soon. Farmer Jagjit Singh was seriously injured in an attack allegedly by a group of local farmers in Loria village of Bhuj district. This was the second attack on Sikhs in Gujarat within a month. Some Sikh farmers have alleged that local agriculturists in connivance with politicians want to drive them out of Gujarat. This attack triggered the exit of a dozen Sikh farmers.

Many have returned to their original hometowns in Punjab and Ganganagar after giving their land on contract farming. Having sold their land, most are virtually living hand to mouth now.

Eighty-four-year-old Tej Ram Sharma said he left Bhuj area and came to Moga about a month ago. “There was fear that an untoward incident could happen any moment and we deputed someone to take care of our 40 acre land and came back to Punjab. I get some pension and that is the only source of income. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should step in,” he said with a choked voice.

In the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, Modi had assured at a rally in Ludhiana in February 2014 that no Sikh farmer in Gujarat would ever be evicted. “Sikh farmers have as much the right to live there as Narendra Modi,” he had said. But nearly one year down the line, fear haunts the Sikh settlers.

Lachhman Singh Brar, who came to Faridkot three months ago, said that apart from the threat of local mafia, even farming as a vocation was becoming financially unviable as they are being deprived of facilities like farmer credit scheme.

“Even though the local population has cordial relations with the Punjabi farmers who migrated there about five decades ago and actually helped locals with new farming techniques, the bureaucracy and politicians have been indifferent,” he said.

Sardul Singh has returned to Ganganagar, leaving behind 20 acres near Kothara. “There was threat to our lives and we thought it better to give the land on contract and leave. The recent attack on Punjabi farmers in which both parties have been booked by the police goes to show the state of affairs,” he alleged.

“The farmers’ fear is growing as they are being deprived of their right to own the land despite having won the case in High Court,” said another farmer who has returned to his village on Punjab-Haryana border.

For several years, Sikhs were facing the threat of being uprooted under a law enacted by the Gujarat government that purportedly bars non-Gujaratis from buying land in the state. The farmers won the case in the Gujarat high court but the state government challenged the HC order in the SC.

Surinder Singh Bhullar, a farmer settled near Bhuj, said many Punjabi farmers had moved out after selling their land at throwaway prices. “Over the past four years, we have approached every government agency but to no avail. The freeze on our land has not been removed even after the high court ruled in our favour. Punjabi farmers are spread apart and get together only once a year. There are some who had sold off everything to buy land in Gujarat and have nowhere to go,” he said.

Himmat Singh Shergill, Aam Aadmi Party ( AAP) leader who represented the farmer in court, said it was a sorry state of affairs and the Sikh farmers had nobody to turn to. The local land mafia wants them to abandon their land and leave the state, he alleged.

Farmers undivided Punjab and Rajasthan had gone to Kutch district in 1965 at the exhortation of then prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Hounded-Sikh-farmers-fleeing-Gujarat/articleshow/46061753.cms

Gujarat Massacre

Fake Encounters – NarendraModiFacts.com

Fake encounters, are extrajudicial executions, usually of people in custody, generally staged to appear as though they occurred in gun battles. Between October 2002 and December 2006 there were at least 21 extrajudicial killings by Gujarat Police (Amnesty reported 31 such killings between 2002 and 2007). More than a dozen senior police officers are in jail or facing prosecution in connection with fake encounter killings. The Gujarat state is directly implicated in many cases, most famously the killing of Ishrat Jahan, a nineteen year old woman from Mumbai, along with three others in 2004. Modi praised the police involved in killing Ishrat Jahan and branded her a terrorist. But no evidence of her involvement with terrorism has ever been produced despite certain media claims based on unidentified sources. In the run-up to the encounter there is evidence of frequent contact between top BJP officials and officers, most notably Amit Shah implicated in the killing. In March 2014, the CBI reportely obtained a recording of Modi’s top aides, including G.C. Murmu andA. K. sharma, discussing with police officers how to sabotage the Ishrat Jahan probe.

Another well known fake encounter killing was that of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife, Kausar Bi, who was raped before her murder. Modi justified this killing, saying that Sheikh got what he deserved,leading to intervention from the Election Commission. In March 2014new evidence emerged that Modi was directly monitoring another encounter killing, that of Tulsi Prajapati, witness to the killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh. According to a lawyer representing victims’ families, there is a clear pattern to the Gujarat encounter killings, with the victims branded as terrorists often without evidence.

In September 2013, a senior police officer D. G. Vanzara, who had been in jail since 2007 for involvement in several fake encounters, resigned from service, claiming that the officers involved were implementing state government policy. It is currently unclear whatlegal or political repercussions these revelations will bring.

Both fake encounters and other human rights violations by the Gujarat police such as the arrest, illegal detention, and torture of Muslim youth, seem to be about creating the impression that Islamic terrorism is an imminent threat, with Modi emerging as the tough guy taking action on terror. In the run up to the election, and during the election, there have been several stories about imminent terrorist threats against Modi without any evidence provided.

https://narendramodifacts.com/faq_encounter.html

What the West Doesn’t Want to Admit About Modi – Naujawani

Written by Narvir Singh

A lot of Sikhs are outraged by the audacity for some Gurdwareh, including Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall, to support Narendra Modi on his tour to the UK. They are appalled that Sikhs could agree to have our institutions included in the ‘Modi Welcome Committee’. But why is supporting the new Indian Prime Minister the worst decision ever?

 

READ THE REST HERE…

https://naujawani.com/blog/what-the-west-doesnt-want-to-admit-about-modi

#BlackDiwali

FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS GOES DARK

SIKHS ACROSS THE WORLD CANCEL CELEBRATING DIWALI

 

Gurdwaras (Sikh temples) across the UK and the world are holding a ‘Black Diwali’, where for the first time in 23 years Sikhs will not be lighting candles or setting off fireworks.

Sikhs traditionally celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas (Diwali for Sikhs) with candles/divas and fireworks. A declaration made by the supreme authority of the Sikhs, the Akaal Takht, has told Gurdwaras to cancel these celebrations due to the pain felt by Sikhs at the desecration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the holy Sikh scriptures which to Sikhs represents God on earth.

 

Recently, across Indian state of Punjab, there have been several cases of desecration against Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Due to the lack of investigations and arrests by the Punjab Police, thousands of Sikhs peacefully protested all over Punjab. In response, police met the protests with extreme violence, shooting two unarmed protesters dead and severely injuring hundreds more.

 

Gurmel Singh of the Sikh Council says of the ‘Black Diwali’ resolution;

 

“Issues in Punjab have currently reached a new level of aggravation against the Sikhs. Attacks against our Guru – Guru Granth Sahib Ji – are the most devastating and disrespectful thing that could possibly happen to our community.

 

“As we are still in the midst of what is seemingly sustained and planned attacks against the Sikhs, it has been ordained by the Akaal Takht, the supreme authority of the Sikhs in Amritsar, Punjab, that Gurdwaras the world over should not celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas through fireworks or lighting of candles this year. Many UK Gurdwaras have agreed to this and the Sikh Council supports this stance.”

 

In recent history this decision has only been taken twice before; once in 1984 after the Sikh genocide and once in 1992 after political prisoners Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha were hung.

 

AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW AND COMMENT

Gurmel Singh of the Sikh Council UK

Regional Gurdwara representatives across the UK

Children observing their first Black Diwali

1984 - Burning buildings

What is the real story behind the Operation Blue Star?

Source:  https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-real-story-behind-the-Operation-Blue-Star

1. Promises Broken
When  the Constitution Act of India was declared in 1950, it declared Sikhism to be “a sect of Hinduism” and offered no safeguards to the Sikh  community. Both Sikh members of the Constituent Assembly refused to sign  the document. They declared vehemently that: “The Sikhs do not accept  this Constitution. The Sikhs reject this Constitution Act.”
Before Independence congress leaders used to promise “Let  God be the witness of the bond that binds me and the Congress to you.  Our Sikhs friends have no reason to fear that it would betray them. For,  the moment it does so, the Congress would not only thereby seal its own  doom but that of the country too. Moreover, the Sikhs are brave people.  They know how to safeguard their rights, by the exercise of arms, with  perfect justification before God and man, if it should ever come to  that” (Young India 19 March 1931) “No  Constitution would be acceptable to the Congress which did not satisfy  the Sikhs.” (Collected works of M K Gandhi Vol.58. p. 192) “The brave  Sikhs of Panjab are entitled to special consideration. I see nothing  wrong in an area and a set up in the North wherein the Sikhs can also  experience the glow of freedom. (Jawaharlal Nehru, Congress meeting:  Calcutta – July, 1944)

In  subsequent years, all the personal laws of the Sikhs were abolished and  replaced by Hindu statutes, such as the “Hindu Marriage Act 1955,” the  “Hindu Succession Act 1956,” etc.
When  in 1954 Jawaharlal Nehru was reminded of the solemn promises made to  Sikhs and other minorities by the Hindu-dominated Congress party, he  replied, “The circumstances have now changed.”
2. Linguistic states and Punjabi suba
In  December 1953, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru appointed the States  Reorganisation Commission to prepare for the creation of states on  linguistic lines , Maharashtra based on Marathi ,Gujarat based on  Guajarati but no state of Punjabi was to be formed /reorganised based on  the Punjabi as its language .This led to widespread discontentment  among the Sikhs and Punjabis .During this time J L Nehru asked Hukam  Singh speaker of Lok Sabha if he supports the concept of linguistic  states .To this he replied that he does not support the concept of  linguistic states but if you go for creating linguistic states based on  other languages then I will support the creation of a state based on  Punjabi .
While other linguistic  states were formed in 1956 But Punjabis succeeded in getting Punjab  state which is at times referred to as Lagda or lame Punjab as the one  –third Punjab left after partition of 1947 was further trifurcated into  Haryana , Himachal and present day Punjab on 1 novemeber 1966 .The main  reason for this was threatening present day Hindus living in Haryana  that they will not be treated equally in Punjabi speaking Punjab .So  when plebiscite for creation of new state was conducted most of the  Punjabi speaking Hindus of present day Haryana and Himachal wrote their  mother tongue as Hindi and not Punjabi . After this ill-conceived  campaign of threatening Punjabi Hindus which was spearheaded by Hind  Samachar group of Jalandhar many Punjabi speaking districts like  Ganganagar , Ambala , Karnal were kept out of Punjab and Chandigarh  which was constructed on land taken from Punjabi farmers was declared as  joint capital /UT.
The Akal Takht  played a vital role in organizing Sikhs to campaign for the Punjabi  suba. During the course of the campaign, twelve thousand Sikhs were  arrested for their peaceful demonstrations in 1955 and twenty-six  thousand in 1960-61.
Again on September  1, 1965 when Pakistani forces crossed the international border at  Chhamb Jaurian in Jammu and Kashmir ,the akali leaders immediately  declared their unconditional support to the government .Once again Sikh  soldiers crossed swords with the Pakistanis and Sikh peasantry rallied  to the support of their fighting forces carrying food and help to the  battle front .In 22 days war, the most distinguished record of bravery  was set by Sikh officer Lt General Harbakhsh Singh who had the sole  credit of halting the Pakistani tanks.
At  one time during 1965 war there was panic at Army Headquarters that  Pakistan might break through Indian defences. Harbakhsh Singh’s finest  moment came when the Army Chief, General Choudhary, ordered him “to  abandon Amritsar and set-up a defence line behind the river Beas.”  Rightly, General Harbakhsh Singh refused to follow such an order, and  the threat to Amritsar never developed.
This makes one thing clear Sikhs were not against unity and sovereignty of India but against the denial of their just demands.
3. River waters dispute
Punjab  has the exclusive right to Punjab river waters on the basis of riparian  law. The other states to which these waters have been distributed are  non-riparian, having no valid claim to it. The riparian law is based  upon justice and equity, having international acceptance. It has been  approved by United Nations. In India it has been followed in all other  states and Punjab has been made the only exception
Read more: UNP -river-waters-unlawful-and-unjust-distributions-77338/#ixzz1XYMl6UHv
The  1976 distribution of Punjab river waters, was award of Prime minister  Indira Gandhi vide which Rajasthan was allocated 8.6 maf, Haryana 3.5  maf, Delhi 0.2 maf and Punjab 3.5 maf out of 15.8 maf which was declared  as surplus, though there was no surplus water and this entire water was  much less than the needs of Punjab .
The  central government—against the provisions of the Indian constitution  introduced sections 78 to 80 in the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966,  under which the central government “assumed the powers of control,  maintenance, distribution and development of the waters and the hydel  power of the Punjab rivers. It must be remembered here that as per  Indian constitution river water distribution falls under the state list .  Many Sikhs perceived this division as unfair and as an anti-Sikh  measure, since the vast majority of the people of Punjab are dependent  on agriculture.
4. Akali Dal’s demands
The  Akali Dal led a series of peaceful mass demonstrations to present its  grievances to the central government. The demands of the Akali Dal were  based on the Anandpur Sahib Resolution, which was adopted by the party  in October 1973 to raise specific political, economic and social issues.  The major motivation behind the resolution was the safeguarding of the  Sikh identity by securing a state structure that was decentralised, with  non-interference from the central government. The Resolution outlines  seven objectives.
1. The transfer of the federally administered city of Chandigarh to Punjab .
2. The transfer of Punjabi speaking and contiguous areas to Punjab .
3. Decentralisation of states under the existing constitution, limiting the central government’s role.
4.  The call for land reforms and industrialisation of Punjab , along with  safeguarding the rights of the weaker sections of the population.
5. The enactment of an all-India gurdwara (Sikh house of worship) act.
6. Protection for minorities residing outside Punjab , but within India.
7. Revision of government’s recruitment quota restricting the number of Sikhs in armed forces.
The Wall Street Journal noted:
“The  Akali Dal is in the hands of moderate and sensible leadership…but  giving anyone a fair share of power is unthinkable politics of Mrs.  Gandhi [the then Prime Minister of India]…Many Hindus in Punjab  privately concede that there isn’t much wrong with these demands. But  every time the ball goes to the Congress court, it is kicked out one way  or another because Mrs. Gandhi considers it a good electoral  calculation.
5. Emergency and role of Sikhs :
Shortly  after the declaration of the Emergency, the Sikh leadership convened  meetings in Amritsar where they resolved to oppose the “fascist tendency  of the Congress”. The first mass protest in the country, known as the  “Campaign to Save Democracy” was organized by the Akali Dal and launched  in Amritsar, 9 July. A statement to the press recalled the historic  Sikh struggle for freedom under the Mughals, then under the British, and  voiced concern that what had been fought for and achieved was being  lost. The police were out in force for the demonstration and arrested  all those who raised the Sikh call of “Jo Bole So Nihaal, Sat Sri Akal”  (Whoever speaks, shall be fulfilled, Truth is Undying), including the  Shiromani Akali Dal and Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC)  leaders.
The Prime Minister seemed  genuinely surprised at the strength of the response from the Sikhs.  Fearing their defiance might inspire civil disobedience in other parts  of the county, she offered to negotiate a deal with the Shiromani Akal  Dal that would give it joint control of the Punjab Legislative Assembly.  The leader of the protests, Sant Harcharan Singh Longowal refused to  meet with government representatives so long as the Emergency was in  effect. In a press interview, he made clear the grounds of the Save  Democracy campaign.
“The question  before us is not whether Indira Gandhi should continue to be prime  minister or not. The point is whether democracy in this country is to  survive or not. The democratic structure stands on three pillars, namely  a strong opposition, independent judiciary and free press. Emergency  has destroyed all these essentials.”
While  the civil disobedience campaign caught on in some parts of the country,  especially at Delhi University, the government’s tactics of mass  arrests, censorship and intimidation curtailed the opposition’s  popularity. After January, the Sikhs remained virtually alone in their  active resistance to the regime. Hailed by opposition leaders as “the  last bastion of
democracy”,they  continued to come out in large numbers each month on the day of the new  moon, symbolizing the dark night of Indian democracy, to court arrest.
When  attempts at pacifying the Akalis failed, Prime Minister Gandhi took the  opportunity of the dictatorship to deal the Sikhs of her country two  stunning blows. One was an award of Punjab waters which gave 75% of the  river flow to neighboring non-riparian states, at great cost to the  farmers of Punjab and in violation of international law on such rights.  The second blow was a ruling from the Defence Ministry that future  enrollment in the armed forces of Sikhs should be proportional to their  percentage of the population of India. Whereas Sikhs had traditionally  constituted 11% of the country’s armed forces from a population of only  2%, this was another assault on the Sikhs of India.
The  prime minister’s days of dictatorship came to an unexpected end when  she called elections for March 1977. With their voices returned to them,  the people of India trounced Indira Gandhi at the polls. According to  Amnesty International, 140,000 people had been detained without trial  during the twenty months of Mrs. Gandhi’s emergency. Of them, 40,000  were Sikhs. Indira Gandhi would never forget. When she returned to power  in 1980, she would come down hard on the Sikhs
According  to Amnesty International, 140,000 people had been arrested without  trial during the twenty months of Indira Gandhi’s Emergency. Of them,  40,000 had come from India’s two percent Sikh minority
6. Nirankari Kaand :
Till  now we saw partition and betrayal of promises made during independence,  struggle to get Punjabi suba , emergency atrocities and sustained  opposition to emergency by Sikhs . As a result of opposition to the  biased government policies a strong feeling of antipathy developed  between central government on one side and Sikhs and Punjab on the other  side .
So the central government  through its various agencies tried to modulate the social opinions .For  this purpose it set up and encouraged various anti Sikh sects (schools  of thoughts ) this included Nakli nirankaris (sometimes referred to as  just nirankaris but they are different from asli or the real nirankaris)  and Radha saomi . apart from financing these two pre existing sects in  their anti –Sikh activites .Central government agencies also encouraged  the penetration of new saints and holymen .This encouragement of sects  who openly preached against Sikh ism and /or tried to to wane away Sikhs  from Guru Granth sahib gave the Sikhs an impression that government is  against Sikhs .In the coming days this proved disastrous , as these  sects and their heads starting taking liberty with law .
It  should be noted that although Gurbachan Singh’s movement call  themselves Nirankaris, they do not have anything in common with the  original Nirankari movement that made enormous sacrifices and  significant contributions for Gur Panth’s reform.
With  increasing encouragement from government in 1978 nirankari sect head  gurbachan Singh decided to imitate Guru Gobind Singh ji .The Nirankari  leader is on record as saying that Guru Gobind Singh had made only Panj  Pyare (Five Beloved) and that he would make ‘Saat Sitaare’ (seven  stars). He had even dared to place his foot upon Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
On  13 th April 1978 Nirankaris took out a procession in Amritsar and held a  big congregation ,In this procession anti Sikh slogans were shouted and  in the congregation inflammatory remarks were made to protest this A  group of unarmed Sikhs went to the site of the congregation .But  Nirankari saint in collusion with police had armed people who attacked  these unarmed Sikhs leading to death of 13 Sikhs and many more injured .
The  astonishing thing is that the gathering of the Nirankaris continued for  three-and-a-half hours after this bloody massacre had occurred. It has  also become known that the D.C of Gurdaspur, Naranjan Singh I.A.S, and  other senior officers were present in the gathering during the massacre.  It is clear that the authorities of the Amritsar district allowed the  Nirankaris to hold their procession in the Sikhs main city of Amritsar  during Vaisakhi. The Police authorities are guilty of colluding with and  allowing the Nirankaris complete freedom to kill at will, and not  dealing with them properly at the right time. The Nirankaris were the  creation of the ‘democratic’ Government of India.The sect was created to  divide the Sikhs and produce infighting within the Panth.The Indian  Express (Chandigarh Edition) featured a report by Sat Pal Baghi in late  April 1978. He felt that the Indira Gandhi actively supported the  Nirankaris saying: “The genesis of the real trouble between the  Nirankaris and the Akalis goes back to the years when Indira Gandhi  headed the Union Government. She wanted to weaken the Shiromani Akali  Dal, but found that the Akalis could not be brought to heel. She thought  of an elaborate plan to strengthen the Nirankari sect not only in  Punjab , but throughout the country and abroad also. Official patronage  was extended to the Nirankaris much to the anger of the Akalis/Sikhs who  have always considered the Nirankaris as heretics.
7. Kanpur massacre :
Agitation  was started against the Nirankaris. Wherever they held their meetings,  Sikhs would go and strongly protest. Thus Gurbachan Singh was unable to  address the meetings held at Varanasi,Azamgarh and Allahbad. On 25th  September 1978, Gurbachan Singh reached Kanpur at 9.30pm flanked by  police officers ordered to provide protection. The news soon leaked out  and Sikhs started a protest march from Gurdwara Gobindpuri Sahib Ji,  which is three kilometres away from the Nirankari Bhawan in Kanpur.  Women and children were also amongst the protesters. The Nirankari chief  had again made full preparations for the Sikhs. When the Sikh  protesters reached the Nirankari Bhawan, the Nirankaris attacked them  with brickbats and shotguns.An armed volunteer of the Nirankaris attacked Jathedar Kishan Singh with a  spear, piercing his stomach.A fight ensued, and it was then that the  police officers started to shoot at the Sikh protesters. As a result,  thirteen Sikhs were martyred while a further seventy-four were injured.
Rise and role of Jarnail Singh Bhindrawala
Bhindraale can at best be described as a religious preacher who played an important role in
1) Awakening the Sikh youth about the ill effects of drugs and bringing them back to religious fold
2) Opposing the unjust policies of central government targeted towards Punjab .
He  learned principles of Sikh ism at Damdami Taksal of Bhinder Kalan  village and eventually went on to become its head. There he used to tour  villages to spread the teachings of ten Sikh gurus and to organise  Amrit Sanchar (the Sikh baptism ceremony ) He was very strict with  people who used to shun the Sikh discipline after taking baptism.
He  vehemently denounced drugs, alcoholic drinks and trimming of hair. He  took special notice of the Nirankari heresy which was undermining the  Sikh Structure. Opposition to the Nirankaris had started during the time  of his predecessor, Sant Kartar Singh Khalsa. Matters came to a head on  the Baisakhi day of 1978 when Nirankaris held a convention at Amritsar.  The Damdami Taksal under Sant Jarnal Singh Bhindrenwale and the Akhand  Kirtani Jatha, (another purely religious organization), protested  against government allowing the Nirankaris to hold their convention at a  time the Sikhs were celebrating the birth anniverssary of the Khalsa.  Some of them who marched to the site of the convention were fired upon  by Nirankari guardsmen killing 13 of them on the spot and wounding 78  others. The episode brought Sant Bhindrenwale into the political arena.
To  understand bhindrawale phenomenon one has to understand two extremely  important facts.The first is the position of the use of force for a  righteous cause in Sikh ideology and that nothing was unusual or  abnormal in the context of Sikh ism and its history . Second, a  continuous attempt by government to communalise the atmosphere so as to  lead to incidents of violence .
In one  of the interviews Bhindrawale said “You asked me about Khalistan. I  neither support it, nor am I against it .We want to stay with Hindustan ,  it is for central governent to decide whether they want us with them or  not .Yes if they give us khalistan we will take it . We wont make the  mistake of 1947.We are not asking for it but we’ll take it if they give  it to us .”
Apart from the Nirankari  incident mentioned in previous paragraph the other purely regional  incidents were given the guise of religious demand by central government  and denied this led to strong resentment not only in bhindrawale but  also in Sikh and Punjabi youth .There was let loose a reign of terror  and exploitation of Sikhs in Punjab and verbal war was fought by press  against Sikhs with Lala Jagat Narain the owner of hind samachar leading  the fight against Sikhs .He used to publish inflammatory articles  instigating Hindus against Sikhs .Lala Jagat Narain had appeared as  witness in case of Nirankaris and had ensured release of culprits .
Meanwhile.,  the Shiromai Akali Dal had been conducting a morcha since April 1982  against the digging of Satluj-Yamuna Link (S.Y.L.) canal which would  divert part of Punjab ‘s river waters to Haryana. The agitation inspite  of immense support from the Sikh peasantry was not bearing any tangible  fruit because the site (Kapori village on the Haryana-Punjab border  where the Indian Prime minister had inaugurated the digging of the canal  on 6 April 1982 was in a remote corner away from the Dal’s  headquarters. The Dal now decided to transfer the agitation, now  designated Dharam Yuddh or religious war, to Amritsar from 4 August  1982. Sant Jarnail Singh merged his own morcha with it, and thus became  in a way the joint dictator of the entire Panth though he still swore  loyalty to the former dictator of the Akali morcha, Sant Harchand Singh  Longowal.
A further provocation to the  Sikhs came from the behaviour of the Haryana government and police  during the Asian Games held at Delhi in November 1982. Sikhs travelling  from Punjab to Delhi or back were indiscriminately stopped, searched and  humiliated. Violence in the Punjab was on the increase. It was becoming  more and more clear that the government would seek a military Solution  of the situation in Punjab rather than a political one. Sant  Bhindranwale exhorted the people to be prepared for a showdown. On 15  December 1983, he with his men entered the Akal Takht and With the help  of a former major general of the Indian
Army,  Shahbeg Singh, prepared a network of defensive fortifications inside  the complex collecting in the meanwhile a large stock of arms,  ammunition and rations anticipating the possibility of a prolonged  siege. The government on its part made elaborate plans for all army  action while pretending all along its readiness for negotiations and  denying any intention of sending armed forces inside the Darbar Sahib  complex. The Punjab was placed Under the President’s rule on 6 October  1983. A ordinance declaring parts of the state a disturbed area was  promulgated, and the police was given power to search, arrest or even  shoot whom they will with immunity from legal action. Six additional  divisions of the army including especially trained para commandos were  inducted into Punjab by the end of May 1984. On 1 June, while the Sikhs  had started preparations in the Golden Temple for the observation of the  martyrdom anniversary of Guru Arjan, the fifth Sikh guru ,which fell on  the 3rd of June, strict curfew was clamped on Amritsar and surrounding  districts. The actual assault of the army’s operation nicknamed Blue  Star took place on the night of 5-6 June 1984. A pitched battle ensued  in which the army also used tanks and artillery. On the 7 Of June the  dead body of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was located in the basement  of the Akal Takht.
Operation Blue star

Real Aim : A  human rights activist Ram Narayan Kumar notes, “Operation Blue Star was  not only envisioned and rehearsed in advance, meticulously and in total  secrecy, it also aimed at obtaining the maximum number of Sikh victims,  largely devout pilgrims unconnected with the political agitation.”
Stated aim : “checking and controlling extermist, terrorist and  communal vioulence in Punjab , providing security to the people and  restore normalcy.” Advertised targets: Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale living  in akal Takhat and his disciples numbering 100-150 Actual  target/victims: Sangat /visitors gathered to celebrate the martyrdom day  of fifth Sikh guru , Guru Arjan Dev ji numbering more than 10,000 in  number Forces employed: All three wings of the defence : army , navy and  airforce were employed in this operation.