16 August 2007

Our Stories From 1984

I sat down this afternoon to start a project. I am organising the stories in my/our blogs in some sort of logical order. At first I thought strictly chronologically, but that didn't work since some posts span a lot of time. So I'm still working on that. Most of these are from Sometimes - 2, but a couple are from The Road To Khalistan . Also they were written and posted in a different order than they are presented here, so one or two references really seem out of place. I'm not editing them now, so please live with it. Also the last two posts are from 1985, but I have decided they belong in this post. I have also just now added another post #13, which expands on what was written before.

I am also adding a new link to the post: We Will Never Forget What Others Don't Even Know Happened . This includes a rather long article about what happened, from a Sikh newspaper. It's not really our personal stories, but it's well worth your time. If you're just looking for our stories, jump down to #1, below.

Suni and I have wracked our brains trying to decide the exact date we actually fought in Delhi - and we keep being unable to be sure. It must have been Nov. 3 or 4, but it might have been Nov. 2 or 5. It really was that confusing and traumatic to us.

I have, I think, gotten our stories from 1984 in order, so I'll start there.

  1. The Last Time I Saw Amritsar - Early June, 1984

  2. Suni's Story - Early November, 1984

  3. Hindu Gods And Other Things - Early November, 1984

  4. (Shaheed) Mandeep Singh Khalsa - Mani - Sometime in 1969 - Early November, 1984

  5. Aftermath - Early November, 1984

  6. Conclusion - Not a story, but this needs to be here

  7. Vini Speaks - 1926 - Present

  8. Suni's Statement - Early November, 1984

  9. More Mani - April, 1984

  10. (Shaheed) Sandeep Singh - February 14, 1971 - Early November 1984

  11. Delhi Again - TWENTY-TWO YEARS AND NO JUSTICE- June, 1985

  12. A Fairy Tale - Late 1985
  13. Details - 4 November 1984 - This is a recently written post, in answer to someone who felt the need to know exactly what happened, .that day.


  1. My heart goes out to you and all the others who suffered in 1984.

  2. Dear Brother Sagarone ji - Thank you. I have been to your blog and read what you have to say. You are one of those people who is willing to change your mind when confronted with facts. That's far too unusual.

    I'm glad you don't hate us any more.

    Blogger and my old, slow computer willing, I'll comment a bit on your blog.

    Chardi kala!

  3. Your lives are our lives and for this you had to go through this so that we can live and see tomorrow and walk on a new direction that your lives provide. Your lives have given us light. We have learned this lesson that we as Sikhs are alone in this world. Sikhs are nothing without your lives. Your lives will NEVER die. Your lives will echo in the hearts and minds of Sikhs forever. Please make sure your lives keep on guiding the us.

  4. Dear Sister/Brother Harmeet - Thank you. Such an attitude is a reward for our difficulties and for the shaheedi of our Singhs.

    I think of us Sikhs as schoolchildren from somewhere else on a field trip in Maya. We are here to learn and experience and grow strong. Then when we graduate we go home to Vaheguru as the bride.

    Viewed in that way, all these things become bearable. You might take a moment and read the words to "The Impossible Dream" scrolling on the right side panel. That is how I try to live. Insane perhaps and it makes life full and meaningful.

    Now, please go live! After all, (to change it just a bit): "Sikhi is an adventure to be lived, not a problem to be solved."

    Remain in chardi kala NO MATTER WHAT!

  5. khalistan.... india gov never forget im avowed to this strongly please everyone, DONT FOR 84

  6. Rawinder Brah ji,

    As long as there are Sikhs, these will be remembered. We honour our shaheeds. We will nerver forget.

  7. i wonder if this blog is still open to comments and if you still actively reply?

    in case you do, i must owe you my regards for all hardships faced, and faced the best way you could..

    that said, i have a chain of questions - and i need to begin with the basic (from which arise my many others) - do u know the history of impending civil war (this term is such an oxymoron i swear) in RSA, which never actually happened, when the world thought there was no 'IF' involved?

  8. Dear Anonymous ji!

    It is and I do.

    I am actually quite proud of our actions. With Guru ji's kirpaa, we made a pretty good accounting of ourselves.

    The peaceful resolution of the South African situation is beautiful and astonishing - I would have thought impossible, which goes to my great fallability. I think a lot of it had to do with two great leaders, the incomparable Nelson Mandela and the totally unexpected FW deKlerk. Perhaps the power of an idea whose time has come? I have been active in the antiapartheid movement since the 1960 and never anticipated such an outcome. :)

    It gives me hope for Khalistan. As freedom for the South African was inevitable, so is freedom for us Sikhs. The only questions are when and how.

    You're right, war is not civil. Militant Jains...pacifist Sikhs...My personal favourite is from the evening news long ago, uttered by none other than Walter Cronkite: "little insignificant acts of terrorism."

    Chardi kala!

  9. thanks for the prompt reply! just for records - i'm a writer - which is hardly a profession in a word, and yet an entire life's worth...

    there was a discussion we had as grad school mates some months ago over dinner. none belonging to an oppressed community as such, or lets say our status lets us stay safe above it as of now - but a range of communities world wide i assure you, as grad students often are!

    it dealt with the idea of human instinct as being the only one among living creations which is propelled time and again to mass destructions of its equivalent life, and we tried to reason why - here's our conclusion, based of course upon our own judgments and plenty of varied reading (i daresay first hand experience for however unfortunately indelible it proves to be remains unparalleled - yet i believe the idea of being a third and an outsider gives u the advantage of being unprejudiced (of course, assuming again that there are no alter bias factors) anyways, the conclusion (a nebulous kind, there are rare one step solutions of conclusions one can declare for for has persisted forever) did not lie in greed for power/money/assets/territory precisely - there is a much lesser, and basic instinct involved - that of understanding within when we are equal, inferior or superior... for every genocide (major) or simply attacks(minor) that have ever occurred among humans in the history, it has been the very basis... for if i was to fight another human (male/female) one on one with nothing - not even a blade to our aids - but just our own bodies and limbs (take a lion fighting another) i would know for as much as i can harm my opponent i stand to be an equal loser (whether or not i win or lose the fight) ... of course that is not to be the case in reality... at the rear end of the second world war, the blasts in hiroshima and nagasaki were very evidently a loud announcement which declared that no one could question that authority - it came however, merely from knowing that at that point truly there was no reciprocation equally gross as the atom bomb... the war had been over before, the jap had submitted, the blasts did nothing except wiping an entire decade, and filtering the mutations to many further ahead...

    today, that remains a tedious task ... with so many nuke powers, i reckon, no one wants to begin, neither the #1 powers, nor the lower oppressed ones... for whatever they preach, or threat, or declare, at the back of the minds is the knowledge that damage will A) not be one sided, B) irrevocable ... of course, the latter of points is true about any and all forms of damage whatever its magnitude...

    (i apologize about the length of this comment) but the conclusion somewhere then runs into talking of retaliation... The great Nelson Mandela, i daresay (and this comes from conversations with some first hand people of that zone as you are of another) was after about as great as Gandhi was to the East ... just t make sure i'm understood correctly this is not me defending either, but placing my disbelief in the myths of their respective greatness... it is not to rip them of nonetheless of whatever positive they each have to their own credit .. it is simply to say, that the example of RSA not entering a civil war is prof of one solitary fact - resolutions can never lie in reciprocation in kind... there have to be alter methods, which don't necessarily imply blind peace (As Gandhi) but they imply the element of faith... faith in self is rarely hard, but faith has to be placed in believing that a rightly processed idea, will eventually work ... who can deny that apartheid is not an unheard issue in RSA at the moment... still, what was avoided could have been significantly worse... if the jews faced a holocaust, what they have returned in revenge can hardly be lauded... what RSA has set as an example however, however imperfect and flawed it may stand, is something that should be allowed to progress...

  10. contd..
    (a repeated apology at my lengthy talks) - however, my entire explanation, and i don't know if i'm going to successfully hit a point, is based on part of your idea... some where, i reckon, and believe, that seeking a separate khalistan is after all, not the solution - it is only another beginning, an endless vicious circle of to and fro tossed atrocities... if it were a solution, i daresay yet again, Israel would have taught us better...

    i have all respect for your candid sharing of accounts mai ji ... and i respect that every individual has their faiths to follow, their opinions to harbor, their actions to take... in the end however, the endless variety of us individuals make one society - one world - one planet... and how far the actions (personalized even if) of an individual can lead the place into hell has been evident over and over... there may not be, and is not as i said before, a single step simple solution to problems that have penetrated our society for so long, one can only contribute their bit - and to this you must agree, it must have been of consequent in establishing this entire blog - one must bring out the truth, and it must see the light of the day, but the motive should be to awaken awareness, not wrath... it is in the end - the motive of educating ourselves, literally...

    once again, i don't have enough words to tell you how glad i am there are people like you who share their intimate lives for the benefit of truth which has been forcefully subdued... operation blue star has been a lingering mention in my immediate family - not for any of the obvious reasons though - 6th of june just happens to be my mother's birthday - and her repeated return to talks of that time in punjab are more than a history to me - someday i believe, i shall make people live it as real as words can, through a book that will be ...

    (it must be evident, in search of literature for the same, i stumbled onto this blog - if you have any more suggestions i'd be obliged!)

    a friend - i deem to be :)

  11. Excellent post ji - also read your post on sikhphilosophy - quite an eye opener !!

  12. Dear Brother/Sister Anonymous ji,

    Then I have done my job, since my #1 purpose online is to spread the truth of what happened to us Sikhs in 1984. Thank you very much.

  13. I was a very young kid, totally oblivious to all the hardships my Sikh brothers and sisters had to undergo when you actually lived through all the hell.Hearts of all sane people would cry at the atrocities being committed against Sikhs.All those who did it--massacred thousands in Delhi just because they were Sikhs and committed equally horrendous crimes deserve to be killed.However I am wondering how far you justify the killings of other innocents to avenge the killings of innocent Sikhs.In July 1987, pro-Khalistan terrorists butchered around 80 bus passengers in Haryana.In June 1991,terrorists attacked passenger trains near Ludhiana and massacred another 100.Same story was repeated in December 1991.There were countless such incidents.How can you justify them?Historically Sikhs protected Hinduism from the onslaught of Islam through exemplary valour, something Hindus were not capable of doing.We Hindus never consider you to be different from us--may be outward appearance like wearing turban could be different but otherwise we do not consider you to be different from us at all.It was only because of selfish politicians and those who wanted to establish their supremacy that the unfortunate incidents of 1984 onwards took place.Hindu community as a whole is ashamed for all that.Now at least let us leave all that behind us and work together to make world a better place, something great Gurus of Sikhism always aimed at.

  14. Anonymous ji,

    Thank you for taking the time and thought to write.

    I have several thoughts. First, no atrocity can ever be justified. I do not believe the excesses attributed to us in the 1990s in particular were committed by Sikhs. They were done by agents of GOI to discredit us. This includes the bombing of that airplane. SIKHS DID NOT BOMB THAT PLANE. Before you write me off as a complete nut consider that GOI had already proven their willingness to massacre Indian citizens.

    Second, if you know anything about Sikhs, you know that we never forget our shaheeds. As long as there is a single Sikh alive, 1984 will not be forgotten. You can leave it behind you, if you choose. We cannot. We will not even try.

    Third, you say,
    " We Hindus never consider you to be different from us."

    If that is true, it is a mistake. We are different from you. A Sikh is not a Hindu named Singh with a turban. We are a distinct, separate religion and people. It is an insult to us not to recognise this. (Yes, the Indian Constitution is an insult to us for this reason.) We have our own identity. We enjoy our identity, we honour our history and we look with joy to our future. I have nothing against Hindus; I just would like you to realise there are real differences.

    I have been a social activist for nearly 50 years. My purpose has always been to fight injustice, protect the weak and uphold the ideals that our beloved Guru ji taught us.

  15. Sikhs have distinct identity and religion and their own culture.Nobody is denying that.But how does that prevent Hindus and Sikhs from existing together as brothers?Even a cursory reading of the horrific events of partition and accompanying riots would tell us that Sikhs had much worse time in Pakistan than Hindus.A Hindu head carried a reward of Rs. 50 while a Sikh head carried a reward of Rs.250 in Pakistan.Brave Sikh soldiers, with all their valour and martial tradition played a significant role in the wars of 1965 and 1971.Yet it is shocking to say the least that Khalistan supporters find a great friend in Pakistan!

    Fortunately people like you are in minority even in Punjab.In general, common man, whether in Punjab or Sri Lanka or any other part of the world does not approve of violence.It is a fact that people of Punjab were fed up with all the hell pro Khalistan terrorists brought to the lives of people of Punjab.No wonder within one year of Beant Singh's victory in Punjab elections,the people of Punjab had thoroughly and comprehensively defeated the terrorists.People wanted to live their lives peacefully and did not want to butcher next door Hindu because somebody else had killed Sikhs in Delhi in 1984! Nobody denies the unfortunate incidents of 1984 but how killing a next door Hindu, who was as innocent as Sikh brothers and sisters killed in Delhi in 1984 was going to solve the problem?

    Today all my Sikh friends of my generation want to live in peace.Understandably their blood boils on the mention of the likes of HKL Bhagat and Jagdish Tytler but because of that they do not bear any enmity towards me who had nothing to do with the pogrom of Delhi!Today all my Sikh friends want to be a part of Indian growth story and make their lives better. We all Hindus welcome and embrace them with open arms.Even with your distinct cultural and religious identity,there is nothing that stops me from calling you my brothers and sisters. It is only through such bonds of friendship and fraternity that we can defeat the ghost of Khalistan once and for all.

  16. Anonymous ji,

    The best we can do, I think, is agree to disagree. You are not going to change my mind, and I have no desire to change yours. We are sisters and brothers; having 7 older brothers, I know well the divisions that exist within a family.

    I do believe that eventually corruption and internal social pressures from the various minority groups will cause the state of India to fall apart, much as the Soviet Union did. At that time, I am sure that the Hindus of Punjab will be grateful to have the Sikhs pick up the reins of government and save them once again.

    Of course, only time will tell.

  17. Vaheguru ji ka khalsa vaheguru ji ki fateh bhenji its me again hehehe bhenji i can't get to the other chapters pyaarie bhenji i only read the first chapter about your last vist to sachkhand sri darbar sahib harmander sahib jee please help me bhenji

  18. Kiranjit Kaur ji,

    Vaheguru ji ka khalsa! Vaheguru ji ki fateh!

    I'm not sure why you can't access these posts.

    I will send you an e-mail with an alternate location.

  19. plzzz jst close dis chapter of khalistaan



Please feel free to speak your mind. Dissension is allowed and welcomed. I only delete illegal comments and spam. OK, maybe obscene, but not usually.

If you want to contact me personally, my address is theroadtokhalistan@gmail.com