By Special Correspondent
New Delhi: On the 36th Anniversary of Operation Blue Star, Communist Ghadar Party of India on Saturday dubbed it “one of the most heinous acts of the Indian state”. On June 6, 1984, the Indian Army launched the “final assault” on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, in the name of “flushing out Sikh terrorists”. However, Communist Ghadar Party said “it was a terrorist act by the State aimed at humiliating the people of Sikh faith.”
Issuing a press statement to the media, Ghadar party said it is essential for the present generation to learn the truth about what really took place and why it took place.
It is essential because we continue to be confronted with the menace of “state terrorism” and communal violence till today.
Referring to communal violence incidents, the party said victims of religious persecution continue to be presented as villains, as in the latest case of communal violence in north-east Delhi this February.
The party stated that: “Operation Bluestar began on June 1, 1984. On June 2, Punjab was brought under Army rule. At least 7 divisions of the Army — over a lakh soldiers — were deployed in Punjab. June 3 was the martyrdom day of Guru Arjun Dev. Thousands of pilgrims had gathered inside the temple complex for this sacred occasion, including large number of women, girls, and children. For a whole 6 days, the armed forces kept firing at the Complex. Finally, tanks and armoured vehicles were used to bombard the sacred Akal Takth, and the armed forces entered the temple complex to “liberate” the Golden Temple from so called “terrorists”.”
“The Indian ruling class knew that the people would rise up in revolt against this monstrous crime. As thousands of peasants marched from their villages near Amritsar to defend their holy shrine, they were attacked by the armed forces. This was followed by attacks on gurudwaras throughout Punjab,” it added.
The Ghadar party also attacked the media saying “It was a time when the Indian state and the monopoly controlled media constantly dinned into people’s heads that Sikhs were “terrorists”, “fundamentalists”, “separatists”, “enemies of national unity and territorial integrity”, “agents of Pakistan”, etc. Any and every crime of the Indian state against people of the Sikh faith was thus justified.”
It said the Indian state deliberately gave a “communal angle” to the revolt of the people against Operation Bluestar and the “state terror” that had been unleashed. In this way, it aimed to smash the unity of the people and set them against each other on the basis of religion.
“The armed assault on the Golden Temple was a communal act, an act of blatant interference of the State in a religious congregation. The State, whose core duty is supposed to include protecting people’s lives and their right to any form of religious worship, sent its army to attack a place of worship, killing a large number people assembled there,” the statement said.
It further pointed out the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi claimed that her government had “no choice” because it had allegedly received secret information that terrorists gathered inside the Golden Temple were planning to organise the massacre of Hindus all over the country.
The party said this official justification has been exposed by now to be a pack of lies. No proof has been offered in the past 36 years about any such conspiracy.
“On the other hand, convincing evidence has been found showing that crack commando units of the Indian Army had been training for this operation with a model of the Golden Temple for target since several months prior to June 1984 at the Chakrata Army Camp.”
Evidence has also emerged that the Indian government had requested and received assistance from the Margaret Thatcher government in Britain at an early stage of planning the attack on the Golden Temple.
The Ghadar party alleged that many of the terrorist groups operating in Punjab in the 1980s were secretly sponsored and financed by the central intelligence agencies.
“Senior officials in charge of the Punjab Police have admitted that special “counter-terrorism” units were used to periodically organize killings of Hindus in buses and market places and blame it on Sikh terrorists. Using such terrorist acts to inflame passions, the ruling circles carried out massive propaganda to brand the struggles in Punjab as being driven by “Sikh fundamentalism”. This served to attack, divide and divert the Punjabi people and people in struggle all over India.”
The communist Ghadar party also alleged that the spectre of “Sikh terrorism” was created to justify widespread “state terrorism” and to divide and divert the struggle of workers and peasants for their rights.
Communist party underlined that, “the growing frequency of state-organised communal massacres and attacks on religious places over the past 36 years shows that this has become the preferred method for the capitalist monopoly houses to impose their dictate.
Listing some incidents, it said the communal crimes they have committed include the genocide of Sikhs in November 1984, the attack on Hazratbal mosque, the destruction of the Babri Masjid and the communal violence that followed, the Gujarat genocide of Muslims, attacks on churches in Odisha, the attack on Muslims in Muzaffarnagar and the most recent episode of communal violence in Delhi.
The party warned that the threat to the unity of the Indian people does not come from those who are fighting for their national rights but comes from the “communal and colonial” style policy of the Indian Union.
The party also criticized some communist groups for siding with the government on the issue of “Sikh fundamentalism”.
“ In the 1980s, some within the communist movement conciliated with the official propaganda that “Sikh fundamentalism” is the problem. That was a serious mistake. It weakened the struggle to build political unity against state terrorism and the dictate of the capitalist monopoly houses. “
It warned that, “Today, the official propaganda presents “Islamic fundamentalism” as the main problem. It will be a serious mistake for communists to combat this propaganda with the notion that “Hindu fundamentalism” is the problem, while creating illusions about the “secular foundations” of the Indian state.”